March 2, 2015

Rifle Paper Co "Monarch" Desk Calendar


Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations
I absolutely love queens. I am obsessed with queens. They, as a group, are in my top 3 history interests, for sure. Women's history can be kind of monotonous because women just plain haven't had options for most centuries and in most civilizations. I think it's incredible that there have been queens, women ruling over groups of people, throughout all this time. There are multiple famous regnant queens of ancient Egypt, in biblical stories, in the middle ages - being a monarch is a profession that old for women. Women take a second class role in a lot of history but there have been queens through all of that, being opulent and living a life of luxury (which is fun to learn about) or being complete boss bitches and effectively ruling an entire country with their husbands or sons or even all by themselves which is sick. I love learning about them. What over the top things did they wear? What fashion trends did they set? What did their palaces look like? What kind of influence did they have over their son or husband? Did they rule alone? Was their power ever challenged? Were they effective rulers? Were they fair? Were they violent? What things clouded their judgement when they were ruling? What was unique about the way they governed their countries? How did their people feel about them? I love finding out the answers to all of these questions, even if the answer ends up being that they were ineffective rulers, or that they were disposed or mad imperialistic or something.
 You can see my tiny collection of queen related books here - Catherine the Great, the six wives of Henry XIII, Queen Victoria and her descendants and a few more. And Kendra Wilkinson's autobiography which I read completely unironically because I respect her hustle and just plain like her as a person.
Isabella of Castile is one of my all time favorite queens and is the reason my cat is named Isabella (of Catstile). This has already lost any kind of regal air because I call her "Belly" or "Big Belly" instead.

Then the idea of a queen alone is a pretty fantastic notion. Not even any specific queen but just the idea of a queen. It implies that you're a woman in charge, that you're a bad bitch. Beyonce even gets it - she dressed up as a queen with a fantastic bedazzled scepter in her Mrs. Carter tour's promo video. I don't need to explain why queens are objectively incredible. My blog name and my name on pretty much all social media is The Tsarina (because just plain Tsarina is always taken) which is the English version of the Russian word for empress. I'm just about being a Slavic queen at all times. I also scoff whenever I hear a girl being called "princess" or something by her significant other. Like, you're settling for princess? You're waiting to have your kingdom seceded to you while some other people rule? Get out of here. Why do you not respect yourself?? I am queen or I am nothing. Even though I'd be outsed in about a month if I were ever the actual tsaritsa of imperial Russia because I'd give preferential treatment to Ukrainian people and commission about a dozen opal Cartier crowns so I could have one for showering and one for sleeping and that kind of thing.

I also love illustrations. Some of my favorite illustrators:
Edmund Dulac (an illustration of The Little Mermaid) a late 19th/early 20th century illustrator who created the most beautifully soft and intricate scenes from fairy tales.

Ivan Bilibin (an illustration of The Firebird, my absolute favorite fairytale, there was a singalong VHS of it at the local video store when I was in kindergarten that I rented over and over again) who is pretty much THE Russian illustrator and who was a set designer for the Russian ballet.

Mary Blair, an illustrator and conceptual artist for a lot of earlier Disney animated movies like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

Richard Scarry, who my best friend had never fucking heard of? I mentioned him to her over the summer and she was like, "Uh, I never heard of or read those books as a kid..." and I pretty much sounded like I was on LSD as I tried to explain it to her. "It's about this cat and his friend who is a worm who wears only one shoe. He drives a car that's an apple. And everyone else drives food cars, like pickles or bananas and they're all things like bears and hippos and the books are about their jobs and all the things they do in day to day life and there was a TV show about it..." I was almost offended that I had to explain Richard Scarry. I thought he was a childhood staple.

Which brings me to how much I love the illustrations of Anna Bond, the founder of Rifle Paper Co. You probably know of or at least have seen her simplistic illustrations on Instagram or Pinterest or Tumblr or any of those sites where pretty pictures congregate.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations
Rifle Paper Co sells everything from greeting cards to notebooks to phone cases, all featuring Anna Bond's feminine illustrations. My favorite thing is her "Monarch" desk calendar. It's a small little flip calendar and every month is a picture of a famous queen (or empress or pharaoh, whatever) from world history. I absolutely LOVE this calendar. It marries my obsessive love for queens and my not as obsessive love for illustrations and my over arching love for pretty things.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations
I've already passed Isabella I of Spain and Catherine the Great of Russia. Typical, Catherine the Great is my favorite queen. I couldn't name my cat that because it's my sister's middle name via my Ukrainian great grandmother.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

One of my favorite things is that queens from all of world history are included rather than just Europe. The mainstays like Marie Antoinette and Elizabeth I are there but there's also queens of India, Nigeria and Hawaii.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

It's just so pretty and so girly and looks so lovely sitting on my desk. I was so excited when I realized it was a new month and time to flip to a new page and a new little queen.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

Rifle Paper Co also has a few other calendar options. Cities from around the world and flowers are nice and all but I feel they don't even come close to a calendar of fucking queens.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations
I would probably cut this up and make the illustrations into a teeny little gallery wall if I was decorating a nursery for a baby girl (which, thankfully, I am not). I would consider buying almost any calendar and cutting it up to frame it. That's a thing you should be doing if you're not already doing it - buying calendars in lieu of prints to cut up and frame. A calendar is generally cheaper than a print (especially if you buy them at the end of the year when they're heavily discounted because who needs a 2014 calendar in 2015?) and the images will be pretty comparable in terms of quality. Plus, a calendar contains 12 potential images instead of one. Diversify your options here.

I'm almost certainly going to frame itty bitty Catherine the Great once this calendar nears the end of its life. I can't resign myself to never looking at it again. It's not a life I'm willing to live at this point.
Rifle Paper Co Monarch Flip Desk Anna Bond Queen Illustrations

1 comment:

  1. This is super random...I'm just a reader of your blog, but I stumbled across this clothing collection from China (http://purplefishbowl.storenvy.com/collections/444220-fine-art-collection) and I just thought you might find it interesting. Is that weird? Yeah, it's a little weird. I'll see myself out now.

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