Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Do It Yourself love

On thrift and Doing It Yourself:
Fast is expensive in a way that slow is not. Efficient is expensive in a way that inefficiency is not. Oddly, most people love to tell us we are "idealistic" when we are really just being cheap. We don't want to pay so much for the services we don't need. We want to save money for what we do need-- and for the occasional great food from far away. Those of us who remember the annual orange in the stocking are not so much worried about losing freedom and fossil-fueled abundance of options. What we worry about is being able to afford the good things, like air and water and time and balance.
This is Donna Schaper, writing in Grass Roots Gardening; rituals for sustaining activism. It's an odd little book, but I loved her expression of the above idea. We often forget the real costs of the conveniences that seem normal to us. This is part of why I bake bread, and sew clothes.

Speaking of inefficiency, we have some catch-up blogging to do, now that we can post pictures of many special gifts that have been recently all given away. The above bit of inefficient homemade-lovin' is a little zippered bag I made for my dear friend Liz, leaving us for wonderful work in South America. You can find out all about her exciting work with this really amazing organization, LifeWind, on her blog, where you can also find pictures of us singing Elvis Christmas and The Doors numbers with her great family, with Paul at the piano, among other things.
We will miss her so much, and yet we are so glad she is going! Like for my friend who will be receiving the socks, I wanted to make her a present she could use lots, and feel loved every time. This pouch is made mostly out of recycled fabrics. The print is a fabric my mom used on so many things when I was very little; an apron, a teapot cozy, a quilt, maybe matching dresses for us? It is very evocative for me. I just have a small piece of it left, and this gift is worth it. It's funny; I told Liz about the special fabric and when my mom saw the bag, she saw the fabric and spontaneously said almost the same things!
I made the pouch following the directions in Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. It's the second zipper I've ever sewn and the first that didn't make me cry. It's a little stiff, but will have to do. The pouch is lined with flannel, and I added a simple pocket on the inside, as well as a bit of hand worked embroidery on the inside and out. For extra love.

Love you so much, Liz!


Amy said...

I was wondering if I could get more information on Hand-in-Hand school... I am extremely interested in the "homeschool" part and when I searched for the school, your blog came up... could you point me in the right direction to find out more about the school?? Thanks you!

New Hope, MN

MamaBear said...

hey, I can't find the web address either. I know that they have a very rudimentary site and are working on expanding it. When I find the url I will post it on our blog. The school moved last year and is still getting some of this stuff put back together.
What kind of homeschooling are you interested in?

Amy said...

Thanks for the response. I am using Sonlight with my little ones right now (4 and 2 1/2 yr old). We have not decided to homeschool yet, but it is on the table. My oldest would like preschool I think, but I am not sold on the idea. We have done ECFE in our school district and I am less than impressed with the teachers and the other kids. So, I guess I am looking into other options. Where did the school move to? What do you think of it? Thanks! Amy

MamaBear said...

Hey, The website for Hand in Hand is
It was tricky to find, and it's not much of a website! It doesn't seem to be locatable by search engines! I hear that they're working on it.
I would be happy to answer any questions from a parent's perspective, or give phone numbers for actual representatives of the school, if you're interested!
-libby jane