Category: women

Simples x

 

Pigeon holes, dividers, stereotypes all designed for easy short hand and sometimes lazy labels, because look further and who knows what you’ll find; this simply, but strikingly effective wallpaper comes from a heritage brand set up to promote what some would consider old fashioned chintz.

 

 

Mrs Henry Parish is considered to be one of the last of America’s grande dame decorators. Founded in 2000, Sister Parish is a homage brand whose aim is to bring back the prints and papers that Mrs Parish loved.

 

 

(All pics Sister Parish and Pinterest)

 

It’s timeless elegance on a hot day, blue skies, green grass, the distant sounds from a pool, and always a cool, gentle breeze.

 

 

Laters, Kate x

BLM x

 

 

My Black Lives Matter post last week was weak; an expansive gesture hiding behind art and it’s many interpretations.  Part of the reason is because for me to talk about racism is to hold extra large cartons of organic ducks eggs, one in each hand, whilst attempting to ride a unicycle for the first time; it’s bound to end in a privileged mess.  Instead I have watched and listened, and it seems to me, the strongest way forward is through education, re-education, thinking, reading and more listening. Below is a list of available resources, the first three being personal to me – articles and documentaries that first opened my eyes.

 

 

Jane Elliott is an American schoolteacher, anti-racism activist, and educator. She is known for her “Blue eyes–Brown eyes” exercise. She first conducted this famous exercise for her class on April 5, 1968, the day after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; she wanted her pupils to feel the pain of racism. I don’t know when I first watched this documentary – maybe it was shown in a social science class at my secondary school – I do know I have carried it with me ever since. It wasn’t just the shock of segregation along seemingly inconsequential lines, it was the shock that people (in this case children) would not only go along with it, but it would influence their behaviour outside the classroom.  It was a brilliant and brutal showcase of human failing, exposing our ever constant need to conform to a perceived power source and the contagion of group think.

 

 

 

White Privilege, ‘Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack’ by Peggy McIntosh,  first written in 1989, is an article I only read in the last couple of years.  Again, it had a profound effect. Whilst’s Jane’s exercise was about conscious discrimination, this was about the unconscious discrimination we allow without thinking because we just don’t see it, because to notice has been conditioned out of us. She informed me, the word is not equal and there is no thing as meritocracy.

 

Notice anything about my education? White and female…

 

 

There’s not enough space to fill the books, words and videos of Maya Angelou. But with her brilliance, strength, wit and wonder, she remains a huge influence. My Grandmother gave me my first copy of a book by her – I know why the cages bird sings – and I can see it as I type this.

 

For the following list, I want to thank the High Low podcast, it is the result of their research combine with others such as the New York Times. Please refer back to this link if any of the links below don’t work:

 

Non-Fiction

Why I Am No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

I Am Not Your Baby Mother by Candice Brathwaite

White Fragility by Robin Diangelo

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

How To Be Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

The Good Immigrant compiled by Nikesh Shukla

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Women Race and Class by Angela Davis

White Rage by Carol Anderson

Brit-ish by Afua Hirsch   

My Name Is Why by Lemn Sissay

Slay In Your Lane by Elizabeth Uviebinené & Yomi Adegoke

A Burst of Light by Audre Lorde

Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

Taking Up Space: The Black Girls Manifesto For Change by Chelsea Kwakye & Ore Ogunbiyi

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

Natives: Race & Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Aint I a Woman: Black Women & Feminism by bell hooks

Why You Need To Stop Saying “All Lives Matter” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle for Harper’s Bazaar https://bit.ly/3gG8rgq

Ibram X. Kendi’s reading list for The New York Times https://nyti.ms/3gKL8lH

 

Fiction

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

On Beauty and White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Citizen: An American Life by Claudia Rankine

I know why the caged Bird sings by Maya Angelou

 

Social media

@theconsciouskid

@taranaburke

@galdemzine

@tamikadmallory

@privtoprog

@blklivesmatter

 

Donate

George Floyd’s Memorial Fund

Black Lives Matter

Black Protest Legal Support UK

Liberty

Stop Hate UK

The Stephen Lawrence Trust

The Innocence Project

Show Racism The Red Card

Black Visions Collective

 

Mentorship

Routes

Girls Out Loud

Fluid

 

Kids resources

diversebooks.org

Raising White Kids by Jennifer Harvey

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold

Brad Meltzer’s Ordinary People Can Change The World series on Rosa Parks & Harriet Tubman

A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

 

Other links

Petition to update GCSE reading list https://bit.ly/2U6foOl

1619 podcast by The NY Times

(All my links Jane Elliott, Peggy McIntosh, Maya Angelou )

With thoughts and positivity, Kate x

White hair, don’t care.

There was this post, about Sarah Harris, the Vogue editor who went grey at 16, who learnt to embrace her natural colour despite being called mad.  And then grey became a thing.  Peroxide’s been a thing for decades, you only have to think of Marilyn Monroe.  But more often than not, it’s been associated with a polished, professional look and a fear of dark roots: Those that want to go blonde, want to convince they really are blondes – maybe they really do have more fun. There’s also issues with length – the unspoken rule that women of a certain age shouldn’t have long hair, like they don’t deserve it, that their hair no longer qualifies. But now there seems to be a change, a relaxing of stance, a recognition of  merging grey with white, blonde with white, grey with blonde. And as for length…you only need to see the last pictures of Sarah Harris with her almost waist length, now almost white hair to know power in motion.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Walls can be as wide as an ocean or a thin, permeable membrane. They’re a word, an action, a sign, a look, an atmosphere, a perception.  And it’s for us to challenge them.

