Its about interiors, interesting places, shifting how we see things, colour, art, ‘wallisms’, street finds, JoyDay, and stuff in general.

Shiftazine is about celebrating what is out there, already in your life, right in front of you. The idea behind Shiftazine is to give some useful insights, to pose some questions, make you look and hopefully help shift the contemporary perception of beauty and aesthetics.


Digging up the Past

Once upon a time, there was a wonderful trove of delightful old and faded treasures found on the Sydney street called Burke. It was an old warehouse bursting with possibilities. One could and would get lost in there and it was almost impossible to leave without buying something that you did not know existed before you entered and simply could not live without it after you discovered it.

Sadly, like almost every other fabulous trove of ‘this and that’, ‘Doug Up on Burke’ is now but a hole in the ground, waiting for yet another 20 storey apartment block to be built, full of tiny apartments that no one can truely be happy living in but then again, no one could afford anyway.

If you find one of these last remaining stores of STUFF, such as Lunantiques in Mascot, dive head long into them. Here you will still be able to find an object, big or small, that will delight you, engage you and be with you for a long time. Great value, great aesthics, great ideas abide within.

Read through the notes and observations I have made of the objects found within the above images. They may give you some ideas. They inspire you. They may shift the way you look at old stuff.

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu at top of page to visit ‘Interiors’ folder.

Art + Booze: An archetypal combination

Which came first, Booze or Art? Both are linked to uninhibited behaviour and actions.
Both can be life changing. About ten years ago the inner city neighbour of Redfern in Sydney, Australia, experienced a shift in its identity.

It began to be a more cosmopolitan culture. That of art and diversity and experimentation. It began to evolve into a place, an interesting place, where difference was an asset, not an issue.
We are all richer for this shift. Bearded Tit was one of these change makers.

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu at top of page to visit ‘Interesting Places’ and ‘Art’ folders.

Nothing Wasted

I have become more and more aware of how much plastic is in our lives.
Now the fact we can not escape it completely is a reality we all have to accept, grudgingly, but the notion and action of waste and wasting is something we can actually change.

I found these fantastic plant holders in a cafe / bar in Redfern, Sydney,
a while ago and instantly loved them.

They are the plastic pots that plants from nurseries use to sell and move the new plants in.
Sadly, often we never get around to taking the plants out of the plastic pot it came home in.

So this idea solves multiple problems in one go: just paint the plastic pot the plant came in instead.
This means you do not have to disturb its tender, young roots; you have created a pot you like; you have taken a single use plastic and made it repurposed; and you have saved money by not buying some pot that you wind up throwing later anyway.

Cool, huh?

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu to visit
‘Shift how we see’ folder.


A friend of mine, now gone to heaven, once said to me “you pack your issues in your suitcase”. I guess that is why they call it “baggage”.

Our baggage can be filled with issues of a negative tilt, but it can also be full of the things that bring us joy. The things that have define us from a positive aspect: the love, and comfort, and loving connection and memories that we have accumulated over our time travelling through life on this moral coil.

A word association I played with for this article went like this.

SUITCASE: bag, travel, clothes, heavy, leather, wheels, lock, airport, school books, travel tag, full, movement, set, combination, open up, ownership, stuff (personal), needed, required, useful, all I need, caring, pulling, holding, keep close, essentials. 

CHERISHED: toys, pets, soft, old, comfort, attached, kisses, hugs, needed, all I need, keep close, full of love, full, holding, carrying, essentials.

So it seems to me that the key word is essential.
Reflect on what is essential to you and you will find that its the things that bring you JOY.

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu to visit ‘JoyDay’ folder

Dancing with our Shadows

Another International Women’s Day. Another token gesture, I am afraid. Every day is Women’s Day, as every day is Men’s Day and Animals’ Day, and Planet Day, etc etc.

A great idea to start with but we should be beyond this tokenism by now.

Respect and admiration for the living spirit within every thing that inhabits the planet is the most important thing we all must learn. And self respect is the first thing to learn for humanity.

So with all that said…Happy Women’s Day, my dear sisters and brothers. Peace and love and respect.xx

It’s all connected

Almost everything we observe, everything we feel, affects everything we do and make.

The ceramics and painting in the above image are connected by the sharing of a palette of adventurous, unexpected colours.

