Friday, August 31, 2012


Seinfood, a series of illustrations commemorating great culinary moments from Seinfeld, are created by Rinee Shah and available in various sizes for various dollar amounts (10-30 bucks) on  

- Cathleen 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lauren Greenfield - Capturing Contemporary Women

Photographer Lauren Greenfield uses her camera to document the dirty underbelly of the world our children and daughters are raised in currently. 

Copyright Clay Enos

Her books, Girl Culture and THIN, tell the story of the lack of a real place our current culture has created for women. 

Girl Culture was published in 2002 and I read it in college in a History of Photography class. I own the book and it is a haunting essay of the pressures even young women feel to be sex objects. I highly recommend you check this book out. 

THIN I haven't read, but I am eager to. Greenfield is able to earn her subjects trust and therefore capture poignantly their vulnerability. 

Check these out and then let me know what you think.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Artist of the Week: Elsa Mora

Paper Sculpture Miniature Bee 
$150 from elsita on Etsy

Elsa Mora is a Cuban artist who creates in multi medias. Drawing, painting, miniature books, animation, collage, assemblage, and jewelry, but her papercut and porcelain work are my favorite. She lives and works in Los Angeles, and sells some of her most delicate papercuts under Elsita on Etsy. The rest of her work, along with her occasional musings, can be found on her personal blog:

- Cathleen

[All images from the artist's webstie:]

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Penmanship: A Debate

What are your thoughts on cursive handwriting? 

I feel very nostalgic for cursive and am often depressed when I think of its current decline. 

As a teacher at a school, I witness first-hand its de-popularization. Teachers are given less time to teach it and in a new computer-oriented world good penmanship seems archaic. 

I've noticed that people in their 60s still have good handwriting---men and women alike. But after that generation, handwriting has gone downhill. Although women still seem to have nice handwriting, it is unique to them and doesn't have the uniformity stressed in school 50 years ago. 

What do you think? Is penmanship still important to you or something that time shouldn't be wasted on? 

- Grace

Monday, August 27, 2012

Can't Be Killed

Plaster Succulent Sculpture, 3-4" tall x 3-3.5" wide

Try as I may, I am not the best at keeping plants alive in our non-temperature controlled apartment. So I've decided to investigate some artificial greenery that will liven up the place without the yucky silk flower look of most grandmotherly arrangements. These beauties will survive FOREVER without water and sunlight! AND they are all made of totally different materials! 

Brass Spring Onion Vase, 13.25" tall

Fabric Terrarium in Ball Jar, 4" tall x 2.5" wide

Glass Venus Flytrap, 4" tall x 2" wide

- Cathleen 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beauty and Expression

The question of beauty in art is one I come up against often as a teacher. Young children are stymied by modern art because A. it may not be a figurative piece and B. because it may not be objectionably beautiful. 

But must art be beautiful to be art?

I think a lot of people would answer yes to this question. 

However, a lot of people also believe, without realizing it, that they believe anything created in a traditional style is beautiful and therefore constitutes art in their mind. 

Francisco Goya
Saturn Devouring His Children

Is Saturn Devouring His Children by Goya beautiful? It's rendered beautifully with excellent technical skill and falls into the category of traditional art. Would I want this hanging on the wall in my home? No, it makes me uncomfortable to even look at it. 

Goya created this work in an act of rebellion against the Spanish throne. As the royal court painter he was not permitted to speak openly about the lunacy going on behind palace doors. Goya used the mythology of Saturn to symbolize the insanity and issues within the Spanish monarchy. 

Goya created Saturn Devouring His Children to express himself. To privately free himself from the contract required of him as a court painter. 

Art becomes art when it is true, honest, and authentic. Art is not art simply because it is pretty. When art is simply pretty and nothing else, it is powerless.

- Grace

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Food for Thought

Violinist Christian Tetzlaff says "Beauty is the enemy of expression!"

What do you think? 

More on this tomorrow. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Snail Shredding

If I had even the faintest shade of musical talent, and 800 extra dollars lying around, I would have to own this snail ukulele. I don't think I've revealed this to you guys yet, but I love snails. LOVE them. I mean, just look at this super cute snail head!

And that delicate curved shell body!  

All made into a fully-functioning ukulele! Given the opportunity, I would shred that snail SO HARD! This uke and many more (check out this adorable apple!) are handcrafted to order in Asheville, NC by Paul Celentano of Celentano Woodworks. And! He can do custom orders as well! 
"If you can dream it. Let's build it!"
Hmm...I'm thinking a birdcage could be cool! With some escaped birds perched on the neck? 
Or! A drippy popsicle! A dartboard! OK, I'm literally looking around my own living room for ideas. But the possibilities are endless! What could you think up? 

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It Hangs!

It hangs!!
The mirror is finally up! 

