Monthly Archives: November 2016

My “Kantha-Boro” on ETSY

I fell in love with the Indian “Kantha” technique of using old sari fabrics for sewing quilts, and the whole idea of repurposing textiles and giving new life to old fabrics. I then noticed that the Japanese also had a tradition of Mottainai, meaning “Waste Not, Want Not”, whereby old fabrics were repaired, darned, patchworked onto bigger pieces, to give them a new lease of life and a new purpose. This was “Boro”, which literally means “Rags”.

When I started sewing pieces using the Kantha running-stitch technique, I realised that the technique I was using for patchworking my fabric scraps onto the backing cloth was actually that of Boro.

Thus my Fusion technique of Indian and Japanese, of Kantha and Boro, aka “Kantha-Boro” was born.

To date, I’ve created 8 pieces of multi-purpose items that can be used as scarves, table runners or wall hangings. The purpose doesn’t really matter, what matters is that these scraps of fabric, thrifted textiles found discarded at charity shops, remnants from the bin at my local haberdashers, have all found their way onto new pieces that are worthy of being preserved forever as works of art. I never turn my nose up at potential fabrics, and these days my favourites are orphaned pillow cases, that I can simply open up and use as the backgrounds for the Boro patchworking. Did you know that an opened-up standard pillowcase (not a square European pillowcase) is just the right length for a scarf or a table runner?

I’ve posted 7 of my pieces on my Etsy Store, where they are now available for purchase. Please do have a look, and treat yourself to a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of Textile Art for Christmas or the birthday of a beloved one.

The 8th piece, which I called “Winter Is Coming”, was gifted to my friend Jan in Ireland, and I hope she gets it in time for Christmas, or before it gets too freezing cold!  I’ve included it here, for posterity. (It’s the last one, with the red pompoms).

In my next few posts, I’ll be writing individually about each piece, with further photos. Each piece has taken me well over a week to sew, and I have the needle pricks on my thumbs and a calloused index finger to prove it :-). I just love the idea of slow-stitching, taking time to sew endless rows of running stitches in the evenings while the TV plays in the background. At first the rows of stitches don’t amount to much, but after a few consecutive rows, the fabric layers begin to pucker and by the end of the whole project, the entire completed piece has taken on a softly quilted look, and a soft, tactile feel that machine sewing can’t emulate.

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Inspiration from Daniell Koepke & Maya Angelou (and my own Phoenix Poem)

(Image Source: Pinterest)

PHOENIX

This is where I am now

At the precipice yet again

Knocked on doors til my fingers bled

But the ones who were not blind

Turned their eyes away

And the ones who were not deaf

Clapped their hands over their ears

And so I’ll have to Leap

And grow Wings on the way down

And rise again out of the ashes

Like the Phoenix that I am

(Poem by AlyZen Moonshadow)

(Image source: Pinterest)

Quotes for a Simple Life

Yesterday I wrote my manifesto/plan/New Year’s Resolution for 2017. And it was all to do with living a Simple Life. That plan is more or less manifesting now right before my very eyes (well, I hope it happens before I run out of money and options, and end up homeless instead!). I’m applying for jobs left, right and centre now, and hopefully will get one soon…as being financially viable is key to moving out and into my own rental. 

Yes, folks, I’m going it alone. It is time. Scary, yes. But exciting too. I really must thank those who kept slamming doors in my face, or who simply turned a blind eye, or who sought to turn me into something I am not, or who deliberately kept me in limbo while laughing at me. The Universe was merely showing me an “Extinction Burst”, before waking me up to reality.

Here are some inspirational quotes I found on Pinterest, celebrating the “Less Is More” ethic. They give me comfort and motivation…though in the eyes of some if not many, they could read as anathema to how Society lives today.

A Simple Plan

Yes, it’s a wee bit early for making New Year Resolutions, but here’s my Simple Plan for 2017. I for one can’t wait to see the back of 2016, it’s been The Most Horrendous Year. Ever.

So, looking ahead and never behind again, here’s what I need to do from hereon out:

1. Get a job. It needs to pay at least AU$500 a week. Rentals are Not cheap here, the average is $250 A WEEK. I need to be able to keep a roof over our heads, AND be able to eat too. 

2. Get a car. A small runaround will do, to get from A to B. And back again, safely, of course. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just functional.

3. Move out. The ex is selling the house and moving back to Europe. I’m staying on here because I’m not even contemplating leaving my dogs behind. Besides, Jack loves his new school. And also, after having moved house 22 times in 44 years, and having lived in 6 different countries, not to mention being a citizen of 3…I really have NO country to call my own?! And why would I jump halfway across the ocean to a new country where I know nobody, have no work and have nowhere to live? 

4. Rent my own place. Downsizing and downshifting is a helluva Great Idea now. I don’t need all that junk I seem to have accummulated over the years. Just me, my son Jack, our 2 dogs, the cat, some furniture and my books and arts & crafts materials. And a small cottage with 2 bedrooms and a storage shed. And an enclosed garden where the animals can be safe. That’ll do us nicely.

