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Mic check

27 Aug

My friend texted me the other day to say that she missed reading my blog. And I miss blogging! So, I’m back. It’s going to take me a while to figure things out, and work out what I want to blog about on a regular basis, but I’m sure things will percolate to the surface the more that I write. I can’t really explain my absence, except to say that life has been really off-balance this year, in ways both marvellous and not so marvellous. There have been trips, and people, that have made life feel very full, but also other life events and the daily grind that have pulled things in the other direction. Hey, sounds like everyone’s life, right?

Anyway, I am not afraid to put my hands up and admit that there has been an element of burn-out, especially after the Rio conference when it all got very ‘what is the POINT‘?? And I think I’m still working through that and what I think it all means and how I think, or want, change to happen. I read this burn-out article on Rookie while I was out in Rio, and I thought it was right on point. Especially this bit:

Sometimes it seems like girls are never allowed to feel good about themselves physically. So the idea of “taking care of yourself” often turns into this rigid routine of doing yoga for three hours a day, drinking only decaf tea, and eating raw leafy greens harvested by witches that chant passages from The Feminine Mystique at the plants to increase their womyn moon powers, which can become a stressful regimen all its own.

Having said that, I have taken up yoga recently, and dudes, it’s great. I am such an amateur, but I have big aspirations of being some amazingly honed, toned, and centred bendy 40 year old in ten years when I’ve got all the moves down. AND, speaking of Rookie, here is an article with my twin heroes Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass.

AND, speaking of Rio, it wasn’t all existential crises. I managed to take some good photos inside and outside the conference, before my camera got stolen.

I just love that one of Nick Clegg. I definitely got all up in his grill.

And since then, I’ve been finding joy and motivation in a few choice things. This song.

Making this tshirt.

And yes, doing hippy dippy things like yoga and reading up on what goes into our bodies. I’ve been really inspired by the Tastetastic cycle tour we ran over at The Otesha Project UK and meeting all kinds of people who are clued up on food, where it comes from and how it’s produced. I learnt so much from tour members, as well as the people over at Bread Matters where we stayed for part of it. I’m currently reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. His manifesto is simple – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

And I will be implementing that manifesto just as soon as I finish that tub of ice cream that’s in my freezer. Ah, people, we are but works in progress.

hanna ♥



Super Sunday

26 Feb

1. WINTER IS OVER! Right? ….right?? I, for one, refuse to go backwards, for I have seen the light. My weekend has been absolutely glorious, eating breakfast in the garden with the sun shining on my face and the radio playing. The future’s bright. (image from pinterest)

2. I’ve had my eye on this banner from Etsy for about a year, so I finally ordered it and it arrived yesterday! You can’t really see from the photo, but it’s a really pretty pink colour with glittery gold lettering. I am really pleased with it, and it reminds me of this Stevie Nicks song I posted a while ago.

3. I don’t think I’ve posted about the Slow Club gig I went to a couple of weeks ago. It was brilliant brilliant brilliant. They are one of those bands that are even better live than they are recorded. The front girl, Rebecca, is an incredible performer (and plays the DRUMS), and the boys are all very dreamy which does. not. hurt. Sign me up.

3. Good ukelele jam session with my friend Anna today. My ukelele playing seems to be seeping out into my social circle like osmosis which I am very pleased about. (images from weheartit)

4. We also talked to the chickens this afternoon in Clissold Park in the sunshine. Lovely lovely lovely. I tried talking to the deer but they were having none of it.

5. My friend Guppi has gone to India today, for we don’t know how long! Massive sad faces. But her goodbye celebrations were super indeed.

6. Check out the amazing Protect Our Winters campaign (POW for short… bada boom), which is ‘mobilizing and engaging the winter sports community in the fight against climate change’. I’m not sure you can get much more right on than that. They have come up with a 7-step game plan for individuals to fight climate change, and it sounds like a pretty good plan to me. They are:

  1. Get Political
  2. Educate Yourself
  3. Find Your Biggest Lever
  4. Be Vocal, Bug Your Friends
  5. Talk To Business
  6. Change Your Life And Save Money
  7. Join POW

Although, as Grist said, you can substitute the last point to read as ‘Join A Group – Any Group – That Will Amplify Your Voice’.

