Tag Archives: random acts of inspiration

October 20, 2010

Kopila Valley Children’s Home

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Every once in a while I come across a story that I find so amazing and inspiring that I can’t stop thinking about it. This morning in the NYTimes I discovered the Kopila Valley School in Surkhet, Nepal. Kopila Vally is a home for orphans and abandoned children in Nepal, as well as a school for children from surrounding villages. It was founded by Maggie Doyne, a native of New Jersey who moved to Nepal when she was 19. She used $5000 that she had saved up from babysitting to lay the foundations for the organization.

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The school started small with just a handful of students, but due in part to a grant from DoSomething.org, has expanded quickly over the past few years. It now has a library and an auditorium, and is working its way up to being able to accommodate high-school age kids.   Along with providing education, the school houses the children, offers them food and health care, and teaches them vocational skills like repairing bicycles and raising livestock.

To learn more about Maggie’s story and how she started the school, click here. For more information on the Kopila Valley Children’s Home, as well as video clips, and to donate, visit their website. To read about Maggie on the NYTimes and learn about the philanthropic work of other women abroad, check out their article on The D.I.Y.  Foreign Aid Revolution.

 

October 15, 2010

Alexander McQueen’s version of Halloween

Alexander-Mcqueen-pre-fall-2009The work of Alexander McQueen resonates particularly strongly for me at this time of year. As an adult who loves Halloween, I’m always on the hunt for costume inspiration, particularly the kind that allows us to wear high-fashion in new and creative ways.

Alexander McQueen made fabulous work, both in concept and technical creation. Often considered provocative and over-the-top, McQueen managed to push fashion to new levels through embracing the fine lines between costume and couture. While not directly referencing any specific character, these outfits all exude the feel of adults playing dress-up.

 

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October 13, 2010

Potato Printing

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With Halloween just around the corner, these potato print tees are a perfect activity to get everyone in the mood for costume making. Robin Rosenthal, a graphic designer and illustrator based out of Brooklyn, came up with a great blog post for creating these shirts at home. She shared her idea with LMNOP Magazine in their 12th issue.

Potato printing is great as it’s inexpensive, easy, and accessible for all ages. Potatoes absorb ink or paint surprisingly well, and can then be used to stamp onto just about anything, such as paper, fabric, or walls. To learn how to create shirts with your kids like ones above, click here. Potato printing can be done at any time of year with any theme or idea, but if you’re already cutting up pumpkins, why not add potatoes to the mix?

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All photos by Ian MacPherson.

October 7, 2010

Petrut Calinescu

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Petrut Calinescu is a Romanian photographer who is based out of Bucharest. An accomplished photojournalist, Calinescu’s work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York Times, Business Week, and Esquire.

This body of work focuses on the Danube Delta in Romania, a lush area of marshes and lakes that originally stemmed from the Black Sea.

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Calinescu’s work manages to capture quiet moments of human interaction with the Danube, with their jobs, and day to day tasks.

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Viewing the perspective of the region from someone who is native to this country is a unique experience. For more of Petrut Calinescu’s work, on subjects such as Transylvania, The Ocean, or countries foreign to him, such as India, or Afghanistan, visit his website.

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September 21, 2010

City Maps by Karen M. O’Leary

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Whenever I travel maps are my most important tool, and favorite souvenirs. Before flying somewhere new I pour over maps of my destination to understand a visual layout of the city. As a child my mom and I were always taking road trips across the Southwestern United States – she was the driver, and I was her guide. It was an important role; if I gave her the wrong directions we’d get lost, and I think that being raised reading maps helped develop my solid sense of direction. Now when I travel maps also become a visual journal of my adventures – I circle places and write notes and outline routes and scribble down bus numbers. Looking back on cities I’ve visited – Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid, it’s the crumpled worn maps I’ve saved that help me remember what I did and saw.

Because of my love of maps I’m always delighted when I find a new technique or style of displaying a city’s streets. A friend sent me a link to Karen O’Leary’s maps a few months ago and I’ve spent the time since trying to decide which one I want – they’re all so interesting and unique.

New Orleans

New Orleans

I love the simple lines that up close seem abstract, but once you step back fall into the avenues and rivers and boulevards that make up some of the most famous cities in the world.

Manhattan

Manhattan

Recently she’s started posting cut out maps, which against a black background pop dramatically:

Vancouver

Vancouver

Dublin

Dublin

Check out Karen’s Etsy site – has she done your city yet?