Friday, 22 September 2017

Spring into these Digital Prints

© Melissa Gaggiano
For all you scrapbooking and paper craft champs out there: I've designed a couple of print sets for you. The great thing about this product is that it's a digital download. That means you can buy it now, print it now (no waiting for it to arrive in the mail).

And so you ask, where might I find these wonderful prints?
Look no further than my Etsy store.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Lovers

© Melissa Gaggiano
Wonderful news! A select few original water colour pieces are available in my Etsy store. There's a little something for everyone – mamas, caffeine addicts and the fashion forward. So head on over to my little shop and find something to love forever.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Somewhere over the...

{link}
Wonderful this! I love a rainbow, and I never met a person who didn't like one. So in honour of the big, beautiful rainbow I came up with this charm design, the perfect accessory to brighten your world. Heaven knows we need more rainbows in the sky. To see the tutorial simply visit My Poppet.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Fathers Day Commission

The Banker
© Melissa Gaggiano 2017
Private commission – water colour

I was commissioned to create this water colour piece for Fathers Day. Naturally the unveiling took place yesterday.

This morning the client gave me a shout out from the other side of the street. With both thumbs up she declared the art piece "a big hit". A satisfied customer! What a fantastic way to start the week, hey.

Monday, 21 August 2017

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Ripponlea Draws Me In

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano
A spontaneous trip to Ripponlea Estate was the perfect anecdote to suburban winter blues. The estate is host to a 20s-30s fashion exhibit, so between that and walking the gardens I exposed myself to a new source of inspiration in my work.

The exhibit Night Life continues for an extended period (until 27th August) at Ripponlea Estate. Check it out while you still can.

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Photography by Melissa Gaggiano

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Walking Alone

© Melissa Gaggiano
Sometimes when people disappear, there is this feeling that we are walking alone.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Ronaldo C

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano
 This week a spontaneous doll project happened when a lil' boy's birthday suddenly popped into calendar. What to do? What to do? I like making dolls that have a meaningful connection to the recipient, so after a bit of brainstorming I made a football doll based on Ronaldo Cristiano of Real Madrid.
I know very little about football, but after this week I know a little more than nothing. For instance I now know that Ronaldo is a spunk, and so is this little doll. My favourite part was making the shoes.
Last year I made another doll using a similar pattern. You could say it is a sister doll to this one.
Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano

Doll making by Melissa Gaggiano

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Bubble Pop Electric Tennis

© Melissa Gaggiano

Potential

© Melissa Gaggiano
I like the word 'potential'. I see it in every little thing that I create. From the wordy note that I write on a paper napkin in a restaurant, to a doodled sketch, or in this case a digital concept image.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Vintage Paper Doll Bookmarks

{My Poppet}

Hey y'all! Are you looking for something else to make? Are your fingers itching' for some colouring in? Yes! Then head on over to My Poppet and get cracking with this retro cute bookmark tutorial from moi.

Idea! Test! Vary!

Instagram
It is a week of busy here. That means new ideas are tested, variations of old patterns are made, lots of notes are written, and a lovely apron is worn throughout all this.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Moon Princess


The past few days have been dedicated to making this Moon Princess doll and her loyal steed. All made with a combination of sewing techniques, fabrics and paints.


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Moving Around Blocks

© Melissa Gaggiano

You've got a plan, and you know you can bring it together. But then something breaks. Against all experience something just isn't quite working. It's the middle of the day and you really are only halfway there. What is there for you to do?

When there's a block no amount of lifting or swearing at it is going to move it. The only thing for it, is to take a tea/coffee/chocolate/drawing/walking break. Don't think about if for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or however long it takes for you to see a fresh path. Then, and only then will the answers start to come to you – The thread is too weak; There is too much fabric; I need to sew more rows, et cetera.

Once you see the new path around the block, drink some water, brush your teeth and get back to the job at hand.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Paper House

My Poppet - Makes
Folding Paper Dollhouse tutorial

I am totally and completely proud to announce another tutorial contribution of mine over at My Poppet. If you like doll houses and paper crafting then this is for you. Check it out!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Affirmate This!

Multi Me
© Melissa Gaggiano
I am a doodler. I have side projects that I move between – 
... like a chef stirring multiple pots in the kitchen.
 ... like a bee gently hovering from flower to flower. 
... like Frogger leaping franticly from log to log to the other side of the screen.

Which ever analogy I choose, it doesn't really matter, because they're all me on different days.

