Monday, June 29, 2009

Awesome callout for artists

Such a cute idea. Someone was doing it here about a year ago but I've lost their details... If anyone remembers/ know who it was, do let me know...

From Three Graces Gallery in Portsmouth:

Call for Artists!!
Three Graces is currently accepting submissions for a special new project - an art vending machine! We recently came across this retired cigarette vendor in a local antique shop, and were inspired to put it to good use. I am working on giving the machine a make-over and in the mean time, we are eager to find artists willing and able to fill it with hand-made, one-of-a-kind works of art to be sold for $5 and $10.

You can read more here

One Lovely Blog award

I got tagged by Tracy from Dust of Enchatment with the One Lovely Blog Award. How nice is that?

The rules are:

1. Accept the award, post in your blog together with the name of the person or people who gave
it to you an a link to their blog.
2. Pass the award to other 15 blogs that you have newly discovered.
3. Contact the bloggers you award to let them know that they were chosen.

So I guess it's sorta chain mail but without the badness consequences. I'm happy to pass that on! I've chosen 6 out of the millions of blogs out there... So without further ado, My One Lovely Blog Awards go to (ohh! I feel I should be in a glittery dress and have a golden envelope!)

1. Ethel Loves Fred
2. Marjory Jane
3. Little Brown Sparrow
4. Clutterpunk
5. Tinniegirl
6. Veronica Darling

Congratulations lovely crafters, I think your blogs are wonderful :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

craft book quicky

Surely the whole of the Australian internet craft community know of the great and wonderful Pip Lincoln and her Meet Me At Mikes - store, blog and book. Plus, she runs Brown Owls, a crafty community who come together to make, eat, drink and be happy, of which I am a proud member. Pip is one of those community hubs, like the middle of a spider web, who connects so many people with each other. So it's no surprise that her first book is another example of her skill in that. It brings together 25 crafters from her community to share cute and easy projects for people to make.

Her project is a How To of granny squares, which she has been doing on her blog as well, and hosting the Granny A Day I was talking to her at a Brown Owls meeting a while ago and she was telling me that she set out to learn how to granny square for the book. That's commitment!

Of course, it was through Brown Owls and Pip that I learned to crochet, and thus made the rug I've just finished.

But back to the book. Although I have a number of pattern, tutorial and How To books, usually I only talk about the craft theory kinds of books. But Pip's book fits into my world view on crafts for her introduction, which jsut reiterates the fact that anyone can do it. And that's always been something that's attracted me to the craft world. It's so encouraging and supportive and is all about sharing tips, tricks and knowledge. Pip writes "Making is one of life's great joys. The sweet simplicity of producing something with your own hands is pretty unbeatable... You don't need lots of experience. You don't need to be an artist... You don't need to spend lots of money or have heaps of equipment either.(p7) And that's so true.

The project part of the book showcases crafty types such as Johanna Monte Aranez of One Red Robin, Shannon Lamden of Aunty Cookie fame, Gemma Jones of Kaotic Kraft Kuties and Totem artist Kirsten Doran and if you're looking for a project book of cute things to make, I'd suggest this one to be at the top of your list!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Crafty Library continuations

Firstly, I'm one artist's story from finishing Handmade Nation by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl which is really interesting. It's got essays in the middle of it's interviews by people like Andrew Wagner, the senior editor of American Craft magazine and Garth Johnson, who runs Extreme Craft and is a favourite of mine. Betsy Greer of Knitting for Good also wrote an essay in it, and honestly, that essay gives a better understanding of where she's coming from than her own book did. She tells the story of how she started knitting, in a much more detailed form than in KfG, and she says "... I realized that right now... the act of craft is political. In a time of over-ease and overuse and overspending, I can take back the control over where my money goes, over what my outfit is, and over how my life is lived. I could knit my own clothes, thereby dictating my own fashion sence instead of following someone else's... I could knit blankets and vests and scarves... for people who could really use them... I could stand up as activist without having to stand on a street corner with a sign." (P90) and that really resonated with me. I love the idea of quietly going about a revolution.

