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Monday Menagerie #21

Books, animals, art, girl-power, bad-bread, eating meat, and even more art.  Because you can never have too much of that. 🙂


photo by me, Tara T.

New book AND podcast to love:  Big Magic + “Magic Lessons” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Oh my Jeeeeez!!!  So, I am a pretty ardent fan of Ms. Gilbert’s writing.  Her newest book, Big Magic, landed in my lap as a gift from my wonderful, dear friend Jackie.  After jumping up and down on her sofa at the excitement of receiving this book, I went home and started reading straight away.

It is a divine, sparkling, laughing, dancing, singing, lift-you-up and push-you-outa-your-seat kind of creation, all of which seems too big for the pages it resides upon.  It’s just glorious, and even if you don’t totally buy into her “magical” way of thinking about creativity (I’m talking to you, fellow skeptics/realists/rational thinkers) its message remains powerfully potent all the same.  Because it isn’t really about what you believe in– it’s about what you DO.

Magic Lessons – The podcast

Brittany Wilkerson told me about this podcast over the weekend (coincidentally the day after I received the book!), and as soon as she did I immediately downloaded it and listened to 8 episodes back-to-back (while cleaning out our storage room– efficiency, always).  It’s hosted by Gilbert, and is kind of like a call-in talk show, albeit way cooler and more good-vibey than any I’ve ever heard.  She takes questions from her followers, which she then carries over into each following episode, and parses/delves deep into that question in cahoots with a variety of well-known creators.  That’s the gist.  It’s pretty damn magical.

photo by Heather Ainsworth Via NYTimes

photo by Heather Ainsworth Via NYTimes

Tracey Stewart’s Animal Planet

If you love Jon Stewart, raise your hand!  Mine are both in the air!!  (I am typing with my toes.)  Ok, I’ve never known anything about the woman who is married to the man whom America adores, until yesterday.  I came across this article about Tracey Stewart’s love for animals, the book she wrote about animal kindness (“Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better.”), and how she and Jon are starting their own animal sanctuary in New Jersey.  Beautiful.

“I’d like people to start to look at animals as individuals,” she said. “If everyone did a bit more, if they fell in love a little bit more, so much could happen. It doesn’t have to be going vegan. You can advocate for them. You can show tenderness. You can play music for them. I really hope people can connect with animals the way most of us did as children.”

Rachel Perry Welty art via 1stdibs dot com


Rachel Perry Welty’s Art of Daily Life

Welty uses everyday items to create fantastically intricate abstract art, some of which seem to go on endlessly, causing me to wonder just how long she sat in one place repeating the same movements over, and over, and over again.  The effects of her work are colorful, vibrant, actively alive.  Other pieces she has made involve more complicated or playful subject matter, such as her hospital chart piece, or her recorded Karaoke Wrong Number performance.

Welty has mined the spheres of her daily life for often unnoticed yet omnipresent materials like twist ties or price tags that she collects and recycles into installations, drawings, videos, performances and photographs.

Her first fully realized project was a painstaking transcription of her son’s 645-page hospital chart, letter for letter, onto 23 sheets of gridded vellum. “I’m interested in issues of privacy and identity and authority, how much information is out there for anyone to access.”

Delphine Burtin via 1stdibs dot com


The Everyday Illusions of Delphine Burtin

Some art makes you stop and say, “huh?”  Sometimes it’s an annoyed “huh”, and sometimes it’s a fascinated “huh”.  I think Burtin’s art falls into the latter category.  Her seemingly simplistic art renderings give a viewer pause, to ponder a basic object that has been teased into something else, causing one to ask, as she puts it–  “Is what I believe I see the reality or just my vision of the truth?”

“I’m interested in the things we see every day without seeing them,” she explains from her studio in Lausanne, Switzerland, her hometown. “That’s why I photograph banal objects or sometimes waste. ” 

“I like stumbling around everyday images, capturing or reconstructing copies of an uncertain reality. I like visual accidents. I like thinking I’ve seen something that in reality is completely different. I like when our brain tricks us and creates a trompe l’oeil, making us see and believe something that is not, in fact, there.”

Day of the Girl

Thank you to Brittany Wilkerson for sharing this with me!  I received some pics from her last week, when she got to take part in the Atlanta walk for the International Day of the Girl movement.  So what is it?

The Day of the Girl is a response to an urgent problem facing our world today: the neglect and devaluation of girls around the world. On October 11 of every year, we see dynamic groups across the world (led by girls, of course) acting to highlight, discuss, celebrate and ultimately advance girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about what really matters to us, we can teach ourselves and other people–adults, boys, and other girls all across the world–new ways of thinking about gender issues, which will help us take action to change the status quo.

There are so many things our children and youth get exposed to these days, and I think a movement like this one is good for all of us to be aware of, and in support of!

via Brittany Wilkerson

via Brittany Wilkerson

The Pink Helmet Posse

Oh my gosh, I love these girls.  As a former tomboy myself (albeit one who played with baby dolls and barbies, right alongside my legos and mud pies) I find this uprising of young ladies who rock it doing “boy” stuff SOOOOO freaking great!!



Bad Stuff in Bread – good to know about

I don’t like reading about newly discovered cancer-causing agents in everyday food products anymore than anyone else, but it’s important to know about these things so we can make better decisions in our own homes.  (Buy whole-grain, buy organic!)

new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds that dozens of common baked goods contain potassium bromate, a potentially cancer-causing food additive. Potassium bromate is banned in many countries, but in the United States, it’s still on grocery store shelves.

Meatless Monday

The question of “to eat meat or not to eat meat” is a very old one, but still as relevant as ever.  Or rather, not if we should eat meat at all, but how we consume meat, in what quantities, and how the animals which give us said meat are treated (as well as myriad other questions that must be explored in relation to the meat topic).

From the Treehugger article:  What do you think? Is it time for sustainability to inform our eating choices? Or should our government go on subsidizing feeding people on an expensive animal protein diet when sustainable eating of alternative proteins offers an inexpensive, healthier, and more environmentally beneficial option?




Monumental Plant Sculptures

Just. Plain. COOL.  Ah!!  Take a look through this Flickr feed to see more.

Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal is an international mosaiculture competition held in Montréal, Canada. According to their website, mosaiculture “is a refined horticultural art that involves creating and mounting living artworks made primarily from plants with colourful foliage (generally annuals, and occasionally perennials).”

(images via Colossal)


Featured image (at top) by:  Francois St-Louis via Flickr

All reviews written and opinions expressed are the author’s own. “Shared by [name]” – Refers to the person who shared the link to the original piece featured here.

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