Winter Arts Festival

ASpectacularLife_Launch Promo_0

Grab your coats and mittens, my lovelies, and head out to the city for a night filled with snow, music and glorious food to satisfy your appetite. Tonight kicks off the Perth Winter Arts Festival and boy, will it be magnificent. There will be a giant snow dome (that’s right, Perth finally snows…sort of) which will feature the Perth Jazz Society, STEPS Youth Dance, the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra and many more. When your heart has been filled with the vibrant nuances of the arts, it is time to fill your stomach with mouth watering delicacies; at the Twilight Hawkers Markets, one will find everything from paella to baked potatoes to mulled wine.

And just when you think that the night is at its end, don’t head back to your warm houses just yet. With plenty of props laid out, go and strike a pose at the Yelp photobooth with a loved one and finish the night on a high!

“This Winter Arts Season, indulge in the artforms you love and sample some you’ve never tried before, starting with free music, dance and comedy under a snowy and starry Perth autumn night sky.”

-The Fine Duchess

Image via perth winter arts

Beethoven

ASpectacularLife_Beethoven

Finally found some time to sit down at my old friend and work on some Beethoven together. It feels amazing to have my fingers flying over the keys; to hear the contrast between ominous and delicate sounds coming from the depths of the beast we call the piano.

For those who are curious, I am working on Beethoven’s Bagatelle in C major, Op. 33 No. 5.

-The Fine Duchess

Rain

ASpectacularLife_Bambi1

When I was young, I never noticed the music score that would make up a Disney film. I couldn’t tell the difference between the clarinet and an oboe, or a trombone and a horn. Looking back, I wish there was someone that actually said, “listen child, what you are hearing is a [blank]. Can you hear the slide/tinny sound/warm tone/etc.” With little guidance and exposure to the other instruments of the orchestra, it wasn’t until I was well and truly in my late teens when I could begin to decipher music, separate the parts and instruments, and hear each sound with its unique timbre.

ASpectacularLife_Bambi4

Everytime it rains, I often think of the one piece of music that I feel depicts it perfectly – Little April Shower from Bambi, scored by Frank Churchill and Edward Plumb. From the warm opening notes of the clarinet, the piercing triangle and beautiful mix of nuances from the vocals, this scene from Bambi causes me much delight and happiness as the animals all huddle up at home and seek shelter from the relentless rain. And then the storm comes! As a child, I was always very frightened by the ferocious crash of the cymbals and the eerie vocals that perfectly embody the fierce nature of wind as they are combined with muted brass, a percussive piano and the swell of strings to reach a terrifying climax. But when the storm is over, the texture thins out until all that is left is the clarinet as it too slowly bows out, one drop at a time.

ASpectacularLife_Bambi5

What is your favourite Disney film?

-The Fine Duchess

Images: 1 | 2 |

Fundraiser Dinner

ASpectacularLife_BentleyPines

On a chilly Saturday evening, the Duke and I, as well as my dear brother A, were seated at Bentley Pines Restaurant at a Fundraiser Dinner. This dinner (and the silent auction that was also featured on side) was held by the third year fashion students of Polytechnic West Bentley as part of their campaign to raise funds for their graduate runway show at the end of this year. I do believe that my sister, S (who is one of those third year students) told me they were hosting it in one of the ballrooms at Burswood but were in need of a lot more funds – it costs $1000 to just turn the lights on?! Not sure if S was exaggerating or if she didn’t get her facts straight. Mind you, from a business point of view, that $1000 would cover the costs to pay the person (or team) to man the lights, the electricity, the expertise of the person/team, and not to mention, the calculated profit at the end too. It is a business after all, but to the average bear, $1 000 does seem like an awfully large sum, does it not?

Bentley Pines is a live interactive classroom, where the chefs, bar and waiting staff are all students. As a teacher of sorts myself, it is always interesting to observe the teaching methods of other teachers. This evening was no different. The waiting staff this evening were under the careful direction of the student supervisors and all food that was sent out was under the scrutiny of the lecturer.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I was too caught up in the excitement and chatter to snap up many photos. The only one that I have to show you is that of my entree ( perfectly cooked salmon and mushrooms, served in a parcel of filo).

ASpectacularLife_BentleyPines2

For mains, we were served chicken with herb butter on a bed of smooth potato mash and a mixture of beans (red/white beans). It took a while until I received my main – the lecturer was very strict on what was being served to all guests and unfortunately the plate that was meant for me was not plated at a high standard and thus sent back to the kitchen; I must commend the lecturer on his his patience. When I finally received my dish, I found that there was quite a scattering of beans. In fact, the beans quite outnumbered the mash and seemed to dominate the plate. If I were the lover of beans, this dish would take my fancy. However, this I am not and so I failed to finish my sides. Thankfully, the chicken was cooked well and the herb butter was well received. Dessert was simple – chocolate brownie tart with a side of berry coulis. Deliciously moist and well executed.

After dinner, the winners of the silent auction were announced. The Duke was ever so sly to bid for a night and bed & breakfast at Wabi Sabi Ryokan, a traditional Japanese retreat in the hills, and he won!

