Je suis Charlie


As someone who enjoys many forms of comic and cartoon art, including the English satirical magazine Private Eye; the murderous attack that happened today in France, in the Paris office of magazine Charlie Hebdo, is beyond all forms of deplorable.

I cannot claim to be a reader of that publication. I cannot claim to know the horror and anguish that the families and friends of those who died today must feel. What I can claim is by joining my voice with thousands of others that the rule of the gun to silence any person who disagrees, who speaks out, whether there is mass agreement or not, has no place in any society we can lay claim to in the 21st century.

To quote from Ian Hislop’s public statement (the editor of Private Eye): “They paid a high price for exercising their comic liberty“.

That liberty still exists and I hope that cartoonists and comic artists will continue to use it. Because we all pay a very terrible price when voices are silenced forever.

Happy New Year!

New Year Crane 2015

With all my thanks to the readers and visitors who helped make this the best year ever for Imagination is spicy! I wish you all a wonderful start to 2015!


Blog stats report for 2014.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Favourites of 2014

As 2014 draws to its end; here’s a look at some of the favourite things I’ve enjoyed this year! Some I’ve blogged about, some I haven’t had a chance to but they’re all things that I’m especially grateful for.


Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadows

a-England Dancing with Nureyev

Two joint winners here: Urban Decay’s Naked Basics palette and a-England’s Dancing with Nureyev polish. Both of these have been the most impressive, daily wear, make-up items that I’ve experienced in 2014. I wouldn’t be without them!


A tough choice as there’s been quite a few things that have caught my eye in 2014. If I stick to things that were published, or were an ongoing series, this year then it narrows the field a little.


Winner has to go to Soaring Penguin’s ‘Meanwhile…’ anthology. There are good reasons to praise this: a diverse collection of stories and creators, from an indie publisher, which I hope will go from strength to strength. Of course, the main reason influencing this choice is because it brought Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven out from its own personal Limbo (sorry, an extended hiatus) and for any fan of Strangehaven this was news enough to cause tears of joy and champagne corks to be popped.

Honourable mentions must go to: Fumio Obata’s graphic novel ‘Just So Happens’, which is a beautiful, moving and elegantly complex tale of one woman’s feelings about being an outsider in her own birth culture and the difficulties of parental relationships.

The now completed web comic series ‘Bad Machinery’ by John Allison. A group of school-aged boys and girls investigating utterly bizarre incidents in the imaginary English town of Tackleford, with loads of sarcastic humour and some really head-bending characters and plots. This does not even get close to explaining how great a series this has been.


I’ve listened to plenty of new stuff this year but I keep coming back to the second Kishi Bashi album ‘Lighght’. It’s beautiful with quirky pop/rock tunes and adorably strange lyrics. Favourite track: Once Upon a Lucid Dream (in Afrikaans).

Here’s the album via BandCamp:

Cookery Books

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 17.11.39

I’m a bit behind with the latest in cookery books, but the winner is one published in 2013: The Vietnamese Market Cookbook by Anh Vu and Van Tran. I’ve only just got it as a gift for Christmas although I have tried one recipe via a magazine excerpt before and it was amazingly good. This has a wonderful looking balance between recipes with meat and vegetable-only dishes, with the chance to learn about the home-cooked versions of street food staples such as bahn mi and pho.

Lots of deliciousness to come in 2015!

12 Christmas Stockings: Face Lace – Nouveau Mask

Face Lace - Nouveau Mask gold

Here we are at the last Christmas stocking with the Nouveau mask in Satin Gold by Face Lace. With my love of masks I was interested in trying out these re-usable vinyl ones since I first heard of them. For most people these would be for wearing at a party or themed event, so it offers an affordable and easier way to create a distinct look, compared to spending a lot more for a hand-made mask which might not see much use at other times.

Continue reading

12 Christmas Stockings: Crown Brush Syntho Set

Crown Syntho case 2

Day 11: Crown Brush’s Syntho Set. I’ve been wanting to buy these brushes for over a year after seeing a recommendation for the brand. I have to say that up until this point my make-up kit has long been missing a proper, full-size, set of brushes. I’m the kind of person who picks up pieces here and there and makes do until they become unusable.

Continue reading

12 Christmas Stockings: OPI with Gwen Stefani – Don’t Speak 18K Gold Topcoat

Don't Speak box

Day 8 of the Christmas stockings featured yet more gold. I was curious to try ‘Don’t Speak’ after seeing other bloggers’ photos online. I already have a 24k gold leaf lacquer from Rococo, as seen in my post Sparkling gold leaf nails, but those are large flakes and can be time-consuming to apply if you just want a dusting of gold done quickly.

Continue reading

12 Christmas Stockings: OPI with Gwen Stefani – Rollin’ in Cashmere Collection

Rollin' in Cashmere unboxed

Onto Christmas stockings for Days 5, 6 and 7. I can imagine OPI’s Rollin’ in Cashmere set will be a popular seller for the festive season. Not only is Gwen Stefani a vibrant style icon but this is also one the most attractive of the seasonal collections I’ve seen for a mix of a metallic and glitter topcoats.

Continue reading