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Picturing a World

Gender-Swapped Fairy Tales

Artist Karrie Fransman and her husband, IT guy Jonathan Plackett, collaborated on Gender Swapped Fairy Tales. He devised an algorithm to swap the genders of characters in fairy tales. She illustrated the results. To learn how two creative people work together, check out the video at the link above. It's charming and just might stimulate your own work.

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Votes for women—and vote!!!!!

You don't need me to tell you that tomorrow's election matters. Women's rights and health are on the line. Our suffragist foremothers, who won us the vote, would be out in force!
 
I haven't been able to find a recording of "Votes for Women: International Suffragists' Song" on the internet (which tells you something, doesn't it?), but the link takes you to the sheet music as well as the cover. And a bonus: If you feel jittery about the upcoming results, you can pass some time by building Votes for Women as an online jigsaw puzzle.

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Myriorama: print your own

Tom Gauld, Endless Journey cards (2015)

Blog post alert: Rereading the Myriorama chapter in Philip Pullman's Secret Commonwealth sent me searching for a set of traditional cards. I landed on Mryiormama Cards to Print. Learn how to make your own and use them for imaginative stimulation! And for those of you who just want to fool around on line, try a game at at the Laurence Sterne Trust played with Tom Gauld's cards—the skull seems just right for Halloween.

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Medieval Spanish veil

Blog post alert: This image of a woman in a transparent veil in Alfonso X's Book of Games sent me searching for information about sheer fabrics in the Middle Ages. Imagine my delight at finding this very woman and my two earlier two chess-playing queens in a post on Two Spanish 13th century outfits. Eva, the blogger, even recreated the embroidery on the sleeves. Check out her very informative website, Eva's historical costuming blog.

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Fashion 1908

Blog post alert: The 1908 Project is a portal into the high fashion of Mattie Palmer's year. And anyone interested in vintage clothing, sewing patterns, and instructional videos should check it out the entire Wearing History website. See also Gail Brinson Ivey's 1908 Ladies Clothing Fashions–Part 1 and 1908 Ladies Clothing Fashions– Part 2 as well.
Image via Period Paper.

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Medieval girls learn to read

Blog post alert: The British Library is digitizing manuscripts pertinent to the lives of women in the Middle Ages. Hildegard-go! reports on ten manuscripts and contains this illustration of girls learning to read in a classroom. A link to the full manuscript, a Dutch prayer book, lets you view it and the page opposite (f. 28r), which includes an alphabet.

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Blue tooth

For a fantasy story I am writing, I've been reading up on the gemstone Lapis lazuli and came across a story in ChemistryWorld— Blue teeth reveal medieval nun's artistic talent. Yippee! The archeological discovery of a particle of ultramarine pigment in the nun's dental tartar offered material proof that nuns worked as illuminators by at least the late Middle Ages. The finding is also covered in Harvard Magazine's Manuscripts Illuminated…by Women. It's of no use to me for my story, but, oh, what about in future?!?

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Game of Authors

Blog post alert: Sienna McCulley, a 2021 intern at the American Antiquarian Society, recently posted Quicken the Thought — The Game of Authors. The card game was first published in 1861 and has gone through countless iterations, as can be seen in a published compendium.

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Alexander the Great hatchling

A friend of mine is something of an expert on Alexander the Great in history and legend, so references to him always catch my eye. Then there are dragons, one of my special interests—along with illustration, of course. Medieval comic strip, anyone? In the story depicted here, Olympias, the wife of Philip of Macedon, is seduced by a sorcerer named Nectanebo, who comes to her in the shape of a dragon. Result? According to this illuminator anyway, a little hatchling Alexander! For the story in full, click here.

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Heinrich Lefler

Blog alert: Heinrich Lefler and Joseph Urban are illustrators who are totally new to me, although their work certainly fits into late19th C, early 20th modes. Worth pursuing!


Image via Nick Louras

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