Friday, December 26, 2008

Craftivism, what is it? Where did it come from? Who thought that one up?

Well, whewww, someone put it together – activism + craft = craftivism.  That works for me! 


Because it is possible to go beyond banners, email petitions and chants as ways of fighting for a cause you believe in. You could have a knit-in, papier-mache puppets, teach a crafty class for kids- all ways of turning that energy into a more positive, more useful, force. Atrocities are happening in our front yards and on our televisions and we need to find ways to react against what is happening without either giving up or exploding.

This is less about mass action or more about realizing what you can do to makes things around you better.

Read more - link here   -, created by Betsy Greer, who advanced ‘craftivism’ as a Masters thesis.    Now she’s talking, no, excuse me, now she’s crafting --- with a message!   

Gives me that elusive concept that I have been struggling with for over a year now.  How can I go from 5 years of intense and passionate activism to end the Iraq war to dabbling in exploration of hobby crafts – how are those two things congruent at all?   Looks like maybe there is a common thread, after all.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Where do those familiar sayings come from?

Adding this bit of information that was circulating around the internet a few years ago.  Seeing it  surface again in one of my subscribes, I thought I would add it to my blog.

** LIFE IN THE 1500′S ***

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water
temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to
be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting
to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.


Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house
had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and
men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By
then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence
the saying,

  Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood
underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the
cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it
rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall
off the roof.

  Hence the saying It’s raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed
a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess
up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung
over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get
slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor
to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more
thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping
outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway.

 Hence the saying a thresh hold.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that
always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things
to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They
would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold
overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in
it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme,

Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old..

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It
was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would
cut off a little to share with guests and

would all sit around and chew the fat..

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content
caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning
death. This happened most often with tomatoes,

so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of
the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or

the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
sometimes knock a person out for a couple of days. Someone walking along
the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were
laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would
gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of
places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the
bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these
coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the
inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they
would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the
coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would
have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to
listen for the bell;

thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a …dead


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Holiday Gatherings are Gaily Wrapped Gifts

Lovely holiday luncheon yesterday.  Dear Lady put on a sit-down holiday luncheon for about 20 women in our community.  If  it had been 1950, the luncheon might have looked like women wearing shirt-dresses with petticoats to make them flounce, hats and gloves, and a fashionable purse.   But it isn’t 1950, and that is not what the women looked like at our luncheon yesterday.  Although, our dear hostess, bless her heart, had a gift for each of us at the close of the luncheon --- individual hand-sewn aprons that she had been making since the previous summer.  She made them specifically to gift to each of us at her holiday luncheon.


I would share photos, but I haven’t obtained permissions from the women, so in respect for their privacy, if I have photos that don’t reveal faces, I’ll post those later. 


I’m just tickled with the holiday festivities this year right here within our small little village.  Open house party, holiday luncheon, church potluck, Women’s Club potluck coming up next week, annual Christmas play put on by the children, Open house party on New Year’s Eve, chili dinner – bring breads later in January.  Perhaps these gatherings have been the norm here for several years, but I’m just entering into all the festive fun this year, so it’s all new to me.  And as such, it’s like opening a lot of gaily wrapped presents, different in form and shape.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates

Playing around with the templates to my blogger blogs and I ran across this gift from this blogger, some fresh new 3 column templates to use.  I liked what I saw and immediately began changing the templates on several of my blogs.   You can play around with your templates too --- visit her site .   Oh and a little bonus, she has added many holiday templates

Sunday, November 23, 2008

View Driving Home








I was capturing some of the scenery on our drive home. We were driving home as the sun was starting to set.  I was able to get a nice set before we lost the light.   Not bad considering these were taken as a passenger in a moving vehicle.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eric O'Shea - Commercials

Here is his bit 'TV Commercials' in 2007. Great Fun!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Slideshow of family photos

Dropping in a slideshow of some family photos I had saved online over the years. Weddings, newborns, get togethers, and our life together in Bay Center.

Windows Live Spaces

Thursday, March 13, 2008

My daughter Bree's talented scrapbooking

I wanted to show a bit of my daughter's beautiful scrapbooks. The photos are of two miniatures she made for me and 'Dad' as 'remembrances' when she and the kids joined her husband at his newly assigned duty base. (He is military, returning Iraq veteran and currently in Iraq again in his second deployment).

Thrifting Finds!

I love the chase of 'thrifting'. Those splendid finds at thrift stores, vintage anything, and those quality made items at affordable prices just not so easily found in today's department stores. Along my years of thrifting, I've picked up items that I still treasure. What was more a budget necessity back in the day when I was a young wife and mother, has now become less of necessity and more one of my all time favorite 'hobbies'. Today though, with recycling, refashioning, green living, sustainable living, meaningful living, or just plain stretching the budget, thrifting has become popular in it's own right.

My recent 'thrifting' finds:

Above - a version of the 'Northern Exposure' cannisters with my friend the Moose keeping watch. I have always liked that old tv show 'Northern Exposure'. For a short time there was a decor motif that included Northern Exposure type symbols, ie, the Moose (one of my favorites!), the Northern evergreen trees, bears, rustic cabin decor, canoes, and such like. Decor and motifs seem to change quite rapidly now and no sooner does one get on board with the latest colors, schemes, styles and motifs and it changes. Pretty good strategy to keep consumers consuming, don't you think?

above and below - My growing hat collection - an array of assorted hats. For all occasions, gardening, casual wear, and even for those times when my Sweetie is 'Driving Miss Daisy' in our ancient 1984 Cadillac the size of a boat with something like 400 horsepower - inherited from my mother - and it still is roadworthy, oh and doesn't use any more gas mph than our other vehicle. One day Sweetie drove me over the Megler Bridge to Astoria, and I was wearing a hat I'd bought in Hawaii when visiting daughter there for her graduation. I commented that I felt like I was being chaueffered in this big car - and said I feel like 'Driving Miss Daisy'. That became one of those jokes between us.