Yet the ceramics were created in the 1960s by Martin Boyd and the painting is by Ross Laurie created in the 2010s. Both are Australian, both are important contributors to the Australian culture.

Everything is connected.

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu to visit ‘Art’ folder

Women Life Freedom

Such easy words to say, so why is it so difficult to achieve? The feminist movement surfaced as a world wide mainstream movement, at least two generations ago. And it has subsequently achieved some truely important and much needed improvements to society, in some parts of the world. But in other parts of the world, the notion of equality, or just simple respect for women, and the feminine energy in all its guises, is so far from reality, it makes my head spin.

We, as a collective, we, who do have freedom, who do have the right to live our lives pretty well as we want, we must remember our sisters who do not have these luxuries, and they are luxuries. Wish them well. Wish them the strength to maintain their courage and rage.

Shift the way we see these words, reflect on them.

Women, Life, Freedom…great words to live by.

For more articles and observations about shifting how we view the world go to the menu to visit “Shift how we see” folder

International Day of Girl 2022

Today is International Day of Girl 2022. Well I guess that is good, but at the same time it is sad. Sad because we really all should be a lot further down the road to gender equality than we are. Can you imagine if we had an International Day of Boy? Many would and could argue that occurs every other day of the year.

In light of the seminal misogyny speech delivered by Julia Gillard in 2012, we as a species should be closer to the goal of allowing every human to fulfil their potential, regardless of their gender: male, female or non binary. Their talent, vision, and possibilities are lost to all of us, forever, and that is a crying shame.

Hopefully we will not need to have this International Day for that much longer, although I lament that my hope might be just a wish and not a reality for some time to come.

Courage sisters, but let’s not be that much more patient. I grow tired of the wait.

Earth Day 2022

Today, the 24th of April is Earth Day. Every year the notion of being more conscious of Earth Day gains importance. It is almost beyond Shiftazine to understand why we, the affluent populous of this planet, this tiny, blue, fragile sphere, simply do not get how important the symboloism of this day is.

As I wrote in 2020, we sink or survive together. And that is all of us, which means all sentient beings, all life (well maybe not cockroaches), is in danger of ceasing to exist in a not too distant future.

Please be kind to our beautiful home. Please be thoughtful of what you use and how you use it. Please be respectful of other beings’ habitat. Love our blue planet like you should love yourself, as we are all one in the same.

JoyDay is here.

‘JoyDay’ came about because I adopted my first rescue dog, Jack, on the 25th November 2001. He soon become known as Jack the Bear. He was the best person I had ever meet and my life had a love come into it that had never been there before. So then we got him a dog of his own, as I was concerned that he was lonely sometimes. Her name was Maggie Mo and he never liked her, but I loved her and she me. Ironically Maggie died on 25th November 2010. My heart was broken and still has a small chip in it because of her passing. We have just sent our last dog to heaven, Mandy the Pup. A loving girl who was not too bright but sweeter than sweet.

Bottom line, they were all wonderful and the constant bringers of joy. So turn your steely gaze around your life today and see what little, or big, thing that delivers you a smile and a moment of delight and celebrate it. For more examples of joyful things go to the JoyDay folder in the menu. xx

Its only junk if its not useful

When I was a little girl, my mother did not have much money, so we use to shop at second hand stores and Tempe Tip. My childhood was full of old stuff. Stuff that someone else had once owned. But this stuff was beautiful. It was usually antique or of a quality that we could never have afforded as new. There was little money but there was an abundance of elegance and style.

That style is getting harder to find now as people, sadly not all, but some, have worked out that second hand does not equate to second rate. Go treat yourself to some old school style and elegance. Good design from the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s is just waiting for you at a market, a Vinnies, or a second hand store somewhere close or far away.

For more insights about Upcycling, Recycling or just being inventive, go to the ‘shift how we see‘ and ‘enjoy‘ folders in the menu (top right hand corner of home page).

Living outside the Big Smoke

In Australia, we are finally looking at opening up. Spreading our very dusty wings. Seeing how the other side lives. And living outside the Big Smoke is looking very attractive. To start with, in this time of physical distancing, the notion of having fewer people to rub up against is in itself a strong selling point. But there is also less traffic, fewer hassles, more space. You can find a parking space almost everytime. People tend to remember your face and say ‘hello’ often.

Go have a look at the regions, outside your Big Smoke. Shift your perspective about what you want in the area you call home. Small is good…simpler and little more chilled.

