Woven Community

This summer I have hosted two ‘Clothing Drive and Public Potholder Rug Weaves’ which have been well received and hugely gratifying to me. The idea came about via my desire to support and participate in community events to build awareness of creative reuse and environmental stewardship with community connection. IMG_2657

My friends Alan and Nancy Timmons came up with the idea of a clothing drive at the event Alan organized for Earthday at The Great Barrington Fair Grounds.

Genius! A mutually beneficial way to support and connect!

I added the rug weaving aspect to fulfill my desire to create and eye-catching way to bring people in and participate. It works out to be pretty darn magical on so many levels. Neighbors, Friends, and total strangers spend time connecting and physically weaving an amazing rug – from trash.  All the materials used are cut from discarded clothing including sweaters, sweatshirts, tshirts, and even socks.  What symbolism! In this age of violence and disconnect we connect and become greater than a sum of our parts.

IMG_3541

This past weekend a Clothing Drive/Public Potholder Rug Weave was hosted as part of Becket’s Hilltown Brouhaha and it was amazing! Even in the rain people came out with donated clothing and the willingness to make what turned out to be a super beautiful 2.5x3.5ft Potholder Rug.

IMG_3553

Now I need to buckle into the details of making these events complete by closing the circle and selling the rug – with proceeds donated to the Becket/Washington PTO (in this case). The hard part has been figured out. We collect clothing, we cut the material into weavable strips and we construct a rug – and at the end of the day there is this glorious fruit of the day’s labor that needs to be sold.

IMG_2749

Now there are two of these amazing rugs ready for new homes and two amazing organizations in need of support to make their missions fly. I am looking for ways to bring in the communities and organizations invested in the project to reconnect for the sale aspect of this work. I’d love to figure out a way to run an auction with bids running for a week following the event.  Does anyone know how to make that happen?  These first two charity rug sales might be a little rough but let me gather the pertinent email lists from participating organizations and then, stay tuned! I'll let you know when/where you can place a bid and let’s see where this will take us!

IMG_3560

Theme ~ Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access

This week’s theme is Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access. il_570xN.742909206_7a1z

When conjuring up my weekly theme schedule I often list things that I would like to find time for in my week. Sometimes the suggestion works and sometimes it is just not possible for me to add another thing to my list.

Not sure how this week will pan out but even if I don’t get to organizing my printed images into the albums accumulated, the topic is pertinent this week.

This last week the United States experienced two back-to-back seemingly unwarranted police killings. As if these killings were not thoroughly jolting, a sniper murdered 5 Dallas cops and injured 7 others at a memorial gathering for the two killed earlier in the week.

It is difficult to decipher the news in an unbiased way which has lead me to research and ponder these events in the fleeting glimpses.

The data is mindblowing!

Here we are in an age of data and image capture like never before. Lavish Reynolds captured the immediate aftermath of a Minnesota cop shooting her boyfriend, Philando Castile, at letting him bleed out in front of her and her 4-year-old daughter from her passenger seat. The video she delivered was live streamed on Facebook, allowing her to call for help in real time. (Here is a GoFundMe set up to help her.)

Two videos have come to the forefront of the police murder of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge too.

Talk about Photo Albums and Image Access!

Thanks to technology for allowing widespread photo/video capture making it easy to see that the behavior displayed in these interactions is clearly inhuman. The United States has arrived at a place where we need to assess our human behavior and change it. We have to stop promoting hate, judgment, comparison and fear replacing them with calm, educated eloquence and persistent love, understanding, and patience. The path into this light will be beneficial for the planet. Without this nearly 180-degree change in our people’s view, human demise seems inherent.

Jane Goodall said

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, And you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

I want to spread love and compassion – introduce the dark-side of culture to beauty in the light and welcome them in.

il_570xN.1003917789_doge

Oh, and as for the Photo Albums / Image Storage and Access theme, I plan to stick printed photographs, from days gone by, into books with pages using those little sticky old-school photo corners over the next couple weeks. I like the idea of keeping some images private and accessible, the hand turning of pages and sitting close on a couch reminiscing with close friends and family members.

Theme - Water Sports

header for monthly calendar You want to read something funny?  Here is a post I wrote last night - great aspirations of doing more:

I’ve been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding for the last couple of years and am going to reserve a board rental before this post goes live.

This week’s theme is Water Sports.

A favorite childhood memory is visiting family friends on a lake in New Hampshire or Maine one summer. Their kids were older than us.  They were super cool and friendly. The daughter had long blonde hair and I was envious. They had a motorboat and water skis. I didn’t have the courage to try skiing but it was fun riding in the boat and watching from there.

Violet is a swimmer. She joined a summer swim team and looks forward to practice all week. She doesn’t want to go to meets, just practice and learn different strokes and build her comfort level in the water.

Before my daughters were born I was a daily runner. Ever since, I've suffered from self-inflicted guilt of not running or replacing that demanding form of exercise with another that feels as good and clears my head as well. Violet has inspired me to get a one-piece suit, some flippers and goggles and try for some serious swim exercise with her at the lake.

