the space between

sew weekly's current challenge is green. which i take to mean green, but also as in using what you have green. i had scraps, and lots of them, from my burdastyle book entry. and i used every inch of them. green and green: repurposing, upcycling, planet hugging. i think the planet is in need of a hug right now.

this is the one shot you'll see a smile in. it is undoubtedly and repeatedly time, my friends, for a new camera. 

as soon as i type that, i think, nice, oonaBRATtoona, please be a little more unware of the world around you as you post on your sewing blog and complain about, you know, your crappy five megapixel camera. ten years ago you had one megapixel and you were over the moon, now there are nuclear reactors blowing up, but you know, whatever, your blurry photos are WAY more important.

then i stop typing and sigh, because really what can we do. we can host raffles and put up buttons, yes?

i have a confession to make. i have not paid any real attention to the news in ten years. i wouldn't have known about the earthquake in japan had i not looked at my blogroll, like i do every morning, and saw very purple person's post. (yes, ruggy would have eventually informed me that day, he is very up-to-date on the goings on of the world, and keeps me on a much appreciated need to know basis.)

my hibernation started with the election that wasn't. before that, i can't say i was an avid CNN hound, but i did try to stay in touch with what was happening in the world. when the 2000 election rolled around, i decided it was time to drink out of my big girl mug and really get informed. i got intimate with tom brokaw (he, my friends, is a badass), read the daily internet headlines, even got a subscription to the new york times. it was all depressing as hell, but the upcoming election made you feel as if there was something you could DO about it.

you know, and then The Election That Wasn't happened. right, left, or in-between, that was some royally messed up shit. i mean, i just wikipedia-ed to be sure i got the year right, and almost cried when i saw al gore's face.

wondering what was the point of all my nightly news intake, let alone my vote, i kept on with less vigor.

you know, and then 9/11 happened. and that. was some ROYALLY messed up shit. there is no need to wikipedia that. news and life wise here, it was all there was, for a very long time.

(as i expect will be the case in japan. although-- before the whole nuclear reactor situation-- it was a natural disaster. natural. i don't know from experience, and i hope i never will, but there seems to be a way to cope with that in your head. maybe. but then you think about things, things like The Election That Wasn't, and what we're doing to the planet, and what measures might be in place now to ease up on nature if The Election That Wasn't actually WAS...but this is about power plants, yes? not the nuclear bombs of the cold war ready to explode. oh and PS, somebody pictured above needs a swayback adjustment stat. but, as mentioned before, way more important things.)

getting back to the news. after 9/11, there didn't seem to be much i could do by staying connected to it. no, that's not saying it right, i was absolutely disgusted in the knowledge that there was nothing i could do. and hey there bright and shiny wide eyed american, this has been going down all over the world forever, so, your recent interest in the news? is old news, baby. all this has happened before and will happen again. i'm watching too much battlestar galactica.

there are catastrophic events going on every day. from the girl walking down the street who just got a call that her test results were bad, to the family whose granddad was on the bus with the suicide bomber, to the thousands of people in water and rubble and buildings.

and in the middle of all of these events, every one of them huge to the individuals facing them, sometimes i just want to go to a yoga class, and take yoga. i don't want to hear about laying my turmoil down by the yogi altar, or sending my thoughts out to the people in their own turmoil-- i don't want to hear about turmoil. i want to FORGET about turmoil, and feel happy and okay that i'm in a yoga class, and afterwards if i'm lucky i'll sew something that looks good enough to wear. and maybe it will be green and use up scraps of discarded material i already have in the house and reduce my carbon footprint and incrementally make the world a better place. and it will make me happy.

and my being happy, in and of itself, will HELP.

and i know this is the absolutely right way to feel. and i know this is the absolutely wrong way to feel.

and i feel like a heel for going on about my day. and i feel like a hero for going on about my day.


  1. I don't know about the world news--I, too, tend to turn off just to keep going on with life. It's not right or justifiable, but it makes life bearable. I do know that's an amazing dress, and I wish I were half so creative with my scraps. Mostly I just let the kids have them and they're reduced to one-inch squares stat.

  2. Great post. I especially enjoyed the ruminations over being happy/ not supposed to be happy and being a heel/ hero. I love the dress, too. Really awesome.

  3. I love how you hugged the planet! the dress is so funky! you are so productive!;)

  4. I enjoyed your post Oona! Though, I must admit, it was hard to focus my eyes on the text with all the green stripes popping out from your lovely dress :)
    I don't follow news either. Sometimes I feel ridiculous not knowing elementary information about domestic and foreign happenings, politics and economy. But I've lived the war, and inflation, and bombing, and hearing that our friends, family and neighbors have died during the war, or that they're suffering from various cancers as consequences of the bombing radiation... I'm just sick of it all...
    You mentioned yoga, my getaway is sewing.

  5. I completely get what you said... I stopped watching the news very gradually. First, I moved to a place that did not have a cable connection, and then I read less and less the online news.

    I have had a few bad moments with my mum because she thinks that I do not care enough about my own country (I come from Belgium and I live in The Netherlands), but I keep an eye open.

    And anyway, my Mister reads a lot about nws, and commuicates about them too...

