Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I am fascinated with the graphic and iconic emblem the Red Cross: 
With its striking simplicity of design, this non-religious, equilateral 
red cross conjures (for me) heart-warming (sometimes heart-rending) 
stories of help and safety in times of crisis and war; of volunteerism, 
and associations of hope and peace, comfort, healing, protection, 
                              cleanliness, and care.

And the four-armed Red Cross, though a representation of the international 
humanitarian organization that provides relief to victims of war or natural  
disaster, has also become a stylish design and fashion statement. 
(click on images for links)

I have an odd fascination with WWII, especially for stories of the 
French Resistance and the alliances between the English and French. 

Idealistic and nostalgic I know, but I imagine myself during wartime (in 
a near-past life perhaps) as a driver of an army-green Red Cross medic 
truck rushing across battle grounds to the aid of the sick and wounded. 

Many WWII women were defense workers and did drive medic 
trucks — go girls — as I write this I’m imagining “Rosie the Riveter”:

These brave Red Cross women did many, many amazing 
and creative tasks to help their country, just as they do today.

When I look at the clothes Red Cross women donned during wartime 
I can’t helping nodding with satisfaction — Yes, this army look was/is 
fabulous: it’s industrial; it’s smart; its Vintage as well as Modern; it’s 
independent; it’s an emblem of pride, bravery; protection, and tolerance.

I don’t buy clothes from Abercrombie and Fitch, however did you know 
that the company has been around since 1892? Here is a fabulous women’s 
WWI American Red Cross outfit, and the tunic is an Abercrombie. 
This is a complete women's Foreign Service uniform. ( I really dig the hat — want it!)

My favorite of the two emblems is the SWISS CROSS.
It is the flag of Switzerland. And like the Red Cross emblem, 
the Swiss Cross is an awesome fashion and design statement:

In the 1990s when I was twenty-something, I remember 
shopping at Portland’s Army Navy Store for vintage army-
green trousers and rolling up the cuffs. That’s where we bought 
our camping gear too, like our Swiss Army knives — who doesn’t 
love theirs? — not just for the gadgety utility of the multi-purpose 
knife, but for the simple intrigue of the white on red emblem it bears. 

Yep, I've got these beauties at home:

 And I think these are the bees' knees:

My heart and thanks goes out to the International Federation of 
Red Cross volunteers helping Japan at this time. And thank you to the brave 
men and women assisting people and animals in need throughout the globe.
 (If you would like to volunteer your time or give to the Red Cross, please visit here.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Let's pay homage to the acclaimed British Fantasy
author of the fabulous Howl's Moving Castle


A master of story telling, Wynne Jones passed away Saturday 
at the age of 76. She was the author or more than 40 books.

Here are some titles if you haven't yet read her works: 
The Chronicles of Crestomanchi. Howl's Moving Castle 
(which was made into my all-time favorite animated movie, 
directed by Hayao Miyazaki), and House of Many Ways. 

Diana's close friend, Neil Gaiman, calls her astonishing, 
and "...the funniest, wisest, fiercest, sharpest person I've 
known, a witchy and wonderful woman, intensely practical, 
filled with opinions, who wrote the best books about magic,..."

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