SoulCraft – Refashioning Your Wardrobe with Jane Milburn

This talk, of the three, was the one about actually creating things. Which is kind of amusing, but rather typical of me? Jane was delightful and is the author of Slow Clothing, a book on the slow fashion movement. She had bought samples from her own wardrobe of upcycled clothing and accessories to show us and discuss.

It was a rather informal talk, but one I took a few things from.

  1. Buy second hand and stop the fashion waste. And in like, donate old clothes you no longer wish to own rather than throwing them out.
  2. Buy natural fibers – they’re so much better for the environment.
  3. Repair clothes – And don’t be afraid to be creative about it. Use a contrasting thread, embroider patches or sew on cute buttons to cover holes, attach a different fabric, add lace.
  4. Update clothes – Look for the potential in an item. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you can add to it or cut away, pin on some lace.
  5. Upcycle clothes – Don’t be scared to cut them up and completely refashion items. Shirts become skirts, skirts become cute tops etc.
  6. If you absolutely must buy new then buy the best you can afford. It will last longer and therefore not contribute to fashion waste as much.

For me, it left a desire to see if I can get through the remainder of this year without adding anything ‘new’ to my wardrobe.

 

Craft for the Soul

After a week that ended with me a bloody mess, because the brain, this weekend has been an utter joy. My birthday gift from the lovely Mate was tickets to the Soul Craft Festival held this weekend at the Meat Market, North Melbourne. As per its name, it was a festival for the soul for those of us who craft.

There was a section of couches to chill on, a great big hall of long tables for eating and chatting at, a food vendor whose wares looked wonderful (I’m skint so I took my own food both days), the absolutely required marketplace, the long workshops (again, skint so didn’t do those), a small gallery of works, craft dating, and then two stages and several demo spaces where talks and demonstrations ran every hour. It was up to you where you took it. You could chill with your friends, rampage around the marketplace, attend every demo or talk, or just space it out with a bit of everything. The general layout was easy to navigate, it got a wee bit noisy from time to time but was pretty good overall*, a jumper was required as the venue is one of those large open layout ones that are a bit cool (but not cold) at this time of year in Melbourne, and the decorations around the place were a really lovely touch.

It was also eco-friendly. You bought your own bags and washable coffee cups, everything was recyclable. They asked us to go as cash-free as we could and avoid printing tickets or the timetables.

So, starting with the important things… STASH!!! I was in ferret shock. So many vendors, so much pretty, and all Australian. My favorite thing was the number of Australian farmers and eco-friendly yarn producers there were. I was especially stoked to run across a permaculture farmed wool! Eeeeee!! I have a memory like a sieve so here are the business cards I took photos of.


And of course I added to my stash! Check out this beautiful hand dyed wool I’m going to be making a jumper out of:

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Onwards to the talks. I attended a few. Being my first baby-free weekend in the 5 months Rabbit has been with us I was pretty tired and I found myself leaving the house later so I could sleep in and vaguing out pretty badly in the later afternoon sessions. That’s on me, not the presenters. There was a full complement of speakers and topics to be looked in on (see the program here). There really was something for everyone and every speaker I saw was a delight. The ones I particularly enjoyed were Refashioning Your Wardrobe with Jane Milburn, Why We Don’t Need Talent to Make with Felicia Semple, and The Ongoing Practice of Stashless with Felicia Semple. Each of these needs a separate post to articulate the why and my feelings about them and those will be coming.

This was the festivals very first year and I really hope they run it again. Would I make any changes?

In the negative? No. There was nothing I would take away from the festival.

I would add a tiny handful of things to it:

  1. A quiet zone: while it wasn’t hugely packed in or crowded it was busy enough to be very much over stimulating to someone with sensory issues*
  2. A skill share space: Somewhere that we attendees could comfortably sit and share our skills with each other. Many people just struck up conversations, but for someone shy like myself a place we could go to trade hints and tips would be a fun way to network.
  3. An Open Stage or Curated Discussion Space: Probably due to Confest, but by the end of day 1 I really wanted to get up and talk about things and get opinions etc. We could ask questions of presenters but somewhere a bit less formal where attendees could do a 30 or 40min presentation, or run a discussion on a topic dear to them would be really beneficial for community building I think.Look, overall, I loved this. Every minute of it. I will be there next year if it runs again. I’d love to take a master class even, although I had so much fun as it was I don’t need to. I really do recommend the Soul Craft Festival to anyone who passionately loves their crafting.

