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Friday, 30 June 2017

My Retro Heart

© Melissa Gaggiano
From the world, to my head and my heart. I put these things to paper, reflecting back to the world the beauty that I see.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Cola Roll

Digital Coca Cola Windmill
Scanning and Photoshop layers created by Melissa Gaggiano

These days computers, printers and scanners can be acquired quite easily for domestic purposes. But when I was growing up it was almost unheard of anyone having these things. So when photocopiers started appearing in offices it was just too much temptation. A generation of fully grown people the world over released their inner child, and photocopied their buttocks after too much tipple at work functions. Surely it had to be tipple because I can't imagine anyone doing this sober. I do not believe that derrière copying is a big thing anymore. Not when businesses were having to fork out money to repair cracked glass from too much weight pressing against them. Besides, we've now got Instagram to glorify our dorky selves and our private parts, so who needs a photocopier right?

When I was a teenager I visited my dad at his work place. I had just finished drinking a can of cola when I was pondering taking a photo of it. Dad had a better idea.  He placed it on the photocopier and slowly rolled it across the glass with the scanning arm. The result was a black and white work of art. I loved the photocopy and kept it for many years.

Today I finished drinking a can of cola and was reminded of that photocopy which has long since disappeared. In memory of that old photocopy I used my scanner, rolling the can awkwardly in time the scanning arm. And the result was this...

Coca Cola Can Scan
by Melissa Gaggiano

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Ready-a-Gocco

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery
     I don't often go into the city, but when I do... I cannot pass up an opportunity to visit Outré Gallery. Today was just one of those days. Cat Rabbit had an exhibit at Outré and being that it was the last day, with daughter in hand, I took a proton pill, put on my helmet and battled the traffic.

    It was worth dealing with infrastructure just to visit Outré. It has been my cultural Mecca for close to twenty years. Many of my favourite artists are represented by this gallery. And Cat Rabbit is one of those artists.

    Cat Rabbit's playful exhibit is something of an ode to gocco – a now defunct home based Japanese screen printing system, which ironically is very popular amongst the artists and crafters that I like to follow.

    In Cat's very own Cat Rabbity way she takes mundane, everyday items and makes them fun by turning them into little felt crafted pieces. This is simple and genius! And I love it! Naturally I couldn't leave without picking up a limited edition Gocco: Play Date book. Now I will never forget this exhibit-exhibit.

    Thanks Cat! Can hardly wait to see what you create next.

    To find out more about the very sweet Cat Rabbit simply go to –

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery

Friday, 23 June 2017

Push That Yellow

© Melissa Gaggiano
    I drew another yellow dress! It would seem I'm just going to keep drawing yellow clothes until I have an actual yellow dress in the wardrobe.

    Some might think I have summer on the brain. The truth is I've been wearing dark colours for so long I feel like I'm turning into Lydia Deetz. I love Lydia but enough of the mourning colours and living in Victoria is no excuse for blending in with the buildings. It is time that I dig deep to my Queensland roots. I have decided that each piece of clothing  that wears out on me, I will replace with something bright coloured.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Life Lines

© Melissa Gaggiano
    This shell caught my eye on a favourite beach. It reminded me of a vase. It reminded me of the lines on my palms. Intersecting lines, cutting, connecting. The markings of a life path that is not linear.

She Dreams of a Yellow Dress

© Melissa Gaggiano
    For many long months I have daydreamed about wearing yellow. I always picture myself in a class yellow sun dress that Sookie Stackhouse would approve of. Yellow dresses are not commonly found in Melbourne stores, so I'm thinking that I just may be making one of these.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Something Sheryl Crow Sang

© Melissa Gaggiano
I've had this Sheryl Crow album since I was about seventeen, in which she sang:

"No one said it would be easy
But no one said it'd be this hard"

This line is true of anyone fleshing out their own career/future/path/destiny/or whatever and they only have themselves to say 'yep this is right', 'you're on the path that you need to be on'.

You feel like you're doing it right when that figurative cheque with your name on it comes your way. But what happens in the quiet corners of your work day, between the projects, when you don't know what to focus on next? How does one move through that thick cloud of doubt?

Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes it takes all our effort to move forward. To say yes, let's start this thing, and who knows what it will bring.

Thankfully there's another line in that same Sheryl Crow song that goes:

"No one said it would be easy
No one thought we'd come this far"

I guess she knew when she wrote that song that as hard as things get, we can still make it if we at least try.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Moments Between

© Melissa Gaggiano
It's good to be busy. Not crazy, stupid, oh my god, my screws are coming loose as steam escapes my head, busy. But 'bee' busy - gently flying from one flower to another. For me that means having a weekly list of goals, which I like to write on a Sunday. My list is small if the tasks are large. My list is big if there are lots of short jobs. It's about realistic management, isn't it?

The body can tire if we move from job to job with no breather between. I discovered this only too recently. One job wasn't balanced and my health was compromised. Mistakes were made, but on the plus side the experience made me see what my vulnerabilities are. As my body slowly reboots I now balance the work I do with other activities that involve eating, and exercising my neck muscles (it's all about mobility and strength baby).

The other thing about working is that the mind needs periods of rest. So when the tasks are ticked I have a go at letting my brain have down time. No easy thing! My body is happy to sit, but my brain is almost always storming and itching for me to do things. Can you picture a stove with multiple pots bubbling away together? That's what it is like inside my head.

The kids had a couple of days off from school and this presented me with an opportunity to let my brain off the hook. When constantly thinking about next week, next month, next year, being present can take some getting used to. But if you can switch off and focus on what is before you, be it a garden or a child, then it is time well spent.
© Melissa Gaggiano



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Flowery Felt Craft Project

My Poppet tutorial
© Melissa Gaggiano

How exciting is this! My Poppet Makes presents a freshly minted tutorial by moi. If you're into felt craft and flowers then this lil' treasure of a project is the perfect activity for you. Add this to your list of wee wonderful to make this year.


© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano