Friday, April 27, 2018

Was She - Or Wasn't She ... a She?!

 The Chevalier d’Eon knew how to turn heads. She was charming to boot, and an unmatched swordfighter; an impeccable spy for the French government, and capable of dazzling the Empress of Russia. Above all, she found the courage to publically affirm her identity as a transgender woman ­— an especially intimidating task in 18th century.
Note: I have chosen to use gender pronouns in accordance with those the Chevalier d’Eon publicly identified with at various points in his/her life. 

He was born in Burgundy in 1728, with a name that pretty much predestined him for a very, very multi-faceted future: Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont. He came from your run-of-the-mill, noble but poor aristocrats, and debated joining the Church for a while. Instead, he snagged a cozy first job as a civil servant for the French government. But he was slated for something bigger. Something King-sized…
Louis XV was assembling a top secret society with a not-so-secrete name: le Secret du Roi, (the secret of the King) and quietly recruiting spies to strengthen France abroad. To this day, le Secret remains one of history’s most impressive feats, with the society outliving Louis himself and even playing a role in America’s independence.
The Chevalier D’Eon was exceptionally hard-working, and had become a Dragoon (a cavalry soldier on horseback) in order to earn his knight (or “chevalier”) title.
He also had the kind of dashing interpersonal skills necessary to become a secret agent, so Louis deployed him to Russia as the “Secretary to the French Ambassador to Russia” where he buttered up the Empress Elizabeth disguised as a woman of her court. It was incredibly dangerous, and could’ve cost him his life if anyone found out. They didn’t — but they were suspect.
Such high-stakes service to the King wasn’t without its hiccups, and on more than one occasion d’Eon got himself into a lot of trouble, and even wound up exiled in Britain. When France let him back in, it was with a fat pension plan but on certain conditions: to continue living as a woman to remain incognito.

Her everyday life was a breeding ground for gossip, especially when she continued to one-up every man around in the sport of fencing.
Here she is kicking the butt of Monsieur De Saint George in front of the Prince of Wales:
Thus, the chevalier was reborn a chevalière, and formally presented at Versailles in 1777 after what would probably make for one of those perfect Hollywood makeover scenes: four hours of hair curling, nose powdering, and dress-fitting. She even shared a tailor with Marie Antoinette.
D’Eon could have spent the rest of her days in tranquility, but she begged the government to let her go to war as a dragoon and fight for the country she loved; her country responded by throwing her in jail until she stopped asking.
Time proved a little kinder to d’Eon, and Bram Stoker (the author of Dracula) penned a sympathetic, and admirative essay on her in 1910 (although he still recognised her as a man). “In all the range of doubtful personalities,” he finished, “there is hardly any one whom convention has treated worse than it has the individual known in his time — and after — as The Chevalier d’Eon.”

Now, go make something beautiful!

¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Good People Don't Defend a Bad Man

I read an article this morning that struck me to the core. It says what I have been thinking for over a (very long) year. But, even having a blog and the available platform to express myself, I refrained because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to articulate what I wanted to say.

But this article by writer and book author John Pavlovitz really says it all in very few words. He cuts to the chase and shoots the fox that has stolen into the henhouse, using his keyboard and his insight as his only weapons.

I'm not going to add anything to what he wrote. I'm simply reprinting the article from Jon Pavlovitz.

Good People Don’t Defend A Bad Man

At times in this life it can be a challenge to figure out who the bad people are, but sometimes they help you.

Sometimes they do the work for you.

Sometimes with their every vulgar, bitter word from their mouth, they testify to their personal malignancy and they make it easy to identify them.

Generally speaking, there are things that good people do and things good people don’t do.

Good people don’t refer to entire countries as “shitholes”—most notably countries that have given birth to our very humanity; ones that for hundreds of years have been colonized and poached and mined of their riches by powerful white men; countries whose people have been enslaved and sold and forced to come and build your country. 

Good people by any measurement we might use—simply don’t say such things.
Of course good people also don’t say they could grab women by the genitalia, either.
They don’t defend racists and nazis and call them “fine people,” days after murdering a young girl and terrorizing an American city.

They don’t brag about their penis size during debates, or suggest protestors at campaign rallies should be roughed up, or crack jokes about captured war heroes, or make fun of the physically disabled.

They don’t.

Good people don’t tweet anti-Muslim rhetoric in the moments immediately following a bombing in order to bolster a position.
They don’t leave American territories filled with brown skinned people without power for months upon months, after publicly ridiculing their public servants and questioning their people’s resolve.
They don’t erase protections for the water and the air, for the elderly, the terminally ill, the LGBTQ.
They don’t take away healthcare from the sick and the poor without an alternative.

They don’t gouge the working poor and shelter the wealthy.

They don’t abuse their unrivaled platform to Twitter-bait world leaders and to taunt private citizens.
Good people don’t prey upon the vulnerable, they don’t leverage their power to bully dissenters, and they don’t campaign for sexual predators.

But this President is not a good human being, and there’s simply no way around this truth.

He is the ugliest personification of the Ugly American, which is why, as long as he is here and as long as he represents this nation, we will be a fractured mess and a global embarrassment. He will be the ever lowering bar of our legacy in the world.

And what is painfully obvious in these moments, isn’t simply that the person alleging to lead this country is a terrible human being—it is that anyone left still defending him, applauding him, justifying him, amening him, probably is too.

At this point, the only reason left to support this President, is that he reflects your hateful heart; he shares your contempt of people of color, your hostility toward outsiders, your ignorant bigotry, your feeling of supremacy.

A white President calling countries filled with people of color shitholes, is so far beyond the pale, so beneath decency, and so blatantly racist that it shouldn’t merit conversation. It should be universally condemned. Humanity should be in agreement in abhorring it.

And yet today (like so many other seemingly rock bottom days in the past twelve months) they will be out there: white people claiming to be good people and Christian people, who will make excuses for him or debate his motives or diminish the damage.

They will dig their heels in to explain away or to defend, what at the end of the day is simply a bad human being saying the things that bad human beings say because their hearts harbor very bad things.

No, good people don’t call countries filled with beautiful, creative, loving men and women shitholes or do most of the horrible things he does.

And good people don’t defend people who do.

You’re going to have to make a choice here.

January 12 / John Pavlovitz
 Now, go make something beautiful!
¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥

you can click on the image below to purchase John's book



Saturday, April 21, 2018

...It's a Scandal! It's an Outrage! Banned!

Amazingly, nine D.H. Lawrence oil paintings banned from England in 1929 now hang behind a curtain in an unassuming hotel conference room in Taos, New Mexico.
Painted during the height of Lawrence’s infamy, following the publication of his erotic novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, these nine works were among the twelve originally exhibited at the Dorothy Warren Gallery of London in 1929. Not surprisingly, given his reputation, local authorities soon confiscated the paintings and labeled them obscene.
Lawrence was offered two choices: remove the paintings from England forever or have them destroyed. He chose the former, and thus began their unlikely journey to the American Southwest.
Lawrence sent the paintings to his home of Vence, France, where they remained until his death in 1930. His widow Frieda subsequently moved to New Mexico with the banned paintings in tow.
But why New Mexico?
A decade earlier the American patroness Mabel Dodge Sterne Luhan had invited Lawrence and Frieda to Taos with the goal of convincing the author to write about the area. While that book never happened, she did convince him to stay awhile with a sweet deal—swapping a 160-acre ranch for the manuscript of Sons and Lovers.
 It was to this ranch that Frieda returned, and when she died in 1956, her third husband sold the paintings to the local owner of the Hotel La Fonda de Taos, Saki Karavas.
Karavas, in turn, kept the paintings in his hotel office until his death in 1996, at which point the current owners of the hotel decided to move the paintings to a conference room, but not before placing the offending art behind a curtain.
 To view the paintings and listen to a pre-recorded tour, you'll need to pay the front-desk staff $3 per person. Note, depending on your timing, there could be a wait or the conference room could be in use, so consider calling ahead.
Don't pull the curtain on your own.

Be sure to visit all the other participants today in Beverly's Pink Saturday Blog Hop!

Now, go make something beautiful!

¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥  

When the Ripe Fruit Falls--

When the ripe fruit falls
its sweetness distills and trickles away into
the veins of the earth.

* * *
When fulfilled people die
the essential oil of their experience enters
the veins of living space, and adds a glisten
to the atom, to the body of immortal chaos.

* * *
For space is alive
and it stirs like a swan
whose feathers glisten
silky with oil of distilled experience. 

