Wednesday, August 24, 2011

real life superheroes.

The world needs some real life super heroes right now.

Indeed, there is a real subculture of genuine heroes, that bridge the gap between the fantastic and the practical. Anonymous and selfless, they choose every day, to make a difference in the world around them. Whether it be feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, or cleaning up their neighborhoods, they save real lives in very real ways. These are not “kooks in costumes,” as they may seem at first glance. They are, simply put, a radical response… to a radical problem. 

introducing Mr. Xtreme.
“I’ve been a volunteer crime-fighter for more than 10 years now,” he says, “but the thing that really made me get involved in this is that I myself have been a victim of violent crime and have also come from a struggling background. I’ve been jumped by gang members, bullied at school…,” he pauses for just a moment, “and I was molested as a child,” he reveals. But from the gauntlet of those experiences, Mr. Xtreme was born. “I wanted to do something positive, heroic and also as a way of protest against indifference in society. People are being victimized, and I feel that someone has to take a stand. Someone has to stand up and put a stop to it.”

introducing Nyx.
The night has many faces, but none more intriguing that that of Nyx, a Real Life Superhero who is active in and around the New York City and Northern New Jersey areas. Clad in black, with striped leggings and a distinctive red mask, Nyx sets out to do her patrols and homeless outreach in a mysterious, stealth-like manner. “Like the night, I cannot be proven or disproven to certain degrees; and also much like the night, when morning comes, there will be no trace of me.”

A series of life-changing events came to provide her with a new perspective, and helped crystallize her goals. After discovering the active online Real Life Superhero community in 2006, and visiting New York to meet up with her online confidantes on her first patrol in March of 2007, the die was cast.

introducing Soundwave and Jetstorm.
It’s said that heroes come in all sizes—and Soundwave and Jetstorm are testimony to that. Whereas many Real Life Superheroes cite their childhoods as the genesis of what would become their adult activities, these two have chosen to exercise their altruistic impulses while they’re kids. “If you can walk, you can help somebody out,” says Soundwave. And Jetstorm is quick to agree, adding, “Anyone can do it. Except babies, of course.”

introducing Samaritan.
Father of five and with a broadly drawn mission - encompassing work with the elderly, the environment, safety patrols, outreach and childhood literacy - Samaritan goes where he is needed most. “I’m looking to touch all bases, and maybe even create some no one has thought of.” And in his ready-for-anything tactical gear, he is doing just that. “For me, these acts of kindness are the province of heroes. Being a hero for me is a battle with my human nature—to put others ahead of myself. It’s a constant struggle that I know I haven’t quite mastered, but I know that when you stop trying, that’s when you lose sight of what you’re about,” he says candidly.

more about Samaritan

To learn more about these folks and see even more real life super heroes,
check this out.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spellcaster and Earth Angel...Angeliska Polacheck

My goodness! 
Have you ever seen a creature as radiant as Angeliska Polacheck? 

If you haven't met this incredible Austin, Texas taste-maker, 
let me kindly introduce you to a true earth Angel.

Event Producer. 
Wedding Priestess. 
Costume creator extraordinaire. 
Blogger of all things magical.
Fanciful dream-maker.

She's creating some of the coolest events in Austin ranging from her bi-monthly parties at the stunning Swan Dive to her disco bashes, like Gadjo Disco: made from 100% recycled culture.

Or how about this event: Vintage Vivant, a monthly celebration of Jazz Age culture in Austin, Texas.  

Or even: Exquisite Corpse,  a dance party featuring dance music for witches, cocktails, strange games, creepshows and magie noire.

And she sure as heck seems to be redefining "getting dressed up for a party." Her parties make the most modest wallflower flaunt their creativity.

Now that we are all utterly inspired, 
let's find out what a magical gal like Angeliska's world go round...

What is your favorite item of clothing?
Oh man – just one? Well, I'd have to say it's actually a piece I haven't worn out in years, because it's so delicate. I bought it ages ago at this amazing little vintage shop in Amsterdam, from this tiny eccentric woman with brightly hennaed hair. It's a 1930's evening dress and little jacket made from real cloth-of-gold. Before synthetic gold lame, gold fabric was made from metal threads - so it's very heavy and conducts heat and cold! I wore it on New Year's Eve in New York once long ago. Bad idea! It was my first winter in New York, and this Texas girl had no clue how brutally cold it could be there… At least the dress was a hit! This reminds me I need to pull it out of the closet and give it some love!

Who are your real heroes in life?
My grandfather, Charles Polacheck
My jewelry teacher and mentor, Bob Weaver
My friend Helen Hill, who was an amazing animator, teacher, artist, friend and mother.
She was murdered in New Orleans in 2007. She was the sweetest, kindest person I've ever met.

Favorite discovery

Being self-employed! Being your own boss is terrifying and liberating simultaneously. Having your time be your own is amazing, and yet you have to push hard and be very disciplined in order to make it work. Stepping out onto the limb of not having a day job to fall back on, and only doing what you love is thrilling. Go big, or go broke, right? Sometimes, it kind of feels like both. I prefer the Hunter S. Thompson adage: "When the going gets weird, the weird go pro."