A Simple Plan for a Simple Life. The funny thing is, all my life I’ve wanted a Simple Life, but it’s only now that I realise the way to achieve that is Not to work hard, save up lots of money, and retire to the countryside to a life of luxury. No, the way to achieve a Simple Life is to give up stuff, live with less, spend only on what’s necessary, recycle, reuse, reduce, and have just enough to do all this. I really hope this pans out well for me.

It’s taken a long time to come, but my wish is really taking shape right now. I was scared at first when it loomed before me, as I thought it was the exact opposite of what I wanted. But now I recognise it for what it really is…the opportunity I’ve been waiting so long for. It’s really here. All I have to do is reach out and accept its offering. 

So, Yes, please…Dear Universe, conspire to help me achieve this, and thank you in advance! 

(Image source: Pinterest)

Some Of My Favourite Pins

Just sharing some of my favourite Pins from Pinterest. These make me happy. I hope they do the same for you. We all need some good news/images these days. I go to Pinterest to relax, recharge  or research. It has never let me down. Try it! 

If you’d like more information about the images, you’ll have to go to Pinterest online and then click on the image, to be taken to its linked site. 

Snapseeded! 

Just playing with the app Snapseed, getting reacquainted with it and also tripping down Nostalgia Lane with my pet menagerie and other assorted animals. 

Yes, I’ve been feeling somewhat lacklustre and jaded lately, so an injection of colour was called for, hence the saturation in these images. 

Enjoy! 

Reminder To Self

Something to keep reminding myself these days…especially when worry tries to creep in. I must stay positive! 

(Image source: Pinterest)

Yesterday, looked at my mobile phone and saw that I had 22 emails waiting to be read. Then I saw that the time was 2:22pm. And right now, as I publish this post, it’s 10:22 pm, or 22:22. 

No coincidence. 

Painting A Portrait With Words

By the above, I mean using the power of words to paint you a picture of me – what makes me tick, what I like, what interests me, my Life Philosophy.

Once again I’m using my favourite source, Pintetest, to find “fancy” words to describe my psyche. You can find these on Pinterest, under my handle AlyZen Moonshadow.

That’s me alright. Always learning new subjects and skills on my own. I believe in the “full immersion” technique for learning anything, and often my first port of call is Amazon for books on the subject. Where there are no resources to be had, whether in hard copy or online, I learn what I can and fill in the blanks later.

I like to stay positive and optimistic, but lately it’s kinda hard to…especially when the all-too-real possibility of becoming homeless rears its head. With no savings (having used it all up keeping the family afloat all last year while hoping for a miracle), no prospects of getting a “proper” job (apparently employers prefer to hire young ones because they can be “trained easily”…like monkeys), and no way of repaying my debts, and with any help from Social Security looking highly unlikely, and having exhausted all my efforts to get assistance from my own family, it’s looking like becoming destitude may be the only option awaiting me, my son, our 2 dogs and cat.

And yet, for some unknown reason, I still feel optimistic??? Yes, last week and the week before, I was feeling as low as low can be. But now I think, “Whatever”, and, like my dear friend and neighbour Diane said, “You have gotten as low as anyone can go, surely things are bound to get better, they can’t get any worse?”. Well, they can and they might get worse, because after all rock bottom has a basement, or rather, rock bottom has a whole multi-level underground carpark, as I’ve discovered. 

But…yeah,”Whatever”. C’est la vie. Donations most welcome via PayPal to alyzenmoonshadow@hotmail.com 😄😄😄

Well, I can’t deny that somewhere deep within me, is this person hoping for a last minute reprieve, hoping that some good news will appear unexpectedly, some miracle will occur, a deux ex machina finale. I guess that’s the eternal optimist in me talking. 

Either that, or I’ve completely lost the plot. Whatever. 

I guess if I do make it through this latest catastrophe in one piece, some day I’ll be able to look back on this bleak period and thank the Universe for the lessons I’ve learnt from it. I have so many ideas for creative ventures and running my own business…but Money talks, right. I can sympathise with the have-nots, because I’m experiencing first hand what it might feel like to not be able to achieve anything, just because I lack the $$$$$ needed. 

So, the question is – how does one get hold of money to do things with, when one has been denied such by financial institutions as well as family? The Lottery hasn’t yielded much, either. 

Lastly, this word fits me to a T. My bed is the comfiest place I know to read in. I like to if not read, at least flick through my books before bedtime. So here I am now, and I bid you all a Very Good Night.

Just Some Pinteresting Images

I love to surf Pinterest, it’s so full of interesting images that lead to exciting websites and blogs. Here are just some of the most recent ones I’ve found, that I’d like to share with you all.

Eye candy, thought provoking, inspiring, weird – yes, I have very eclectic tastes and it shows 😄. I love Steampunk, Assemblage, Altered Art, Surrealism, among others.

Enjoy! (If you’d like more information about any of these images, you’ll need to look under my profile “AlyZen Moonshadow” on Pinterest to find the pins).