Elevate Difference

Reviews by Chantel C. Guidry

Poppies Silhouette Pendant

This simple yet beautiful handmade pendant has a base of a one inch square piece of fiberboard and is but one of the hundreds of choices available from NoisyBirdStudio, a husband and wife team from New Hampshire. The husband cuts out the fiberboard tiles, and the wife does the rest. Once she creates her tiny pieces of art and prints them “using high-quality laser print and paper,” she sands and seals the edges and applies a “non-toxic glass-like resin” to the top. The resin on my pendant seems very sturdy and resistant to cracks and chips.

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History Necklace

"Well-behaved women seldom make history," Harvard professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote in an article about Puritan funeral services. Feminists embraced the sentiment and now the phrase (as well as the misquote “well-behaved women rarely make history”) can be found on a vast array of consumer goods, from coffee mugs to t-shirts, bumper stickers to compact mirrors.

Brainscan #23

This second printing of Brainscan #23 was released in September 2008, but don’t worry about it being outdated. While the events in this zine happened between 1995 and 2003, none of Alex Wrekk’s narratives has an expiration date. Wrekk’s travel-themed vignettes are entertaining stories, told the way a friend would talk about the wild things that have happened to her. Not only is this zine an amusing way to kill some time while riding public transit or sitting in a waiting room, it also allows the reader to experience bits of one woman’s life.

Crimsonheart Ring

I found another beautiful piece of jewelry on Etsy. I was looking at member profiles on We Make Zines and found a link to a fellow zinester’s Etsy shop. I like seeing cool things other imaginative folks have made, so I decided to take a look at what she was creating and selling. Wow! BrightCircle has absolutely gorgeous handcrafted jewelry in her shop.

The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City

Subtitled "Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City," this volume in the Process Self-Reliance Series bills itself as "a project and resource book, complete with step-by-step illustrations and instructions to get you started homesteading right now." It really delivers, both to absolute beginners and to folks who have already ventured into the world of urban homesteading. The authors start with growing food.

Behind the Bedroom Door: Getting It, Giving It, Loving It, Missing It

“Daring. Provocative. Unflinchingly honest,” the book jacket proclaims of this anthology subtitled “getting it, giving it, loving it, missing it.” It is sex, and Behind the Bedroom Door is a collection of essays from twenty-six contemporary women writers. Don’t be confused. While some of these essays are sexy, this writing is neither erotic nor academic.

Anatomical Heart Necklace

I was messing around on [Etsy.com](http://etsy.com/" target="_blank) when I stumbled upon this lovely and unusual [anatomical heart necklace](http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=15164609" target="_blank). I’m not much of a consumer, so I thought my desire would prove to be nothing but a passing fancy. However, I couldn’t stop thinking about this piece and didn’t stop wanting it.

Liddle Kiddle Embroidery Patterns (Artist Series #4)

I had never before attempted embroidery until I received Sublime Stitching’s Artist Series #4 embroidery patterns, “Liddle Kiddle” designs drawn by artist and illustrator Lisa Petrucci. The front of the packet promises “any skill level” and “EZ how 2,” and it’s true! By following the included instructions, I was embroidering immediately, even though I’m not a particularly gifted textile crafter.

The Chainbreaker Bike Book: A Rough Guide to Bicycle Maintenance

This “rough guide to bicycle maintenance” is really two books in one.

The Constant Rider Omnibus: Stories from the Public Transportation Front

This second edition of _The Constant Rider Omnibus _collects issues 1-7 of Kate Lopresti’s zine of “stories from the public transportation front.” The first issue dates from September 2000 and chronicles the author’s holiday travels during a week riding Amtrak and VIA Rail (Canada’s rail system). The most recent issue included is from spring 2005 and covers tales of “celebrity sightings” associated with public transit.

Sweet Snow Sensual Body Powder

The Honey of the Nymph Sweet Snow Sensual Body Powder is from the Shunga Erotic Art line. The word “shunga” commonly refers to Japanese erotic paintings from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The company brochure says the collection was inspired by the sexual imagination and fantasy of such paintings.

Tazewell’s Favorite Eccentric #4

This zine, published in April of 2006, is tiny but powerfully personal. It has 30 pages, and, at only 5½ by 4¼ inches, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket for on-the-go reading. On the very first page, zinester Sarah Arr! writes, “this issue is a lot more personal than things I’ve previously written,” and adds that she will not give copies to co-workers and casual friends.

Felt Flora

MWAH! Creations consists of two good friends who co-run an internet shop on etsy.com (“your place to buy & sell all things handmade”). Babs lives in London, while Tanis resides in Vancouver. Tanis, “a schooled artist,” who “enjoys creating whimsical pieces of felted wonder” made this felt flora pin. Tanis says that these blossoms are “unique and definitely one of a kind,” so if you order a felt flora pin, it will be different from mine.

You Live for the Fight When That’s All That You’ve Got #1

This zine is the latest from the woman who brought the world five issues of A Renegade’s Handbook to Love & Sabotage. After her dad’s unexpected death in 2002, she took a break from producing zines because “the words just didn’t come out in a way that felt right” to her. With You Live for the Fight…, she is “trying to let the words come out in a way that feels right to them.” I’m really excited by the way the words came out.

Sports Ragtote

The Sports Ragtote is a six-inch long hard plastic case marketed as a tampon holder. It comes with a snap clip for attaching to things, and it’s made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. The company website asserts that it “will support 200 lbs. of weight” and is “crush-proof under most circumstances.” I squeezed the container as hard as I could, stood on top of it and even hurled it against a wall.

Kitty Spank-Her Paddle

The Kitty Spank-Her Paddle is a 13” paddle from Ruff Doggie Styles’ line of "sexy kitty" designs. The front is made from pink suede and has black stitching outlining the design and filling in the cat’s facial features. The back is pure black leather with no details. The cat’s tail is the paddle’s handle. At not quiet 1½ inch across, it’s a good fit for my small hand. I like the way my little finger or my thumb (depending on what side I’m using) fits in the curve of the tail. The Kitty Spank-Her is well made.


I don’t often say that something I bought has changed my life, but the pStyle has done just that. This 7¾ inch plastic device lets female-bodied people urinate while standing up and without dropping their drawers, which means I can urinate discreetly while working in my garden without worrying that my exposed butt will offend the neighbors.