Currently viewing the tag: "books"

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Friday Favorites // 049 :: girldust.com

  1. I am 99% certain I need this tee.
  2. New elderberry soap from LUSH!
  3. Someone on my Instagram feed recently posted an excerpt from the introduction to this book, and now it’s officially on my reading list. This author has my dream job, and I often wish I had been better prepared and motivated immediately coming out of undergrad with my Asian Studies degree. I’m hoping working towards my Museum Studies MA will help push me in a workable and satisfying direction. I’m helping with research for a potential exhibit at my internship right now, and it’s sort of nice to be working with Japanese history (and maybe a little folklore), again.
  4. I’m back in the essential oils game! If you’re curious, check out my YL page for more information. When I first started out with Young Living three years ago, Valor was my favorite oil blend, but it was constantly sold out. They’ve since released Valor II, and I am all about it. It’s a blend of Young Living’s exclusive Northern Lights Black Spruce and Idaho Blue Spruce essential oils, along with Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Vetiver, Cistus, Bergamot, Cassia, German Chamomile, and some others. This blend is calming, uplifting, and perfect for diffusing. If your “sacred space” (whatever that might entail) needs a refresh, this is the oil blend for the job. I really can’t talk it up enough. You can purchase it retail or by becoming a member. Let me know if you have questions!
  5. It’s almost flip flop weather! I hated flip flops for the longest time until I discovered Sanuk. Do yourself a favor this summer. I’ve raved about it before, but your feet will thank you.
  6. These stunningly simple hugging ear hoops by Melissa Joy Manning are available in rose gold, gold, and white gold from Free People. Made in the US. I’m falling more and more in love with bare basic jewelry like this. Is it an age thing? Give me something lovely that I can wear daily with anything, and I’m happy.
  7. This is the year of the slackline. Fingers crossed, but I’ve got a lot of backyard motivation right now. I’m really only familiar with Gibbon, but if anyone has any brand recommendations or best practices, I am all ears.
  8. You just can’t beat a knit dress, and I love this black and gray striped one.
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Let me preface this by saying that I am not a parent (and likely will never become one). I’m not an expert in childhood development or early education. What I am is an art historian who believes that it’s really important for kids to learn about art. Art reflects its time of production, and yet is somehow able to transcend time completely. Art History isn’t actually separate from History (with a capital H) Maybe it seems kind of obvious, but when that notion hit me, it hit hard. Art is history, plain and simple. It’s places and people, stories and politics. It doesn’t have to be boring. Get kids passionate about art, and they will become passionate about history.

I am sure education has changed since I was a kid, but I remember being both somehow bored and bewildered by “Social Studies,” even though it was actually my favorite subject. There were massive, massive gaps in my early education. Learning about art and material culture can help fill those gaps, and a little extracurricular Art History education can provide visual substance for kids who need it.

File this under: Museum Stuff and Art School Dropout.

Bear with me a bit, because even though this is a small list, these are all over the place as far as content goes. But, so is art. If you do have children, take cues from them about what their interests are. You probably do a lot of that already. These books are good places to start, but there are hundreds more. I’ve included some general art books as well as a few artist and period specific books that shine a little more brightly in my eyes. I think these are books that a child can enjoy either on her own or with parent involvement.  Nota bene: The titles below will take you to Amazon, and are affiliate links. I will receive a commission for any sales made through the use of those links.

13 Art Movements Children Should Know I’ve actually heard great things about this entire series, but I like Movements in particular because it lays out, very simply, that historical context I was babbling about at the start of this post. This one is useful for Art History undergrads, too. Trust me. Take a break from your flash cards.

Can You Find It? and Can You Find It, Too? I Spy meets art. These interactive search-and-find books from the Metropolitan Museum of Art focus on tiny details in famous works. There are a number of titles in this series, but these two are the originals. Ages 5-9.

Art History Books for Children :: girldust.com

illus. Deborah Kogan Ray / Mary Azarian

Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a Mountain I’m not sure if you knew (you probably do), but Hokusai is one of my favorite of favorites. Lots and lots of Art History education tends to focus on European art, and I get it, but amazing things were happening in Asia, too, long before they “opened” to the West. We’re talking printmaking and mass production, which are definitely of historical importance. Hokusai was doing his thing from about 1786, so the same general era as Neoclassical and Romanticism in Europe. This book not only includes a glimpse into Hokusai’s sketchbook, but is thoughtfully illustrated by the author. Ages 7-12. I want this for me. Deborah Kogan Ray has also written a book about one of my childhood favorites: Wanda Gág, author of (the sweet, but somewhat dark tale) Millions of Cats.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden I read this book in the second grade, and I was obsessed. I checked it out from the library as often as I could. This was my first ever Art History book, published in 1987! It’s a dreamy, sweet little story about a girl discovering Claude Monet. It does a beautiful job of weaving narrative with bits and pieces of Monet’s life. The illustrations reflect Monet’s work in perfectly soft way. Ages 4-8.

Snowflake Bentley This is both a photography and science book! Wilson Bentley spent fifty years of his life perfecting the process of photographing snowflakes with the use of a microscope, and he discovered that no two snowflakes are ever alike. Every elementary school student in Vermont is familiar with his story. His starkly beautiful silver gelatin prints can be seen at the Smithsonian and other museums. This book, illustrated with woodcuts by Vermonter Mary Azarian is another that is near and dear to my heart. Ages 4-7.

The Art Book for Children This is another general knowledge book that has received high praise. The Art Book covers thirty well known artists, both classic and contemporary, and their works. Ages 7+. First in a series.

Art History Books for Children :: girldust.com

illus. Hadley Hooper / Anja Klauss

The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse This is a beautifully illustrated book about Matisse as a boy. Ages 4-8.

