Monday, March 31, 2014

The Marks We Leave Behind.

At one of my contract jobs this year there was an area with plenty of old leathery seating.  I discovered these old seats while trying to find a quiet place to read during my longer breaks.  The seats sat in a perfect row basking in the winter sun with little tables in between where one could take one's lunch without the staff room nattering.  
It was my ideal escape from the day.  I also quietly observed the others who found peace in this odd little corner.  Mostly it was other people who had reading to do and nursing mothers.  A pretty peaceful bunch. 

What I discovered there after lunch one day brought on feelings of disrupted privacy, and surprise but only in the hilarious way that an old leather chair could do. 

As I got up to go one after~lunch, conscious that I had left a flock of crumbs on the seat, I turned to check and dust it off when *GASP* there it was as clear as could be my perfectly preserved but/thigh/lady part image impressed into the old leather seat.  Like a little leathery mould of my booty left behind for the next sitter to ponder.

Immediately I gave up feelings of violation for those of curiosity and checked all the other chairs.

Butt Prints Everywhere!!!! 

How exciting!





Monday, March 17, 2014

I learned something really cool this weekend

So my partner of many years (10+) and I finally decided to get married. 
We decided it almost exactly one year ago while hiking around in the great smokey mountains.
We then told everyone that we were planning a wedding and then something happened, I got pregnant.

Increasingly all of my wedding concerns dissolved into concerns about how to be an awesome mom, a solid partner, and still keep my head about me, care about the world, the cats, art and craft.... etc...

As my gears shifted some other people's gears did not.  I was faced with some individuals in my life perpetually wondering if I was going to this wedding show or that wedding show, what silver I would like at my wedding, what kind of dress I should wear,  what about a caterer, what about a baby sitter for the wedding because our baby might disrupt the ceremony (!!!!).

In the face of a wedding my opinion has always been, "oh, cool let's have a picnic and go swimming!".  As it turns out many other people expect a little bit more and because of this pressure whole affair stopped making sense to me.  

As we are "expecting" there was also the question of will you have the wedding before the baby?  How will we let all the relatives know in time?  Party?  No Party? 
UGH!
    
In the end we decided together that a simple little city hall ceremony would do the trick.  
I went in and got a licence and booked a date and we told no one until the day before when I sent out a little note to some friends in the Toronto area asking if anyone could be a witness for our wedding.
Ten or eleven friends came out, we had a short little ceremony and proceeded to go out for nachos and champagne.

It was actually perfect.
I found my dress for 16$ at a thrift shop, made my own hair piece, did my own hair and makeup.
Voila, the easiest thing looked so good!
Not only that but the whole day felt good too.


I discovered why it felt so good as I spoke to my pals about it at the pub.
Several of them are married couples who's weddings I've attended and they each expressed to me how they love the way we chose to do it.  Not only was it so completely "Us", but that the day was so unhindered by the out of control bizzaro wedding pressure/ wedding culture.   We didn't need any of it and thus were free from the superficial ideas that seem to dislodge the actual meaning behind a wedding in the first place.

This realization is something I always knew but needed the experience to reinforce.  It was a moment not unlike watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" EVERY Christmas just to be certain you get the vibe of love and family right.  Now that we have had the experience I can honestly tell you all that a real wedding has nothing in the world to do with all that hustle and fuss.  The hustle and fuss is for those with spare money and time and something other than love to prove.

My next challenge however is attached to a wee little promise we made to host some kind of reception where the family gets to celebrate..... After the baby is good and strong.

I am working on a way to share what I have just learned with everyone in the form of some kind of celebration.......... I was thinking of a quilting bee potluck keg party where people get together and share.

We'll see if that goes over.





Monday, February 24, 2014

Another day, another pair of socks

Maybe it is this cold winter. 
My dedication to the art of socks is growing still.
Thanks to my handy book, `Knitted Socks, East Meets West` by Judy Sumner, I am still enthralled with her work translating Japanese Lace inspiration into footwear.

This one is called Tatami.

I used size US 2 needles with Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn. 
I didn`t track how long it took me to make this time because I was simultaneously embroidering something hilarious and beginning a home reno project.  These socks saved my piece of mind as I go incredibly crazy when my studio has to be packed away(due to reno).  One and a half weeks to go before I get it back...


