Monday, June 29, 2009

take my child to work day (pretty please)

busking plus one
gold star to the busker with the big guitar who is fulfilling his partner's wish

If only!
I haven't tried asking but I think it would be a big no.

Please take my child(ren) to work day was started (hopefully in semi-seriousness) to draw some attention to the plight of SAH-parents everywhere who don't have the perk of a day/night/minute off in 365 days. OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration but most of the time 24.7.365 sums up life as a mum at home. Wee Guy is in school now (well, he was last week before the summer 'holidays' started - note how holiday is in quotation marks) and yes, he has a day of daycare so I technically get a few hours 'leisure time' (again note the quotation marks) but if he's sick, off colour or just plain being non-sociable that day it isn't daddy who fills in. And it's daddy who earns the salary so this is The Wisest Choice.

But I have noticed a distinct lack of credible time off, career advancement, regular breaks scheduled in my latest employment choice hence making the most of alternate or surrogate parenting arrangements which get me some head space.

Take Your Kids To Work Day is something that all at-home parents do every day of the year (unless I somehow lost the memo reminding me that being a stay-at-home parent is not really work). So maybe today should be renamed Please Don't Leave My Kids At Home With Me Today day or possibly even Please Stay At Home With My Kids While I Get To Leave The House In Less Than 15 Minutes And Whoop It Up Without Them day?

There must be a Hallmark card for that somewhere ...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

decide to be married day

a collection of love-inspired handmade supplies from the Etsy flickr group

There is a day for everything and today is no exception - it's "decide to get married" day. So for all you crafty folks out there wanting to take the plunge, here are some handmade supplies to get fashion your own proposal.

Friday, June 26, 2009

take your dog to work day

toby and canoe
looking east from Deep Cove

So today is "Take your Dog to Work Day". Sadly I no longer have a dog to take to work but when I did Toby frequently accompanied me wherever I went, when possible.
He came to work with me in Newcastle, to the small animal practice I worked from. He often came out in the car on housecalls and traveled with me on every emergency call at night. When I switched practices he stayed with me at the clinic when I was on call. He was great company.
When I moved to London it no longer was possible to bring him with me on the morning commute so he stayed at home long hours until I got back in the evening. He suffered dreadfully with separation anxiety until we found him a dog walker and then doggy daycare kenneling. Since he was ours and our responsibility we stuck it out with him, trying to make the best. Not ideal, and even now I am not at all in favour of people getting a dog when they will be out of the house all day. It's just not fair to keep a dog like this.
toby in a canoe
Eventually we moved to Canada - he came with us even though by then he was over 10 years old. I was once more able to be with him all the time ie. I was unemployed! We explored Vancouver together, spending long days walking on the beach or hiking thru Stanley Park. It was bliss for both of us. At the weekend we'd go on longer adventures to Hemlock Valley or even up to Whistler. Once the Wee Guy arrived Toby was content to trot along beside the stroller on whatever mission we found ourselves on.
He was euthanased for age-related issues just over four years ago and there will truly never be another dog like him.
28Apr02 my Tobydog
Toby 1989 - 2005

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

handmade supplies galore!

from Etsy SUpplies - Handmade by the Seller pool

1. C-urchin, 2. Spring Green and White Stoneware Clay and Recycled glass pendant, 3. DSCN0780Luscious Ditty Batts, 4. Cobalt Wagon Wheel Buttons, 5. Candy Cloud, 6. fuchsia lime turquoise

A selection pulled from the Etsy Supplies - Handmade By the Seller pool on flickr.
click on the text below to find out who, where and when!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



peek-a-boo Grizzy surveys the homegrown this year

No, I haven't disappeared.

Yes, it is a while since I blogged.

Yes, I've been busy - Etsy is visiting Vancouver July 14th (the team has been looking for a meet-and-greet venue), I've done one craft fair and have two more to prep for and I'll be attending the Got Craft Vancouver premier of Handmade Nation plus there's been a stint of solo parenting thrown in for good measure. I've successfully juried for my first Christmas fair and attended my first local artist's co-op meeting.

Did I mention it's the end of term too and I've a week of summer camp teaching to get ready?

And I've managed to make some stuff too!!

I'll blog my way thru it! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

seaglass colours
scottish seaglass from 'home'

I'm probably hitting this a little off the blog boil but there have been two articles lately concerning dear old Etsy. The first, accusing the site of peddling a fraudulent feminist myth, is soundly smacked down in a hissy fit by the second, both roundly missing the point almost made in the first. As usual with all things Etsy, the most interesting info is gleaned in the comments, cupcake vs. non-cupcake for the most part. It seems impossible to be merely neutral about Etsy but why the tendency to hang up critical thinking by the forum door - oh, OK it gets a little sticky with the frosting. I get ya!

Blind devotion to the cause is one thing but please don't let the sprinkles obscure the continued insulting of stay-at-home parents (psst! in etsyland, being a SAHM is not a real job). Interestingly this continues to be peddled despite, as stated in the first article, the site being awash with the fairer sex (with some notable and vociferous exceptions ........... oh, they've been muted!).