In the company of Junk

The entire notion of Shiftazine is about seeing beauty in the ordinary, in the old, and perhaps, rejected. There are so many stores full of stuff, one may even call it junk. But is it junk? I don’t think so. A few years ago I ventured to Melbourne and found this trove of ‘junk’ which curled my toes with delight. These pages do not do the place justice but this visual essay is more of an attempt to generate interest and intrigue in what may be discovered when one of these delightful stores is explored. This is the Junk Company, it is near to the Central Markets in Melbourne. Go and have a scratch around when we can all travel and move around again.

Visit the ‘Interesting Places‘ folder in the menu (top right hand corner, to find other examples of Shiftazine’s visual adventures.

Snapshots of Greece

Australians are well known for being great travellers. We love seeing new places, trying new foods, meeting new people. We love seeing how the rest of the world does things. But for the longest while we have been stuck here. Within our island home. Here is a series of snap shots of Greece that I thought might be of interest. These are not typical snap shots but every little observation of a culture gives us a deeper insight into what makes us different and what makes us the same.

To see the rest of the spreads of Greece, go to ‘Interesting Places’ in the menu (top of the page, in right hand corner)

To be or not to be?

A rugged individual is someone I have always been attracted to. But at this moment, this strange moment in time, I feel that it is way more attractive to be a part of the community. To identify with the group and think about the greater good rather than standing out and ‘being an individual’.

Wearing a mask whenever you are outside of your home, whenever you may be around people, thinking about everyone other than yourself is far more attractive in 2021. Stay safe and well and be a citizen of your community rather than a rugged individual for just this little while.

Petals and Light

“Truth is like poetry. And most people hate poetry.”
I can’t remember where I heard that but I thought it to be both amusing and true. This is the second post involving or inspired by poetry this week but I feel that poetry, the sweetness of words that leads to reflection and empathy, is needed right now.
The two poems are written by Robert Louis Steveson and Sameeha Zele.
I love poppies. And I love playing with colour and light. And I strangely love poetry.
So these images are a combination of things I love or as one could say, they bring me joy.

A pink reflection

The colour pink is so complex. Most people think of it as ‘girly’ or ‘too young’. But this hue is an amazing spectrum of colours.
The pink clouds of sunset in Hawaii. The pink of the inside of a shell. The pink of fairy floss. The pink of a new born baby panda.

This typographic exercise is my ode to a wonderful poem dedicated to pink.
Written by Claudia Krizay, it is a beautifully crafted reflection.
To see the complete poem and the rest of the typographic exercise go to ‘Art’ folder in the menu.

Hip Bars of Athens: No. 4: Barrett

Hip Bars of Athens No.4: Barrett is found at Protogenous 11, Athens 105, 54 Greece. For an expanded insight into this engaging bar go to ‘Interesting Places’ in the menu.

Every dog has one, and today is it!

They are kind and demanding. They are difficult and fun. They are their own person. They love you unconditionally. They are getting us through this trying time. They are teachers for humans, we just need to acquire some humility to learn what they are showing us.

For the armchair traveller: Observations of Berlin_No.2

Berlin is a city where the witnesses of what has occurred are allowed to remain. The tattered remnants of a time past. But like all things in the Berlin of 2013, these remnants are valid and engaged with. Just one more thread of the tapestry.

Berlin is so far away from us at the moment. Travelling to distant shores, is lost to us for now…but we have our stories to tell, our images to show, our memories to share. Here is the second observation of Berlin in the ‘Armchair Traveller’ series. Shiftazine hopes it will provide some delight to all the present day armchair travellers.

The Butterfly Effect: Strolling in Brisbane

This ‘Wallism’ is opposite the Green Beacon Brewing Co in Helen Street, Teneriffe, Brisbane.
The amount of beautiful care and detail invested in this ‘Wallism’ is inspiring and highly admirable. Love street art as it is such a generous act.

This particular area of Brisbane is full of wonderful, micro boutique breweries.
Each one of these establishments has its their own personality and clientel.

