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January 2012 (141 posts)
Jason Wu for Target dresses (includes belt), $60 each; (target.com)
7 things not to wear to the office and what to wear instead
How to dress 10 pounds lighter
First lady fashion: Michelle Obama
I've found that it's a particular quality of good advice, really good advice, that you simply can't fully understand it until you really need it. Something as simple as "Do What You Love" sounds right, seems obvious enough -- but I don't think you really absorb what this means until you are doing something you don't love, and realizing how much work and bravery and steadfastness it will take to change course.
This is essentially the premise behind Advice to Sink in Slowly, a wonderful project put together by design graduates, enlisting them to pass along advice for new students. That said, this is good advice for any of us, new students or not. Because they are design graduates, the advice comes in the form of striking posters which are available for purchase, and practically beg to be given as gifts—the idea being that a visual reminder helps the advice to sink in as slowly as it needs to. Brainpickings has a great assortment: Take Time, Finish What You Start, and of course, Use Your Library—and more.
Expert Advice (On Everything)
Advice for Tentative Swimmers
Taking "if you can't beat them, join them" to a whole new level: how an exceedingly good-natured violinist deals with cell phone interruption.
Trying to look cool is so high school. Here, how to perfect the nerd-girlfriend style.
Good news from Egypt: post-revolution, the sciences are flourishing.
"My stepmother held a fresh-baked apple crisp under my nose and I realized that I had lost my sense of smell." How losing a sense actually improved one aspiring chef's relationship with food.
The Life-Lifter: This Chicago father hopes to make the world a better place in 2012, with one good deed every day.
There was once a man who hated potholes. And why not? They're ugly, they're nuisances, at their worst they signal urban blight and decay. Who hasn't spewed NSFW invectives when a pleasant drive is jolted by an obscenely large crack in the street? Who hasn't attempted a graceful cab-hail and twisted an ankle in a sneaky pothole?
Well, one Brit named Steve Wheen, aka The Pothole Gardener, has taken the irritation that is the pothole and turned it into an art form by filling them with miniature gardens. Here is one of my favorite things that happens in this world: someone sees something grim and ugly and finds a small, good way to transform it. Flowers, moss, a few teensy props, and suddenly a mismanaged road is an enchanted other world. If only we could all be so creative and constructive with life's many annoyances.
Visit The Pothole Gardener blog for tons of these whimsical little plantings, including can't-miss videos! (via buzzfeed)
Guerilla Grafting Makes Decorative Trees Bloom
The Art of Trees
Every Monday, we'll be letting you know about new releases the editors at O and Oprah.com couldn't stop reading. This week, we're obsessed with the novel:
Come In and Cover Me
by Gin Phillips
Thirty-nine-year old Ren is working on a dig in New Mexico, searching for Mimbres pottery that dates back to the 12th-century when she meets Silas, a fellow archaeologist whose methods are radically different that hers. While Silas dates objects by, say, counting the carbon in preserved prehistoric corn, Ren relies on a slightly less scientific method—visitations by tribal ghosts who show her how the bowls and jars were created. Novelist Phillips brings the culture and lives of these ancient people to life, as well as the fascinating details about the art of archaeology—from how a fallen bit of adobe can preserve a parrot feather to why coroners are required to examine bodies that date back 800 years. Interestingly, though, it's the personal details in this book that resonate. Ren's relationship with the past is more than professional: Her brother's death during her childhood has left her unable to connect to others, even Silas who, if things were different, she might be able love. It's this tension—between her belief that "The past was solid, weighable as cement...that it was done and over, and could be wrapped and stored without fear of it ever changing" and her awareness that she must re-examine what really happened 20 years ago in order create some kind of future for herself—that connect you to the book, both due to the subtle, evocative flashbacks and the relief at seeing for once, a woman character who is emotionally unavailable and a man who has to crack her tough shell, instead of the other way around.
11 books you'd never thought you'd read (but will love)
How to write when you think you just can't
Every Monday, we're rounding up the things, small and big, that make us stop and think. Today, we're inspired by..."We can do so much more by working together."
-Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, in her resignation announcement, one year after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
"But here I am having almost circumnavigated the whole world. Yes, that idea is slowly sinking in... "
-16-year-old Laura Dekker, the youngest sailor to ever circumnavigate the globe solo, writing on her blog.
"You get more lonely when you're older, more sensitive and sentimental. When you're young you are more aggressive. But a good thing is I have the company of 25-year old interns. They fill up my loneliness and I can share my philosophy with them."
-Ginny Garcia, a 61-year-old pediatrician who moved to Sierra Leone to start a health clinic.
It's Friday, everybody! Time to tell our gratitude journal all the things we're thankful for this week.
Life lessons, illustrated. (From "Be Happy: A Little Book To Help You Live A Happy Life" by Monica Sheehan)
2011 global well being in handy infographic form
Take a vow of silence, get rejected by 100 girls, try 50 random acts of courage: This guy committed to live constraint-free —and he's taking suggestions.
The medium becomes the art: Fabulous sculptures made from art materials.
Literature at your fingertips—literally.
To convey creative spirit of this issue on our cover, we invited Brooklyn-based chalk-lettering designer Dana Tanamachi to run wild on a blackboard. The artist, who had previously worked at a high-end graphic design firm, found her calling at a housewarming party two years ago. "My friends had a chalk wall, so I grabbed a piece of chalk and started drawing the word Brooklyn on it. Pretty soon people were saying, 'This is awesome.'" Her first commissioned design was for a small SoHo furniture gallery. "I'd been making chalk designs for friends and around my community, so discovering that I could do this professionally was exciting."
Typically, Tanamachi finds inspiration in typography. "For an Americana-themed piece I looked to stamps, old currency, and documents." The O cover called for something dynamic and fun. So Tanamachi grabbed a box of bright chalk—a departure from her usual white—and got to work in the Chelsea studio where we were shooting. She doodled and sketched before taking her work full-scale. "Chalk is so temporary. I can make big, messy strokes, then erase and add. I just carve away and embellish until I end up with my final design."