Harry Potter Mug Rug Swap!

Hi everyone! I’ve had a busy couple weeks and it has severely limited my blogging time. I’m hoping to get back into it once things calm down (after school starts is the first time I can see that happening… two weeks from now), but for now, I want to share something I’m really excited about. I’m participating in…

Harry Potter Mug Rug Swap

…A Mug Rug Swap! I stumbled upon this group and am really excited to get started. They’re still trying to get it off the ground, so I’m hoping that some Harry Potter loving sewists that read my blog will join the bandwagon. Spread the word!

[You can find the code for the button here.]

Inspiration and Motivation at #DCAF

I’m on vacation in Halifax right now and am having an awesome time. The city is beautiful, I’ve been to a lot of really cool places, and took so many pictures that I’ll have to show off here once I’m back in Guelph with my laptop.

Today I went to DCAF, the (first annual) comic arts festival in Dartmouth, just a short ferry ride from downtown Halifax. It was lucky for me that this event just happened to coincide with my visit! I chatted with some really nice people and saw a ton of amazing art. It’s such a different environment than the wildly popular and huge TCAF, which I attend every year. It was very chill, but also well attended, and I felt a wave of inspiration crash over me more intensely than it has in years.

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One of the particular inspirational artists was Kate Leth, whose comics and prints sent me into fits of joy. Upon devouring Ultimate Kate or Die #1, I was struck with the desire to express myself. I’ve found myself lacking in a self expressive form of creativity for a long time. I’ve been trying to convey it in my blog, but continue to walk the line between craft blog and the inner workings of my mind. Because I can’t control who reads this space, I’m hesitant to write about the more personal things, but I think keeping them to myself is working against me. This fear of expressing what’s going on in my head has contributed to the block I’m having when it comes to writing my Letter of Intent to apply for Graduate school. I keep thinking g that maybe this means that I’m not cut out for this sort of thing.

Anyway, I think that drawing more, doing more comics and writing, and being brave about what I put out into the world will help with some of the insecurity that’s been building up around me. I think the reason that all this stuff is coming to mind is because the courage that comes with showcasing ones art at a new small festival is really inspiring to me. So thank you to everyone who organized and attended DCAF–I think you’re helping me get myself back on track.

FO(s): batPod & elephant mug rug

Bear with me, I’m posting from the iPad, and the formatting is not as nice as it is normally. I may edit the photos in this post later if they don’t come out looking as good!

I recently picked up my new (old) sewing machine from triangle sewing centre. It was all oiled up and ready for sewing! I got to know it by fixing a pair of shorts, and then I got into some more complicated stuff.

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First, I made my mom a mug rug for her birthday.

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I cut out a bit of this pretty elephant fabric and echo quilted around the octagon shape. It was a nice, easy, and rather speedy project.

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I backed it in this cool orangey painting fabric I got from Paula at the yarn store. It’s bound I some leftover soleil fabric from my niece’s quilt.

Next, I made a case for my iPad. I did extensive research on tutorials and decided on this one from One Shabby Chick.

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I used most of the rest of my batman fabric and I looooove it! I quilted it in a grid, which I think works really well with the fabric.

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I used a button instead of Velcro because I didn’t have any. I think it looks good.

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I lined it with this aviary damask fabric. It doesn’t quite match, but I love it, and that’s the whole point of this thing. The back is pretty nice too.

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I’m thinking of making another one already, this time with the TARDIS on the back. I found a pattern for a paper pieced block and I think this is the perfect chance to test it.

Celeste and Jesse Forever – spoiler free review

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Hi everyone! I’m blogging from my iPad for the first time so bear with me. My mom got a new iPad for her birthday and then gave me her old one. Needless to say, I’m thrilled.

I’ve spent the past two days getting to know my iPad, who I’ve named Alfred (Pennyworth). But today I tore myself away from it long enough to see Celeste and Jesse Forever. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a movie by Rashida Jones and her writing partner Will McCormack. It stars Jones and Andy Samberg. They play a couple who is going through a divorce while they continue to be best friends.

Oh. This movie. Let me tell you. The title couple are such an intense pair of best friends. They reminded me so intensely of me and my own best friend (Holly, the one sitting beside me at the time) that it wasn’t difficult to see why they had trouble letting go of one another. Much of this chemistry came in the form of quirky habits developed between two people so enamored with each other that they had a thousand ways to communicate their affection for one another.

