December 4, 2013
Oh har har. So fucking funny right?
Because only women like Maroon 5 right?
And so if you like Maroon 5, you must be a woman right? *
Because women don’t like metal right?
And being a woman is just so awful that calling a man “a woman” is apparently a terrible insult, right?
Is that why it’s funny?
Or is it because liking Maroon 5 must mean you have your period, because of all those womanly emotions and stuff….?
I fail to see why insulting people by calling them ‘female’.. is funny. I am a woman. So are 50+% of the population. I am not embarrassed or ashamed to be a woman. So stop treating my gender like an insult.
C’mon folks. Think before you post stupid shit like this.
* Newsflash, not all women use or need tampons. Not all women menstruate. Imagine that. Diversity of biology within our gender.
November 3, 2013
Foxes are pretty trendy at the moment and I can see why! They are super cute, wily and function extremely well as design inspiration.
This hoody was inspired by a picture I saw on Pinterest. Someone way more talented than I came up with this idea.
This was also my first time doing appliqué and I think it came out super cute!
October 18, 2013
October 10, 2013
I have been struggling to find the words for a submission to the select committee inquiry into funding for the sexual violence sector. I thought I would write this epic, moving, eloquent, analytical piece of brilliance.
But I couldn’t do it.
Instead, I’ve submitted to the emotional exhaustion that comes with caring so much about all the harm that it keeps you working and working and working and just said the only few lines I could think of.
I’ve submitted this:
I volunteer for a sexual violence support agency.
The work that is done there is some of the most important work in the world. Lives are saved. Regularly.
The experiences of survivors need to be validated. All survivors are entitled to a safe and accessible place to talk about the harm that has been done to them. Current funding does not enable services to meet the need. People are left to cope on their own.
The workers who support survivors should be valued through strong salaries and the support they need to continue to do the work. Current funding means they struggle to make the organisational ends meet, they worry about the sustainability of their own livelihoods and may even be harmed themselves through prolonged exposure to this work if the right support systems are not in place.
The Government must increase funding for sexual violence support agencies.
The Government must take a strong, explicit stand against sexual violence, sexual assault and rape in our communities.
Everyone’s life is harmed by the existence of rape and sexual abuse. As long as rape and sexual abuse exists, we are all survivors.
Do not leave it up to charity and volunteerism to pick up the tremendous cost of this difficult work.
If you would like to make a submission. Here are some links.
Wellington Rape Crisis Submission guide – http://www.wellingtonrapecrisis.org.nz/blog/submissions
A video message about submitting – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upki0L3yP4Y
October 6, 2013
Yesterday, I tried to refashion a huge dress I found at the tip-shop, but I gave up after I butchered the neckline. I felt pretty discouraged, but today I completed three sewing projects.
The first was an adult dress which became a peasant style tope for Anabelle I just loved this fabric!
Then I turned this adult sized skirt in to a dress for Kadie. (I died it last weekend)
And then I made this tee shirt dress for Kadie and I plan to make one for Anabelle tomorrow.
And just because it’s hilarious, check out this photo. Anabelle try to be cool and dad playing the fool. (Shades of things to come…. )
September 26, 2013
For years we’ve encouraged a range of interests for our girls. This year we fully indulged the princess theme for the birthday party for the seven year old and I made the dresses.
You know those pink mosquito net things that some kids have? Well ours had them, but it only took the dog jumping on the bed a couple of times for them to start tearing. They would have let a mosquito the size of a cat through, but I knew there would be a way to recycle them.
So I laid them out, folded them (Which was a HUGE pain to do as they are pretty unwieldy) chopped them up and folded again. I added a casing so I could loop some of the material through to tie them around and added more loops as a halter tie.
Added a spangly bit to a big ribbon to cinch the waist in and ta-daa!
The end result was pretty good for a Friday night effort!
September 6, 2013
Which is what I told myself this morning, when I made the coffee, starting a new bag of the good stuff before the old bag of the yuck stuff was done.
And I deserve good coffee. I need good coffee. I can feel my brain straining in anticipation as the water boils, the aroma wafts out at me…
I deserve good coffee. I do my work, I pay my taxes, I volunteer, I donate, I play my part, I deserve this, I tell myself, trying desperately not to think of the places and people in my world who need so much more than coffee.
But I deserve this, I need this. I need my coffee to start the day, to set the tone to signal the start of another day of moving, moving through the world fast, pushing to do, everything that people ask, demand, need of me to do. And more. Of course, more. Writing endless lists that never end. Always finding more for myself to do. Can’t you see I’m busy dammit?
While drinking my coffee and meeting with people I was told of this syndrome, of rushing women, who rush even when they don’t need to rush. Who have somehow sped their lives up to a speed, which can outpace their hearts and their lives.
I may have a condition called perfectionism I confessed to someone recently. I may be a rushing woman. I may be setting goals for myself which keep me in a constant state of busy not-enough. Not enough achieved, not enough done, not enough made. Just. Not.
My coffee dwindles.
There was a time when I thought ‘perfect’ was a thing. That it could be, it could actually happen but that I just wasn’t it and if I kept trying maybe one day I would be.
But now I realise that perfectionism has nothing to do with the quality of what I do, it has to do with how, in my own eyes, nothing is good enough. Measuring, comparing, striving, improving.
And yes, I’m grateful for the benefits these attitudes have provided me in my own privileged world. But the balance needs to be maintained as well.
