Saturday, November 12, 2011

Changing Canons of Beauty

This post is for my Cultural Anthropology class (ANTH-1240-904). The assignment is to find photos that demonstrate the different canons of human beauty in different cultures. I have personally decided to go with different facial decor (makeup, face paint, piercings, etc.) in different cultures.

Universally Beautiful:

(Note the intricate Henna tattoos)

(And how beautiful is this little girl from Nepal??)

(This Geisha also shares the ruby red lips and darkly outlined eyes - Enhanced femininity.)

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder:


(Traditional attire for Himba women)

(African scarification)

I think a big difference between many cultures is that some put emphasis on enhancing natural beauty, such as reddening the lips and cheeks to duplicate arousal, while others simply are expected to display signs of honor and tribal camaraderie with piercings, tattoos, and scarification. Regardless of their purpose, each culture's view of beauty is unique and remarkable. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Gift For My Children - And Maybe Others!

My two oldest boys, Cory and Gage, have reached the age where overactive imaginations sometimes effects their sleep. They started to have bad dreams. As I rush in to night time crying, between sobs I hear terrified whimpers of monsters, zombies, wild dogs and anything else that a 2 and 4 year old can conceive. 

One night, Gage was afraid to go to sleep. The night before, he was convinced a mean dog with big teeth had come into his room. He feared that if he went to sleep again, the dog would come back.  I explained that it was just a dream, but that didn't help. And that's when I said it. I don't know where it came from or WHY I said it, because I don't like lying to my kids. But I said,

"I'll send the Good Dream Faeries to watch over you when you sleep!"

So, from then on, every night the boys ask me to remember to send the dream faeries. (Cory calls them "Twinkle Faeries," which I think is sweet.) In the mornings, they sometimes rush out of their room and tell me of all the wonderful things they dreamed about (courtesy of the dream faeries!). Butterflies, baby puppies and kittens, rainbows, and even pocket-sized elephants!

I thought this was all too sweet to keep to ourselves. So I am writing a children's book. Finally, for the kids, I'll be able to capture the whole story of the dream faeries, their little world, their love of children, and their battle with the Nightmare Gnomes!

In the beginning, I felt guilty for making up something so random, and was hesitant to ever talk about it again. But I don't tell them the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy isn't real. I let them believe because it makes them a little happier. And I really like the idea of my little story helping other children sleep a little better at night. 

Yay Dream Faeries!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fall Is Coming!

Hurricane Irene is threatening a lot of property up and down the east coast. Fortunately for us mountain dwellers, all we got was a little rain yesterday and a lot of wind today. A nice cool wind. As I sat outside and enjoyed it, I saw a few stray leaves swirling around. You know what this means... Fall is coming!

There is so much that I love about fall. The fiery colors, leaves crunching under your boots, Halloween, and most of all, making cowls, hats, scarves, and gloves. It's more than just being crafty, it's creating wearable art. I can't wait to show the world my most recent projects!

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my favorite autumn-themed etsy finds. 

First, is this Acorn Necklace by Bullseyebeads. To me, it's the epitome of fall! I'm particularly fond of acorns. :) 

I also love burning candles when it gets cool outside. It's like the warm flicker helps warm you from the inside out, but the glow from this Autumn Leaf Candle Holder from La Bella Candela would make the moment even more captivating!

The last piece I want to share is this Autumn Tutu Dress by The Princess and the Boutique... I was blessed with 3 adorable little boys, but most of my friends with kids have a little girl that would appreciate this. I would wear it myself if I could! The colors are beautiful, and I can't help but imagine a lucky little girl somewhere, flitting around in this dress and a pair of glittering faerie wings strapped to her back. 

Well, that's all I've got for you today, folks. I hope you enjoyed, and please comment with how you're preparing for fall!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flesh-Eating Monsters and Zombies!!!

Richard was outside working on the car early this morning, and when he came in he found he had a hitchhiker. A little guy just like this one was stuck just outside the opening to his pocket. We all gathered around and oooh'ed and aaaaah'd at it's yellow fuzzy cuteness, and the boys asked what it was. We explained that the little caterpillar would wrap itself up in a cocoon and one day turn into a butterfly or a moth.

Cory and Gage wanted to know what it would look like, so we googled "fuzzy yellow caterpillar." It turns out,  it will turn into this:

 Not quite as pretty as we'd hoped, but oh well. But then we read more about our squirmy little friend. He left long yellow fuzz all over Richard's pants where he was stuck. Turns out these little hairs have poison in them, and they stick into your skin, which make you itch and can cause a nasty rash.

Will Richard survive??? Only time will tell. :)

In other news, I have to share this fantastic Etsy find. It's really too awesome for words, so I'll just let it speak for itself:

Ack! I love it so much. It's really pretty perfect for my uber huge family. Since I dressed up as a zombie last year for Halloween, my 2 and 4 year old are pretty sure I'm an undercover zombie, so they totally get it. And I'm sure by the time the baby is old enough, they'll have him convinced, too. 

There are lots of other equally awesome vinyl decals at Tawnya M. Designs, so be sure to click the link and check out her Etsy shop. She also does custom orders. 


Mention my blog when purchasing from Tawnya's shop, and you'll get 10% off of your purchase! Woot!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two Long Hard Years

It's been almost two years since I last blogged. So much has happened, good and bad. But when I sit here and re-read everything I blogged about 2 years ago, I remember everything that was happening right then. It was a very difficult time in my life, that I was sure that I would never get through. But I did. Here I am.

The reflection is empowering. Back then I was feeble. Weak. Scared. I was losing everything and only had "crafts" to hold on to. But now I'm strong. My marriage is healing. My children are growing (and we now have a 3rd to add to the bunch!). I'm in college and have a job that I love (despite the lousy pay - haha). Times are still incredibly hard, but it's DO-ABLE. And now, finally, I am ready to get back into what I love: Art. 

So here I am, saying Hello to the world again. I'm here to stay this time. I look forward to showing my masterpieces to everyone and expressing myself through creativity instead of creating what I think people may buy. I look forward to being ME.