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Showing posts from October, 2013

Grad School Diary: Writing Manifestos

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Let's pretend I haven't been gone for a week. Now that is taken care of, let's get back to the present. School is getting into November which means the serious work is here or just a smell away. I'm crawling around the beginning of a research paper for my Manifesto class. It is going to have to do with Alain LeRoy Locke. This is mostly because I find the main concepts for  The New Negro fascinating.

Up until two weeks ago, I knew only of W.E.B Du Bois as a poet. Now I'm not only aware of his role in the Niagara Movement, but I've had to write a manifesto in his stead and also for Booker T. Washington. Though writing a manifesto through the point of view of Du Bois was a challenge, it was easier in the sense that I agreed with his stance. Writing for Washington felt both challenging and wrong. It did, however, push me to see how he might have reason, and how he might have used this reasoning to convince others to do things the way he thought  fit.
Enjoy your las…

Poets & Writers Reading at McNally Jackson

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Namra told me about a poetry reading he thought I might want to go to. It turned out to be a reading for the winners of Poets & Writers' Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

 I was told about Jill Osier by Namra, whom though isn't a big fan of poetry, thought her an awesome person; he had met her. So I looked up Osier and found her poem "Dear" which was what  convinced me to rush downtown to the McNally Jackson book store to listen to what else she had written.

Her poems are beautiful, and she read them beautifully.  She told a little back story to one of them: a girl had stuck a stick into the snow and declared that location the North Pole, and when her brother had disagreed with her, she had declared that anywhere could be the North Pole. I really liked that story.

There was a winner for fiction too. My prose and poetry listening skills being still rather weak, it is hard to follow readings without a physical copy to follow along. A good reading is hence very …

Opinion: Dreams

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What would we do without the faith that  something sweet or sweeter is coming towards us? How can one want to wait for the sunsets if one is convinced that they will all be boring. Some argue that time is just our calculations. Let's say it is, hence everyday is yesterday and tomorrow. In this case, we have found that it's good to take naps when it gets dark, and nice to go out and mingle when it gets light——or my new favorite thing to do: sit in the sun and read. I think the sun whispers to the body, very good things that the brain cannot iron out. I am, however, unhappy with the summer sun, and I quarrel with her for months, but the autumn, winter, and spring sun I adore.

So back to the dream thing, I have been dreaming again, after coming out of some mild depression from the previous week or so (I feel I'm a touch bipolar). I'm convinced, again, that dreams are already realities. Sometimes I lose it and get pissed, or a touch depressed that I am still in dream stat…

Personal Style: An Old Handmade Dress

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I had this dress custom made when I was in junior high school in Ghana. I sketched the design and had the tailor make it for me, but he didn't finish off the bottom the way I wanted, so I altered that part with a needle and thread...I was partly too shy, and partly too polite to ask him to redo it. I've a feeling it's going to stay with me for a very long time.

Mawusi: Handmade Shop Update

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Remember how the Koléki was doing beautifully from the get go? Well I've since found it on some exciting Pinterest boards. Then it landed on Etsy's Facebook page on  midnight of Wednesday! That made me cry in happiness. Feeling blessed here. All the hard work is not going to waste and I'm so thankful to God for keeping both eyes out for me, and to my dear mother for not kicking me out yet...I keep promising her I'll get a second job, and not living up to my word.
Also really loving this photo shoot of the exclusive
Koryo Multi-wear Necklace for My Asho Market!
Didn't think of cute little girls when I made the Kita and Maku Hair & Brooch fabric flowers but now I know they're perfect for all ages! Thanks Kharan for showing me the light! That's it for this Friday! For more on Mawusi, please subscribe to the bi-weekly newsletter to be kept updated on sales, selling events, and much more. Thank you so much for your continuous support! I really, really apprec…

