5 Instagram accounts for Dog Lovers

My instagram feed is full of amazing photos from very talented photographers, artists, designers, creators, travellers and bloggers. It is a constant source of inspiration, motivation and wanderlust.

But then there are a few accounts I follow that just make me smile. I love seeing their furry little faces breaking up my literally ‘picture perfect’ feed.

And on those less inspired days when my feed is full of other people doing amazing things, going amazing places, chasing their dreams and reaching their goals, these adorable creatures (and their clever and creative owners) never fail to make me feel better.

THIS WILD IDEA

Not only can owner Theron Humphrey get Maddie to do the most amazing things from balancing on a wide array of objects to wearing a motorbike helmet and riding in a sidecar (she must be the most patient and obedient dog ever!) Theron also is the master of capturing her extensive collection facial expressions . I can only imagine how many shots it must take to get that perfect pic that shows up on my feed.

 

PS.NY      

Definitely an uptown girl, to some this toy poodle-cross might be a spoilt princess but she is really just a girl that knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. I love keeping tabs on her NYC antics. My favourite Cookie quote – ‘When someone asks me what am I doing today, and I say “nothing”, it doesn’t mean that I’m free. It means I’m doing nothing.”

 

RAFAEL MANTESSO

The story goes that when Rafael’s wife left him on his 30th birthday she took everything but his dog. Left in an empty apartment, broken hearted, Rafael started to rekindle an old passion for illustration incorporating his bull terrier Jimmy, and so this account was born. Another very patient pup who led his owner to fame, Rafael has even been commissioned to sketch designs to adorn selected Jimmy Choo accessories, paying homage to his bull terrier’s namesake.

 

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Steve has a heart of pure gold.  He has nine dogs, all rescues many of them with physical problems or adopted as ‘senior citizens’ so they could enjoy their last years in comfort. Steve’s house is also home to a pig called Bikini and a rabbit (among other animals) and he also dog sits, so you can only imagine the kinds of pics he posts (the one when Bikini got a new ‘piggy’ door was one of my favourites!).

 

ANDREW KNAPP

Famous for their ‘find momo’ pics on their perpetual road trip,  Andrew takes the most beautiful photos of photogenic border collie Momo hiding in all sorts of locales, many of which have been published in their book. Momo’s ‘off-duty’ pics are also amazing, he’s one good looking pup.

Sylvia Plath and Casa Bossi

I have always been drawn to this tortured  American poet and writer. Her words speak to the darker parts of me, to that secret something that lurkes in the shadows. While I try to live a positive and light-filled life, I cannot deny this part of myself, as without darkness there can be no light. I also believe that so much beauty, art and creativity comes from these darker, grittier, more vulnerable and more introverted parts of ourselves.

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In this Steller story I have collected some of my favourite quotes from Sylvia Plath and combined them with photos I took at Diana Debord‘s Fine Art Photography workshop at Casa Bossi last year. The abandoned and run down Casa Bossi  in all its decaying grandeur and glory provided the perfect backdrop  for this project.

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In the centre of the the northern Italian town of Novara, Casa Bossi was the residence of renowned Italian architect Alessandro Antonelli of Mole Antonelliana (the symbol of Turin) fame,  who also designed many buildings in the Novara area including the town’s own Cathedral and the Basilica di San Gaudenzio.

The home he designed for himself has been called the most beautiful neoclassical building in Italy, but has since fallen into disrepair, giving it a fantastic degree of faded grandeur and rustic abandoned charm.  Recently the massive task of restoring the villa to this former glory has been accepted and the site, previously closed to the public, is now open as a cultural space for special events, co-working, photographic shoots  and private viewings.

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For more information of Casa Bossi, visit their website here (only in Italian, unfortunately) and you can see my Steller story here.

An evening at EXPO 2015 – Milan

Being a wayfarer is not just about exploring exotic and far flung places, its about taking advantage of opportunities right on your doorstep.

And its that curious spirit that last week lead me to an evening at EXPO 2015 in Milan. EXPO 2015 has been running since May and besides the fact that I’ve had a pretty busy summer season (you know with organising a destination wedding, entertaining visiting family and friends from Australia and some holidays thrown in too) I thought that if I waited until EXPO had been running a few months it wouldn’t be so busy….but apparently everyone had the same idea =)

No matter, my husband + 2 friends + I decided to get a feel for the place, taking advantage of the evening tickets which are cheap as chips but only allow you two hours to visit the pavilions and the rest of the evening to enjoy the space, the restaurants, and the various forms of entertainment.

Not wanting to waste precious time in queues for the more popular pavilions, we wandered around before entering the Spanish pavilion and after exiting found ourselves in front of the Franciacorta stand. We took this as a sign that it must be time for a classic Italian style ‘aperitivo‘ with a bottle of sparkling rosé from one of Italy’s finest wine producers. Accompanied by a cheese platter, great company and many laughs we soon found ourselves with the bottle empty and most of the pavilions starting to close! Oh well.

We continued to explore further, enjoying the atmosphere and after checking out the extensive EATALY pavilion, we decided to stop and have dinner. Kicking back in the EATALY garden after we had finished, an announcement was made that EXPO would be closing in 30 minutes and we realised that we had also missed the ‘Tree of Life‘ light show, said to be spectacular and the highlight of evenings at EXPO.

So, after a whole evening in EXPO arena we had seen just one of the 140+ pavilions and hadn’t even seen any of the entertainment!


But we did have a thoroughly enjoyable evening in great company, centred around food. And as food is the theme of this year’s EXPO, I suppose that it what it is all about. Its about how food brings people together + gives them the opportunity to stop, sit, talk and laugh around a table + bask in the joy of sharing a meal with family and friends.

And although I’ll probably go back to spend another evening at EXPO before it finishes, my evening will probably end up in the same fashion….and thats fine by me =)

ATLANTIS BOOKS – OIA, SANTORINI

Book stores are also some of my favourite places to explore when in a new place, especially second hand book stores. I have never met a bookstore I didn’t like, I always find them welcoming and comforting no matter how many times I visit. Its like I can feel the history and the stories leaping out of the old books and creating an atmosphere of wonder.

But it was not my love of book stores that first attracted me to Atlantis Books, hidden between the chic boutiques and tourist shops of Oia. It was the handwritten ‘FREE PUPPY EXHIBITION’ sign out the front :

– 4 legs each      – different colours       – one tail each         – small teeth: not dangerous

….how could I resist! And so I descended the spiral staircase of the restored sea captains house to be greeted by an exhausted mum and her litter of adorable pups. After receiving probably more than my fair share of free puppy cuddles, I turned to discover an authentic gem tucked away under the cobblestoned streets of Oia.

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With the history of the Atlantis literally inscribed on the walls (and roof) you immediately feel at home and welcome in this rustic little underground book shop. As cats snooze on the shelves between books in a multitude of languages and quirky installations hang from the ceiling, the Atlantis is a place you want to move into. And after reading (off the wall) that they throw parties on their roof which enjoys spectacular views of Oia’s famous sunsets, I just might!

Find them here – http://atlantisbooks.org (and check out their Tedx talk – it will inspire you and melt your heart!)