    *Of the two days Sunday was quieter and probably the best option for anyone with sensory issues to attend.

On the Up and Up.

Well, things aren’t bad. In fact, they’re on the up.

Moods have slowly improved as the medication changes have settled, soul-searching and digging continues at a steady pace. I got to take my mum out for dinner for an early mother’s day gift, The Wolf and I are doing fantastic and our teens are, as ever, awesome.

And then there’s this cutey:

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And then there’s the sleep dep which is making me want to curl up and cry right now. Can’t win them all I guess.

Here’s to Tears

I thought I was doing better last week.

I went out, I saw people, I did all the things. I think the actual fact of it was that I was too busy to notice how fucked up I was. This week I’m not, and I have fallen over completely. Crying at the drop of a hat. Feeling guilty about needing time to study. Feeling even worse about taking time to myself to the point that I’m not. If I can’t drop it instantly to deal with family/house/baby I’m avoiding it entirely…

We leave for camping on Wednesday and I’m back to not wanting to go. Afraid I’ll just fuck it up for everyone else.

Here’s to the tears. Another week of surviving. Another round of medication changes. And another week of one foot in front of the other regardless of the brain.

It’s been a while

I’ve not had much energy for blogging in the past few weeks so it’s now mid-March and no one has heard anything from me since January.

Photo of baby girl in a blue onsie with little grey trees on it.

The Good:

  • Rabbit is ever adorable, sleeping quite well for her age and developing nicely.
  • I’m back at uni and enjoying it.
  • I have the world’s best partner who is doing their best to take care of me.
  • My blood pressure has returned to normal after a few weeks of it being very high post birth.
  • I am doing some work with a lovely lady and learning some new skills along the way.

The Bad:

  • Uni is a struggle, do you know hard it is to study with an infant? Really fucking hard.
  • I do not function well without sleep.
  • I had to stop working on the Hekate stuff to fit in life stuff. This makes me sad.
  • I am so many shades of out of spoons.

The (really) Ugly:

  • My mental health has gone to hell in a handbasket. Primarily, we feel, because of lack of sleep combined with the added stress of motherhood and uni combined. I am… unwell. Very much so. The people I want to know the details already do, but suffice to say my medication is being upped to help my brain cope with everything and I’ve done an awful lot of crying recently.
  • My floors… just don’t look at them if you visit.

Sleep In!!

I got to sleep to 6:30am this morning. Rabbit usually wakes at 5:30am so this was awesome! I feel good. I’ve done housework I’ve been putting off for a couple of days even and it’s only 10am.

So, Rabbit is 3 weeks today. In the past 3 weeks I have learnt something important: Babies are a fuckton of work and I can’t do all the things I want to. I need to nap at least once a day with her in order to be functional for her 12-1am feed and she needs a lot of my time with feeds, nappy changes and playing. We’ve resolved one problem by putting together her big cot in the loungeroom so she can play and nap out here with me during the day.

Photo of my 3 week old daughter, nicknamed Rabbit, sleeping on a colourful play mat.
Rabbit seems to like her play mat in the cot set up. She plays and naps while I do chores.

Unfortunately, all that means I’ve had to drop things. The main one is my Hekate course. I can pick it up in the next cycle of it so it’s not a drama, but I’m a bit sad. I simply can’t keep up with it right now and I definitely won’t be able to catch up and keep up with it when uni starts back at the end of Feb.

With that said, there is some good news. I’m developing a nice routine with the little one and that means I’m doing ok with my self-care. My mental health is holding up surprisingly well, and I’m physically doing pretty damned well. My shoulders are killing me, but I’ll sort out a massage to right that soon. The girls are back at school so I have a bit of quiet and calm at home during the week now, after several months of someone always being here. Also Kovu the Dog has chilled the fuck out and is back to behaving himself for the most part. Still working on the barking but it’s getting better.

My Mate is away for work for 10 days and I’m missing him like blazes. However, I’m managing the home stuff and I’m upright. I’m also super proud of him. He knows why I am.

There’s been very little creative stuff this last 2 weeks, but I’ve continued on Rabbit’s blanket and am about to start a little gift for a friend’s baby which is due in a few weeks.

So that’s me, how are you?