Tag Archives: 1980s

Summer craft

We’re unpacking boxes again. Some of mine haven’t been unpacked since a very sudden move in 2008, and a few from my childhood home decades ago that were only opened to toss more things in rather than weed and remove.

I found a whiskey box with a great wad of crafty jewelry that dated c. 1980-1991. It was a time of equal-opportunity counter culture decor for me – vintage hippie beads, new age crystals, punk rock chains and pins, beads representing bleeding-heart worldliness from Africa and South America, and crafty bits from midwestern 4-H camp.

camp-wad

I remember making most of these things in the summertime – embroidery floss taped to my knee while I sat in the hammock or under a tree – or else they were worn more in the summer with their nautical vibe (and my winter clothes tended more goth and grunge and gender-bending…)

camp-bracelets

I made possibly hundreds of these things and gave away many.  This was also before the overpopulation of Jesusfish due to global warming melting out the rightwingedchristiandom crazies, so some of these are patterned with fish just for fishsake…

camp-friendshipbracelets

And I remember trading these beaded safety pins in elementary school – the bead colors meant something, but I’ve since forgotten (and this was before gay rainbows too, but yay for gay rainbows)!

camp-safetypinbeads

I had a bead loom – up until recently, I think – I think I gave it to one of my siblings before the last few moves…

camp-beadloom

And I’d like to think I was one of the “cool” camp counselors, evidenced by these gifts from my campers. Plaid Maggot was the secret real name of our two-year award winning (of the camp talent show) jugband whose real name was something gentle and new age and asinine like Lunar Rhythms or Earthstrokes…

(I think another counselor reported me for my non-censoring leatherwork class, but secreting these quickly away and playing dumb actually worked out for all involved that time…)

camp-leatherwork

I feel like I didn’t take full advantage of summertime crafting this year. I most like sitting outside to unravel sweaters or card wool so the sneezy bits fall on the ground rather than the rug.

unwinding-outside

But I only got in a couple of unwinding sessions so far…

unwinding-cicadas

But there are still a few months to go before the nasty white fluffy stuff comes back, right…?

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Let’s [not] do the time warp again…

Timewarp

It’s happening again… things have only ramped up by a quarter or a half turn and suddenly I can’t account for great blocks of time.  Many things are in the works, nothing is ready to be finished yet, and my wrists now ache constantly.  Part of the time is sucked away into to the house-seeking black hole – houses that have been on the market for months, years are suddenly going under contract the minute we decide to move forward (and after we’ve spent the mental energy and time it takes to look at the place, review the flaws, and decide to pull the trigger).  Part of it is my part-time work is cycling up to the busy time, and the other parts when I’m not knitting, sewing, spinning?  I have no f*cking clue.  It’s so hot, it’s so humid; my spinning is sticky and not so smooth, the power keeps going out for short periods in the afternoon, and I can’t keep to my schedule although I’m working nearly constantly.

Some of my work doesn’t involve having to pay attention to words so I can listen to music while I do it.  When I worked at my old full-time job I’d have days on end of correcting numbers, making database tweaks, and looking at thousands of images so I could listen to episodes of Radiolab and This American Life, those teach yourself a new language programs (though they never stuck), and even audio books while I worked… it was, and I mean this with no irony and with a shrill teenage-boy tone, awesome.

tapes

So lately I’ve been making an attempt to weed and dispose of my old cassette tapes when I’ve got a chance to listen to things.  Unlike my peers at the time, I don’t have too many – I preferred vinyl albums (but made tapes from them to preserve the albums!) and then later bought CDs (for a while I even saved those ridiculous longboxes in which they came).  I don’t think I ever bought a non-blank tape except a few from small local bands; most were mixes and dubs, and a few commercial ones were acquired second-hand (ahem, or shall I say out of the trash).  The fact that I still (only) have a stereo that plays cassettes might say something – actually it isn’t even a stereo per se, just one of those old bookshelf boomboxes (c.1988) with a full-deck CD player (c. 1992).  But it works and sounds surprisingly good.  I also have a tape deck in my car (and yes, my car is that old) but it works, but it doesn’t sound that great, the air-conditioning is broken, pieces keep falling off, but it gets me around.

tape-det

I came across this tape recently and I have no idea of its origins.  It wasn’t mine – it’s not my handwriting nor my preferred type of cassette.  And it also couldn’t have been mine or a friend’s because we all listened to alternative music so it’s odd to have labeled something “alternative music” as if it is an exception to the collection.  It wasn’t from an old suitor as there are no love songs or particular attention to themes.  And the songs are merely jotted down on the insert and not decorated in fancy fonts or different colors.  A brief aside about tape decorating:  I arrived at speech class one day and didn’t know or remember it was my day to give a demonstration speech.  I had a backpack full of tapes so I demonstrated how to decorate them – I actually got an A – I wish my one ultra successful winging it episode wasn’t wasted on high school.  Anyway, the last time I acquired some tapes was from the detritus of someone who left my old apartment building maybe 8 or 10 years ago, so that is the possible provenance, yet most of those tapes were commercial and I keep them in my car now…  so it remains a mystery.  And an even bigger mystery because many of the songs on it are the ones I listened to, but the biggest mystery is that it has several tunes from the Rocky Horror Picture Show on it.  I went a few times back in the day but I was in no way a regular…  Was this given to me by someone who wanted me to go more often?  I have no idea.  But I’m blaming the time warp for everything for which I cannot remember.

I’ve been dismantling the tapes since the spools take up a lot less room than the whole boxed cassette.  But I haven’t decided if I’m going to knit, weave, or do anything with the stuff.  I hear it’s toxic due to the metals in magnetic tape and I’ve tried knitting with it already and hated it, but sometimes my brain likes to dispose of things slowly and in stages, so I’ll let it this time.  Let me know if you are a fan of cassette tape for purposes of making sh*t, and maybe I’ll hook you up…

Oh, and I saw this article recently about the Knit the Bridge project in Pittsburgh – looks like a very cool thing and they still need money, so spare some if you’ve got it!

[And one last anecdote about tapes – around 15 years ago my flatmate left a box of old dub and mix tapes on the curb for the trash (or a passer-by).  Later that week, I found some of the tapes at a Goodwill several miles out of town!  Yay for the considerate trash-picker!]

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