Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amy Earles

I’m really digging Amy Earles’s work
(as discovered through this blog).
Faerie tale recreations is a phrase I like to (over)use.


Ms. Earles has a blog.

More Stuff I Can't Afford

I like looking at pretty things.I have deadlines, and I'm no longer in college: I'm climbing the ladder of procrastination (i.e. art blogs feeding into my GoogleReader).My excuse? I'm moving in the next year, and I have a thing for weird/cool/quirky furniture.

Come on! It's shaped like a leaf!
[i.e. I'm linking this to treehouses, wood,
and - this is a stretch - books
('cause they're made from...yeah, you know)].

John Lonsdale is an architect

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cupcakes are Poetry.

Did you know there’s a blog dedicated to cupcakes?

My friends can tell ya: I love cupcakes. It’s my favorite dessert. I like all kinds: mom + pop 3rd grade platters, gourmet bits in well-lit shops, and the weirdly plastic kind in grocery stores.

Need some cupcakes to swoon over while watching Cinema Paradiso?
Don’t worry: there are Caramel popcorn cupcakes!

Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse via Cupcakes Take the Cake

There are Oscar Night Red Carpet cupcakes.

via Cupcakes Take the Cake


I would feel guilty eating any of these cupcakes.
OH WOE IS ME: my stomach is not worthy of Hedwig and other frosting-based feats.

I suggest you check out the blog.

Treehouses. Srsly.

In college, my friends and I often joked about reconvening and spending our days living in a glorious treehouse. AS can back me up on this: she’s the point person/floor plan designer.

Linda Aldredge’s treehouse retreat.

And of course, there are more options. Want to rent a treehouse? Well, you have the chance.

Outa the Woods is a rentable treehouse on the eastern edge of British Columbia, built 15 feet above the ground on seven trees. While unique, the fully-furnished vacation spot is also a study in green, compact living.

Instead of a hotel suite, you can stay in this treehouse’s sleek bedroom.

Do you want to build a treehouse?
Fret no more; there are tons of designs from which to grab inspiration!

Come on: ya gotta admit this is cool.


"Heightened language—one possible or partial definition of poetry—isn’t the first thing one associates with comics. Yet comic book artists take into account the way words appear on the page to a degree poets will find familiar. How many lines should accompany each image? How high should the dialogue balloon float? The ratio of printed words to blank space plays a role in whether a poem or strip succeeds."

How smart is this? Melding comics and poetry?
I’d use the word genius if I believed in the word.
Think about it: the line is integral to each genre.

Panel six of A.E. Stallings’s poem as interpreted by R.Rikuo Johnson.
Click away: The Poetry Foundation by way of Poetry Hut Blog.
If you want to see Stallings's poem in its original format: Click Here.

Want more? I do.

Gabrielle Bell and Emily Dickinson

Go see Paul Hornschemeir and Ted Hooser’s take of “The Giant Slide.”

Not for the Queasy: The Dead are Art -- Gunther von Hagens

I am fascinated by Gunter von Hagens. He makes art from dead bodies. People donate their bodies before passing, and it’s all legal and as controversial as you might think. Photographs of the work are at the bottom of this blog (i.e. you are warned).

The Guardian has an interesting discussion of his work. I thought it was respectful, engaging, and though-provoking. An excerpt:

“…why shouldn't Von Hagens merchandise his corpses? If Damien Hirst can stud a dead man's cranium with diamonds, why shouldn't Von Hagens give us whole cadavers kicking footballs or dancing the tango? Apparently, all Von Hagens' deceased performers gave their permission for his use of their bodies, even the young woman who died with an eight-month foetus in utero.

From the beginning of western civilisation, people have gone to great lengths to recover their dead and give them a decent burial. Soldiers take risks to recover the bodies of their fallen comrades under fire; people bereaved by natural disaster spend weeks and months hunting for their dead. When the body of Antigone's brother Polynices was left on a Greek battlefield, she defied the royal edict to bring it back for honourable burial and was punished with death.”

All work (and images) belong to Gunther von Hagens and are from his website. His life is also fascinating; I suggest you read his bio.

