Thursday, November 10, 2016

SWAP plans and assorted other thoughts

in which our plucky heroine reminds self that when times seem, or actually are dire, art gives us both hope and visions of alternatives... don't give up, don't stop making, don't stop making art...
“It’s not as easy as that,” said Summer sadly. “I can’t stop myself from worrying.”

“You’re human,” said Glorious. “Humans hoard up their fears as if the world might run out.” He huffed a laugh. “Still, you build cities with them—and towers and artworks and families and faiths. It seems to work for your people, even if it would not work for mine.”

“I wish I was a wolf,” said Summer.

“That is a very sensible wish,” said Glorious. “But even Baba Yaga cannot grant you that. So you will simply have to be a brave human.”

--- T Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon
Ursula Vernon posted three new chapters of "Summer In Orcus" yesterday... as she said "...because we need comfort right now. It's not much, but it's a few thousand words you can spend among friends, and hopefully give your heart a brief respite."

and because whatever the larger world is doing, bodies still need clothes, I am, in between the needs of working, and house declutter and organise, planning and sewing some clothing to refurbish my Very Empty Closet. I've taken the quarterly online challenge of 6PAC sewing, and the annual SWAP (Sewing With A Plan) challenge, over on the Stitchers Guild message board as inspiration.

The wardrobe planning I did last week has turned into a list of 27 garments. While this sounds like quite a lot, most everything I own as everyday clothing is quite worn and threadbare, as I've done precious little sewing for self in the last three years. I have learned over time that after about three years of wear, my clothing mostly becomes too worn to mend, so I need to either be gradually sewing a few new pieces every year, or need to plan and carry out a massive sewing intensive...

# done 6PAC SWAPgarment
1 - - -black linen crop pants
2- -black chopshop cardigan
3- - - black knit top
4- - - black linen top
5- - black corduroy pinafore
6- - turquoise shot cotton dress
7- - - blue/grey striped knit top
8- brown twill pinafore
9- - brown twill jacket
10- - - black/brown A/C top
11- - black/brown marl knit top
12- black/brown flannel dress
13 - - black/grey handknit wool vest
14- - blue floral blouse
15- - dark indigo denim pinafore
16- - indigo pinstripe dress
17- - - brown raincoat
18- - - black rain capelet
19 - - black rainhat
20- - brown crop knit pants
21- - blue crop knit pants
22- - grey crop knit pants
23 - - blue striped batik dress
24- - brown mushroom blouse
25- - grey corduroy pinafore
26- - - black/grey/blue stripe dress
27- - - blue knit turtleneck

Though I am sickened and terrified and grief-struck, I figure the most radical thing we can do is to continue to live, to stay here, to do whatever small individual things are possible to shift things back to a more positive inclusive place, a place of hope, and even though I feel no hope today, to continue to create the world I do want to live in, where everyone has a place and enough...

These ideals got me through my cancer journey, and will hopefully continue to serve me well... I do know, however, that without both luck and public assistance, I wouldn't be here alive now to write these words - If I hadn't been in the 10% who made it through the OHP lottery* in 2011, I would have died of cancer in 2012

"Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind.... or forgotten."
November SMART goals
1 charter #17 framed Summits charter 7 pounds
2 charter #18 framed Adiantum charterGoodwill bag
3 reflective mesh vest repair small frame old chook gate
4 blue batik dress frame fox print paper recycle bin
5 -- 3 bags recycling
6 - - 2 bags trash
7 - - 11 bags Goodwill
8 - - 1 bag yarn
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 - - -
12 - - -
13 - - -
14 - - -

* For most of my adult life, as a self employed artist, I have had no health care insurance coverage at all. When I moved to my current home, I found out that technically at my income level I was eligible for the OHP, the state health insurance for low income folks. The catch was that there were far more people that needed that coverage than there was money allocated. So every year or two, as funds became available, you were allowed to sign up to be in the lottery for whatever additional places were opened up. The year I "got lucky", there were over 10,000 applicants for just 1000 places. The next year I was diagnosed with cancer. I wish we were not the only first world country that refuses to provide universal health care for its citizens, and I grieve for all the precious lives needlessly lost because access to care is refused.


  1. Lots to think about with your post. Great post.

    1. Thank you Cherie... I have no more intention of becoming a political blogger than I did of becoming a cancer blogger, but the creative lives we lead are embedded in the world we live in, and I struggle to find a balance.

  2. Oh, the fabrics on your shelf look delicious! I know you will create a beautiful wardrobe from them.

    If my glasses had not broken in such a way that I could not mend them, I would not have gone to the eye doctor for a new prescription, he would not have found the cancer in my left eye, and I would not be alive today. My mentor, a middle-aged nun who had had the same cancer, has died, as have others I knew of, because there may be no symptoms until the cancer is quite advanced. That was 22 years ago. Mine was melanoma, often fatal then. Now I cherish each day and this is probably the most joyous time of my life. May peace in your heart and joy in your spirit arise in you.

    Re deplorable election result, I found some equanimity from laughing with what The Onion had to say about the election, followed by Bach's glorious organ music. That music survived wars and famine and despots to continue inspiring us. And Hillary was an inspiration, so gracious and generous in her concession speech. She conceded but is not defeated. What an inspiration she is.

    1. Thank you Carol - What a blessing that your glasses broke when they did! I lost a good friend to melanoma. I too appreciate every day as a gift, and continue to have that as my goal, just as I did even before my cancer journey. I have decided to do as much as I can to smile at people when I am out and about, to say hello or try and be helpful in little ways, and to notice the small good things that also happen often in everyday life.