7. Lastly, isn’t this amazing? By artist Leandro Erlich, this is on show in Paris (at Le 104). A giant mirror reflects a full scale house model, which gallery visitors can climb on. I want a go!

hanna ♥

DIY Scalloped hem skirt tutorial (for lazy people)

31 Jan

Well hi there. I have never done a tutorial-type thing before, but I was doing this anyway, so thought some photos and tips might be useful for any other gals (or guys) out there who are also partial to a scalloped hem (who isn’t?).

This is definitely for lazy people. If you want to actually HEM your hem, there are tons of instructions out there to help you do that. Also, if you want to know how to make your scallops even, or measure it out or what-have-you – I can’t help you. I didn’t get out a measuring tape. But if you’re a lazy seamtress and still on board, let’s go!

1. Get a skirt. Preferably an old one. I picked this up at the Rokit vintage store on Brick Lane for two pounds! TWO POUNDS!

2. Get something round. The size of it will determine how big your scallops are, so have a little ponder about that. Turn your skirt inside out, and draw around your round thing (I used the top of a tin) with a pencil. Or, if you’re being fancy (and correct), keep your skirt the right way round and use tailor’s chalk. See if I care…

You can make your circles overlap as much as you want, depending on how deep you want the gaps to be between your scallops. I didn’t measure anything, I just guessed, which to be honest was a risky game, because I had no idea if I was going to end up with half a scallop by the time I’d got round drawing the whole skirt. Luckily, I didn’t! So… yeah, you could measure, or you could live life on the edge like me and just hope for the best.

3. Okay! Now get your machine and set it to a tight zig zag stitch. My machine had length set to 0, and width to 5, because we want the stitches really close. I also made my top thread and bobbin thread the same colour to keep it neat, and also because I was stitching on the wrong side of the skirt remember…

Matching the thread to the material will also do you many favours in masking any less-than-perfect stitching you do. Stitch along all your pencil / chalk lines, all the way round your skirt.

4. We’re almost done! Take some fabric scissors and snip all the way round your skirt, close to the stitching, but not so close you cut a thread. Because then the whole bloody thing will unravel.

5. Wear it! Feel smug that you made a pretty thing with minimal effort.

You can also feel happy.

Or pretend you’re Kim Kardashian.

I leave that up to you.

hanna ♥

Super Monday

13 Dec

It’s been a while it’s true, and one of my new year’s resolutions is to figure out what to do with this blog and which features I want to keep / start / ditch / tweak etc. But in the meantime.. well, there is just so much superness to reflect on!

1. I went to Papered Parlour over the weekend for their DIY Couture Make a Cloak workshop and it was great! A race against time admittedly, but I was very happy with the finished product, plus we got tea and cake. And now I can pretend to be from the 50s, or that I’m a BAT. Because capes are versatile like that.

2. Bento boxes are super. The BBC actually did a report on them, so it’s official.

3. I was interviewed for the Think Act Vote Futures series a while back, which was really nice.

4. You’ve seen Feminist Ryan Gosling. Now brace yourself for Handmade Ryan Gosling. It’s the future of swoon.

5. Talking of handmade, remember these that I made back in the spring? Well they have been selling like hotcakes! I have had orders and requests without expecting any, and I have done so much panic sewing that my left hand is all claw-like. Worth it though to think of these slogans adorning a few christmas trees this year. Haha.

6. I’ve been back at work full time for 2 weeks now as Green Jobs Director at The Otesha Project UK, and it’s nice to be getting back into the swing of things. The coolest thing is that we are trialling a flat, non-hierarchical structure. You can read about how it’s going here. I’d really recommend it, as it’s going super well so far!

7. By far the superest thing this week was Occupy Cop 17 at the UN climate talks in Durban. The outcome of the negotiations was not perfect, and in no way puts us on track for mitigating climate change, but the fact that they came away with ANYTHING was largely down to this protest. The negotiators overran the talks by 36 hours after this public show of dissent. It proves that protest does and can work. To read more about what happened at the negotiations, read this overview.

hanna ♥

Super Sunday

3 Jul

1. Glastonbury, as mentioned in my last post, was incredibly super. I was there as part of the panel for the Green Jobs and Sustainable Futures debate that was scheduled on Saturday in Billy Bragg’s Leftfield tent. I think it went really well, 150 people turned up (and stayed!), we got some good questions, and I got to talk about my work with the East London Green Jobs Alliance. Best bits though – Emmy the Great also being on the panel, staying afterwards to hear her and Billy Bragg sing, and the debate getting a brief mention in Tim Dowling’s column for the Guardian!

