Thursday, 17 September 2009

My "humourous" feminist mother

Second Update: I woke up in the middle of the night last night and started to feel really guilty about this post. I don't think that it was fair of me to be so critical of Mel's post. Blogging isn't like writing a journal article or even an Op Ed in a newspaper. You often jot down a post in a short space of time and there isn't always the time to ensure that every nuance is clarified etc... I have often seen another post (or media article) that I thought was interesting, linked to it and then used it as a jumping off point to quickly explore an issue that popped into my head. I never give these kinds of post a lot of thought and I don't generally expect other people to either.

Mel's post was really very reasonable. She simply mentioned that she has noticed some feminist mothers being concerned about raunch culture etc and responding by banning Barbies or pink and then she brings up her own concerns about whether or not this is the most productive response. I think that I just over-reacted to the deliberately provocative title and to the last paragraph, which seemed to come a little bit out of the blue to me.

However, it was a reasonable post and I realised last night that my response might easily been read as a bit of an attack on Mel and that wasn't my intention. I think that I was really just responding to the bigger debate that this seems to reflect - and to my generally frustration with the characterisation of feminists as "angry".

So, apologies for any implications that I was attacking Mel's position. And please read the post below (which I think I'll edit a touch to tone down anything that might seem overly personal) as more of a response to that broader social debate.

UPDATE
: Oops, probably should have also said: "Happy birthday Mum!"
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The other day I read Mel Campbell's post on the Dawn Chorus entitled "How Can Feminist Mums Avoid Being Humourless Childhood-Ruiners?" I have only recently started reading the Dawn Chorus, but I've been enjoying its high level of analysis from a feminist angle.

Mel starts off the post by referring to Jo Case's review of 'Getting Real - Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls' over at Kill Your Darlings, and then segues into her ambiguous feelings about the response of some feminist mothers to the problems of raising girls in a world of raunch culture and the commercial sexualisation of girls.

Mel summarises these responses as including: "ban[ning] Barbies and pink things, ... refus[ing] to buy slutty pre-teen clothes and ... stand[ing] up to schools and organisations who condone sexualised behaviour and attitudes." Mel argues that "this is the most confronting aspect of parenting – especially of girls." And asks,
Are you going to be the kind of humourless, daggy mum who interferes in everything that’s cool and is a source of mortification to your children (”You just don’t GET it, Mum!”), or are you going to be a hip mum who helps your kids navigate pop culture rather than trying to restrict their access to it?
Fair enough question, I think, but then she goes on to conclude,
One of my main worries as a feminist is that feminism is so often about being angry and disapproving; it rarely seems hip unless it concedes something to raunch culture. Just last week I was thinking, “No wonder people say feminists are unattractive; nobody likes hanging out with angry people.” Perhaps we should also consider what we’re teaching children about feminism if their main experience of it is telling them what they’re not allowed to do.
And I must admit that this conclusion made me feel a little uncomfortable. (I should also acknowledge that it would have been good blog etiquette for me to have actually commented on Mel's post. However, I was excited to hear about Jo's new blog venture and clicked over immediately to see what it was all about - or rather googled it because it was oddly not linked to in the post. And by the time I had finished having a bit of a look around and had commented on Jo's post, Lily woke up from her nap and it was really all over for me and the internet...)

My initial reaction would be to say, well 'people' often say that feminists are "unattractive" because those same people believe that the most important quality for a woman is her physical attractiveness and, therefore, that calling someone unattractive is a particularly powerful put-down. The truth of the put-down is completely irrelevant, because its purpose is merely to silence those uppity women who are daring to question the status quo.

Secondly, in relation to the broader debate over banning Barbie etc. (which comes out in the comments of a number of the threads that have popped up about this issue), I don't really understand the focus on stuff. It is hardly the sole domain of feminist parents to refuse to buy copious amounts of useless stuff for their children and I am utterly confused by any criticism of parents for doing so. But that is probably a discussion for another day.

Thirdly, why on earth would parents want to be 'hip'? I certainly never wanted my parents to be hip. How tragic. From the perspective of a teenager "hip" is the exclusive domain of the young (and those who market to them and remain, somehow, in a state of permanent teenagehood - like rock stars). A parent who tries to be 'hip' is often the most embarrassing thing in the world. Besides, there are just more important things for parents to do that worry about being 'hip'. They need to actually focus on nurturing their children and helping them to navigate the world while they are still too immature to be able to do so on their own. For that, it is important to have principles and to actually adhere to them even when it might be unpopular to do so. At the end of the day, children respect people with the confidence to stick to their principles so much more than they respect someone who is just trying to 'fit it'.

