Friday, August 31, 2012

Changing it Up

I decided our living room needed a change. My youngest sister painted me an abstract of poppies about 5 years ago in bright reds and yellow, but I felt that it didn't really fit our living room anymore. I looked at a variety of art for quite awhile, but I kept running into two large obstacles. 

First, I was having a hard time finding something the right size for the space over the mantle. If I found something I loved, it was invariably too small or tall and skinny to look balanced in this space.

And, just as importantly, everything that I really loved was either too expensive or Nathan hated it.

Finally, I had a flash of inspiration. When coming up with an idea for my office wall, I realized that I could buy a scrap quilt topper and use it for two projects simultaneously: the office wall AND our new mantle art.

I found a piece of sturdy cardboard to fit in the same frame our abstract poppies were in and covered it in a simple muslin fabric to act as a backing for the quilt. I used a little bit of spray glue to adhere a couple of strategic blocks to the muslin, just enough to hold the whole thing in place, then I wrapped them around to the back of the cardboard, cut of the excess, and secured the edges with more spray glue.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Lovely Discovery

I came across GrittyCityGoods on Etsy when I was looking for one more thing to hang in my office. I loved so many of these, it was hard to choose.

They are modeled after old educational scrolls that are often biological in nature, which are now incredibly expensive to purchase.

I finally decided on this one, (I loved the tie-in to marketing!) and it is even lovelier in person, incredibly well-made.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

An Issue with Chicken (Again!?!)

No Girls Allowed by dr. coop via flickr

In the last couple of weeks, I've been noticing that I am experiencing rampant sexism at my local fast food lunch restaurants. Not just one, mind you, but in multiple establishments! I'll start by saying that this seems to occur most notably at restaurants where I start out by telling one person what I want and then my food is pushed down an assembly line of people building my meal. I suppose it makes sense that it would happen in a situation where I am dealing with at least five different people...

The first instance, which actually happens pretty much every week, occurred at Roti, my favorite Mediterranean place. Every week, I get in line and ask for the Sultan Pita with steak. It is delicious. Spicy and oh, so good. In fact, after writing that sentence, I now know where I will be heading for lunch today. Anyway, wiping my chin and moving on...AND every week, without fail, the last person in line automatically marks my wrapped sandwich with the sticker denoting chicken. WHAT? Just because I'm female I obviously opt for chicken?

Usually I just shrug and go on with my life, relegating this to just a funny story, but yesterday two things happened that made this funny story niggle at me and turn into something more substantial. I went to Chipotle where I literally had to resort to miming eating a burrito in order to finally convince the worker that no, I did not want a salad bowl, I wanted (an apparently manly) burrito. As I moved down the line, every new person had to be reintroduced to the fact that yes, it was me who had ordered the burrito, not the guy in front of me, not the guy behind me, no, it was mine, little ole female me.

When I finally finished the burrito gauntlet and made it to my car, the radio came on with that new Wendy's commercial. There are a couple, I think, but the one I'm talking about has the guy talking about "manly" things like "chainsaws" and "monster trucks," and then the cute redhead comes on and suggests he have a baconator sandwich which will assuage his inner man.

I sat there telling myself that I really should not be offended by a commercial. But I was anyway. The Dr. Pepper commercial last year that said it was "for men only" didn't bother me at all. It was ridiculous and clearly they were trying to get media attention. The sexism was so blatant that people were obviously aware of it. However, the sexism in the Wendy's commercial is more subtle and happens much more often. 

I can eat whatever I want, and I really don't like people assuming that because I'm female, I'm going to want a chicken instead of steak or lettuce instead of a burrito. And sure, I'll let it go; it is after all, just a commercial, but I just want to point out that it's not okay. There should not be an assumed FOR MEN ONLY food or sport or color. Blue is not just for boys and not every girl should be saddled automatically with pink. Why are these assumptions so rampant in the US?

I don't know, but I really feel that it's these expectations of how we should be that lead to people being less accepting of those who have different interests, values, religions, and sexual attractions.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday Design

Lunchbreath is one of my favorite graphic designers (other than my sister). His art is always funny as well as incredibly clever. One of my favorite series he designed were patterns using "beasts and their derivative products." Another favorite of mine is his "Sixteen Ways to Use Your Wrist Now that Watches are Obsolete."

 All images by lunchbreath via flickr.

Monday, August 6, 2012

On Free Speech

Free Speech by Reid Rosenberg
Of course you have the right to say anything you want. Everyone in the United States has every right to say even the most racist, hateful, and/or homophobic things. That's why those awful people are allowed to protest the war at soldiers' funerals, why that horrifying church can feature their children holding hateful signs, and why Ann Coulter is on television. But you also have the responsibility to deal with the fallout from the things you say. Don Imus argued that he wasn't being racist when he called those girls "nappy headed hoes" but he still got fired. You can certainly say that it is part of your religious beliefs to oppose the right of gays to be married, but if people find it offensive, (especially when you say such a right is "inviting God's wrath,") then you have to deal with the uproar. Free speech does not give you an out on suffering from the consequences and it certainly doesn't give you an out on "doing unto others."