Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Month's Challenge: LITERATURE

Last month, despite being busy with all our Halloween festivities, some of our Queer Team members took the time to create pieces to represent their favorite book, story, character, or author in honor of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), which is this month!  (Please take the link for more information!)  I am blown away with the awesomeness of these entries!  I will let the pieces - and artists - speak for themselves...

Fall Leaves Beaded Necklace in Autumn Colors of Glass and Tree of Life in Silver

by Gilliauna

Inspired by Walt Whitman's Autumn Rivulets

As consequent from store of summer rains,
Or wayward rivulets in autumn flowing,
Or many a herb-lined brook's reticulations,
Or subterranean sea-rills making for the sea,
Songs of continued years I sing....

Dripping with autumn colors and with matching wire wrapped teardrops of the same, when the idea came to me to make this piece, it was the beginning of the poem Autumn Rivulets by Walt Whitman that came to mind. With the watery theme of the poem, I've added in a few tiny crystals with a touch of blue to the piece as well.

Purple, Red, Black and Gray Swarovski Pearl and Crystal Bracelet - Strych

by BuniqueBeads

This is just one of my bracelets inspired by my favorite author, Sarah Monette. She writes incredibly lush stories and novels, often with darker, adult themes dealing with queer characters in fantasy or sci-fi settings as well as other alternative sexualities and non-traditional lifestyles. She is, in a word, AMAZING. This bracelet, "Strych," represents one of the wickedest characters in her four-book Doctrine of the Labyrinths series.  The "evil wizard in the story" goes by many names, but one of those is Brinvillier Strych, I chose dark, rich colors for his mystery and his sadistic secrets, and of course, the dark ruby-red vein runs through the other colors to recall the rubies of his wizard's rings:

"Like a poison, he devours his victims from the inside, but has an allure that is difficult to resist. I chose dark, rich colors for his mystery and his sadistic secrets, and of course, the dark ruby-red vein runs through the other colors to recall the rubies of his wizard's rings. You're not supposed to like it; you're supposed to be drawn to it even though you know better."

Angels and Demons Inspired Elements of Science Illuminati Bracelet

by MikesHempBracelets

"Their name means 'enlightened ones'. They were physicist, mathematicians and astronomers. They were dedicated to scientific truth..."

This bracelet was inspired by the book "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown. Each color stone represents one of the elements of science used by the Illuminati. Brown for Earth, Light Blue for Air, Red for Fire, and Blue for Water. The white stone represents the Light that the Illuminati strove to reveal.

Tiger Agate and Pearl Necklace

by GalleriaDiGiani

I decided in advance that I wanted to find a powerful love to inspire me. I chose Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights. Catherine is described as having brown hair and brown eyes. The eyes being such a strong trait that her other family members share that same look.

So, with all those lovely shades of brown going on around her, I thought about what sort of jewelry might Heathcliff see that would instantly make him think of his love, Catherine.

This is what I came up with.

Original aceo art card A Midsummer Night's Dream Titania

by catbirdcraft

The character Titania in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is Queen of the Fairies, having annoyed a jealous Oberon with her dalliances, is put under a spell by Puck while she sleeps, and so falls in love with the first creature she sees on awaking, the mortal with an ass' head, Bottom.

Moby the Whale Stuffed Animal

by featheredneststudio

This guy could tell you a whale of tale. Consider him the Moby Dick of stuffed animals... a book I have never read (but with a degree in English, I probably shouldn't admit that).

Vampire Bunny, 4x6 Print of Original Watercolor

by FaerieGardenFancies

This capricious Giclée print is perfect crossover parody of the Twilight and Bunnicula series, with a little campy Dracula added in!

While neither series was my *favorite* they are books that amused & entertained me a great deal. If you haven't ever read them, do check them out:
~ Bunnicula
~ Twilight

And here's a treasury including the lovelies above, and some other member listings that fit the theme!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spotlight on 33norashmora33

Today we've taken some time to talk to treasury maven, Nora, who runs the queer-friendly shop....

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?  Vintage notions of all kinds.
For all fabulous vixens, housewives/husbands, collectors, and just about everyone.

I carry an array of collectible vintage pottery and ceramics (Bennington, Halls, Rörstrand, Luray), milk glass, depression glass, vintage clothing from the 40's, the 50's, the 60's, the 80's, Vintage high heels, Collectible books, handmade silk scarves, handmade upcycled ipod/cell phone covers, Vintage jewelry, Plus size vintage, Vintage sizes for all body types (and genders!), restraunt-ware, Vintage menswear, Vintage ties, Vintage pottery planters, Vintage figurines, Ceramics, Vintage Barware, Designer Vintage, Vintage leather purses, Queer collectibles, and much more!

I try to find vintage items of all sizes, for all genders, for all ages.

How did you first start selling on Etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?  I really started selling on Etsy because I was such an avid buyer and thriftier! It became a summer project that got bigger and bigger…..
I have been selling since June of 2011

40's Red Dress. Sexy Secretary Dress.