Grad School Diary: Reading Austerlitz

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When you watch the sun come up and go down. When you feel the bitter cold of winter with or without your warmest jacket. When you listen to the music you love and it makes you weep in joy and cry for reasons unknown...you're happy but sad at the same time. These are feelings we are never able to express in words, we can only point them out with images. I feel these things when I read W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz. I'm not done reading and I hope to review it when I am done. However it touches so lightly on that which causes great pain and magnifies simple beauty as if it is that which is most important to focus on. And yet in doing so, the pain hurts more. It sinks into the subconscience like smoke seeps into clothing. So you see the ugliness that we human beings create and you expect that there will be more on that, but no. You see the ugliness that nature creates, and unlike ours it's always beautiful. Even when it is harming us, like wiping out a village of people. He sh…

Poetry: Untitled

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've been going through some  unpleasant days. I am often so optimistic it could break windows, however, I'm visiting with days where the better tomorrows that I believe will come feel very very far away. It came to me that writing about how I'm feeling in the form of a poem might help somewhat, so I wrote the below...but now I think I better listen to some music.
Untitled
By the unknown a line wiggles
along a path. Spear sharp when it rises quickly or plunges so; the potholes and bumps not as unkind. Often the bottoms drag, and the heights fleet and all that keeps it straight is  that timeless tool: hope.
-J

Meet Lisa of Satsumabug Blog

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A little about yourself  I'mLisa Hsia, often known online as Satsumabug. I was born and raised in California and lived there my whole life until 2012, when my husband Erik and I put our belongings into storage and set out to travel the world. It's been more than a year now and though we've stopped back in California a few times, we're still pretty nomadic. I'm writing this now from Boston, where we'll be for most of the rest of 2013. 

What is your blog’s story?

It's a chronicle of my journey as an individual, a writer, an artist, and a traveler. It's also a community, with real conversations in the comments. I've always called my blog "my home on the web" but that's even more true now that we've left our physical home behind. I don't think I could have traveled so comfortably without this virtual home as my touchstone. 
What inspires you

I love new things and unexpected juxtapositions. One of my favorite visual artists (possibly my …

Opinion: Before Columbus

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What was this continent called before Columbus chanced upon it and termed it the New World (as if it didn't exist before he blessed it with his presence) and helped a race become extinct.  There were people here on these lands. We know that. I hope we remember that. The natives of the land with their cultures and dreams.

Why is it that some of us feel the need to rise up above our own kind and say, those people serve foolish gods and must be forced to accept our god, killed if they refuse; or those people are too wild to deserve what they have; or that those people look more like monkeys and should be used like donkeys; or those people's noses are too big and their hair is not that perfect shade of wheat, gold, sunshine, whatever, hence they ought to be hunted down, kept locked in a place, harassed and murdered on a whim; or those people just got to go...we'll figure out why after they are gone.

So I come back to this question often: when we claim that we're intellige…

Mawusi's Before Columbus Day Sale!

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A one day sale for today only. Ends at 11:59pm EDT! Save 20% off all your purchases of $25.00 or more with coupon code B4COLU >>> Mawusi
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Personal Style: Aztec Print Dress

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I cut my hair on the first day of autumn.

Mawusi: Handmade Shop Update!

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Got plenty of new items in the shop! Hope you'll take a peak! Here are some... *Click on picture to be directed to the item in the shop!



Happy Friday!
-J

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Grad School Diary: Back and Now

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In high school, I was part of everything. My name that is. I registered for many, many clubs: just never showed up. In college, I didn't only join a ton of clubs, I also showed up a lot. Even when I was so uncomfortable and didn't want to be there. For instance, the first thing I joined was the school newspaper. I wanted to be like Elizabeth Wakefield from Sweet Valley High.  Don't ask. I soon realized that my mates at the newspaper typed like crazy, and they like knew stuff that I hadn't even smelled. While it took me a minute to search for letters on the keyboard to write a word, they would be on their third paragraph or so. Man. I was so shy and so embarrassed. I didn't know how to use Photoshop or inDesign back then, I was always on the verge of tears since I was a 'Layout Designer.' When I couldn't torture myself anymore I disappeared. I did stay for two semesters, though. The literary club I tried to join in Grad school brought back memories of my…

Got my Ballet Fix

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Freshman year in college, I saw my first ballet. I was in a theater class that came with tickets to see live performances. We didn't have a text book, we just saw plays and dances and wrote about them; one of the most fun classes I ever took. I remember sitting there and thinking OMG this is just so unbelievably cool. Watching the dancers with such immense control over their bodies was mind blowing. I had been meaning to go back, but it wasn't until last week that I finally got to see another set of live dances through the Fall for Dance Festival at NYC Center.