When we were growing up, our mother was very political. I've been on protest marches too many to count. We were often given signs by people who thought we were damn cute, and thus cuter with signs, or something. Whatever the reason, we usually got given signs and we'd shout whatever the people around us were shouting. There was a lot of protests. And I remember covering a student protest for the student union magazine I worked on during uni, and seeing people with signs that screamed BRING BACK GOUGH!!! which struck me as just plain silly. (For those of you who don't understand, Gough Witlam was an Australian Prime Minister in the 70s who was seen to do wonderful things for Universities, or at least that was the way these students saw it) But really, going around protesting that you want a man who got dismissed as PM 30ish years ago back as your leader just seems like a waste of breath. Cause it ain't gunna happen, no matter how loud you shout about it. I really do think that if you're going to protest, you need to protest about things that matter, that you actually want to happen.

One of my housemates at the time was one of the people protesting the loudest that day, and he was holding one of the biggest BRING BACK GOUGH signs, so I asked him later why the hell were they all screaming that? He came back with an answer that I've mostly forgotten now, but it was along the lines that they thought the government at the time (Howard) was too hard on universities and that they wanted a more liberal governmental attitude and this was how they were demanding it.

I still hold that appearing in the paper demanding that they reinstate a man who was PM 5 PMs ago just made the students look ridiculous. And I fear that for most protests, that people make placards, go shout on the street and then all go back home and nothing ever really changes. But to go about just Doing, seeing a wrong and setting about fixing it, I think that's powerful.

That's not to say that there isn't room in life for protesting, it's just that I prefer the subversive type. One of my favourites is from Rayna from Radical Cross Stitch who went out one night with other members of her Craft Cartel to "engage in some creative resistance against the rampant speculation which is wreaking havoc in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray." So they went out with cloth, yarn, chocolate and torches and created things like this:
You can see the whole post here.

Anyway, so that whole thing is me saying that I like the hands on, quietly Doing form of protest rather than the type were everyone gathers to shout about things. And Besty Greer's craftivism is all about that. Sign me up to the church of craftivism!

The other book I'm reading is It keeps me sane: Women, craft, wellbeing by Enza Gandolfo and Marty Grace, which a woman at Brown Owls was telling me about. It's a Melbourne book by two university professors who interviewed a number of Melbourne craft hobbists and wrote a book about their findings. They also had an exhibition in Feb this year, so I only jsut missed it (damn!). I have to confess that I read all the interviews and have yet to read the essay that links it all together, even though I'm really interested in that bit and it's at the start of the book. I'm not sure why I read it backwards, it might just be one of those things. But it seems a really interesting book, and I'm looking forward to reading the essay.

I've also got Radical Lace & Subversive Knittingby David Revere McFadden that I've been dipping in and out of, I'd love to sit down to read the whole thing, but I need to find more time dammit!

Which is the cry of all people everywhere, I guess.

Where Sayraphim dabbles with prototypes and finally finishes a rug

Usually I get an idea of what I'm going to make I've got it clearly in my head and I set out to make it. Days or weeks later it's done and it's always pretty close to what I imagined. I'm incredibly lucky in that skill, that I can produce pretty much exactly what I imagined, first time around. And I'll get a surge of satisfaction and then turn to the next thing.

Until now.

I'm designing a show for Fringe and the director has a specific idea in mind for a toy for the show. So I hand stitched one (damn my machine still being packed up for the move) and showed it to him. He liked it, but it wasn't quite right. So we discussed it and we changed the design and I made another one. When I showed him that, he said it was getting closer, and suggested a couple more changes. So I went back in for a third one. The third one, still handsewn, hit the mark. YAY!

There is another doll in the show, and that one was done in my traditional method, imagine, create and Done. But this idea of prototyping, I don't think I approve. Having to go back into the design time after time is very frustrating and to be honest, I'm too damn impatient to keep doing it over.

So I learned something about me. How nice.

