Friday, 16 May 2014

a little bit of everything

warning: there are a lot of swears in today's post. like, a fuckload. so maybe don't read any further if you care about shit like that. otherwise, carry on! it's pretty great, i think.

all of the things.


the undies are still being made (i'm pushing their launch to next week to give myself some breathing space), and i'm still doing database entry, and i'm still chugging away on my vasa (which is growing slower than i'd like/anticipated, but i'm trying to accept that), and the fucking mohair is still a wip, mostly because lately i haven't been able to commit the focus it requires (which is why the slowly growing vasa is great as a diversion). i've also been dealing with extra anxiety, no doubt partly due to the amount of coffee i've been drinking. oops.

but but but…

life is pretty sweet. i attended mental health first aid training this week as part of the preparation for curiouser's down the rabbit hole tour, which will be happening this upcoming school year (dates and locations are being determined, and will be more of a priority after i get some other shit out of the way).  it's fascinating, and also basically what i've been doing for years for myself and loved ones and as a support person at various organizations anyway, which is nice to know. it's good to find out that i've been doing things pretty well in line with proven policies and techniques, with certain obvious exceptions to the rule (usually involving my own mental health and that of a few people who were too entangled in my life to keep the necessary separation of your shit versus my shit). 


of course, going in-depth into mental health anything can be triggering when you live with various mental health issues. it's great and important and necessary in so many ways, but it's still triggering. so the fact that i was training half a block away from a local yarn store was pretty damn convenient. after the first day, i meandered over and poked around. there was nothing that jumped out at me for projects in my queue, but then i noticed one of the mannequins. it sported this awesome tunic. now normally, i don't do variegated yarns. it's too much. my rising dawn shawl was/is a huge exception to that rule. but the design of the tunic is so clever, and the shape so me, and the way that the colours work out is amazing. plus, noro yarns have always fascinated me (but i've never used them because of the whole variegation thing). so, i grabbed the (free!) pattern and the two skeins it will take. i'm excited to get started on it. i probably won't be able to for a while, but i'll keep you all updated on its status once i do. hurrah for therapy shopping!

ANNNNNNNND, curiouser got our research grant from nova scotia public interest research group (aka nspirg, aka the most awesome radical group besides south house, which i am biased towards because i've been with them for so long, but they both work together all the time and support each other's projects, so basically they're the same group of rad folks). some of the money covers my mental health first aid training, and the rest will be going towards theatre for living training that i'm doing with a dear talented handsome here. we (we being curiouser) want the workshops we offer during the tour to be fun and creative, but also safe and inspiring for critical thought and action around mental health and its stigma in society. so training is vital to that, because it makes us more knowledgable and responsible artists and activists. and getting the financial support to help with that is amazing. thank you, lovely pirg :)

an image from sharon bajer's short shot, in which two 5-year-olds play chess. i snorted for about ten minutes straight.


also, i went to the carol shield's festival of new works launch last night. it was breathtaking, and hilarious, and hopeful, and truthful, and gorgeous, and inspiring, and reminded me yet again why i do what i do. there were many things i loved for a variety of reasons, but the most impactful part of the evening for me was local artist extraordinaire debbie patterson's keynote speech. oh my god, she articulated every reason why i so passionately believe i and others need to make art, and how we should make it (not in terms of style or form, but in terms of telling the truth and bearing witness to ourselves and others and our shared world). it was just incredible to watch this talented artist so masterfully articulate all of the things about art and making art that i so often fail to put into words. not because i don't have the vocabulary for it, but because i care about it so much my tongue often gets stuck. as debbie put it, it's a matter of "find(ing) the passion to lose the words." it's those noises we make, the little gasps and exhales and musical grunts, when we get so worked up we can't find the words to say, "this is so important, and here's why." so we make noises instead, and use gestures, and our eyes spark with the possibility of it all. i love it.

isn't it pretty?
and finally, i bought a beautiful secondhand spinning wheel from a friend of a friend. it's going to be living in halifax with a dear one until i can bring it back to the prairies, but i'm happy with its babysitter (wheelsitter?), because they are as much of a fibre nut as i am and they will take good care/make good use of it in the meantime. i also have mum's old spinning wheel here (it's not as pretty and is a different model), so it's not like i'm in a huge rush to get the new-to-me one across the country. i'm excited at the prospect of having two though, partly because i'm fascinated to see what the difference will be like with the way they both spin, and partly because it means that i'm already set up for the future. the future, in case you were wondering, involves a community space where a communal spinning wheel hangs out for people to use if they can't afford their own/want to learn/want to spin while hanging out with friends/whatever. and then another wheel at home so i can spin regardless of where i am. this is obviously the far future, but being prepared is never a bad thing.

and, as always, don't forget about my indiegogo campaign to help get me to the white rabbit arts open air festival & residency! me, the woods, a tent, a bunch of other artists, the ocean, love notes for you...

so there you go. a long-winded and slightly scattered post about all of the many many projects going on in my life right now. hope you enjoyed/made it this far!

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