Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Colour Box Studios

Colour Box Studio is a brand new pop up creative space opening in Footscray. They are launching next Wednesday 7th of November with a month long pop up shop and workshop space that we are taking part in. We went along last night to a meeting and met some of the amazing organisers and artists taking part and I can safely say I am looking forward to the opening night. There is a great outdoor space, Maryann Talia Pau will be running a workshop for her 1 million stars to end violence project and I'll be working the bar for part of the night. I'm not sure why this excites me but it does. The space is a short walk from Footscray station and that is only like 5 minutes from the city pretty much.

They are also running a bunch of creative workshops in the space that all look really interesting including our hand painted wrapping paper workshop. I'll blog about that next week but I can just say that I am really, really looking forward to taking this workshop. I can't wait to lesson plan the living daylights out of it.

Colour Box Studio Pop Up Shop Details

236 Nicholson Street

Opening Night
Wednesday 7th November from 5pm - 8.30pm (Facebook invite)

Shop Open
Monday and Tuesday: 10am - 6pm
Wednesday - Satuday: 12pm - 6pm
Sunday: Closed


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beer, Cheer and then Oh Dear

The last few months have been a bit strange over in Able and Game land. We recently changed to a different printer that is harder, better, faster and stronger so kind of like Daft Punk without the glowing skeleton suits. Along with this new printer, we also had loads of designing* to do for the diary and calendar. Technically we had been designing a few card but they are for Christmas so we held off talking about them because like everyone in the world we are not into having Christmas Carols shoved down our ears until well after October.

All this gabbing brings us to our point, we designed a new card this week. It was exciting, we oohed and aahed over it and then put it on the ground and did a silly dance around it. Okay, maybe we didn't go to that much trouble, but a little ceremony of happy happened in my mind. The card is up on Etsy and we think it is just right for that guy who likes drinking the boutique beers (hello Thunder Road we like drinking you) but still sometimes gets messy on cans of Carlton.

*I'm looking for an equivalent to pixel pushing but in relation to vectors, if anyone knows one I want to hear it right away.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Phone apps....

...helping you find out what your adult children will look like since 2010.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hobart Shop - Syzygy

A couple of weeks ago Gareth and I took a mini trip to Tasmania. It was a chance to visit some shops that we stock, eat some great food and of course visit Mona.

We popped by Syzygy on the first day of our visit and were amazed at how much they get into such a tiny space without it feeling cramped at all. They have a great range of really odd ball and quirky things so we spent a while looking, reading and showing each other our funny finds. Syzygy have stocked our cards for a few years now and I think they work really well with the selection of products they have. If you're going to give someone a crazy cat lady figurine as a gift, best pair it with a cat related card right?

We asked Verona from Syzygy a few questions about the shop:

What do you sell in your shop?
We sell lots of kooky, quirky and silly gifts for adults who just want to be kids. We don't take ourselves seriously, so our products are not too serious either. Our range includes home wares, books, adult toys (no, not those ones, you naughty person, you), cards, stationery and geek stuff.

What is a great place to go to eat in the area?
Well, next door we have Ethos, a great place for fancy pants dining. I also enjoy Machine Cafe in Salamanca (about 10 min away) for great coffee and yummy breakfasts. On indulgent weekends I've been heading to Daci&Daci Bakers in Murray Street for yummy coffee and cake and more cake... They have the best selection to drool over.

Best thing about running a shop?
I love the fact that I don't have to take work home with me. Most of my day to day jobs can be completed within the hours of opening and closing. I love the relationships I've built with staff and customers, and now call a lot of them friends.


102 Elizabeth Street
Hobart 7000
Ph: 03 62 369 102
Mon – Fri 10.00am – 5.30pm
Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm
Sunday: Closed
Public Holidays: Closed
Sundays 11.00am – 3.00pm

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New artwork

The last week I've been working on an artwork for an upcoming exhibition (more details soon) and so it's been some long nights and reminiscing about art school. Although I spend almost every day drawing it's been a bit of a change creating an artwork that is totally different to what I usually do as it's much more abstract, the medium is different and it is a pretty slow process. This is a tiny sneak peek above and I'll be working pretty solid this week to get it finished by the weekend deadline. I'm also looking forward to the opening night, exhibition openings are always such fun, but when you're in them there is this added excitement and fear all rolled into the mix.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2013 Diaries

Since we started Able and Game back in 2009 we have got to this time of the year and thought we should do a diary. Every year I thought it would happen, but then August rolls around and you hop on the slide I like to call wwwoooooah when did January come up so quick? and low and behold the diary never eventuated. These things also take time and those cat videos will not watch themselves but the last few weeks the cat videos were put on hold and we knuckled down and got to work, learnt a new program (hello Indesign!) and created something brand new.