"The Basketball Player"
"The Poker Playing Trio"

Prince Edward Island = Poetry

and no, I don’t mean Avonlea (though it was a nice show: how amazing and feisty was Sarah Polley's character?).

This man is the Poet Laureate of Prince Edward Island, and he’s hard at work spreading the good word(s) about poetry:

“Saying he has a mandate to make poetry more accessible, P.E.I.'s poet laureate has launched a website where Islanders can share their work. Nearly 40 poets from across P.E.I. have already posted to the new "community website," which was launched last week.

David Helwig, appointed in January to a two-year term as poet laureate, said he hopes as many people will read the website as post to it.

"There's a danger in this world that there are more people that want to write poetry than want to read it," said Helwig.

"But you know there are lots of people sending in poems. I hope lots of people will click on it."

The website allows for several methods of navigation, by current or historical poets, poetry for children, or allowing the site to select a random poem for you. The site also includes suggested readings, and audio and video clips of poets performing their own work.”

Source via Poetry Hut

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Graffiti Art in Reverse

I love street art so much so that I taught graffiti and stenciling when I was the Creative Arts Coordinator at camp. Don’t h8 (as the kids I work with would say): I was not teaching delinquency. Instead, I explained the power of symbols and how graffiti links back to hieroglyphics, cave paintings, and other forms of communication (and art).

“Paul Curtis aka Moose is no regular graffiti artist. In fact, he’s the reverse-graffiti artist. He created his street art by *cleaning* the dirt and grime off of surfaces!

Authorities are baffled: is selective cleaning a crime?

The tools are simple: A shoe brush, water and elbow grease, he says.

British authorities aren’t sure what to make of the artist who is creating graffiti by cleaning the grime of urban life. The Leeds City Council has been considering what to do with Moose. 'I’m waiting for the kind of Monty Python court case where exhibit A is a pot of cleaning fluid and exhibit B is a pair of my old socks,' he jokes.

Sourcing is Sexy (and so is Awesome Alliteration)

But yeah:
I like this project and NPR agrees with me.

Does Your Mental Health Day Include Ebay and Order of the Phoenix?

Harry Potter is in Da House:

“A HARRY Potter fanatic is hoping to net a magical £40,000 by selling off his collection of 553 first editions.

Tim Toone began his quest to find a copy of every version of city author JK Rowling's works in October 2002. The 33-year-old, from Cambridgeshire, has a collection of books in 63 languages, as well as Braille, Latin and ancient Greek versions of the books.

Roddy Newlands, of Bloomsbury Auctions, said: "No one has ever amassed such a collection. It's almost obsessive."

The auctioneer will host the sale in London on February 28. Last month, seven Potter books signed by Rowling raised almost £7000.”


Why am I sort of in awe of this? Why do I wish I was a member of Dumbledore’s Army?

off to think about Neville Longbottom’s fierceness

Books on Tape? Bah! Books via E-Mail!

This sounds really cool. I’m not to the point where I spend all of my day on the Internet, but I could see it happening to my 30-something self.
Daily Lit. is love.


We created DailyLit because we spent hours each day on email but could not find the time to read a book. Now the books come to us by email. Problem solved.

How It Works

DailyLit sends books in installments via e-mail or RSS feed. We currently offer over 750 classic and contemporary books available entirely for free or on a Pay-Per-Read basis (with sample installments available for free). You can read your installments wherever you receive e-mail/RSS feeds, including on your Blackberry and iPhone. Installments arrive in your Inbox according to the schedule you set (e.g. 7:00am every weekday). You can read each installment in under 5 minutes (most folks finish in 2-3 minutes), and, if you have more time to read, you can receive additional installments immediately on demand. Our titles include bestselling and award winning titles, from literary fiction and romance to language learning and science fiction. DailyLit features forums where you can discuss your favorite books and authors. We also have a gift service, where you can send books via DailyLit to friends, with installments starting on any date you choose (even that very day - perfect for last minute gifts), and each installment comes with a personalized message written by you.

Bookcases Galore

I’ve found another bookshelf structure to swoon over
(I think this might signal an

How hot is this? Can you imagine?

I can’t get enough.

The blog these photographs originally came from is also amazing.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Today is T-Shirt Appreciation Day

Rosa Loves (!!!)

