The Next Big Thing: Aprons! (…Aprons?)

Sometimes in the course of my research/googles-gone-awry, I run into things that are too charming, interesting, odd, or striking for me not to share. No advice, no pearls of wisdom- I’m definitely, pretty much, mostly very certain those are reasons you decide to stop by- just something cool that might brighten your day. This week? The time Good Housekeeping tried to make aprons into a fashion accessory.

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“Dovima with Elephants,” 1955.

During the first month of grad school, a period in my life where my insecurities could best be described as…obtrusive? Engorged? Big and tall?… one of my professors was introducing the history of fashion photography. She pulled up the photo above, and said, “now, we all know you took this picture….” She paused for the class to fill in the blank, and like a chorus of my doubts and fears, everyone answered in unison, “Richard Avedon!” A name they might as well have made up, as it was entirely foreign to me.

I’d go on to learn that he was one of the 20th century’s most famous fashion and portrait photographers, but at the time, all I could think was, “well, these people already know the stuff, and I do not. This is the end of my aspirations.”

Good thing I’m not dramatic anymore.

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Evergleam: The History of Aluminum Trees

I live in a studio apartment, and I have a studio apartment sized tree. It’s 24 inches tall, and is made of gold tinsel. Like everything I own, I got it at Target.

I’ve had artificial trees for most of my life. For over a decade, my family had a tree that we assembled branch by branch, each row identified by the alphabet, each year remembering that in a strangely whimsical turn, the Christmas tree company left out the “L” row. There was no L.

As my aesthetic could best be described as “all the colors,” it only made sense that in college, I made the switch from a green fake tree, to a small, iridescent bubblegum pink tree. I also got it at Target.

In college, you could spot these tinsel-trees everywhere. Coming in countless colors, they were tailor-made for a college dorm room, perfectly complimenting your bright blue quilted duvet cover you got at Target, your yellow retro-styled table lamp you got at Target, and your reproductions of vintage French theater posters you got not at Target, but at the campus poster sale at the beginning of the year.

But their history started decades earlier. It’s predecessor was the Aluminum tree.

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Tinsel Tuesday: The Nutcracker

Periodically when researching I’ll stumble on something that’s just too good not to share. Bonus points if it’s festive! No advice, no pearls of wisdom- I’m definitely, pretty much, mostly very certain those are reasons you all decide to stop by- just something cool I thought was worth sharing. This week, let’s look at art created for The Nutcracker throughout history.

Opernhaus Zurich, 1993. Art by Mario Botta

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Totes My [Yule] Goats: The Almost Travel Gets Weird About a Goat

Sometimes life gets tiring.

Your job is getting you down. It’s cold outside. The bills are due. You have a hangnail. The president is a jackhammer to democracy, a danger to the nation, and sandpaper to the senses. Also your car needs new tires.

See? Tiring!

Everyday I’m reading about something in the news that makes me want to pull my hair out. And then I go on social media and read people’s responses that make me want to pull my hair out. (Lesson I can’t ever seem to learn: never ever read the comments!) I don’t have a ton of hair left, guys.

Scrolling through Instagram, the current social networking platform that doesn’t send me into a fit of rage as it’s mostly full of artistically filtered pictures of people’s Christmas trees and carefully plated food (my pictures included), I came across this picture courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.

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You Made It Weird: History’s Thanksgivings (or at least the ones we can laugh about)

History isn’t always fun because humans are historically not great to each other. For five minutes, let’s remember that history is also full of weirdos who need some self-awareness. Good thing I won’t ever be one of those.

Reasons I Make This Face Part 1

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Image: Public Domain

Reasons I make this face: a good high-five, a bag of cherry starbursts, a new podcast about politics, an easy to peel clementine, socks that match and don’t have holes, free cheese samples at the grocery store, respect for women, a George Michael song coming on the radio, sitcom Christmas specials, Michelle Obama, novelty sweaters

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You Made it Weird: History’s Halloweens II

As it turns out, there’s enough weird in history for a second look at History’s Halloween. Missed the first? Check it out here.

When people ask about my Friday night plans…

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Image: Sandra Dee, ca. 1960. Getty Images

Making a Pumpkin-House a Pumpkin-Home

Image: Myrna Dell, ca. 1940. Public domain.

“You know, I feel like you just reach a point in your life where you have to buy investment pieces when you’re furnishing your pumpkin.”

My Five Year Plan

Photo: June Marlowe, ca. 1930. Public Domain

Next step: Figure out why my car is making that one noise, then take over the world.
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