July 22, 2009

I won the lottery!

The International Bloggers Community lottery! Thanks to Nina from Under the Rainbow, who tagged me for this award! It basically means people who like other people's blogs can check out still more blogs that must be at least a little interesting because somebody tagged them, too. It's like a chain letter, but we'll call it free advertising!

The rules of the award:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Copy the image above, the rules and the questionnaire in this post.
3. Post this in one or all of your blogs.
4. Answer the four questions following these Rules.
5. Recruit at least seven (7) friends on your Blog Roll by sharing this with them.
6. Come back to BLoGGiSTa iNFo CoRNeR (PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE THIS LINK) at http://bloggistame.blogspot.com and leave the URL of your Post in order for you/your Blog to be added to the Master List.
7. Have Fun!
Questions & Your Answers:
1. The person who tagged you:
Nina; knitter, sewer, and mom in Finland
2. His/her site's title and url:
Under the Rainbow; http://rainbowandhermagicdyes.blogspot.com/
3. Date when you were tagged: July 20th, 2009
4. Persons you tagged:

1. Nina from Under the Rainbow; she seems to whip up projects faster than I think is humanly possible.

2. Danger Kitty Designs; always has funny links before anyone else I know.

3. Havfaith from Delusions of Domesticity; knitting AND cool travel pics.

4. Mon Bouton Productions; Hailing from France, I can only understand a little of what this crafter has to say, but it's fun and makes me nostalgic for French class.

5. Sara from Handy Hooker; simply interesting to read!

6. Canary Knits; Um, giveaways and profiles of cool new designers. Awesome.

7. sknitter; kind of a go-to for when you want to know what's on knitting blogs everyday.

I read several other blogs, but these are the craft-related ones that I love and that post on a regular basis. Woo hoo!

July 17, 2009

Wise Words: on women in the workplace

Whew! Way more words with "w" than a wary writer would wittingly write...

Right. Unrelated to crafting, but fascinating and *possibly* more important is
this post from a few days ago by the very admirable ad broad, who calls herself "the oldest working writer in advertising."

I wonder what it means to juxtapose such comments about women's work on a blog that largely discusses things so traditionally connected to female folk culture. I can only say that I craft because I'm creative and I garden because I'm hungry. And, let's face it, I do both because I've had 28 years of training to be a nurturer and only two to be a journalist.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jack Welch on women's work

Former GE CEO Jack Welch is in the hospital today, reportedly for a minor infection. But I wonder if his sudden internment has anything to do with the backlash coming at him after his speech to an HR conference recently.

Bad news for young women working their way up the ladder.

"There's no such thing as a work-life balance," Welch announced. "We'd love to have more women moving up faster, but they've got to make the tough choices and know the consequences of each one."

He explained that taking time off for family can offer a nice life, but the chances of rising to the top on that path are...nil.

He tried to cushion the blow.

"That doesn't mean you can't have a nice career," he smiled.

A similarly provocative statement
was made a few years ago by former WPP creative chief Neil French who contended that women can't head ad agencies because their roles as caregivers and childbearers prevent them from putting in the long hours.

It's not that I necessarily disagree. A work-life balance IS an impossible feat, an inconvenient fact that came as a rude surprise to lots of boomer women who'd been led to believe otherwise. The "have it all" promise, unfortunately, is a crock. Sometimes, lots of times, you have to choose between your kids and your job, the playdate or the client, the school play or the important pitch.

But the balance is impossible for anyone to achieve, whether or not you've got a vagina.

In Welch and French's generation, men had the choice of outsourcing the job of tending kids and home to a wife conditioned not to make him feel guilty for it. In fact, to feel grateful that she herself "didn't have to work."

But sons raised by those dads have a different outlook. Many want to be around for their kids as they'd wished their dads had been around for them. (Some may want to be around a little too much--see alpha dads.) Childraising, with all its joys and vicissitudes, is no longer a topic verboten in conference rooms as it seemed to be when I got into the business. The other day, I rode an elevator with two guys who spent 34 floors debating the merits of cloth versus disposable. Men are taking parental leaves. Going on school trips. Coming in late after drop-off. These men don't consider work-life balance a problem their wives must grapple with alone if they want to go out and pursue a career. Unfortunately, most of these men don't run companies yet.

