Mood: History

Pondering Patti

"After Robert’s death Patti told me that these shots come closest to her remembrance of the profundity of the love between them.” - Norman Seeff
1969 Outtake from Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe session by Norman Seeff.

Good Friday

Have a Good Friday Everyone…. In fact, have a GREAT one!

(Baby devouring Easter egg circa 1937)

HISTORY: Kathrine Switzer

In 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete, Kathrine Switzerwas the first woman to enter and complete the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry.  She registered under the gender-neutral name of “K.V. Switzer”.

After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” however, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire Marathon.

These photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and in 1974 Kathrine later went on to win the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29.

Dancing Shoes

This image was taken at the Merry Garden Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois in 1931. It is believed to be the longest recorded dance marathon in history. This particular dance endurance contest began on August 29th 1929, and didn’t stop until April 1st 1931!

Mike Ritof and Edith Boudreaux claimed first prize of $2,000 cash, and the marathon record. Unbelievably they danced for a total of 5,152 hours and 48 minutes!

Dance marathons became a popular fad in the 1920′s and 30′s whereby entrants would stay on their feet for extraordinary long periods of time. These dance endurance contests as they were better known, attracted literally thousands of people who were enticed by the idea of fame, notoriety and in desperate times monetary prizes.

In my view, this haunting and disturbing fad of yesteryear, is akin to the Reality TV shows of today.

Continue Reading →

Apollo 7 Mission

A dark picture showing the strain of suspence of Mrs. Donn f. Eisele sitting on the side of the road gripping her hands during her husband’s trip on the Apollo 7 mission, 1968.

 (Photographer Vernon Merritt III)

Marilyn Monroe & JFK

These arresting photographs initially seem to be images of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy sharing intimate moments from the night Monroe performed ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ on  Saturday, May 19th 1962 at a celebration held for JFK’s 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden.

The truth is somewhat different. These photographs, which have been circulating the net for quite some time now, are in fact staged paparazzi shots using look-alikes by English artist and photographer Alison Jackson.


In her work Jackson says,

‘Likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. The viewer is suspended in disbelief. I try to highlight the psychological relationship between what we see and what we imagine. This is bound up in our need to look – our voyeurism – and our need to believe.’ Continue Reading →

The Sisterhood of Surfing

When I think of female surfers and the history of surfing, Gidget is the first thing that springs to my mind. In 1957 Austrian-born Holocaust survivor Frederick Kohner, titled his novel Gidget, The Little Girl With Big Ideas. His novel was based on the adventures of his daughter Kathy, her friends and the surf culture of Malibu Point.

In 1956 at age 15, her mother urged her to explore the outdoors, so Kathy bought her first surfboard for $15. She instantly fell for the lifestyle and pushed for acceptance from the other surfers, sometimes bribing her way to local status by trading her peanut butter sandwiches for chances to ride. Kathy hung out with notable surfers such as Miki Dora, Mickey Munoz, Dewey Weber, Tom Morey, and Nat Young, and was soon dubbed ‘Gidget’ a fusion of girl and midget.

Based on what Kathy told her father about her trips to Malibu, and after he discovered and read her journal detailing her surfing adventures, he went on to write Gidget, The Little Girl with Big Ideas, which sold over 500,000 copies.

Several years later in 1959 Frederick Kohner sold the movie rights to Columbia Pictures for $50,000, where he had been a screen writer. He gave five percent to his daughter.


Stephen King Age 14

In 1961 an aspiring young author aged just 14 wrote a submission letter in the hope his short story ‘The Killer’ would be published. It arrived at the offices of Spacemen Magazine. Unfortunately the magazine’s editor didn’t deem the tale worthy of inclusion at that point.

Ironically, 33 years later the editor changed his mind and finally decided to publish it in issue #202 of another of his magazines titled ‘Famous Monsters of Filmland.’ At that point, however, the story’s author, Mr Stephen King, was then aged 47 and already rather successful to say the very least.

Frida Kahlo

Although Frida’s birth certificate states she was born on July 6, 1907, she claimed her birth date as July 7, 1910, as she had allegedly wanted her year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico.