Here is a list of ‘must visit’ breweries:

Green Beacon Brewing Co, Helen St Teneriffe

Stone and Wood Brewery, Bridge St, Fortitude Valley

Felons Brewing Co., Boundary St, Brisbane

Range Brewing, Byres St, Newstead

Soapbox Beer, Gipps St, Fortitude Valley

For the armchair traveller: Observations of Berlin_No.1

Berlin is so far away at the moment. Berlin has provided me with some of my sweetest memories from the last decade. Travelling to distant shores, to vibrant cities, to experiences unimaginable is lost to us for now…but we have our stories to tell, our images to show, our memories to share. Shiftazine will be rolling out a series of observations of Berlin in the next month aiming to provide some delight to all the present day armchair travellers.

The Sun’s circle: Japan

The use of red in Japan is as skilfully applied as their use of orange or navy blue.
This is a culture that understands colour and respects it greatly.
But that does not mean they are conservative or fearful of colour.
On the contrary, they engage it as if it was a prayer being offered to the gods in the strongest and clearest voice. To see more observations about Japan go to the folders ‘Interesting Places’ and ‘Colour’ in the menu.

The Buzz and Hum of Art

The coming of winter in Sydney is always heralded by VIVID.
The energy generated by the clever and beautiful installations and art always warms our hearts and souls and sparkles energy within our minds.
I have just realised that the time of VIVID has come and gone this year, and sadly due to Cordiv 19, we were not spoilt with all the visual delights VIVID brings us.
Here is a past VIVID Festival exhibition piece found at the MCA. Fortunately, this piece is a part of the permanent collection of the MCA so it may come out to shine on us once again.
We wait eagerly for its return in 2021.

The violets prattle and titter,

There is a tiny doorway in George Street, Redfern, which transports you into
a huge world of flowers.
This wonderland is called ‘My Violet’.
Myra, the creative energy, is the heart and brains behind the operation.
One’s heart beats faster as you move into this delightful space.
4/17-21 George Street Redfern.
Visit the menu to discover more ‘interesting places’ that shifatzine has explored.

Justice and respect. Simple

Justice and respect for every sentine being. We need to stop breaking everyone and thing up into little groups. Rather we must see that we are all a part of one great thing…thus we must respect everything as if it was ourselves. Enough already with division.

JoyDay: I love Hot Pink

JoyDay is such a good thing. Every year on the 25th of November, people need to take a moment or the whole day to celebrate a thing or sentient being that brings one joy.
I post little reminders throughout the year and here is my annual post about
To see more of my JoyDay articles go to JoyDay in the Menu.

Art and Life in a Bubble

Life now, all over the world, is being lived in a bubble.
Our home is our safety bubble. Our car is another bubble
Bubbles encase our hands every 20 minutes when we wash them religiously.
I have always said that ideas are like bubbles…beautiful and 3 dimensional, moving and real but gone in a nano second.  Impermanent. This virus is not like that kind of bubble. 
It is very permanent.
 This piece of wonderful art was a part of WATER, which was the last exhibition at GOMA, closing prematurely in early March 2020.
Soapy water pushed through clear perspex tubes created these beautiful, elegant, fluid shapes and lines that were constant and moving and growing.  It was a delight to stand and watch. Our lives are like these bubble lines, constant and moving and growing in unexpected directions. And hopefully the unexpected directions will lead us to new paradigms, new ways of living our lives outside our bubbles.

Our Tiny Boat called Earth

Earth Day 2020. we are in the middle of an extraordinary global crisis. We are all staying at home. Not driving our cars. Not flying from place to place. We are being still and hopefully reflective. The planet has been given a chance to start to catch her breath. Look at this time as a gift not for us but for this tiny boat we are all sailing in across the universe.

And people stayed at home

This is a poem, a commentary, written in 1869. That is about one hundred and fifty years ago. The world was an entirely different place, a different planet from now. And yet, these words and sentiment could have tripped from someone’s lips yesterday. Things change but they stay the same it seems when it comes to the way humanity behaves. Lessons can be learnt. Shift your perspective about this crisis and see it as a gift of change.

July’s Wallism:

Every surface is a canvas just waiting to be utilised as a vehicle for an artist’s statement, observation, impression or just a delightful folly. A moment in time, a flick of the brush.
 Wallisms are universal in their function of delivering art to the street and to all who have the good sense to look and absorb.
 Tokyo, Koneji, Look Street.

More Wallism observations are to be found in the Wallism folder in the index.

