Alright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy culture...moreAlright, I didn't love this book as much as I loved the 2nd chapter, but I let it keep its 5th star. The chapter on DIY crafting and the Etsy culture was written FOR me, I loved it. I'm sure the other chapters were just as enlightening, but I've never had a desire to cook, garden, or farm so I couldn't relate to them in the same way.
This book tracks the rise in 'new domesticity' through DIY crafts, gardening/cooking, farming, and 'homemaking'/mothering. Mostly I appreciated Matchar's balance approach. She acknowledges the appeal of the ideas, but challenges the utopian view so many people espouse.
Other than the crafting chapter, the chapters on motherhood and parenting were pretty thought-provoking for me. My mother didn't work when I was a kid (though she provided in-home daycare briefly), and I have personally always felt that I wanted to raise my kids at home until they were school-aged. And some of the values and parenting approaches that I belive in (as someone without kids) are in line with some of the families profiled. However, I don't have kids, nor does it seem likely that if I were to have children that the economy or the workforce would allow me to be a stay-at-home parent.
The book also compares the theoretically diverse views from neo-con Mormons to crunchy liberal that are starting to converge into one mess of off-the-grid libertarians.
I appreciate that the book goes beyond just telling the stories of different people, and delves into the societal aspects of the movement. Matchar addresses class privilege (and within that, white privilege) and particular the risks associated with taking the educated upper middle class 'off grid' and focussed rather than agitating for greater societal change. People are making the decision to step back from corporate America in many ways, but they are the people who have the resources to do so, and ALSO the resources to make a real change for EVERYONE including those less-privileged. Very interesting point that is shown throughout the different chapters as she discusses herd immunity, workplace benefits, and food safety.
Awesome book, I am wishing I had bought a physical copy so I could share it with friends!(less)
Picked this up when I went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts for the Women Who Rock exhibit. I got it more because I was looking for a way t...morePicked this up when I went to the National Museum of Women in the Arts for the Women Who Rock exhibit. I got it more because I was looking for a way to contribute than anything else.
I had heard of the Guerrilla Girls vaguely, but didn't know much about what they have done. In fact they don't seem to have much of a presence at the moment, or perhaps I'm even more ignorant of the art world than I'd thought.
Still, much of the information was new and fascinating, and buying the book at a museum dedicated to Women in the Arts was quite appropriate. The statistics quoted about number of women artists featured, women depicted in art, and the amount of money (and politics!) involved in the museum world was pretty shocking.
The 'activities' and whatnot seem to just be adding fluff to what otherwise might be a boring brochure. But they also lend a sense of humor to a serious issue and fit with the somewhat whimsical approach of the Girls. I think this could be a very interesting book to share with students to get them thinking about activism and considering the skewed views of the world that can be presented in venues like museums and other curated spaces.(less)
Picked this up in Yorktown, VA at the National Park Gift Shop and was excited about a book about the history of crafts in the Civil War. Several of my...morePicked this up in Yorktown, VA at the National Park Gift Shop and was excited about a book about the history of crafts in the Civil War. Several of my favorite subjects!
Unfortunately the book seemed to be based almost entirely on speculation by the author. I think it's entirely possible that quilts were used to communicate messages, but the 'code' described by Tobin seems completely imagined. Reading a few comments and other reviews seem to imply that people in the quilting community also find the claims to be unfounded and suspect.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to learning more about the African-American quilting tradition. Some of the patterns looked like quilts I had from my great-grandmother, and I was curious about how the patterns and techniques might have migrated from the Deep South to the West. Unfortunately the book is confusingly organized and never felt well-researched to me. I was left with a feeling that the authors pulled together lots of little facts and tried to tie them into a whole theory that just falls apart. (less)
Absolutely AWESOME 'text book' style book that walks you through all kinds of ways to repair clothing and other fabric items. The book includes decora...moreAbsolutely AWESOME 'text book' style book that walks you through all kinds of ways to repair clothing and other fabric items. The book includes decorative repairs as well as more subtle ones including things like zipper repair and replacement.
There are a few projects included as well, but really I think the book's strength is its detailed instructions and gorgeous photos of the process. Mending and darning are the kind of thing you're supposed to 'just know' or 'learned from your mom', and I'm so happy to have such a variety of techniques explained in one place. It's inspired me to start a mending basket that I hope to tackle soon.(less)
Love Banksy, love the photography, love the few comments that the book has. I do wish there was a bit more text in the book, since what there was to r...moreLove Banksy, love the photography, love the few comments that the book has. I do wish there was a bit more text in the book, since what there was to read was fascinating.
If you like Banksy, you've got to check out this book. But there's not much to review since it's mostly a large collection of photos of his work.(less)
Absolutely adorable patterns that are a lot of fun to work with. They work up quickly and yield results with...moreCristin owns this, but I've been using it.
Absolutely adorable patterns that are a lot of fun to work with. They work up quickly and yield results within a few hours.
That being said, some of the instructions for new techniques are VERY confusing. Once you get the hang of what the author is describing, it all clicks and the methods ARE easier. But not the best explanations to get you there.
Absolutely NOT a book for a beginning crocheter. There are no 'how-to' sections, and the work is with a fairly small needle and fairly large yarn - stitches can get lost pretty easily, and this is the first time I have EVER had to use a stitch holder while working in the round. The projects are pretty simple once you get the hang of it, but I would not want to start out with these as a first, second, or even tenth, project.
The author does go into great detail on how to craft the accessories, and encourages variations and experimentation. And, although I don't read pictoral patterns, I like that both kinds of instructions are provided - written and graphed. Nice touch.
Overall, GREAT book, but I did struggle with a few things and would not want someone to start out with these projects. That being said, the author comes out and SAYS this isn't a book for beginners, and I appreciate that.(less)
The last thing I need is another coffee table book for a non-existant coffee table... But I have an affection for PostSecret since it is fairly local,...moreThe last thing I need is another coffee table book for a non-existant coffee table... But I have an affection for PostSecret since it is fairly local, I've seen some exhibitions, and Frank Warren has been a pretty awesome supporter of my former roller derby league.
Picked this up in a book swap and finally got around to flipping through it, although I've been familiar with the project for years. The book isn't really anything to be read, it's just an art book. PostSecret is also a project that was made possible by the web, and grew because of its novelty at the time. Now these secrets would be plastered on Tumblr and shared on FB, and the idea of a book almost seems trite.
Sometimes having limitations on art can create more interesting pieces than the most high-flying projects. And trying to tie down big heavy emotions and fit them onto a little 4x6 postcard? Brilliance emerges.(less)