Our constant hysterical political climate disgusts me. Trump’s constant braggadocio, petty attacks and rambling , fact-free word salads disgust me. The Democrats and media hysterical spin about Trump disgusts me. As far as political commentary or analysis goes, the various smart takes in 2016 remain the same in 2019, as our American political hamster wheel spins round and round.
For the most part lately, I’ve gotten off the daily habit of tracking the partisan spin throughout the day. Perhaps if something interesting or new happens, I’ll write about it, but fair warning, the rest of this post will be another detour about my efforts to make peace between our consumerist culture and the myriad counter-cultural efforts to combat our wasteful American lifestyle.
Last night I watched a short CNN video on Twitter about a fashion designer, zero waste daniel, who started a clothing design business using only scrap fabric waste. His approach of sewing together small scraps of fabric to create larger pieces of fabric, from which to construct his clothing designs, while being a trendy environmental-mindful concept, does highlight our society’s love affair with consumer goods, where most of us acquire way more than we consume and live totally unconcerned about our wastefulness.
There’s a common mindset among more conservative Americans and the political right to dismiss everything coming from the liberal environmentalist echo chamber, but perhaps we should all try to be a little more open to listening and considering the merits of ideas, before making snap partisan political judgments.
Many aspects of our environmentally conscious activism do stem from the political left, then take hold in American businesses, who react to the political activism. Many businesses respond to and embrace the latest politicized framing of appropriate environmentally conscious policies. This type of political pressure infuriates many on the right.
On the merits, though, pushing all of the politics aside, being less wasteful, using less disposable packaging and taking a more mindful approach to our consumer habits seem like very traditional, conservative American thrifty values, that would even have appealed to Benjamin Franklin and most of our American founders. The less wasteful approaches definitely were ingrained habits to my parents and grandparents.
Moving to a crafting/needlework blog post, explains why I haven’t been blogging much lately… I have been stitching away… using all stuff that’s been sitting here for many years.
I struggle with my consumerist mindset and am working to rethink my relationship with purchasing many items, that clutter up my home, and often have never been used. However, moving to a zero waste lifestyle takes way more commitment and effort than I will expend, so it’s small steps in my life.
For decades, I purchased loads of craft and needlework supplies, without much concern or thought about the possibility of having too much stuff. Yet, the thought of parting with my craft and needlework stuff just isn’t happening yet, but I now strive not to buy more, unless it’s some basic supply that I really need.
A few years ago, I began an effort to make projects using only stuff I already have and that’s what that hummingbird cross-stitch picture above is. I bought a bunch of small Spring-themed counted cross-stitch kits (and some not so small ones too) on clearance at Walmart, over the many years that I worked there. I stitched a couple of these a few years ago and posted a photo, but never fear, I have more to go:
I have a hard time seeing to stitch on 18-count, so I used 14 Aida cloth from my supplies for the hummingbird and a bunny kit last weekend. I bought two of the bunny kits, for no logical reason…:
I did finish that Diane Graebner Amish design (out of the hoop and needs pressing):
Learning more about finishing my needlework into some useful or decorative item leads me to read a lot of cross-stitch blogs and browse Pinterest frequently. That habit leads me to want… more new cross stitch stuff, especially the nicer linens and evenweave fabrics and threads. It takes a constant effort to remind myself that, while stitching on plain old Aida cloth isn’t as nice as stitching on expensive fabrics, these kits and Aida projects still look nice, I think.
Yesterday afternoon, I was torturing myself looking at the blog of a very talented cross stitch designer, Brenda Gervais. All of her patterns scream, “I want to stitch that!”. Gervais wrote a short background story to her 2017 series, Summer Schoolhouse ~ Lessons in Abecedarian. She relates how she found a small children’s book while hunting for antiques, but it wasn’t just any old book. It was a copy of the oldest children’s book in the Library of Congress and it’s considered to be the oldest children’s book in print. This book contains the first documented use of the word, baseball. In the process of browsing cross stitch blogs, I learned a new word: abecedarian and a bit of historical trivia too.
To fill my fix for something new, there are lots of free patterns online. I stitched this free St.Patrick’s Day cats piece, by Lynn B., twice. I am going to make them into little decorative pillows or perhaps frame them, but one is for a family member and then I liked these black cats so much, I stitched one for me too:
Yesterday, was another free pattern start, Russian Dolls, this one from DMC:
Plus, I have a bigger cross stitch project of a Liberty Bell, that’s in progress, but that one deserves a fancier Belfast white linen, not plain old Aida cloth. Just started this, so it’s only the top of Independence Hall and some of the lettering:
Of course, still working on plastic canvas too:
Not sure what I’ll do with this house picture, but it’s a design that I like, so I stitched it…
It’s very hard for me to concentrate on writing lately, but I’ll try to get back to politics soon.