Frida suffered lifelong health problems. Many of her health problems were the result of a traffic accident she survived as a teenager. Recovering from her injuries isolated her from other people and this isolation influenced her art works.

I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.

Continue Reading →

Feel the Music

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Young girls at Matthew F. Maury School improvising variations on their teacher’s dance moves, Richmond, Virginia, USA, May 1950. (Photographer Nina Leen) 

A Notion of Wisdom

Exclusive one-off piece of wearable art handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio.

Antique telsum prayer boxes and miniature spoon pendant from Ethiopia.
Rare antique silver-alloy Ethiopian trade and fertility beads.
Antique barrel key from India.
Wooden, brass, coconut and miniature glass beading, with knotted and waxed hemp detail.


Belief of the Banjara

Exclusive one-off piece of wearable art handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio.

  • Antique silver-alloy coin pendant/rattle from the Banjara people of Rajasthan, India.
  • Old barrel key and coins from India circa 1970′s.
  • Antique silver alloy triangular telsum prayer box pendant from Ethiopia.
  • Silver alloy cylinder pendant from Tibet.
  • Silver alloy ‘bug’ beads from Ethiopia.
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Wooden and brass beading with knotted navy blue cotton and brass chain.

Helen Mirren

Young Helen Mirren (1969).
Photographer Neil Libbert snapped this fabulous shot inside her flat. At the time she was playing Cressida in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Troilus and Cressida.

Mannequins. Eyes that Follow You.

Mannequins freak me out little, particularly ones from the 1930s to 1980s. Those succeeding and preceding those times seem to be fine. I’m not sure if I’m weirded out by the eyes which seem to follow me around the room or down the street, or if it’s that stupid placating almost dreamy expression on their faces.

To be honest, their proportions kind of annoy me also, for no other reason than women in today’s society are made up of a plethora of varied and equally beautiful body proportions, not just the stock standard 36, 26, 26 (or whatever it’s meant to be). Continue Reading →

‘Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened’ – Anatole France


Together in Time

Exclusive one-off piece handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio.

  • Antique ‘Illinois’ sterling silver etched fob watch from the United States.
  • Old Tibetan coin pendant found in Nepal.
  • Antique hand-cast brass ‘bug’ beads from the Igbo Tribe of Nigeria, Africa.
  • Antique silver alloy fertility bead and ‘telsum’ prayer box bead from Ethiopia.
  • Cowry shell cluster from East Timor.
  • Brass, coconut and miniature glass beading with knotted and waxed hemp detail.

Available exclusively at ‘Elements I Love’
Shop 2/276 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills, Sydney
NSW 2010
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9698 8884

Don’t Be Fooled by Me

‘Please Hear What I’m Not Saying’ 

Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
for I wear a mask, a thousand masks,
masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me,
but don’t be fooled,
for God’s sake don’t be fooled.
I give you the impression that I’m secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without,
that confidence is my name and coolness my game,
that the water’s calm and I’m in command
and that I need no one,
but don’t believe me.  Continue Reading →

Bygone Blue

Exclusive one-off collectible piece handcrafted in our Byron Bay Studio.

  • Antique royal blue embossed glass perfume bottle from India circa 1890s.
  • Antique keys from France and India.
  • Solid brass cowry shell pendants.
  • Solid brass elephant charm from a Buddhist Temple in Thailand.
  • Small snake vertebrae trade beads from Kenya.
  • Antique decorative glass beading from Nepal.
  • Wooden and brass beading on knotted hemp and brass chain.

