Monday, May 28, 2007


I just caught a mention on a craft blog that there's a new indie film coming out about the hand-crafting revolution. It's called Handmade Nation and the filmmakers are Micaela O'Herlihy and Faythe Levine. You can see a preview here:

I notice most of the interviewees are of the younger persuasion. I hope there will be more of us Golden Girls in the completed film. We haven't all been sitting back quiet and passive; there were the civil rights, feminist and peace movements in our day, and many of us have been making our own stuff for ages, out of necessity. Who else taught these young whipper-snappers to shop in thrift stores and to use a sewing machine?

Kidding aside, I am SO excited about this film. I think it will be great fun and spread the word and ideas for more crafts and more DIYing. I'm proud to bits of this younger generation questioning consumerism and making their own goods and the fate of this nation, I hope.

Other film news: rented Notes on a Scandal which was okay. The acting was terrific but the story was kind of ho-hum, except for the emotional turmoil inherent in the situation.

Funnily enough, I then rented The War Zone, mostly because I've seen almost everything else in the Video Room, my local movie shop (kudos, they are great). I didn't know what it was about but I adore Ray Winstone and it's set in Wales. Also it's directed by Tim Roth, another favorite, and stars Tilda Swindon, yet another. It was a shoo-in.

Little did I realize that it would keep me awake half of last night. It demonstrated once more to me the power of film and of a well-constructed story, artfully told. As Tim Roth puts it in his commetary, so many "things are said without being said." The emotional impact is enormous, the conclusion inevitable, the truth of it irrevocable. Not for weak stomachs. Serendipity has once again brought me two films on similar themes that exist in different universes: Hollywood and the safe route and art. Correction: Art.

Now can I write these opinions up into a review? My next challenge.

I finished the first rough draft of my novelette, but realize one more chapter is required and some major and minor changes before sending a copy to the Writers' Guild for registration and then embarking on the mission of trying to sell it. More on that anon.

Today is Memorial Day and I want to give proper respectful attention to that observance. Each time I watch the News Hours and it winds up with the silent roll call of fatalities in Iraq, I want to weep: so many childmen and childwomen of 19 and 20 are shown. How can this be right?

Friday, May 25, 2007


I did what I set out to do last week. I got up every morning and headed straight to my computer, wrote, wrote, wrote. Took a break around noon to let my laptop cool off and eat, back to work, another break around 4 pm, then back to work, until 9 or 10 pm.

And I have 103 pages of a novelette in rough draft form. So I proved to myself that it can be done and I can do it.

And this has been one of my best vacations ever, except for my poor back muscles from sitting in this frigging chair. I have definitely been off in a very different space from my workaday world.

There's still work to be done on this story, it's rough. But the bones are done, now to add muscle and flesh to it, tone it up.

Good for me.

On the birthday front, my granddaughter turned four and had a small party as she requested.

Other news: the new location of East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse opened at 47th and Telegraph in Oakland in a store floored with ex-bowling alley wood. The space is sunny and gorgeous:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Tuesday, and I'm working on Chapter 4 of my Big Project.

The Birthday was a success. Mom and Dad took Princess and Prince to Marineworld and when they returned we had cake and played Princess Monopoly for about an hour. The Birthday Girl kept saying, "I LOVE this game," and "Everyone wins." She was so happy, she was jumping up and down.

We let her win, and the magic day ended.

Yesterday my son asked me to edit a creative writing project for a class which I did. He had poured his heart out in the text and I wanted to cry. It wasn't fiction, but the ring of truth was pure.

Then it was back to my own fiction project.

I'm racing the clock to get a rough draft done before I resume my ho-hum civil service job, my return to servitude.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I've been busy churning out things for my granddaughter's fourth birthday which is today. First, a pair of "Hello Kitty" boxers, made on my newly tuned-up sewing machine:

Then a set of summer whites dyed via procion dyes to "orchid":

For the grandson, I iron-transferred childart from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival:

I babysat yesterday, finding that the Princess had drawn purple eyebrows on the cat and the Prince had a baby tattoo on one arm.
We had fun with only one half-meltdown.
As soon as I sat down with the baby on my lap, he went to sleep. I remember when my granddaughter at that age would run up to me on my arrival, cuddle into my shoulder and instantly fall asleep. What's not to love about being a grandmother?
For me: I'm taking a week off for a major, major project. I had five weeks of vacation saved up and decided I need to accomplish something NOW. I know what it is and I know how to do it. It is the doing that is the foil. It is the doing for ME, and not for my kid or grandkids. I've assembled all my materials and will begin work very soon.
Also this afternoon, I have to go check out the new site of East Bay Depot on Telegraph and maybe take some photos, write up an article. I drove by yesterday and there were picketers out in front. I hate crossing a picket line so will talk to them before going in.

Another beautiful sunny day outside. I'll also shop for wrapping paper and a birthday cake.

Friday, May 11, 2007


For a week or more, I've had a flu that laid me low. I won't offer details, too gross.

But better now, and I'm making a super-conscious effort to feed this precious body of mine with healthy, fresh "live" food that will build up my immune system.

Other things going on as well, but I shall not digress.

I was well enough on Sunday to have my babies over for luncheon.

Back to my recycling obsession--how cool is this?

A pretty basket made from soda bottle strips. A Japanese inventor, Takashi Utsumi, developed a device with which one can rapidly shred PET bottles into ribbons suitable for use in crafts. There are two types of PET shredder: F-200, which produces 2cm-wide ribbons; F-15/40, which produces 1.5mm to 4mm-wide ribbons. Unfortunately, these aren't available to us yet.

I think it's brilliant!

Although the very best thing we could do is invent a way to convert plastic back into oil. The Big Companies would be out sweeping up all the "trash islands" clogging our oceans and choking our sealife.

So much to do; so little time.