Welcome to my second Treasure Box, a monthly feature in which I spotlight assorted curiosities and goodies from around the Internet! Fun stuff for the month of February. There’s a lot of emphasis on all the pretty things this time around–pretty pictures, pretty pastries, pretty people. Enjoy!
♥ The Roses of Heliogabalus by Sir Lawrence Alma-Talmeda. Besides being a gorgeous painting, there’s a rather cool story behind it–according to (almost certainly made up) legend, the decadent Roman emperor Heliogabalus once smothered his guests by crushing them in a shower of flower petals for his own amusement. This scene actually ended up inspiring a scene for the third draft of my WIP.
♥ This recipe for cherry blossom macarons with black sesame (!)
♥ It’s February, so enjoy a veterinarian Valentine: Evan Antin, really, ridiculously good-looking exotic animal vet and Instagram sensation. I first became aware of his pics of his handsome self with adorable animals thanks to Buzzfeed and well, hot damn.
Reptiles anyone? One of my absolute favorites-crocodile monitor! Just to clarify-crocodile monitors are lizards, not crocodilians. And I always LOVE working with Goannas (aka monitor lizards)! Almost all monitors are carnivores and all of them are native to the old world. Enjoy 🐊 #croc #cromonitor #crocodilemonitor #monitor #monitorlizard #goanna #reptilevet #herpvet #wildvet #exotics #exoticanimalmedicine #crikey
♥ Succulents are super trendy now, as are flower crowns. So what’s next? A succulent crown! Enjoy this DIY tutorial courtesy of Needles and Leaves.
♥ One of my favorite designers is Chinese sensation Guo Pei. I loved her even before Rihanna debuted one of her gowns to sensational effect at last year’s Met Gala. February had a lot of amazing collections for Fashion Week (McQueen!), but it also had Guo Pei making her post-RiRi runway introduction to the Western fashion world with her debut at Paris Couture Week! Fashion blogger Chriselle Lim took amazing pics of the show. I love the more muted colors (and seemingly greater European influence?) while maintaining that dazzling opulence with its nods to Chinese culture.
♥ One of my favorite cake designers is Karen Portaleo. She makes the most incredible sculpted cakes–check out this adorable panda she made for the Beijing Opera!
♥ February is Black History Month, and with tomorrow’s Oscars and all the controversy around the lack of diversity, I was really pleased by this great, insightful interview with Lupita Nyong’o and Trevor Noah. It’s a really good conversation about race in media representation, but also the double binds that people of color find themselves in when talking about race in media representation (also, amazingly, Lupita and Trevor both insist neither of them were stunningly attractive in their youth–sure, lots of celebs do, but some asshole actually stood Lupita Nyong’o up for the prom. That just blows my mind.)
♥ A little late, but Atlas Obscura has a really great treasure box of Valentine’s-related oddities. Highlights include the linked headstones of a Catholic woman and Protestant man who could not be buried in the same cemetery but managed to defeat the religious divide even after death, 18th century “matrimonial maps”, and Chinese ghost marriages. Fun things all around, really!
♥ Finally, for my more serious closer for this Treasure Box, February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, so it seemed natural to spotlight intimate partner violence and abuse. What with the Kesha awfulness, though, I’ve been really, really pissed about this issue, so I’ll end things on a note of levity mixed in with the seriousness. Here’s an anti-sexual harassment PSA by UN Asia Pacific Women. It’s fun, but also promotes a much-needed message of the importance of bystander intervention and everyone doing their part in ending sexual violence.
That’s all for the month of February. See you all again next month!