Who inspires you
Amy Goodman, Doris Eaton, Studs Terkel, Edward Gorey, Joseph Cornell, Leonora Carrington, and Vali Myers.

Necessary extravagance

Perfume. My sense of smell is very sensitive, and I'm obsessed with inventive, unusual perfumes.
My favorite right now is from L'Artisan – it's called Coeur de Vétiver Sacré, and smells incredible. I also adore nearly everything from Christopher Brosius of CB I HATE PERFUME, some Serge Lutens, and Diptyque before they got dull.

Favorite color

Deep tourmaline. Green-blue-black-teal. Basically the color of Barton Springs at its deepest point.

What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fear is this: being stranded in the middle of a vast, grey ocean, with no land or boats in sight, hanging on to a piece of wood (or even worse, just treading water!) and feeling large shapes moving in the water below, sometimes bumping into your legs. What would you do? Wait until something nudges you from below, and then tugs you down into the deeps? Or just let go? Let's just say that seeing the film Open Water was pretty traumatic for me! I don't know why I have that fear - maybe it's a past life memory. I'm also really not into flying cockroaches, but I think that's fairly universal.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My sweetheart, Colin McIntyre – he is the kindest, truest, most honorable and beautiful man I have ever known. I marvel at how wonderful he is every day. He teaches me so much. Also, I'm pretty head over heels for my dog, Grrizelda. She's pretty fabulous. Is it wrong to be in love with your dog? Oh well. If it's wrong, I don't wanna be right!

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I'd just really like to come back as a cat. A pampered, beloved house-cat who sits on cushions in sunbeams all day and watches dust motes dance in the air with that wise, satisfied look that cats get. I want that to be my main occupation, followed by personal grooming, having my chin scratched, and making biscuits.

What do you value most in your friends?

Acceptance and good communication. I am very blessed to have many amazing, inspiring friends - many of whom have been close and dear for nearly two decades! One of the things I treasure most is being able to pick up right where we left off – despite time or distance – to be able to resume that connection effortlessly. As we've gotten older, most of my friends and I have also gotten much, much busier – the trick is finding and making time for each other, while also being accepting and encouraging of each other's pursuits and passions.

Favorite gadget
I'm pretty hooked on my Iphone, I have to say… I use it for so, so, so much in my life. Recently have also fallen in love with Instagram – I don't know why I resisted for so long! It's like if Twitter + Flickr had a baby. That sounds kind of gross, but really it's wonderful, and addictive! It inspires me to take more photos, and I reckon if I have a phone with a good little camera on it, and am constantly surrounded by wondrous things – I had better document and share them, eh?

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I'd just really like to come back as a cat. A pampered, beloved house-cat who sits on cushions in sunbeams all day and watches dust motes dance in the air with that wise, satisfied look that cats get. I want that to be my main occupation, followed by personal grooming, having my chin scratched, and making biscuits.

Favorite dessert
I've always been a sucker for a good tiramisu, but recently I was at East Side Showroom and may have met my downfall in dessert form! It's a mint-marigold ice cream sandwich. The sandwich part is two homemade chocolate chip cookies, and it comes sitting in a puddle of salty caramel sauce, with a dollop of hand-whipped cream. It's crazy good. Like, the kind of delicious where you just want to go off in a corner and be alone with it. Seriously.

Favorite ingredient
I don't know if an egg counts as an ingredient, but if a dish comes with a fried egg on it, you can bet I'll choose it over all other options. I love eggs, especially with runny yolks! It makes me happy that more and more restaurants are offering eggs as add-on options! I will always upgrade with an egg, man.

Thank you, Miss Angeliska for casting your spell over all of us.

We can't wait to enjoy any night...
in the magical universe of Angeliska Polacheck!

PS: Craftbox Agency had the pleasure of Sister Temperance Tarot read our cards and her insight was spot-on! We highly recommend it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Magic under the Sea

Introducing one of the 
most fascinating and meaningful collections of art I have ever seen... 
above or under the sea.

la evolución silenciosa
400 life-size figures Cancun/Isla Mujeres, Mexico

26 life-size figures Grenada, West Indies

el coleccionista de sueños (Dream Collector)
Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Carved cement, People!
With an incredible range of experience, artist Jason de Caires Taylor has equipped himself with the skills required to execute stunning/y gorgeous and ambitious underwater projects. These public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.

Here's how it works:
Oceans teem with microscopic organisms that are constantly drifting down towards the sea bed, attaching to and colonizing on the way any hard secure surface, such as rock outcrops, and thereby creating the basis of a natural reef. Coral reefs attract an array of marine life (such as colourful fish, turtles, sea urchins, sponges, and sharks) and also provide enclosed spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge.

Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem.

One of the greatest benefits of artificial reefs is that they have lifted the pressure off natural reefs which, over the past few decades, have been over-fished and over-visited. By diverting attention to artificial reefs, natural reefs have now been given a greater chance to repair and to regenerate.

These sculptures are helping rebuild the coral reef system... and adding magical imagery for decades to come.