To be fair, Mel may have been referring to parents being aware of and permissive of popular culture and willing to allow their children to engage with it. However, I guess I just don't agree that feminist parenting would be any less aware or permissive of popular culture. I think that there is still a lot more to popular culture than 'raunch culture' - although it is becoming frightening pervasive - and I also think that a feminist response to this culture is to engage with it and to empower our children to critically engage with it.

Again, Mel does seem to be suggesting this approach in the conclusion of her post. However, I guess I would add that perhaps the complicating factor is in the decision about when your child is old enough to engage critically with 'raunch culture' and when they are still young enough to need your protection in the form of active avoidance. To me that isn't really about being "daggy," but more about making a careful judgement about your child's development.

But that brings me to my final response. I, like a few other people, have decided to use Mel's post as the start of a conversation about what "positive" feminist parenting actually looks like. (And, by the by, I'd like to actually acknowledge that the vast majority of feminist parents are, in fact, incredibly positive parents. It comes with the territory.) And that, in a very long winded manner, brings me to the actual subject matter of my post: What positive feminist parenting looks like.

My mother is a feminist (and was throughout my childhood).
  • For me this meant that I grew up believing that my gender had nothing to do with my capabilities or my right to do whatever I wanted with my life and my body.
I remember Mum telling me about some research for her book (about gender construction in the primary school) and how she had asked a group of primary-schooled aged boys and girls what they wanted to be when they grew up. The answers were predictably varied: a doctor, an astronaut, a journalist, a teacher, a mother, a jockey, a lawyer, etc... However, then she asked them what they thought they would actually be when they grew up. The answers were depressing. Most of the boys thought that they would grow up to become exactly what they hoped to, or at least something fairly close (the astronaut thought he'd probably be a pilot). However, most of the girls thought that their ambitions were unrealistic. The girl who wanted to be a doctor thought that she would become a nurse, while many a journalist or lawyer thought that they would actually grow up to be a secretary or a housewife.

Me? I wanted to be an actor, but thought that I would probably become a lawyer. My reasoning was that the way that female actors were judged by their appearance would bother me too much and I would end up wanting a job that would give me the power to challenge all of this bloody discrimination and injustice.
  • For me it meant that I grew up with the learned capacity (at a very early age) to critically analyse media and reject the messages that it contained about what being a "good" woman meant.
I remember Mum asking me what I thought about the fact that the mother in the Meadow Lea commercial didn't sit down to dinner with the family, but instead just stood there and served them. I thought that it was odd, really, and then, once she explained the significance of it, I thought that it was crap.

I still can't look at a container of Meadow Lea without feeling annoyed.

  • For me it meant that someone was on my side when I was confronted with the myriad of sexist messages that permeated my childhood.
I remember coming home from Brownies (mini-Girl Guides) one evening with a stack of pancakes. We had been instructed to cook one for every member of our family except ourselves in order to learn the value of being selfless and serving others.

Well!

Mum was furious and insisted that I eat all of them myself. In front of my brother. (Although, I think I probably ended up sharing them with him, since it wasn't his fault). Then she pulled me out of Brownies and I got to join Cubs (mini-Boy Scouts). Cubs was way more fun. There were only about 4 or 5 of us girls, but we had a ball learning to canoe and playing cops and robbers in the pitch black Canberra pine forests.

Mum also suggested that I note down how often my teachers paid attention to boys or girls in my class and what it was that got their attention. I found it so interestinh to see that girls almost always got attention for being "good" (i.e. quiet, still, attentive, sitting up straight...), while boys almost always got attention for being "disruptive" (calling out, hitting or pinching the girls, talking to each other, etc.).

Another time Mum attended a parent-teacher night and my (Year 2) teacher told her that I had a tendency to "dob" too much. Mum knew that she was referring to my issue with a boy that used to hit, kick and punch me and to spit on my head in the stairwells at every opportunity. She told my teacher that she was extremely disappointed in her blame the victim mentality in relation to bullying, particularly since she thought that she had taught her more than that at teacher's college. (It just so happened that Mum had been my teacher's lecturer at Uni.)
  • For me it meant that someone was always giving me positive body image messages.
Mum always told me that I looked great and should have the confidence to wear what ever I wanted, even when others started to suggest that (since I was 11) maybe I should be on a diet (in order not to get fat) or that I should hold my stomach in while wearing a swim suit so as not to look unattractive!
  • For me it meant that pink and Barbies held little interest.
Finally, while Mum never banned pink or Barbies from the house, I found it hard to find them very interesting for long. Once you saw Barbies as disgusting caricatures of what a completely objectified woman should look like, it was hard to find them very fun to play with. And pink? Well, I've just never been a fan.