In other news, we went over to a freezing warehouse conversion to record all the voices for the show. Since I wasn't needed for the recording itself, I took my crochet. Something else I learned - when going somewhere when it's that damn cold, always take your own rug. I was toasty warm(ish) while finishing off the crochet. So it's done now, with 3 rows of maroon around the edge to frame it. But the end, it was taking half a ball of wool per row. But it's warm and was happily received and I'm really proud to have made it. Weird that I'm too impatient to knit clothing because it takes too long but I happily sat down to crochet a double bed sized rug.

To be complicated is to be human. I guess.

craft finds

One of the things I like is coming across craft in the world outside. Not in shops, where you expect to find it, but in other capacities, like decorations, memorials, utalities, whatever. It makes me happy to come across craft that someone has made and is using for a purpose. And that happened this weekend. Jude and I were at a retirement village for a presentation and on the wall was this:

I went in for a closer inspection, and found it was a stain glass tree with leaves inscribed with names. A little framed printout on the wall explained that this was commissioned from one of the resident's sons as a commemoration and thank you for people who had significantly contributed to the retirement village.

After the ceremony, they had tea and cakes and scones, made by one of the residents. I watched the lady behind the counter spread jam from a big bowl on each of the scones, which had also been clearly made by someone at the home. It was heartwarming to watch.

And earlier that day we had gone to a cafe for breakfast and hanging on the door was one of the best open/closed signs I've seen:

I love finding craft out in the wide world...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Exhibition coming up!

I'm in an exhibition in 3 weeks! The gallery hasn't named it, so it's jsut the artists' name. So come along to the

Deborah Hally, Sayraphim Lothian, Tebani Slade exhibition

at Gallery Obscura,1st Floor, 284 Carlisle St, East St Kilda

You can see Deborah's work here on RedBubble, her still is beautiful! I can't wait to see it in real life. I can't find a net presence for Tebani, but if I do I'll post it.

Opening night is Sunday, July 5, 2009 from 4 til 6. Come along!

I'm pretty excited, seeing my work that large (over a metre on the longest side) is pretty amazing. I've always wanted it that big, but had yet to find a reason... Until now!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The kindness of strangers

A few months ago I was running one of the the Knitting Club workshops and one of the ladies came over and showed me a book of toys and dolls (see right) I had a look through it and found one of the tiny toys my grandmother had knitted us when we were young (the little sleepy mouse in it's sleeping bag on the cover being one of them). I thought it was cool to see some of those toys again. I took it back to her and she said "nono, you keep it" and I was touched! So I said thank you and took it back to where I'd been sitting for a closer look. And the book, my new book, fell open at a page titled BABY DOLL. I couldn't believe it! There, on the page of my new book, was one of my very beloved dolls from when I was very young! My grandmother had made two dolls, one like this and one in a different style which I loved and carried around for years. One I called Kate, after my best friend at the time, and this one I called Debbie... After Kate's big sister. Children have a limited scope of imagination sometimes. But I sat with the book on my lap for a couple of minutes, jsut in wonder. That I held in my hands the pattern my grandmother had used to make one of my two favourite dolls ever was incredible, and seemed so co-incedental as to be amazing.

I'm currently in the middle of moving house, and I've found the box with my dolls in it, which includes the afore mentioned Katie as well as my teddy bear, a portrait doll Nan made of me, and one my mother later knitted when I was all gothic, but no Debbie. It's got me a little concerned, I'm not sure where she is, or why she'd not be with the other dolls. But last time I remember seeing her was for this picture: I knitted the monkey beanie for a friends newborn, about a year and a half ago and needed a modle. So she must be somewhere. I hope. Looking at this photo, and looking at Katie in the box, my old toys are all a little dirty, or at least, they were well loved by a little girl who was a little messy. So now firstly, I have to find Debbie, and then I have to figure out how to clean them.

But really, this post was about the kindness of strangers, a lady who gave me a toy pattern book because she had no need of it anymore, and how incredible it turned out that it had been one my grandmother had a copy of, and that she'd made a bunch of the toys in there that I recognised, up to and including one of my two favourite childhood dolls.

The world is weird sometimes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Variable mini cheesecakes

This one is so much fun! Jude got some excellent news the other day so I decided to make him dinner and dessert to celebrate.

