Pictures of new cafe in Edinburgh Lovecrumbs

Dear Readers

I would like to hibernate. I’m waking up in the dark dragging myself out to work in the dim light for ONLY 4 HOURS and I can barely make it. I staggered out this afternoon, forced myself to the post office to post out parcels. Came home and have barely managed to open a bottle of alcoholic ginger beer, make dinner and flit about the internets. I think I’d like to take 2-3 months off every year – starting mid Nov to end of February. I’d do a lot of craft, read library books, perhaps even study, but otherwise live SLOW. No rush no deadlines. I can remember reading online or in a book how medieval peasants dozed away the winter months in the dark, worked fewer hours than we did and did an interesting two stage sleep system.

Medival work hours

Medival Sleep

The blanket on the left is crocheted grannie square blanket I made for knit-a-square a charity which is trying to get blankets and clothing to AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children in South Africa. It hasn’t quite made it into a parcel yet! The one on the right is a blanket I knitted some years ago for myself. It was a way of providing self comfort during a terrible dark period of depression for me while I was ill with ME/CFS. I found that playing with the colours very soothing. I was able to still my mind into thinking about ‘getting to the end of the row’ and chosing another shade and it gave some relief in a ghastly period. I was inspired by a photo I saw on Kaffe Fassett’s blog of a stripey throw. Sadly while I was under the weather I threw it into the machine at too high a temperature and being wool it felted!

November is also Wovember a campaign to promote the use of wool. Its more environmentally friendly. recyclable and generally feels a lot lovelier to handle than acrylic when crocheting or knitting.

Statue of Mr Phillips, a light bulb worker, and interiors of the saved factories.

Eindhoven was dominated by Phillips and the company even built housing and schools to attract skilled worked especially glass blowers from the low countries. However in the last twenty (?) years it closed all its Eindhoven factories. The most interesting buildings were kept and turned into artists studios, work spaces, lofts. Many of the spaces were used for exhibtions during Dutch Design Week and I became fascinated by them even more than I’m afraid the exhbits!

Another brilliant speaker was Piet Hein Eek the Dutch designer (the conference was in his events space). I found his talk about sustainability, serendipity and quality a large meal for thought! I’ve mislaid my notes unfortunately. I loved however the story of the 30 thousand Guilder table (about 13,000 euros) which was made out of discarded pieces of wood but had months of work in it. He priced it with the true cost of labour in it – hauled it to a furniture fair expecting to bring it back to his workshop. Not only did he sell it practically in the first five minutes after that he had two dealers fighting over it. In our throw away world the idea that innate quality and craftsmanship and effort is recognized gives me hope.

I took loads of pictures around his workshop space in an old Philips ceramics factory. I also found this great video which shows a lot of his work and the workspace he has created.

Piet Hein Eek: Mastering His Universe from Gestalten on Vimeo.

And an article at Dwell.

“Minimalism always tries to hide the details, which is not minimalistic, because you put energy into disguising what you’ve done”

“The major thing is that you make durable things. If you buy a couch from IKEA with FSC-certified wood and you throw it away after two years, it is much worse than a non-FSC wood couch that you keep for 100 years.”


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