Coffee and Suimo

The chance finding of this beyond quirky basement cafe was driven by the desire to have a coffee that was not a tourist nightmare.  Through our prescription sunglasses, our eagle eye gaze scanned the landscape of Waseda Dori in great detail. And there it was, the most unlikely doorway promised a once in a life-time experience. Down we went, dipping our heads so as not to bang them on the low ceiling. End result was a memorable, unique location, with a coffee that was not so bad, while the Sumo wrestling was playing on an old TV in the background. I was right. Did I mention I LOVE Tokyo?

Read more stories and observations of Interesting Places in the Interesting Places folder found in the index

Fashion Slut

If the contemporary does not speak to you and you are your own rugged individual with your own defined style, then it is a ride on the Tozai Line (the Cyan Blue line) out to Koenji.
It is here that you will be spoilt with choice of Americana and European fashion from the 50s, 60s 70s and 80s. And it will not empty the bank.
SLUT is but one of the many stores that lovingly present a wide range of clothes and accessories that will speak to the rogue ‘fashionister’. All along Look Street just right of the South exit from the train station…you will find it, I am sure.

Look at more Shiftazine Fashion stories in the ‘Fashion’ folder in the index

The colour of bravery

Navy blue and white are the ‘black’ of Japan. But WHAT ABOUT THAT ORANGE!!!!
On a recent adventure in Japan, mainly Tokyo, we aimed our focus and cameras at Kyoto for a short while. The fact that this incredible orange covers all the beautiful architecture of this ancient place made me want to come back, and immerse myself in the iridescent hue.
Japan has the most incredible understanding of colour and the how and when to use it. Orange is the colour of courage and the Japanese use of colour is always courageous and inspired.
You can see more Colour observations of the world in the ‘Colour’ folder in the index.

Tokyo, France

Japan and France, Tokyo and Paris, who knew that there was such a connection between these two dynamic, sophisticated cultures. There is a famous landmark in Tokyo called the Tokyo Tower. It looks like the Eiffel Tower of Paris. There are lots of French clothing brands like Chanel and Dior in the Ginza and if you go to the Sunday flea market at the International Forum, you will find beautiful, hand painted La morgue plates among the many other French delights and antiques for sale.

And then there is ‘branch’ in Yutenji, (not far from Meguro)  Tokyo.
It is perfect, with its delicious French food and the person who creates this beautiful experience, Naomi.

Freshly made pork pate that was out of this world with texture. Baby corn and fresh broad beans char-grilled. Pickled vegetables, such a perfect foil for the rich pork pate. Shredded carrot and red cabbage just made, and full of sweetness all go to create Naomi’s The Deli Plate.
All home made, fresh every day: Soup of the day; Pate; Sandwiches;
Deli plate; Tart; Fresh pie; Lemon cake. By herself, this dynamo produces food from the gods.
T1530052 Yutenji 2-15-8 Meguro Tokyo Japan Naomi Saeki
Read the full article in Interesting Places folder (in the index).

Is debate dead in Australia?

“Not all heroes wear capes.” A statement that is true and powerful. But is there some room to reflect on the fundamental action of ‘eggboy’? Yes he did a great thing by egging that dickhead, but he also assaulted a publicly elected representative of the people.
Now that aint good. We must respect the office of the representative but not necessarily respect the dickhead who is occupying it. Ah debate, is it a dying activity in Australia?
I fear so…sigh.


ChalkTalk is a series of observed chalk drawings that have blessed our foothpaths over the past few years. Enjoy them when you come across them. Stop and take them in as they are small, spontaneous artworks that are here today and gone tomorrow. More ChalkTalks can be enjoyed in the ‘ChalkTalk’ folder in the index.

Wallism: Art or vandalism

This image, captured by Felix Oppen, is a great example of a ‘Wallism’.
Urban art generously created and installed by an anonymous artist, brings pattern, colour and provocative imagery to our dull and often artless urban landscape. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the WALLISM folder in the index.

A colourful conversation

All things are connected. And colour is one of the key vehicles of connection.  See more articles about colour in the Colour folder in the index.

JoyDay: Bring a little joy in your life


Celebrate the things that bring you joy, no matter how small on the 25th November.  See more articles about JoyDay in the JOYDAY folder in the index.

Every time is defined by a palette: The 1940s

An analysis of a a mid century colour palette. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the COLOUR folder in the index


Wallism : Concrete Pillow



The psyche of a society is often laid bare on walls. It is all there for us to see and learn from. More interesting articles and observations to be found in the WALLISM folder in the index