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The Kalebo village in North Eastern Ghana isn't fertile enough for extensive agriculture. Instead, the Kalbeo Women's Trading Group create traditional cloth, pottery and other handicrafts such as this beautifully handwoven Bolga basket.
The Bolga baskets are made using local grasses and help supplement their incomes. This money, along with micro loans from CENSUDI, help send young women to school. Purchasing a Bolga basket can help get a young woman an education and out of a lifetime of poverty.
Check out their Facebook page.
I know what my kids will be making me after school today. Read the rest
Read the rest
A micro-review, in bullet points:
1. Almost 150 quilts you won’t find on Pinterest.
2. The essays are good.
3. When seeking visual pleasure and inspiration, a curated and finite set (like a book) can be more useful than an infinite set (like the internet).
Slightly more detail, if you’re still on the fence:
This book is not about formal, precision-pieced quilts but rather represents the growing interest in the improvisational and often surprising “everyday” quilts. Those depicted here are of the vintage (rather than antique) era. Most are by unknown makers. Collector Roderick Kiracofe has commissioned ten essays to offer context for the anonymous textiles.
Quilt historian Janneken Smucker smacks down the “myth of the scrap bag quilt.” Natalie Chanin (of Alabama Chanin) describes the class messaging of whole cloth vs. patchwork quilts when she grew up in the South. Texas quiltmaker Sherry Ann Bryrd explains the distinction between “precision”, “M-provisational” and “throw together” as quilting “languages” with different functions. Textile curator Amelia Peck writes about the challenge of curating anonymous work for an institutional collection. All worth reading. But mostly it’s about the pictures.
A couple of days after I received a review copy of Hello Kitty Crochet I read an article in the LA Times about the 40th anniversary of Sanrio’s iconic character. The most surprising fact I learned is that Hello Kitty is not a kitty. She is a British girl named Kitty White who “lives in London with her mama (Mary White), papa (George White), and her twin sister Mimmy.” Also, she has a pet cat named Charmmy Kitty, which is kind of like Goofy having Pluto for a pet, I guess. Many Hello Kitty fans were outraged by the revelation, but I loved it. Hello Kitty is more charming and mysterious than I thought!
Hello Kitty Crochet, by Malaysia-based blogger Mei Li Lee (her name is so adorable that Sanrio should create a character called Mei Li Lee), has complete instructions for making 18 Sanrio characters, from Kitty White herself to the devilishly mischievous tomboy Kuromi (who reminds me of DC comics’ Harley Quinn). Mei Li Lee does a great job of retaining the cuteness of the characters in their transubstantiation into yarn, which is an impressive feat. I just might have to learn to crochet and try my hand at making these.
Hello Kitty Crochet ($9)
by Mei Li Lee
2014, 96 pages, 7.3 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches, Hardcover