Public Domain Day
A lot of things happen in the New Year and a particularly interesting one is the fact that old artworks enter the public domain – this includes books, movies and music. 2021’s list features stars like The Great Gatsby and Mrs Dalloway!
What this means is that artists and creators can now use all these copyright-free works as raw material for their own new work. For example, a book can be made into a movie, play, opera, etc., music can be used in video content or reinterpreted, movies can be screened or recreated, and so on. Read more about it on the link above and here is a wider list of works!
I don’t think I’ve ever been this quick to take down the Christmas decorations, but somehow with the start of 2021, I wanted to leave behind as much as possible from last year, including a very anticlimactic holiday season.
Still, I realised the house, mainly the staircase and the living room, looked a bit bare after the sparkly tinsel and baubles were stored away, so I’ve decided to search some post-Christmas decor ideas. To be expected, but not necessarily what I had in mind, most suggestions are very much winter-themed, a lot of pine cones, some alternative wreaths, snowflakes and the like. I’ve gathered a few ideas here. If you had a Christmas tree, look up ways to recycle it and give it a second life!
I particularly liked the colourful, glittery or snowy spins on pine cones, colourful wooden beads, definitely string lights and candles, wreaths from anything but pine – green or not (yes to the cotton stems!), mini winter scapes (made from recycled cardboard), knitted decor elements (think throw blankets, cushion covers and other items you can DIY using sweaters and accessories you’re not wearing anymore. I love this mittens garland!)
But to be honest, I was hoping for something less seasonal, so I am considering handmaking a garland for the stairs using paper (like book pages or maps), oversized tassels and pompoms, recycled knitwear or other textiles.
I recently remembered pinning one of these lists of self-care activities because I thought it was a brilliant idea to have them split these based on how much time you might have available.
I’ve been meaning to create my own version for a while now and I think the mindful eating programme I am currently on might have subconsciously prompted me to do it, since it brought up the idea of finding ways to treat myself, relax or spend some quality time, other than reaching out for food (which a lot of people, myself included, do more often then they realise!)
I hope this inspires you to create your own and to have it handy so you can check it anytime you have 5 minutes or 2 hours, instead of jumping (mindlessly) straight into a social feed or random TV watching.
Lego Creator Flower Bouquet
I spotted an ad the other day for this Lego set and I found it exquisitely clever! As far as I could find, it’s the first set dedicated to flowers, although some roses and tulips and potted flowers could be purchased individually in the past.
I took the opportunity to browse through the Lego website and of course I found many other really cool sets, like the Colosseum, the Bookstore or Diagon Alley (and many more here)! Plus, the cherry on top of it all goes to the LEGO Art Collections, and I suppose my favourite must be Warhol’s Marylin Monroe.
You might be familiar with Raffaelo Monti’s Veiled Lady (left) even if you don’t know it. What you might not be aware of is that this technique for creating statues, demonstrating the sculptor’s mastery over marble through tricks of light and polish, to the point of tricking the eye that it can see through stone, was very popular in Italy in the 1700s and was brought to life a century later by artists like Monti, becoming a tradition.
When I first saw the work of artist Luo Li Rong I immediately thought of the Veiled Lady, even though I didn’t know much about it. I am glad this has given me the opportunity to devour a small slice of art history as well.
It also reminded me of this image I saved years ago, by Herb Ritts for Versace. Beautiful, don’t you think?
Did you know that there are candles that turn into massage oil or body lotion? You light the candle for 15-20 minutes, you put it out, leave it for a few minutes to cool down and then use the deliciously warm oil on your skin!
What a lovely ritual (pun intended!) just before turning in for the night, don’t you think? To read for half an hour by candlelight, surrounded by a lush fragrance, and to indulge and nourish your skin too after. Bliss!
Know your Onions
I was recently acquainted with the expression ‘to know one’s onions’ (thank you, Tessa!) which means to be very knowledgeable about something. While I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable about anything, I am an onion who likes to know stuff, so of course, this find felt a bit serendipitous.
I dived into the history of the expression here and here, but there is no clear source. I enjoyed learning that The English grammarian and lexicographer C. T. (Charles Talbut) Onions was an editor of the Oxford English Dictionary from 1895 and continued to write reference works throughout a long and distinguished career. Us Onions certainly like to keep good company.
I also stumbled upon the French expression occupe-toi de tes oignons which means ‘mind your own business’ and this too applies to this particular onion (me!) more often than I care to admit!
Needless to say, I am delighted that these expressions exist and indeed find them quite exquisite!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.