Penelope's Stories RSS



PSQUARE - When one plus one makes more than two: How special sisters are mixing the past and the present to novel effect.

Priya and Priyanka are twins from Dhaliara, a village in the Kangra district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal—meaning ‘abode of snow’ in Sanskrit—lies in one of the northernmost parts of India, bordered by Punjab, Kashmir, and Tibet to the east. The Kangra valley has a rich and tumultuous history, and is a region famous not only for its natural beauty, hill stations, and tea plantations, but also, with its numerous shrines and temples—many of outstanding architectural detail—as a land of pilgrimage, infused with ritual and mysticism. Himachal has a rich heritage of handicrafts, from textiles, jewelry, and woodwork, to household utensils and paintings. While demand for many of these goods withered with the advent of machine manufacture, demand...

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WENDY MINK - When the seeds of design lie in the magic of the unexpected.

  OUR DESIGNER: WENDY MINK Like jewelry, every story is crafted from a combination of things: an initial idea; some basic raw materials; a few skills and maybe a dash of experience; a little rethinking; some hard work and finessing; and, if all goes well, the final polishing. Some stories, however, aren’t so easy to craft: they present challenges; they assume their own lives, coming into being despite initial intention. They write themselves, so to speak. Our life stories are often like that, forming organically from experiences strung together like beads but without an immediately obvious design. Wendy Mink’s story is one of these. It is to some extent a story of the unexpected, an example of how things that...

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Stronger women, stronger families, stronger communities

When Hakima was 13 years old, armed militia men broke into her home. They put a gun to her mother’s head, and hauled her father and brothers away. She never saw them again. She and her mother were forced to try to survive in a society that doesn’t value women in the same way as men. Sometimes she and her mother were so desperate, they had to eat grass.  Leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8th, and throughout the rest of the month, Women for Women International will be posting inspiring stories of women from their program and asking their supporters to use the hashtag in sharing a story or photo of a woman in their lives who...

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Penelope’s Collection: Jewelry with a Story

Whenever any woman chooses to put on a piece of jewelry, she’s making a statement of some kind. It might be a statement dictated by situation: it’s not the day for anything too flamboyant; it’s important to express some of that joie-de-vivre; what if it gets lost or damaged? It might be driven by the practical: gold goes better with the outfit than silver; red is better than blue; snug-fitting is more appropriate than dangly. It might be emotional: remembering someone important; needing good luck; looking for strength. It might be tactical: this says something important about me; he needs to remember what day it is (and there we should remember that tactical is just as much in the not...

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OUR DESIGNER: TAI - Bangkok to Los Angeles – and there’s always Paris!

Think of Thailand and you will likely think of elaborate golden temples, smiling Buddhas, bustling markets and twinkly-eyed elephants. Paris, and you may think of timeless chic, neoclassical grandeur, cobbled streets, and glass-fronted brasseries, whose mouth-watering aromas can seduce the most determined luncher to linger just a little longer over another espresso or glass of wine. California, and your mind might wander to sinewy golden beaches lined with palm trees, sun-drenched vineyards, fusion cuisine, and boho style. Tai Rittichai’s story is a story of a journey between these three very different parts of the world. And while this itself is not unique—travel and relocation provide the foundation for generations of stories—what makes Tai’s journey distinctive is that it is in...

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