At last, an outside observer has pointed out that much of the much lauded quit your day job series (QYDJ) isn't. Sure it enables mum to stay home with the kiddies but not without a salaried full-timer partner in the hazy background (who often has to assist with packing Etsy orders into the small hours too). None of the QYDJ-ers I've read are doing anything more than what I'm doing and I'm not glorifying my Etsy-sistence as a quit my job chronicle. Until I can pay for a housekeeper and childcare, I'm still doing my regular day job in addition ....... and so are the majority of QYDJ mums I've read (note: only one was honest enough to admit it).

What irks me is that this sanctioned dismissal of stay-at-home parenting continues .... and that none of the (female) cupcakes bats an eyelid thru the frosting. Would this happen on a male-dominated site? Somehow I cannot imagine a masculine clientele lapping up complete dismissal of a whole sector of male employment, as well as all the other disciplinary, muting, shop closure, smack down crap that goes on.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

christmas in june

quick post - i'm off out this morning to jury for a christmas craft fair.
wish me luck!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

inside out

ebb submersion reverse

reverse of "submersion" art clay silver pendant, currently on sale in the Port Moody Art Centre

Last night I attended the YWCA Women of Distinction awards in Vancouver. My nominee didn't win in her category but the evening was amazing, spent in the company of so many inspiring and talented women.

It was a late night for me, and no I wasn't drinking since I had a drive back ...

..... but I still got up this morning and managed to put on my shirt inside out, and then attended my citizenship test and interview in Downtown Vancouver.

Is a wardrobe malfunction sufficient grounds for refusing citizenship?

I'll have to wait 4-6 motnhs to find out.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

nobody knows .....

nobody nose

clutch of nose rings, freshly picked (!) from the tumbler

or do they?

Maybe I'm just being sensitive, but I'm noticing a lot more discussion about Life Outside of Parenting in mummyland. My twitterverse is seeing the subject a lot more, and blog posts (including mine) debate the matter daily. Even a phone conversation yesterday had me musing on whther stay-at-home parenting should be All There Is in life right now, or is it right to want/expect more? Am I being selfish or realistic in trying to forge a life aside from mothering? Is my wish for a some financial independance getting in the way of delivering domestic duties? What long-term and short-term effects will it have on the Wee Guy? What should I realistically expect from life as a mum?

In some ways I am already forging ahead with some quasi-independance - my fledgling craft business runs in, around (and in spite of) the family and has been relatively self-supporting for two years. But it's hardly going to pay the bills. Recently I sat down and crunched some numbers to calculate what I needed to earn to support my family. However, this was calculated for a working week of 40 hours ie. 5 days of 8 hours each. Currently my available working hours are just 2.5 hours per day. When the Wee Guy starts Grade One, my working day will only double since school hours are at best part-time! ..... and these are just my working hours for paid employment. Women still shoulder the majority of domestic and household duties so I could expect to continue with my unpaid position without respite.

So what do I realistically expect to achieve? I was the 'trailing spouse' on an international job relocation before I became a mother so why do I find my current job ie. SAHM, more frustrating, ungratifying, and repetitvely dull with very little feedback and insane work hours? I know women who revel in exactly the same conditions. Am I missing something? or why do I yearn for something more?

I'm still searching for the answers. So far I know that I am missing the measure of security that financial independance brings. I truly miss interacting with others in a working environment outside the home. I am finding it very difficult dealing with the loss of identity that being the unsalaried spouse who stays at home entails. It's very difficult to stay confident in one's abilities when there is no feedback from the mounds of laundry, the dusting, housework, cooking, grocery shopping, continual discipline issues and child wrangling that comprise a normal Day In The Life. Like a lot of modern day older mums, I've experienced the career path and been in charge of my own bank account. Having a child was a very conscious decision, its ramifications as fully explored as a childless person could and I'm still not regretting it one bit.

But, to paraphrase Monty Python, nobody expected the complete loss of self that comes with staying at home to look after your family.

At the beginning of the week I got an email telling me that my self portrait has been chosen for inclusion in the We Feel Fine book. I'm thrilled to be noticed, but as you can see from the accompanying blog entry, nothing has really changed in my life in the last 18 months! Add this to a couple of major let-downs plus a chronically ongoing disappointment and you can see why I'm currently at a "Is this all there is?" moment!

Monday, June 01, 2009

currently out on display ...

slideshow: items on display at City Hall

So this afternoon's activity was setting up the display case at City Hall in Port Moody where Sandra and I, from the Blackberry Artists Cooperative, are exhibiting our wares for the month of June.

Sandra has the most deliciously gorgeous beaded pieces of jewelry ever and it's quite an honour to be 'on show' beside her. I've set up six cases comprising wire crochet, wire and fibre, cufflinks and metalwork so hopefully there will be something of interest for anyone passing by.

The slideshow above shows most of the pieces currently out on display, and the ByHand spotlight below shows where you can get your hands on similar pieces or custom makes for yourself! Just click on the image to be taken to the item's selling page.

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!