So I popped off down the supermarket, and on the way I passed a bakery and thought - OOoo! I could buy some little cakes! But I've been watching heaps of cable cooking shows and figured not only would it be just as easy to make cake, it'd taste better and I could make a bunch of different types, so we could celebrate in style.

So this is really easy. You'll need a packet of cream cheese, half a cup of cream, half a cup of sugar. Beat them all together in a bowl until smooth, you'll find this WAY easier if a) the cream cheese is room tempture and b) you use a mixer. You'll also need little tart bases, which you can make yourself or buy from the supermarket.

Now you're ready for the fun!

Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and put them into separate bowls. Now, you can choose from the following, or make up your own!

Lemony: add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest and a few drops of lemon juice. Decorate with a couple more stands of the lemon zest.

Chocolatey: Melt a few squares of dark chocolate in a cup in the mircowave and mix in. Finish with some drizzles of the chocolate.

add in some berry compote/jam. If you don't have any, it's really easy to make. Grab a few frozen berries, put them in a cup with a little honey and mircowave for 40 seconds or so. Take it out and mash it with a fork, and fold through the cheesecake mixture. Decorate with a few berries on top.

add half teaspoon of instant coffee to a little water, stir until it’s all dissolved and then swirl into cheesecake mixture. Decorate with a couple of grains of the coffee, or leave blank.

add quarter teaspoon of instant coffee and quarter teaspoon of milo or other chocolate drink grains into a little water, stir until dissolved and swirl into cheesecake mixture. Decorate with a couple of grains of the milo, or leave blank.

add a few drops of Pandang flavouring into the mixture. Leave blank as the green colour of the pandang is incredible enough!

Jaffa: Zest of half an orange and a squooze of orange juice, and a few squares of melted chocolate.

Or make up your own!

The great thing about the flavourings is that you can simply taste it and decide for yourself if you want more flavour or if it's ok as is.
in the photo is chocolate mini cheesecake, berry mini cheesecake, lemon mini cheesecake and the green one is Pandang mini cheesecake.

Other People's Shoes

It's funny. Although I love working on films for the magic of it (see this post for a little more about that) it's a job and I'm sort of used to it. You turn up to a location, move all the original furniture and decorations out or around, move in the movie bits and decorations and then be on standby to continually re-arrange or replace props for the next ten hours.

I don't really look at it from other peoples perspective anymore. But this post on the Fitzroyality blog shows it from another angle. The author, Brian, turned up as a extra on the last film I was working on, Exit, and he both photographed and wrote about his experience.

It's great to read about being an extra, I've never done it but having worked on film sets, I know it's a bunch of waiting around, a little bit of action and a huge bunch of waiting around some more. That's how film and tv works.

So, back to that night, the scene was a meeting of a bunch of 'believers' all looking for the Exit, and one of the things the art director, Esther Justin, had planned was that the believers would write on the windows, leaving messages for each other. So I grabbed a bunch of Poscas and started writing. I drew a coupld of pictures, wrote a couple of messages but decided that I needed some fresh blood. As there was about an hour before filming was to start, and all the extras were just sitting around (again, if you want to be an extra, get used to a LOT of sitting around) so I co-opted a couple, explained the idea, handed them some textas and let them rip. This was really useful for a couple of reasons. One was that it would go faster if I had a number of guys writing on the windows with me, one was that they'd have ideas that I wouldn't (and a couple of the things written were pretty bizarre!) and the other good thing is that there'd be a bunch of different kinds of handwriting on the windows, which would lend it an air of reality that it wouldn't have if it was all in one type of handwriting. So really, it was a practile thing that lead me to ask a couple of the extras to help out.

On Fitzroyality, s/he writes: The most exciting thing for me was being co-opted by the art director to become an art assistant for a while to draw messages on the windows that the believers would leave for each other at their meeting place.