2. I am going to post some more pics later on this week, but Paris with my sister was so much fun. There was badly spoken French, cocktails at the Ritz, croques monsieurs, long walks, boat trips, book shops, the Eiffel Tower and macaroons. Beaucoup de good times.

3. We also had the fun adventure of meeting a crew of Parisien dancers and acrobats. They were amazingly talented and a couple of them are in this parkour (or free-running) video which shows them in the Forum des Halles. It’s made me reflect a lot on what makes good art, and what makes good protest. Of course, these aren’t necessarily the same thing, but both seem to require people who are willing to end their complicity with the norm, to take a moment to show others the inherent absurdity in the way we live, and what a different world could look like. Inspiring.

4. I have become a bit obsessed with photo booths, but we don’t have any of the old-school good ones in the UK. I have found this fun website though (cue me being incredibly silly in my living room).

5. Love these cameos carved from Oreo cookies! By artist Judith G. Klausner.

6. I was in Stoke Newington today and dropped by a local school fair with some friends for the tea and cake. One corner of the playground was devoted to loads of mini placards, in preparation for the “Mischief Makers Protest March” that was going to take place later in the afternoon. The kids had been encouraged to make placards about things they cared about and they were absolutely brilliant, ranging from the eco-warrior-in-training “Save the Tiger”, to the cute “I Love Golden Syrup”, to the weird “Don’t Destroy Daleks Dr. Who”, to the plain heart-breaking “Don’t Leave Mum”. The best had to be the massive “Let Children Teach” banner! A gorgeous idea all round, I wish I could have stayed to see them march around the playground.

7. A new Hummingbird Bakery has opened up near my offices off Brick Lane. Massive yay.

hanna ♥

Super Sunday

18 Apr

Oh hai! Things have been looking a little thin on the blog front lately, partly because I have been schlepping around the world and have no idea who I am anymore or what time it is. It isn’t even Sunday where you are. Sheesh. I said goodbye to my dad today and am now in New York! I did not intend to take this crazy route (completely crossed wires with airline booking system) and am really quite embarassed about it :s but here I am. So let’s do a Super Sunday.

1. Check out this INCREDIBLE collaboration between cellist Yo-yo Ma and crunk dancer Lil Buck. Crunk is like proper magic.

“What starts as personal choice born out of self-esteem – a bit of self-pampering because you’re worth it – can grow into a terrifying network of conventions which is bigger than any of us. Luxuries can morph into necessities; choices, however initially eccentric, can become rules.”

2. I did rather enjoy this week’s David Mitchell article.

3. I dyed my hair in Tokyo! I don’t have any good pics of it yet, but you can kind of see it’s brown with the light bouncing it off it here. Like.

4. Hilarious (and true) blog – Advice From A Rapper.

5. I booked a long weekend in Paris in June! I’m going with my sister the day after she finishes her A-Levels and it should be uh-may-zing. So excited.

6. Some super actions have been going on back home this week! I am just sorry I couldn’t be there 😦 Check out what the Craftivist Collective, Climate Rush and UK Tar Sands Network have been up to.

7.  This picture makes me happy. (via @presentcorrect).

hanna ♥

So I don’t end up a waffle waitress…

18 Mar

I was commissioned to make my first ever kindle cover by a twitter friend a few weeks ago, so have been tackling that the past couple of nights – it took me much longer than I expected! I thought it would be nice to embroider a quote on it, so the kindle-reader chose “so I don’t end up a waffle waitress” from the Bill Hicks sketch.

I picked out the blue / red gingham combo as I thought it worked quite nicely with the american diner feel. I’m still learning though, and I realised about half way through that I should have embroidered the quote on a hoop before cutting out the material, as it got quite tricky to not make it too tight just doing it freehand. Next time!

hanna ♥