Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy New Year ... And The New PHH Indie Dyer Submission Call

Ok, everyone - it's 2022, and time for planning our next summer Progress, Hope, and Happiness collection. The indie dyers are up first!

While I have always viewed this collection as a designer and design incubator, it is no less so for dyers. If you are a small/start-up dyer and want to provide yarn support to proven designers for a summer collection with a solid track record, then I want (and indeed hope) to hear from you. 

The complete indie dyer deets are here in my Ravelry group. If you have issues accessing Ravelry, do feel free to send email and I will respond.

Thanks, and I look forward to seeing what the awesome indie dye pots whip up!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2021

On The Ending of This Design Anniversary Year

It has been some time since I last blogged, and I cannot believe that we are all facing (thank goodness!) the end of 2021.

To say that the second half of this year was personally momentous would be an understatement. My life fairly exploded (in the best possible way): I made a major move to a different city to start another year-long service project in a team leader capacity. I left the majority of my life for the last 17 years back at my old living space, save what I could mail (and easily handled box sizes would allow), since COVID all but eliminated the ability to rent a vehicle of any sort and professional movers were budgetarily out of contemplation.

I do love this winter's snow!

Then there is the settling into a new place: getting to know things and having to initiate conversations with new people and explain one's life all over again. Since I am a fairly private person who values my autonomy, the latter is personally extremely difficult, despite the fact that everyone else has no problem talking to me about most anything, and which I take as an extreme compliment. Failures of language abound. Perspectives become, at minimum, skewed; at maximum, down right wrong. Relational minefields are unintentionally planted and weaponized. Getting to know the new position still seems like a piece of cake compared to everything else.

All this derailed, as you might expect, the best made plans for my 10 year design anniversary. While I still published new designs (most notably for this year's 5th (!) Progress, Hope, and Happiness summer collection), there were far fewer than I wanted. COVID, of course, also had a hand in that decreased creativity. 

This is going to be a cardi for me.
It is an oh-so-squishy
combination of my hand-dyed
bling base + baby alpaca silk.

I also had big plans for increasing the hand knit and crocheted portion of my wardrobe. That, too, fell by the wayside, although I am doing my level best to end the year on a hand-made-for-me note (after having made something for each of my team members - and almost all of them delivered on time, a true feat indeed). 

Of course, then there's the hand-dyed yarn portion of my business, which was active until the end of August. I am reassessing bases, given all of the COVID-related supply chain issues. if anyone wonders why the independent designer and hand-dyed yarn landscape is constantly in flux (and especially

This year's wee 
(but mighty) tree.

right now),well, it should really be no mystery.

In the end, no matter the scope of change in the second half of this year, it remains the simple pleasures that have brought me much joy. As I have previously blogged, this year's seasonal decorating was again its own sweet interlude, just as arranging my new space and simple, yet tasty, acts of cooking. Throw into the mix some memorable meals with old and new friends, as well as team members. There's little doubt that, despite the fact I am my own largest work in progress, this year has seen some fairly major changes, and it's all good. 

As in previous years, after January 1st I shall be stepping away from social media for a few weeks to contemplate and recharge. I wish everyone a very happy new year - pandemic life has robbed us of so much, so let us usher in 2022 with a renewed sense of hope.

Monday, May 31, 2021

A Memorial Day Wish

Watery reflections taken a few years ago
(c) Voie de Vie
Today is Memorial Day here in the United States - a time to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the country.

I have blogged a few times over the years regarding Memorial Day. This year - some 15 months into pandemic times - I am thinking about how things could and should be different going forward.

Of course the most obvious - an expansion of what it means to serve and sacrifice - and how should we recognize such service and sacrifice. This holiday was conceived to recognize military service, though many who have served (notably women and African Americans, although there are more) at various points have not received the recognition they deserve for either their service or their sacrifice. 
This Arlington National Cemetery
photos I snapped almost 2 decades
ago remains a favorites photo that
tugs at my soul. (c) Voie de Vie

Then, there is service to country beyond the military - governmental service, national civilian service, community service, international service, just to name a few others - how might we 
honor those who serve and sacrifice in these capacities?

More elementally, how might we honor black lives, and AAPI lives, and Native lives not only going forward, but pay more than mere lip service to all their respective peoples' legacies have lost at the hand of injustice and discrimination?

Finally, how might we, individually and collectively, move forward post-pandemic into a life of real meaning and justice? Where we value people and the planet above home delivery of all the things? Arundhati Roy's article on the pandemic as a portal has been oft-quoted since publication. Back in April, 2020, Roy was asking all the right questions, but it's unclear whether anyone was really paying attention:

        "The Covid crisis is still to come. Or not. We don’t know. If and when 
        it does, we can be sure it will be dealt with, with all the prevailing 
        prejudices of religion, caste and class completely in place." 

With almost 600,000 U.S. deaths, and an as-yet-unknown number dead in her own India in a second wave that has taken the world's breath away, Roy hit this nail squarely on its head with all the accurate writer's insight her years on this planet have given her. 

It can be different; we have the ability right now to walk through that portal into a different future. Will you? Will I? Will we? Only time and courage will tell. Let us hope for the very best, and do everything we can to manifest that different, very best future.

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