December 2nd, 2016

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December 2nd, 2016

A sign of the times: I have just seen that Dolly Magazine has decided to stop producing its print editions. First published in 1970, Dolly has been the absolute bible of girl-teen culture in Australia for 46 years. I, for one, discovered many things in those pages – that kissing could involve tongues (what the what?!), that court shoes look quite excellent with three-quarter length jeans with zips, a slouchy sweatshirt looks totally rad cinched in with a belt (well, duh), and that Mel Gibson was at one time very hot, and very cool.

I am sad about the demise of print magazines. Of course it’s seemingly inevitable and probably better for the environment, but there is nothing quite like curling up with a magazine and a cup of tea in your favourite arm chair while Wham! plays in the background.

Fortunately there are a couple of fabulous print mags around that I hope will not disappear any time soon. While they may never have Nicole Kidman’s perm on the cover, or the answers that Dolly Doctor gave us about strange rashes and unwanted hair, they are still lovely to collect. I highly recommend Frankie magazine, also from Australia, and the creatively inspiring Uppercase magazine, which exists in print edition only. I love both these publications, as not only informative and entertaining reads, but also as beautiful objects to be held and treasured. Vive le print publication! Next year I might even introduce a little Small Batch List small batch zine. Because I don’t think I can resist.



Do you know Nathalie Lété? She is a French illustrator, artist, ceramicist and designer whose beautiful and quirky art and homewares can be found in stores, homes, galleries and cafes around the world. Her painterly approach is naive, timeless and lush. I have a set of her elaborately decorated dinner plates that come out on special occasions and I dream of her wallpaper. Her instagram is full of her work, her family life and her world travels. Enormous amounts of her stuff can be found on her website.





Hey – I do like this song; Allan Rayman’s 22.25. Apparently he is a mysterious R&B artist who barely exists on the internet. It doesn’t matter. This song speaks for itself.

Laura Marling has a new song – and a sexy video to go with it. Soothing is the first track from her new album, Semper Femina, which is not out until March 10, 2017.

Oud music (a new weekly segment?!) – not new, but new to me – Hamza El Din’s – Assaramessuga (Childhood) from 1965. I discovered it this week when listening to the Dinner Party Download – musician Fantastic Negrito picked this song to play at a dinner party because as he says:
“…it’s so festive, simple, and primitive, in a sense. And it feels like they would have played this a thousand years ago at a dinner party. It sounds as old as humanity. And it still resonates to the present day.”

I’m off to see Frazey Ford this week – you know this song, right?




Papercutting (OMG-ing)

Paperholm, A growing paper city, daily models by Charles Young
“Paperholm began in August 2014 as a daily project by artist Charles Young. One new object is designed, made, photographed and uploaded each day.  All of the models are made using 200gsm watercolour paper and PVA glue. This method allows for rapid construction and exploration of diverse areas of architecture, pushing the possibilities of this single material.”


Friday Five Favourites – guest-starring Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald

Boss lady, repair enthusiast, maker and remaker of fun things
Most often found on Instagram and at The Daily Fix.

I first met Erin in an elevator in the Melbourne University Student Union building in 1997. If you remember that elevator you will know that friendships were made within because it was always a life-and-death situation. There was always a chance the doors would never open again. Plus it took so long to get up just one floor that conversation was a total necessity. Anyway, she told me she liked my hair, so I knew I had a friend for life. I am pleased she agreed to come along and share some of her favourite things, because she always finds the best stuff.



1) OK Go’s music videos
OK Go’s music videos make me cry happy tears because they’re so good, and because so much joy, creativity and planning goes into making them. Whenever they release a new video it feels like Christmas. If you’re new to OK Go, start with Here It Goes Again, aka the treadmill video, which propelled them on their crazy creative path 10 years ago. Most people don’t remember their song titles – their newest, most ambitious video will be known in future as ‘the one filmed in 4.2 seconds‘ — but the videos are pretty unforgettable. My favourite is the one with choreographed umbrellas, filmed with a drone, but I also love the one in zero gravity, the one with dogs and Ikea furniture, the one filmed through a glass floor, the 18-hour time-lapse one and the optical-illusion one! If you have kids you can watch all the videos together, then watch the making-of videos that go with them.

2) Olympia
Melbourne artist Olivia Bartley, aka Olympia, is my favourite music discovery of 2016. I saw her play twice at a music festival in Tasmania – the first a rocking set where she shredded on the big stage, and the second an intimate late-night set, outdoors in the forest, under the stars. It was one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. Her debut album Self Talk is consistently good from start to finish –  Smoke Signals is the super-catchy single, but my favourites are piano ballad Biscuits and Self Talk, a song about Lawnchair Larry and the stories we tell ourselves. She is funny, too, and often posts weird animated videos like this and this on social media. She is destined for superstardom.

3) Visible mending
Visible, colourful, fun repairs are now a thing, which is great news for those without the time and/or talent to mend things perfectly. It’s hard to say which I like more – visibly mending something or scrolling through #visiblemending on Instagram (it’s my happy place). We also feature visible-mending projects on my site The Daily Fix, over here, if you want to have a go yourself. (Warning: it’s addictive!)

4) Magic letterbox
Leah Harcourt sells letterboxes with space at the front for creating dioramas. Since we got a magic letterbox, neighbours and strangers have been stopping by more often and we just got our first fan mail. Eee! It’s so much fun. You can see what all the magic letterboxes are up to here (the T-Rex playing the piano is particularly good).

5) My Son, The Prince of Fashion
This article, by Michael Chabon for GQ, is the best thing I have read in ages – a tale of self-discovery and of a father discovering what makes his 13-year-old son tick. I love a well-crafted story ending and this one is magnificent! I am still thinking about it weeks later. {runs off to reread it now}

 – – – Previous Friday Five Favourites Archives – – –



1) Wes Anderson’s Christmas ad for H&M

2) Jamie Oliver’s Hassleback Potato recipe: When I watch this video, all I can think of is Homer Simpson saying “gahhhh” and drooling… delicious roast potatoes with thyme-infused oil and hazelnut breadcrumbs. Maybe even better:  yorkshire puds.

3) 52 Science-Based Facts About the Creative Mind: Just ignore the points about the high chance of creative people being psychopaths and neurotics (or put a positive spin on these minor facts) and find out just what works, and what doesn’t, for a creative soul.

4) Shetland, on Netflix: If you liked Broadchurch and want to spend your next couple of weeks sitting on the couch rugged up in some kind of knitted jumper, sipping scotch while the fire crackles nearby (yes please), then Shetland is for you. If you watch it with me, you will have to put up with me saying over and over; “good grief, can you believe that this is where my people are from?” and  “Not even a shrub! There’s not even a shrub on those islands!”.  Here, the author of the original book series, Ann Cleeves, talks about how Shetland provides a “brilliantly atmospheric backdrop” for crime writing. So – let’s go! Just in time for tea on a Sunday, I think.

5) This animation about a little boy with autism is beautiful.  (thanks Ward)


Over and out,

Claire Robertson,
The Small Batch List
Person with a keyboard

p.s. 100 points for guessing the quote in the subject line! Last week was Anne Frank.

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