Video: Show us a video that makes you want to dance.
This month I discovered American lexicographer Erin McKean via an entertaining presentation that she did for TED. You can see in the video that she's wearing a fantastic frock, and it so turns out that she's also a dressmaker and the author of A Dress a Day.
The upshot? I've been motivated to buy a dress pattern: this one (it's called a "duro"). Haven't made anything for years, but why not start with something simply gorgeous? Think I'll make it my project for late March/April.
Show us a photo of somewhere you want to go.
I want to visit the Drottningholm Court Theatre, just outside Stockholm in Sweden. It was built in 1766 and is still in use for baroque style productions of opera and ballet. This is the interior; the buildings and grounds of the palace are just as elegant.
I have been in Stockholm twice in my life and both times it was just outside the opening season for the Drottningholm palace and the theatre. Sooo frustrating! But I WILL get there one day - and, I hope, see a production.
CREDIT: This photo by Bengt Wanselius and Bo Ljungblom. More by them at the site linked above.
I've endured enough CD cover design meetings to know just how angst-filled and generally traumatic they can be.
The following is just a creative game, but boy would it make life easy to adopt a method like this! As the friend who gave me the link says, he can't imagine the following steps ever yielding an implausible cover design.
1 - Go to wikipedia.
The first random wikipedia article title that you get is the name of your band.
2 - Go to Random quotations:
The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 - Go to flickr and click on "explore the last seven days"
The third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 - Use Photoshop or similar to mix it all up. Post it.My efforts:
What are you saving up for?
Submitted by Star.
I'm saving up for a piano!
Although flute is my major instrument, piano has always been the instrument that gives me the purest pleasure. I can play anything and have all the music, not just the melody; I can accompany myself singing (or others); I can use it to get to know a piece inside out or just to amuse myself. It's been two years since I had a piano in my home, and I'm really missing it.
I have exchanged handmade postcards with an American mail artist, mrpotani. You can see the postcard I sent here on the Little Red Mailbox blog. The one I received contains a forecast for 2008, Year of the Earth Rat: Hard Work...Frantic Activity...Renewal. Very apt – I like it!
And perhaps the "frantic activity" will see a little more blogging this year...
How far from your last home do you live? Why did you move and are you glad you did?
Submitted by Matthew 25.
I now live about 15,358 km (9,543 miles) from my previous home. At present I consider myself "back home" – in the country where I was born, raised and educated. I moved overseas to work for three years. Ultimately, it was a fantastic experience: very stimulating and I met some wonderful people. But it's definitely great to be home! So I was glad to move away, and glad to return; no regrets either way.
What was the best post or blog you read?
I read a lot of good blogs – most are written by passionate people with a genuine gift for communicating that passion. There's I Love Typography by a British typographer and graphic designer living in Japan – it's not only passionate but beautiful to behold. And Everyday Matters by another artist, Danny Gregory, who has a tremendous story and a powerful gift. And although it's closer to being an online commonplace book than a blog, there's wonderful stimulation to be had at Arts & Letters Daily, edited by Denis Dutton.
But mostly my blog roll is filled with bloggers who are passionate about classical music. Some are well known already: The New Yorker's music critic Alex Ross over at The Rest is Noise (also the name of his book, which Time has ranked in the top 10 books for 2007 – not bad for a book about 20th-century classical music); and composer and critic Greg Sandow ruffing feathers and thinking aloud about The Future of Classical Music. On the anonymous, or ostensibly anonymous, front there's the young Antipodean opera buff at Prima la musica, poi le parole [that's "first the music, then the words", which is also the title of a short opera by Mozart's supposed nemesis Antonio Salieri], and the insightful Stumbling on Melons, also Antipodean.
My blog discovery for 2007 was another anonymous one: appealing in its clarity of thinking, precision of expression and astuteness of observation. Tonic Blotter - averting boredom, as he says, since 2006. Like the Stumbling on Melons guy, Mr Tonic Blotter (MK) is a lawyer by training. His writing on music-making in the Chicago area (and elsewhere) is always fascinating to read. And he takes the most beautiful bird photographs too.
And on Vox? I always get tremendous pleasure from the delectable photographs by fellow stationery addict Patrick Ng at Scription.