Lily's lunch - penne, tempeh & fruit

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Today's lunch was penne with zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives and artichoke pesto; some fried tempeh, some mandarin, a strawberry, corn thins with tahini and some rice crackers.

I think that I might have to start branching out from the corn thins. Even I am getting bored of them...

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Lily's lunch - avocado, tempeh & fruit

20090916 lunch

Today's lunch was tofu, avocado, cherry tomatoes, apple, pear, a hard boiled egg, and some corn thins with tahini.

At least, that's what I made originally... Then Lily spotted it and ate half the egg and the corn thins. So I made some more corn thins with vegemite and put the half egg in with the avocado.

I guess it doesn't really matter when she eats the food, does it?

Gathering flowers

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Yesterday afternoon Lily asked if we could go outside to pick flowers. It was a beautiful afternoon (we have been blessed with the best weather lately) and so we went outside in barefeet and wandered about the front garden picking flowers.

It's funny, native flowers aren't always very big and bold and sometimes they seem to take a while to reveal themselves, but soon we found that our garden was full of colour. So we brought just a little bit of it inside.

I really should remember to do it more often...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Lily's lunch - fried rice and fruit

20090915 lunch

Today's lunch was fried rice with tempeh, avocado and cherry tomatoes, half a banana, some pear, apple and (frozen) blueberries.

Yep, we bought some Tupperware... Don't you just love that blue?

30 months

Yum

Lily's crown

At Floriade

Raspberries
Dear Lily

Yesterday you turned 2 and a half. That's exactly half way to 5. Oh my.

This past month has been a good month (except for a little period of sickness, that we'll just ignore, OK?). As the weather has become warmer we have been able to get and about more, which has been good for our general happiness and sanity.

My favourite thing about this past month has been your tendency to speak as though you are living in a story book. You often add, "said Lily" to the end of your sentences and frequently try to put words into our mouths by using the same method. As in: "Can we go outside? Yes, said Mum."

In line with this new habit you have also been very keen on hearing stories about yourself. Or, at least, fictional stories in which you happen to be the main character.

"Tell me a Lily story" you will ask me at least once a day. Often you are even more specific; "I want the grandma and grandpa one." Or, "tell me a Lilipilli story." (My mother calls you Lillipilli). Or, "I want the party one."

It certainly keeps me on my toes. I can't believe how fascinated you seem to be by my incredibly boring stories. All I seem to do is describe the minutia of a day. They generally start with "Once upon a time there was a girl called Lily. She lived in a house on a hill with her mama and papa. One day Lily... went to visit her grandparents/flew up to Darwin/decided to have a party/went on a picnic etc..." Then I proceed to describe the details of travel or food preparation (it's always about the food in the end for me), arriving at a new place, packing up again and going home to bed. Really, someone should give me a book contract for this stuff.

Other than your love of living through stories, this month has also been marked by us having a lot less time together. Seven mornings a week you are whisked away by Papa or Kelli while I do my PhD. You come back home after lunch for your nap and then we only get a few hours together before dinner.

It's weird spending so much less time with you. I miss our excursions (mornings are really the best time for excursions). I think that you are also finding the adjustment a little challenging at times too. Although you seem to be going pretty well - you certainly go off each morning very happily - it has made you a little more clingy and a little more mama-focused recently. Hopefully that will start to settle down as you become used to the new routine.

Finally, as the weather has improved, the sun has been rising in the sky earlier and earlier lately. You are not a morning person. Not at all. But the bright sunlight has been waking you up very early lately. At first you try to go back to sleep. "It's too bright," you will complain to me, and roll over. But you eventually give up and so we all get up. Early. Oh so early. This has been a little challenging for all of us and is leaving our tempers a little bit frayed by the end of the day...

Fortunately daylight savings is around the corner and it should make things a little easier again. In the meantime, we will just have to focus on our enjoyment of the outdoors and the beauty of the sunrises.

love
mama
xo

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Floriade

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We went along to Floriade yesterday afternoon to romp among the flowers. It was such a lovely day and I was feeling very keen to get out into the sunshine after PhD-ing all day while Lily and P went to the Farmers Markets and to a 3rd birthday party (I love birthday parties, so I was very sad to miss out on this one).