The diary is now up on Etsy, it is a week to an opening and each page has some kind of drawing. Some are from cards, some are new and some are old ones that never made it onto cards. We have spiral bound it ourselves and it has a thick box board backing that makes a nice sturdy surface to write on if you're not at a table (this was an important factor in the design process).

We will have them at Rose Street Market and Finders Keepers and The North Melbourne Market this weekend, a busy weekend you might think, but we're cool because we wrote it in our diary*.

*technically it is in Google calendar, but see what I did there??

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finders Keepers Melbourne

This Friday and Saturday Finders Keepers is rolling back down south to Melbourne. It starts at 6pm on Friday night at the Royal Exhibition Buildings. According to The Age it will be 27 degrees on Friday so it might just be the perfect night to saunter through the park (get some green into your eyes!), have a few fizzy booze drinks, meet up with some friends and check out some art/design/handmade goodness. Gareth and I will be there with lots of cards, calendars, tea towels and brand new diaries. Yes, we have a spanking new product.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We keep getting requests for more ages with our ha ha ha cards. They started off at thirty and I didn't think we would ever get to the 70 mark. As soon as someone requests another number we then go ahead and make them. The girl version is here and the boy version is here.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

We Love Zines - Life Continues To Be Confusing by Mel Stringer

A couple of years ago I wrote about one of Mel Stringer's Zines called Telephone and Me and said that is was pretty much the perfect zine in my eyes. I was pretty excited to see there was a new one called Life Continues To Be Confusing and couldn't wait for it to arrive. Again it ticks all my zine boxes, good drawings and a peek into the inner workings of someone else's mind. I also got the kitty bunting PDF that I have still not made up yet, but when I do you can be assured that our studio will look like a colourful kitty wonderland.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Creative Mornings

A few Fridays ago Gareth and I went along to the Melbourne Creative Mornings Talk by Dr. Amantha Imber.  A few weeks ago I saw this video of Creative Mornings founder Tina Roth Eisenberg talking about success in business. Around 2 minutes into the video she discusses her second rule: don't be a complainer make things happen and how she started a few different projects, including Creative Mornings, based this rule. The idea stuck with me and I tried to change my way of thinking about things that would usually be viewed as negative. I was also happy to learn that Creative Mornings had started in Melbourne.

The talk we went to was about creativity and making decisions. I learnt (or maybe even relearned) that decision making should happen in the morning, something I get wrong all the time. In the evening, if going out for a meal I often just want someone to decide on everything for me and having someone do that feels like such a luxury. It is so strange how the brain works sometimes.

The talk also touched on deadlines and that old adage that you come up with your best work at the last minute. This is something I often tell Gareth (when I'm justifying why I'm doing something so late) but Amantha said that it isn't all happening at the last minute because you have had all this time to think about the idea so technically it isn't happening at the last minute, it is a long process where all that time is very important.

If you're wanting to watch the talk it should be loaded up on the website soon and in the meantime there are two previous talks you can watch. We also got to have a look around the pretty amazing Compound Interest space and Gareth spotted a print from the recent Risographica 2 show that he decided he wanted to own very much.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A day at the show

Last time I went to the Melbourne show the year was 1984 and I went along with my Mum and Nanna as a small child with big dreams of living the carnie lifestyle. For the last few years I have been desperate to go back but somehow never made it and ended up feeling sad and let down by my inability to organise a day out. After 28 years away from the hallowed grounds in Flemington (except for Life Instyle a few months back, but the dog pavilion looked a lot different back in August) I finally returned.

They had a cat show. We stood for 40 minutes watching them judge the cats. This cat performed particularly well in the swimsuit category.

I'm going to apply for a stand at Finders Keepers and totally rip this guy off. It will be called:


How strong are you? Pay $6 to find out. If you are very strong you will win a giant Spongebob Squarepants soft toy to carry around until you complain that your arms hurt and hand it over to your Mum.

Did you know hipsters model their hair on barnyard animals?

When Devo wrote their hit song WHIP IT they pictured this guy whipping polystyrene cups off a stand.

We got to try fancy Victorian ciders.

We saw this circus act with a man who is a famous clown from the USA and his friend, a man in a sparkly cops uniform.

I give the show a big tick of approval. Gareth and I had a total wow of a time, although he was not willing to join me on the cha cha style ride and we didn't win an over sized Spongebob Squarepants toy.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Confusion in the office

Sometimes we get our worms mixed up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Our cards make kids.....


We got a message from Lou from Totally Innocent last week letting us know one of our cards was on the new show House Husbands. Although we don't dream of becoming famous on TV we were pretty excited that maybe one of our cards could be. We watched the show via the website and finally spotted the card positioned right in front of the young girl vomming all over her Mum. So we made an animated gif about it.