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How is it April??

11 Apr

Hi! It’s been exactly a month! A full month. Sigh. I have been busy living (offline) life my friends, but I’m back. Most importantly, I need to tell you something work-related, which is that I have a little over 2 weeks to find at least 10 unemployed young people from East London who would like to enter a summer training programme in Construction Skills and Green Careers. If you know any young people, teachers, youth workers, community organisers etc in the East London area, then please read this link and pass on.

Thank you! I really hope that this will be a life-changing opportunity for the right people.

Okay, so that’s done. And now I shall try and sum up my past month in a nutshell of super:

1. This is what a Terry’s chocolate orange looks like in Japan.

2. I went to the Yayoi Kusama exhibition at the Tate. It was beautiful and scary and you should definitely go see it.

3. I made easter nests with two of my favourite people!

4. This video is awesome. I got teary. I want an arcade.

5. This great TED talk by Jane Fonda just sent me into a Fonda spiral and I ended up reading all about her and the interesting life she’s led. JUST LOOK AT HER.

6. The day I went out in this outfit (lace tshirt, dungarees, milkmaid braids) my friend accused me of crimes against fashion. I thought I looked INCREDIBLE but now looking back on it… yeah. Although I don’t know if crimes against fashion really matter, do they?

7. I got obsessed with this song and can now play it on the ukelele. BAM!

Other offline activities have included: gigs, walks in parks, a LOT of japanese food, dressing up as a can of spam, french toast, conversations on the financial system, and a lot of little revelations. More please.

hanna ♥

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Super Sunday

11 Mar

1. Love this video by artist Shishi Yamazaki. I’m going to Japan this week for family stuff. It’s not necessarily a happy visit, but I will definitely try and find the time to follow this lady’s example and do some shimmying through the streets of Tokyo.

2. I went out on a brilliant photography expedition yesterday with my friend DC around Abney Park Cemetary. I’ve been meaning to get to grips with my DSLR for ages and get off just shooting on auto, and I think I made some big steps yesterday with DC’s expert help! Looking forward to experimenting more.

3. I dip dyed my hair! How very Caroline Flack of me. I know it’s like, soooo 2011, but hell I wanted to try it and I like it!

4. Discovered these gals recently and love them. They’re playing May 1st in London. I wanna go!

5. General Friday Kahlo inspiration this week. What a cool mama. I want her on my jacket too.

“And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

6. John Steinbeck wrote a letter to his son in 1958 with advice on falling in love. It’s very good.

7. My friend Anna went to Brazil at the beginning of the year and came back with these wish bracelets for her girlfriends. We had to tie them in three knots around our wrists, making three wishes at the same time. By the time the bracelet falls off our wishes are supposed to have come true. Mine is perilously close to falling off now, and with any luck….

hanna ♥

Super International Women’s Day!

5 Mar

In honour of International Women’s Day on Thursday, I have to tell you about the coolest discovery I made last week. It’s a total nightmare working just off Brick Lane, because I tend to suffer from these weird black outs where I SOMEHOW end up in a vintage clothing store. Anyway, last week, I ended up purchasing this very beautiful black dress. You can’t really tell what it’s like here, but it fits like a glove, is made of the softest linen, and has that really nipped-in fifties shape that I lurve. It was only after I bought it that I looked at the label:

It says Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union. OMG I WAS SO EXCITED. I suspected that my dress had been made by totally badass women in the fifties. And I was right.

Here is some info about the International Ladies Garment Workers Union from Wikipedia:

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union was once one of the largest labor unions in the United States, one of the first U.S. unions to have a primarily female membership, and a key player in the labor history of the 1920s and 1930s. The union, generally referred to as the “ILGWU” or the “ILG,” merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE. The two unions that formed UNITE in 1995 represented only 250,000 workers between them, down from the ILGWU’s peak membership of 450,000 in 1969.

Having done some research on the kind of label my dress has, I know that it was made sometime between 1955 – 1963. This is what ILGWU workers looked like then.

Members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union on strike gather in a meeting hall, March 15, 1958.

ILGWU parade float bearing the union label, December 7, 1960

i.e. BLOODY AWESOME.

