Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Pattern Placement

Shirt: Aimee G.
Skirt: J. Morgan Puett (Mom-me-down)
Boots: El Naturalista
Tights (not seen): Hue

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Summer's Over

Dress:  Issey Miyake
Shoes: Robert Clergerie

(PS - I will be returning to this blog with more than just pictures of what I'm wearing to teach.)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's Not Just Pictures

I know it appears that way recently, and it actually illustrates a point I've been wanting to make and which has come up again recently.  It seems that people who have what we might consider "traditional" lives (aka working a five-day-a-week job) don't understand that we who have "nontraditional" lives (aka schedule of our own making/non-standard hours) are often just as busy as they are.

There's an assumption that because you can make your own schedule that you have a lot of free time or can really easily reschedule things. The truth is that frequently, because we make our own schedules, we've done a little Tetris to ensure we get the work done so all the hours fit together in a nice neat package.  The fact that I'm writing this post right now means that I'm pushing off another task, which will need to be attended to and which may mean that I'm working late.

Let me just outline what's been going on in my life since the beginning of the year.  I've taken multiple trips - one family-related, one activism-related, one writing-related, and one hockey-related.  While they're definitely not all "work," there's something to be valued in each of them.

I've had three pieces of writing published; my most recent one went live yesterday and was an opportunity netted from an announcement about the other two. (I failed to mention the short story publication here - but you can still check it out).  I've also written two new short stories and submitted my short story collection to a number of publishers.

There's also the fact that the art collective of which I'm a part, Shake-n-Make, has two major shows this year; one opening in late August and the other opening in November.  Both are labour-intensive, and we've been working on finessing the details of installation as well as material considerations. This requires not only physical labour but meetings and various email communications. All of this takes time.

This is in addition to my teaching, which is considered a full-time load for tenured faculty but not necessarily for sessional/adjuncts, and my volunteer work (delivering library books to those who can't get to the library once a month), which actually requires that I schedule at least an hour with one of my clients.

I know this sounds a tad defensive, and it is.  Why lie?  But I also think it's important for all of our friends and family to understand that while I may be sitting in my pajamas as I type this (which I am, and it's almost 11am), I've been working for a few hours already, and I've scheduled the work of my day (this blog post, as noted, excluded).  Don't let the wardrobe or nontraditional schedule fool you.  There's a schedule; there is work.

Okay, I got that off my chest.  I feel better now.  Back to work.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: A Frequent Gesture

(I know; you thought it was going to be something else.)
Shirt: Ralph Lauren
Vest: Eskandar
Skirt: Banana Republic
Tights: Hue
Boots: La Canadienne

Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday, March 13, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Pulling Out the Big Guns (or Hats)

Hat: Gabriella Ligenza
Dress:  Alaia
Tights: Hue
Boots: Timberland (thrifted from Mom)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: International Women's Day Edition

Hat: Pussyhat knit by yours truly with Manos del Uruguay yarn
Shirt:  Paul Smith (borrowed from ladyfriend)
Vest: Self-drafted pattern knit by yours truly in Louisa Harding yarn (I think)
Skirt:  Rohka
Shoes: Giraudon

Monday, March 6, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Facing Things Straight On

Dress: J. Morgan Puett
Coat:  Eskandar
Boots: Camper
Tights:  Hue
Glasses:  Eyebobs

Monday, February 27, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Back with Renewed Vigor!

Dress:  Yohji Yamamoto (mom-me-down)
Turtleneck:  Cadeau (thrifted)
Tights:  Wolford
Boots:  Marc Jacobs (mom-me-down)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Pile it On

Shirt:  Trend by Les Copains
Dress:  Comme des Garcons
Pants:  Comme des Garcons
Socks:  unknown
Shoes: Robert Clergerie

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Slow Fashion Publication & Me!


I was fortunate enough to be asked to pitch a story to Less Magazine late last year.  I really only had one idea at the time, being a bit busy with two upcoming art shows and a full teaching schedule, and it was one that I'd been thinking about and wanting to write about: how slow fashion has affected the way I source materials for knitting or sewing projects.  Luckily, they liked the idea, and the fun began!

It's been awhile since I've written an "article," which I put in quotation marks because it's kind of a personal essay disguised as an article, but I'm into hybridity so it's all good.  I also hadn't worked with an editor in awhile, and it took me a minute to realize that there would be multiple drafts with accompanying revision requests.  My editor, Sofie, was great and working with her was productive.

