tu tu much
tu tu much

I have a love-hate relationship with tutus and sequins, by association.  I love, love, love to see a beautiful piece of work up on stage but when I’m up to my eyeballs sewing it, it’s often pure hell.  Recently I went to watch my niece compete in the biggest ballet competition of the year for her.  On balance she had quite a successful campaign across the dozen or so solos and troupe routines she danced, though not quite as good as previous years.  She’s ten years old and has just moved up an age group and is at the very junior end of some much bigger girls and the competition in relation to technique is very tough.  All girls experience this as they progress, but I think often the reality of the situation as you get older is a bitter pill to swallow.  I’m just pleased my niece is passionate enough about dancing to stick it out and clean up the trophy haul next year!  By then she’ll have a new tutu and I’ll be up to my eyeballs in sequins.  Again.

 

Finished product from Zaishu's India Project

Finished product from Zaishu's India Project

I’ve loved Zaishu for a few years now. It’s a sustainable, socially responsive yet simple way of connecting people to each other via unique art and design.   The people might be those in need or those with skills to offer.  Sounds utopic, but it works. And continues to work. 

There seems to be no end to the global reach of originator Matt Butler’s simple concept.  Born from a desire to to create an open- ended, evolving art project with participation, creativity and social / environmental responsibility as its central themes the largely organic projects seem to get more amazing as time goes by. 

schoolkids with their finished Zaishu

schoolkids with their finished Zaishu

One of my favourite projects involved the work of Bollywood artists as well as religious, tribal, sign-writing artists and schoolchildren.  Way back in 2006 Matt travelled to Mumbai and set up a studio where he spent a month discovering and working with artists trained in traditions that are being lost due to India’s rapid modernisation.  Proceeds from the sale of Zaishu India Project assist in providing income for the artists as well as clothing, housing, education and medical care for the children of Samparc, many of whom have no family.

 I would love to be involved in a project one day, lord knows I’ve tried in the past!  There seems to be a huge waitlist of cool stuff on their books though. Originally I had thought some of my artwork or craftie skills could be involved but given the direction I’m heading these days I would stand a better chance of taking photos of their next biggest thing.   Hey Matt, call me!!

Be sure to check out Zaishu online to learn about their next exciting collaborative project and to find your own favourite to fall in love with – I dare ya!

choose a colour and your future awaits

choose a colour and your future awaits

In my real day job I mostly shuffle paper, in black and white.  All the while I do this I’m day-dreaming in colour.  To help me walk the line between the two I joined a Global Corporate Challenge and was randomly put in a team with some other colleagues.  The goal is to monitor our step activity for 125 days and become more active in the process.  Truth be told, I just wanted the free pedometer and the motivation to get in shape for my mid-winter escape to Bali. 

 

Today is day 34 and so far I’ve done 2304 steps, which ain’t half bad considering I’ve been sitting at my desk most of the day!  Today is also day 15 of trying to find a new home, day 361 of feeling queasy and day 3 of my new direction to actively live, make and play.  Wish me luck!