I love thinking that maybe one of these women made the dress that I own now, in the time she had spare when she wasn’t standing up for her rights. I love thinking that in a small, small way, I might be continuing their tradition by campaigning for green and decent jobs.

There is much, much more brilliant and inspiring history around the ILGWU, especially the part they played in the strikes at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1909, where 20,000 workers walked out in protest against working conditions. During that year, Clara Lemlich, a shirtwaist employee and union activist spoke up at a Town Hall meeting and asked that she and her co-workers receive fair wages and safe working conditions. “We’re human, all of us girls, and we’re young. We like new hats as well as any other women. Why shouldn’t we?” (source). This is what 1909 looked like.

And this is what they looked like marching in 1911 after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which burned 146 workers to death, who had been locked inside the factory to prevent them from taking breaks (click on the picture to see the non-negative).

And in 1935 during the Great Depression.

I find it really heartening to see these images, and remind myself that women have been on the front lines of these battles for a long, long time. It is easy for us to think that women were just stuck at home, playing housewife, when in actual fact many women were going out to work every day, participating in public life and fighting for those rights that we have either achieved, or are still fighting for today.

It also reminds me of the millions of women around the world who are still in almost exactly the same situation (or worse) that these women were, making clothes under extremely poor working conditions, for very little pay. 76% of the global sweatshop workforce are women.

That’s why I’m going to be celebrating International Women’s Day this week, in solidarity with working women past and present, and why I’m pretty happy to have a piece of this amazing, incredible, inspirational history hanging in my closet.

I can’t wait to wear it.

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 ♥

Super Sunday

5 Feb

1. First things. I must tell you about the Otesha cycle tours coming up this summer, partly because I am under orders, but mostly because they are one of the funnest adventures you will ever have.

If you like cycling, being green (figuratively, not literally), and the chance to be free and silly then hop on your bike and join us! I cycled 700 miles around the hilly South West for 6 weeks in 2008 and have been on bits of many of our tours since. They are crazy crazy, but you make friends for life and you’ll never forget it.

2. Second things. SNOW. Obviously. Tottenham never looked so pretty.

3. I saw this poster on the wall behind the bar of The Lexington at a friend’s birthday last night, and I managed to persuade the barman to sell it to me for two pounds!! Is it not the best thing YOU HAVE EVER SEEN? Winona forever *crosses heart*.

4. Saw the film Bombay Beach at the ICA on Friday night, which was fantastic. It’s a documentary about one of the poorest communities in Southern California, with a soundtrack by Beirut and Bob Dylan. The result makes you feel like you woke up in some suburban American teenager’s dystopian dream.

5. Spent Wednesday evening driving round East London in a van with my old friend Jonny, moving sofas and eating vietnamese food while listening to 90s r&b. Was so fun, just like old times.

6. This is lahvely. Learning it on the ukelele. (I might have also taught myself how to drum with a margarine tub. OH YES.)

7. Badass! Can I be this when I grow up?

hanna ♥

p.s.

That is all.

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 Sunday

29 Jan

Okay, after my Alain de Botton rant…

1. An illustration of the Ryan Gosling Hey Girl meme. I am never going to tire of this. Also, you HAVE to read the story that this illustrates.

2. Beauty from Diane Di Prima. I read her Memoirs of a Beatnik years and years ago, and I’ve just ordered the whole book of Revolutionary Letters. Can’t wait. (h/t Something Changed)

3. I graduated this week! Which was great. Weird fact: Sanjeev Bhaskar is the Chancellor of Sussex University, so I was handed my certificate by Mr Kumar. I know, I was also confused.

4. This week was crazy with work, partly because we’re hiring at Otesha at the moment. As you can see though, I was awarded with joint employee of the week for my efforts (it’s very official). I was good cop 🙂

5. More brilliance from the artist Jenny Holzer that’s been going round the internetz this week.

6. One of the highest search terms that lead people to this blog is ‘lipstick’! And since I haven’t mentioned it in a while, here’s a brilliant video about wearing bright colours if you’re not used to it. I’m now obsessed with this girl.

7. This.

hanna ♥