Category Archives: Toys

MiPOW Playbulb

In the mail today.

3 easy steps and you’re up and running (not even enough time for a cup of tea!).

The app is super easy to use. Set colour with the colour wheel, brightness with the slider and other functions too.

The colours make the George Nelson bubble lamp come alive!

Blue even!

Looking forward to doing some shoots under this light.

Why so blue Mao?!

A little while back my flatmate bought a phone controllable light bulb which looks absolutely amazing in the awesome George Nelson bubble lamps I’ve got throughout the house. I’ve been meanig to buy one for my bedroom ever since and I finally did so this week.

The MiPOW Playbulb comes nicely packaged (feels a bit like an Apple product), you simply screw it in to your light socket like any ordinary bulb, then download the Playbulb app on your phone from the App Store, turn on your Bluetooth and you’re away! You can set different tones with the colour wheel, you even have the choice of animation (candle flames, strobes, you name it!), you can set the light to come on and off at different times (even with an audible alarm!), a nice feature is “shake” where the colour will change at random when you shake your phone.

What’s super nice though is that even without the app, when you flick the light switch on the light will come on normally (and you have full control of it when you launch the app on your phone).

As much as I hate technology (hate is a strong word, but damn I’ve dropped the ball with computers and stuff!!!), I love this thing! It simply changes the mood in the room quite dramatically. Worth every dollar IMHO!

I bought it from MobileZap. A local online shop I’ve been buying gadgets off for some time now (without issues!).

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GT-R Mornings with Amanda Sierras




I had Melbourne based Model/DJ Amanda Sierras over for a slumber party last night. Such a mad chika! Super smart, super hot and super driven (she’s just about to fly over to Dubai for a 4 month DJ contract!). Just like high school slumber parties, instead of going straight to bed we ended up talking and laughing till the early hours. We’re both a bit buggered, but we’ll be shooting all day today. I’m psyched!

Follow @amandasierras_ (and you can check out our last shoot here).

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Darth Vader



Had a rad day out with Krysti yesterday, at some point we ran some errands. I had to pick up a few things from the mall and she spotted these HUGE Star Wars figurines at Big W. $50! What a bargain! I was initially drawn to the storm trooper, but on closer inspection, the Storm Troopers have rubbery heads which didn’t quite look right (their bodies were gloss white plastic). Darth Vader though, well he’s just bang on!!!

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Goodies in the mail

Care package at my doorstep.

My models are the best! I’ve received bottles of champagne, wine, whisky, money, Asian sweets and today I came home from lunch and found a parcel at my doorstep which I initially thought was going to be aquarium goods, but to my surprise it was a whole lot of awesome stuff from Cayla, a girl I shot last week!

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Voltron T-Shirt

Nanami’s belated B’Day gift for me!

WHOO HOO! Voltron T-Shirt! SO COOL!

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Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case for iPhone 5S

Slim case on the phone, and battery on the right.

Battery snapped into slim case and connected.

Charging now with supplied USB cable into Apple usb wall charger.

I’m still being caught out and about without the little keyboard/battery I got for my iPhone 5S a few weeks ago. My power button is playing up and battery life is draining faster than ever. Short of buying a new phone and constantly adjusting the brightness settings manually (I like to have my screen on max brightness) I thought I’d give it one more stab and I’ve picked up this Boostcase Hybrid Snap Case, which has 2 parts, a slim-fitting case, and an attachable battery sleeve charges the phone. It’s subtle in design, feels nice to touch (it’s matte and grippy).

I’ve had the screen settings set to full brightness and I’ve gone for 1.5 days without a charge so far, very cool! I’m also no longer bothering with sometimes having to press the power button a billion times in order to put my phone to sleep (IE: I just let it auto sleep). This product should see my phone lasting a fair bit longer (I hope!) before having to upgrade to a 6.

I bought it from MobileZap.

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Mini Bluetooth Keyboard with Power Bank



My iPhone 5S is dying. The power button is on it’s way out and batteries are running out faster than ever, so I was looking for a power bank that I could put in with my camera bag when I’m out and about, or leave in the glovebox of my car. I ended up with this mini bluetooth keyboard with 5000mAh power bank. It’s got a keyboard built into it which is great as I hate typing on the iPhone, especially on WhatsApp!

I bought it from MobileZap.

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Black and White errthang!

Goodies in the mail! Black and White errthang!

Mmmm. Tasty!

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New MacBook Pro

Baby and the brick.

I’m retiring my old MacBook Pro (on the right), which has been my everyday machine since starting Zen Garage in 2011. She’s been alright but I was never impressed with her lack of speed (she’s always been slower than my iMac desktop which I still use to edit my photos), and she’s always been slow to start up, but this new replacement (thanks to Thanks to Aus Infront!) starts up in seconds thanks to it’s SSD drive. The new MacBook Pro’s a lot thinner too and about half a kilo lighter as well (great as I do lug my laptop around with me wherever I go and I have a couple of overseas and interstate trips lined up this year as well).

The only thing I’m freaking out about is Retina technology. I thought about giving it a miss, but have decided to take the risk and go with the Retina model. I’m sure there will be issues, but I’m also sure I won’t be the only one with issues, so hopefully resolutions will be well documented by now.

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The sword came with this maintenance kit to keep the blade well-oiled, powdered and polished.

I’m pretty happy with the hand guard on this sword. It’s ornate but not over the top, just what I was looking for. The saya (the scabbard for the sword) is also just plain glossy black without any crazy designs, characters or artwork. Just what I was looking for!

She’s heavy, very well weighted. I love it!

I’ve always wanted a Japanese sword. When I was a kid I was crazy about Ninjas. Dad would take me to the local VHS video store once a week and I’d always pick a Ninja film to take home. At the Easter Show every year I bought the Ninja Showbag and even brought plastic ninja stars with me to school for a few years (as well as dressing up and climbing trees!).

I’ve been aware of cheap Samurai swords for sale at Paddy’s Markets for years. I always assumed they were rubbish so this morning I set out to buy a Hanwei swords from Lawrance Ordnance on George St. in the city. The cheapest being around $500. On my way in I thought I’d drop by Paddy’s to see if there was still anyone in there that sold swords. I walked around for a while not seeing any, and thought that they must have stopped selling them for legal reasons, then I found a guy selling some.

I asked about his prices, they ranged from $60 up to $300. He kept passing me down the more ornate crazy ones, none of which I liked. He kept asking what I wanted it for. I just said I’d like to photograph it, so it had to look amazing. I’m not sure why he avoided handing me over the one that caught my eye, the one which had no graphics on it, no characters, just a plain glossy black scabbard. When he finally did hand it to me he said that this one was for real training as it had a better quality steel blade and more importantly was weighted correctly. I had to have it, and at $100 I think it was a steal!

I’m sure the more expensive (up to $2k+) Hanwei swords sold at the shop on George street would be superior to this one I picked up, but as much as I hate saying “that’ll do”, this sword I picked up is much more than what I was expecting for $100. I’m happy and can’t wait to shoot it with a girl whether she’s Japanese, or not, which will surely ruffle a few feathers out there, but hey culture mashing is my thing and those that know me know that I’m more about cultural appreciation than cultural appropriation.

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