~ By D.H. Lawrence ~

Saturday, April 14, 2018

What's behind this decaying vision of faded elegance?

Tuscany is known for its incredible rolling hills, Renaissance art, and Castello di Sammezzano. If the latter is unfamiliar, photographer Martino Zegwaard is here to change that.

Originally built in the 17th century, the Moorish now-abandoned castle underwent an expansion and colorful makeover in the 1800s, according to During this time period, it was home to Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona, a politician with a passion for architecture and botany.
In addition to reinventing the interiors, Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona also transformed the grounds, adding more than 130 rare and exotic plants to the gardens. Today, the castle's lush property is known as Historical Park.

The regal residence found new life in the 1970s as a hotel and restaurant, but closed down less than two decades later, sitting uninhabited, abandoned, and slowly aging for over 20 years.
But the Castello di Sammezzano could be making another comeback. Palmerston Hotels and Resorts recently purchased the stunning property and revealed plans to turn it into a luxury sporting resort, complete with a boutique hotel, apartments, spa, and country club.

While the castle and its grounds are typically closed off to the public, and will remain so with the redevelopment underway, Zegwaard was permitted to go inside to capture the grandeur of the historic residence. 
To see more photos of this stunning castle hidden in the hills of Tuscany, visit .
Be sure to see the offerings of the other participants on Beverly's Pink Saturday Blog Hop!

Now, go make something beautiful!
¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)(¸.•´
(¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥ 
 I've made the decision to full-on full-out retire. I hope to still be able to create
things as the whim and desire and need finds me. But, no more deadlines and shops to keep
stocked up with (hopefully!) unique little bits and bobs and treasures!

So, I've been busy cleaning out and des-stashing my studio. My! What a lot one
artisan can collect over 30 years of making 'stuff!'

I've assembled box "lots" of things to sell on eBay. All the things I'm selling are
items I had the best intentions of using, but never did - or always needed another
just to make sure I never ran out! - or just because I had a coupon and used a lot.

I think I should have opened  supply store instead of being an artisan!
This is an example of one 'box lot' I've assembled. It's all the coordinating pieces
one could ever want to make a paper crafted project, memory/photo album, or
scrapbook - themed with Prima's lovely "Vintage Emporitum" paper collection.

If this sort of thing interests you, or if you know anybody who is always in need
of a good deal on mixed media art/craft supplies, please check out my list
of sales and auctions on ebay! I'll be listing through the rest of next week.
Thanks so much!
(Box Lot #6)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Well... it LOOKS normal ...

It's a safe bet that this home in the small coastal town of Newport, Oregon is the only one — here, or anywhere — with an armorial flag behind which the 10th Earl of Shannon marched for 32 years in processions.

The late earl himself lived at this address with his wife, now the Dowager Countess of Shannon. She sold the home in June 2016 for $400,000.
Unassuming from the outside, the three-bedroom, three-bath home resembles a medieval castle on the inside, where two small foyers are wallpapered with moire silk. In the kitchen, you expect to see a king tipping back a pint of mead alongside his Venetian glassware and copper pot collection.

A great room worthy of Valhalla boasts an ornate beamed ceiling, from which hangs an imperious chandelier and below which sits a grand piano, a four-foot oriental vase and stained-glass windows, some dating to the 1700s.
"She had the house before she married him," listing agent Bonnie Saxton of Advantage Real Estate said of the countess. "It's just incredible ... There's a door in the kitchen from 1904 that a preacher traded for a car with Henry Ford."

The regal decor continues in the master suite, where French cathedral windows are set into birch paneling and the ceiling features a mural of Jesus Christ's transfiguration on the mount.

The en suite bathroom is fit for a kin — or a Monty Python sketch — with 1800s stained-glass windows alongside a large hot tub with gold-seeming fittings.
Well, that is certainly a case of taking a sow's ear and turning it into a silk purse - a royal one at that!

Be sure to visit all the other participants on Beverly's Pink Saturday Blog Hop today!

Now, YOU go make something beautiful!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´? Tristan 

 To be honest, I don't remember where I found these delightful matchbox puppet theatres. Maybe on a blog hop while blog hopping, maybe on Pinterest, maybe somebody sent an Instagram. I'm only sorry that I can't remember the artist's name to share. But, aren't they just enchanting?!