We spend far too much time trying to find the kids' section, which wasn't in the same place as last year, and once we finally picked up a map we were all too hungry to trek over there and so, instead, we found a cafe and bought some wedges. It was so lovely sitting outside in the sunshine looking out over the flowers (I especially love those red tulips - more photos to come I'm afraid) and listening to the music. I envision lots of weekend afternoons will be spend there this Spring.

As the afternoon drew to a close, we found a big patch of grass and encouraged Lily to have a bit of a run around. Then, worn out and happy, we all headed home for dinner.

So happy that Spring is here.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Molly and Mart

Molly and Mart

Last night we trekked out to the Yarralumla Woolshed for the Handmade Market. I've been reliably informed that there were 50 retailers there last night and that there will be 150 today. 50 was probably enough for us, but if you are in Canberra and didn't go last night (which is hard to believe - it felt like all of Canberra was out there!), then you really should check it out today. Think about Christmas! (Yep, still stressed about Christmas...)

We wandered around for a little checking out the lovely handmade stuff and then followed our noses to the food. However, the line was looking a bit long and so we wandered into the shearing pens and found the lovely Nanette from Rummage. (Have you read Rummage? You really must. Nan's blog is just gorgeous and will leave you feeling all nostalgic and rosy.) It was lovely to meet Nanette since I've been reading her blog for quite a while, and it was just as lovely to see her gorgeous creations.

Lily was particularly taken with her peg people and so I told her to choose her favourite.

Lily and Mart

She chose a very dapper gentleman with flaming red hair, despite my attempts to steer her in the direction of my favourite. So, I did what any sensible person would do and bought both of them ('for Lily,' of course!).

Lily's new hair clip

Then Nanette gave Lily a gorgeous hair clip to match her jacket and so I had to take some photos.

Breakfast with Molly and Mart

Well, Molly and Mart (as they have been called) have accompanied Lily everywhere ever since. They had breakfast with her this morning and then took a tour of the house in her pushcart.

As I type this, she is holding one in each hand while watching Playschool.

I am just kicking myself that I didn't buy a few more for a certain birthday girl that Lily will be seeing today...

Friday, 11 September 2009

The big chop

I have always had long hair. Always. Well since I was about 3 or 4 at least. That was when I cut off all my hair in order to look like some big girl at my school that I admired.

Since then whenever I have thought that it was time for a change I have been talked out of the idea by any and every hairdresser that I have asked to cut my hair.

"Oh no," they'd say. "You need to have long hair. There's just so much of it. You need the length to weigh it down."

"Oh, OK," I'd reply and have yet another trim. Boring. Boring. Boring.

Anyway, I'd had enough and so I did a google search for hairdresser recommendations in Canberra and came across quite a few for Michael at Edge Hair in O'Connor. Well, I thought, if he's good then he should be good enough to figure out how to cut off my hair. And so I made an appointment and went in this morning.

At first, he too was reluctant to cut off my hair.

"I think we'll keep it long," he started with.

"Are you sure that it won't work above my shoulders?" I pressed.

"Let me think about it," he said.

I went off to have my hair washed and when I got back he was all business. "We're going short," he said.

Yay!

20090911 the big chop

A week of mornings

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Thursday, 10 September 2009

My creative space : Lily's dress

20090910 creative space

So I haven't actually gotten very far since last week... but at least I have cut out the pieces for one dress.

Lily chose this pink gingham and I am not really a fan and so I am trying to add a bit of detail to it to keep it interesting. I was thinking of adding some ribbon and maybe stencilling a few silver butterflies on it. What do you think?

For more lovely creative spaces, check out Kootoyoo's place.

Lily's lunch - couscous & chickpeas

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Today's lunch was couscous with chickpeas and veggies; rockmelon & grapes, some chunks of avocado and some plain corn thins.

Lily's lunch - soba noodles & dumplings

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Yesterday's lunch was soba noodles with stir-fried tofu, snowpeas, mushrooms & a dumpling; pear, apple & grapes; and a vegemite corn thin (yep, can't get away from the vegemite!).

She was desperate to eat the noodles etc before she left the house and I wouldn't let her. That was pretty silly in hindsight, because she was over it by lunch and only ate her grapes...

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Lily's lunchbox: animal pasta and tempeh

Lily's lunchbox - animal pasta

Today's lunch was animal pasta with tempeh, a banana, some rock melon and some pineapple.

