Archive of ‘sewing’ category

The Far Reach of Dear Big Brother & the Octopus

Another day with a mix of sun and clouds. As long as there ratio of blue sky to clouds leaves room for the sun to poke through, it’s a good day. We went to a Smart Meter rally at the legislative buildings. All homes in BC are going to have a Smart Meters installed, a program which started in July, and is projected to be finished by the end of 2012. It isn’t really an option, and there was no discussion with the public before this decision was made. Scientists are pointing in both directions about whether or not EMF’s (electromagnetic field) causes negative health problems. For me, this is an important question, but having the right to choose to have a Smart Meter at your house or not is equally important right now. I have the choice to smoke, or not to smoke, to eat healthy or unhealthy foods, to ride a motorcycle, or not to, and I used to have the choice to use wireless technology or not to. If you feel something is damaging to your health, or could be, like smoking, the foods we eat, or riding a motorcycle (I just picked 3 hot topics, but you could interchanged them with any risk-related choices), then you have the right to opt-out of these things. It’s a choice, and my family, and many others, would like to choose to not have a Smart Meter. It should be that simple, but it’s not.

We received some lovely letters from BC Hydro, ensuring us that there was no danger from Smart Meter technologies, and that even the Health Minister assured citizens that there was no risk. As if the Health Minister has never been wrong! Remember, there used to be no health risk in smoking, handling mercury and asbestos, or the cocaine in cough syrups, to name a few.

If the health affects don’t concern you, or you think the science isn’t all there, reasons of privacy might convince you that the Smart Meters aren’t such a sweet deal. The devices transmit information about the goings on in your house…it doesn’t take a genius to judge from your power consumption when you are home, or not home, what kind of appliances you are using, how often you get up in the night…that sort of thing. Power companies can remote shut off your power, or turn off specific appliances. By closely monitoring our power consumption, power companies can decide what times to charge more for power (when people are using it the most). And the only thing standing between your personal data, and hackers, is encrypted user data. Ann Cavoukian, The Privacy Commissioner of Ontario assured residents that, “The best response is to ensure that privacy is proactively embedded into the design of the Smart Grid, from end to end.” Thank goodness BC Hydro’s “privacy principle will remain the same“. We’re being well looked after. Big Brother is making sure that we are safe, we’ll pay less, we’ll save energy, and they’ll fix outages sooner. It sounds almost too good to be true!! Oh wait…it is. 

recycled side panel
waste-not waistband

On a lighter note, I also got to work on my Octopus Tee-shirt Skirt this afternoon! I am nearly finished, and am really pumped with how it turned out. I always felt the octopus tee shirt would make a super awesome skirt, because putting an octopus on any article of clothing obviously increases its’ awesomeness ten-fold. I love that I found a use for the legs of my old jeans (after turning them into shorts!). I saw the legs sitting in the cupboard and thought, “Oh my. How fetchingly that color goes with my octopus!”, and figured placing side panels would give me some much-needed stretch and only add to the stylish nature of this getup. The waistband was crafted from the bottom of a faded, stretchy black Jacob tee, which was much too small and closer to gray in color than black anymore. I got many years of loving out of that top, and now can use it to make a few more waistbands. As always, would love your feedback! I have only basted it together, so the final sewing will happen later! Can’t wait to rock my new look in the street of Victoria. And hopefully on my own two feet (as if I needed another incentive to walk, but skirts look awesome when their human is standing!).

It’s alliiiiiiivvvve!

Reflections in a looking-glass pool

Underwater life animated on a historic building

I thought that the days of summer were truly over, but today the sky was an exhilarating riot of vivid blues, stormy grays and white. A mix of sun and clouds, with a touch of rain, and the occasional brilliant-eye-squinting ray of sunshine. Dad and I went down to the Inner Harbour, walking along one of the few paved paths in Victoria that is in a moderately tranquil location.

Regal Parliament, resting on borrowed lands

We walked along the smooth path, taking in the sights like any good tourist. It is noisy in the Inner Harbour, with the sea planes taking off towards the distant mountain, motor boats tootling around, people laughing and skateboarding, biking, dogs.

no school like zee old school

The one thing that you must listen hard to find, to separate it from the roars of city life, is the sound of the ocean, persistently lapping against the raised concrete path. I wonder what this place looked like before the shoreline was smoothed out and raised up. Were there beaches paved over, and did they use the smooth pebbles littering those ancient beaches to decorate the gray cement? A small piece of the bay is still intact, where you can see the remnants of crystal pools of green water, which carve holes in the rock-face. There are no big waves that rock into the Inner harbour any more. Not since the extension and creation of the breakwater, a few kilometers away. The water feels almost stagnant, until some boat or plane disturbs its’ surface. Just remember that this water is also full of raw sewage, one of Victoria’s very dirty secrets. Yes, that’s right, in the historic capital of this great province, our toilets flush right into the once pristine coastal waters. Pollutants don’t belong here. Not anywhere.

looking-glass pool
We strolled across the Blue Bridge, a first for me. I’ve never crossed from Esquimault to Victoria on foot or wheels. From there, Solstice Cafe, a haven of organic and homemade (many vegan!) delights, is just a few stoplights and a hill away. Steaming cups of rich cocoa, and a granola bar. Isn’t that the definition of culinary heaven? 
history unknown
I have always been fascinated by this building front on Pandora. Only the historic front remains, an eerie skeleton, a face with no body, a lid without a box. Ironically someone painted a few blue pacman on the front.  In the good old days of my freedom with strong legs and a healthy sense of adventure and liberty (always willingly accepting serendipitous situations as they arrive), I used to think to myself that the bodiless building would make an incredible picture, or a sweet backdrop for a photo-shoot. Finally, camera in hand and blue sky to boot, I captured the haunting beauty of the place on film a plastic memory card. 
I was so exhausted when we came home, although I am trying not to show it. We started my IV antibiotics a few days ago, after almost half a year without them. The medicine is caustic, and burns my heart and veins as it enters my blood stream. I feel weighed down with sickness, as though my bones are suddenly filled with lead instead of 900 mg Clindamycin.
When in sickness or pain, try chanelling your frusteration into a creative outlet. 
Don’t speak the anger in your mind and body, but instead try to look at the flipside, turn everything terrible into something good. 
An example? Today I am really suffering, and I feel like crying with the pain of the medicine going into my heart and neck. 
But someday, when I’m a doctor, and I decide to put a patient on a drug with a biting, bitter, derisive and acerbic personality, I will be able to understand their suffering. 
I am being given the power to heal, through the knowledge of suffering I am receiving. 
A further plus side is my extension tubing is 14 inches long, leaving me plenty of room to knit!
Once you start moving in a postive frame of mind, everything become lighter and warmer in my mind. I hope it can do the same for you.
I channeled my pain in sewing this afternoon. I have many incredible animal-print tees from the Sierra Club, that Dad used to bring home for me, some of which I have had since kindergarten. The sky blue and navy octopus shirt, which is too small for me and a bit faded, has just been recycled into a trendy skirt. Cut off the sleeves and neck, added a bit of denim on the sides from a pair of pants I cut off into shorts, and created a waist band from a faded black stretch shirt. I will post pictures when I have it fitted and on ma body! Should be pretty sweet once it’s done…and all recycled…how cool is that? 
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