ASpectacularLife_WabiSabi1

I’ll let you know how our stay at Wabi Sabi Ryokan goes – from what I’ve heard, it is nothing short of amazing!

-The Fine Duchess

Bentley Pines on Urbanspoon

Van Gogh, Dali and Beyond

ASpectacularLife_salvador_dali

The Duke and I are so excited to hear the news that the Art Gallery of Western Australia will be in partnership with MoMa to exhibit works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Warhol, Dali and many more artists.  Not only do we admire the works of Dalí, we even have a melted clock like the one in the image above (the Duke sourced it out at The Daily Planet). I personally was overjoyed to hear that Henry Toulouse-Lautrec would be a part of the crowd too. Having studied him quite in depth in high school, it would fantastic to be able to see a vast portion of his works. Words simply can not describe my excitement!

ASpectacularLife_Lautrec

“This exhibition presents three of the most fundamental artistic genres which link and transcend the ‘isms’ of twentieth century art, from Impressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and beyond to the art of today…”

ASpectacularLife_VanGogh

Tickets are on sale now. For more information on the exhibition, click here.

-The Fine Duchess

Related post

Happy weekend

20130526-152011.jpg
This weekend has gone by so quickly, filled with cups of hot coffee to keep me going and plenty of desserts to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us.

Hope you were able to have a more slow paced weekend than myself. And to think that it will be Monday again tomorrow-back to the daily grind and hard work of nurturing budding musicians and singers.

Here are some links from around the world that might interest you:

Music: a song to lull you to sleep
Wedding: Lake Como, Italy is a truly sublime backdrop for a wedding
DIY: polka dots!
Recipe: delicious slow cooked lamb
Drink up: the Old Fashioned

Hope you enjoy the last moments of your weekend.

-The Fine Duchess

Image via Fashion Moment

Ace Pizza Part 1

ASpectacularLifeAcePizza

And they are at it again. The team behind Cantina 663 and El Publico have opened up a new place just a few blocks down – ACE Pizza. With real wood ovens, charcoal grills and Aesop hand wash (you heard me right, they went all out), a meal at ACE is sure to be nothing less than marvellous (or Ace! Such a bad joke…)

Amongst my busy schedule of upcoming concerts and eisteddfods, I am determined to give the new place a go in the next few weeks. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Hope you’re having one fine day.

UPDATE: Part 2 of Ace Pizza can be found here.

-The Fine Duchess

Image via SixThousand

Related posts:

diy hand lettering

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering

Ever since I was young, I have always been fascinated with typography, hand written notes and calligraphy, and so when I saw this post  on a pair & a spare, I most certainly read every word of the article and raced to my desk to give it a go.

Step 1: Gather your supplies

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering2

Step 2: Select your choice of card or paper

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering3

Step 3: Draw some guidelines

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering4

Step 4: Roughly sketch the skeleton of your letters

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering5

Step 5. Add thickness to the letters

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering6

Step 6. Trace over your sketch with your fine black pens

ASpectacularLifeDIYLettering7

Ta da! C’est magnifique! For more detailed instructions, I urge you to visit a pair & a spare.

-T.

Tutorial by Gemma O’Brien of for the love of type for a pair & a spare.

Related posts:

BMO Chop

“If this were a real attack, you’d be dead…”

Goodness me, I can’t help but burst into a fit of giggles every time I see this. Is it because BMO (the little computer) is so small or if she is Japanese and cute (at least as cartoons go).

Many people I know think that Adventure Time is really not that great, but S, the Duke and I are absolutely loving the traditional (traditional? Old school?) animation. However, best friend C insists that Ben 10 is much better.

When did adults like ourselves go from watching sitcoms and soap operas back to cartoons in the style of our childhood favourites?

I remember turning ABC Kids on the other day to find that the cartoon Babar had been modernised and was all computer graphic animated (does that make any sense?). Ick! It seemed so wrong! Children’s shows just aren’t like how they used to be. At least I can seek solace and comfort in Adventure Time.

Do you have an indulgence that satisfies your inner child? Cartoons? Movies? Let me know – surely I’m not the only one…

640px-BMO_with_apple

 

Bmo_football

-The Fine Duchess

In the Office: Business Cards #01

red-letterpress

So my sister, S, has been thinking of snapping up a set of business as a part of her portfolio (she is in her last year of Fashion at Polytechnic West). Being the one who whittles away too much time on certain paper/stationery and design blogs, and having the tendency to dabble in a bit of design myself, my hand went up to help her design her cards. And so, whilst browsing through my collection of cards, I find myself taking quite the liking to those with a coloured edge.

ASpectacularLifeAnalogue

ASpectacularLifeHirudika

ASpectacularLifeFluo

ASpectacularLifeEverythingEtsy53263753_vBvyAirG_c

ASpectacularLifeJuan-madrigal

My current business cards are rather minimalist, white with dark grey writing. Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a newer, brighter me?

More inspiration for business cards will be coming soon. If you don’t think you can wait that long, check out carddsgn, lovely stationery or oh so beautiful paper.

Hope you all have had a lovely day. Until tomorrow…

-The Fine Duchess