I am a multi passionate artist – be it writing stories, writing imaginary book titles, drawing, painting, digital art, photography, paper crafts, design, doll making.  If you know me, then this a 'well duh' statement. But the thing is, for years I tied myself up in knots because I was fed this notion that I must choose just one thing and totally focus on that. 

That advice is great for people who are completely absorbed in one thing alone. But I'm not made of singular stuff. Anytime I tried this, whatever I was cutting out from my life left me feeling lost and empty. All the ways in which I invest my creative energy are as much a part of my programming as my DNA. So the only thing for it is to keep doing everything and not worry what the critics say about being a master of one thing, or whatever.

{gratuitous author's book link}
A friend put me onto a mind altering book [no drugs were involved] titled Steal Like An Artist created by Austin Kleon. Doesn't that name just roll? Well anyway... this book affirmates everything I do. The one difference is that post reading Steal Like An Artist I now feel more confident about how I've been using my time, with a couple of minor tweaks. As diverse as my interests are they lend and feed into each other.

Thank you Austin! For writing a book that I have always wanted to read, even before I knew it existed, and even before you knew it was meant to exist. If I was Marty McFly this would be one book that I would take back into the past.

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Retro Heart

© Melissa Gaggiano
From the world, to my head and my heart. I put these things to paper, reflecting back to the world the beauty that I see.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Cola Roll

Digital Coca Cola Windmill
Scanning and Photoshop layers created by Melissa Gaggiano

These days computers, printers and scanners can be acquired quite easily for domestic purposes. But when I was growing up it was almost unheard of anyone having these things. So when photocopiers started appearing in offices it was just too much temptation. A generation of fully grown people the world over released their inner child, and photocopied their buttocks after too much tipple at work functions. Surely it had to be tipple because I can't imagine anyone doing this sober. I do not believe that derrière copying is a big thing anymore. Not when businesses were having to fork out money to repair cracked glass from too much weight pressing against them. Besides, we've now got Instagram to glorify our dorky selves and our private parts, so who needs a photocopier right?

When I was a teenager I visited my dad at his work place. I had just finished drinking a can of cola when I was pondering taking a photo of it. Dad had a better idea.  He placed it on the photocopier and slowly rolled it across the glass with the scanning arm. The result was a black and white work of art. I loved the photocopy and kept it for many years.

Today I finished drinking a can of cola and was reminded of that photocopy which has long since disappeared. In memory of that old photocopy I used my scanner, rolling the can awkwardly in time the scanning arm. And the result was this...

Coca Cola Can Scan
by Melissa Gaggiano

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Ready-a-Gocco

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery
     I don't often go into the city, but when I do... I cannot pass up an opportunity to visit Outré Gallery. Today was just one of those days. Cat Rabbit had an exhibit at Outré and being that it was the last day, with daughter in hand, I took a proton pill, put on my helmet and battled the traffic.

    It was worth dealing with infrastructure just to visit Outré. It has been my cultural Mecca for close to twenty years. Many of my favourite artists are represented by this gallery. And Cat Rabbit is one of those artists.

    Cat Rabbit's playful exhibit is something of an ode to gocco – a now defunct home based Japanese screen printing system, which ironically is very popular amongst the artists and crafters that I like to follow.

    In Cat's very own Cat Rabbity way she takes mundane, everyday items and makes them fun by turning them into little felt crafted pieces. This is simple and genius! And I love it! Naturally I couldn't leave without picking up a limited edition Gocco: Play Date book. Now I will never forget this exhibit-exhibit.

    Thanks Cat! Can hardly wait to see what you create next.

    To find out more about the very sweet Cat Rabbit simply go to –

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery

The Cat Rabbit exhibit
Outré Gallery

Friday, 23 June 2017

Push That Yellow

© Melissa Gaggiano
    I drew another yellow dress! It would seem I'm just going to keep drawing yellow clothes until I have an actual yellow dress in the wardrobe.

    Some might think I have summer on the brain. The truth is I've been wearing dark colours for so long I feel like I'm turning into Lydia Deetz. I love Lydia but enough of the mourning colours and living in Victoria is no excuse for blending in with the buildings. It is time that I dig deep to my Queensland roots. I have decided that each piece of clothing  that wears out on me, I will replace with something bright coloured.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Life Lines

© Melissa Gaggiano
    This shell caught my eye on a favourite beach. It reminded me of a vase. It reminded me of the lines on my palms. Intersecting lines, cutting, connecting. The markings of a life path that is not linear.