I reached out to a few people I knew via Instagram or had met at the Squam Art Workshops retreat I attended last June (and will be at this year again - yay!).  Well, I initially put a wholesale call out in a post on Instagram and got a few bites.  I ended up soliciting input from three different makers - Tierney Barden, Jess B. Daniels, and Anna Strive (@saint_raven on Instagram) - and am grateful they agreed to share their experiences.  Not only did it give me some ideas, but it also let me know that I'm not the only maker who is concerned about these issues.

The magazine decided to make me a highlighted contributor and asked me to make a statement about the issue's theme, globalization.  Yes, I, too, was unfamiliar with the term when I first heard it, but I think I understand it now.  As they needed a high-quality picture of me (read - not from a cell phone or point-and-shoot digital camera), I only had a few options.  I sent them three, and this is the one they chose:
There are a number of things I like about this image, which also cracks me up.  Firstly, I'm making a very common face.  I think you could find me making this face in a million images that the ladyfriend snaps of me.  Also, I'm wearing a skirt I made, a turtleneck from 3 Dots (made in the USA), my beloved chambray shirt from Imogene + Willie (made in the USA), the tights are from Falke (made in Germany), and my Blundstones (no longer. made in Australia - sigh).  I am also on the property of a dear friend in the Berkshires.

You can read the magazine here.  Not only is my article in it, but it has great fashion spreads and other thought-provoking articles.  I think of it like an intellectual fashion magazine.  Please show them some love.

Also, here are links to makers, companies, or blogs I referenced in the article: Alabama Chanin; Island Wool Company; Rowan yarns; Fringe Association; Tanis Fiber Arts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Hiding in the Stairwell

Dress:  Lauren by Ralph Lauren
Turtleneck:  Akris
Tights: Hue
Boots:  Camper (thrifted from mom)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Marching - On and On


That's my mother and Ian's best friend Sh
The ladyfriend and I made the trek to DC to participate in the Women's March.  As both my parents and our son live there, it was an easy trip to make (and no outrageous hotel costs to bear).  I knit five Pussy Hats with Manos Del Uruguay yarn, which felt so right as it benefits women in rural Uruguay. It was great seeing women in the hats at the rest areas along the way. 

We were a little concerned about crossing the border, having heard about Canadians and other foreign nationals being turned away at the crossing near Montreal, QC; however, we still carry American passports and decided not to pretend we were going somewhere else.

At the border, the conversation went a little bit like this:
Border guard:  Where are you headed?
Me:  Washington, DC
Border guard:  What's there?
Me:  My parents live there, and we thought we'd check out the march. (For some reason I thought "checking out a march" sounded reasonable; it was better than "I thought we'd take part in a revolution.")
Border guard asks a few standard questions - are you bringing anything in, and so forth.  Then he just looks at us, hands us back our passports, and lets us go.  Whew!

I have to say, when we came back to Canada, the Canadian border guard asked us how the march was and whether there'd been any problems.  He seemed quite interested, and not in a negative way.  Oh, Canada!

The march was fantastic.  By all accounts it was one of the largest rally/march in recent history.  I've been to a lot of marches in DC, going all the way back to the anti-apartheid marches in the '80s.  I went to the anti-Strategic Defense Initiative (aka Star Wars) rally in '84 or '85 (I shared a cab with Amy Carter while in DC - hah!), pro-choice rallies galore, and of course many Amnesty International marches and demos. 

Some images from the march -
Crowds at the Metro


Loved this!

These two guys were totally out of their element; they couldn't even handle the volume of our rally cries!  Wait 'til they experience the full extent of our wrath!

My dad and my ladyfriend

Got to meet one of my favourite fashion journalists - Lynn Jaeger!

The love is big, and the hats match!
So now we're home, and as such often the question of how to maintain the momentum arises.  However, it seems like the current administration is going to keep those fires stoked with the executive orders coming out of the White House.  But as we know, it's not enough to be incensed. These troubled times require action.  Thankfully there are a lot of ways to engage in the battle.