  6. Wonderful post Oona, I love your writing style.:)

    I don't really make a point to watch the news, but I do have my TV set where the first channel to come on is always CNN. The first thing I do when I get home is turn on the TV then it takes normally about a half hour to settle in before I begin sewing, cooking, reading, whatever. You can absorb a lot in that time!

    But that routine is a fairly recent development (in the last 2 years). After 9/11 it took awhile to watch the news again, it was just too much.

    Oh yes, and I love your dress! I have a lot of scraps I need to reuse too, the stash it getting somewhat out of control.

  7. The 2000 election almost broke me, but I stayed heavily invested in the news until I was diagnosed in 2008. I used to know the name of every politician, know about every news event - but I'm only now crawling back into it, mostly because I was wrapped up in my life, but also because I couldn't handle more despair. That's changing now, happily.

    That dress is lovely. I'd happily take it off your hands if you don't want to wear it again, even though it looks absolutely fantastic on you.

  8. ☝ thank you everybody, i really went back and forth over whether to post it, (the heel/hero stuff especially, emilysmith) then i thought, (once AGAIN), in the great scheme of things that's a pretty trivial quandary.

    i'm half parts glad and sad to hear that y'all move away from the news too. from anajan living in the bombing, to magpie having enough already in her life, to laurwyn just plain old not having cable (crafty laurwyn, CRAFTY. cut it off at the source!) it seems obvious we all want more happiness, and feel guilt about that. if someone finds a good in-between area, lemme know...

  9. I, too, find the news very hard to listen to. I've been following what's been going on in Japan surprisingly closely for me. But politics just annoy the crap out of me and make me very cynical, so I tend to avoid that whenever possible.

    Also, I think your dress rocks. I love that you used up all that scrap, and that it looks stylish and cute and like every seam in there is an intentional design element. I think you've inspired me to try something like that with one of my scrap pieces sometime.

  10. I so relate to how you feel about this oona. And in our place, Simon is the one with the Time subscription on the ipad and who devours the newspaper while I flip to the lifestyle mags. I keep informed, but I can't immerse myself in the daily news because of how powerless it makes me feel. Because there are people in this world who put human lives a distant second to profits and I at times I really despair of stopping them. I know the broad strokes of what is going on, and I find I'm generally better off (and more interested in) informing myself through reading books on history and geopolitics rather than from politicians and pundits yelling their agenda du jour at eachother on the tv.
    I do best when I try to find creative ways of living my life in a way so I'm not complicit in those forces. I in no way totally succeed but you have to try. We're smart with our energy use. We drive about once a month. We sponsor a little boy in Mozambique. We don't really buy much, and when we do we try to make sure the money from our purchases are going to good people so they can do more good, and are kept away from people who only use it to make the world worse. I don't bury my head in the sand but I am selective about what I turn my attention to so I can keep my good humour and positive attitude. I can't really do anything if I don't have those!

  11. Same here with the news... I've never really followed them. Teachers at grammar school tried to make us follow by having us make weekly reports, someone else each week. I happened to be in charge of this when 9/11 happened. And everyone else in the class knew more about it than I did, because I had basketball training that day and came home in the middle of radio news, just when they were talking about it. I made it a point of not following afterwards...

    But I think your way of dealing is not that bad. Using up scraps. If everyone used up scraps, the world would certainly be a better space, at least a bit, and the best thing to do with that is to use up scraps yourself. Plus, they made a gorgeous dress!

  12. Beautiful dress- you have changed my idea of green. As far as news goes- I'm with you- the earthquake in New Zealand I heard about a week later. I used to be a news hound be when you realize life is better without it.

  13. great post. i was a broadcast journalism major in collage, and i learned that no news are written in neutral stand point - and journalists have to "sell" news too just like seamstress makes clothes to sell. my husband and i get emails and phone calls from the states, begging us to come home, because of what they see on TV.

    btw, great dress, and i can't say how much i love your bedroom! i love the brick wall, something you would never find in japanese houses!


  14. thank you don & vivat-- good point about journalists having to sell the news. at a certain point you're no longer watching news, you're watching hollywood.bad hollywood at that...

    and i love that you love the brick wall!

  15. Lovely! That is an incredibly work of precision sewing - way to go!

  16. wow. I have been having these very same feelings about what is all going on in the world right now - japan, libya, everything seems too big. and we seem too small.

    I also like to think that living our daily lives in a way that is respectful of others, the planet, and the complicated world we live in, is the only way to make a difference. at the same time I see people (in the middle east or next door in wisconsin) who choose not to go on with their daily lives and who do make a difference.

  17. >> sarah: thank you :)

    >> mado: i watched a bit of nightly news tonight and felt exceedingly small. somehow, feeling that way makes doing the small, daily things important. i remember when i wanted to do the big things, like shout out loud in wisconsin-- and can't fathom the circumstances that make some do what i could never understand even thinking of...

    perhaps enough nightly news for tonight...

  18. So incredibly in love with this dress!!! Gorgeous job!!

    Super fab bonus points for the additional 'green' interpretation, our little globe really does need a hug...

  19. = thanks happykatie! yes, one of my up moments in this was the teeny hug for the planet. :)

  20. Love this! What a great way to use up scraps. You rock!


i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!