Rag Rug

Rag Rug

It has been awhile since I’ve posted an update on crafts or projects I’m doing. Rug making has been the latest project: I was totally inspired by this rug from Rachel of Smile and Wave to make my own after seeing her beautiful rag rug. You can find her tutorial here.

Rachel's Rug

Rachel’s Rug

The first step was the loom. It was pretty easy to make, especially since I live a block away from a major hardware store. Surprisingly, the wood only cost me 6 dollars and the nails were cheap too. I couldn’t find my floral hammer so I had to buy a new one. My new hammer is definitely man size!

My loom

My loom

To make the loom you you basically hammer your wood together depending on the shape of your desired rug, and then hammer nails in along the short edge an equally measured distance apart. Voila. Loom made! Although my rugs are quite small, to make a bigger rug like Rachel’s I would have to sew maybe five or six of my rugs together (and weaving alone on one of my rugs took 3-4 hours of solid RSI).

For the weaving part I used Hoooked Zpagetti cotton and though it is expensive for a roll, I am happy to pay as it’s offcuts that would otherwise be added to landfill and it’s got a nice stretch. Along with this I teared up a white cotton sheet I found at an opshop and bought some black lycra (super stretchy!).

I’ve made two rugs now, slightly different from each other. The common theme between them is that they are super skinny in the middle. I need to try and rectify this problem somehow, either by putting nails along the long edge of my loom and weaving around them also, or not creating too much tension in the material early on in weaving.

That being said, I’m pretty happy with them! And they look lovely as bedside mats.

The best part about this project is the fact that you can weave while watching tv shows or movies.

I finished weaving and then did some sewing over the top for reinforcement (especially on the sides and middle parts with looser weaves), all the while watching Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo. Anything for procrastination, solitude and ‘me’ time. Rug weaving is so therapeutic!

Let me know if you want to try it, you’re more than welcome to borrow my loom ūüôā

Laura

Finished

Finished! Rag rug number one.

Black and White Rag Rug

Black and White Rag Rug with looser weaves

Rag Rug with Hoooked Zpagetti

Rag Rug with Hoooked Zpagetti

I have a confession to make…I am addicted to Etsy.

I try and pass it off as part of my quest to support one-woman (or one-man) businesses, expressions of creativity, independent media, but really, I just love getting mail. Especially when it comes so prettily packaged and with so much love and care.

goodmailday

My haul from yesterday. Five packages worth!

goodmaildayGoodmaildayMy favourite thing to buy is zines, my collection is huge now. I treated myself and bought a DIY Health and Gardening book too, ‘Make Your Place’- I can’t wait to make some new washing liquid. I made a great gentle clothes/wool wash earlier in the year and I don’t have much left.

Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs

Make Your Place by Raleigh Briggs

I am getting lots of inspiration from reading peoples self-care perzines. It’s so great to know people are taking the time out to look after themselves.

Speaking of self-care, I had the day off today and got some things done which I had been meaning to for awhile. This morning I got up early and walked with a few hundred people for Lifeline’s walk ‘Out of the Shadows’ for suicide awareness. It held special meaning to me as I supported friends who had lost family members and reflected on my own depression. Afterwards a bunch of us girls went and had breakfast in Salamanca. It was a beautiful start to my day off.

I also made some potato, leek and bacon (and cauliflower and pearl barley) soup! Yum Yum. I never take the time to just cook something I’m craving, I usually just drive down the street to MacDonalds. So today was a slow, restful and relaxing good day!

hehehe.

 

Laura

multicultural boobies

Last nights election results were incredibly disappointing but unfortunately not surprising.. and it means we have a tough few years ahead of us in terms of social progression as a country. 

It appears now would be a good time to reveal some exciting news- I’m writing a book on self care for feminist activists. Truth is I’ve been working on it for awhile, but nothing was typed up. Today I made the conscious effort to type up and organise my notes into coherent paragraphs. And it feels fucking good.

Inspiration

Inspiration

Self care, yo! We’re going to need it.

In solidarity

Laura, ‚̧

 

Lush. I feel as though I have had an internal shift over the last few months to really positive self body image, or, 'not giving a fuck'. I'm not exactly sure what has happened, but I've never felt better about the way I look. It could be an age thing, or because I'm being a lot more selective about the media I choose to view. Regardless, I hope it continues. I hadn't shaved my pits in a few weeks and I felt so sexy and liberated- and I think it shows. I felt so good about this photo I reblogged to Hairy Pits Club on Tumblr, ha! We will see in the Summer time how I'm feeling day by day as to whether or not I have pit kittens. [Photo by one of my most outwardly confident, hot and sunshiney friends, Jaclyn <3 ]

Art by JoelleArt by Joelle

It’s been so long between posts! I’m working on Issue 3: Winter/Spring of BettyMag at the moment and thought I should write about the last issue of BettyMag.

Issue 2 was released in May, 2013. Although mostly unintentional, it was a ‘green’ issue, covering articles on recycling and gardening. There was an interview with the gorgeous Kristan Lee Read on the power of craft, art by Brianna Hudson, Joelle and Moya Richardson, a recap of the Stranger with My Face Horror Film Festival and much, much more!

betty2

Copies can be purchased from my Etsy and Big Cartel stores.

I’ve also created the option to purchase two copies, as a way of ‘Sharing the Love‘- with one going to a local women’s organisation. This way we can reach more people!

A snap from a reader

A snap from a reader

 

Oh, after Issue 2 came out I was interviewed by ABC Hobart! I was so happy with the interview, Carol made me feel so relaxed.  Here is the link if you want to have a listen!

Photo from ABC interview

Photo from ABC interview

 

Laura xo

Woho

So WoHo happened last Friday night, and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

Twelve women gathered together to share lollies, sushi and creative times, each creating a page (or two!) to add to the collaborative Women in Hobart Zine.