Limited edition cute t-shirts where the proceeds benefit lovely (and specific) causes?!

Each shirt is especially designed for a cause or purpose (and no: not one of those lame and ignorant causes like “Save Africa.” Don’t you just want to smack people who talk about A.I.D.S. in Africa and ask them to what part of the country they’re referring? This is clearly another rant for another day).

The picture listed above helps the Sharkar family. Here is an excerpt of their story.
[Clickity Click to Read More About the Family and See the Website.]

“Through our friends at Rosa Loves and IIRD, we are now planning to aid the Sharkars. We plan to purchase a rickshaw for Babul, repairing and extending their current house, and providing Mrs. Rita Rani with a livestock-rearing program. In addition, the community will receive a Child Development Center to help educate first and second grade students. This will include Kobita and Shanto, as well as Purnima once she is of age.

We hope that through these initiatives the Sharkar family will experience economic and social opportunities that will allow them to choose a better life. We pray that this will fulfill Mrs. Rita Rani's wish that her family could gain the security needed to live in peace.

While working with IIRD, we came across the Sharkar family. They were a family of seven residing in the Rouha Union in Netrokona, Bangladesh. Here over half of the population subsists in extreme poverty. Both Hindus and Muslims live in the Rouha Union, where they struggle as day laborers and rickshaw pullers in order to provide for their families.

Life had not always been this way for Mr. Sharkar. He used to work as a rickshaw puller spending his days transporting villagers throughout Netrokona. Back then, he could work with dignity earning a living wage and providing for a growing family. Unfortunately, two months ago Mr. Sharkar was forced to stop pulling his rickshaw due to the growth of a tumor on the right side of his throat. His older son, Babul, had to take over his father's job of pulling a rented rickshaw. Babul pulls this rented rickshaw three days out of the week earning a mere 97 cents per day minus what he owes the rickshaw owner. Now the family relies on Babul to bring enough income to provide for the seven member family.

After we met Mr. Sharkar, his wife Mrs. Rita Rani arrived along with the rest of the Shorkar family: Babul, Noyon (a ten year old boy), and Purnima (a one year old girl). Through speaking with Mrs. Rita Rani, we became saddened to learn that the entire family had not been able to eat proper meals, resulting from the lack of income. She is so malnourished that she cannot even lactate to breastfeed Purnima. Malnourishment is the overriding reason why Babul can only work three days out the week. He simply lacks the energy and proper nutritional diet to pull the rickshaw. She further told us that Noyon also contributed to the family by fishing at the local pond, but seldom is successful.”

T-Shirts Telling Stories [and not the sort with Tweety Bird sqawking out "Hawt" in Bubble Letters]

Re-Shirt Makes Me Whistle and Clap!

“The Re-Shirt is different from its used compatriots in that it has a story to tell. It all starts with a T-shirt that someone associates with a special memory: an important career step, an unforgettable football match, a demonstration in Guatemala, the feeling of an entire stage in their life. These shirts are collected, quality inspected, and put on display at When one of these shirts is purchased, it is given its very own orange Re-Shirt Label, a number is printed on it, and it begins a new registered life. Every future owner can now document the experiences they have with their Re-Shirt online and continue the story of this piece of clothing."

Do you want one? I know I do.

Help a Friend of a Friend Out?

A good friend from college (and someone I admire more than I can say) needs your help. While in college, she discovered she had (and still has) rheumatoid arthritis (RA). She needs your help. If you all can donate any money at all to Arthritis Foundation, I hope you will.

This is her account of what happened. These are her words from her Livejournal:

As many people who read this journal already know, I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). I'm working with the Arthritis Foundation again this year, this time as the Event Chair of the Roanoke Arthritis Walk, and I thought I would share my arthritis story in the hopes that people would like to contribute to the cause.

I developed RA, an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack its own joints, five years ago when I was 21. At the time, my biggest worry was finishing my thesis. I thought that arthritis was something that only happened to the elderly.

But I had started developing strange symptoms. I had a swollen spot on the back of my hand and my back hurt when I got up in the mornings. At first, the Health Services doctor thought I had an overuse injury from working out. She said it was unusual for someone my age to develop arthritis. But my symptoms kept getting worse.

