Friday, March 26, 2010


A friend forwarded this to me.  What an awesome example of yarn bombing!  I can only aspire to such coverage.  I'm working on my some yarn cozies for a Hamilton-based art intervention and will keep you posted as it progresses.

Also, each season I get sucked into American Idol (groan), but I only watch it in fast-forward so I can skip the cheesy group numbers (kind of embarrassing - for the performers, I'd say) as well as any unfortunate performances and commercials.  Anyway, a friend of mine has been tapped by Newsweek to be on their own panel of judges.  These judges actually have advanced degrees (nice that Newsweek acknowledges education as a good thing).  She thought it'd be a one-time deal, but it looks like it's going to go on.  You can check out the most recent judgments here:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alice in Wonderland - fashion love!!!

Needed to keep my head so we went to a lovely little escapist movie.  But how wonderful is it when the movie's good and the outfits sublime?!

Look at this coat!

The details on this skirt!  (swoon-worthy).
But I haven't found a photo of the Dries van Noten-esque outfit worn by Alice at the White Castle (my favourite of all) or the Comme des Garcons-like dress she wore at the Red Castle.

Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Crispin Glover - a great cast to escape with.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Another kind of March Madness

One of my friends claims that March is always a crazy month, no matter how you approach it.  I've definitely been feeling it.  I'm swamped with papers to grade and obligations to honour.  I always know I'm too busy when I really haven't cooked in awhile, as evidenced by the state of our fridge, which harbors all kinds of memories of dinners past...

But in true Manley-family fashion, I'm sucking it up and have come up with a dinner of sorts (and look - there's green!).
Two different kinds of pasta (because there's not enough of one), homemade pesto (yay! at least there's that), brussels sprouts, and a beer (to help me cook).

I can only believe things will go up from here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So the other day I wrote about MakeShift, where the artist/blogger/designer Natalie Purschwitz is documenting her challenge to wear only things she's made herself (including underwear).   When I was in Vancouver, I wrote about seeing Vanessa Kwan's piece Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver and included a photo of Vanessa (original post here).  Well, guess what?  It turns out that Natalie is the designer of the coats that Vanessa and her helpers were wearing!  It's too bad I wasn't familiar with Natalie's work beforehand.  I would've loved to have seen her space in Vancouver as well as chatted with her about her project.  (Please start singing "It's a Small World" here.)

So in preparation for Liss and my massive roadtrip in April, I'm looking for interesting regional web links/blogs and suggestions of places to visit from whoever is out there reading this.  We'll be traveling from Hamilton, ON to Boulder, CO to San Francisco, CA to Seattle, WA and then back across the top of the US to Hamilton.  (I'm a little exhausted just typing this.)  What should we see?  Who should we know?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Radical fashion

A friend of mine suggested I look at this blog "MakeShift" because its author has committed to wearing only things she's made herself for an entire year.  It's pretty fascinating.  I haven't gone back to the earliest posts but plan on doing so soon. (I'm so curious about footwear.)  She also offers  little "surprise" packages of things you can make to wear yourself.  I plan on signing up for one the next time the opportunity comes.

Much as I'd love to wear more things I've made, I don't know whether I could commit to such a project (I know, you're shocked).  Maybe if I were more confident in my sewing skills...

Marching forward...

March is an interesting month.  A lot of my friends have their birthdays in it (I do well with Pisces), so there's a connection to it there, but in other ways, the month often feels like it's over before it's begun.  I think part of it has to do with the fact that my teaching term is barreling toward the end (insert small "hallelujah" here), and we're all trying to figure out whether winter is over or just waiting to ambush us around the corner.  There's a bit of a suspended animation feel to the month.

It's against my desire to live in the present to feel this way about March.  I think the snail mail project is helping some.  It's actually going fairly well.  I did write two yesterday as I didn't get one down on Saturday.  Again, I had to clarify for myself what the true intention of this project is - is it just to show I can write a letter or a postcard everyday, or is it an opportunity to communicate?  Sure, I could whip off a postcard or quick letter everyday, but they could end up being more like an e-mail, which I often find to be a bit empty.  I like the digressions letter writing allows me.  The letters may start off with some hard facts about what's going on in my life, but they generally turn into more of what's going on in my head, and that's what I'm aiming for. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Open House" - film at MOMA

(still from Open House - Diane Nerwen)

Our good friend, the talented Diane Nerwen, has a film screening today as part of the Museum of Modern Art Documentary Fortnight. She's a great filmmaker/video artist.  Liss has driven down to NYC to attend one of the screenings (one's at 4pm and the other's at 7pm).  If you're not busy tonight and want to catch a film that explores the gentrification of Williamsburg, seeing this should be your plan.

Congratulations Diane!  We love you! 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New York Times Style Magazine

My favourite quote, thus far, is from Lynn Yaeger's piece about going to Orlando, Florida to hit the Marni outlet store.  (My love of Lynn Yaeger will be discussed later).  "Should I add a few thousand more and buy a fur jacket that looks as if it had been stitched together by a second grader in a sewing class run by Tracey Emin?" (p.94)

Such a perverse mix of art, fashion, and so much more.

Snail mail - the focus of the next 30 days

My challenge for the next 30 days is to write and send a letter, card, or postcard everyday.  I love getting letters in the mail - who doesn't?  But it's hard to get them if no one's sending them.  My first card is going to Kate Davies, the voice behind needled, a smart and engaging blog.  She's also the designer of a lot of knitting patterns that you can find both on her blog as well as on Ravelry.  Anyway, she recently suffered a stroke (she's only 36!) and is in intensive physical therapy.   I can't imagine what it would be like to have to  reteach one side of your body to do all the things we take for granted.  I'm hoping that Canada Post is on my side and actually delivers my card before she leaves the hospital (keep your fingers crossed).

If you would like a card from me, and I don't have your address (aka I don't know you personally), let me know, and I'll give you an e-mail address where you can send me your address (unless of course you want to post your address and possibly get mail from others...).  

Who might you send a letter to today?