Photo by Jaclyn Rogerson

Photos by Jaclyn Rogerson

I really did feel a sense of community, purpose and connection in the room. And the venue!! The Craft Hive is the most beautiful place, so safe and cosy! And central!

I can’t wait to put it all together and mail it out to the participants with some extra goodies!

In the meantime I’ll be adding more photos as they are received.

The Craft Hive!

Lovely ladies gettin' creative!A big THANK YOU to my lovely friend Ruby for helping and hosting and generally being awesome at facilitating the workshop! I’m feeling inspired all over again from thinking about the fantastic pages everyone created.

In happiness

Laura

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Trigger warning** if you do not like words that have socially attributed negative connotations, or natural bodily functions that may happen to half the population every single month for a good forty years of their lives- do not read on.**

I’ve got my menses, period, monthly- whatever you want to call it-at the moment.

I was excited for it this time, after feeling empowered by Inga Musico’s book Cunt for Betty Book Group. In Cunt, Musico describes embracing her period. At the discussion on Sunday night at The Winston (the new and improved Alleycat bar)- we were discussing our first periods, how this came about and where we were.

Cunt_a_declaration_of_independenceThat Time of the Month:

For me, I remember getting my period at around 12 years of age (a year after I had begun shaving my armpits). I remember my aunt was down from Melbourne and she gave me a hug. I assume my mother did too but I distinctly remember my aunt hugging me. This was a big deal and I was excited.

But cramps were the worst! And my excitement soon waned. I remember just being in agony for a few days every month. I went on the pill early at around 15 years due to crazy hormones including severe breakouts and mood swings. Now, I have an implanon (and adult acne). After reading Inga’s chapters on contraception and I had this strange sensation of wanting to scratch my implanon out. My periods have calmed down, but I (did) dread getting my period. The messiness of it all, the pain from my uterine muscles contracting and the dull pain in the tops of my legs. The thought of spending so much money every month on tampons and pads. Not to mention having diagnosed anaemia doesn’t help the situation much. Steak anybody?

After thinking more about Musico’s chapter ‘Blood and Cunts’, I decided to take control over my period and start reframing my period in a positive light from now on.

-Hey! I’m not pregnant! Woohoo!¬†My body is functioning! It’s not icky, it’s a normal part of being a woman.

Thousands of women are all going through the same thing as me at the same time! –

sync-menstrual-cycle-with-moon-cycle

Moon Cycles:

I never knew that women’s menstrual cycles could be synched with the moon’s cycles or that there was any connection there at all.

“The Moon is the closest celestial body to our planet. The Moon’s pull on the Earth keeps us tilted on our axis, basically creating and keeping the seasons in balance for all living things! She also controls the tides and essentially all water on our planet, along with the water and fluid in our bodies. Before lights and other factors, most womens’ moon-times were connected with the Moon phases; usually¬†menstruating¬†around the New Moon, and ovulating around the Full Moon, following the 28-day Lunar cycle.- Marissa Moondaughter.

I purchased Marissa’s ‘Celebrate your moon-time’ e-course from Etsy.

Western society gives our periods a bad rep; they are ‘dirty’ and ‘gross’ and we need to keep them locked away and dealt with secretly to not disturb the rest of humanity. However, half the population of the world ‘deals’ with this phenomena on a daily/monthly basis. So, we women, have been trained to not like our moon-times and dread its arrival every month.

To reclaim this cycle as our own, I propose to not be ashamed of this natural flow and be proud of it! This is a time of month for us to honor, retreat, create, and rest in our sacredness and femininity.”

I didn’t realise that women were so connected with the moon and her cycles. I’ve always felt connected to her anyway, and having my period start over a new moon is kind of cool. Check out this link which has some tips to synchronise with the moon during your moon cycle.

Taking Control:

The other empowering thing I’m doing besides working on getting in tune with my body is talking to people about it. I took a hot water bottle to work yesterday to soothe my cramps. I talked to the wonderful women I work with about it. I didn’t feel shameful or dirty. I thought about how my cycle and looked up information about it, became curious about sea sponges, and reusable cloth pads.

Up until a few months ago, I didn’t realise we as women have real options besides Libra and Carefree (and the other disposable brands). Now, I’m so looking forward to my next moon cycle to try cloth pads!

Today, I attempted to make my own cloth pads. Safe to say I will definitely be buying some from Tasmanian based Moonpads because while I had fun attempting, my pads turned out to be an orange fleece, yellow flannelette disaster. Moonpads are so pretty!

Regular_web_mediumThere are many reasons for choosing cloth based pads instead of disposable- the environmental impact, the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome and the cost of disposables every month. I’ve been thinking about the idea of having plastic in my underwear all day- it just can’t be good for our bodies.

Need more convincing?

Disposable pads and tampons add to landfill. Not only are the pads themselves made from non-biodegradableable products, the packaging themselves (outer wrapper, individual wrapper, plastic strip!) also add to landfill. Even when cloth pads wear out because they are made from natural products, they can be composted!
There are approximately 5.5¬†million females in Australia between the ages of 12 and 51* (the average ages of starting and finishing menstration). If all of these used disposable pads and tampons, averaging 10 per month, that would add up to 660 MILLION pads and tampons added to landfill EVERY year. That’s a big pile!!!
Manufacture of disposable pads involves bleaching resulting in pollution to waterways from effluent, not to mention the chemicals and gels that provide the ‚Äėsuperabsorbancy‚Äô claimed by disposable pad and tampon manufacturers.– Greenchickadee.com.au

Another great site is the ever helpful Gala Darling-‘Ultimate Guide to Making your Periods Suck Less’. I love her idea tip about wearing your favourite underwear during your period.

Happy Moon Cycles! Laura