Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heather has been in an accident...

To friends of Heather aka True Stitches:

Heather was involved in a cycling accient last Wednesday. Luckily she was wearing her helmet and this took the brunt of the damage, however Heather has a damaged C1 and compressed T5-7 vertabrae. She faces a lenghty hospital stay depending on her recovery time.

She is in 6 North at the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, BC under her married name "Gregson".

I can give your more details via my email rocker1@telus.net

Thanks

Ian

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Die, Plastic Bag, Die!

Layers of Meaning's (link on sidebar) latest post reminds me about the Japanese tradition of wrapping cloths, called furoshiki, to carry purchases ranging from watermelons to bottles of wine. What a fabulous way to avoid using plastic bags - not just practical, but beautiful as well.

Apparently the Japanese government is encouraging people to use this method of avoiding plastic, even posting this handy diagram on the government website. How enlightened!

Here is a giftbag I made recently from silk remnants. I know I have to work on my photo styling, but I was very happy with how the fabrics all worked together.

A leaf in my garden. Can autumn be far away?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Aesthetics of the Handmade: Part 2


I'm still thinking about this one, (see previous rant here) and regret to say I have not reached a definitive answer. But I have come across a few things from other people pondering the same issue.
Here's the inspiring No Impact Man, talking about music specifically, but what he has to say applies to making pretty much anything.
"The obsession with perfection that comes with the consumer culture has made many of us ashamed of our creative efforts."
I see this so often, especially with my step-daughter. She might be inspired to paint a picture or play something on the guitar, but will then stop herself before she even begins. In spite of my praise and encouragement, she "But I'm not very good at that." On the other hand, she is the most avid consumer I have yet to encounter, she is helpless in the face of advertising.

I finally got my charkha up and running, thanks to the inspiration of this beautiful video. My beginner yarn is truly humbling, but I'm loving it!
"An excellence beyond mechanical perfection."
I love this idea! Mechanically produced cloth may be technically perfect, but the fact is that our hands are capable of more than the uniform quality a machine creates. As Willa Cather says:
"That irregular and intimate quality of things made entirely by the human hand."
The evidence in a finished work of the touch of the maker's hand gives a vitality, a texture, an authenticity, an INTIMACY that captures the eye and lifts the spirit.

Finally, there is the deliberate mistake woven into Middle Eastern carpets by master weavers. They have the skill to create a perfect weaving, but "Only Allah is perfect."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Road Trip

A trip to Calgary from Vancouver was on the agenda. We had four days, one car that seemed to get smaller the longer we drove, and two teenage girls. It was an exercise in patience, and I was definitely a Crispy Critter by the end. However, there was lots of B.C's beautiful scenery.

A receding glacier in Roger's Pass.

A gorgeous turqoise river, and fireweed in bloom.

The Fraser Canyon, on the Trans-Canada, a route that almost no one takes anymore now that there's the Coquihalla highway. What a shame, because the Coquihalla, while shorter, is quite devoid of scenery.

Do we look like we're starting to get frazzled?

She definitely is!

In Cache Creek, we stopped at an incredibly groovy restaurant. (Well, the architecture was groovy, the food was unremarkable.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Oh What a Perfect Day

Yesterday was just about perfect. Did a lot of the usual stuff, but it was all ideal.

Checked email, and there was a note from Wendy who is off on an exciting new tangent - and claims I have inspired her! That just tickles my heart!

Then watched this incredibly beautiful video on YouTube, about khadi cloth. Khadi is handspun, handwoven cloth from India, and an integral part of Gandhi's revolution.

Off to the studio, where I finished one bag I had been commissioned to do. Then, on a whim, I decided to make a little patchwork sewing kit. It was the most joyous process! I just loved the fabrics, all scraps from Maiwa. It was like making doll clothes, so cute and fussy. I lost track of time and stayed late. (Sorry, the pics aren't great. I will do a proper photo shoot later.)




On the way home I had to stop at Sophie's Pet Palace for some cat food. The girl behind the counter and I started talking about sewing and crafting - it turns out she makes shopping bags from old pillowcases! She started making them as a fundraiser for a friend who was bicycling to Argentina and doing the 100-Mile-Diet along the way. Too perfect! I talked her up about Swap-O-Rama-Rama, hope she will join us for some crafty goodness on November 18. (Save the date!)

And then I got back on my bike for the final leg home, and passed some dreadlocked young men playing the most cool twangy hootenanny music in the alley. Not busking, apparently just for the hell of it! I love my neighbourhood. Just when you think the Drive has become a cliche, there is a new spark of random genius.