Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I love when people post images of inside their sketchbook and often the most interesting things people create are inside. I remember when I used to teach, the VCE students would always have much stronger work in their folios and I think the same thing happened to me in year 12. You have to create this big amazing work and you just lose all your confidence and can't produce the same artworks you made when you had no pressure on you.

These are some sketchbooks from the final year of my BFA in 2001. There are a few Able and Game-esque images and words in there and it is interesting to see the little sprouts of ideas. I wonder what my reaction would have been at 21 if I knew this is what I was doing 9 years later.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2011 Calendars

It is heading into that time of the year we like to call calendar season when people start releasing their calendars for next year. There are some really super ones out there and it is great to read some of the design blogs and see what people are doing. I grew up with the free calendar from Elders and for those of you not familiar with the company, it was an agricultural calendar. So seeing all these lovely letter press/screenprinted/giclee still makes me go wowies.

We have just launched our range on Etsy and currently have three calendars available: The Girls of Able and Game, The Boys of Able and Game and a Melbourne Station Calendar. We had a lot of fun selecting the boys and girls we have included, so it is a bit of a who's who from our cards.

Each calendar is printed on a parchment card stock that has a really lovely texture to it and they have a special calendar binding allowing you to hang them where ever you so fancy. There are 14 pages altogether with a month to a page and they are A5 in size, so not too big, not too small. We have plans to release maybe one or two more designs, so if you have anything you would love to see please let us know in the comments section.

They are available on our Etsy shop, at our upcoming markets and a range of shops including:

Warrnambool Art Gallery: 26 Liebig Street WARRNAMBOOL VIC

Wilkins and Kent
: 372 Little Bourke Street MELBOURNE VIC

Sedonia: 41 Gamon Street SEDDON VIC

Clarence est 2010: 217A Maroondah Hwy HEALESVILLE VIC

Pigeonhole: 31/80 Barrack Street PERTH WA

Reliquaire: 139 Gilbert Street LATROBE TAS

The Hive: 2/25 Lonsdale Street BRADDON ACT

Paperchain Bookstore: 34 Franklin St MANUKA ACT

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

AFL Grand Final Posters

Here in Melbourne the second last week of September goes a little football crazy with the Grand Final coming up this weekend. We were talking about the posters that get released each year and I decided to make an Able and Game version. Any excuse to draw men in short shorts will always be taken advantage of and I'm rather proud my team is through to the final*. We had a few laughs coming up with speech bubble ideas, if you have any funny suggestions we would love to hear them.

*Go pies!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We Love Zines: Volume 2 - Macarons are not Macaroons

This is the zine I wish I had back in May when I decided to make mararons for a friend's hens party and failed. If you have tried to make them before you know what I am talking about. If you had success the first time then you must be some kind of magic fairy robot because I don't think it ever happens, which is what this zine is all about. And obsession. And if there is one thing I love hearing about it's people's obsessions.

The inside cover explains the reason she started was because it "made me seem more cultured at parties" and that hit the nail on the head for me and my attempts to wow people at the hens night. But I failed and had to rely on old faithful, cupcakes.

The zine details the macarons purchased in Melbourne (and honest thoughts on these) the many attempts at making them, the hundreds of dollars spent on ingredients and equipment as well as recipes and tips on how to make them. Or you could just wait in line for some made by Duncan and save yourself some heartache.

Macarons are not Macaroons is available online at Sticky, and for $4 it is worth the investment if you're wanting to give them a go. Duncan's blog Syrup and Tang also has step by step instructions and photographs so is worth looking at as well.

I've not attempted to make them again but rather than give up completely, I thought I would stick to what I know best and make a card about macarons instead:

Friday, September 10, 2010

You are team number one!

We discovered a few people in Australia buying our "I want you as my Amazing Race partner" cards recently and discovered that Australia is producing their very own Amazing Race. So these cards were being given to people for real, as in get the camera out it's time to make an audition tape. I know it might not be as good as the US version but I'm really crossing my fingers it doesn't end up as bad as the Australian edition of Survivor. I am also hoping Phil hosts, if they get Phil I will be happy!