In December 2003, I was a healthy college student who exercised several times a week. By March of the same year, I was having trouble dressing myself and putting my shoes on because my hands were so swollen and stiff. Many of the buildings on my campus (Hollins) were old and had no elevators. I remember that trying to walk up two flights of stairs to get to Spanish class was very painful and difficult. I stopped eating breakfast in the cafeteria, because it was too hard to walk from my dorm to the cafeteria, a distance that is probably equivalent to a little more than a football field.

I was officially diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in July 2003. My symptoms got even worse after I graduated college. I literally couldn’t close my hands into fists. I tried not to get down on the floor because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to get back up again. I had to start taking showers instead of baths because it was too hard to get in and out of the bath tub. I turned down invitations to go to the movies because sitting in the same place for two hours was so painful it felt like someone was sticking knives into my hips and back. Every morning when I got out of bed, I had to grab the edge of my desk to keep from falling. I had to move my glasses from my bureau to my desk, which is only about five feet closer to my bed. But those five feet felt like five miles.

I started taking a drug called methotrexate to suppress my immune system. It makes me feel nauseated, fatigued and spacey for at least one day. The best way to describe it is I feel like I’ve had the flu one day every week for the last four years. I also started taking one of the biological drugs, Humira, which I inject into my stomach every other week. Right after I began taking Humira, I had a strange feeling whenever I got up out of a chair. Then I realized the reason I felt weird was because my hips didn’t hurt when I stood up, the way they had for the past year. Since starting my drug regime, I have improved so much that most people don’t even realize that I have health problems. Sometimes my mom tells me, “You bounce around the house just like the old Kelly again.” There are times now when I forget that I am sick, until I type or staple a lot of papers or stand up to cook and it starts hurting me and I remember that it's not normal for these tiny, everyday things to cause pain in a twenty-six year-old person.

Even though I know I’m one of the lucky ones, I still grieve for the life that I should have had. When I was diagnosed, I thought I had another 40 or 50 years of good health ahead of me. Instead, I never got to be young and carefree and healthy again. The expense of this illness is devastating. I can't be a 100% sure about this, but I estimate that my out-of-pocket medical expenses over the last two years have been close to $10,000. I’ve had to spend more than $1,000 on medical expenses in a single month. I never imagined that I would have to live with my parents at my age, but I can’t afford to pay for my medications and live by myself.

I don’t know how to plan for the future when I don’t know if I’ll still even be able to take care of myself. I can’t imagine losing the ability to brush my own hair or dress myself. I don’t know how to tell a potential boyfriend that I have a chronic, incurable illness. People think about having to care for a disabled spouse when they’re 70, not when they are 30. I may never have my own biological children, because you are not supposed to get pregnant on the extremely toxic medications that I take. If I wanted to have a baby, I would have to stop taking my medicines, which would put me in a lot of pain and risk irreversible joint damage if I stayed off them too long. I don’t know what will happen to me after my parents die if I do become disabled. I feel like will always be a terrible burden on the people who love me.

I know I’m so lucky to have gotten this second chance at leading a normal life—to be able to exercise again, open jars by myself and go on walks with my dog. Four and a half years ago, it seemed entirely likely that I would be significantly disabled by this point. The most important thing that I am doing with my second chance is working with the Arthritis Foundation to help educate people about arthritis and raise money to fight this disease. Volunteering with the Arthritis Walk has given me the opportunity to help myself and other people who suffer from arthritis.

Much of the money that is donated to the Arthritis Foundation goes toward sponsoring research. The medications that have allowed me to get better were only developed in the last 15 years. Without the medical breakthroughs that the Arthritis Foundation helped fund, I might be in wheelchair at this point. Fifty, thirty, or even twenty years ago, it would have been inevitable that I would become disabled. The research that the Foundation supports is giving me a fighting chance to have a normal life.

If you are interested, you can donate to the Arthritis Foundation at: If you would like to post a link to this entry in your own journal or blog, I would greatly appreciate it.