My thoughts drift to my recent holiday. A month away. I drank so much coffee, quietly, in beautiful places, where the only thing to do, to achieve was to drink that coffee, drink in the view and just be. Just be with the people I love most in this world. Surrounded with sights, smells and sounds that resonated deep within.
There was no rushing. There was no competing with some inner mirror.
There was just time and more time, to be and to drink that coffee. But damn it was good.
July 1, 2013
I just wrote a book with my Granny.
Ok, hang on, let me back up.
My Granny was an artist. She lived with us for a number of years when I was little and I remember her sculpting, painting with different mediums, sketching and arranging flowers.
She taught me how to make fairy houses in the garden and I remember admiring her many ornaments that she had.
She was just one of those people who made beautiful things. She made things beautiful.
Sadly she sold off many of her works of art, I think to create space for a different future, but those of us who have pieces of her art just love love love them. One of my mum’s most prized possessions is a richly painted ostrich egg.
She painted some amazing watercolor illustrations for children’s stories and they’ve been floating around for years and years.
A couple of years ago, I laboriously scanned them all in to my computer and edited them. The paper had yellowed and so they needed freshening up. I edited the stories and tonight, published one of her stories as an ebook.
I’m still experimenting with it all, but if you’re keen to have a read, please do. If for no other reason to admire her charming paintings.
And there is a bit more where this came from, so I’ll eventually add a couple more stories.
Suitable for children of all ages.
June 28, 2013
This is how I opened and closed the Wellington Rape Crisis AGM last night.
Before we start I would like us to just take a few moments.
just to center ourselves
to take a deep breath
to close our eyes if we wish
let’s presence ourselves
in this space
in this chair
with these people
in this moment
and I ask that we think of the women
who have been part of our lives
and the journey that has led us here
the women we love
the women we’ve lost
the women we have laughed with
the women we have cried with
the women who we have fought alongside or just fought with
even the women for whom we hold no affection but who may still have taught us lessons that we carry with us
the women we have defended and those who have defended us
The women we nurture and those who have nurtured us
Let us bring their presence
in to the room
To surround us
let us fill our hearts and minds with their memories and warmth
let their wisdom guide our speech
their experience guide our decisions
let their resilience fortify our resolve
let their love infuse our cooperation
let us keep them here with us in the room during our time together
as we pull our attention back to the business at hand
As we close our time together, let us take a moment to presence ourselves once more
with a deep breath and a calm mind we reflect on what we have discussed and decided here
and the work ahead
Let us turn our attention again to the women we have brought into the room with us and thank them
Let us be grateful to them for their contributions
Let us appreciate them for their love, their pains, their strong backs and backbones
May we realise that we are among greatness
May we come to know that we are greatness
These women are us and we are them
May we appreciate ourselves
Thank you for being here tonight.
June 26, 2013
A little over a week ago Anabelle and her Dad were playing Guess Who?, that game where you select a character and try to guess the other players chosen character through elimination.
Anabelle noticed that there were only 5 ‘female’ characters in comparison to the 19 ‘male’ characters*.
So she wrote a letter and we did a little youtube video and we sent them the link.
Here is her letter.
Here was their response:
Thank you for taking the time to send us your video and your feedback on Guess Who.
Guess Who is a guessing game based on a numerical equation. If you take a look at the characters in the game, you will notice that there are five of any given characteristic; eg. gender, skin colour, hat, eye colour, hair colour and glasses.
In the latest version of Guess Who there are 24 characters:
5 are girls, 19 are boys
5 wear hats, 19 don’t
5 have blue eyes, 19 don’t
5 have darker skin colour, 19 don’t
5 wear glasses, 19 don’t
5 have white hair, 19 don’t
5 have blond hair, 19 don’t
5 are bald, 19 aren’t
5 have beards, 19 don’t
5 have big lips, 19 don’t
5 have big noses, 19 don’t
The idea of the game is, that by process of elimination, you narrow down who it isn’t, thus determining who it is. The game is not weighted in favour of any particular character but because gender is the most obvious characteristic people often think it is. While there are less females, there are also less characters with white hair and less characters with big lips… so, if the first question asks does your character have white hair then it can also wipe out a lot of people straight away.
Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences – which is why they use many different characteristics not just gender. Encouraging children to ask questions around some of the other characteristics and not just gender may help with their game play.
If you would like to vary the game play, there are different character sheets available to print out. Please click on the following link to access these:
I hope this has been of some help.
Now, firstly I was pleased they wrote back and that their response was a detailed explanation of their reasoning. But I still think they got it wrong:
Thank you for you lengthy and considered response. I have to disagree.
My experience from watching my daughters play the game is that they always want to choose a girl as their character as that’s how they self-identify.
The problem then becomes that they are eliminated really quickly as there are only five female characters in the game. Their enthusiasm to play quickly dwindles.
I like the approach of encouraging children to investigate other characteristics. But gender, in particular, to me is important to represent equally.
I still encourage you to rethink your formula. Otherwise girls (and people with non-white skin colour) will see themselves as reflected as minorities in the the game. We can debate the race factor in terms of it’s representation because that varies from country to country, but one think we do know is that women are always half of the population*.
Alternatively, I challenge you to have the standard character sheet that comes with the game to be weighted 19 girls and 5 boys. However I suspect that would be less likely to be approved, perhaps for fear of alienating the potential players who are boys. Please don’t continue to think it’s ok to alienate my daughters, which is what you are doing.
*of course this doesn’t include folk who identify in non-gender binary ways.