Exotic Dancers of the 1980s

From Retronaut — this beautiful collection of glamour photos from the 1890s. This was back when a full waistline and brimming bosom signalled health and fertility — though I love the array of body types and sizes. At a time when women’s bodies were mysterious and exotic, generally hidden under layers of constricting garments, the sight of a sumptuous, juicy leg must have set the hearts of men in the gay 90’s all aflutter.

I also love how the faces of so many of these ‘exotic dancers’ bear the same bored looks as the dancers in today’s clubs.



the paper inside




RISD graduate Lisa Nilsson makes exquisite representations of the innerworkings of the human body with paper filigree (or quilling), a craft I first learned about from Martha Stewart magazine years ago (before the prison imbroglio). Nilsson has developed her own techniques, which can be investigated here.

the paper outside


These beautiful vintage map dresses by Annex are an obvious example of clothing as art. I love the idea of paper dresses — unwearable garments that expose the delicateness of the materials we sometimes do clothe ourselves in.

A woman after my own (Hallowe’en) heart.

Jillian Tamaki, the lady behind the Penguin Threads series of embroidered book covers, has made a handy guide to ‘sexy’ options for ladies’ Hallowe’en costumes.

“Sexy Virginia Woolf” is in line with a costume I talk about executing every year,”Sexy Margaret Thatcher”, with sensible patent leather pumps over fishnetted legs, red powerblazer unbuttoned, suit skirt hiked up. Puffy gray-brown wig, thin red puckered lips. Can you imagine anything more terrifying? Likely not, if you were a British miner in the 80’s. But since I never go out for Hallowe’en, (Toronto Hallow’s Eve events seem to be based around standing in line for hours) this costume has never actually seen the light of day (or night).

A friend-of-a-friend went as “Sexy Mustard” last year, to my great envy; I would repost the photo here if I knew her at all well enough to ask her permission. I do not, so you will have to use your imagination.

wanting and having and wanting to want more

Found this during a previous summer when I had time to sit around and watch videos on ArtForum with my own BFF. Charlie White only  made three –wish he’d make more! This video pretty much encapsulates the terror I feel whenever I step outside my apartment into the commercial world of conspicuous consumption — I think I want to not want more than I want to want. Whenever I step inside a mall, the mass-produced goods just seem to merge together and all look the same, and more often than not I ende up leaving emptyhanded, even if I needed to buy something specific.

But, on the other hand, having can be pretty great.

Nagi Noda’s hair animals

Nagi Noda created fabulous hats out of synthetic hair. Unfortunately the artist passed away in 2008 —  more work can be found here.

Might as well join the party.

I had a dream the other night that I started a blog and decided on the perfect name for it, but woke up and of course the idea vanished, but the realization that lack of a name alone was holding me back from the blog party. So here I am, only 7 years late!

And what excitement! I will likely be live-tweeting episodes of Murder, She Wrote and sharing pictures of my embroidery.

But most often –well, I spend my days looking at things, and looking for things, and thinking about things that I like, and this is my place to collect all my secret little guilty pleasures in once spot. To use a metaphor from my own life (this morning), this is my mason jar. I am the funnel. And the world is the torn bag of oatmeal that keeps spilling in the cupboard.


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