This week will mark the beginning of a new solitary exercise and of me overcoming my fear of deep water swimming by initiating a family exercise and researching a running replacement. These themes are designed to egg me in a desired direction. Stay tuned.

End of Silly Post!

IMG_7159

This morning I got up early, after going to bed late and was super frustrated.  Initially my frustration was directed at my husband, then my kids, and finally, as I was heading out the door without the food I need to be healthy or the work needed to move me toward my highest priority I realized that I simply cannot add another thing to my list of tasks.    Here's to simplifying and staying focused on getting over the hurdles right in front of me.    IMG_8952So, I will not be stand-up paddleboarding this summer.  I will focus my attention of the uncountable loose ends that need tying before we head across the pond in December for an extended stay in Ireland.

IMG_3148

As far as Water Sports go, I'll be sticking to what I know, swimming at the town beach with my kids before work and relaxing on an ocean beach on Cape Cod in a few weeks.  Can't wait!IMG_5820

Straw into Gold

IMG_1622 You know what totally ‘rocks my world’? I absolutely LOVE turning garbage into treasure, using discarded things as materials to be creative. The most empowering part of my making process, is to ascertain textile (and sometimes other) waste and find creative reuse for that discarded material. Today, most of the raw materials used in my making process come from local thrift stores and kind donations from friends and strangers. (Keep an eye out for my next Clothing Drive.)

The idea of creating with new material  overwhelms me. It is hard to imagine what would be worthy to add to the plethora of stuff in a world so full. Utilitarian recycling works for me.

Mountain of Textile Waste in Bangaladesh

My life has come to include teaching, speaking, and creating goods made one by one with discarded clothing and scrap fabric as my raw material and inspiration. As my Limited Access social experiment continues, I work to establish the most productive use of my online time, which amounts to the best way to nurture and build my business.

IMG_1196

This online journal is fulfilling, and the focus helpful. It is a tool for selling my wares, spreading the word about my classes, events, and engagements.  A sounding board for my wildest goals and grand efforts to change the way the world sees waste.  May my work encourage all sorts of people to support hand-makers, creatively-reuse, and teach and inspire by example. It is my hope that together we can have a shared impact great enough to be noticed.

Weekly Treasury - Black History Month

This week we have Lauren Cover curating our Weekly Treasury from Etsy.  We will introduce you to her with another post. Take a gander at what she has put together for you and check back next week to see more.

A rich collection to pay tribute to our African American friends, neighbors, and community members. Shire City Sanctuary is proud to be located in PIttsfield, MA where there is a long and interesting path with African influence.

Special Holiday Price , a wo...

$100
ULTRA RARE 1500's 4 laye...

$39.99
SALE NEW patch work African ...

$100.05
Set of 3: Black Lives Matter...

$18
Ethiopian Cross Pendant, Cop...

$19.99
Kilimanjaro board game NEW A...

$29.97
Pen and Ink Cards, Black His...

$15
holy hair - a tribute to An...

$50
1909 Dark Races of Africa Pr...

$12
Black History Sale Joyful Jo...

$900
AMERIGO ICONO: "Ms. Sim...

$27.99
TABLOACH Custom WIG for you ...

$25
AFRICAN HEAD SCULPTURE - Cla...

$45
The EPITOME of an AUDACIOUS ...

$28
President Barack Obama, Rosa...

$5
Variations on Themes Still L...

$380

Powered By Handmadeology

Etsy is a marketplace of handmade, vintage and tools for makers.  Treasuries are curated there and reposted here to showcase our weekly topic.  Each image above links to a selling page about that item.  Click around!

 

What She Said

Go!

Ready, Get Set, 2016!

As we head into the wild blue yonder of a new year full of cyber connection and online interaction, I like to track my days with handmade creative goodness. Here are some inspiring examples to set and achieve your goals for 2016.

2016 Desk Calendar / Nature

$16
2016 MOON CALENDAR - Midnigh...

$25
Screen Printed Flour Sack Di...

$12
2016 Blue Silver Moon Phases...

$48
Nauli Daily Planner 2016 - c...

$22.5
LOVE Book , Black Leather Bo...

$85
2016 Dolphin Studio Calendar

$63
2016 Kraft planner | weekly ...

$30
letterpress herb datebook wi...

$35
GILDED FOLIAGE | Anytime pla...

$15
Textile Pattern 2016 Planner...

$30
Katharine Watson 2016 Letter...

$22
10 Grand Press 2016 Calendar...

$44
2016 (44) Leap Year Datebook

$116
2016 LIMITED EDITION letterp...

$34.95
Grow Your Own Seasonal Plant...

$45

Each week posts made here are centered around a theme.  This week are are looking forward to 2016 with handmade calendars, date books and planners to keep the handmade creativity in your every day.  Be inspired to bring one of these carefully crafted tools into your life.  Click on any image here to be taken to the selling page for that item in Etsy.  Happy New Year!

Christmas is Coming