Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Happy Australia Day

A mid week holiday - don't you just love it. And in true fashion, it's going to be a hot one here - 37 degrees. So for all those people at barbies and at concerts today, I've got just one word to say to you: slip slop slap.

I sent a little Australia Day gift to my lovely brother and his even lovelier partner. Isn't it ludicrous?!!! What? You can't tell what it is?? It's the Ludicrous Tea Cosy, that's what it is.
Last birthday, these lovely people sent me Loani Prior's Really Wild Tea Cosies (signed by the author, no less) and thoughtfully bookmarked a couple of favourites, including this one, the Nana Delux. Soooo, I eventually took the hint, grabbed my crochet hook and came up with this beauty. It was just so very crazy that I shied away from sending it to them for xmas. But when the designer herself saw it on Rav and told me that she wanted to feature it on her website (it's not there yet, I just checked), I thought that maybe I should send it out into the world after all. I just hope it gives them a chuckle.
This Australia Day I'll be doing what any fun-loving fiberista would do - I'll be sitting in the shade of Jacqui's big old mulberry tree and spinning with my spinsistas. Oh, and there might just be a bit of Australia Day afternoon tea going on - I hear that banana and macadamia nut pie and lamingtons are on the menu.
How do you spend your Australia Day?

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New things

Waaay back in November 2009, I gave myself a little challenge that meant I would not be buying any new clothes. For a year. A small number of items were exempt, but I am very very pleased to say that I maintained this self-imposed consumption rebellion for one year, one month and one day.

Now the very funny thing is that I have been thinking, all along, that my challenge was indeed to buy no new clothes. But just now, I have looked back at that original post, and realised that I didn't remember the challenge quite correctly. I had, in fact, challenged myself to make my own wardrobe for a year. Ah.... now I remember...I also remember a few cheers I received at the time, and certain people expressed an interest in following along. Well, I guess I have disappointed.

But. Let me explain. I did in fact make myself a few items. A groovy pair of jammies, matched by my sister who shared the fabric with me in the first place (no, you don't want to see the silly sisters in their matching jammies). I made three pairs of 'lounge pants' - some people may call them pyjama pants - I call them lounge pants. I lounge around in them, OK? And last summer I made myself two cotton skirts. And I think that's all. Hardly a wardrobe for a year. I did buy some pre-loved clothes, mostly from the fabulous Material Pleasures - about 4 items, I think. Oh, yes, and I knitted a very lovely February Lady sweater.

This experience of thinking that I would make myself all that I needed, and desisting from buying anything new, has taught me something very valuable. I don't need much.

That's right. I don't need much. And I didn't even start out with a very big or varied wardrobe, if that's what you are thinking, dear reader. No, I have just enough clothes to get me through the working week, and some very casual gear for the weekends. See. I don't need much.

(Yes, I know this is getting a bit wordy, but I just have to say a couple more things. Tune out now, if you like. There's sure to be knitting content in a couple of days.)

What else? Well...
  • the knickers are getting a bit thin

  • I'm pretty sick of wearing the same old things

  • I have actually had to throw out the black pants that I wore to work 3 out of 5 days every week

  • having lost a few kilos, some of my stuff just looks plain daggy

  • it did feel good to go out before xmas and buy a couple of dresses for summer

The more personal and surprising outcome of not buying new stuff and not making much stuff was that I started to not actually care about how I looked. Yes, this shocked me too. I think that I was just looking at the same old stuff all the time, throwing it on and heading out the door. I was actually looking daggy most of the time. What was this all about???

It is all very interesting to me.

Not only were there no new clothes, but no new books or CDs, only 2 haircuts, and giving up my French lessons for the year. It wasn't all about consumption rebellion. I gave up French because I knew that my time would be taken up with more important things during the year. And the hair thing? I just couldn't be bothered finding a new hairdresser, after having been unfaithful to the previous one.

Lately I have written about change, and I think that the desire for change has sprung from my last year. I still don't want to buy lots of stuff. I know I don't need it. I will think carefully, more than ever, about the things that I do buy. And I will make more time to create lovely things too. But I will also try to take more care about how I present myself to my world. Starting with the new hair. I like it.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

One word

My one little word for 2011 is change. Yes, there are some things I would like to change about the way I am, the things I do, the way I feel. But mostly I want to be open to change this year. It is way too easy to become set in my ways, thinking that this is the way things should be for me. But really, do I want things to always remain so?

And, as for those things that I will actively change... the first change is my hair. Yes, short is the way to go. I did it yesterday, and already feel way better for it.

Other things? Well, I want to stop wasting time. I want to read more, and watch less rubbish on the box. I want to sew more. I want to see my friends more, and write to those I don't see so often. And I want to think about what I wear. Sounds trivial? Well, no. I have just spent more than one year of dedicated reduced consumerism, but that is a topic for another post. Suffice to say, I can do without new things, but there may be a subconscious price to pay.

2010 saw lots of change in my family, and I was honoured to be considered an important part of going through those changes. 2011 will see more changes for us all. And I want them all to be good.

Happy New Year.