Queer Icons

The last few weeks have been momentous– a mixture of triumph and tragedy, successes and setbacks. From Charleston to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, singular moments of protest around the confederate flag and a movement that is far from finished, it’s a lot to sit with all at once. These types of ambiguities–loss, joy– are celebrated in Queer Icons, a series by photographer Gabriel García Román.Queer Icons features powerful portraits of queer activists of color transformed into religious icons. The photo collages borrowing Catholic symbolism, royal colors and jewel tones, hand-written poems and classical patterns, and exist as a critique and protest against art history– and history in general– that so rarely features voices or images from this community. And the results are stunning.queericons_1queericons_2See the full series on García Román’s website.

Via NPR.

 

DIY Plant Hangers

I’ll admit, I was a little slow to jump on the macrame hanging planter bandwagon that seems to be all the rage right now. To me, they spoke so loudly of the decor I considered outdated when I was a kid, it was hard to get past that.

That said, as a houseplant lover with mischievous preschooler and a dog who loves barking out the window, I have embraced getting the plants up as much as possible. Not to say that my hanging planter project isn’t still sitting next to me half done, but a girl can dream at least ; ) And to that effect, here are some of the best DIY hanging planters I’m currently dreaming about maybe actually completing.

 (Love the dip-dye in this one, but I do not condone spray painting your plants. That’s just stupid.)blog-3Screen Shot 2015-06-21 at 11.05.54 PM

Punch Today in the Face

A few years back, I wrote about “Instant Comfort” pocket boxes meant to be carried on your person just in case you need a bit of extra support during the day. Along the lines of that one-the-stop positive affirmation, I love these motivational pocket mirrors from Nicola Rowlands. In a perfect world, we’d be taken just as seriously whether or not there’s a bit of spinach between our teeth, the world can be a fickle place. So if you’re pulling out a mirror to double check before heading into the big meeting, chances are a little affirmation will be welcomed. These mirrors deliver just the sort of “Go get ’em, tiger” we can all use, whether or not there is actually a bit of lunch still hanging out on our chin.

Pattern Security

I’ve grown to accept that there are things that were commonplace in my childhood that my son will never get. This is inevitable, of course– my mom talked about Howdy Doody, and I’ll tell Henry stories about MTV actually playing music (if he even knows what MTV is). But it occurs to me that with the small amount of paper snail that I still get, he’ll certainly receive even less, and maybe none at all, so he may never know the pleasure that is a lovely security envelope pattern. I coveted these as a kid whenever my mom left a particularly good specimen laying around after paying bills, and I remember trying to copy the patterns in ballpoint pen. Of course my lines were never as reliable, or as straight, but I always felt like these fascinating patterns deserved more.

This Flickr group was created to document and celebrate the art of the security envelope pattern, and for a weirdo like me, it’s a magical, nostalgic place. Finally the security pattern gets the attention it deserves.

Via Joseph King on Flickr.

 

 

View from a Plane

First things first: I am petrified of flying. I get one and off planes through sheer force of will, possible only while wearing the right shoes (sneakers, in case I have to climb out after a disaster), distracted by the right activities (crossword puzzles– not too hard, not too easy), and wearing the correct clothing (a sweater, because terror makes me cold). I know the law says the window has to be open during take off and landing, but if I’m in the window seat, I close that things clandestinely immediately after the flight attendants strap in. The last thing I want to see is exactly how far the plane might fall if something goes wrong.

That said, once we’re in the air, I get (a little) more comfortable. At 30,000 feet, everything below looks like a beautiful, surreal painting, totally unlike anything you see from the ground. Field laid out in precise geometry, cloud mountains rise and fall, cities sparkle in the distance.

These fantastic and otherworldly landscapes are captured perfectly by painter Jim Darling in his airplane window series. The pieces are gorgeous abstractions, just hinting at the reality of the scenes you see out the airplane window– a silver wing here, a skyline there. Contrasted against the crisp white window frame, they’re magical and familiar all at the same time.

via Austin Kleon.

School Days, Preserved

It’s always interesting to think about the history of the places where we spend our time. As the owner of a 120 year old home, I think about the people who built this little workers’ cottage originally, and all the families that must have lived here over more than a century. There are so many stories hidden in old places.

This story from an Oklahoma City high school illustrates this idea perfectly– a crew was renovating the classroom in the old building and discovered perfectly preserved blackboards hidden beneath the walls. Covered over in 1917, the boards were perfectly preserved, with multiple subjects, student’s names and drawings still clearly visible.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.35.52 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.36.03 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.35.19 PMScreen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.35.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.36.13 PMRead more of the story here.

Lisa Frank Goes Feminist

If you grew up in the late 80s/early 90s like I did, Lisa Frank was an inevitability. Your Trapper Keeper was either for her or against her, measured in cuddly kittens, bff dolphins or technicolor tigers, or– if you were a hater– hot rods or horses. As I grew from child of Lisa to conscious cultural observer, it was important to embrace more critical narratives. You know, the kind that don’t normally involve unicorns.

But finally, I no longer have to choose between the two parts of my being– Feminist Lisa Frank lets me embrace both bell hooks and technicolor animals. It’s about friggin’ time.

Feminist Lisa FrankSadly, as the Lisa Frank company has been revealed to be not so magical in their inner-workings, they are apparently not fans of this site. Sad to see people can’t take a joke/don’t want to be associated with female empowerment even though you make all your money off tween girls? Boo.