You’ll usually find us joking about the craft project suggestions in the pages of Better Homes & Gardens, but today is Juneteenth and we want to take time to honor crafting as an art form and an instrument for social justice. We’re showing some Love for quilting and Anti-Slavery Quilts.
There are many theories about secret codes and meanings sown into quilts to guide slaves along the Underground Railroad. Since much of the history of quilting relies on oral history and storytelling, it is difficult to verify if these “quilt codes” really existed.
We do know that as Abolitionism grew it required funds to support the movement. Many Abolitionists were women and many women engaged in the craft of quilting. Selling Anti-slavery Quilts was one way Abolitionists raised funds for social justice.
In the Northeast, Anti-slavery Quilts were often sold at Anti-Slavery Fairs. These events were organized to promote ending slavery to the larger community and raise funds for the movement.
It was at one such Massachusetts fair in 1836 that organizers sold an Anti-Slavery Quilt, the earliest known fundraising quilt. The 8-pointed star crib quilt, sometimes attributed to author and activist Lydia Maria Child included a poem by Quaker poet Elizabeth Margaret Chandler in its center block that included a reminder to think of the slave mother, whose child “was torn from her.”
Hundreds of years later, there is still much Anti-Racist work left to do to achieve meaningful racial justice and equality. Perhaps some of that work can be accomplished through creativity, artistry, and yes, even crafts.
In this month’s episode, Rob and J. are on lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic of course–so we recorded this by a socially distant Zoom meeting. Thus we have two signature cocktails: a classic Mary Pickford for Rob, inspired by the Throwback feature and made with homemade grenadine, and J. created a “Social Distance” cocktail, a modified Greyhound. It’s the color issue packed with lots of practical, hands-on tips for fixing up the home you’re now trapped in. We stretch to find anything to hate once past the pink cover (which gets a pass since it’s technically Easter), we love the I Did It! feature since it doesn’t involve building a box, and side with the husband (of course) in a couple’s makeover article. Grab your magazine and follow along–it makes for great listening while you’re sheltering in place! End credits: Tim Lawton. Music by Bensound.com. Signature cocktails: the Mary Pickford and the Greyhound (with extra ingredients).
Since we are days away from a new year, everyone in the design industry is making their predictions for the hot colors of 2020. And these are definitely NOT hot colors, in that once again, for ANOTHER year, we have a lot of pastels and washed-out colors. Case in point, paintmasters Benjamin Moore, who give us not one but TEN pastel shades. Except for Cushing Green and Blue Danube, I for one would be hard pressed to find a spot in my home which would accommodate these colors.
And for the record, First Light is the color of the year, following up on last year’s Coral Reef.
Guess how I feel about this! Haven’t we done this, for, like, five years now? Is there anything new out there? How about a return to Gen X beige for a change?
In our July 2019 episode, we have a summer surprise! Special guest host Bob Brink fills in for Rob while he recuperates from a solstice cold. Bob, who also happens to be J.’s husband, is a fine wine buyer and hospitality expert. He’s also not a regular BHG magazine reader, but you know what, sometimes an honest outside opinion is refreshing…like the Sandy Bottom, a watermelon-flavored signature cocktail. We talk frankly about hot dogs, toppings (of course), where not to put your child during a magazine photo shoot, more white walls, and the biggest light fixture ever featured (size does matter). Plus: a cameo by the Queen of Tennessee and a return to crafting! So Happy Independence Day, safe travels, and let’s just call it what it is, all right?
In case you’re wondering…Could Be Better Podcast did not make the list.
And while we would love to tag our omission for hate, we really must tag the rise of LGBTQ podcast for LOVE!
LGBTQ podcasts have been getting attention for a few years now. What we love about this year’s Advocate’s list is the increased diversity and perspectives featured. We are the first to acknowledge gay, white, cisgender, men have taken up a lot of space in the LGBTQ universe. Queer podcasts offer us a way to plug into a multitude of voices. Dare we say they are a pathway to greater understanding, celebration, and equality?
It is probably safe to say that the patrons of the Stonewall Inn could have never imagined a world where LGBTQ experiences could be so easily accessed when they rose up and fought against police harassment and brutality 50 years ago this month.
Our LGBTQ (Podcasters) Pride keeps us from being too upset we haven’t made the best of the best Queer podcasts list just yet.
Ascribing colors to generational cohorts appears to be based on the popularity of a color among young adults and the application of the color in their personal fashion and home décor. Following that logic, it wasn’t too hard to uncover the most popular color among Gen Xers in their early adult years. Sherwin Williams Color Through the Decades confirms it, (see also here) the signature color for Generation X: BEIGE!
How dreadful! But true. Throughout the 1990’s as Gen Xers were coming of age, furnishing their first apartments or buying their first homes they turned to the color beige over and over again. Beigey Beige Beige décor was everywhere. Top colors of the era had names as uninspiring as the color itself. “Whole Wheat”, “Basket Beige”, “Urban Putty.” Fibrous not fun!
Blame it on our being raised in households full of dusty rose, country blue, and mauve. Or maybe we were so oversaturated with neon and color blocking that we rebelled…with beige. Whatever the reason for Gen X’s love affair with beige, it lasted longer than most of JLo’s marriages. Indeed, well into the 2000’s we couldn’t get any more exciting than “Latte”–how very Central Perk of us!
We may not love Millenial Pink or Gen Z Yellow, but we definitely hate Gen X Beige!
This episode is extraaah! We’re sharing our uncut conversation about the “Colorful Past” feature in the April 2018 issue. You heard a little bit of it during Episode 3 but we cut a bunch out to fit (because as you know we always run long) and we didn’t have a lot to like (Rob didn’t even tag it!). But, as you listeners keep saying, you like it when we don’t like stuff, so…here it is. Grab an extra cocktail and have a listen. We’ll be back in just a few short weeks with more drinks, more dish, and hopefully a return to paint can lid color samples with the May episode. Cheers!
Hosts Rob Conlon and J. Dewey, two friends from New York’s Hudson Valley, have a mutual love and appreciation for Better Homes & Gardens magazine. In this podcast, they pour drinks and spill the tea about what they really think about the latest issue. It’s queer eye for the semi-straight-laced magazine. Tune in because your home and your garden can always be a little bit better than your neighbors’…and your best friend’s.