Read This Book!

I had a class earlier this year where we had to read a chapter from Tansy E. Hoskins book Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. Unlike many of the other readings we had to do for the course, I read the chapter really fast and immediately decided that I had to read the entire book. I was already aware of many of the things Hoskins examines in this book but I had never had them all compiled on one plate and served to me with such razor sharp straightforwardness. This book has forced me to look long and hard at my own consumer habits and all the industry myths I buy into. After reading this book I can't justify buying fast fashion anymore, even if I'm only buying those very basic staple garments that I know I will wear until they falls apart. What's so great about this book you ask? Chapter by chapter Hoskins examines the very many ways the fashion industry exploits and destroys people and nature. She debunks myths about high end fashion and exposes how most of the industry is ruled by a few conglomerates. At the same time she describes how all of it…

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Copycat, copyright and the coveting of ideas

Last fall I did a school project where our topic was positivity. It's a very big and philosophical subject for a conceptual design course but we tackled it the best we could in the limited amount of time we had. One subject that came up early in the process was motivational Pinterest quotes. It was fascinating to see how we all interpreted them differently and how some perceived them to be infuriating rather than inspiring. I've noticed that I now see positive quotes in a different light after that project. There's one quote (more of a creative tip really) that I came across on Pinterest a while ago that really made me think, "Do not covet your ideas". After a bit of googling I found out that it's from a book by Paul Arden.  It probably caught my eye because I was thinking about copyright a lot at the time and this quote was somehow contradicting my instinctual need to protect my work. The core of the chapter about coveting ideas goes something like this: The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually you’ll become stale. If you give away everything you have, you are…

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Big Magic

As someone who usually describes herself as a slow reader, I'm really glad I've picked up a reading habit again. I've decided to stop beating myself down for being the person who never knows who's written the latest it thriller and can only list Jane Austen, when asked about my favourite author (so far the only author that I've read more than one book). I've discovered that I like reading about people figuring stuff out with a lot of honesty and humour. I really loved Shonda Rhimes' book Year of Yes and I've just finished another great one, Big Magic - Creative living beyond fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. This book gave me a lot to think about and I think I need to buy it (I usually borrow my books from the city library) so I can go back to certain chapters when that crippling self doubt starts bubbling up. Writing book reports was never something I excelled at  but here are a few things that I thought were great about this book. Firstly I love the way it's written, it feels like you're talking to a really good friend and she's sharing stories and lessons learned over the years.…

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My favourite kind of manipulation

Back in design school, what feels like a million years ago, I found this amazing book at the library while looking for some inspiration for ruffles. Once I was done with my ruffle experiments (I have a serious thing for ruffles, I have to write about it sometime) and had returned the book I decided I should buy it and put it on my wish list.  The book is called The art of manipulating fabric by Colette Wolff and NOW I've finally bought it. Hey, better late than never! What's so great about this book you may wonder? It's like a fabric manipulation encyclopaedia. Ruffles are just a small fraction of what this book covers. There's chapters on pleats, tucks, smocking and quilting to name a few. The book might at first sight seem a bit outdated because of the cover and black and white images but they actually work well with the illustrations and make the instructions easier to follow. I'm very eager to try out all the techniques in the book so I'll probably try out some of them on some pouches and later on some garments. I'll let you know how that goes. I really recommend this…

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Learning something new

I learned to crochet as a kid but for a long time I only had a few stitches in my repertoire.  I've long wanted to learn new stitches so I can crochet something other that endless rows of treble stitches. Instead of getting lost in a new project that would end up in the "waiting to be finished" box, I chose to make small "swatches" with different stitches (see gallery below). I found a great book at the library for instructions. The book is very clear and organised with a lot of step by step images to guide you. With the help of this book I was able to even learn how to read stitch symbol diagrams. I'm no expert yet but I've started to understand the basics. I think I'm going to buy this book as it has an equally informative section on knitting, something I'm not good at. Now that I've tried these stitches my next project is to choose one and crochet a scarf. I also have a idea for a small cross body bag with flower/leaf decorations on the front. Now I just have to get started!

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