Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I've been musing over the Globe and Mail article I blogged yesterday about raccoon mums (or moms). Although I'm not quite sure why 'raccoons' (is it the nocturnal nature of a the solo time a la the little bandit, or is it the dark circles round the eyes following so little sleep I wonder?), I do think that making your sanity saver more mobile is one way that a few more hours of shut eye can be reclaimed.
Instead of crafting away into the wee small hours uninterrupted why not pack up your goodies and 'interrupt' kiddo's playtime with a few rows of knitting? They can quietly haemorrhage after a fall while you calmly finish another inch of pattern I'm sure.*
So my ideal portable raccoon-saving kit would contain;
1. a craft project with all trimmings
2. one of those super small wireless enabled notebooks
4. a camera
What would your ideal portable sanity saver be?
No, there aren't any prizes.
*Yes, I was joking. Read my previous posts for tips on quick pack up of portable projects.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
... and the new name is 'raccoon mum' as per this article from the Globe and Mail, which was twittered to me by @yoyomama (who incidentally write a great email bulletin).
I suppose since I've spent a goodly chunk of my Wee Guy's life so far in a sleep-deprived haze it's no wonder that I get most of my writing/crafting/business admin done after he's gone to bed. My studio is right next to his room so sometimes this 'me' time is interrupted by snatches of conversation about his day as he drifts off into dreamtime. Occasionally he joins me for a while, bringing a book or toy to amuse himself with quietly while he gets sleepy (and he does! sleep is a great hobby for all of us).
I would prefer to have an evening again but I also appreciate that I would go nuts if I had to try and cram all the things I do want to do into daylight hours. Being a mum has also taught me that I really do value my solitude, my absolute solitude, and I'm getting better at communicating this and defending rather than apologising for it.
solitude = headspace = reboot = better mothering
photo above: sawing metal in the wee small hours
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
detail from flower initial embroidery panel by ebbandflo
A couple of summers ago Germaine Greer published a piece in The Guardian newspaper which had fibre arts bloggers up in arms. Her review of an exhibition of patchwork by artist Edrica Huws, drew fire because she commented at how pointless an exercise working with fabric was since all works created in this way will decay swiftly. With descriptions like "heroic pointlessness" and "an exercise in futility" Ms. Greer drew fire from many angered women artists. (I'll let you read the article itself to draw your own conclusions as to whether the author does women artists/textile art a disservice).
For what it's worth, I do disagree with some of the points raised, about women frittering their time away on these purposeless endeavours which cannot be 'used'. Doesn't that sum up most works of art anyway? Most pieces cannot be 'used', merely gazed upon and appreciated, and in anways, their useability comes from stimulating the senses/spirit. Go and see the current exhibition of Kirsten Chursinoff's sumptuous quilted and embroidered landscapes at Place des Arts for an example.
What I feel Greer does miss however, is how much more fibre/textile art fits into a woman's daily life than more 'rigid' forms of expression e.g painting, sculpture, metalcasting and so on. What does a woman do all day? She works, whether at home with children or out 'in real life'. Packing a canvas and full set of paints, brushes, saw, soldering kit, sheet metal etc. is never a realistic option. What packs away better into a diaper bag or briefcase but some good old fibre art? Readers of my blog will know that I usually have an ongoing craft project in my bag when out and about. Usually it's knitting or crochet (wire and yarn) but I have taken finished metalwork to file and polish, a sketchbook for designs, embroidery or other sewing.
Fibre and textile work can usually be compressed thus rendering it appropriate for life on the go. I don't have to wait for a layer of paint to dry before I can pack away my portable crafting project and run to my child's latest emergency. If I'm careful I won't even drop a stitch or lose a bead.
In my opinion Ms Greer misses the point in condemning fibre art as pointless women's art - it might decay, it might rot and not be as durable as oil masterpieces, but in terms of the day to day, they make a much bigger difference in the life of many women and may represent the only creative outlet sneaked into a busy day for many.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I come from a family of gadget-lovers, so this nifty little package has my portable knit brain drooling with delight. I first saw it on The Twist Collective's blog (yes, home of The Sylvi coat which I will be attempting sometime before I die after I've located a stash of Thick and Quick woolease large and cheap enough).
It measures approximately 5 inches by 3 and a half inches, and contains tape measure, stitch markers, crochet hook and scissors. It is allegedly airline compliant ...... but I'm not sure I would risk it.
I am falling for it, it would make a great addition to my portable crafting kit but somehow it's just not as pretty as my MeringueShop wristlet that I currently tote all the contents listed above around in!
Maybe I'll just ask for it for a birthday!
Available on pre-order here or badger your local yarn shop.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Chainmailling is of course portable IMO. As long as I have a clear idea of the weave I'm attempting and have somewhere flattish for jumprings I'm usually happy chainmailling al fresco.
It's usually best, if you are supposed to be minding a child, to have a set up that is easy to put down as soon as the first wail for assistance comes thru. For this reason, always identify the start of your weave with a paperclip and be ready to scoop everything into a bag when you resume motherhood.
orbital weave and serpentine choker available here
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
The very worst thing about so sick for the last week or more has been the complete lack of energy which accompanied it all. No matter that I was at home, that my portable crafting kit was prepare and easy to tote around the house and that I was never more than about 10 feet from supplies.
I simply didn't have the energy to even knit anything, not even stuff round and round in circles. bleh!
I was therefore happy late yesterday evening to be bitten by the creativity bug and finished off this cute fluffy flotsam cuff.
I've use some machine knit swatches as a base for some wire crochet. The tinned copper mesh holds some gorgeous 'antiquey' pink glass beads and fluffy wool roving embroidery. It was so portable I could finish it off in bed then toss it in the washer with a load the next morning.
All it needs now is a button closure and it's good to go!
portable kit used = crochet hook, wire, bead soup, cutters, darning needle, wool roving scraps
Monday, February 2, 2009
To portabilise your crafting to the masses via your blogspot try adding a flickr slideshow widget in your sidebar (like mine - look to the left!)
Once you set it up it can be personalised with a user name or keywords, plus tags.
Hint: try tagging your flickr pics with an original tag so that your slideshow will be a showcase of all your amazing items. Use the flickr search function to check your choice and then use Your Tags to make a batch annotation (or manually add the tag to the pics you want to choose).