The Little Hippo: A Children’s Book Inspired by Egyptian Art I think every kid goes probably goes through an Egyptology phase. And I think it’s okay to support that interest without stressing out too much about repatriation. That’s an issue that can certainly be addressed later, maybe by chatting with a museum docent. This is a book for younger children, probably ages 4-8. Note that it does deal a little bit with death, as most books on Egyptian art are likely to.

I’d recommend, if you are able, that you check out a museum or its website on your own before bringing your kids. Choose a handful of works (or even just one or two pieces) to visit and talk about with them, anything you think they’ll love. Don’t worry about seeing the whole museum, and don’t necessarily worry about seeing what’s famous, though obviously famous works have their merit. Take your time. Let your kids obsess over something seemingly insignificant. Let them stare at it for ages. Because here’s the thing: there are some works at the MFA Boston that I will visit over and over again, run to every time. There is a bronze drum in the Asian art galleries adorned with tiny frogs. There is Isabella and the Pot of Basil. There is The Fog Warning. There is no rhyme or reason to what I love, and it doesn’t really matter. Nothing is insignificant, so indulge in their obsessions. You let them obsess over cartoon character franchises, so let them obsess over works of art.

If you have any favorite art books of your own, please share them in the comments! It’s good to hear from actual parents.

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Note bene: Friday Favorites contain a few affiliate links. I will receive a commission from any sales made through the use of some of the links below. Thank you!

Friday Favorites // 035 :: girldust.com

  1. I am on the fence about whether or not I need a new hat for winter. I love this hand knit wool toque by MORPH knitwear for SOTBM, and it’s among my top contenders. I’ve been on a break from buying clothes (because I have no real job), and it’s actually made me quite a bit more thoughtful in my purchases. There is definitely more of a desire to make use of what I have. That doesn’t mean I don’t want things (because I do), it just means I’ve become less of an impulse buyer. I think that no longer working at a thrift store has also helped. I will always support buying second hand, but it’s a little silly to buy things you’re not likely to ever wear just because you see them every day. PS do you say toque or beanie? As I’m from northern Vermont, I’ve always been a toque girl. Thanks, dad! ♥
  2. PrAna’s fall 2015 collection is full of some really great, versatile pieces. The Marin pullover is Fair Trade certified and made partially from recycled polyester. This blog is not officially affiliated with PrAna (I wish!), but I love everything about this company. Tj and I both have pieces from them that have officially withstood the test of time.
  3. It’s scarf weather around here! I love this olive and red scarf at Moorea Seal.
  4. Julep’s October collection is totally stunning, as I suspected it would be. I’m a Maven, but I had to opt out of this box simply due to lack of funds (look at me, being a responsible adult). Among my favorites from this collection is definitely Laurel (black with a silk finish). Julep polishes are both vegan friendly and 5-free! If you’ve considered becoming a Julep Maven, now’s a good time to sign up. New subscribers to Julep’s monthly subscription can receive a Halloween Welcome Box for free. Just pay $2.99 to ship. This Welcome Box includes three spooky polish shades and a beautiful black gel eyeliner pencil. When you sign up, use code BOO.
  5. A million times yes to these cozy made-in-the-USA thigh highs!
  6. Haunted Air (a book about Halloween, with a forward by David Lynch) has been on my book wishlist for a while. Amazon just reminded me. Happy October!
  7. Melissa Rand, the artist behind Skullery, makes beautiful resin fantasy crystals and replica skulls. I love her work. Shown here is sphagnum moss embedded in a resin crystal, definitely one of my favorite pieces. Check out her etsy shop for more. I can think of a hundred applications for this lovelies.
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Hello, Monday! New week, new home, new(ish) attitude.

I may have a lot on my plate, here.

Summer Reads :: girldust.com

(still working my way through) Gutshot // ‘Salem’s Lot // The Undertaker’s Daughter

Summer Reads :: girldust.com

Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer // Hall of Small Mammals // Player Piano

I’ve been waiting on some of these for what seems like ages (Player Piano!), and now (#funemployment) seems like the perfect time to enjoy them. I don’t read as much as I would like, certainly not as much as I used to, and it’s got nothing to do with time. I have all the time in the world, but I am too often distracted by computer games and Netflix binges. I’m going to make an effort in the next few months before classes start again to get away from the screen. Of course, I am currently in the midst of moving and looking for work, so everything seems hectic and busy, but I feel like that’s all the more reason to take an hour or two out of each day for reading.

What’s on your summer reading list?

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Nota bene: This post contains affiliate links. I will be compensated for any purchases made through some of the links below. I appreciate your readership and support, as always!

Friday Favorites // 024 :: girldust.com

  1. I recently discovered Sisters of the Black Moon, and I am completely smitten. Discovering gems like this rekindles my desire to curate a small shop. I’m not sure if that’s in the cards or not, but it’s always been a flutter of a dream. The Lumen cuff by HVNTER GVTHERER is a great piece.
  2. I love this wool hat from Moorea Seal.
  3. And this pouch by Fluffy Co.
  4. I’ve been keeping it kind of hushy on the blog, because I didn’t want to jinx it, but I successfully passed my road test and am now a licensed driver. Thirty years old! I am an adultier adult than I was yesterday. I like this key fob from With Care an awful lot.
  5. I might need this delicate flower and hand pin from illustrator Jessica Roux. She does beautiful work.
  6. H is for Hawk is on my reading list. Have I mentioned that my reading list consists of a stack of books up to my knee? Timothy and I recently sorted through our collections of books. Tough decisions were made. We kept our favorites and a selection of titles to read/re-read before donating.
  7. This throw pillow is everything.
  8. The lace detail on the back of this cardigan is gorgeous. Summer in New England is short and fickle. Cardigans are always a necessity.
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