What are your favorite materials to work with?  I love unique vintage dresses from all eras. I am especially partial to the 40s, 50s, and 60s.
I also have a total affinity for depression glass and milk glass, I just can’t get enough of it!

What got you interested in your craft?  I’ve always been interested in fashion and thrifting. I also love to curate and take photo shoots, but I never had a desire to be in the mainstream fashion world. The etsy world fits me just fine. I grew up going to thrift stores for hours with my mom, so it’s in my blood!
Also, I have a few new projects up my sleeve. I am working of learning to paint on ceramics….and these ceramics aren’t gonna be ones to give to Grandma (unless your Grandma is Betty White or Helen Mirren). I want them to be saucy and shocking and fun. So keep a look out!

Vintage Men's Ties.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your Etsy shop?  I was a DJ for 3 years in Montreal, where I threw queer dance parties and worked as a social justice organizer in the queer, diy, and trans communities there. I DJ around Brooklyn once in a blue moon, but I’m mostly hibernating these days and working on a Masters.

Besides art/crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?  I just started a blog! I am finding it super fun. It is about my etsy shop, but also music, queer politics, femme identity, fun stuff and more. I used to write zines when I was a wee-little punker, and I am finding that blogging feels very similar.

60s Earrings Leather Roses. Vintage Earrings.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?  ALWAYS! Language is very important to me, you can see this in my shop categories. Rather than men and women, I have “Ladies, Grrrls, Femmes”, and “Bois, Dudes, Men” I try to use both male and butch and gender queer models for menswear. I try to use queer femmes for women's wear. Or bois for women's wear and visa versa! I like to try to get people of all shapes and sizes, all colors, all genders. I’m not there yet, but I’d like to have a very diverse presenting shop, rather than the traditional waif-ey models that you still see in many Etsy shops. I wanna queer up Etsy with my shop and my treasuries, and supporting other queer sellers!

Photo by Xavier T., Montreal 2010

Is there any advice you have for our readers?  Realness Time:
Things don’t get better (mostly), you get Stronger.
“And if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
Can I get a AMEN?” –Ru Paul

Monday, September 5, 2011

Why I'm Angry

So, someone asked why I/we/my community seem so angry at times in regard to Bachmann and her ilk. While I can't speak for everyone else's reasons, I can speak of my own.

See, once upon a time, there was this kinda geeky (okay, pretty damned geeky) kid nick-named Cynjon who lived in this atrocity of a city called Ocala. Well, techincally he lived outside the city proper, on the edge of an expanse of woods...this detail will become relevant shortly.

When I first moved there, I fell in with a mixed crowd of teenage "miscreants." The majority were (and still are) pretty good people, but there were others, a small group of skinheads, who were less good. Far from good even, you could say. It didn't take me long to figure out that I didn't want to associate with the latter that much...I think the time that we all went to this local music store so they could harass this guy (Rob, I think his name was) because he was gay kind of clued me in that I didn't need to be buddy-buddy with them. Unfortunately, regardless of whether I wanted to see them or not, our circles overlapped quite a bit.

I did my best to avoid them, though. If I saw them at parties, I'd leave. If there was a group of people who were likely to be hanging out with them, I wouldn't go wherever it was they were going.

My attempts at avoidance weren't always successful, and one time in particular was especially horrific. At this point I'd pretty much stopped going anywhere social for fear of running into them...but I still had to go to school. While this particular group didn't go to my school (or ANY school, for that matter) their friends...who were part of my circle of friends...did. And they were frequently picked up by that group after school. So I still had to deal with the taunts and threats and whatnot on a semi-regular basis.

One afternoon I started the walk home after school. I'd only made it maybe 1/2 a mile down the usually quiet road when a car flew by me, slammed on it's brakes, turned around and came back. Out hopped 3 of the skinheads...I could see Cindy and Kristi--part of the circle overlap, and current girlfriends of two of the skinheads, in the car with them. One of the skinheads was carrying a knife, one had a tire iron, the third nothing. Needless to say, I didn't hesitate to dash into the pine forest behind me, followed by their hooting and hollering as they chased me. The simplified version is this: I spent the next three or four hours being chased by them deeper and deeper into the woods, using their vocal-ness as a means to stay away from them, and hunkered down and hidden. It was nearing dark when I finally came across a church, where the man who was there let me use the phone to call home so somebody could come and get me.

When I got home, we called the police...who were useless. Completely uninterested. The next day, I got up, put on my clothes, and returned to the school...the same school where I would see some of the people who were in that car. Upon my mother's suggestion, I went to the dean (appropriately named Mr. Dean) to tell him what had happened. He and I did NOT have a good history together (he flat out accused me of being involve in the killing of some ag dept animals...despite that that had happened the year before I moved there)...when I told him of the previous days experience, I was told it was my own fault, for being the way I was. Namely, gay.

Eventually I left that school and that city both, and got on with my life elsewhere. And my life is a VERY good one, filled with loving folks.

