Personal

An Etsy Valentine's Gift Guide for the Womxn in Your Life

'The love expressed between womxn is particular and powerful because we have had to love in order to live. Love has been our survival.' -Audre Lorde

Want to mark Valentine's Day (or any day!) with someone you love but unsure what to give as a gift? Here's a small intersectional feminist compilation of my favourite Etsy finds, perfect for the womxn in your life.

Art:

 by Roaring Softly

by Roaring Softly

 by Hip To Home

by Hip To Home

 by Riverway Studios

by Riverway Studios

 by Em Chella Quotables

by Em Chella Quotables

 by DaniTheDesignerd

by DaniTheDesignerd

 by NubeNubeNube

by NubeNubeNube

Clothing:

 by Nalgona Positivity Shop

by Nalgona Positivity Shop

 by Sarah Duyer

by Sarah Duyer

 by Snake Hawk Press

by Snake Hawk Press

Jewelry:

 by Stationary Bicycles

by Stationary Bicycles

 by Curly Fry Studios

by Curly Fry Studios

 by ALIENCRY

by ALIENCRY

 by Oh Plesiosaur

by Oh Plesiosaur

 by riotcakes

by riotcakes

 by Auberg Designs

by Auberg Designs

Bags:

 by Zipped and Printed

by Zipped and Printed

 by Grow Wild Studio

by Grow Wild Studio

 by Elsie & Nell

by Elsie & Nell

Mugs:

 by Fabulously Feminist

by Fabulously Feminist

 by Munky Mate

by Munky Mate

 by Ummi Crafts

by Ummi Crafts

Gifts That Give Back:

 by Tents and Travels

by Tents and Travels

 by Kate's Little Store

by Kate's Little Store

 by Alipato Project

by Alipato Project

 by Space Bears Designs

by Space Bears Designs

 by Stringgles 

by Stringgles 

 by Decker Shirts

by Decker Shirts

Queen Bey's Pregnancy Photo

 via www.instagram.com/p/BP-rXUGBPJa/?taken-by=beyonce

via www.instagram.com/p/BP-rXUGBPJa/?taken-by=beyonce

I've been discussing this photo of Beyoncé by Awol Erizku in some photography groups on Facebook but wanted to share my thoughts here as well.

A lot of people are talking about this photo (right) of Bey kneeling in front of a flower backdrop with a green tulle veil. I'll be honest... my initial (and admittedly very superficial) impression was not exactly, "I love it!". It didn't take long, though, for it to suck me in and make me start thinking critically. The more I looked at the photo, the more compelling I found it, especially against the political and social backdrop the US right now (including, but not limited to, the level of racism permeating the White House and #BlackLivesMatter).

The religious imagery is obvious and alludes to altars and icons of Mother Mary/Virgen de Guadalupe (below middle). I love this association, and it's one that was also made when she was pregnant with Blue Ivy (below left).  Historically, Black Madonnas have been portrayed wearing red, blue, and white, with gold trim/fringes/accents (below right), and the Virgen de Guadalupe is also commonly portrayed wearing red with a blue or green head covering. This would speaks to why Bey is wearing a red bra with blue bottoms. It should also be noted that Bey was born in Houston, Texas, where there is a large Hispanic and Latino population, so drawing on imagery of the Virgen de Guadalupe is fitting.

  Beyonce and Blue Ivy as  Anton Raphael Mengs' “Madonna and Child With Two Angels” via  carterfamilyportraits.tumblr.com

Beyonce and Blue Ivy as Anton Raphael Mengs' “Madonna and Child With Two Angels” via carterfamilyportraits.tumblr.com

 Virgen de Guadalupe altar in Mexico via http://travelingwithanimo.blogspot.ca/2011_11_01_archive.html

Virgen de Guadalupe altar in Mexico via http://travelingwithanimo.blogspot.ca/2011_11_01_archive.html

 Black Madonna of Częstochowa in the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland

Black Madonna of Częstochowa in the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland

Kehinde Wiley's art comes to mind when I look at this photo; he paints Black people in poses based on work by Renaissance masters and I had the pleasure of being introduced to his paintings at an art gallery in Arizona. He has said that his work "quote[s] historical sources and position[s] young black men within that field of power.” I think he does a similar thing with putting Black bodies into Euro-centric (generally white) space. In his case it might be painting a Black man posed after Andrea Mantegna's Lamentation of Christ in The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ (see images below) while in Beyoncé's case it's Erizku portraying her as the usually-represented-as-white Virgin Mary. 

  The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ   by Kehinde Wiley (left) based on   Lamentation of Christ   by Andrea Mantegna (right)

The Lamentation Over the Dead Christ by Kehinde Wiley (left) based on Lamentation of Christ by Andrea Mantegna (right)

As I was reading up about Erizku, I learned that his first solo show was actually a series of portraits that placed Black people in classic art pieces (see images below), which is interesting given that this piece made me think of Wiley's work. Speaking of what motivates his work, he has said, "There are not that many colored people in the galleries that I went to [growing up] or the museums that I went to. I was just like, when I become an artist I have to put my two cents in this world."

   Girl With a Bamboo Earring    by Awol Erizku (left) based on   Johannes Vermeer's   Girl With a Pearl Earring  (right)

Girl With a Bamboo Earring by Awol Erizku (left) based on Johannes Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring (right)

I think that the very fact that this is a photo of and released by Bey (and given the recent release of Lemonade), the discussion should automatically steer toward analysis through a social lens with a specific focus on Black womanhood, empowerment, and pride. That they announced their pregnancy with this image on the first day of Black History Month is can't be overlooked. The celebration of Black women and Black motherhood as sacred is beautiful and subversive at the same time, as is the presentation of Black babies as future saviours and leaders of humanity/the world, and Erizku's photo of Beyoncé depicts all of this perfectly.

Canada Day Kransekake // Personal // Victoria BC Photographer

As some of you already know, Kristen and I got married at the end of June at Starling Lane Vineyard. My plan for the past 6 months had been to bake a kransekake, a traditional Norwegian cake, for the family barbeque following our reception in honour of Kristen's Norwegian heritage. Little did I realize, just because one is having a small wedding (under 50 people including us), it doesn't mean that the final week is relaxed and calm. I think I was the only person who was surprised that I didn't have time to bake a kransekake.

Canada Day was our first non-wedding related joint family dinner as a married couple, so I decided it was the perfect opportunity for a kransekake. Only my family and Kristen knew I was making it, so it was a huge surprise for my Norwegian father-in-law. He was very impressed, especially considering it was my first time making it, and said it tasted perfect. The only thing he suggested was a less sweet icing so next time I will play with that (my grandma suggested adding a little bit of flour). I also want to play around with egg substitutes to see if I can get a good vegan version.

For this kransekake, I used Pink Patisserie's recipe. I set the servings to 12 and it was the perfect amount for the 18 ring kransekake in the photos plus a little mini 4 ring one for my father-in-law to take home. I put red currants around the base for a splash of red since it was Canada Day, and the tartness of the currants really went nicely with the sweet almond taste of the kransekake. Pink Patisserie's website is down at the moment but she's working to get it up and you can check out her Facebook page.

Twelve days after being made, the top rings are still in our fridge and make the perfect alternative to biscotti when paired with a cup of Earl Grey.

Nicola_Reiersen_Photography_Kransekake.jpg
Nicola_Reiersen_Photography_Kransekake.jpg
Nicola_Reiersen_Photography_Kransekake.jpg