As I am working on a long blog post enjoy some snaps from this year's Macy's Flower show: America the Beautiful. It took place back in April. It wasn't quite as large of an exhibit as it has been but there was some neat things to see. Be back soon with a long post!
I've been happily restocking my little ETSY shop with what I've decided is my contribution to the world of wearable oddities. I've used so many new types of materials. Well, not new actually, some are very old. New to me I suppose.
Objects made with real scrimshaw bone fragments, replica compasses, heavy weight Druzy Crystals, vintage rosary beads, keys that are nearly 100 years old, jade, onyx, quartz, Rhodochrosite, Vintage German Lucite, stone skulls, black sand and all things to make unique, conversation starter jewelry. (You'll also find some Blade Runner inspired and Sherlock Holmes) More details at: GirlyGeekChic.
Going back through my travel posts as I've gotten completely off track with them: I realized that I never even posted my favorite place that I stayed in Costa Rica at the end of January this year. I had some genuine adventures in the jungles and on the wild beaches but when we headed into the mountains to Cerro Chirripó, I was so in love. This is Costa Rica's highest mountain range and it is covered in what is called cloud forest. Meaning the elevation is so high that the land is often veiled in clouds. It is so beautiful and so ethereal it is like being in another dimension. The place is teeming with birds and butterflies all in the brightest, most magical of colors. Flowers grow in abundance and the hiking gives you glimpses of breathtaking sights. And when you are all worn out at the end of the day you can stay at Talamanca Reserve. A gorgeous, comfortable haven nestled into the mountains with luxurious accommodations that included hot water showers(solar powered), gourmet food and a great bar. They accommodated my vegan diet with a variety of delicious and healthy dishes. The cabin was near a river that as you walked you passed dozens of plants and species of butterflies. In one short walk I must've caught a look at over 30 kinds of moths and butterflies. I cannot recommend this place enough. The staff was phenomenal to us and took care of everything as well as answering our millions of questions. I had a hard time picking through my pictures to share. So here is some and the next thing will be Cloudbridge Reserve which you can hike to from Talamanca.
I collect female action figures. This all really started when I couldn’t find Eowyn from the Lord of the Rings movies. I was more than a little miffed that there was finally going to be a sword wielding ass kicker in one of the biggest movies ever made and I could not find her anywhere.
Over 20 years ago now, I bought myself my first action figures. It was an X-Files set that I still own. I loved Agent Scully and her unending skepticism no matter what she witnessed. Growing up I had Barbies. Lots of them. My mother loved Barbies and my brother had G.I. Joe and plenty of other superhero type guys. My mom was all about gender oriented toys. I don’t believe this was intentional, I think she was simply a product of her generation of women. My sisters and I never even considered that we also couldn’t let our toys have superhero powers, constantly making up elaborate story lines and having absolutely no problem with being able to kick the crap out of any villain, male or female. Our giant Barbies would date tiny G.I. Joes whenever Ken wasn’t available. But as I got older and started to read more and more, I started to realize that Barbie was not going to cut it anymore. I didn’t relate to her corvette, dream house and endless desire to be a cheerleader. I had Jem for a while, but as someone who has never felt the need to be a rock-star, I lost interest in her pretty quickly.
That’s when I met She-Ra. My mother started buying me She-Ra story books in grade school and when I made the honor roll, the action figures. I loved them and let me tell you, I wish I still had them. She-Ra had a sword, rode a flying unicorn, and could match her brother He-Man blow to blow with the bad guys. Around the same time my aunt started to send me Star Wars stuff and I dressed as Princess Leia for Halloween more than once. A friend’s mother would put my hair up for every holiday in her trademark braided buns. She was the ultimate Princess to me. She was the boss, resourceful, and got to wear a spectacular space dress when she felt like it. I will say I never really got her attraction to Han Solo as a kid. Then you grow up and realize that we can idiotically be attracted to “Bad Boys.” Whatever. Leia put Han in his place when he needed it, and I thought she was all the more awesome for it.
Fast forward a decade, Agent Scully comes into my life and then I start to realize there’s really something important here. A toy that represents something that wasn’t known to me as child. That I could be a smart, capable career woman of some kind. That’s why these toys matter. Because if you don’t know you could be a doctor or a hero of some sort you won’t ever consider it. For the longest time, and even now, it’s hard to find toys for females that cover the endless possibilities of growing up. No one ever doubts a male can be a hero but a female? Maybe not. Maybe she should only be in well-defined traditional roles? Well, if that’s what she wants then so be it. But all the options should be offered to everyone. And that includes in toys.
I don’t have a huge collection of female action figures. Maybe 30 or 35. But they all mean something to me. I noticed recently that I knew where they all came from, what stories they were from, or in some cases (like my Cleopatra figure) what time in history. What I didn’t know was anything about the history of the action figure toy itself. So I did a little research. And where it’s easy to find out what the first attempt at a female action figure was, it’s pretty hard to find much about it after that. I’m still looking into it. I have a lot of questions, including things like what was the first African-American Female Action Figure?
Here’s a little information for you to start:
-1959 Barbie is released by Mattel
-1964 Hasbro creates the phrase “Action Figure” and releases G.I. Joe
-1967 Hasbro releases what is thought to be the first action figure for females and is the first female G.I. Joe. Action Nurse. She is a complete failure. Girls don’t want to play with G.I. Joes and boys don’t want to play with dolls.
-1975 Marvel creates Storm and she is the first African-American Female in a feature role in a comic.
-1978 First Princess Leia action figure released by Kenner
-1997 G. I. Joe releases a second female action figure, a helicopter pilot.
-A friend of mine randomly found Eowyn for me in a Target she stopped at on a road trip some 10 years ago.