I've been referring back to this post, Twenty Things You Can Do When the World Is Terrifying, regularly.  (Think it was Karen who sent me to this post...)  I also believe in Craft as Solace, which reminds me of this cross stitch I uploaded here once before -
The ladyfriend and I are committed to being informed and get headlines from The Guardian and The New York Times.  I'm also listening to Democracy Now! and the NPR Politics podcast.  We've sent money to the ACLU (thank you, thank you, thank you) and will be sending money to Planned Parenthood (also a big thank you to them - I used them for gynecology exams before I had insurance, and they were ones I went to when I needed to find out whether I was pregnant).  And of course, we'll be sending postcards, marching, and resisting the normalization of the fascism we're facing.

Stay nasty, my friends!
The boy had to work but went to protests on Inauguration Day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Highly Suspicious

Dress:  Aida Barni
Vest: Dolce & Gabbana
Tights:  no label
Boots:  Timberland (thrifted from Mom)

Monday, January 23, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Stay Nasty, My Friends

Pussyhat: knit by yours truly from Manos del Uruguay yarn
Dress:  Piazza Sempione
Shirt:  Rachael Mara (ebay)
Tights: Pierre Mantoux
Boots:  La Canadienne

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Tie-Breaker

Shirt:  Banana Republic
Tie: Carlton (thrifted)
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Hue
Socks (not seen): SmartWool
Boots:  La Canadienne

Monday, January 16, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Ahoy, Matey!

Jacket:  Comme des Garcons
Shirt:  Saint James
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights:  Hue
Boots:  Marc Jacobs

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: Always Looking for Something

Shirt:  Izod (thrifted)
Skirt:  Comme des Garcons
Tights (not seen): Hue
Boots: Aquaitalia

Monday, January 9, 2017

What I'm Wearing to Teach Today: A New Year Ahead

Shirt:  Karen Klein
Skirt:  Banana Republic
Tights (not seen):  Wolford
Boots:  Aquaitalia

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Some Reflections After a Year of Not Buying New Clothing

It started around Christmas 2015.  I really didn't want any clothing for the holidays.  I'd done the Life Changing Magic purge in October and was well aware of how much clothing I still had.  On this day, last year, I decided to go public with my make/mend/thrift pledge for the year, and here are some of the things I discovered.

1.  It wasn't that hard. 
This bare fact really hits home how my approach to fashion and style has developed over the past few years.  I had two moments (here and here) where there were dresses I coveted.  These moments happened early on, and I'd say they were more a knee-jerk reaction to associating liking something with owning it.
 
2.  It's not about you.  
It wasn't as though I were parading about, making a statement, but if buying clothes or fashion came up in conversation, I'd tell people that I wasn't buying any new clothes.  Some people responded as though I were judging them by my actions.  Others wanted to question my guidelines - for example, trying to undermine my pledge by saying that thrifting was buying something new.  Listen up, buttercup, these are my guidelines.  You can make your own if you want.
 
3.  I can make it if I try.
Okay, that sounds a bit more serious than it was.  I made the mustard sweater as well as the Brooklyn skirt in a gorgeous purple.  I have the pattern and fabric for the culottes (although it's not khaki), and I have patterns and fabric for all kinds of other projects.  That mustard sweater has become a staple in my wardrobe, as I'd imagined it might be.  The beautiful thing is that it goes with a lot of things in my wardrobe.  This year, I'm making jeans.
 
4.  Make what I like; like what I make.
Yep.  That seems like it should be "duh," but in previous years, I'd find that I'd make something and not be that happy with it.  I'd buy fabric, because it was cute, but then find it maybe too cute for me.   I also ripped out more than one sweater that had been knit years ago (one that I probably knit in the late '90s!).  I've already reworked the yarn from one of those sweaters (originally a Rowan pattern) into a cardigan from the first issue of Making (oh, be still my crafty heart!).  I freakin' love that cardigan.  Even the fact that I had to get more yarn (gasp - how would it ever match?) wasn't a total disaster.  I simply alternated rows of the old with the new, on the back (crafty, crafty, crafty) where I don't see it (hah!).  No one's the wiser!

5.  My personal style is emerging.
I know - it seems like my style is pretty finessed already.  But what I'm learning, still, is where my making and my investment in style and fashion are intersecting.  This is still under development, for sure, (currently working on an essay about it), but in a very deep way, I'm grappling with how my identity intersects with my style.  Yes, I'm asking existential questions around fashion - hey, why not?  I'm trying to get to a place where who I am is the identity communicated by my style.  Stay tuned for that one.

I haven't felt the need to make a similar pledge for 2017, but that's only because I'm really not into shopping like that anymore, and that's probably one of the best outcomes of last year's pledge.

Happy New Year!