Perfect Length for a Book
I really enjoyed this article on the Penguin website. It’s an exploration, not a scientific analysis, and I appreciated the many points of view and arguments introduced, while I anticipated the conclusion: there is no ideal number of pages, it depends. It’s very interesting to read about other people’s reading habits and quirks, especially when you find they match your own.
As a bonus find, I recommend reading more about Penguin Books, a household name in publishing (now part of the Penguin Random House conglomerate), to find out how they revolutionized and democratized quality literature, fundamentally changing the publishing world forever. They also created probably the most recognizable book cover format, now a true design icon used on anything from mugs and totes to wallpaper.
If you’re interested to know more about the life of Oscar Wilde, a few weeks ago I enjoyed watching Wilde, a 1997 historical drama about his life, starring Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde and Jude Law as the infamous Bosie (Lord Alfred Douglas). Although I was familiar with some aspects of his life and career, this movie thought me he actually had a wife and two children and how exactly he ended up in prison. Well worth watching!
Most popular for his plays and his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde has also written many essays, stories and poems. The world remembers him for his dandy aesthetic, his flamboyant lifestyle, as well as his wit and I think all these elements combined have led to some of the most famous epigrams in history. To me, he had a distinctive way of looking at the facts of life, of crystallizing ideas and putting his (often unpopular or shocking) thoughts into words.
Here is a fun infographic about his most enduring epigrams, but there are hundreds of them. Potentially my favourite of his lesser-known quotes is Let us have no machine-made ornament, it is all bad and worthless and ugly. If one could simply live by that rule, how exquisite would everything around us be?
Photos Source: Amusing Planet
Extra exquisite find, while I am on the topic of Oscar Wilde, is the story of his tomb. Apparently for decades (mostly female) visitors had been kissing his tombstone while wearing lipstick, to leave a mark, and the repeated cleaning process has damaged the memorial so much that the authorities and his grandson decided to install a glass barrier some 10 years ago. I wonder what the idea behind this movement might have been, as I can’t imagine him welcoming this sort of attention, especially from women?
Etsy Design Awards 2020
Photos Source: Etsy Design Awards
Let us have no machine-made ornament, it is all bad and worthless and ugly. On the note of this Wilde epigraph, which fully deserves to be quoted twice in one letter, I thought the finalists to the Etsy Design Awards 2020 were well-worth sharing. When I am not buying old things from fairs, charity shops or online markets, if I need to buy something as a gift, for myself or for my home, I always look on Etsy first and it’s impossible not to find something that inspires me or makes me fall in love.
Have a look at the 2020 finalists in the ten categories – Home and Living, Jewelry, Clothing, Art, Kids, Pets, Bags, Accessories & Shoes, Paper and Party, Weddings, Vintage. Check out last year’s winners too, among them this brilliant interactive magnetic wallpaper and this serious contender to my Birkenstocks for the option of changing the upper part and having countless pairs of slippers in one.
It is also my go-to place for anything I need for my crafts. It is where I sourced all the materials, for my precious Couture Bookmarks, from seven countries on three continents!
Pantone ‘Period’ Red
If you’re working in a creative industry or art, you know what Pantone is and does. They know and ‘own’ colours, quite literally. One thing they do based on their expertise is to name a colour of the year. 2020’s colour, for example, was announced in December 2019 as Classic Blue.
Last week, the company made news for launching a new shade of red, ‘Period’ red, part of a campaign that aims to embold people who menstruate to feel proud of who they are. As a member of the targeted group, I applaud this symbolic move, not because it will have any significant impact, we must be realistic, but because it provided a great opportunity for discussion on a topic still considered taboo by many.
And while we’re talking about Pantone, this summer they launched the Color Match Card which, together with their Pantone Connect app, helps people identify or even define and name new colors. Amazing tool for artists everywhere I dare say!
Photo Source: Barbie
Barbie® and neuroscientists from Cardiff University have collaborated on a new study which for the first time uses neuroimaging as evidence to explore the effects of doll play.
Barbie has been telling storied for decades, and despite facing both just and unjust criticism in recent years, I can see the efforts the toy-making company is putting towards consolidating their reputation. This survey is one of those great stories and it’s great news for parents and children alike. We could all do with a bit more empathy!
Should this be reason enough to convince me to unbox my Amelia Earhart limited edition doll, part of the Inspiring Women Series? Looking at what is sells for on Amazon and eBay now, considering I paid a tenth of that price only two years ago, I think I’ll wait a couple more… decades.
Miss Havisham’s Curiosities
Photos Sources: Miss Havisham’s Curiosities
Going down a rabbit hole on Instagram last night, I landed in Miss Havisham’s Curiosities world and what a find! Her exquisite vintage cups and saucers, plates, vases and more, adorned with the rudest, snappiest, most sarcastic lines, are just my cup of tea! I am a profanities enthusiast, something anyone who knows me will undoubtedly vouch for, so the Bitter plates, Insult cups, (Brutally) Honest Series and Dark delights are all such a treat! Plus, I love the name and I must confess I had something very similar in mind before landing on Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds. One could say great minds think alike… and are forever inspired by Dickens!
Miss Havisham also does custom work and I will now add this to my never-ending list of gifts for myself. What, everyone has such a list, don’t you?
Mesmerizing Insects Flying
Photo Source: PetaPixel
This video of insects flying in slow motion is unexpectedly mesmerizing, but truly beautiful, as potentially only nature can be. In what’s believed to be the first footage of its kind, a stunningly slow-motion video by Dr. Adrian Smith captures a rare group of insects just as they lift off the ground.
I remember being a little girl and thinking how amazing it would be to catch a flower just as it blooms, not even realizing it doesn’t happen in an instant. Later I understood and got to watch time-lapse videos like this one but I was still amazed. The peony at s51, I swear I could smell it!
It’s nature art, if there is such a thing.
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