 

Laters, Kate x

 

Stellar Stella x

 

 I am obsessed by supermarkets. I watch them change, adapting to the demands of society. Their purpose is to fill a need and make a profit, but at what cost? Where does the truth lie? The cynic in me thinks they’re not changing because they have a conscience, but because it’s another tag line to peddle, another profit pocket to plunder, and so I watch with interest the bright, shiny, plastic packaging of their organic and vegan food, designed to appeal. Which means I sigh with pleasure when someone with real clout can dig deeper than green-washing headlines and cultivate, from their rich soil upwards, a brand embedded and held up by sustainable beliefs.  But the shining joy of Stella McCartney is not just her glowing ethos, but her vision, because she points to a future away from obvious hippy, home spun stereotypes that says caring can be luxurious; she blurs boundaries, fuses opposites and visibly demonstrates that anything is possible, if we want it enough.

 

 

(All pics Pinterest and Vogue)

Bring it on.

Laters, Kate x

Style Icon: Zoe Kravitz x

 

Maybe it started with knowing which kitchen you loved in Big Little Lies; for me, it was always Bonnie’s warm welcoming one…and so it started, because although Zoe Kravitz was just playing a part, part of her natural soul was on show too: the piercings, the tatts, an effortless grace. And then there was her singing the Elvis Presley cover of ‘Don’t’ in the final episode of season 1.  I still have it saved to a play list on Spotify…

 

 

Authentic, honest and holding a space in the world that is all her own.

Laters, Kate x

 

Tamsin Abbott

 

From the ridiculousness of my last post to the sublime: There are times when I see an artist, their work, their lifestyle and feel a pull, as if but for a sliding doors moment, I’m looking at a life I could’ve lived. This is the work of stained glass artist, Tamsin Abbott, inspired by the mystery of nature, folklore and fairytales.

 

Tamsin lives in rural East Herefordshire with her family and works from an idyllic studio in her garden.

 

(All pics Tamsin’s website and Pinterest)

Is it wrong to say I’m now saving my pennies. And stalking her?

Laters, Kate x

Smile x

 

In the summer, in Greece, I hunt down the old fashioned souvenir shops that still sell the shell based surfer chokers of old for a few euros, then layer them up. A look akin to a mash up between a Masai warrior (is that cultural appropriation – or cultural celebration?) and a sun bleached beach bum. The jewellery of Roxanne Assoulin gives me the same joyful feeling – and for those still on the present hunt, the price point is a Christmas treat (£70 – £350) but not in the mortgage your left kidney and sell your soul to the devil bracket.


(All pics Roxanne Assoulin and Pinterest)

 

It also helps that her ‘story’ page makes me laugh. You can either read it as I don’t care, or you can see it as a pithy comment on the modern disease to manufacture and self promote.

 

For me it’s the later.

Laters, Kate x

I C U….

Australian artist, Jennifer Allnutt, has been painting rocks and stones with eyes to then return them to the landscape from whence they came  with the wish  that they can be found or lost forever.

(All pics Pinterest)

 

Kindness, magic, setting something free, message in a bottle, transformation, reaching out to strangers, giving something we take for granted another story: There’s something here that catches a special zeitgeist and pulls on the heart.

 

Laters, Kate x

Christy Dawn x

Christy Dawn produces indie pin-up pieces beautifully crafted for easy living and barefoot dancing in the golden rays of the Californian sun.

Her clothes are made with deadsotck fabrics – the left over fabrics from other fashion houses who’ve over estimated their needs: smaller supplies means smaller production runs making these dresses eco friendly near-originals handmade in LA.

For the laid back beach babe bride, her bridal section is also well worth checking out for its simple lines, lightness of touch and sheer summer elegance.

(All pics Christy Dawn and Pinterest)

In fact Christy Dawn, with her prices of around $260 for a dress, $800 for a wedding dress is the perfect illustration of quality over quantity, buying less but buying better, her prices truly reflecting the costs involved for a genuine artisan label rather than an omnipotent big name brand with willy waving status issues.

 

Worth a thought.

Laters, Kate x

Revelation x

There are many things that science can still not explain so maybe I have died and gone to heaven, such is my delight at discovering the designer and maker of this wallpaper and her treasure trove of work.


Marthe Armitage graduated from Chelsea School of Art after World War 11. Faced with the problem of juggling young children, she started designing and lino-cutting her own wallpapers. After sketching the design she uses the hand-cut lino blacks and a century-old offset lithographic printing press that she has owned for over 40 years to created custom-printed rolls of wallpaper.

Not only does she create an object of desire but a lifestyle, a passion and a calling.

Maybe she’ll adopt me?

(Link here, all pics Pinterest)

 

Before my idol was William Morris, but it’s the seductive meanderings of Marthe’s work that pull at the heart strings and make eyes glow.

 

When my boat comes in, this is the wallpaper that will adorn my walls.

Laters. Kate x