Guest Pinner: If Lily Bart Pinned

house of mirth pins

house of mirth repins via local milk

house of mirth repins via local milk House of Mirth “repins” via

 During my senior year of my undergrad years, I studied Edith Wharton’s novel House of Mirth and it’s tantalizingly yet depressing protagonist Lily Bart. Lily loves her upper class life in the early 1900’s yet is tormented by the upper classes’ views on marriage: believing girls of the upper class should maintain their status by marrying a man merely to continue to “live well” instead of because you may love and respect him. Lily turns down proposal after proposal, even from Lawrence Seldon whom she actually loves for she is caught up in the idea that she must marry well, yet is horrified by the prospect of a loveless life. As she slowly begins to reject the upper classes’ view on marriage, attempting to gamble and win her way to the “top” herself, she soon finds the upper class rejects her. She goes from taking yacht tours of Europe and rejecting a future with Lawrence Seldon in the hopes of marrying “even higher,” to working at a millinery, living in poverty, and eventually overdosing on sleeping pills. Lily repeatedly sabotages herself from a potential happy life with Seldon, rejecting Lawrence’s offers of help when he could have helped her, so focused is she on the idea of striking it rich.

Besides the overdosing part I hope, I think Lily’s struggle has been so universally popular even with modern women because we all find a piece of Lily in ourselves.  Like it or not, the archetypes for women have always been the Stepford Wife-type, the selfless mother-type, or the career girl-type. And more likely than not, there’s the desire to be all those types in all of us: Admit it, isn’t that why we love Disney Princesses? Stories about wealthy men falling hard for the girl they cloak in luxury? The reason why we slurp up wedding magazines and sappy fairy tale stories? Maybe you do it when no one else is around, when you’re home alone on the weekend. Maybe you erase your search history after you read one of those stories, and maybe you pretend to scoff at them in public but I know that you have to say yes! We love them! They strike the Stepford in all of us and it’s alluring, glamorous, and desirable. But how many times do we find ourselves falling into the Lily-Bart-trap of sabotaging our own happiness because we are discontent, always looking for more, trying to do it alone, building relationships that look impressive, making judgments based on appearances, growing jealous over comparisons, and holding out for better things when we could be perfectly content if we only looked around instead of always, always forward and upward? The House of Mirth is a satire of course–that’s obvious by its title–but it’s also something of a tragedy because so many times we strive to build our own houses of mirth, hoping that by creating it, joy will come, instead of making our house where there already is happiness and laughter for the most impressive thing in the world is a woman who is completely content with whatever and wherever she is.

– <3 A. 

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Guest-Pinner: If Beatrix Potter Pinned

beatrixpotterpinterest

beatrixpotterpins

beatrixpotterpinThis week I’m starting a new blog-post-theme, or more like a new goodwill quest: giving vintage muses the opportunity to become part of the Pinterest world by pinning (in their honor of course) things I am certain they would adore. What would Grace Kelly’s Pinterest look like I wonder? Hepburn? Monroe? What about Virginia Woolf? Perhaps a little dreary, ok…what if Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice were given a username? Gertrude Stein? Are you intrigued yet?  To start things off and in honor of Easter peeking around the corner, today’s “guest” pinner is the brilliant and lovely Beatrix Potter.

Besides publishing twenty-three books during her lifetime and being perhaps one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time, Potter was also a conservationist, purchasing “Hill Top Farm” in the English countryside and successfully preserving almost all of what we now know as the gorgeous “Lake District” of Britain. The scientific community during her era was also very interested in her work and illustrations in mycology, as well as her sheep breeding. During a time when women weren’t really welcome in the education and work-world, Potter successfully created her own illustration and print business with her adorable and now universally well-known creature characters and was respected in many spheres for her devotion to nature, articism, and creativity. If Beatrix Potter pinned, I’m pretty sure I’d be a devoted follower.

Bio info via Beatrix Potter Society | Repins Via: Poppytalk | Adored Vintage | Jepsen

– <3 A. 

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DIY Beatrix Potter Hand-Painted Eggs

hand-painted-eggs

Once you’ve reached the age where trundling baskets around the backyard to search for hard-boiled eggs hidden just out of reach so your parents can get a hearty laugh at the impossible scramble every year has grown a bit too youthful of a sport, the egg decorating tradition still retains some nostalgia that can’t be outgrown. This is where hand-painted eggs enter the tradition-story: I love these little eggs so much. They have such a sweet, vintage look and are absurdly simple yet look super chic and precise–perfect for the *slightly* grown-up egg decorator.

The original DIY blogger before “blogger” was even a catchphrase, Martha Stewart, did a project much like these Beatrix Potter-esque eggs a few years ago, but her version seemed too complicated for my if-it-takes-more-than-an-hour-that-DIY-is-too-difficult-for-my-brain rule so I did it my own way and it turned out absolutely perfect.

You will need

  • Blown-out eggs
  • Beatrix Potter cut-outs (download the template here).
  • Paint and a brush
  • A wet cloth and a dry towel

DIY hand painted eggs

  1. After you blow-out your egg, cut a design from the template and place it on the egg. Completely soak the design with the wet cloth and then pat dry with the dry towel, making sure the edges of the design are adhered flat to the egg. It may wrinkle a bit but it’s ok as long as there’s no gaps for the paint to get under. 
  2. Paint around the design with whatever color you desire. Stroke away from the design so the paint isn’t pushed under the paper.
  3. Allow to dry and then carefully peel off the paper.
  4. You may need to do a little touch up work but unless I chose a design with a lot of intricate edges, all of my eggs turned out clean and perfect!

Aren’t they adorable? The whole project seriously takes about twenty minutes and I think they looks so expensive and un-homemade in the best of ways. Plus, if you’re careful, these guys can be re-used year after year:

DIY hand-painted eggs

diy hand painted eggs

vintage hand painted easter eggsI’m obsessed with these eggs, I think I’ve used almost every design from the template…in just as many colors…in every room of the house. Happy new traditions this Easter! You never can quite outgrow the egg-phase.

-<3 A. 

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