changing the record.

February 18, 2013

can’t. shouldn’t. mustn’t.

If you made a wordcloud of the contents of my head, they’d be the top three (rounding out the top five would be ‘tea’ and ‘making’). Those three words dullthudding around my brain like marbles on a concrete floor, every single day. Not much of a soundtrack, is it?

There is more than the tired refrain of can’t. shouldn’t. mustn’t. There is more than ruling myself out, turning down chance after chance because I can’t, because someone like me shouldn’t, because I mustn’t.

Now, to see what that is.

I cannot say enough good things about the sadly defunct Academichic in general, but I really like their take on colour theory, which you can see here.

Courtesy of a lovely Twitter Knitter comes a vote for the Vivienne Files. Gosh, couldn’t you just lose yourself?

Last but not least, Putting Me Together. Audrey has a lovely eye, and I’ve great time for her (just beginning) Wardrobe from Scratch series and her take on remixable items. More items does not necessarily mean a better wardrobe.

how timely!

February 4, 2013

I had barely hit ‘post’ on the previous entry, and I run across this lovely, wise piece from Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage:

I had something of an epiphany and realised that no “courage” was required. I could wear vintage, I could wear twirly dresses and frothy petticoats and satin pencil skirts and dress like a pin-up if I wanted, there was actually nothing stopping me. And, well, as you know I’ve never looked back since! That’s why I so want to encourage anyone who feels drawn to vintage not to be held back by a lack of confidence – because it doesn’t require confidence, all it takes is the decision to wear the clothes you love.

If you love it, wear it, and it will bring you happiness.

Silk to chiffon to ponte, cotton to jersey; swirling botanical patterns and block colour. Deep reds and blues and greens, a surprisingly lovely and gentle navy, teals and purples, a great amount of black. These are my beautiful dresses that never get an airing. They are a silent reproach to my inertia, the somnolent grab for the clothes that I am used to, the ones that politely apologise for the visual space I might take up.

In the course of a great wardrobe clearout yesterday (read: one bag for the charity shop, an emptied wardrobe and three large mugs of tea later), it occurred to me; I have stopped dressing like myself. I can easily tell you how, but the why of it is rather tangled.

This does not seem like a particularly great way to go through life. I am no longer satisfied with leaving all the colour and playfulness for my sketchbooks and my finished work.

Yesterday I told myself, take a deep breath, and wear that dress. The earth will continue working away on its axis, the sky will not fall, people will not stare in horror and cover the eyes of small children. The likelihood is nobody will notice, or someone on the street will remark to themselves on what a lovely colour or pattern it is in between coffee-coffee-coffeethoughts and oh-god-the-email-is-mounting-upthoughts and go on their way.

Aunt C learned crochet from a Presentation nun, which was to stand to her all her life. To my eight-year-old mind, she made spiderwebs and flowers and grasses come to life out of boring old mercerised cotton. Out of her hands came christening robes and tops and tablecloths, a wedding dress, a Communion dress four of us wore and loved. I didn’t think of what she made as fusty then, and I appreciate it on a whole other level now.

I look at the work of my friends who crochet- N, who made a Spiderman blanket and another N whose first crochet project was a triangular shawl in shades of berry and spice- and I see them in the same way. I cannot believe what they’ve done with that magical equation of yarn + time + hook. Crochet is not fusty. Crochet has beauty, timelessness, energy, elegance and even a sense of humour about it. And just like knitting or any other art form of the like, some use it to amazing ends (Aoibhe Ni, are your ears burning? They should be!) and others forget the helpful maxim, “just because I can, doesn’t mean I necessarily should”.

Recently, two people (one on crochet and the other on knitting) have misrepresented both, when a few minutes research would have uncovered the incredible resource that is Ravelry. Ravelry would’ve answered any questions they had, put a few myths to rest and everyone would’ve been happy. Oh well..

So, to review: plenty of people knit in Ireland, and crochet is about many things beyond doilies. I could go into much more detail- line by line refutation- but it strikes me that neither party is willing to listen, considering that one of them talked of being “misinterpreted” when offered her own direct quotes.

a very large hint..

January 18, 2012

What do you get when you cross..

Louise Brooks

with

Threadand

Beeeeeeeads

Just wait & see…

welcome, 2012

January 1, 2012

2012 here started with flat 7-Up and a new knitting project (oh I do live righteously, don’t I dears?), which is not the worst way to begin. (Trust me, I’ve started it with stomach flu, so almost anything bar trepanning with a rusty chisel would beat that.)

Many people have tweeted & blogged & emailed & posted their resolutions, but I don’t have much to add. All that I hope to do in 2012 is craft, play music, work hard & possibly eat more pineapple, and all that I wish is for happiness all round, and for those of you reading, all that you’d wish yourselves. Have a good one, dears; you truly deserve it.