Of Course I love colour so working in this yarn in this pattern was an absolute treat!

You can find the pattern here!
(on etsy via Judy Sumner`s Ravelry page)
If you are on Ravelry I suggest you check her work out, you will be inspired!

When googling I also discovered an interview with her.  
Be inspired. 
Go make something!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sometimes I Want To Take All Your Smartphones Away. A True Story


If only for the reason that you're being annoyingly irresponsible about it all- I want to take all your smartphones away.  You try to rationalize a way through it.  "I was into a game", "I was reading", "I was so absorbed by some new app", "I was mid text".  When really you need to accept that you have a problem.
That problem? You spent your hard earned money on a gadget that you have decided to focus on all the time which causes you to miss out on normal social cues and awareness.

I have been witnessing (and potentially participating in) this behavior for a long time now.  I observe the habit most clearly when I am on a streetcar or subway here in Toronto.  People enter the transit, sit or stand, pull out their phone and completely ignore what is going on around them.  Then it gets interesting.
Elderly enter the same car or bus, obviously having a difficult time with their groceries and not a single person moves to assist or accommodate.  

Then there's me, a big, round, 8 months + pregnant woman.  You can no longer mistake me for "maybe she's just a bit fat".  My coat does not fit, my belly is huge, I waddle and as a result of said hugeness my balance is a tiny bit off making transit rides a bit more challenging.  I am no fat drunk, I am a mom in the making.  And no one ever offers me a seat.  I watch other mothers in the making in my midst and no one ever offers them a seat either.  We have to ask, which is fine but it is hard to get your attention when you are plugged in and ignoring us.  Ignoring everything. 

The True Story

It happened just a few weeks back.  It was one of those things that I should have been mad at but felt was so absurd that I can only laugh at it.  Laugh and then put it into a blog post with the hopes that someone will read it and share in my shock, laughter, whatever it is.

So I come onto the subway at St. George Station two Thursdays ago, heading Eastbound about 8:30 at night and it is busy.  Not rush hour busy but busy enough for me not to expect a seat. As I am standing there watching people I begin to watch the two women in the seats in front of me.  One face first into her phone, refuses to look up and sense her surroundings.  The other likewise, is into a hot game of Jewel Drop.  When I raise my gaze to my reflection in the glass something odd strikes me about the woman next to me, she is having a difficult time standing.  I am not surprised when I discover why.  This woman, too polite to ask for a seat, has a full leg cast on and is standing with one arm on a crutch and the other holding on to the ceiling rail.  
Immediately I tap the Jewel Drop woman's phone and ask her to give the Leg Cast woman a seat.  Jewel drop looks up a bit shocked and then surrenders her seat.  I help Leg Cast into place and feel I've done my civic duty du jour.  
This incident left me wondering how it is that you can actually not notice at all when someone is having a difficult time with mobility.  Even when I am reading I can notice from the corner of my eye a difference in pace of a person, or how much volume they have in groceries, body, herd of kids or other.  A leg cast is a large and glaring thing to miss especially when paired with a crutch.  How does another adult completely ignore this?

I think as a way to tell this story short form and make people think a will try to work it into a joke.

" A very pregnant woman and a woman with a broken leg and crutch stand next to each other on the TTC."   
.................................................

hmmm that line is funny enough on it's own

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Socks


About two years ago I started on the path to sock making.  I have been nothing but delighted with this journey.  To make a pair of socks is an act of love, not only is it a love of the craft but a love of the person who will wear them because a sock takes time to be perfect and a sock may become damaged through daily wear.  
In a way, the relationship one has to a hand made sock is similar to the relationship we have with those we might actually make the sock for.  Skill and patience apply colour and texture to an object that will inevitably become worn and get a few holes.   Of course if you care enough about the sock and the wearer of the sock you can repair them by applying the same skill, patience, colour and texture.
Making something and keeping it in good repair are life skills and it is in this way that the handmade can become a perpetual act of love.


These socks are ones my mum just made for myself and the little person I am building.


And these are ones I completed over a weekend spent knitting with my mum.


The pattern for the teal coloured socks above can be found in Judy Sumner's book, 'Knitted Socks, East and West'.  I highly recommend borrowing or purchasing a copy if you like to treat yourself to a challenge of new techniques.