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SwanDiamondRose: sometimes i read

Goody two shoes come out on top! This goes out to J.F.

Origin of the book and phrase “goody two shoes”. And the Adam Ant song of course! I posted the link where he is shirtless the longest though the audio quality is questionable.

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i grew up with The Wind in the Willows. this book to me is all soft lullabies & summer breezes. it’s the most reassuring read whose characters happen to include a very sartorial toad, who likes to drink, and drive. actually all the character’s are well dressed, a bit rumpled but well dressed. someone should do a menswear editorial using this book.


i saw these images on my favourite site, BibliOdyssey. i was going to mention it’s spirit lifting qualities but then found peacay, the BibliOdyssey blogger, actually mentioned that…

From my own perspective, the beautifully written adventures of Mr Badger, Mole, Ratty and the inimitable and credulous Toad and their friends, although composed principally as a tale for youth, is equally suitable as a pleasant diversion or panacea for the blues in adulthood.


lemonade. shade. and The Wind in the Willows world. big sigh…

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Cosmopolitan magazine was always a bad joke to me. i thought it embodied some of the worst stereotypes about women. but the other night i did a huge wander through archives of their covers that i found in various places online. that look! that 80s big hair sex kitten look was just astounding. and now i can’t stop looking! the man who shot most of those covers is the legendary Scavullo. the woman who engineered that Cosmopolitan style and philosophy is Helen Gurley Brown. if you don’t know Scavullo, Google him. as for Ms. Brown [Ms?] well she had her own brand of feminism. calling it feminism pisses a lot of people off, or did. but feminism does come in many packages. Ms. Brown has a new book out about her “Bad Girls Go Everywhere“ by Jennifer Scanlon. the review by Salon senior editor Laura Miller says it better than i [‘cuz honey i just make purses for a living…]. i never thought about “class prejudice” as being a reason for the backlash against Ms. Brown’s viewpoints. and i never thought i would look back at these covers and think- hot damn! perhaps a comment at the end of the Salon article summarizes it best “…Brown basically urged women to fulfill men’s fantasies. That’s not feminism.”

image credit TFS forums. the model is Janice Dickinson.

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photo by [and of] Camilllllou

this entry is prompted by a comment i left on Tricia’s platform 21’s repair manifesto entry on her bits and bobbins site that i love. and is going in the rarely updated sometimes i read section of this site. i’m reading more often again, and when i read i seem to do it in bulk. [though i didn’t mention i just finished the Nikki Sixx diaries in a day… ahem. and that that’s why i ended up posting pics of Vanity!]

here’s a cut and paste of my comment on Tricia’s entry…

“i’m reading an interesting book, i guess i should blog it, called-
Good Guys & Bad Guys: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE SAINTS AND SCOUNDRELS OF AMERICAN BUSINESS [AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN] by Joe Nocera. there is an entry called “Good Luck with that Broken Ipod”. it addresses specifically that you can’t upgrade, that you have to buy a new one, that they don’t really do repairs, that the warranties expire somewhat conveniently etc. [the book is about unexpectedly who might be the good/bad companies in the states].”

“the other book that relates to this is The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde. i blogged it under a previous name, it has had around 3 titles. a large part of the book deals with how objects gain… meaning, spirit, history through being passed to other people, the more passing the more gain. and how when the object is altered or added to it also gains. it’s an amazing book.”

so the 3rd book that fits here is Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton and is by the same author who wrote Architecture of Happiness. it addresses our journey for affirmation through seeking success in the world. it maps out the history of this ubiquitous human need. and addresses it’s relevance and irrelevance to true happiness. [i haven’t finished this book, my summary may be lacking a little.] in a lot of ways this topic isn’t broached publicly, it’s often an internal dialogue that we need so badly to “win” over our peers, and need outside approval to feel whole. overall it’s a very reassuring, humanizing book that puts light on the topic.

one of the reasons i started my blog SwanDiamondRose and my clothing and tote line SWANclothing is because i wanted to leave the old way of doing business and be part of a new way of doing it, i wanted to do something that was the most natural extension of me that could earn me a living while staying true to me, i wanted to live my life how i want to live my life, i am interested in recycling, thrifting, longevity and quality in products, i wanted to work with my hands, and i wanted to do something fun and beautiful that had to do with beautiful objects and like minded people. i think the above books are all relevant to these quests and definitely worth a read.

p.s. thank you for the lovely photo Camilllllou!

