Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Puckish Puzzlement

Last week I took a notion to make a Puck doll. I was thinking of imps, sprites, woods and people of the land, but I didn't want a pretty pink thing with wings. I was trying for something more androgynous and foresty, Midsummer Night's Dream wasn't very successful though, sigh...
First of all the fabric looked too pale for an outdoor person so I blobbed more tea on it and made it so wet it spent the rest of the day propped on the kettle to dry:
While the dismembered limbs were drying I embroidered the face, but it was really difficult trying to get it looking neither male nor female- I failed utterly:
For the clothes I tried to go for 'motley' in the Elizabethan sense,  but eldest said 'she' now looked more like a 'crazy geisha'...Great!
Off came the coat and I made a tunic. I tied the middle with string with an idea of attaching little felt leaves and flowers to it, like a garland you know?

So there you have it/ him/ her.
Not very Puck-like.
I don't know whether to remove clothing and just turn him/ her/ it into a fairy or try to rescue it further. I have to say its frustrating having what I think is a great idea and then the reality coming nowhere near the image.

Any Bailout Recommendations?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Movements v. Morals?

At the risk of sounding like Aesop of the Fables, or worse still, my Great Granny (very VERY opinionated, clever woman and not backward about coming forward either!) I just have to respond to Ann's comment last weekend because a) it triggered such a 'yesssss totally!' response in yours truly and b) she made a pertinent comment on the subject of movements...or Movements?!

Anyone with a 'war baby' for a parent has likely been brought up with a very strong thrify habit. Add to that living through the austerity of '40s and '50s Ireland, and you could add 'stingy' to the general lifestyle as well!! At the time it was born of necessity since there was nothing to spare and every single item had to be used, reused and then, if possible, remade for further use. I'm not knocking it at all, even with such ingrained habits we have had it so much easier that it is difficult for my generation to imagine how difficult it truly was.

It stood me in good stead when I moved to East Africa at 21 and had to get to grips with another lifestyle wherein there was little to spare and nothing could go to waste. In 15 years there I went from a reasonably affluent life to one on the brink of white poverty, and then to drought and flood on a fairly remote coffee farm where the chasm between 'haves' and 'have nots' was vast. One stored, hoarded, eked out, grew and shared everything with whoever needed what you had, and learned to gracefully accept gifts in every guise. There, a neighbour was such in the Biblical sense, ANYone in need.

Thrift? Common sense? Recycle? Necessity, me dears, not a lifestyle choice! And even now, after the Celtic Tiger and the years of prosperity which many MANY of us have experienced should thriftiness not still be a way of life? Waste not want not, frugal and considerate use of resources, conservation of our non-renewable planet, thoughtful preparation againt the future.

Despite my favourite sci-fi adventures, in reality, NASA doen't seem to have a bunch of inter-stellar Space Ships ready to beam us all off to a brand new planet so I guess we'd better seriously look at reversing some of the thoughtless damage we have perpetrated on this planet, as well as preventing future damage.

And so to the comment Ann made about Movements...These days it seems as though unless it is a 'movement' its not worth doing and unless it is a Propaganda Bandwagon there is no intrinsic merit in adopting the attitude. In my (loud!) opinion, if it is ethically and morally right then we ought to be doing it (whatever 'it' is at the time) regardless of mainstream or indie culture...or Bandwagon...or Movement..or anything else with a funny name.

One last (I think!) thought: I have a serious problem with the 'look at me' attitude which somehow seems to have become the norm, when people want to be congratulated for doing what in previous generations would have been called duty or community spirit. Whether or not anyone is looking, or anyone notices, and even if NO ONE notices, doing what is right should be our priority at all times. Easier said than done, for sure, but so be it: nothing worthwhile was ever easy.

Sure culture plays a part in our ethics, morals, choices and actions but a bit of good ould fashioned common sense never went amiss! Long live the silent, unobtrusive people who quietly, thoughtfully live right by their own lights.

PS just think, modren young 'uns don't know the joy of skip hunting and foraging and junk trawling just for the pure something-for-nothing un-political non-movement fun of it!!! what are they MISSING babe????

In the immortal words of Winnie-the-Pooh, 'That's what I think. But I don't suppose I'm right.'
(The House at Pooh Corner)

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Slow Clothing....Huh?

I've heard of Ethical Fashion and Up-cycled garments, customising and altering, donating unwanted clothes to charities or what's that swapping clothes movement know what I mean...but Slow Clothing??? Really??Makes it sound like if I move too fast for my clothes I'll leave them behind...d'you think I should start keeping on my pyjamas underneath my clothes in future? For the sake of the unsuspecting public, you know?