And that's was cool to read. It was nice to be able to make someone's night especially since I didn't set out to (or even noticed at the time :)And it's nice to see my job from an outside eye.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The next exhibition - Echo's Lost (artist callout)

I'm curating another exhibition for Fringe this year. Info below:

Omnific Assembly is calling for submissions to their latest exhibition, titled Echo’s Lost, which will be held during the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2009.

Echo’s Lost is an exhibition focusing on the idea of Memory and an exploration of what is left behind when memories fade. Rather than look at specific memories, Echo’s Lost concentrates on the idea of memory itself and the space left behind when the memories are gone.

The venue for the show is an early 20th century glass fronted cabinet in the window of Circa Vintage Clothing on Gertrude St., Fitzroy

We are looking for small 3d works that have some kind of vintage feel and fit the classy ambiance of the Circa store.

The exhibition:
The cabinet is a semi-circle with 3 glass shelves measuring approx. 920mm in length. The top shelf is 310mm high, the middle shelf is 340mm high and the bottom shelf is 350mm high. The shelves are 310mm wide at the widest point, tapering to 140mm at each edge. The entire front of the cabinet is glass, and the back is totally mirrored, giving pretty much a 360 view of the works. You can see a photo of the cabinet at

In the photo the cabinet is fairly full, we envision that for the exhibition there will be less items in it. We don’t want it too crowded.

Depending on the works, we are looking for around 12 to 15 artists to create 3d works of no greater than 200mm wide and able to fit into the dimensions above.

The exhibition cost will be $30, and the dates will coincide with Fringe, which is 3 weeks across the end of September and the start of October.

The company:
Omnific Assembly is gaining a reputation for interesting and unique group art exhibitions. Curated by Sayraphim Lothian, they have produced five highly successful exhibitions since 2005, including 21 Dead Bugs as a Gift, a unique cross platform project and Totem – Dolls with Souls at Federation Square for Fringe 2008. More information can be found at Omnific Assembly is focused on developing cross platform projects that involve a diverse community of artists, from digital to traditional craft.

Please email submissions consisting of a description of the artwork (including size!), photos of the work if it has already been created and a quick bio/cv to curator Sayraphim Lothian on them (at) omnificassembly (dot) com

Submissions close July 4th. Artists will be notified by July 15th

Echo's Lost image fragment by SaraMae Belle Page

Updated photo

It's not finished, so that's why there's a couple of ends hanging off it still, but I'm impressed on how big it's getting, so I figured I'd share it with you. I've run out of wool (again) so I'm waiting until I can get back to the store. I've lost count how many balls are in it, but by now, it takes about 1/2 a ball or more per circut/row.

Post inspired by the amazing Gemmipop's finished Granny Rug, which you can admire at the Meet Me At Mikes blog here.

Rock on with the granny craftin!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hot Toddy recipe and the Lemony Drink of Death

Hot Toddies. They always sound so warming and wonderful. Everyone I know who indulges swears by them as remedies for colds and flus. And in the winter months, what could be better? Plus, there's always a little of the witches brew feeling about them, which I love...

These are two recipes from a friend of mine, she changes them every time she makes them, depending on what she feels like. I'm going to be making one tonight, but I figured I'd share them with you today. Odds are some of you are sick too, and in need...

So, welcome to Dani's Hot Toddy and the awesomely named Lemony drink of Death...

Hot toddy

lemon juice, hot water, whiskey or golden (or dark) rum, honey, and mint. probable just 15-30 mls of booze depending how alcoholic you like it.

lemony drink of death

On a saucepan, brew
juice of half a lemon
a birdseye or similiar chilli (you can just splice along the middle and de-seed) - optional
clove sliced garlic - optional
grated or thinly sliced ginger - generous amount
1/2 cup or 2/3 cup water

Brew for 10-15 mins. At end you can strain mixture, and once you have topped up with boiling water in a mug, have 2-3 portions.

Once on mug, add a disprin or asproclear (esp if suffering from sore joints, sore throat or glands), a nip of scotch, and a sprig of mint!

It's quite a full on drink, but good to just swallow down. add vitamin c powder if you have it.

Image originally uploaded by *One* at Flickr

craft quicky pics

I found my camera cord again, I swear, I'm gunna superglue it to my computer or something. So here's some things I've finished since I last saw it.