Found Poetry: Viruses are Lyrical

My friends can tell you that I’m prone to clapping my hands when I like things. I sometimes even look like one of those silly seals from cartoons or like one of Eddie Murphy's characters from the Nutty Professor-like films. I think it’s the fact that I’m a ten-year-old inside (4th grade was a very good year for me) and that I spend my summers working at a camp for inner-city/at-risk/some other term (i.e. kids who need the time and space to be kids). Uh oh -- my soap box is flashing!

What do I clap my hands about?

Found Poetry Using the Names of Viruses (in Flash! Form!).
Source: Boing Boing incites daily hand claps (for realz). has lots of cool flashy things.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Free Dunkin Donuts Will Perk Your Mood Donuts (for a wee bit o' time) is offering free samples.

Go, go, go before it's over!

Some People Want Money: I Want an Igloo Bookshelf.

Sourcing is Love:

I love this, and I want it for myself.

What is it?
(The interrobang was made for this.)

This is enough to motivate me into woodworking/whittling classes.

I’m selfish: I want it.

(More Photos: More Gloriousness.)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I’ve always been tickled pink by Mr. Mark Ronson.

He’s a master, isn’t he? There was something symbolic about his win as Best Producer: it’s as if he’s taking hold of the “super duper producer” role held by the likes of Timbaland (controversy about his beats aside), Missy, Jermaine, and other shiny members of the beats squad (yeah, there are other producers who remain giants on the scene, but I’m referring to people who double-over into celebrity status and have their own albums/following. Get it? It’s a new genre).

I fell in love with Mr. Ronson when I heard Winehouse’s timeless album, and I swooned over the high-grade chocolate of Allen’s piece (this isn’t just confectionary: the dial’s been turned). His most recent album is hot too: can you really not smile over his takes on the Smiths and the super seductive take on Brit Brit’s “Toxic?”

I fell head over heels when I heard the lesser known (seriously: YouTube only has “Doo Wee” on record) Here Comes the Fuzz. Kudos to my pal Knox for introducing me to this classic.

I love me some hip hop, and I love me some bells and horns (catchphrase both aside and included). This man is a creative force. My newest Ronson-related obsession?


Listen to her voice. Download "Adele."

I’m going to be called a bastard of a critic (or fan) when I say she’s the Brit Dusty Springfield, but I mean it. There are some voices (classical and rugged) that ring true, and hers is no exception (Yep, and Ms. Winehouse is the Brit. Joplin: suck on that).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nikki Giovanni --

I love me some Nikki Giovanni: she loves hip hop, rocks the poetry boat, and has written in praise of 2Pac: she is fierce.

An excerpt of from the above Roanoke Times piece.

The Virginia Tech professor and award-winning poet was joined by storyteller and poet Oni Lasana and Val Gray Ward, an actress, director and producer.

With their own twists mixed in, the trio performed works written decades ago by poets such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Gwendolyn Brooks and turn-of-the century writer Paul Dunbar to make a CD to accompany a book Giovanni is editing called "Hip Hop Speaks to Children."

The book -- a collection of poems and songs -- is set to be released in October and is written for children 7 to 10 years old.

The roots of hip hop run deep, and young people need to know that, Giovanni explained.

"People have wondered, 'Why has hip hop stayed around so long?' It's stayed alive because it's a legitimate art form with legitimate antecedents," she said.

Giovanni said church singing and slave traditions such as hamboning -- a West African dance involving slapping of body parts and stomping to rhythm -- were the forerunners to hip hop. And even the cadence of great political speeches could be adapted to the genre.
[click the link to read more.]

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Recovering Liberal Arts Junkie

I am ruined: I am the academic version of the fallen woman. I can’t read or look or see a thing without dissecting it. I want to have a sharp eye, but I also want to see things in a moving way. I’m not saying ignorance is bliss, but there are times when I miss the breathless bliss of discovery.

Is love still possible? Yes, of course: let's veer from the self-indulgent existential blubbering.

My dreams have come true: hip hop violin performed by a boy who is as socially conscious as he is talented. I love Daniel Davis's music. I first experienced his playing when I went down to South Carolina to help Barack Obama's primary run. Davis warmed the crowd up before Obama spoke, and by the end of his set, there wasn't a person left sitting: looking as if in awe, the crowd soon lifted to shake and sway. I think it was particularly moving because the first song he played had a track of Martin Luther King looping in the back.