Why yes!

The combination of these *gorgeous* photos from Half A Dream Away and being so goshdurned excited about my new piece means it’s hard to resist the temptation to post all about them. So I won’t!

I can’t resist using layers in my work, as you might be able to tell. I love these simple squares against each other. Having initially thought about soldering them together, I decided to leave them hang free; there’s something lovely about their more ‘fluid’ look.

WaterMemory All Square Earrings

All Square earrings by WaterMemory. Sterling silver simple tube squares (whoo, try saying that five times fast!) on a sterling silver C-hook. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Ah go on, will we go for another? A necklace this time. Now, ye definitely won’t be able to ascertain from the past few posts that I have any sort of obsession with green, no sir..

Oh So Green

Oh So Green Indeed necklace by WaterMemory. Pea green Delica seed beads, with 4mm Swarovski jet bicones, finished with a sterling silver simple tube toggle clasp. (Click the image to enlarge.)

And there you have it; a few previews of some of the beauties soon to adorn the very-whizz-bang-indeed WaterMemory website. Do let me know what you think!

a sneak preview..

October 3, 2011

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with a couple of geniuses. A wonderful designer, and a gifted photographer. I learnt a whole lot about fabric and photography from two people who have forgotten more about each than I could ever learn.

BB King always said it was a great idea to play with people who were better than you, so you’d constantly grow in your own craft. I can really see his point.

So, courtesy of the genius behind Half A Dream Away (a truly gorgeous photoblog), I bring you a little preview of the delights coming to WaterMemory shortly. J’s comment on seeing the beads on these was “Granny Smiths”, which was the precise reason I bought them in the first place..

Granny Smiths by WaterMemory

8mm ceramic rounds (one of my best finds from Berlin), 4mm jet Swarovski bicones hand wire-wrapped with sterling silver, all on a sesame seed bun sterling silver C-hook, made last Friday evening. (Click the image to enlarge.)

So gentle readers, I leave it to you. What do you think? Would you like another preview or three?

it’s bingo time!

September 19, 2011

Gentle readers, you will have to forgive me today. This may yet turn into a Force Seven rant, so I advise you to make sure those hatches are battened down, all small and easily excitable children and animals are seen to etc etc etc.

There are some attitudes to crafting (and indeed, those of us who do so) that I fail utterly to understand:

  • Craft is an anti-feminist, retrograde enterprise and women who craft are not feminist or are setting back the cause by doing so
  • People only craft/do things for themselves now because it is trendy, not out of any form of necessity, and they certainly didn’t grown up doing so
  • Most people who craft just make silly needless little tchotckes that are amateurish, poorly made and a waste of materials
  • Craft is a waste of time when you can buy everything readymade
  • People who craft do so because they aren’t capable of anything more high-minded/intellectual/worthwhile
  • Crafters are white, relentlessly middle-class trendy/hipsterish types

A few of these attitudes crop up in this article (published in the Observer yesterday), but the main one that caught my eye is that the last one mentioned. Those of us who craft *apparently* only do so because we are unwilling or incapable (mostly the latter but also both) of doing anything more serious. You know, worthwhile. Knocking out shapeless jumpers in front of the Late Late (oh, Fintan, such fail!) instead of reading, or running businesses, or.. well, something *useful*:

“But I am uncomfortable with the subtext to some of the more modish incarnations of doing things with your hands. Why do women want to embroider when they could be reading Hegel?”

This article is hardly the worst offender. It does hit the main knocking-craft bingos mentioned i.e. crafters waste their time making rubbish (“Why do people insist on bedecking their houses with homemade candles and old mirrors adorned by an inept mosaic frame, when all these things are clearly both hideous and slightly creepy?”), crafting is boring and takes a long time and is not usually worth the bother (“Luckily, I already have a scarf. I bought it with money I had earned by going to work instead of staying at home and making things.”) and aren’t people only doing it because it’s trendy? (the “modish” reference above) but it saves us most of the more sexist, classist and patronising assumptions and inferences, I suppose.

I’m not so thin-skinned that these attitudes upset me or put me off, but I find them desperately tired and boring. Change the record, please! I’ve no interest in trotting out my intellectual/’useful’ bona fides just to prove a point. I make things from necessity, because I love to do so, because of curiosity and largely because for me, a day without making things or experimenting is not my kind of day. My crafting kin have these reasons and more for what they do. We’re not represented in the prevailing narratives; we’re not bored and witless fashionistas, and neither do we pine for a time when women knew their place. We’re curious about the world, we love history, we love colour theory, we love the communal element of crafting and most of all, we love the satisfaction of something well-made, long-lasting and utterly, utterly unique.

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