To the right is a pink and white crocheted dolls blanket I made for my niece's birthday. I was really happy with it, only took me a couple of nights to crochet.

Below is a photo from the shoot I've just worked on, I have to say, after all this time I still love the magic of film. That infront of you is a huge pile of lights and cables and people and gaffa tape marking spots and a big stack of props jsut around the corner, but you look at the monitor and see what the camera is seeing and it's always so beautiful. There's something about the way the film camera sees things that's always magical.

And the last thing I'll show you today is a embroidery work that my grandmother did when she was 16 that I inherited. I'm packing a bunch of stuff into storage for a while so I wanted to photograph it while it could still see the light of day. Nan was always fond of the 1800 style of huge dresses, and obviously it was a life long fondness!

Gnudi Balls with spagetti

This is so awesome! These are little spinach and ricotta steamed dumplings (also called "Gnudi", which literally means "nude", because they're the insides of ravioli without the pasta casing.)

1 packet of frozen spinach, thawed
100g ricotta
1 clove of garlic (or more. I like more)
1 egg white
1 table spoon of plain flour
1/4 cup of grated parmesan
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon of finely chopped chives.

Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Combine spinach, ricotta, garlic, egg white, flour, parmesan, breadcrumbs, nutmeg and chives in a big bowl.

Roll level teaspoons of the mixture into balls.

Place balls in a single layer about 2cm apart in a baking paper lined bamboo steamer fitted to a pot of boiling water.

Steam, covered, for about 10 mins or until dumplings are hot.

Meanwhile make your favourite tomato pasta sauce and cook some pasta.

Place pasta in bowl, pour sauce over, and carefully place gnudi balls on top.

Serve with a nice red, as in picture.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Musing on craft theory (because my camera cord is missing again)

So I've been running around all week working on a film, I cooked an ace thing and photographed a bunch of cool stuff but can't find my blasted camera cord, AGAIN, so all those ace images are still trapped in my camera.

So instead I figured I'd talk about the other thing that's been on my mind.

Craft theory, craft and feminism.

The other day I bought two books in my ever growing Craft library (through which I've noticed that I appear to be interested in 3 rough categories: Theory, History and Sociology). One of the new books is Knitting for Good!: A Guide to Creating Personal, Social, and Political Change Stitch by Stitch by Betsy Greer, and the other is Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl. I know, I know, if I'm looking at craft and theory, really, I should have started with Handmade Nation, the bible of the indy craft, but the road I took was interesting none the less.

There seems to be two types of craft books. One is the How To, Tutorial or Practical type which shows a certain number different projects to do on some kind of theme. The awesome Meet Me At Mikes book is an excellent example of this. Pip called together a number of crafty bloggers to submit projects to publish in a book. The other type is the more theoretical or academic craft book. Why people craft, the history of them doing it, that kind of thing. No Idle Hands is one of these kinds of theoretical craft books, it's a social history of knitting in America.

Something that I've noticed is that all of the more academic craft books are often written with a feminist bent, and it's taken me a little bit to work out why. My current theory is that people involved in feminism and politics are used to sitting around having a bit of a think about things, and it's those people who are motivated to writing books about their theories. People who use craft as a way to make gifts and show love often do it with much less theorising in mind.

In Knitting for Good, our very own Rayna Fahey of Radical Cross Stitch is interviewed, and her opening sentence is "I'm one of those people who totally believe that everything you do is political."(p116) Coming at crafting from such an angle, it's not surprising that Rayna has thought a lot about crafting and the political side of crafting. She did a degree in women's studies and tunes a lot of that into her work. Clearly someone like Rayna would abound with theories and thinking about craft itself, and want to share that with the world. On the other end of the scale is someone like Martha Stweart, who has been teaching people How To for years, but doesn't really delve into the Why.