Applications close on the 17th of September and I had a quick look at the forms just to see what kind of questions they were asking and a few stood out, purely for the funny answers people will give:

  • What is your opinion of foreigners?
  • Have you ever hit someone in anger or self-defence?
  • Other than appearing on “The Amazing Race Australia”, what is the next big thing you want to achieve?

A few people have asked if Gareth and I will apply. I would like to present you with the following clip and what would most likely occur if we did end up on the show:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Revolver Designer Market

We have been doing Revolver Designer Market for about a year now and the next one is on tomorrow night. It is a super relaxed market on the second Thursday or each month and we love it because we can have a yummy meal, a drink with friends and sell some cards. The food is also very very good and on my top 5 Melbourne eateries. Our Rose Street buddy Kirsteene from Scrumptious Productions also does it, giving us a chance to talk Mad Men and True Blood.

Speaking of TV, this season of Project Runway (I think it is 8) is really really good. The eps are longer and they are editing it a bit different from previous seasons and adding these great little moments. They are subtle, like cutting away from someone a few seconds later and catching these looks. It is a common thing in UK shows, but not so much in US. And Tim Gunn. Wow, that man is the man. It went through a bit of a lull the last few seasons and this time I was wondering if I should even bother watching it. Very glad I did, at least for the Tim/Michael/Nina fix.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We Love Zines: Volume 1 - Telephone and Me

A few months ago I was doing some online research. You know the kind, you're waiting for something to load in photoshop, switch over to Firefox and start clicking away. Cat videos, Blogs, News Websites, random Wikipedia pages and 40 minutes later you feel like you've run out of internet. However this time I ended up at Sticky's online shop. I didn't know they had one, got a bit excited and started shopping. I set myself a modest budget of $20 and started adding to the cart. Based on the image on the front and a short description it is a little pot luck with what you will get, but that just adds to the fun. I ended up with about 7 zines and a plan to do a shop every month. I then realised they were also worth blogging about, because let's face it we have all thought about making a zine but these people have actually done it.

I'm going to start with Mel Stringer's Telephone and Me* because it really is the perfect zine in my eyes. The drawings are amazing, the type that makes you feel a little giddy and warm inside and the stories are really interesting. I first saw Mel's work in Frankie Magazine a few years back when she was featured on their poster and loved the story relating to this in the zine, despite it being really sad. It was refreshing to see someone talk candidly about the life of an illustrator and how it isn't always easy. The zine is full of lots of little everyday encounters, conversations and observations all sent to your mailbox, what could be more perfect?

*I've linked to the Etsy shop because I couldn't see any left on the Sticky Website.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cards we will never make

My friend Mark from Record Attempts told me about this episode of The Apprentice UK involving greeting cards. The task was to create a new date to sell greeting cards, create five cards for that date and then to pitch it to three major card sellers in the UK.

When they first start brainstorming ideas one guy comes up with the bright idea of cards to give to people who just had some kind of cosmetic surgery (jump to 6.48 in the youtube video below). The whole conversation is rather amusing, I especially like the part when a nose job is referred to as 'intimate' but a boob job is something his friends are happy to tell everyone about.

I got thinking about this as an occasion and what would we make as a card to give someone who just had cosmetic surgery. I had an idea, it rhymed and it involved a dorky girl like the one from our Mistletoe card. However it was something that we would never actually make. But rather than keep these ideas hidden away, we thought they would be quite fun to share. So here is our first card we will never make:

PS: If you want to watch the whole episode it is divided into six parts on the youtubes:
Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four Part Five Part Six
Also, Mark called it but it needs to be said than Kevin looks very much like Matt Lucas from Little Britain.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hoegaarden, Asahi and Coopers please!

We have a few Father's Day cards but this is the card that I would give my Dad. Which reminds me, I better get it in the post today. Father's Day is this Sunday so make sure you get organised and don't leave things to the last minute like I always do. We have put this card up on Etsy and we will be at Rose Street Artist Market this weekend (60 Rose Street Fitzroy from 11am - 5pm Sat and Sun) so if you're in Melbourne come along for all your Father's Day card needs. I'm sure the card will make my Dad happy, but what does my Dad really want for Father's Day? For the Pies to win on Saturday night!