This movie was less a romantic comedy and more a study of friendships that included both romance and comedy. Relationships develop and fall apart between countless characters in the film that were diverse in gender and personality type (but not usually race). I really enjoyed that it showed positive and negative behavior in friendships between women and women, men and men, and women and men. I especially loved the colleague/friend relationship between Celeste and Elijah Wood’s character, as it showed a great way to be friends with your coworkers without getting your lives too intermingled.

I did have things I didn’t like about the movie. There was the whitewashed Los Angeles, the super hip locations, and a few of the wardrobe choices, but other than that I really enjoyed this movie. It has a lot of beautiful music accompanied by gorgeous shots of cityscapes and skies. It left a lot of the connecting the dots up to the audience, which makes it a little smarter than your average twenty-something romance flick.

I’m glad I was able to check this out. It’s not under wide release but I encourage you, if you have the chance to see it, do it. Even if it’s just to support Rashida Jones, an actress who created a great role for herself, and an interesting movie too.

feminist friday: bookmark this!

Busy week. Time for another installment of bookmark this!

Olympics: Sexist Trolls Get Told by Badass Eighteen-year Old Weightlifter - British Olympian Zoe Smith is the weightlifter in question. Her response is so perfect I have nothing else to say. She is my hero.

Olympic Sexism: Men Fly First Class, Women In Coach - There’s a lot of talk about sexism in the games this year despite the huge amount of women participating.

Dear World: Please Stop Caring What Gabby Douglas’ Hair Looks Like – I understand that we women of colour are pretty intense about our hair. Personally, I don’t comment on the so-called nappy status of other people’s hair because maybe they like it that way. What the fuck do I care. But there’s a difference between commenting on a friend or celebrity’s hair, and commenting on the hair of a gold-medal olympic athlete who is also seventeen. Let’s be real here, when you’re training to be in the Olympics, styling your hair is not on the top of your list… And this is all ignoring the fact that her hair looks fine!

Charity: The Random Act via Joanna at That Thing I MadeThe Random Act is an organization that donates to people in need via random acts of kindness. Once I have more money I will definately be donating. Joanna tells a story of a friend she got help for through The Random Act, and it is a good one. There are a lot of ways people get help for the big stuff, but when it comes to little stuff (like having clothes for a job interview) it can be really hard to find assistance. Anyway. Check out Jo’s blog either way.

Politics: Teens Petition for a Female Moderator of Presidental Debate - It’s nice to see teenagers standing up for what they believe in. I know I was an apathetic, insecure, self-absorbed teenager, and I was one of the better ones.

Linguistics: The Birth of [the word] Cute – This is a concise history of the word that reminds us that it wasn’t always used as a condescending dismissal of women, but a way of calling people clever!

Art: Pini’s Bunchh Censored by Facebook - Facebook has censored a semi-nude drawing of an androgynous character, deciding that the nipples in the image count as female, and so unlike male nipples are too risque for facebook. Thanks, facebook. < / sarcasm >

WIP Wednesday – stained glass

With my Giant Star quilt top finished, but my Singer still in the shop, I’ve moved on to another quilt top. This makes 4 quilt WIPs on the go now. And I want to finish them all by summer’s end. Or at least get most of them quilted, since I won’t have as much quilting time once school starts up again.

little apples quilt

This new top is the rectangle squared pattern I blogged about earlier this month. It is way easier to make than it looks! The hardest part is remembering to cut the strips the right size. I still have 9 blocks left to sew together, waiting to become rows 7 and 8 of the quilt.

little apples quilt in progress

I’m using my Little Apples far eighth bundle. It’s perfect for this pattern. I didn’t use all the cuts from it yet, but I may add more depending on the size I get once I’m done the inital blocks. It’s looking like it’ll be 8×8. The original is 5×7, so 8×8 seems a good size for me. I want a bed quilt, but I don’t need it to hang over the sides of my double bed a lot, as I sleep all curled up in a nest of blankets.

little apples quilt in progress

This pattern reminds me of comic books. It actually makes me want to make a comic book page quilt, with comic inspired prints and lots of block styles. But for now I’ll settle for the story I made up about the little girl.

