Shastablasta upside down. Part 2: some photos

Last week I shared my crafting in Australia. Here if you missed it. I generally only share my creative explorations on my blog but it's not often I travel to the other side of the world. There really are not enough words to explain this experience. My internal poles really did feel flipped upside down. Because I'm from California there was something familiar about many of the places I visited. Same, same but different. It's bazzaro California. Or California is bazzaro Australia depending on your perspective. 

I have 800+ images so I've narrowed them down to a few galleries for your viewing pleasure. Thirty two images to be precise. Enjoy the clicking.

The Sydney Opera House: Sydney is synonymous with Opera House. We played in it's architectural awe, watched the sunset, and then saw a show. Grizzly Bear performed their 115th and last show in support of their album Shields. It was a nice long set because there was no opener. Amazing sound in that glorious main room. An intimate evening I now get to remember every time I hear their music.

I'm on a boat: The first personally epic event on my visit was new years. I was lucky enough to be on a boat in the Sydney Harbor to bring in the new year. They know how to put on a show. A multi-million dollar show. I have never seen so many fireworks exploding at one time even in a finale. It was all finale and at times hard to know where to look. There were three fireworks shows! Three! It's something I'll never forget.

Bushwalking: We had some finicky weather for our quick camping trip to The Blue Mountains and a hike to Wentworth Falls. The fog eventually lifted but the cooler weather was helpful in not overheating while walking on steep steps.

Animals of Australia: Baby Wombat, up close with a Koala Bear, Kangaroos laying around like humans, Dingos looking like dogs, and Birds. Bird sounds will surround my memories as they're one of the animals I saw or heard most while out and about in our daily excursions or just hanging in the backyard.

Beach: The ocean was omni present in almost everyday. Some days included two trips to the beach.

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Above is the sunrise on Bondi Beach the day I left Australia. I arrived home to San Francisco on the same calendar day. Below is the sun setting on that same Pacific, far from Australia in miles and time, at Ocean Beach.

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There are many more miscellaneous images on my Instagram, posted during my trip. Search the hashtag #shastablastaupsidedown. I tried not to duplicate much in this post.

if you ever find yourself upside down here are some of the places I enjoyed.

Sydney
Bondi Massive — Great breakfast.
Bondi Icebergs Swim Club — Go swimming in the lap sea pool + a cafe
Neighbourhood (in Bondi) — One of my favorite meals
Mad Pizza (multiple locations) — Thinest crust I've ever had
Flamingo Merchant — Colorful handmade clothes, bags, and things for your home.
Shopping on King St. (in Newtown)
The Strand Arcade — Full of Australian makers and brands
Sydney Festival — This started at the tail end of my trip. This would be great to plan a trip around as there's lots of free activities. I got to jump on a Stone Henge shaped bounce house as part of the festival. It co-insides with Australia Day which I was gone for but would also be worth timing a trip with.
And of course Bondi Beach!

Melbourne
Melbourne Now, exhibit — Plan for this. It's free and at two venues. I didn't have enough time to fully explore. Ends March 23, 2014.
Naked in the Sky — The roof top of Naked for Satan has a great view of the city, good food, and cocktails
Metropolis — Great bookstore and on the roof in the same building there's a bar and Rooftop Cinema
Shopping on Brunswick St.

Traveling compadres.  

Traveling compadres. 

Shastablasta upside down. Part 1: beach crafts

View of Bondi Beach from Icebergs Swim Club.

View of Bondi Beach from Icebergs Swim Club.

My first two weeks of 2014 were spent on the other side of the world playing in Australia. I was in Sydney, Bondi (pronounced Bond-EYE which was my home base), the Blue Mountains, Melbourne, and then some more Sydney and Bondi. 

My memories are glowing. For the record it smells great there. Food is fresh and tastes of summer. Bird sounds are slightly different than California. Louder. Bigger insects. And I think I came back a fan of humidity. I'll have more pictures to share next week. I'm sifting through them and still pouring sand out of my luggage. For a glimpse into my trip I posted throughout on Instagram using the hash tag #shastablastaupsidedown.

While I was on vacation my creative brain got a much needed break. It's slowly coming back to me. It had been taxed from holiday crafts. In Australia my senses were overwhelmed by everything I was seeing and doing that there wasn't a lot of room for making. Inevitably some of my crafting spirit came out and I'm sharing those few items here this week.

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I packed with me a box of stamps and ink pads. For my birthday this past year I was gifted a stamp carving kit from Yellow Owl Workshop. This seemed like a great time to use it and was my first experience printing from something I'd carved. My grand plan was to buy postcards on my trip and stamp out Happy New Year sentiments on the picture side of the postcard.

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Well I learned a lot with this project as it didn't go as planned. I hadn't fully tested things before leaving and it hadn't occurred to me how the stamps would react on high gloss paper. The 2014 stamp was unreadable so I abandoned it for a back-up stamp I'd brought. But I also hadn't accounted for humidity. Over a week later and the ink never dried.

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Ultimately I stamped on the less glossy writing side of the card. I'd love to do this project again when I travel now that I've learned a few lessons. It's an easy way to be able to send a lot of cards as it can be hard to find writing time when having new adventures. Next time I'd have a stamp made instead of carving my own only because the pro-grade stamps can handle more variables. Carving stamps was fun and I'd totally do that again just not for this exact project.

A week before leaving I found an Australian immigration stamp at my favorite art store and had to buy it. I carved out the middle which had Perth as the destination and a random date.

A week before leaving I found an Australian immigration stamp at my favorite art store and had to buy it. I carved out the middle which had Perth as the destination and a random date.

Of course a trip to the beach isn't complete without collecting some craft supplies. I actually didn't see to many shells until we had a picnic on Queens Beach along the Sydney Harbor. 

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Queens Beach. Not our boat.

Queens Beach. Not our boat.

The  Yoga Hike Master  also traveling with me in Australia and I created this shell Om during our picnic.

The Yoga Hike Master also traveling with me in Australia and I created this shell Om during our picnic.

On my last full day I sat on the Grassy Knoll at Bondi Beach and  Zentangled this cardboard boom box. I gifted it to my wonderful host and tour guide. I took breaks to jump in the ocean as it was one of the warmest days of my visit.

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More to share next week...