Round Top Round-Up!

It might be because I just finished Sara Gruen's novel Water for Elephants, or it might be the inner freak in me poking its head out, but I sense a circus trend coming up. So I'm jumping on board before this train takes off! (Can you picture me jumping on a train? a circus train?! can you!!)

I got this shirt at Urban Outfitters right after I finished reading Water for Elephants. I couldn't pass it up, I'm hooked on circuses! I love the pattern and colours. It is a specialty shirt made by Finish illustrator Kustaa Saksi in partnership with Nylon Magazine and it isn't for sale on the website, so you'll have to check in store.

Created by Monica Knighton, these two faced sock monkeys are the perfect addition to any sideshow-loving freak. Cute & scary! Pick a few up, they're only $29.

This stunning piece of art was hand painted by the late Margaret Kilgallen. The colour and type choice give it that creepy circus feel, and I'm sure word choice helps too. Coincidentally, Margaret was interested in hobo train graffiti, and if you are familiar with old circuses you know they traveled by train and had problems with hobos -- at least thats what Water for Elephants taught me!

If you are not familiar with Margaret's work, you will be by tomorrow. Her work is so beautiful and her story so wonderful and sad you will want to know all you can. You can google around, read here, or watch the new documentary Beautiful Losers (also a book.) My Fiance and I went to an advanced screening of the documentary and I bawled my eyes out learning that Margaret chose her daughter's life over here own when faced with breast cancer early on in her pregnancy.

The documentary is not all sad, as it focuses on the thousands of paintings she created during her 33 year life. Many other skateboarders/artists are featured in the movie including Margaret's husband Barry McGee, Ed Templeton, Chris Johanson, Mike Mills, and Geoff McFetridge to name a few. The documentary is really inspiring, almost everyone I spoke to afterwards had this creative energy within them. Go see it!

Remember eating animal crackers body part by body part? Now you can do this at home without all the added hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup by making them yourself! These circus cookie cutters from William Sonoma look even cuter in store! Their store displays are always so beautiful. If you do end up purchasing these nylon & stainless steel cookie cutters, you can store your cookies in their circus train cookie jar!

Need any handsoap anyone? No really... hand soap. HAND soap. Find it at Foliage!

(This is a digital archival print created from original pen and ink drawing)

I love Berkley Illustration! I can't say it enough. Animals in human clothing are the best! If you need proof click on Berkley Illustration to check out squirrels in suits, tigers in General out-fittings and the brand new cheetah with a bow-tie and eye patch. !!! . All, I might add, are handsomely priced between $7 and $15, but if you are looking for something bigger & better you can purchase originals for $135 (still a good deal!) 

I promise you will see more of Berkley Illustration. As if the image of The Amazing Esposito Brothers itself isn't beautiful enough, the tidbit of information that Berkley Illustration provides makes it all the more captivating:

"Behold the daredevil Esposito Brothers! These two lemurs were performers in a traveling caravan of sideshow attractions during the 1930s. They made a name for themselves both by their death-defying tumbling routine and their legendary heated arguments in the middle of their set. Carlo never appreciated having to be on the bottom of the two-man fire pyramid."

If you live in the Brooklyn area, Berkley Illustration will be at the Renegade Craft Fair at McCarren Park Pool on June 14 + 15 from 11-7. See you there!

Speaking of circus prints, Ditazol's Bazaar was featured on Etsy this morning! Hailing from Chile, Ditazol's acrobats, daredevils and trick riders are screenprinted on detailed wallpaper and say "the island is far" and "the night is dark." I love that she used wallpaper to fancy up such simple images and phrases.

To cap it all off, one of my favourite books ever also happens to be a circus themed book so I thought I'd recommend it to you! Geek Love by Katherine Dunn is about a mother that takes medications during her pregnancies to create sideshow freaks for their traveling family circus. It's certainly not for everyone, but I loved it!

I just got my newest circus book from amazon TODAY and I can't wait to start reading. It's The Circus in Winter by Cathy Day and is about the circuses effect on a small town in Indiana when it docks there for the winter.... veeery interesting. The next book I have coming (again via amazon) is Under the Big Top: A Season with the Circus by Bruce Feiler. Having studied at Yale, Bruce isn't your ordinary up-and-join-the-circus-guy, so I imagine his story is going to be very interesting!

*THIS just in, I need this book.... Like, its an essential.


Hannah said...

Wah! This is awesome Megs :D Love it all!

I won't lie though, the "hand" soap scared me a wee bit. Eep.

lacedwithsugar said...

Your posts are THE best! I look forward to more and more and more. Everything is so researched and you give the reader such a broad range of products. Can't wait for the next one but for now, I will be busy obsessing about circus stuff and nesting dolls. xo

scottdavis said...

nothing good can come of circus obsession, except for good blog posts.

Meg Whiteley said...

Thanks everyone for your comments! I try really hard to make sure the posts have enough information, so if you see anything lacking or have any ?s feel free to ask/correct away! You are so positive and I appreciate you reading, keep up the good work!

xo Meg

Michelle Suzanne said...

oh gosh
i am not sure if i have ever mentioned how much I LOVE CIRCUS THINGS. geek love is a favorite and i have been wanting to read that elephant book forever and i am adding those other books to my amazon list RIGHT NOW! seriously this just made my day.

Michelle Suzanne said...

oh i was also going to say that circus books are super amazing summer books! and! i am totally in love with those creepy hand soaps.