Posts by Karen Kaminski:
Children’s Book Appreciation Post
By Karen in children's literature
I found a new Instagram account to follow: Laguna Vintage, a dealer in vintage children’s books. Their feed is equal parts “wow, what great art” and “holy nostalgia, I remember that one!”. Here’s a few that caught my eye this morning–cozy/cared for vibes for a week when it feels too hard to be the grown up.
Oh, to hibernate in a cozy ivy-covered bower:
(Das Märchen illustrated by Gottfried Kumpf, 1992)
Oh, to be a tiger on a flower:
(Tiger Flower by Robert Vavra, paintings by Fleur Cowles, 1968)
Oh, to be a lizard in a pocket:
(Izzard by Lonzo Anderson, illustrated by Adrienne Adams, 1973)
Oh, to be personally attacked by a children’s book:
(My Birthday Book illustrated by Anne Sellers Leaf, 1976)
If It’s A Socialist Holiday, Count Me In
I’d never given much thought to International Women’s Day, assuming it was a corporate ploy to pay lip service to women while doing everything they can to maintain the status quo. (In fact, that is exactly what internationalwomensday.com is, full of fluff about changing the world with…poses?)
But I just started following feminist Clementine Ford and learned from her posts and stories that IWD was started by Theresa Malkiel, a factory worker and first woman leader in the Socialist party. Per Wikipedia,
In theory, the Socialist party was committed to equal rights for men and women, but in practice, it made no effort to reach out specifically to women workers and showed little interest in their concerns. Malkiel concluded that socialist women would have to fight their own parallel battle for equality.
Thus, National Women’s Day in NYC in 1909; in 1910, the International Socialist Women’s Conference proposed a Women’s Day promoting equal rights and suffrage, and it was celebrated officially in 1911.
It remained a Socialist/working class event until 1967, when second-wave feminism jumped on board and it got more widespread attention. In 1975, the UN recognized the holiday…and here we are. Again, per Wikipedia:
By the twenty-first century, IWD has been criticized as heavily diluted and commercialized, particularly in the West, where it is sponsored by major corporations and used to promote general and vague notions of equality, rather than radical social reforms
I dunno, comrades…given that American women can’t get an abortion in 21 states, trans women are afraid for their lives, the gender pay gap keeps getting worse, especially for women of color, and the American right seems to want to take us straight into The Handmaid’s Tale... it might be time to get a little radical again.
Tuesday Project Roundup: Knitting Purse
By Karen in sewing, Tuesday Project Roundup
I wanted an easy project after those fiddly satin pajamas and also wanted a more organized knitting bag. I have one of the original canvas Fringe Field Bags and have just been carrying that on Sunday visits to families instead of a purse–but there’s not a good place for my phone or keys (or water bottle).
So when Grainline Studio launched the pattern to DIY the larger bag Fringe used to sell, the Town Bag, I thought that would be ideal for a purse/knitting bag combo and an easy project.
Sewing-wise, it WAS an easy project. But you notice how there are only strap rivets on one side? Grainline neglected to mention that their hardware kits didn’t include any way to SET the rivets. So I had too many go awry to do both sides. (I tried to make it look intentional by putting snaps on the outer pockets of the other side.)
Grainline did mention that you needed a 10 oz canvas in order for the bag to stand up on its own, a fact I neglected to notice until I’d ordered this 6 oz “canvas” (again from that Warp and Weft line; love the colors). The bag is very floppy when it’s empty but once I pack it up with my wallet and phone and keys and water bottle and yarn, it holds its shape.
I might be turning into someone who only likes to sew straight lines…first quilts and now bags. It might be time to start on that travel bag I keep talking about.
March Monday Moods
By Karen in Friday Unrelated Information
1. I heard March described as “stick season” and that’s so accurate…just gray and sticks, with maybe some sun and sticks thrown in if we’re lucky.
2. During last year’s Poop Challenges, Doc’s gastroenterologist breezily recommended “the Mediterranean diet” with no further guidance or explanation. The GE did the same thing for me after my colonoscopy last month, despite me not needing or asking for advice about diet, so I was thrilled to find this article from an intersectional dietician: The Mediterranean Diet Is a Whitewashed Fantasy.
There are 21 countries that border the Mediterranean Sea…: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey.
You can see the region encompasses a huge diversity of food and cultures. But the Mediterranean Diet is most commonly associated with Italy and Greece […] (The countries in the study were mostly populated by white people, and the participants were all men.)
3. Speaking of food, Eater has a whole interactive issue about mall food. Hot Dog on a Stick forever!
4. The story of my life:
The trees are a few months away from actual leaves but the buds are there. Soon.
by Philip Larkin
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
Well, it’s March…but it’s snowing. Maybe I’ll keep hibernating?
(from Richard Scarry Love)
Or maybe I’ll do this to my house? (From new favorite account, Illustrated Building Cutaways. Hours of fun!)
This is so true:
(By knit artist Kendall Ross)
And finally, this has been Toby all week (sound on for sure). Toby! You used to sleep through the night!
Tuesday Project Roundup: Fancy Pajamas For A Sewing Party
By Karen in sewing, Tuesday Project Roundup
I did a thing outside my comfort zone on Sunday and attended SLC Frocktails, which I’ve been calling Sewing Prom but is just a cocktail hour to meet and talk to other people who sew, hosted by a local fabric store. But I went all by myself! I talked to a lot of different people, mostly about their outfits and about the best patterns! I am truly proud of myself.
I also made a new outfit for it, one I’d had on the mental list for a while:
Yes, those ARE formal satin crane print pajamas. The fabric and piping had been in my stash for a while; I even tried out the pattern (Closet Core Carolyn Pajamas) as a wearable test last year. (I made the pants a few times, too, but never blogged about any of them.) So this wasn’t an unknown pattern and I didn’t have to buy anything new for it–my only challenge was getting these sewn in a week. (And also somehow forgetting I used a smaller seam allowance on the pants and having to unpick them all and try again.)
I was brave and did a social event on my own, but my bravery failed me at asking anyone to get my picture there. But here’s a shot as I was walking out the door:
My pretty dress days are over; I’m in my Hilary era now (pantsuits forever) so the formal pajamas were a great way to feel fancy but also be comfortable.
Sure, there’s easily six feet of snow in the lower canyons (and something like 30 feet at the highest elevations) but the sun was shining yesterday and some of that snow was melting. AND the afternoon seemed like a proper afternoon, not just a sudden jump from lunchtime to twilight. I think…I think winter might be losing its grip.
(Winter isn’t giving up willingly, though; there’s another snowstorm in the works for tomorrow.)