Another find which is not that hard to find is colorful scarves (for crafting and decor) -- photos below -

I picked up a load of placemats at the thrift store - mostly to use in my crafting projects, but this set with the vintage pattern cherries (not vintage placemat set) was just perfect for my kitchen table as it is arranged now. I change the arrangements on my tables, kitchen and dining frequently. Not as frequently as some, but once I get tired of a 'look' then it's time for something new on the table.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's not your Grandmothers or even your Mother's crafting

It's been a time of retooling for me. Getting to that age for women that is the Big M word, and now that I'm in it, there, I'm startled by just how big a 'change' in life it really is. Wondering why more women don't talk about it, but that isn't quite the focus of this blog so I won't fill it up with all my thoughts and reflections - maybe that is another blog I might make. My attention is by necessity refocused then on some pro-active work towards making this change a bit more positive and upbeat while I continue to look in the mirror and no longer recognize who is looking back at me.

For weeks now, no more like several months, I've been fascinated by the amount of talent out there blogging about homemaking skills; crafting, needlework, sewing, beadwork, decorating and well the list goes on and on. But I'm particularly struck by how a new generation of young women have taken up the old arts and brought amazing new flair to their creations. I have long crocheted, but pretty basic kinds of afghans, baby blankets, hats, scarves. I have made a few afghans which is probably more king size bedspreads. It takes me 6 months working consistently to finish one. I put down the crochet hooks several years ago and now that I am picking them up again, I am fascinated to find how much the 'old crochet' has become the 'new crochet'.

There are amazing types of yarn out there now, and crochet projects have taken on a whole new life in the hands of the new generation. There is a yarn type for everything from elegant, to classic, to standard, to fun, to whimsical. New patterns being made, new ideas being tried and it's become an industry of it's own.

I remember how startled I was to watch the old fashioned scrapbooking become a new industry in the hands of the younger set. Quilting became it's own kind of industry with amazing fabrics. And now I am watching the transformation of another industry in needlecrafts, crocheting, knitting, felting, needlepoint. I'm wowed!

My daughter has become particularly talented in her scrapbooking. I think it kept her sane during her husband's first Iraq deployment and is keeping her sane now in his second Iraq deployment. I can well understand the need to be doing something with your hands to help calm the worries, and I was pleased she found a niche for that with scrapbooking. She has made some wonderous scrapbooks. I think I'll take a photo of one of the miniature scrapbooks she made for me and show it here.

My older daughter has made a transformation for her entire family in taking them vegan and learning to find the food products, cook them and develop a pantry and a whole new repetoire of recipes and approaches to eating healthy food. Over the years, I have attempted modifications, and have been proud of my efforts, but daughter has gone the full gamut and has become what I consider to be an expert in the art of vegan. It's more than just eating in a certain way, it's a way of life and living with food and products that are free of animals or animal products or animal testing or animal abuse.

My son took himself on a serious regimen of transformation several years ago, dropping a lot of weight and becoming a tall, thin man, inclined towards athletic sports of basketball, soccer, skiing, snow boarding, and several other adventursome activities and sports.

I'm thrilled to see the directions my now grown children are taking their lives and believe me it's not quite the same world at all as the one of their mother, as the one of their grandmother. My two oldest granddaughters are now sixteen years old and are the newer generation. I love seeing the fresh new approaches the young and younger generation bring to the table.

Paper Art Greeting Cards I received

My step-daughter is amazing in keeping faith with acknowledging every occasion. She has a large family and never misses anyone's birthday, anniversary, congratulations, holiday or whatever else there is to celebrate. I don't know where she finds them, but over the last couple years she has sent me the most adorable greeting cards. I place them around places in my kitchen because the cards make me smile, make me feel happy.

Thought I'd show off her artsy taste. Here are three of the cards she has sent me.

Crochet Market Bag, one for baby too!

I made a wee little market type bag using baby yarn, a bit of a diaper type bag for extra diapers, bibs, a bottle, an extra outfit, maybe. Should tuck nicely into Mom's purse.

And then I made another adult size market bag but not for marketing, to hang on my bedpost as a place to tuck away my nightclothes.

16th Grandchild and another crocheted baby blanket

Another new grandchild and the family continues to grow. This is our 16th grandchild, and to welcome him, I got busy crocheting a baby blanket.

Close up view

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Christmas in February - finally got my handcrafted gifts into the mail

I'm late (as usual) getting Christmas and Birthday gifts out to my kids and grandchildren. There is my son, who also has a birthday two days before Christmas; my two grandddaughters who were born in a set 2 months apart and turned Sweet 16 this year in November and in December; my two daughters and my two sets of two grandchildren in age sets of 7-8 yrs old and 2-3 yrs old.

Well, I did get the gifts to my husband, mother and step-daughter timely - before Christmas. But the delay in getting out the gifts to my kids and grandchildren took me into February. I really had wanted to do some homemade craft type gifts this year along with purchased gifts. It took me a bit to get all the handcrafts done and I finally got all the gifts wrapped, packaged up and into the mail by this week, Feb 10. My daughter's birthday Feb 13, and the packages for her family arrived today - just in time for her birthday. Woo Hoo.

Slideshow below of the completed crafted projects I made to include in their gift boxes this year.


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