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image from The Seductive Shoe: Four Centuries of Fashion Footwear.

a 1920s pair of shoes with lipstick and lipstick tube holsters on each side. mmmm hmmmm. most likely custom made for promotional purposes. and the book i found these in is fantastic. shoe fanatics will love it. not only does it cover the evolution of footwear but also covers different demographics within a decade. as in not only focusing on designer shoes but more affordable copies. and it has an interesting Canadian slant. when i think of Canada i don’t think HOT SHOES! but we definitely have our place [which includes Fluevog and Peter Fox].

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My mother has lent this to me- The Yestermorrow Clothes Book: How To Remodel SecondHand clothes by Diana Funaro. Oh how I want to keep it. Great photos and superlovely reworking-of-vintage ideas. Only problem being that the clothes they are suggesting remaking are originally Victorian. I guess that is something else to be woeful about, the days when Victorian clothes were tossed into thrift shops to be made into heartbreakingly romantic 70s threads!

Looky here found it on Amazon… and on a smaller bookstore site.

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we have all probably heard about this by now. but not only has a generation of new knitters and individuals like if i were rosemary woodhouse / Yarn Over Movement [Tara Lynn’s Flickr name / Tara Lynn’s MySpace store] and photographer Terry Richardson added sexyness, grit and reality to knitters previous gentle image, a group of entrepreneurial knitting nuns are in hiding after running up a debt of over a million dollars.

*“Greece’s authoritative Kathimerini newspaper reported that the knitting business began to unravel when the nuns accrued massive debts after attending foreign fashion shows in a bid to keep up with the latest designs in woollen garments. They are then believed to have mortgaged the monastery of Kyrikos and Ioulittis to the hilt to pay off the debt.

With the banks demanding the money back, Greece’s holy synod says it is confronting one of its worst crises ever involving an order of nuns.”*

i just have to say- bring it on sisters!

More at The Guardian.

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You know when something opens your mind. Not prying it open, or slapping it with a wet fish [um ya]. More like eating a delicious meal and realizing, slowly while consuming, that you… had… no… idea… food could be this way. It could be a meal, a relationship, an idea about life. Ideas or truths that aren’t actually new but ignored or forgotten- the grace, lusciousness and soul replaced with cold logic, practicality and other boring cruel stuff. Well! Here’s a book by Lewis Hyde that isn’t a slap in the brain with a wet fish!

I’ll pass you now to D. Bannister’s Amazon review of The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property-

“In many aspects this is an exceptional book. It not only discusses the history of gift in culture but through the work of Walt Whitman and Ezra Pound it discusses the gift in poetry and art as well. The book focuses on the importance of gift, the flow and movement of gift, and the impact that the modern market place has had on the circle of gift.

From the opening pages when Hyde amusingly discloses the premise of gift by juxtaposing the Indian Giver with White Man Keeper, the book progresses gift through community, folktale and art.

If you have ever been dismayed by the modern or postmodern. If you have ever wanted to make your money, cash out and leave the madness, you should read this book. Not only does it give you hope, it may rejuvenate your idea of community.”

To balance out this adulation, go to the book’s Amazon page and scroll down to Stan Eads’ less favourable but insightful review.

I think it’s worth a read.

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so i think to myself… i am doing a good thing here. i am reselling clothes. i am making bags from thrifted fabrics. sounds environmentally conscious.

but what about all the transport? the fuel? do you know how many things i bought in nyc that i am now sending back to nyc? a lot.

i am trying to have a business model in line with my ethics. but how environmentally conscious can i be and still eat?

anyway, these are things i think about. and one of the reasons i am reading “Uncommon Carriers” by John McPhee. all about transport, transport, transport- trucks, ships, planes etc and the people who drive, steer, fly them. any book that goes into fetishistic detail about 18-wheelers and cowboy boot collections is a thing of beauty to me.

photo courtesy of bitsandpieces1.blogspot.com

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