Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to avoid buying clothes!




Last week I received my first pay check in 18 months.  After paying bills, I had about $200 to spend on some much needed basics.  I started with some socks and underwear from PACT, which sells organic cotton, fair trade clothes - can't do better than that, right?

Then I browsed a few websites and found that I could buy a skirt and two blouses with the money I had left over.  But I could either buy organic cotton, fair trade clothes in styles that I knew I wouldn't like, or compromise on one of those two attributes.

I decided instead to update my wardrobe by mending and dyeing. I replaced the zippers in two skirts that had been languishing in my closet, in one case with a zipper from a worn-out pair of jeans from my son.  Next, I ordered some natural dyes from A Verb for Keeping Warm, which I will use to brighten up my two favorite fair trade shirts that I have been wearing for at least 5 years.

Thus, I am not compromising my commitment (made in my previous post), and I am using resources within my fibershed.

Thinking about what we are wearing and who has made our clothes, as well as taking care of what we have is so much more satisfying than throwing out the old and continuing to buy slave-made clothes made from poisonous fabric.  I can't knit fast enough to make all my own socks though - maybe that is a goal for the future.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Inspiration strikes again!

After several months (okay, years) of no content, I am inspired to blog again.  

We recently relocated from Silicon Valley to a small town in California's Central Valley.  It was a big culture shock on many levels.  Never mind that I had always lived in cities close to the Bay Area, with great museums and restaurants, I also quit my job and have a lot of time at home.  By myself.  It took me about five minutes to get over that!

I do miss my friends and community in Santa Clara and San Jose, but it is great to have time to myself to sit in the garden and listen to bees and birds and watch the cats chasing each other.

The real culture shock set in when I contemplated the lack of independent natural food stores and yarn shops.  This town has lovely people, great taquerias, and a state park with a river three miles from my house, but it is severely lacking in yarn.  I saw some alpacas in someone's yard, and I tried to convince my husband that we should knock on their door and ask about roving, but he just kept driving.

Anyway, for the last few years I have been working like crazy to afford private school and rent in Silicon Valley, while shopping for craft supplies as therapy.  However, very little actual crafting took place!  The result is that I have an almost brand new sewing machine, a knitting machine, two looms, piles of yarn, fabric, and notions, and way too many knitting needles, not to mention a huge library of crafting books!  And now I have the time to use everything!  It's like I have my own store in the closet!  

And since I'm not working, I need my own store.

This situation, plus inspiration from this video led me to the following conclusions:

- At 45, (as of August 2015J), I have enough fabric (for making my own clothes and for housewares ) to probably last the rest of my life.  (Yarn is another story)

- Thrift stores sometimes have nice vintage sheets, etc. that can be used as fabric if I need something to complete a project, or if I just need further evidence for the case of American manufacturing.  The last few trips I took to Goodwill left me feeling disgusted with all the Target and Walmart discards. 

- Because I really believe in the philosophy behind the Fibershed movement, I do not want to buy any new fabric unless it was grown, dyed and woven within 150 miles of my home.  Since I live in the Central Valley, that means that I have a lot of options!

I am starting by mending garments that I really like and that fit me now.











Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Coming back to the lovely free Blogger.  Thank you Blogger!

Monday, April 27, 2009

I've moved!

Due to lack of access to this site because of blocks on my computer, I have moved to dragonthimble.squarespace.com See you there!

Monday, June 9, 2008

I love Kayaking!

Who knew? Okay, considering I like any opportunity to play outside, it was a pretty safe bet. I thought I might be awkward or flip over, but it was fantastic - I wish I could kayak every day! But not necessarily under the same circumstances:

The day started out at 7am at the train station with high adreniline as one child after another arrived and asked, "I forgot my waiver, can I still go?" One by one they called parents who came back to sign forms as each minute brought the train closer to us - we couldn't miss this train - it would throw the whole schedule off. Once on the train with all but one student who would meet us in San Francisco, I could breathe easier. Sleepy teenagers who aren't sugared up yet are pretty docile.

In San Francisco we waited, and waited, and waited and missed our bus and waited some more - the student who was suposed to meet us at 8:45 finally arrived at 9:15 - the time we were already supposed to be at the ferry dock - AHHHHHH!

We got off the bus at 9:40 - five minutes before the ferry was supposed to leave and I still had to pick up the tickets! I jumped off the bus and told the chaperones to RUN!!! with the kids to the ferry - if we missed this one we would be late for the kayaking class and might not even get to go! As the kids jammed down the street and I headed for the ticket booth, all I could think was, "I'm glad I don't teach first grade!"

The people in line were kind enough to let me go ahead of them and I asked the ticket lady to call over to the ferry. Each of the 22 tickets, of course, printed slowly, one - at - a - time! Then I ran faster than ever over to the ferry dock. The students cheered! The rest of the day was fantastic because I decided that on their last field trip it was okay that they threw wet sand at each other, and that some of the girls went hiking instead of kayaking, and that they all ate too much sugar and caffeine. They had a blast, and at the end of the day, they were so happy and tired, that the train ride home was peaceful too.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time to Regroup

Okay, in my update from April I promise myself to make all kinds of things before today, okay yesterday.

Here's the new and improved (ie realistic!) summer list:
wedding washcloths (set of 4) - one almost done
fabric table runner and napkins
knitted table runners - as many as I can make before July 1st!
pot-holders
kitchen curtains
Boys' room curtains
washcloth for Zaahir
tunics for me

Living room curtains and slipcovers will have to wait until ....next summer?
Oh how I envy women who work at home! - Counting the days 'til summer vacation!

Goodies for me!

A new box of fabric and some more skinny cotton arrived from Purl Soho on Monday! Soon they will be napkins and washcloths, insha'Allah. Nothing like MORE fabric and yarn to make up for a Monday. But it's also a difficult week as the last week of school for my dear students. I will really miss them - my first graduating class. On Thursday we are going by train, bus and ferry to Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay to go hiking and kayaking! Can't wait! Last year I had the little 7-month old peanut with me, and we sat on the beach. It was lovely, but this year I'm gettin' in a boat! You might be envious, but just remember that I am supervising 20 crazy teenagers!