An interesting concept that I've only jsut come across is that women who identify themselves as feminist sometimes have trouble fitting their desire to craft into their world view. Greer mentions that she struggled for a while to feel comfortable doing an activity that women have done for so long. She writes thatonce she figured it out, that "we can choose to re-enter the kitchen without feeling like we're bending to cultural sterotypes" (p18). I thought this was fascinating, that some feminists have backed themselves into a corner and find themselves unable to do things they want because they feel it's catering to a sterotype that they've worked so hard to reject.

Greer's book is a good one for the beginner craft-thinker, it has questions at the end of each chapter such as "How did you come to craft? What paths crossed in your life to bring you toward knitting and/or the handmade?..."(p21) which was a strange thing to read for someone who's already answered those questions for herself and has moved on. But I don't think this book is aimed at me, it's really aimed at those people who craft, but are casting around for their craft to mean more to themselves.

Having said that, it's a great book for the little interviews showcasing crafty type people you might not come across otherwise. For instance, I was delighted to read about Cinnamon Cooper of The DIY Trunk Show, who crafts for a similar reason to myself. She writes "(as she sat at her mothers sewing machine) I had a revelation. My great grandmother did this. My grandmother did this. My mother does this. I'm doing this. I'm a link. It's my responsibility to learn these 'womens things' and pass them on."

I was so happy to read that. One of the reasons I've been researching craft is that I want to know WHY people craft. I am well aware that this is in part because I want to know why my grandmother crafted for her entire life. She died around a year ago, and so I've missed my chance to ask her. So instead I research craft theory, and there's a tiny idea that maybe one day someone will give me an answer and suddenyl I'll know in my heart that it was the reason she crafted. But in reality, it's probably not going to happen, and anyway, that's not the only reason or indeed my main reason for the research. I'm also curious because I want to know why people craft themselves. And I'm curious about myself, and why crafting is so important to me. Reading Cinnamon's words, something resonated inside me, and I could nod and say - yes. That's one of the reasons I do it!

I'm also interested in every apect of craft theory, whe whys, wherefores, the history and everything else. And that's the main reason with all this reading, I want to know More!!!

So all in all, I'm happy I bought the book, there's loads of interesting ideas in it, even if some of her revelations arn't so new to me.

When I finish it, I'll head straight onto Handmade Nation. And I'm quite looking forward to that.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I love imaginations


I am going to re-iterate the title, because it is so true. I LOVE imaginations! And I'm going to tell you the story of what happened the other day.

Some background information: One of the many jobs I have is working on the record days for Deal or No Deal (ok, so I outed myself, but this is such a lovely thing I want to tell you that I have to explain it) In Deal, people play against the banker, Walter P Smythe. No one's ever seen him, or talked to him, but he's the guy who makes the monetary offers to the contestants. This is the first fact you need to know.

The second is that often people in the audience want to stand out from the crowd so that they up their chances of being picked as a contestant. And this often involves craft. Sometimes they'll be wearing home made tshirts that say DEAL with either NO DEAL on the back or on the chest of the person next to them. Sometimes they make posters with glitter and textas, a lady even once made a briefcase cake with a little host sitting on it (see right). It was an awesome job, and not only that, but it tasted amazing too! People come up with no end of ideas to grab attention, some more successful than others.

Now I'm telling you all this for a reason, and it's not just to parade around how cool craft is. The other day there was a 20something man in the audience with 2 little things pinned to his shirt. Curious, I went for a closer look, and found two little Lego guys safety pinned to his shirt, one on each side. One was a little guy in a suit holding a briefcase, again it was the host, and the other was this guy at the left. I know it's hard to see, I only ever have my phone on me as a camera and the light's often bad, but it's a little grimacing guy holding a $100 bill in each hand, and wearing a little waistcoat that has more $100 bills stuffed in the pocket. It was this man's version of Walter, the banker. And for some reason, that made me ridiculously happy. That someone had spread a bunch of lego out (probably not all his lego, he told me he was a collector) and carefully put together his image of the banker. And that made me realise that imagination is manifest in many different ways, and that people create with whatever their interested in.

And that made me stupidly happy. And then the fact that someone had come in with two little lego guys pinned to his shirt had made me happy also made me happy.

And if you followed that, you'll understand that I'm a simple girl, really.