As one of those people who secretly laugh at tap dancing with words like ridiculous in neon letters  sifting through my mind's eyes, I was surprise to find my feet tapping to Dorance Dance's SOUNDspace. It was perfect. They made music with their feet and their bodies danced to it. I am now convinced that tap dancing is nothing but beautiful at the feet of masters.

Colin Dunne's Mo(or)town was something like …

Opinion: Photography

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On Saturday, I found myself on a high-rise, admiring the changing colors of the trees below. It felt beautiful and serene. I had Karma (my camera) in my bag but I felt no need to reach for her and capture the magic below. I wanted and, in a sense, needed to feel the scenery live and die in my eyes. In my meeting it and finding it beautiful, then in taking delight in its beauty, and then in looking away and leaving it uncaptured and unprotected in the stream of my memory. Later, I met with a friend because I had agreed to go on a shooting hangout. I haven't done one of those since college. "Hey, won't you take out your camera?" He asked as he looked around for something else to shoot. He had already gotten a few frames. I had been talking too much and laughing too much, and his words reminded me why I was there. I brought out Karma, which for a while now has only captured images for Mawusi, and started looking for textures that would inspire the creation of an abstra…

Grad School Diary: Why English

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Talking to another about the difficulties in getting a job with an English degree brought me back to why I chose to pursue it in Grad school. I'm useless in maths. I have no head for hard technical business; I'm no good around people who make it all about the money. history is nice but it doesn't scratch my back. Now philosophy is refreshing: I've an eye on her. I've always enjoyed lit. It's always been the one class where I can shine a little. where I'm more than pleased to welcome the challenge to think. Apart from teaching, editing, writing, and such, there doesn't  seem to be much out there for the English lit major...but then I never wanted to be a journalist, and though I tried to find jobs as an editor, I was not confident. My blog is a witness of my bad usage of grammar and punctuation. I'm going to teach. I'll very much love it. I had a tiny experience teaching in college and it felt like a great blend of fun and work. There is more to…

Broadway Play Review: Romeo and Juliet

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Since I saw Romeo and Juliet at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, I kept diving into memory, trying to remember if I have actually ever read this famous play. I was most curious to see Condola Rashad as Juliet, because she was very convincing as Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful.  She did not disappoint. It was fun watching her hop about the stage. Well, she might not have hopped at all, but there was this energy about her that made it seem like she was. She  acts thirteen. I wonder if David Leveaux, the director, did not interpret Juliet's age too literally. The Victorian period, after all did see a girl at that age as woman enough to marry.

Orlando Bloom was alright in the first act; alright as in A for effort. Of course, I do not know anything about theater, so there's no reason why you ought to mind what I thought of his performance. The good thing about Broadway is that it is live hence it is likely that he has been performing much better since I last saw him on stage. Neverthe…

Meet Evelyn of 15 Melbourne (Natural Skincare)

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A little about yourself
My name is Evelyn Soetono, founder of 15 Melbourne natural skincare.  I was born in London and 15 Melbourne Road was where I spent the 1st 7 years of my life before moving to New York.  I’m an interior designer by trade, so I guess you could say I’m a creative individual.  
What is your craft story?
I’ve always been curious about how things work and paid attention to ingredients in skin and hair care products.In 2006 I was tired of using lotions with crazy ingredients that didn’t deliver and was determined to make my own shea butter lotion from scratch.After months of reformulating my recipe, one particular batch was too thick to be a lotion, so I gave it away to friends and family.They ended up loving it, and my whipped shea butter was born!Since then, I have slowly expanded into soap making and lip care products with all natural ingredients.
How did you come to be on Etsy, do you sell anywhere else or would you like to?
Having an online presence is so important fo…