Available exclusively at ‘Elements I Love’
Shop 2/276 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills, Sydney
NSW 2010
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9698 8884

Beverley Hills 1977

This candid series of photographs was captured in 1977 by a young man, Brad Elterman at a private party behind the Beverly Hills Hotel:


“I think John Rockwell invited me to this party. Behind the Beverly Hills Hotel is a huge mansion owned by David Lane. I knew many of the guests, although an older crowd for me because I was just out of my teens. It was a warm sunny afternoon. I was standing next to the bar trying to get a Seven-Up. Suddenly, this lovely girl started to strip down right in front of me. I only had a wide-angle 28 mm camera lens, not really wide enough for the moment, so I backed up as far as I could, almost knocking over the bar. You have to do the best you can in these situations.” – Photographer Brad Elterman

Marilyn Monroe. Rare Images

John Vachon only had the opportunity to photograph Marilyn Monroe once in his lifetime. It was August 1953 whilst she was off-duty due to a broken left ankle on location during the filming of ‘River of No Return’ in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

‘Our Lady of the Vast Ocean’

One-off collectible piece handcrafted in our Byron Bay Studio.

  • Nautical brass pendant.
  • Old Ostrich egg shell disk beads from Kenya, Africa.
  • Cowry shell clusters from East Timor.
  • Solid brass cowry shell pendant.
  • Antique decorative glass beading from Nepal.
  • Wooden and glass beading on knotted hemp with an adjustable brass chain.

1930′s London

A policeman judges an ankle competition at Hounslow, London, 1930


A Knocker-up (sometimes known as a knocker-upper) was a profession in England and Ireland that started during and lasted well into the Industrial Revolution and at least as late as the 1920s, before alarm clocks were affordable or reliable. A knocker-up’s job was to rouse sleeping people so they could get to work on time. Mary Smith earned sixpence a week shooting dried peas at sleeping workers windows – Photograph from Philip Davies’ Lost London: 1870 – 1945

‘When Bonnie Met Clyde’

Inspired by the infamous tales of the vintage gangster duo, ‘When Bonnie Met Clyde’ is a super cool little piece for any pistol loving guy or doll amongst us. Made from solid brass with an alluring antique finish, this is certainly a wonderful grungy piece and sure to be a favourite in any collection.

AUD $79 

W O O D S T O C K…. A Weekend Firmly Planted in Musical History.

I’m not really a festival type of girl. Large crowds kind of freak me out and I seem to experience this type of over sensory sensation like a child on Christmas Day charged up on lollies, then given too many presents. It’s a cross between elated excitement, anxiety and confusion.

If I was born back in 1969, or even in the festival attending age, I would definitely love to have been a part of Woodstock. Not only was it a notable moment in history, it was so much more than that: a gathering of free spirits, wild ones, music lovers and a group of people who unknowingly would undoubtedly shape generations to come.

On set of The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957).

Musicians, Degenerates & Dentists.

I just love a good Press Bio… especially when its almost 37 years old and was the first to be released for the Ramones!

‘Rite of Passage’

Featuring an antique traditional brass Dorje ritual object from Tibet, with cowry shell clusters from East Timor, wooden, brass and miniature glass beading and brass chain entwined with kangaroo hide leather.

The word Dorje means Lord of Stones in Tibetan. It symbolizes the capacity to transform all experience into an experience of enlightened perspective. The dorje symbolizes the skillful means of transforming our ordinary experience to one that will propel us on our spiritual path. The dorje has five extraordinary characteristics. It is impenetrable, immovable, immutable, indivisible, and indestructible. The dorje is the indestructible weapon of the wrathful deities. It is the symbol of spiritual authority of the peaceful deities.

Guaranteed one-off piece of wearable art handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio, Australia.
AUD $399

‘Mystic Ascent’

One-off piece of wearable art handcrafted in our Byron Bay studio, Australia. 

Antique Ethiopian leather talisman amulet scroll, Traditionally gifted to boys at birth to give protective properties, healing, and blessings – (this ancient tradition is no longer practiced in Ethiopian society today).
Antique barrel key from India.
Old silver alloy Indian coin pendants from Nepal dated 1966, 1972 and 1987.
Antique hand-cast brass ‘bug’ beads from the Igbo Tribe, Africa.
Old brass beads from the Baule Tribe, Ivory Coast, Africa.
Solid brass Buddha pendant from a Buddhist temple in Thailand.
Sliced cowry shells from East Timor and antique glass beads from Nepal.
Knotted and waxed hemp detail on an adjustable brass chain.