Sunday, January 31, 2010

Free Lion Shoulder Bags - The Russian Knot Design

I have been working on a line of bags for women that are simple with clean lines, ornamented, yet practical, functional and affordable. From this design brief has come the Free Lion Shoulder Bag, a tote style bag, made of "vegan leather" (yes, no animal has died for this product!) The bags are fully lined with pockets, have adjustable straps and a zip closure adorned by a beaded zipper pull (made by my awesome friend, Patti). I don't cookie cut the bags; each bag is unique in some way. I also use repurposed items in making the bag. The linings, for example are passed on to me by other sewers. Some of the bag straps are from Army Surplus stores or repurposed from other bags.

What I liked about the Russian Knot design was that it brought together a 90 degree grid with more flowing, organic shapes, symbolizing a harmonious balance between the rational and the intuitive. the patterns I use are either original or sourced from ancient sources and then I play with them in Illustrator. Girls just know how to have FUN!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Notes From the Nadir...

I have been overcome by a most profound and deep sadness. I have been able to keep it at bay over the past year by keeping busy, being creative, counseling and generally getting on with things. But I have underestimated how deeply the events of the past 22 years have dug in their claws and wreaked havoc with my being.

Today I weep, wondering what happened to my life, how did I so drastically miscalculate and end up here? What I wanted seemed simple enough, a loving partner with whom I could build a home, a family, a nurturing environment that would support my creative endeavours. I always intended to work hard, to contribute, collaborate and be a "team player". And I believe I did, to the very best of my ability. But you can't clap with one hand or lick ice cream without a tongue.

And then there is the unfactorable "shit happens" that turns up on your dance card. And when it does, well the best you can do is keep dancing, no matter how toe-stepping badly. But I've reached the point where I'd just like to sit out the next few. No names on my dance card anyway and I'm tired of dancing alone.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What May come of Dreams...

Last night I dreamt of a new playground being built that was subterranean labyrinth below and built playground above. And there were places where both met. A metaphor for the intuitive meeting and exchanging with the rational conscious mind. The lower level was done as a series of cave-like play spaces open to the air in places and covered in others. On the covered areas were conventional looking play spaces with swings and slides. The Cave circuit was for imaginative exploration that lead upward into action-oriented play.

Now the analysis. The underground areas represented to me the intuitive, imaginative and creative parts of myself (ourselves). All play there did not need built playground equipment for creation, exploration flourishing of imagination or fun. Open and enclosed meant to me that this particular playground was designed so that the light of awareness could find its way into Intuition, normally considered an "underground", or sub-conscious space. But is it really? Is it not that way simply because we have not been taught awareness of it or how to value its gifts? Part of the fun and magic of this playground was in the exploration and discovery in those labyrinthine spaces, a journey that could be undertaken alone or with others.

The upper play areas represented to me the tools we have been given through consciously learned processes. This is the playground in our conscious minds. It is populated by that which is dreamed up by the mind. Some of the structures in it are conventional, developed already by our understanding of the world and our experience in it. More often than not, this information is given to us by others as fixed and static limits--"Here's how it is, this is how the world works."

In this dream, the playground equipment was fixed, but not static. These too were being redesigned. I don't know what they were supposed to become. My sense of them was that they were to become more fluid somehow, moveable or redesign-able by the kids who played with them. Perhaps it was a way of being able to vision the equipment as though on a Star Trek holodeck--they would become whatever the group needed for the play they wished to engage in.

That this play ground had to be reconstructed seemed to be telling me something about my own playground, opened up to shine a light into my sub-conscious intuitive self, making me more consciously aware of its knowledge and wisdom. In this new configuration, that knowledge and wisdom can work in a more integrated way with with my conscious mind for a more fullfilling "play" experience, one that involves my whole being instead of segmented, edited parts.

I have been thinking about how we educate our children, and how this integration is knocked out of us early on in our lives. We have to rethink this situation for ourselves individually and then for the collective whole. For wouldn't we ALL like a fulfilling play experience?

Our systems of education are designed to bore kids to death, stifle creativity and create good soldiers, serfs and yes-people. No surprise, the model currently in use was developed by Napoleon, I believe, but its origins go back much further than that. The sub-conscious intuitive working harmoniously with the conscious rational has the potential to open up whole new vistas of human experience, something creative people know already.

Our kids deserve better than the world currently has on offer. In fact, so do we. If the universe is flush with infinite possibility, why then have we chosen a nightmare of duality, distruction, disconnection, separation, judgement, power struggle and fear? Why haven't we chosen one of integration, creativity, peace, acceptance, sharing and trust?

Okay, Monty, Let's Make A Deal. I choose Door Number 2.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seed Of Life Accessory Pouch

Here's my latest offering on Etsy. And here is the product description that goes with it.

