Dioramarama is a great textiles blog with links galore – and I like links! Kim’s blog covers topics that are of interest to home makers. This includes sewing, knitting, embroidery and crafts. As one of the writers at Sew Wrong she writes well and knows what people want to hear about. Kim is an active blogger as she keeps a second site The Excitement Machine is a wide ranging personal journal. While you are there take a look at Church of Craft which links to articles online that relate to crafts.

Extraordinary bras

I was particularly tickled with Willa Fuller’s “Where No Bra has Gone Before” on the new series of exhibition bras just published on the Way to Women’s Wellness site
To quote Willa the bra was:

“found in an underground chamber on an archeological excavation on a distant planet called Xeryius in a newly discovered Solar System. Intergalactic linguistic experts were able to determine that it belonged to the queen of a powerful matriarchal civilization.”

Welcome to my new blog space!

Its spring and time to give everything a real shake. A couple of months ago I warned people that I would be moving this blog. I wanted more control over the look and feel of the space and not to be reliant on pre-designed templates. I could have had this at Typepad if I had paid more each month. Typepad as a service was great and I would highly recommend them for anyone new to blogging but I have outgrown them.

I moved my to new site here a couple of months ago. The cost of running the typepad service and the cost of running my website is about the same. Since there is plenty of room to house my website and my blog in the new server space I decided that I would go through the process of installing the software and setting up my blog here too. Why pay for two spaces when one can easily house both? I am sure everyone cans see the sense in it.

It has been a bit of learning curve, installing and designing a blog from scratch and I am still fiddling about and lost of advantages. There are a few advantages however, for instance, there is a search function with WordPress, which is the software that drives this blog. I have yet to thoroughly see how good it is but I am sure that people and myself will find it useful. Also comments are now mediated which means that if you leave a comment I vet it first. Then I OK it to be published. This is a spam control feature which I really like. Also there are sub categories in the categories available and I love categories! These by the way are still being re-ordered.

Also the Wisdom of the Ages project is a separate blog.

Yesterday I imported the old blog from Typepad and it went remarkably smoothly. I was expecting more trouble but it was not the case. I do have some tinkering around with some of the images and some of the Wisdom entries from early this year but other than that it’s more or less OK. I was not going to move until absolutely everything was in order but my post yesterday provoked some comments, which I can not now recapture in the export. (I will try to) This caught me unaware as I had not thought it through so here we are blog and bloglet combined, more or less designed exported and moved – a bit prematurely but here I am. This was designed on a Mac so if elements are misbehaving of if anyone has any problems please let me know. For instance on your computer is the text colour too light? I do want to add a few extra features and I am still agonizing over things like the size, colour and readability of the text please give me feedback as I am happy to shape this space for visitors … scratches head and thinks about that …
better add with the exception of ditching purple so …
I hope you like purple….

Domesticity matters

Sometimes while I am poking around on the net you can catch a sniff of change on the wind. I notice something different – or something that challenges the way I think the world is. Last week I was rattling on about how great it was to see the work and read the exploits of younger crafters and knitters. I love their enthusiasm and energy. On the other hand I hear at guilds and quilting groups older women bemoaning the fact that younger women are not interested in learning to sew. For anyone who reads their blogs this is blatantly wrong its just that younger people (lets not be sexist about his both genders can stitch if they choose) are not interested in stitching in the same way, the same stuff and with same hang ups as the older generation.

There are plenty of young crafters out there that are interested in all aspects of domesticity. They cook, they sew, they knit, they weave and spin, they garden, they shop at second hand shops, they scour garage sales for stuff to remake, reuse and recycle. They do it with flair and irony and I smile, laugh and clap my hands with glee as they share their adventures in all the crafts and skills with each other. Their blogs support each other, they laugh at their own mistakes and they are not falsely modest when something is a success. I just love the way they just get on and do it, give it a try and no one has to give them permission. They are not hung up on perfection and as a result allow themselves to be creative and inventive. I also love the way they embrace and celebrate what in the past has been considered women’s work.

I have been thinking about how the domestic is represented. To tune into my thoughts on this think about the those TV commercials of the 50’s selling all number of products with happy smiling women in the kitchen. Think about how home life is represented in movies, mainstream magazines and how our politicians sound off constantly about the family being the foundation of our society while not really doing anything to help young families at all.

As a result of a comment in an email from Amanda of Hammer and Peg I started to think about how feminists represented the domestic and framed many attitudes towards ‘women’s work’. A generation of women were raised with the impression that if you wanted to achieve a good life you left your domestic skills behind.

Although feminism wanted to lift the level of satisfaction many women had in their lives it did demean the domestic work of women. The skill involved in creating and maintaining a home was not acknowledged enough. Thankfully many of us do not have to need to sew our own clothes or make our own house hold linen and I am not one to romanticize the past. In the past many of the skills were learnt out of necessity rather than to develop creative expression now we are in the position to highlight and celebrate the creative and innovative because this generation are making objects for the home, clothing, cooking and gardening in a life affirming manner.

This little rant was provoked by two things. The discovery of another forum apart from Craftster which is pitched to this group online. Get Crafty is a space to share news via forums, blogs and pictures. The second thing that provoked me is that Amanda of Hammer and Peg has just got her head around the flip and sew method of crazy quilting which made me all excited. Amanda has described the method well photographing each step. Using this method sometimes you get stuck in a corner or end up with particularly long seams so I would like to point anyone who is new to trying this to Annie Whitsed’s crazy patchwork piecing lessons as in the last section gives some tips about getting yourself out of problems that may occur.