Bad Blogger

Aww, I'm sorry. I know it must seem as if I have forgotten all about my dear readers. A confluence of boring detail has kept me from the computer:
First off, the stitching on the quilt-for-hire project has been endless white-on-white, not very photogenic.
 This is the mess I have to repair. Tangled threads, knots on the surface, poor quality thread. It's sad evidence that the original quilter was faltering in her skill. I try to tidy it up by working over her stitches. Not perfect, but better.

Second, I once again face the prospect of moving. This alone is enough to short circuit my brain as I dither over whether to move to a place down the road, where I will have to again move from in the fall, or to move to a different island altogether.Whatever I decide, I will have to face that burdonsome pile of boxes of stuff that I have been lugging around for an eternity.

And third,Craft Therapists (for a Plugged-in Society), as Jennifer Brant and I call ourselves, are headed to Portland next month for our presentation at Open Engagement. Here's the blurb I just wrote:

 "Free Store" occupies a space in the context of community and exchange. As artists who live on a small, off-grid island we must be much more conscious of the stuff we deal with in our daily life. It is difficult to get things on and off the island and we have limited landfill options.(Our little island can be viewed as a microcosm of Mother Earth.) One strategy we rely on as a means of keeping stuff in the hands of people who can use it is our wonderful Free Store. We are delighted to share a Free Store with the Open Engagement community.  
At Free Store, we add value by mending and altering donated clothing, turning something disposable into something meaningful and precious. We circumvent consumer alienation, where we have no connection to the origin of the clothes that we wear, by adding elements of connection, story and personal meaning. 
We celebrate the concept of "exuberant frugality", wherein we find pleasure, joy and richness in the shared wealth of our community, while spending little or no money. At Free Store you can visit with friends, exchange stories and be entertained, while browsing the racks, having your favourite jeans repaired, or customizing a shirt. Bring a garment or two to add to the collective fun.


  1. I'd missed you and had been wondering about you when this appeared. . . I like the idea of a "Free Store," but I apparently lack imagination in being able to envision its operating in Real Life. Wish I could come to Portland.

    Your work looks striking on that gallery's walls. Magnificent, even.

    I visited the Bayeux Tapestry in 2010 and (without knowing I was violating a rule until I was chastised) took photos. It's quite LONG, and so alive.

    May your moving decision work just right for you. . .

  2. Chris: Lucky you to see the Bayeux Tapestry in real life! And as far as Free Stores and Real Life...our Free Store is funded by the Regional District as part of its budget for waste management. There is a staff person there two afternoons a week, and it is located adjacent to the recycling centre. It is a totally feasible idea even in cities, just takes the civic will to make it happen.

  3. I think I'm astoundingly ignorant about "civic will" but am increasingly interested in such matters. Thank you for the information about how such a store can work.

  4. Dear Chris, You are not ignorant at all. In fact, your interest in this makes me think I should do a whole post about our island's Free Store. We kind of take it for granted, and forget how simple and potentially revolutionary it is. I know a number of Gulf Islands have something similar as part of their community's waste management practise.

  5. I think a free store is a great idea! Freecycle works ok if you know what you want or somebody wants what you have. But sometimes you have to see it first to know if you have a use for it. Or you just need a place to drop things off. Here in Vancouver we can put junk in the back alley and somebody usually takes it but I don't think that's an ideal solution.

    Sorry you have to move again, Heather. That must so be hard to resettle so often.

  6. Anonymous9:42 AM

    governments on all levels need to start supporting free stores. I think if people knew more about them they would start to flourish. moving again must be a real worry - and absorb too much energy, hope it all works out.

  7. You've been a better blogger than I! Sometimes I get so tired of sitting in front of screen I just can't stand it anymore.


Post a Comment

Please forgive me for using word verification. The spam robots got to me.