The real disservice Welch and French did was to use their stature to reinforce longheld convictions many men in senior management still harbor privately. And by doing so, helping ensure that women remain less likely to make it to the top.

If a male [boss]...is convinced that [a female worker] s extremely limited in her ability and value...would you expect him to offer the same support and guidance and consideration he gives the men? Might that woman keep herself down on the farm when her leader conveys in countless ways she's not as good as the boys? Might she respond with less than her best effort when the leader expects little of her? Might she want to leave, not to have babies but because the conditions for her to succeed don't exist and the message she can't succeed is too discouraging?
--Nancy Vonk, CCO, Ogilvy, Toronto responding to French

Twenty years ago, Business Week coined "The Mommy Track" to describe the "nice career" Welch says is the only one available to women with kids. If things are to change finally, more men have to speak up about their own need for work-life balance.

Ironically, the recession may help. Apparently, it's hitting men harder than women, creating a greater number of stay-at-home dads. Men who are coming to value the work done by women "who don't work." So that once they return to the 9 to 5, they'll be apt to shoulder more of it, understanding the necessity of doing so if their wives are to compete meaningfully for that promotion.

July 8, 2009

As the Garden Grows...

Bam! Three days in a row of posting! Although this is just a garden update.

Here you can see how the garden started in modest terms back in May, when we transplanted all our seedlings into it:

And here you can see that, while some seedlings perished, many more thrived and were joined by the superfluous plants we bought from the neighbor girl's school (those are the biggest ones):

Now the corn is definitely more than knee-high, the peas have run their course, we've harvested our first row of lettuce, the carrots and onions are beginning to peek above the soil, and the beans and zucchini are flowering:

AND...we have tomatoes and peppers galore! I've been able to step outside for fresh herbs. This gardening thing is pretty awesome.

July 7, 2009

Owl dreamcatcher

I've been meaning to make more dreamcatchers for a while, because at the last craft fair I did they were sold out! Like the others, this one is made from fiber arts supplies; the hoop being yarn-wrapped and the web being embroidery floss. This one is three inches in diameter and about 10 inches long from the top of the hoop to the tip of the feather.

This is definitely my favorite so far in the color category, especially because the little ceramic owl bead matches so lovely. Look at how cute his little glazed wings are!

July 6, 2009

WIPs: knitted bag and pen palm

This awesome bag is called Miragamo and it's a Ravelry pattern by Georgie Kajer. I'm uber excited about it, except that I'll have to KNIT 11 STITCHES TOGETHER. Are you kidding me?? No? Several times? Sheesh.

This is the yarn I'll be using. The pattern calls for 100% hemp, which apparently you can't find in stores. I suppose I could have ordered it online, but I found this green wool while I was on vacation for half-price. Honestly, what I'm more worried about than knitting 11 sts together is sewing up a lining. Sewing + me = strange or unintended results.

And then there's this guy; another pen drawing. Knock on wood...between this and knitting, I'm sure to be blind or riddled with arthritis by the time I'm 40.

July 1, 2009

Mischief Managed: Penny loves the sprinkler

The night we got Penny, the breeders sat down with us and we chatted at length about her breed and dog care in general. She was the last of the litter to go, and it was obvious that Jen and Len loved their dogs and puppies. One of the many crucial bits of information they shared was that jacks are often not the kind of dogs who can have a bowl of food sitting around; anything and everything in a food bowl will be scarfed with reckless abandon. Sure enough, Penny never really chewed her food for the first four or so years of her life.

Her eating habits have become more relaxed, but she can still certainly get over-excited. I guess we'd never had her in the yard with the oscillating sprinkler until last week...boy was she missing out. She loves being sprayed in the face with the hose, and the sprinkler is even better because instead of relying on our indulgence, she can walk right up to the source and get it for herself. I was so busy supervising the kids that fifteen minutes of play time passed before Jen and Len's voices came to mind ("they'll just eat until they burst!"). I looked over at poor Penny and, sure enough, her belly was visibly swollen. After I shooed her away from the sprinkler, she realized how uncomfortable she was and started whining. I felt so, so bad! The trick was to wait for her to expel the excess water without letting her get back to the sprinkler (because, you know, excitement trumps intelligence). Said expulsion was all she needed; her efforts to conquer the sprinkler re-doubled, and we had to ruin the poor thing's fun by putting her inside for her own good.