She Dreams of a Yellow Dress

© Melissa Gaggiano
    For many long months I have daydreamed about wearing yellow. I always picture myself in a class yellow sun dress that Sookie Stackhouse would approve of. Yellow dresses are not commonly found in Melbourne stores, so I'm thinking that I just may be making one of these.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Something Sheryl Crow Sang

© Melissa Gaggiano
I've had this Sheryl Crow album since I was about seventeen, in which she sang:

"No one said it would be easy
But no one said it'd be this hard"

This line is true of anyone fleshing out their own career/future/path/destiny/or whatever and they only have themselves to say 'yep this is right', 'you're on the path that you need to be on'.

You feel like you're doing it right when that figurative cheque with your name on it comes your way. But what happens in the quiet corners of your work day, between the projects, when you don't know what to focus on next? How does one move through that thick cloud of doubt?

Sometimes we don't. Sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes it takes all our effort to move forward. To say yes, let's start this thing, and who knows what it will bring.

Thankfully there's another line in that same Sheryl Crow song that goes:

"No one said it would be easy
No one thought we'd come this far"

I guess she knew when she wrote that song that as hard as things get, we can still make it if we at least try.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

The Moments Between

© Melissa Gaggiano
It's good to be busy. Not crazy, stupid, oh my god, my screws are coming loose as steam escapes my head, busy. But 'bee' busy - gently flying from one flower to another. For me that means having a weekly list of goals, which I like to write on a Sunday. My list is small if the tasks are large. My list is big if there are lots of short jobs. It's about realistic management, isn't it?

The body can tire if we move from job to job with no breather between. I discovered this only too recently. One job wasn't balanced and my health was compromised. Mistakes were made, but on the plus side the experience made me see what my vulnerabilities are. As my body slowly reboots I now balance the work I do with other activities that involve eating, and exercising my neck muscles (it's all about mobility and strength baby).

The other thing about working is that the mind needs periods of rest. So when the tasks are ticked I have a go at letting my brain have down time. No easy thing! My body is happy to sit, but my brain is almost always storming and itching for me to do things. Can you picture a stove with multiple pots bubbling away together? That's what it is like inside my head.

The kids had a couple of days off from school and this presented me with an opportunity to let my brain off the hook. When constantly thinking about next week, next month, next year, being present can take some getting used to. But if you can switch off and focus on what is before you, be it a garden or a child, then it is time well spent.
© Melissa Gaggiano



Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Flowery Felt Craft Project

My Poppet tutorial
© Melissa Gaggiano

How exciting is this! My Poppet Makes presents a freshly minted tutorial by moi. If you're into felt craft and flowers then this lil' treasure of a project is the perfect activity for you. Add this to your list of wee wonderful to make this year.


© Melissa Gaggiano

© Melissa Gaggiano

Friday, 26 May 2017

Twister

Melissa Gaggiano Photography
    On a complete and utter whim I made this mock Twister board game miniature for the girls doll house. They love it when I make little bits and pieces to add to their doll house, and this one was so simple in concept. As I was sewing the dots onto the white felt I realised how nice the pattern would look on a doll apron or skirt.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Winona ♡

© Melissa Gaggiano
    If you're into a little eighties nostalgia you will enjoy this piece on coming of age themed piece about Winona Ryder.

Sixties Love + Missing Sharpener

© Melissa Gaggiano
    There is a curse in this house. The same curse that afflicts every household I would imagine. There is always that one thing that disappears. Even though you tell yourself that the you will put away that one thing in the same spot, it still manages to disappear into oblivion.

    Over the years many random things have disappeared into that void. There was a time when the cat was a klepto, but she has since grown out of that phase, and yet, things still disappear a Gruffalo plate, Spiderman spoon, erasers, my trusty sharpener. I'm thinking of installing a black hole proof safety box for housing my next sharpener. 

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Talk About... Pop Cactus

My Poppet tutorial


Talk about, pop cactus
Talk about, pop cactus
Pop, pop, pop, pop cactus

It's another proud day for me, as a new tute of mine is now available at My Poppet. If you love pop, felt craft and cacti then this is the perfect thing for you. Check it out now!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Sick Day Things


    The littlest has been under the weather, but her day is made a whole lot better by watching The Adventures of Abney and Teal, playing some Lego and getting in lots of sleep. She also put in a request for her own lil Poc-Poc which I quickly sewed together.

    For those not in the know a Poc-Poc is a rather curious little ground creature, much like wood toys or what I imagine to be hardy seeds.