But the thing is, until you've been hunted like an animal, and feared for your life, you can't truly understand where I'm coming from...where the anger comes from. Sadly, far too many of my friends have had the same experience, or similar ones. I've had many friends abused, spat upon, beaten and left for dead..some of this happened to too many people I know.

When I see people like Bachmann/Perry/etc running for public office...for PRESIDENT of this country...it turns my stomach. Literally. THAT is why I'm angry. Here are people who wants to govern us as citizens, but who believe that a significant portion of the population that they would be in charge of are LESSER than the rest. Who believe that by our very nature, we are "sick" and should be changed. Who believe that I am not deserving of the same rights as every other person in this country. How can that NOT be frightening? How can that NOT cause anger? It sends a message that ignorance and prejudice are okay and acceptable. No other group in America is legally treated in this way. No other group can be denied housing, fired from their jobs, not allowed to visit/see a spouse who is in the hospital based solely on WHO THEY ARE. There will be those who say that anger can serve no good purpose. That to embrace anger is to give in to darker tides and energy. I disagree. I think that anger, when righteous and called for, can be a tool for change and for good.

It's a tool I intend to use to the best of my ability to make sure that we keep moving forward, both as a country and as a people. When the pattern of our society includes ALL of us equally, then I will sit back and shut up....and I look forward to that day.

20 things
(Collage, 2007, using pages from a David Mack comic)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Spotlight on Ottoline's Oddities

Welcome to another episode of the Queer Etsy Street Team's Spotlight On...!  This time, we're featuring another great vintage-themed shop...

Her shop is full of vintage clothing and accessories, antique paper ephemera, handmade sachets (lavender, cinnamon, or anise scented), and upcycled trinkets. And even better, she donates 10% of her monthly proceeds to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, a non-profit refuge for former farm animals!  How cool is that!?  But let's get into the interview...

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?
I specialize in vintage ladies’ wares, paper ephemera, and items handmade using vintage components (hollow book safes and sachets for the most part).

How did you first start selling on Etsy? How long have you been selling?
I’ve been an Etsy fan for several years. When the results of various projects of mine started to pile up I decided to open a store of my very own.
I created my shop in February 2010, but didn’t start listing until December.

Woodland Life Vintage Ephemera

What are your favorite materials to work with?
I adore old books, lace, and chenille.

What got you interested in your craft?
I’ve been partial to vintage clothing and accessories for as long as I can remember. More than half of my wardrobe consists of vintage items. The quality and variety can’t be beat!
Old books make me happy, and turning them into quirky storage spaces is a great way to have more of them in my life.
And as for the sachets, who doesn’t like sweet smelling drawers?

Vintage Mod Floral House Dress

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your Etsy shop?
I’ve been experimenting a bit with photography, and I always love to make a mess in the kitchen!

Besides art/crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?
I’m the business liaison for my neighborhood citizens association, a Planned Parenthood clinic escort, and I organize a monthly vegan baking swap. I read quite a bit--fantasy-ish interstitial fiction for the most part--, and I garden. The lavender I use in my sachets is homegrown!

Handmade Lavender Sachets: Lavender Fields Forever

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?
All facets of my identity contribute to my interactions with the world in one way or another, but I’m not quite certain how this specific part impacts things.

Is there any advice you have for our readers?
Oh, gosh. I’m still trying to work things out for myself. Hmm. I suppose my advice is to do just that: experiment with different things and find out what works for YOU.

Be sure to look for Ottoline on facebook and twitter, and if you have another other questions, she can be contacted at ottolinesoddities@gmail.com or via Etsy of course!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spotlight on OldSkoolProductions

I love this shop!  It's like she's been rummaging in my mom's attic and pulling out the best stuff!  She's also in the process of opening a supplies shop...details to come soon!

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop? A wide variety of vintage and antique items, but I specialize in 80's pop culture like video games, toys, and more.

How did you first start selling on Etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else? For as long as I can remember I've been selling stuff on Ebay. When I came across Etsy less than a year ago, I knew I had to open shop. I still sell on Ebay and flea markets from time to time but I love Etsy and I devote most of my time to making my shop the best that it can be.

Mikasa Posy Parade Bowl

What are your favorite materials to work with? Anything vintage!

What got you interested in your craft? I love old stuff! I like to learn the story behind items, and I think its awesome when you can take something someone once cherished and give it a new life.

Vintage 1973 Tea Towel Calendar Bird Design

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of your work in your Etsy shop?  I'm always doing something. Right now I am working on making my backyard the Oasis I always wanted.

Besides art/crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time? I enjoy spending time with my lovely girlfriend, and our four legged babies. I also love being outdoors, at the beach, playing games, watching movies, or just chillin with some tunes.

Vintage Lot of 2 Yellow Pillowcases Fabric

Does your queer identity come into play in your work? I think my queer identity makes me who I am. I find that being a butch, helps me relate to a broad spectrum of people, and the items I sell appeal to men and women alike.

Is there any advice you have for our readers? If you are passionate about something, then go for it. Never let anyone or anything stand in the way of your dreams.

You can also check out OldSkoolProductions at facebook by following this link here: www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Skool-Productions/176631815694532