I spent the last week sick in bed. It is not in my character to lie still or ask for help, but a severe ear infection developed into all sorts of other infections, followed by a viral infection a week later, and culminated in an allergic reaction to antibiotics after 14 days.
A friend reminded me last night, “Perhaps you just needed a week in bed?”
A week, perhaps, but two?
I am not a good patient and never have been. Honestly, I was miserable. However, I did find time to read magazines, watch an impressive list of movies that I have been trying to get to for over a year, and, in moments, just looked up at the ceiling. I have to say that my daughter was a gem, brought me water, lay with me, and read books.
So today, for Sustainable Design Tuesday, all I can think of if that sometimes we just need to take a break, lie still, to keep going. So, I offer you a little break and a couple of highlights from my two weeks (more or less) in captivity:
Selvedge Magazine never disappoints—and the May/June issue is no exception. I fell in love with a little story on page 9 about Tajika Haruo Ironworks, in Ono City, Japan that has been “producing handcrafted copper scissors and shears for over four generations since its founding in the Showa Period.”
Now, I love a good pair of scissors and try to keep one pair in each room. We have the kitchen shears, children’s craft scissors, four different pairs of hair shears (since I am known for midnight hair chopping and need good tools), paper scissors, embroidery scissors, and a few vintage pairs for no particular purpose—other that the fact that they are beautiful.
Selvedge sites Analogue Life as a source for the Tiajika scissors, and I briefly got lost there.
As I followed the breadcrumb trail from one scissor story to the next, I discovered another great piece about Tajika Haruo Ironworks at Ashes + Milk. Then all this tooling around the Analogue Life and Ashes + Milk sites reminded me of Labor and Wait, where I found these beautiful paper scissors which are described as, “A decent pair of Paper Scissors from France. Very satisfying to use.”
In our studio, we currently use Gingher Embroidery scissors, which have stood in good stead for Alabama Chanin this last decade. I still own every pair of scissors I ever purchased, since my design school days. Quite a feat seeing that I have moved around the globe several times, hauling several trans-Atlantic moving containers… but this is another story.
All this thinking about scissors did make me wonder if there were any scissors still Made in the USA. A quick internet search search yielded Klein Cutlery, with a line of Quilting and Sewing Scissors, Textile Scissors and a range of other cutting devices. The company has been in business since 1952 and operates from Bolivar, New York. I would like to make a visit to their plant and will definitely be ordering some scissors. Do any of you have experience with the Klein Embroidery Scissors?
Another highlight of my interment was the documentary film Buck —yes, I am about a year late. Rent it, buy it, watch instantly on Netflix. Absolutely inspiring story about one man’s way to dance through life (on a horse). The man behind Robert Redford’s film, The Horse Whisperer, Buck says, “It will make you better in areas that have nothing to do with horses.”
Watch the trailer:
And finally, I listened to the New York Times Best Selling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking from Audible.com. After struggling my whole life with introversion, Susan Cain has given me such a clear picture myself, the introvert’s frustrations in public, and the strengths of people in my work and life. It is a funny, inspiring, informative, and rich volume of research, neuroscience, and stories. I have also ordered the actual book (yes)—which should arrive today—as I need to see the words, make notes on passages (yes), LOOK at it, and understand some of the neuroscience more deeply. There is a story of Rosa Parks that I need to read rather than listen to. More on this book coming soon.
Watch Susan Cain’s TED Talk for an introduction to her ideas:
I am finally well, out of bed, and glad to get back to my (more normal) life and work; however, there was great inspiration to be found in lying still. Perhaps my body is telling me to do this a bit more often.
I will listen.
After all, this is what we call Slow Design.