And, on a complete tangent, I came downstairs today to see Lily sitting on the ground with an old laptop battery on her lap. She was pretending to type on it. She looked up at me with a cheeky smile and said, "I'm doing my PhD."

"Oh," I replied. "What is it about?"

"Katie and Olly," she answered.

Later, in the car, she mentioned her PhD again. "And it's about Katie and Olly isn't it?" I asked.

"No," she replied. "It's about something else."

"Oh, what's it about now?" I asked.

"Um, I'm not sure yet. I need to listen to some music to think about it."

Fair enough.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Polaroid photos


I love the look of polaroid photos. They hold such wonderful memories from my childhood. That instant gratification was such a novelty - and how cool was it to watch it process before your eyes?

However, Polaroid have stopped producing their film and so slowly the cameras and those funky photos will be on the way out. Sad isn't it?

Luckily, you can simulate a small part of the experience - ie just the look of the product - with rollip. You just upload your photo and select a range of "polaroid' effects for it and voila.

Fun.

Just a hint though: keep the image small when you upload it. I tried to upload a slightly bigger file (900kb) and it was very slow and then didn't work at all...

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Happy Fathers Day

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I hope that it was full of picnics and dancing (or other fun stuff).

Getting organised


As a child I was intensely disorganised. My room was a mess. (Once, we had mice in the house and discovered that their nest was at the bottom of my cupboard - ewww!). I struggled to submit my homework, not because I found it difficult, but because I (a) forgot it was due; (b) had misplaced it; (c) had left it until the last last minute and didn't have everything I needed on hand; or (d) some combination of the above, etc. 

I also lost my jacket at the beginning of every winter and froze for the remainder of the season because I was too scared to tell my parents (scared of their disappointment in me, not of punishment - I can't really remember being 'punished' as a child unless you count being sent to your room to calm down for a few minutes). The "lost property" box at school was full of my possessions, but not all of them made their way to it. I remember one time I was given a super cute umbrella by my aunt and uncle. It was bright blue and had a wooden head with soft fluffy hair. It was cool. I loved it. The first day that it rained I was so excited to take it to school with me, but it never came home. I am still sad about this.

[I should mention here that the fact that I moved house every weekend (and, later, every second weekend) between my Mum and Dad's houses probably didn't help me out very much. However, it didn't have the same effect on my brother and so there was clearly more to it than that.]

Anyway, I think that you probably get the picture. Being disorganised was actually a real problem in my life. It plagued me.

For some reason all this changed when I moved to the States with my Dad (aged 14). The change of country, school, living arrangements, (and maybe just the age that I was at?) all seemed to effect me and I suddenly found that I was really organised. My room was clean (aided, no doubt by my lack of stuff and the fact that I didn't have to move every second weekend). I always knew where everything was. I handed in everything on time. In fact, I often completed things early.

The thing is: it was great. Instead of constantly feeling stressed about the chaos that I was creating around me - instead of rolling from crisis to crisis - I was, actually,
in control of my life. I even became a bit of a control freak, if I'm going to be honest.

I think that I have found a bit of a happy balance now, which is good. But the interesting thing is that this loss of control that I did experience when I was so disorganised now comes back to haunt me in my dreams. I frequently dream that I am back at school (usually some conglomerate of all of my past schools mixed together) and have suddenly realised that I haven't done an assignment that is due. Often these dreams spiral into the realisation that I haven't actually attended a class that I've been enrolled in all semester and now have to sit the exam... Or that I have actually managed to miss school altogether for the whole semester without realising and now have to sort it out without FAILING. These dreams never fail to stress me out.

Anyway, lately P and I have been trying to organise our house. We have been de-cluttering like maniacs, attempting to institute a bit of order on our stuff - including our paper. (Argh, why does paper seem to breed in our house?) It's been very satisfying. 

We went through our bookshelves the other week and culled every novel that we had read and didn't want to read again, and books that we were never planning to actually read. We also culled all of our out-of-date reference books. Those books filled many boxes. It felt so good.

We also cleared our closet of clothing that we no longer wear, and even went through all the stuff that has been accumulating in our garage. So good.

To celebrate all this de-cluttering we decided to host a swap party yesterday. Friends came over with all their unwanted stuff and we all got to rummage through the piles and take whatever we wanted.

It was fun. Everyone left with less stuff than they brought - we is a good thing for all of our clutter-free home aspirations - but everyone still picked up a few things that they were really happy with: a funky watering can, a wooden glockenspiel, new novels to read, a new green cardigan...