little apples quilt in progress

The girl in the red coat travels through time and space, befriending others wherever she goes. She visits the same forest filled with little apples over the years, and sometimes she is alone, but other times she’s with friends. She carries the little apples with her to remember her friends from every time period, and keeps the gifts of clothes they give her. She’s a tiny time lord…

little apples quilt top in progress

I have also just started the short rows on my Color Affection! I am so excited. Every red stripe drives me into a frenzy.

color affection shawl

While I was tagging this pictures on flickr I noticed something… the colours match! Red, white, aqua? I think it’s quickly becoming my favourite combo…

color affection shawl in progress

Edited to add: Oops, I almost forgot! Linking up with Wip Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

feminist friday: catcalls

What is it about a woman walking by herself at night that makes men want to yell at them? Not abusive things, but things like “Hey baby” and “Come give me a hug” and “Where are you going” and “Wanna party?” To many guys, usually a drunk one, these are perfectly nice comments made in public, so non-threatening. Except it is.

Last night I was mildly harassed by two men. I say harassed, they probably would say ‘talked to’. This is what happened:

I was walking home. My street is perpendicular to a busier one. I was walking towards my house alone with no sign of drunkenness. I heard footsteps behind me, so I clutched my keys in my fist in case I was being followed. The person behind me caught up slowly, and then gently touched my arm and said hey. I turned, thinking it would be a friend of mine. It wasn’t. This man then walked with me, asked what I was doing, where I was going, touched my arm twice more, asked me to party with him and put his arm around me. I pushed him off, told him I was fine, and went into my house, locking the door behind me.

I didn’t do anything to invite this guy to talk to me. I was walking quietly alone and I just wanted to go home. It was just past midnight. Why is it that he thought it was okay to follow and mildly harass me? Sometimes I think that if I were a guy I would think about whether a situation was threatening or not before I approached a stranger. But maybe that’s not true. Maybe I would believe the world was mine to run. Maybe I would believe that because that’s what society tells me. Maybe I would think that any woman would be lucky to have me, unless she’s fat or ugly, as society seems to say as well. Maybe I would expect the world to bend to my will in every situation because that is what I’m used to. But I know lots of men who aren’t like this. Who wouldn’t approach a woman walking alone at night, who wouldn’t touch her arm unless they knew each other. Because they know that women feel the fear of a potential attack all the time. I feel it all the time. I was ready to respond with violence, but I was scared. What if he reacted badly. What if he overpowered me. What if this mildly threatening situation became a terrifying one. What if. What if.

There was a second guy. I left my house again and was walking home around 1:30am. Once again, I was alone, quiet, and showed no signs of being drunk. I saw a man up ahead of me loitering near my street, but he was on the opposite side of the street and didn’t seem to be looking at me. Feeling safe, I walked at a normal pace to my street and turned onto it. I was halfway to my house when I heard him yell. “Excuse me! … Excuse me! Hey! Hey! Excuse me!” I turned to glance back, but he didn’t seem to be in trouble, so I kept moving. He continued, “Can I have a goodbye hug? Excuse me! Hey!” He continued to yell until I was inside my house, the door safely locked behind me once again. Why did he believe that yelling at me to give him a hug would make me turn around? Did he really believe that I would turn back and enter into a potentially dangerous situation with  a stranger on a dark street in the middle of the night? I would have sooner fought than hugged him, because I am always prepared to fight for my freedom.

That’s what being a woman has taught me. That men are not always going to respect you, your wishes or your body. Every man has the potential to turn from friend to aggressor, and so you have to be ready to fight all the time.

I don’t want to be scared anymore. But what else can I do? We refuse to educate our young men on how to behave in these situations and so we end up with grown men who act like children when they don’t get their way. They just take it. And I’m tired of it. I’m tired of worrying that there could be someone lurking in the dark. I’m tired of wondering if I’m strong enough to win a potential fight. I’m tired of wondering if I can run fast enough to escape. I have to do something else, something to curb the fear. And I don’t know what to do.

All of this has been brought on by a few catcalls, and an invasion of personal space. Gentlemen, keep that in mind the next time you want to whistle at a woman as you drive past.