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May 2012

No Water, Don't Waste It!! No Guns.

No water don't waste it
No Water Don't Waste it No Guns!

Artist, William Tasker. Federal Art Project, Silkscreen, circa 1941/3. Source

I found this image on Pinterest. It's one of the things I enjoy about Pinterest - finding great images, even if people don't source them well, grrr. 

This one caught my eye not just for the great graphic but because the message seems so awkward now. It was made to remind/convince people to conserve water for the war effort. That's the "guns." Government wartime propaganda.

But as a viewer in 2012 I read it as, No Water, No Guns....don't waste it. That is, there is no water and no guns....therefor don't waste these recources. Which brings to mind some dystopic sci fi movie, or contemporary news and activism about water as a resource. Big topic. Water. Resource. Or did it mean, War over Water...another dystopic story -in- the making.

It only took me a minute to remember to adjust my time frame to World War 2 to realize that the idea of conserving water for the wartime/militarizaion effort  would be common enough that the poster made sense immediately.

It's also possibly true that it's just not that well written enough to telegraph it's meaning. I can't tell from here.

Scrapbooks: Writing With Scissors - Ellen Gruber Garvey

Speaking of Pinterest (I was, actually) I came across this blog post about the history of scrapbooking. I urge you to read the whole thing, but here's a snippet:

"May 5 is National Scrapbooking Day. Like National Fig Newton Day or National Golf Month, its purpose is mainly commercial and it was unsurprisingly started by an album company. Scrapbook making is hugely popular and profitable. Stores that sell scrapbooking supplies use the day to sponsor scrapping gatherings or crops where scrapbookers (nearly all women) get together. They spread their projects out at tables with equipment for diecutting, embossing, and distressing paper (to make it look old). Tips about layout and technique are shared as they paste family pictures and memorabilia into their scrapbooks.

The men and women who compiled scrapbooks in the nineteenth century had a different idea of what a scrapbook looked like and what it was for. Abraham Lincoln, Sarah Bernhardt, Thomas Jefferson, and Susan B. Anthony all made scrapbooks. Like the thousands of other nineteenth-century scrapbook makers, they created scrapbooks from their reading, mainly for their own and their contemporaries’ uses. Their records — without family photos — are intimate and revealing. These scrapbook makers saw their interests reflected in the newspaper. Worried about losing the poems, articles, and stories that spoke to them, they made scrapbooks of them — sometimes hundreds of volumes."

1878 agricultural reports repurposed as scrapbook. Collection of Ellen Gruber Garvey1878 Agricultural Reports repurposed as a scrapbook. Page toward the end shows underlying text. Source: collection of Ellen Gruber Garvey

The book is Writing With Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance. 

The blog post this I've quoted is HERE

Another Ellen Gruber Garvey article on scrapbooks, Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Appropriation  is HERE


PINTEREST: will you join me?

I talk to a fair number of people about Pinterest. Some adore it but many scratch their heads and think it's a ridiculous waste of time. Why would you bother, they wonder. Well, I'm a collector and a curator. I love images. I love looking at them, and I love putting them in my own little categories. Is it brain science? No. Will it save the world? No, of course not. Is it satisfying and inspiring. Yes. 'Nuff said

SmallEquals (smallequals) on Pinterest

My pinterest boards. Small Equals. Screen capture.

I've just rounded 400 followers. I pin under the name "small equals" because that's my business and twitter name.  I love what I pin...and I love the folks I follow. You can check out my pins HERE


Bear with me while I learn some coding

I've been taking an online blog coding course with Elise Blaha. I know I'm going a bit crazy over the top with everything I'm learning, but you can imagine how tempting it all is.

Feel free to send me a note to tell me if you are enjoying the re-design or if it really is all too much and you think I should rein it it a bit.

But it's so much fun. Not where I want it yet, but it's always a work in progress.

RIP Maurice Sendak

One of the greats, Maurice Sendak, is now in heaven, or somewhere like it. Probably Brooklyn.

A Hole Is To Dig was my introduction to Sendak. I was very small. It had just been published. Yes, I've loved Sendak all my life. I met him once on an airplane. Thrill. 


A hole is to dig 2 001

Ruth kraussRuth Krauss/ Maurice Sendak. A Hole Is To Dig. 1952. found here

Maurice Sendak collaborated with Carole King to produce one of the greatest soundtracks of all my opinion. The Nutshell Kids present Really Rosie. It was the soundtrack of my oldest daughter's early years, in the 1970's. Good times. I can still sing it word for word.


Alice Austen in LIFE Magazine, 1951

Just a few months before she died, Alice Austen made her second appearance in LIFE Magazine.

Alice Austen Day Life Magazine
Alice Austen Day. Life Magazine, October 29, 1951

"Alice Austen, America's first great woman photographer, had been rescued from the poorhouse and oblivion by the sale of her superb collections of pictures (LIFE, Sept. 24). But until this month the 85-year-old artist had never had a public showing of her work. On Oct. 7, however, the Staten Island Historical Society, custodian of her photographs, celebrated "Alice Austen Day". More than 300 of Miss Austen's old and new friends crowded into the museum to look at her pictures and say hello to her once more. Miss Austen herself was an hour late. Worn out by a television appearance two days earlier, she at first refused to come. But her friends convinced her that she would enjoy herself, and enjoy herself she did. There were speeches and orchids and gifts and refreshments, but above all, there were friends. Some, like Mrs. Charles Barton had posed for her in the old days on Staten Island. Others, like Coapes Brinley of the Staten Island Historical Society, helped win recognition for her work. Miss Gertrude Tate, her closest friend, had lived with her for 27 years at the Austen home until the two ladies lost their money and the home was sold.

The old lady in the wheelchair knew how to get the most out of every moment, although she mostly wept when Mrs. Barton bent over to kiss her hand. As the newspaper and magazine cameras recorded the afternoon, Photographer Alice Austen said proudly, "I'd be taking those pictures myself if I were 100 years younger." When the pictures and the refreshments were over, she went back to the private nursing home where she now lives, a little tired by the festivities but glad that she had lived to see Alice Austen Day."

Alice Austen and trude in LIFE MAG 1951
Alice and Trude, now Mrs. Charles Barton, donned corset covers and petticoats and posed for this wicked picture taken 60 years ago on Staten Island. Alice Austen, LIFE Magazine 1951


Alice Austen, Deeply Moved Mrs. Barton, LIFE Magazine 1951
Deeply Moved, Alice Austen bites her lips as old friend Mrs. Barton impulsively kisses her hand. Mrs. Barton now lives in New Jersey but visits Alice often.


Alice Austen and Gertrude Tate, 1951, LIFE Magazine
HIGHLY PLEASED, Alice Austen beams up at Gertrude Tate, who lived in Austen home, took trips to Europe with her, nursed her during arthritis attacks.

For more on Alice Austen see HERE  and also visit the Alice Austen House Museum Website