"Remember making this pattern when you were a kid and you’d just discovered a compass? What you were drawing was an ancient Geometry that describes the fundamental template of space and time, from which all Life springs. It is a cell dividing in the first few minutes of life, and the coming together of Yin and Yang energies that weave through all that is. Who Knew?!?

We’ve embroidered the Seed of Life onto our Accessory Pouch. It’s a Note to Self that you can carry everywhere, a reminder that life is a precious opportunity and every moment is a new beginning bringing infinite Possibility....

On a practical note, the Seed of Life Accessory Pouch is handmade from faux (or vegan) leather, zippered, lined with cotton and adorned with a matching tassel zipper pull. It measure 7.5 inches x 6 inches. Use it to hold your cosmetics, contact lens stuff, cell phone chargers and laptop cords, mp3 player and associated gear, femenine hygiene items, pens and pencils...etc. The list is as long as your small item organizational needs.

As soon as these rolled off the sewing line, I thought, "Yeah! These look sharp!" What I love about them is the contrast, the clean lines with a bit of flourish. And of course the sacred geometry. In making them, I felt like I'd reconnected with parts of myself in space and time in some authentic way. I've been fascinated by geometry as symbol and talisman since I was a child. I'd do this pattern and variations of it for hours. I was fascinated by what happened, what beauty emerged when you just followed the intrinsic order of the pattern. There was no rational brain engagement needed. Just a compass, some colour, a willingess to flow with the mathematical order or things (no need to break it) and then the joy of watching the pattern emerge in its complex simplicity.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Come Clean, Mr. Harper

My nephew posted an article from the Queen's University Journal (

It describes Mr. Harper (I have trouble attaching the words "Right" or "Honorable" to his smarmy mug) standing up at the latest G20 summit in Pittsburgh and saying that Canada has no history of colonialism. HELLO!?!? Which planet did you just land from?

It's laughable really. I mean I could get my Race Politic ire up but I can't seem to. I don't know, maybe its age or maybe Mr. Harper's statement is so ridiculous I find it hard to believe ANYONE on the world stage could take it seriously. (But then again, maybe they want to. After all, they are all having to deal with crises of global proportions due to the mentality and values that brought us colonialism and capitalism in the first place. So if they all pretend it never happened....)

Mr. Harper could stand to go back to school. He obviously failed Canadian History. Perhaps a crash course on British, French and eventually Canadian Colonization practices would be useful. Course highlights would include cultural genocide, biological warfare, oppressive dealings and bogus treaties, the reservation system, disallowing of human and civil rights to aboriginal peoples. And the list goes on. Oh yes, and let us not forget that the Canadian government TAUGHT South Africa the principles and practice of Apartheid.

There might be a problem with Mr. Harper being able to get into this remedial class--budget cuts to education being what they are in this country. But I am sure that, given his income bracket, private lessons could be arranged. But why wait? Harper is about to be "schooled" by National Chief, Shawn Atleo of the Assembly of First Nations. Here's his statement about Harper's tiptoe through the denial minefield:

Well it will be interesting to watch how and where this game is played out. It does beg the question of what the payoff is for Harper to deny a history of Colonialism in Canada. As political motivation usually comes down to money and power with our "Emperor's New Clothes" leadership, is this statement a preamble to something like not making settlement with Canada's Aboriginal people's? Are there other money deals lurking about in the back-rooms that Canadian citizens know nothing about? Time to come clean, Mr. Harper. We can all see your weenie anyway.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Dreams Do Come...

Last night I had a great dream in which I was learning how to fly in my own vehicle. It was see through, not dense, as in 3D form dense. It seemed to be made of a more ethereal material. It was big enough for one, kind of like a one person commuter vehicle. I could control the direction it went in, how it flew, where it went. In fact, in the dream, I had taken it for a test run as part of lessons in learning how to fly the vehicle.

Anyway, I was flying over the South Pole where, I was being told by a disembodied voice, alien spaceships like to land because it is flat, and secluded. Out of no where came a blue little ship, Jetsons style, in 3D dense form, swirling around but also trying to knock me out of the sky. I managed to evade it which meant that my flying skills were coming along!!

A little bit of research brought up merkaba vehicles.

Merkaba (also spelled "Merkabah") is commonly known as a "light body", chariot or vehicle that is used for inter-dimensional travel. To some it appears as a 3-dimensional star tetrahedron (pictured left). It is used to transport the spirit-body from one dimension to another. "Mer" means Light, "Ka" means Spirit, and "Ba" means Body. The Merkaba is constructed by some, using mantras, mudras, meditative techniques and prana to energize a 3-dimensional star tetrahedron. Trying to operate a Merkaba chariot without a fully-evolvedKundalini and Antahkarana is like trying to operate a car with missing engine parts.

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm..."