Posts Tagged ‘commodification’

Beaumont is a small high desert city in Southern California’s “Inland Empire,” about 80 miles east of Los Angeles on the road to Palm Springs. I don’t know anything about the community’s literary and cultural climate and certainly don’t mean to slight residents when I say that it doesn’t strike me as a place where one would find many Woolfophiles.

But hey, I could be selling the heartland short. When my writer/musician friend Bill Bell, who lives in neighboring Banning, was prowling around the Beaumont swap meet one day recently, he too was surprised to come across this one-of-a-kind treasure. Happily he thought of me and generously paid $2 to buy it for me. It’s a wooden paintbox, about 12” x 16.” Both sides are painted, one with a whimsical winged elf. The other side is a fair-to-middling copy of the Beresford portrait of young Virginia Stephen next to a quotation I wasn’t familiar with. I traced it to Jacob’s Room:

It’s not catastrophes, murders, deaths, diseases that age and kill us; it’s the way people look and laugh, and run up the steps of the omnibuses.

I wonder how someone, having created this gem, could bear to part with it, but it’s found a good home here in my study, surrounded by my books and an assortment of compatible Woolfiana.




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If you are attending the 25th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries, held June 4-7 at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa., you can add the conference T-shirt to your collection. Just place your order for a shirt when you register. The cost is $12.



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i will buy flowers myself inviteWho would have thought that Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway would inspire the design of a mini hot plate?

But that is just what the novel did for Nika Zupanc. It allowed the young Slovenian product designer to imagine a kitchen hot plate that does not look like one. Her mini hot plate looks like a woman’s powder compact instead. And in honor of the novel that inspired it, the hot plate is named “Mrs. Dalloway.”

The “Mrs. Dalloway” mini hot plate was part of the I Will Buy Flowers Myself exhibit on display at Salon del Mobile Milan 2009 in April. It was inspired by the stories of some of the most famous female literary heroines, according to Zupanc.

Other items in the surreal collection, which was introduced by a giant polka-dotted doll house, include a Lolita lamp, a Scarlet table and tray, the Unfaithful Feather Duster and the Silent Brotherhood of Slightly Arrogant Cradles.

See them all here. Read more about Nika Zupanc.

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korres-rose-wood-blackcurrant-cyclamen_200x200Romance and nostalgia are the latest buzz words in the world of beauty right now, I’m told. And somehow those two characteristics have combined to connect the caché of Virginia Woolf to a new fragrance.

Today’s Sunday Times connects Woolf to the Rosewood, Blackcurrant & Cyclamen Fragrance of the Greek brand Korres. It sells for £38.

The review describes the “sweet and light ” fragrance by saying, “This isn’t simply about the charm of an English rose — it’s not all Sissinghurst flower beds — but rather a Virginia Woolf take on it all; rose through a glass darkly, if you will (it comes in a brown glass bottle).”

A Virginia Woolf take on fragrance? Through a glass darkly? Oh, please.

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pendants-300x159Subtle. Expressive. Does that describe the kind of jewelry “you’d expect Virginia Woolf to wear”? Well, one fashion Web site thinks so.

If you have never thought about Woolf’s likely jewelry choices, you might want to read this story: Pendants: A Girl’s Best Friend.

Or not.

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v-woolf-pocketbook-readerSome days I think my muse is Google. Especially when it leads me to things like the Virginia Woolf Pocket Book Reader.

Chris Tessnear created the altered purse with a Woolf theme. It is decorated with the writer’s image, art paper printed with a variety of text and Woolf’s last name spelled out in block-shaped beads. Three similarly decorated tags strung together with a pen, a pencil and a pair of eyeglasses are part of the piece.

Tessnear started her art career as a copy and color book artist, then took to watercolors, and now uses mixed media to create collages, altered art and altered books. Her Woolf piece was published in Somerset Studio, a stamping and paper crafting publication.

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vwiconLiterary puns are in store for those who browse this Web site to read more about the Virginia Woolf Whistle pendant.

The whistle, designed by Wendy Brandes in gold and diamonds, pops open to reveal a miniature wolf. The wolf is also available separately as a necklace in silver for $50.

Both seem to be popular with young women who are either infatuated with literary puns and/or wolves and/or unusual jewelry and/or Wendy Brandes and/or the iconic Woolf.

As one Wendy fan put it, “There really aren’t enough Woolf accessories in the world. How ’bout something inspired by Vita Sackville-West?”

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