I had a short frenzied moment gathering myself some (more) kitchen utensils (I have a kitchen utensil problem), including a cute cookie cuter, a wire whisk, and a fancy grater thingy. I also picked up two books. But I got rid of far far more stuff than I took, so it was OK.

We also ate cupcakes, rock buns, pide, hummus, crackers, fruit and some scrumptious brownies - and drank some 'sparkly' drinks (as Lily calls them).

Like I said: it was fun.

The best part is that Zoe is coming back around today to pick up all the left over stuff for her son's school fete. Goodbye clutter!

Friday, 4 September 2009

Once daily

Lily's chai

I have been meaning to take (at least) a photo a day for some time now and to find a place to put them all in order to have a nice little record of life. However, I have been too disorganised to actually do it.

No longer.

The lovely Claire from Loobylu has come up with a great idea for a site where lots of people can share their daily photos. It's called Once Daily and it's cool.

Anyway, I have signed up and, in my usual scattered fashion, started with three albums: mornings, food and my creative space. In all likelihood I'll just stick with mornings (which is where the above photo belongs), but I thought I'd give myself a bit of flexibility.

Are you going to join too? Go on!

My creative space: summer dress project

My creative space 4 Sep 09

It's warming up and, since she has pretty much grown out of the ones I made her last year, I thought that I'd better start sewing Lily some new dresses. Last week I squeezed in enough time to trace and cut out the pattern (I chose size 3 and now I'm hoping that it's not too big...). Then this morning I got Lily to pick out her favourite fabrics.

She immediately went for the pink gingham, due to her current obsession with pink, and then picked a few fabrics that I only have small amounts of. Finally I was able to steer her in the direction of the cute yellow floral fabric that I bought 3 metres of (on sale). For the smaller bits of fabric, I thought that I would pick up some plain cotton in a complimentary colour and add on some pockets or applique.

Oh... and I had to add Amy Karol's new book into the photo - Bend the rules with fabric. It arrived yesterday and I crazily missed the post and so I ran out to get it from the postbox this morning. So exciting! From the little flip through that I've had so far it looks just as cool as you would expect. I am so excited to get stuck into some projects from within it's pages.

For more creative spaces check out the lovely Kirsty's blog.

Card making fun with 'Handmade Hellos'


I have always loved the idea of making my own cards. I have even attempted it on a number of occasions.

Sadly each time I have come hard up against the sad reality that I really didn't have a lot of inspiration. Once I moved past the age at which it was acceptable to hand draw a dodgy Santa on the front of Christmas cards I got a little stuck (although some may argue that this is always acceptable they clearly have not witnessed my lack of artistic skill firsthand). I think that a lot of this had to do with not having the right equipment on hand, but that was partly because I really didn't know what the right equipment would even look like. I had no real vision for what my handmade cards would like either.

Enter Handmade Hellos. This book contains 25 projects for making cards for (almost) every occasion. It's great. In addition to providing clear instructions and a list of all of the equipment that you will need to make them, it's packed full of inspiration. Some of the projects do require fairly special equipment, such as a gocco machine or lino blocks & tools, but most of them just rely on cardboard, scissors & glue, which is great.

Here are a couple of sample pages from the publisher's site


I like this thumbprint Humpty Dumpty. Actually , fingerprint pictures are a great idea in general.


These little accordion books are cute too. They'd be a lot of work though. You'd want them to be for someone special wouldn't you?

Anyway, I hope to make lots of these cards in the next few months in preparation for Christmas. Yep, I'm still thinking about Christmas. Mad, I know.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Loving : Alabama Stitch Book



I got this book in the mail yesterday morning and managed to wrangle enough snippets of time out of the day to read it cover to cover by nightfall. This was no easy feat, but it really was that good. Natalie Channin has put together a stunning book, filled with beautiful projects that I genuinely wanted to make immediately.

Her style is so appealing to me. She bases all of her projects on recycled t-shirts, which is cool in addition to being sustainable. But most of all I love the detailing that she incorporates into all of the projects - the beading, the stenciling and, especially, the reverse applique, which I had never seen before.


I really really want to make this skirt. In fact, I found myself dreaming about it all night last night.


These journals are gorgeous too. They would make great Christmas presents, wouldn't they?

Is anyone else starting to get worried about Christmas?

No? Just me?

Image credits: from the book, but specifically borrowed from the editor's site.
I must say, Melanie Falick has a bit of a magic touch with craft books. Every book of hers that I have seen is utterly gorgeous.

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