We hung it already, but it was crooked. It was horrific. Hanging this included buying special hardware that would hold its weight, keep it mounted, and stop it from zipping through the drywall and crashing onto the stairs. 

As you can see, the color is amazing!
The wall is Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, which you can't really see in the photo, and the mirror is BM Jupiter Glow. 

This picture reminds me of all the things Brian and I have left to do---i.e. remove and replace the ceiling fan, paint the stairs black and white, and get a new window treatment for the window... ugh! Long To Do list. 

- Grace

Monday, August 20, 2012

Artwork of the Week: a man's nape. with ears.

a man's nape. with ears. by Robyn B. West
4 x 5" print (w/ 1" border) of original painting, $12 via smiling robyn on Etsy

A girl named Mary Stork used to draw pencil portraits of the backs of people's heads during class in my high school. Whomever was sitting in the desk in front of her was a captive audience, at least until the period ended, and by the time we graduated she had done all of the girls in our grade. I found the portraits to be just as revealing as the face-first variety—everyone had their own distinctive hairstyle, with their mother-of-pearl barrettes clipping up curls or the way they pulled their ponytail into a bun with a fan of fringe that always flared off to the right. I so wish that I got my own portrait to keep. For some reason I have Marita Horvath's (on a torn piece of paper somewhere), but it's definitely one of my favorite fragments from my time at the Oakcrest College Preparatory School for Girls.   

Searching for something comparable online, I found the above portrait by Robyn B. West that I thought was quite nice. You can see more of Robyn's work in her Etsy shop here.

- Cathleen 

Friday, August 17, 2012


Circular Bunny Mobile 
$33.50 from AllModern

Puffy Cloud Mobile DIY by Petit Poulou 

Paper Airplane Mobile 

Geometric Themis Mobile
$27 from A+R

Libra Origami Sphere Mobile 

Which one is your favorite?

- Cathleen 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Marble Doilies

Carved out of marble, these doily-inspired coasters and serving trays are perfect for the doily-loving person in your life. 

Designer Filio Pnevmatikou told Uppercase Magazine blog this about her work: 

"I grew up working in our family marble company and I adore marble and everything that comes out of it. A month ago, I launched an online store on Etsy, called Marblellous, which is a project that I have been working on for a while and that I am really excited for! Marblellous includes handcrafted marble kitchenware made of unique greek marlbe. Marble platters, serving plates, small dishes, coasters...  And this is just the beginning!"

Awesome! Can't wait to see what Filio has in store. 

- Grace

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Artwork of the Week: Preservation

Preservation by Mary Laube
 oil and acrylic on panel, 36 x 24", 2011-2012

You can see more examples of Mary's work on her website:

- Cathleen 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Noyes Library

Tucked on a residential street lined with trees in Kensington, MD is a picturesque children's library. 

The Noyes Library (pronounced noise) was built in 1893 and was the first public library in the entire metropolitan area. 

Circa 1901

Now solely dedicated to children, the library lives up to it's name and is a place where kids can look through books, be noisy, and have a great time! 

A wise old owl, carved in the 1800s, guards the library. 

An interior shot of the library. 

This library is such a special place for children and adds to the beauty of suburban Maryland. 

- Grace

Monday, August 13, 2012

Black & White

Spider Web Pendant Necklace, 3"

Vintage Magnesite Print, 7 7/16 x 4 1/2"

Screen Printed Always Hungry Fox Tote Bag, 14 3/8 x 14"

1955 Solar Corona Print, 6.5 x 8"

Dental Sterilization Tray, 8 5/8 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4"

1948 Atlas of the Mouth Book Plate, 8.5 x 11"

Just a few of my recent favorites that happened to 
fall in the somber black and white color family. 
Six little somethings to brighten your Monday. Enjoy! 

- Cathleen 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Acorn as a Symbol

I had never spent much time thinking about the acorn and its symbolic meaning, but acorns are found all over decorative art objects and are even used in contemporary work. 

Williams-Sonoma Acorn Cakelet Pan

Acorn Shutters via Timberlane Co

The Roman god Jupiter's sacred tree was the oak, acorns are oak seedlings. Jupiter was a powerful god, therefore that power was transferred to oak trees and acorns. 

Napoleon used acorn imagery on his furnishings to subtly illustrate his power. Just as Louis XIV used imagery of Apollo to prove his legitimacy to the French throne, Napoleon used mythological symbolism to prove his rightful claim to the French throne. 

Here's Napoleon's purple robe which he wore for his wedding to his second wife Marie-Louise in 1810.
You can't see it very well in this picture (all other examples I found in my textbooks weren't online), but oak leaves are embroidered on this robe. 

When you think of the English saying "strong as oak," remember that they're referring to ancient Rome and Jupiter. 

- Grace

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