Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Advanced Style and Ageism

I kept trying to figure out what it was about Advanced Style that was rubbing me the wrong way because it's not like I don't love the clothes/fashions (heck I still have my fashion scrapbooks from the 70's), they are fantastic. I love the blog and visit frequently and drool over some


Advanced Style is Ari Seth Cohen's blog-based ode to the confidence, beauty, and fashion that can only be achieved through the experience of a life lived glamorously. It is a collection of street fashion unlike any seen before-focused on the over-60 set in the world's most stylish locales.

 of the hats, and sunglasses. I love the whole attitude of wearing what we want and on our own terms.  However it's NOT Advanced Style that is the problem but some of the comments, and the articles/ memes/posts telling us this is how we "should" age that really started to rub me the wrong way. So this isn't a criticism of the blog, or anyone who enjoys using fashion/stylish clothes.  My criticism lies in the implications that others have placed on older people who don't choose or can't afford to wear stylish clothes. 

24 Seniors Who Said "HELL NO" to Old-People clothes. The first thing I thought of was what the hell are "old-people" clothes? If old people clothes are easy to wear stuff, then hell, young people wear those too.  The statement that they are doing it right implies that anyone who doesn't dress like this is doing it wrong just comes across as an ageist dismissal and it adds to the superficial expectation that an older person's validity is only relevant if they dress stylish. As Ashton Applewhite stated on her blog yo, Is This Ageist,  "there is no right way to age or to dress". 

Even though Advanced Style has exposed how being older doesn't stop us from being stylish or creative, the downside is that many are dismissing women who are deemed as dowdy and therefore boring.
What is wrong with DOWDY, whatever that is?
Isn't it kind of sad that the only way we can feel empowered and visible is by wearing fashionable eye catching clothes. Isn't that really just a societal band aid solution and not really about accepting ageing.  If we want to change the perception of ageing doesn't it start by accepting us as we are, as we choose to be, stylish or not.
I have to include this because I LOVE this project. Check out the article in the Boston Globe - The Old Bags Project spotlights the insidiousness of Ageism.

I leave you with a fashion tip by Advanced Style Ilona Royce Smithkin from Life's Lessons From a 94 Year Old Model
"When you feel comfortable in your clothes, you look good. When your shoes fit right and your dress isn’t too tight, you can forget about your looks and show off yourself. There’s so much concentration on exterior beauty, you can wind up saying “I can’t go to this party, I have nothing to wear.” Who the hell cares? If you’re bringing yourself and you’re a nice person, you’re the life of the party."


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Zen Photography and Being with the Birds

"In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence" 
 Robert Lynd

As I sit in the garden, with camera in hand, I watch and listen. I have come to understand the pecking order of our resident birds as they do their aerial dance around the feeder.
 There are our territorial pine tree red cardinals, the front garden bois d'arc  bluejays, redwing blackbirds, chickadees, finches, doves, sparrows and woodpeckers.  The bluejays work in tag teams and are aggressive little stinkers. We don't often get woodpeckers at the birdfeeder but this one was very intent and wasn't going to let the male red cardinal get in the way.
"Even the woodpecker owes his success to the fact that he uses his head and keeps pecking away until he finishes the job he starts."
Coleman Cox
The Red Cardinal had this look like "EXCUUUUUSE me" but the woodpecker got his sunflower seed, and off he went.

How's this for a GREAT shot taken in the UK

Zen Photography FaceBook Page

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bead Mosaic using Epoxy Putty Resin

On one of my daily radiation days my friend Karen came along and brought a magazine to read while waiting for me. The plan after treatment was to go thrifting and then a curry BUT there was something in the magazine that just got us drooling with excitement and a new trip was added to the list, a craft store. Alas the craft store didn't have anything like epoxy putty so I had to order it online. It also determined what the theme of my daily stone was going to be, something beaded. 
painted stones
The stone I had picked up had a dent and a crack that looked like a serpent so I just winged it. In other words I didn't use a pattern or any kind of reference. I just mixed the putty and started adding whatever I had in my craft/junk box. My advice is only mix really small batches at a time. Your work
epoxy putty resin
time is limited to a window of time before the epoxy sets. Mix too much and you have to rush to use it all. I think next time I make a mosaic I will follow the advice in the tutorial that you can find at Cloth-Paper Scissors  . This putty comes in quite a few colours and I chose black and I LOVE it. I have been looking for something like this for years and it really does make it easier to attach things than glues. So thank you Cloth Paper and to Katherine England, whose name we loved of course since Karen and I are from England, for the inspiration.

Spheres & Sculpture


Friday, May 20, 2016

Palm Trees in the Midwest

One of the things I am finding I need to do after Radiation Treatment in order NOT to cave in to fatigue, although at this point it isn't really too bad, is get out of the house. Not hard to do since I love walking and taking photographs. My curry pal, KAOS Queen aka Karen Jane Russell, and I went thrifting after my treatment and I don't know why but the juxtaposition of thrift store cart and an exotic looking enticement to the bar/restaurant next door struck me.
 The thought of sipping a rum punch with midwest traffic whizzing by under grey skies, and runaway shopping carts  nearby isn't quite the same as a sunny beach and the heady beat of reggae beckoning your body and soul.  

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Plein Air Painting at Glass Farm in Yellow Springs, Ohio

I was going to say this is the first time I have gone Plein Air Painting, but actually the first time was in Annapolis, Maryland many many moons ago and it was a comical exercise. While my pal George, fag hanging from his lips, painted happily dipping an old sock into his paints and rubbing paint over wood panels and creating masterpieces I was fighting off a pesky dog, wind and bugs.  Either the wind knocked over my easel, bugs or leaves got stuck in my paint and this dog decided I MUST pet it constantly or else it would whine, bark or knock my legs. After 2 hours I gave up with nothing to show for it.
Fast Forward to May 2016

 and Christine Klinger invites me to try Plein Air once again at Glass Farm. No dogs and no wind this time :)  Just us and the sunshine and the pond critters. It was a lot of fun BUT I'm going to rethink supplies and locations before I do it again. Even with a big hat on, without shade I was beginning to suffer after an hour and during radiation treatment being out too long in the sun is not a good idea. 

A small shopping cart to lug the easel
French easel is flipping HEAVYA brolly with clasp for shade
sheesh I just checked the price and YIKES expensive
A small seat or stool
Water Mixable Oil Paints

Landscape painting is not my forte and so it was definitely out of my comfort zone, but that is part of the reason I did it. I am not displeased with the effort.

Review of different types of umbrellas for Plein Air Painting