Tag Archives: Art

Bookish Beach Towels for Summer

World Domination for Cats Beach Towel available on Society6

Summer may not officially kick off until June 20th, but here in California, the weather is already providing an excuse to throw on a swimsuit and head down to the water. It’s also giving me an excuse to search for bookish beach towels to bring along with me, like the one above (cats are jerks, so it only makes sense that they’re secretly plotting world domination).

Below you can find some more of my favorites.

 

Another Quiet Spot Beach Towel available on Society6
Another Quiet Spot Beach Towel

 

It’s story time in this dark forest, where a friendly monster and cute bunny find a quiet spot to read. I love the soft, muted colors and imagery in this print.

 

Book Dinosaurs Beach Towel available on Society6
Book Dinosaurs Beach Towel

 

Anyone who knows me can tell you my favorite movie is Jurassic Park (the book, though quite different, is great too), and as such, I’ve always been fascinated with dinosaurs. On this beach towel, the artist has combined dinosaurs and books. I love the fact that the dinosaurs aren’t only reading them, they’re made of them—their bony armor replaced with colorful books.

Ode to the Haiku

The haiku is one of my favorite poetic forms. I will often jot one down in class when not paying attention to a teacher, or when riding as a passenger in a car, or on my friend’s facebook pages when I am awake late at night and procrastinating on something important to do.

Haikus are short and to the point, much like I am. It was as if the form was made for me, but really, it wasn’t. Haikus were made for all to enjoy, not just me. A traditional haiku has 17 syllables, broken up into lines that are 5/7/5 syllables each. In sticking with tradition, most haikus usually include references to nature or the seasons and contain a contrasting image within it. It is common for haikus to have spliced words, elongated vowel sounds or double syllabic sounds to fulfill the syllable count requirements. Haikus can also be joined together to make a larger poem, but each haiku must stand on its own and be able to be read as an independent piece for the poem to truly be considered a haiku.

Below is my interpretation of a traditional haiku. This is a series of haikus, but each also stand independently, or, I at least hope they do.

Shaped Poetry

I wouldn’t call myself a poet, but I do write poetry and do pursue publication of my poems. One weakness I have for poetry is shaped poetry. I’ve tried my hand at it many times, but outside of one shaped poem I’ve completed, I haven’t really fell in love with any of my shaped poems.

John Hollander, a well known American poet, makes some fascinating shaped poetry. For example, his cat poetry:

I want to pet his words.

Literary Paraphernalia: The Second Life of Romance Novels

carrie_annCarrie Ann Schumacher is an artist and teacher living in Chicago. She uses various mediums to create her pieces, like paint, videos, and even the pages of romance novels. With the book pages, Carrie Ann makes beautiful, one-of-a-kind dresses. I first stumbled upon her dresses on Tumblr; I spent the next hour captivated by them, scrolling through older posts and making my way to her website, where I scanned through her portfolio. Each dress is extremely elaborate and intricate. I was curious about Carrie Ann’s process and the books that inspired the pieces, so I reached out to her for an interview.

The Poetics Project: First off, I’ve looked at most of the pieces you’ve shared on your Tumblr and website. My favorites so far are Vicki and The Vision, Harlequin, and Never the Prom Queen. Do you have any favorites?

Carrie Ann Schumacher: Every dress is my favorite and my least favorite when I make it. On one hand, I’m usually pretty excited when I’m done because I’ve tried something new or I’ve executed something that’s been floating around in my head for a while. On the other hand, I know every single flaw and mistake of each dress. There’s definitely an unglamorous side of creating the pieces that I’m intimate with, so sometimes it’s hard for me to see the beauty. Alice and the Boy She Left Behind will always be my favorite-favorite, at least when it was first made. Creating the dress was this really intense out-of-body experience. I made that piece the week after my grandmother died as a prayer and an apology, and it was exhausting and all consuming. Seeing it completed was like coming through to the other side or giving birth; all of a sudden you’re at the start of something new. I think I slept for three days when I was finally done.

Guy Laramee’s Book Art

Guy Laramee has his hand in a little of everything. He has composed music, directed and wrote for the theatre, and designed musical instruments. He’s singer, a painter, and a sculptor, among other things. Personally, I know of him from his work carving old books into pieces of art.

Laramee sums up his artistic statement beautifully by stating:

“So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are. After 30 years of practice, the only thing I still wish my art to do is this: to project us into this thick ‘cloud of unknowing.'”

Most recently, Laramee took a twenty-four-volume set of a now discontinued Encyclopedia Britannica and turned it into a stunning mountain range. Here are two pictures of the entire sculpture:

(Credit: Juxtapoz Magazine)
(Credit: Juxtapoz Magazine)
(Credit: Juxtapoz Magazine)
(Credit: Juxtapoz Magazine)

The Last Bookstore in Downtown L.A.

This weekend I got to go to The Last Bookstore and, holy heck, I love it. As previous readers will note, I have a thing for bookstores where I want to travel the world and buy a book from each.

