Friday, 8 February 2008

ranting and working

I have been working pretty hard lately... a lot of crafting and illustrating happening because I have been inspired. But while I have been doing that, I have been thinking about the reasons behind my crafting. Earlier I mentioned the problem with our system of consumption and promised I wouldn't go into it yet. Well the time is now.

Many people have been thinking about this and we have seen a lot of docos and buzz around sustainability, global warming, fair trade, etc. So there is a problem and we all know it. Our corporations are bigger and more powerful than our governments, we get our products made overseas where the labor is cheap and workers are forced to put up with appalling conditions, the materials used to make our products are sourced from poor countries and I don't think the way those materials are extracted is fair to the countries, workers, or natural environment.

And we back home see the problems with the materialism are society is caught up in, or I hope we do. We buy more than we need and we are forced (maybe) to buy what we do need within a system we know is not fair. This gets me down a lot. I want to make good choices as a consumer, but it takes so much work to find good alternatives and that organic peanut butter is two and a half times the price of the regular stuff (right Helen?).

And don't get me started on all the waste and the by-products of our waste and what that is all doing to our natural world and the limited resources we have left. If all this is sounding like news to you... check out
I really recommend it.

The things I can do... (lets stay positive here)
  • I can buy less and use less... that is not expensive or time consuming. and really, its good for the soul.
  • I can buy second hand through trademe, op shops, garage sales, I can share with friends and family.... does everyone need a lawnmower when you only use it once a week? or that cake dish? or those baby clothes your kid already outgrew?
  • I can use communal things and public spaces like the library, the park, the swimming pool...ever wonder why we even have/need home gyms, home swimming pools, home libraries, home playground equipment? is it really necessary to recreate a full resourced micro society within the boundaries of your own property ? Can you use more community resources? What's available near you and how can you support and take advantage of that?
  • I can mute the ads! brilliant! so when the T.V. or radio is blaring at you, just turn it off until the music or programs come back on. so simple yet hardly anyone does it.
  • I can make my own stuff! last week I made pants which had me wondering if I would ever need to buy another pair again. The fit was better because it I tailored them to my body, it was cheaper than buying them. Now I am thinking, what else can I make?
  • I can get people to make some things for me or buy from local markets. I don't always have the time, energy, and $$$ to do this, but sometimes I do. Also there are some organic fruit and veggie box drops that I am looking into, at pretty reasonable prices too.
I am very encouraged by the crafting blog community, as I have noticed these concerns of mine are addressed in many of your blogs already, and many people are living examples of what to do. So thanks.

And on an unrelated note, I want to show off this doll I made. She was a custom order, and having never made a doll before, took a very long time.

I've been calling her Molly. And we've gotten pretty close over the past few days, especially after her head transplant surgery. sorry about that Molly.
reversible dress, side one
reversible dress, side two

pearly shoes

Hope you are all well, and that you kiwis enjoyed the beautiful Waitangi Day this week.

untill later,


Anonymous said...

I love your thoughtful posts, K - good solid thinking, and Molly is pretty cute, too, she has a flapper air about her - I think it's the waves in her hair.

x Helen

Floss said...

The Story of Stuff is great and I'm buzzing with ideas about how I can use it in class. Molly is sweet, love her perfect little shoes!

kimberlee & Lies said...

Ha! Molly is great! I can see you put a lot of work and thought into her, I should make her a pinnie!
I totally support your principles, I only have a weekly
'recreational' budget (this means everything from coffees/cafes, movies, outings,clothes,.. to fabric and craftstuff) of NZ$ 50! So : right on!!!
X Lies

Fiona said...

One thing I'm going to do after this pregnancy is to reward myself by checking out the second hand clothing shops here and get a few pieces. Enjoy the honesty of this post. (Not that you haven't been in the previous ones!) :)

Love Molly's hair!!

Hyena In Petticoats said...

Molly looks fabulous - you've done a great job....!

I agree with your sentiments on being responsible for our consumption levels - I am a mad consumer, but most of my consumption happens in the realm of second hand/ charity shops/ local and handmade.

I have been unconsciously focusing my consumption in those areas for such a long time that now, new things almost repulse me - it seems so silly to create new stuff when we already have so much stuff available for us to use.

I'm so pleased that more and more people are talking about these kinds of issues.... it's a start!

Leah xxxx

Rhondah Rhombus said...

Molly is wayyy cute. What a lucky owner somebody will be. A stern nod and a serious eyebrow furrow to your rantings. ~ Rhondah

Blogging Molly said...

This Molly loves that Molly (though we have different colored hair). Love your list of things to do, or do without.

Anonymous said...

what a cool post - great even. I really feel the same way - things need to change and in some ways they are. It's exciting to see a groundswell at the moment in people deciding not to buy into the lie that is consumption!!!
Molly is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Great post, interesting and food for thoughtT
I love Molly, her arms and hands are so elegant looking... keep making :-)

Sally Anne said...

I love Molly, she has such a sweet and happy expression, and I heartily agree with your thoughts on consumerism. I am really enjoying the weekly trips to the recycling centre!

Melissa said...

lovely post, k. i agree with you that the internet can, in some ways, help our situation. peace through blogging!
molly is a beautiful doll. i love her shoes especially! xx