Monday, June 10, 2019

Periods. And The Good Fund.

Call me an early adopter but I’ve used a Mooncup for years. Like, lots of years. I used to teach workshops called the ‘Politics of Blood’, in which we discussed using different blood catching methods. Most of the attendees had never before spoken or heard said aloud the words vagina or vulva outside of the doctor's office.

There are a bunch of reasons why I went off ‘sanitary products’. One of the things we did in those workshops was putting a popular brand tampon in a clean jar of water. Toward the end of the workshop, we’d give it a shake and pass it around. The water changed colour and had all sorts of fibres and random particles floating in it. Pretty ick. An eco-activist and zero waste advocate at the time, I found the chemical processes in producing that bleached white cotton (and the waste) repugnant. There was that awful sucked dry feeling after using tampons. Then there was the cost. Have you ever done the math? It adds up quick!

I had always hated the feel of pads, so reusable pads were out for me. A lover turned me onto sea sponges. Yup. You read me right. They were awesome actually, but I was happy to switch to a more environmentally sound solution, the menstrual cup. Mooncups went on the market in 2002 and I was one of the first in line. Truly re-usable, these last for years. There are loads of menstrual cups on the market now and they’ve been gaining in popularity. I love mine. 

And now there’s a new thing. Period underwear!
Heralded by US company, Thinx, there is a flood (pardon the pun, couldn’t resist) of period underwear on the market. NZ has I am Eva and next door in Australia there's Modibodi. They're not just for catching blood, but any kind of leak. Women who struggle with pelvic floor post birth, this could be your thing!

As anyone who bleeds on the regular will tell you, that heaviest day of bleeding can be a worry. If you’re travelling, have a big day at work or just have to be on the go all the time, there is the concern that you’ll leak. I well remember the stress about this at high school. Some women find period underwear gives that extra bit of reassurance. 

I have some teen friends who are loving the period underwear. I know others who use the heavy flow ones overnight, or who use the light flow ones as a backstop on busy/heavy flow days or to catch the drips as their bleeding is almost over. Some use them exclusively, taking a wet bag with them and doing a change in the loos halfway through the day, others as back up to their menstrual cup. I know a menopausal woman who never knows when her bleeding might descend and so wears a fabulous pear of period underwear every day, just in case. They even come in g-string design. 
And how brilliant would these be in those incessant weeks of bleeding after giving birth? Pretty damn fabulous. Give me a pair of sexy period underwear over those hideous maternity pads any day. 

I just got my period underwear in the mail today. After being put off for years by the outlay, I bought some Modibodi ones through a special deal that Emily from Raising Ziggy organised. (Thank you!) The great thing is that function aside, they’re awesome underwear, some are even lacey. And I love that there are more zero-waste choices. The best explanation and review of period underwear I’ve seen is by Emily over on the Raising Ziggy blog HERE. 

Did you know that there are girls around the world who can’t go to school or be out in the world because they rely on rags, mattress stuffing, moss or even cow dung to catch their bloods? All power to you if that’s your thing, but bleeding monthly should not get in anyone’s way of having a good life and doing the things they want to do.
There are some awesome Period Poverty projects around.

Days for Girls just opened a local chapter here, there are groups all over- they bring together women to make re-usable pads and bags to send to those that need them. 

Which brings me to The Good Fund. A team effort between Emily from Raising Ziggy and Kimberli from MyCupNZ, they are breaking down the cost barrier to women accessing re-usable menstrual products. You can buy, donate or take part in the huge nationwide Fill-A-Bag fundraiser. Check it out HERE.

And finally, those fabulous women from On the Rag can now be seen on screen! Yes, they've gone all TV. And the first episode is on PERIODS! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Kowtow archive sale experience

Does anyone else suffer from social awkwardness or inappropriate blurting of irrelevant information?! 
I went to meet a girlfriend at the Kowtow archive sale the other day and had completely the wrong idea about what I was in for. I had been doing long hours, working hard, supporting an unwell kid with no other adult contact for ages and wasn’t prepared for the crowds and social contact AT ALL. I almost messaged my friend to say I couldn’t make it but hauled myself into town, an hour’s drive away. 

When I arrived, I hid in a corner and messaged my friend to say I’d arrived, only to find I had missed her message saying she wasn’t going to make it. EEEP! I took a deep breath. Or four. I don’t shop for new clothes. Not really. I sew, source things I love secondhand and am an opshopping queen. The Kowtow sale was a mash of great music, trestle tables piled high with beautiful organic cotton clothes, racks of samples and hordes of wonderful women. If the setting was in a forest clearing or on a beach I would have been sweet, but it was a concrete box. I had to stop myself from bolting a few times but took a few deep breaths and starting wandering, letting my eye be drawn by a texture, a colour, the cut of a skirt. I found some beautiful clothes. 

Looking at the line to the changing room (it snaked around the entire space) I decided to head for the tills. I looked around for the line to pay. Oh. It was the long line I had mistaken for the changing room queue. Gah! I almost bolted again but hugging my finds, I decided to stick it out. I am glad I did. Some of the exchanges I had in that line, with women I wouldn’t have met otherwise, were super interesting. Same goes for the conversations I inadvertently eavesdropped on. I may have talked too much and possibly inappropriately and revealed my just about to launch business idea – previously kept tightly under wraps. But I am getting better at letting that shit go. The clothes I bought have been on high rotation since that day and I know I’ll wear them for years. Knowing they’re organic and ethically made makes them even better. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Calm in the storm

It's been chilly but we head for the beach anyway. 
To get the heart rate up, the dog out (and peeing on all the things), and to find the peace that waits on the beach. Something about being tiny in a huge vista is so good for human perspective. 

It's been a hell of a summer for many reasons. One I am glad to be out the other side of.
I am enjoying the new calm and working toward the launch of a new project. Looking forward to sharing that publicly very soon. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

end-of-season camping

We squeezed an end-of-season camping trip in. Just before the weather turned too. 
The boy and I arrived in time to grab a good spot and had a night just the two of us before the rest of the homeschool/unschool crew arrived. Another ten tents went up the next morning.
Kayaking, many good conversations, hangouts at the awesome waterhole, the best coffee, spotlight at midnight. Possum raids on the camping kitchen in the night. NZ camping at it's best.
I hardly saw the boy. 
It was so good. (Those two statements are not related!)
I love those people. 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Making: with Liberty print jersey cotton

I picked up this colourful garden print at The Fabric Store's last sale. I couldn't make it in so bought it online and was so gutted when it arrived. It felt all stiff, like a polyester. 
It softened up when I prewashed the fabric luckily. Phew. That stuff is not cheap, even on sale!
I didn't even know Liberty did a range of jersey cotton.

I am on a mission to make up every variation of the Sew Knit Love Sarah's dress pattern. It's a bit of a misnomer, because the same pattern makes a short sleeve and longsleeve shirt in woven or stretch, a tunic dress with pockets (you can see one of mine HERE) and a full skirted dress. I love an adaptable pattern. 

I'm loving the cut of this top. It's perfect for layering on top of dresses or wearing with high-waisted jeans or skirts. It's a bit like wearing a garden. And it has yellow in it. To match my favourite new yellow Saltwater sandals. And yes, I am tending toward wearing more colour. It's ironic that my son, whose been highly critical of me wearing too much black over the years, is now tending to wear black himself, being of a certain age.