But wait! You haven't heard the exact definition of Slow Clothing yet, as per the dubious Wikipedia (I like Wikipedia, just heard others slagging it):

The term "Slow Fashion" was coined by Kate Fletcher in 2007...based on the same principals of the Slow Food Movement, as the alternative to mass produced clothing.

Some examples of slow fashion practices include:
  • Opposing and boycotting mass produced fashion.
  • Choosing artisan products to support smaller businesses, fair trade and locally-made clothes.
  • Buying secondhand or vintage clothing and donating unwanted garments.
  • Choosing clothing made with sustainable, ethically-made or recycled fabrics.
  • Choosing quality garments that will last longer, transcend trends (a "classic" style), and be repairable.
  • Doing it yourself - making, mending, customising, altering, and up-cycling your own clothing.
  • Slowing the rate of fashion consumption: buying fewer clothes less often.
The Slow Fashion movement is a unified representation of all the "sustainable", "eco", "green", and "ethical" fashion movements...A key phrase repeatedly heard in reference to Slow Fashion is "quality over quantity"...slowing down the rate of clothing consumption by choosing garments that last longer.

Bet ya didn't know that then?!! Or, like me, yous all did, but thought it was called 'thrift' or (shock! horror!) COMMON SENSE!!!!

So now, all of us stingy dressers who buy our clothes in Boutique de Charity and re-wear our garments until we are simply stitching the mended parts together, can refer to ourselves as being part of the ultra-trendy ethical Slow Fashion Movement!

Oh my family are soooo gonna expire laughing over this notion!!!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Hello Dolly!

I've spent the whole of the last two days in The Bolt Hole and has it been bliss? or has it been BLISS! I worked on one of the quilts all yesterday despite having an almost overwhelming doll urge, so today I just gave in and dolled...dollied...played dolls...??

In the courtyard outside the studio there is a section of wall with ivy and tangled in amongst it are a couple of iron rings. Maybe they were meant for pots or something, not sure, but Blue Peggy was very happy to perch on one in the sunshine!

Now I need to upload her to the shop...and also work out how to get some more being so not my strength!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

The Bolt Hole- photos

You wanted to see the Bolt Hole?

In its untidy present state...

...with Eldest (as usual) holed up in a corner with a book! (She thinks the yellow tape on the floor makes it look like a badminton court!)

The blue unit in the lowest photo is an old shop counter they said I could use- kinda cool I think, and of course the perfect height for working! There is still a load of stuff belonging to the workshop which is due to be removed at some stage, but we pushed it all against one wall so its out of the way. When it is removed I'll set up the full length of the quilt frame along there.

I got two bookshelves from Homebase for storing boxes and books (leaning against the wall by Eldest), but was bored with all the palaver of moving and decided to sew instead! Anyhow I received a commission for two baby quilts yesterday so...well, it pays to sew!!

Anyhoo I spent a lovely day there today, sewing, nipping up to the Shop and Office to talk to people, going out for a coffee with Eldest after she'd been out taking photos, friend stopping step out the gate and you're in the center of town.

All very exciting, huh?!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

...And How's YOUR Ark?

Thank you all sooo much for your lovely comments! Very kind and encouraging too when the doubts set in at 4am!!

But d'yez want a laugh? A real cackle, now?

Last week I signed the lease and met several of the people who work in the same building (who are lovely, but then aren't most craftspeople?) and there I am all excited, just waiting on my very own set of keys...

So today when I leave school I head into town to see whether the keys are cut and I'm met by one mortified owner...yesterday afternoon there was an absolute deluge in town and...the studio flooded!! A drain at the lower end of the yard blocked up and the water rose until it was over the lintel of the studio door and In.It.Went!

Can you believe it?? I'm afraid when she told me I started laughing- it is so absolutely the sort of thing which happens to me! You've heard of Murphy's Law ('If it can go wrong it will go wrong!'), well I really believe there should be the Law of Heckety too, something along the lines of 'If its bizarre, unbelievable, or so ridiculously unlikely that no one would believe you, then it will happen to Heckety.'

Should I have warned my new Landlady that I am a bit of a hazard? Even when I'm not there??

By this morning the water had all been siphoned out, mopped up and the extractor fans were going full blast to get rid of the smell. The owner is in the process of getting the blocked drain dealt with where it extends beyond her property and the door lintel built up higher, but for the moment I guess I'd better hold off moving anything...unless it on stilts or waterproof!!


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