This lovely big store made my day.
(Credit: Amanda Riggle)

This wasn’t a bad start. I didn’t get just one book though, oh no. The Last Bookstore is known for its dollar book catacombs, where books are sometimes organized by genre, or by color, or by country. Needless to say, I was up there for hours (I think two and a half was the final agreed upon time I spent perusing books).

I believe my final count on books was thirty. Yes, that’s right, I bought thirty one-dollar books. Why? Because who can say no to dollar books! I got books on linguistics, books on Shakespeare, books on British Literature, books on history, books on naturalism, books on poetry and, of course, books on politics, because I can.

Fred was a gentleman and carried my books out for me. I think a total of 5 in that pile aren’t mine. Note to dudes: Don’t take an English Major to a bookstore on a date unless you have strong arms like Fred.
(Credit: Amanda Riggle)

User Submitted Poem – The Good Old Days

It seems that one poetry submission lead to another! Today we’re looking at another user-submitted poem from Gibianainspiree (who’s blog you can visit at Lybdbibiana2013.Wordpress.Com. Her poem goes a little something like this:

Thinking about time
and the period of stone age
when everything seemed peaceful
all of my regrets
were nothing but emotions
now I am forgetting
when life gave me crystals.

Each time I remember the silence
and the contacts we made
it tickles so hard
to know that the past
is not the present.
The future I do not hate
neither is the present wasteful
but all I wish for,
is the good old days
when time was time
love gave the rhyme
adventure the treasures
and life a bed of roses.

All I miss right now
is the good old days.

When I read this poem, I feel like this poem is probably very personal with a lot of good feelings there for people to interpret, but it also has a deeper meaning that I can’t get at with just the words presented here alone. I like how it seems to contain a secret, but I can’t help but feel there’s a lot of intention within these lines that can pop out more with a few revisions.

November Book Challenge: Can Our Writers Write a Book in 30 Days?

In honor of National Novel Writing Month, November, our writers are going to undertake a novel writing challenge! We’ve all heard claims that writing a novel isn’t really that hard, and that it can be done in one’s spare time.

So, what the heck, we all figured, let’s all write a novel in our spare time and see if we can get it done by the end of November.

Here's my lovely mug and my journal I'll be writing my book in for this challenge.
Here’s my lovely mug and my journal I’ll be writing my book in for this challenge.

Ah yeah, look at that hot composition book action I got goin’.

DIY Wedding Decorations for Book Lovers

I’ve recently been drawn to pieces of art created using pages from old books. Book sculptures aren’t just nice to look at; they’re also a good way to recycle old books that have been abandoned in thrift shops, used bookstores, or that one box in the corner of your garage. To see an example of book sculptures, check out my past posts on artists Kathy Ross and Su Blackwell. The other day, I came across some other creative ways to use old book pages– as wedding decorations.

1. Flower Vases

The cute flower vases pictured below can be made at home following these simple steps. You’ll need a sharp craft knife, old books, a small piece of cardboard, a pencil, and a hot glue gun. After some practice, you can have some fun with the shapes of your vases, making them taller or curvier.

(Credit: Sweet Paul Blog)
(Credit: Sweet Paul Blog)

A New (Literary) Tattoo Idea

It’s dangerous being an English major with a love for old literature that adores tattoos. This quarter, I have finished a class on Mythology in literature and I have gotten my latest tattoo idea from Norse mythology.

I want to get two crows tattooed behind my ears.

That might sound a little odd, but let me explain.

Odin, known as the Alfather, father of Thor and the high one (among a huge list of other names) loved knowledge. Dude knew more than Wikipedia. How did he know all of this? Well, he doggedly pursued knowledge.

In one tale, Odin hangs himself form the world tree (Yggdrasil, say that three times fast!) and sacrifices his own eye to himself in order to gain more knowledge.

The one thing Marvel and the movie Thor got right about Norse mythology.

I’d call that being committed to education.

There is yet another tale where Odin tricks two dwarfs out of the Mead of Poetry so he could gain poetic knowledge (and fart out a little bad poetry along the way. Seriously. That’s in the myth.). Beyond that, Odin battled with giants all the time, but not to test his strength, but rather his wits. While Odin knew everything, he never knew enough.

This won't be my tattoo, but it's pretty awesome looking.
This won’t be my tattoo, but it’s pretty awesome looking.

Even his throne was not that of your average God/Father (fathers have thrones, right?). Seated on either side of Odin on his throne were his two crows, Huginn and Muninn. Huginn and Muninn gathered information from the world and whispered it into Odin’s ears, thus assuring that, even when resting on his throne, Odin was still learning and knowledgeable about the world.

He also had two wolves. Why two of everything? Because…that’s why.

So, in conclusion, I want to get two crows tattooed behind my ears to emulate what Huginn and Muninn did for Odin. I want the world’s secrets whispered into my ears wherever I go, so I can constantly gain knowledge. I’ve been a student all my life (turning 30 in September, thank you) so I think it’s safe to say that I am addicted to learning. My own little Huginn and Muninn will only aid in that quest, right?

You can’t convince me otherwise. Pictures of the crows and the actual tattoos are pending until I get the final design finished with my artist.

– Amanda Riggle