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Bubbe Wisdom by LouiseSilk
Unraveling the Threads of Life
Oct 19, 2010 | 171454 views | 0 0 comments | 161 161 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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The Best Invention Since Sliced Bread
by LouiseSilk
Jul 30, 2015 | 159 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Oh my goodness, have you tried mobile banking? I am one of 45 million consumers now using mobile banking and with good reason. It is amazing.

I get a check in the mail. I open the app in my phone, I decide where I want the money to go, the app guides me in photographing the front and the back on the check- voila, money deposited.  It is truly amazing.

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#recycleddenim #madeinpittsburgh #Oneofakind #Have It Your Way
by LouiseSilk
Jul 28, 2015 | 292 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I love working at SilkDenim where I can continually sharpen my most advanced skill of patchwork construction. You can see the great results in the newest additions of Collection II on our website.

But in today’s internet business world, one studio skill needs the follow-up of active publicity and marketing to makes its way into the digital hands of the consumer. Enter the #hastag where thousands of social media users are only a word away from connecting with our SilkDenim garments, quilts and accessories.

Three Examples:

Robert Brandegee’s chair with our #SilkDenim custom cushion. Made from 100% recycled denim: #custom #patchwork #chair #craft #art #recycleddenim #reclaimed #upcycleddenim #upcycle #reuse #recycle #designer #denim #home #apartment #design #craft #handmade #jeans #vintagejeans #pittsburgh #madeinpittsburgh #cushion #pillow

Our #SilkDenim romper made from 100% recycled vintage denim: #jeans #denim #romper #onesie #oneofakind #custom #handmade #artisan #arttowear #style #fashiondesign #fashion #design #madeinpittsburgh #pittsburgh #upcycle #reclaim #vintagejeans #vintage #bohemian #comfort #reuse #recycle #salvage #ecoconscious #jumper #wabisabi #hole #rippedjeans #distressedjeans

Our #SilkDenim Boro Quilt made from recycled vintage denim and hand quilted Japanese inspired: #quilt #boro #handmade #handquilt #art #sew #silkdenim #patchwork #denim #ecoconscious #upcycle #reclaim #vintagejeans #jeans #comfort #artisan #madeinpittsburgh #pittsburgh #oneofakind #custom #reuse #recycle #utilitarian #style

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The Death Of Ms. Bland
by LouiseSilk
Jul 23, 2015 | 261 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I don’t have much experience with prisons. That’s probably one of the reasons I watched Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, to get a peak behind the bars and glean a little understanding of incarceration. Hands down, my favorite episode is when bed bugs appear and the inmates are forced to spend their days wearing only regulation prison underwear. Who ever thought about the need for underwear as part of a uniform? It reveals so much on so many levels- really genius dramatization.

Part of this third season entails the privatization of the prison and the opening of a sweatshop where the inmates made fancy underwear.  This made me interested in Columbia University’s recent decision to stop investing money in companies that run private prisons. Columbia owned roughly $10 million worth of shares in two companies that run private prisons.

A $5 billion private prison system accounts for nearly 20 percent of federal prisoners and about 7 percent of state prisoners. Minorities who are convicted of crimes are more likely to be sent to private prisons than their white counterparts where shareholders are guaranteed shareholders certain occupancy levels that often result in higher rates of incarceration.

Yesterday was another blow against the prison system with the death of Sandra Bland. Reported as a suicide, it seems more like a wrongful death because she should never have been arrested. She had recently moved from Chicago to Houston to start a new job and made the mistake of expressing irritation at being pulled over for not signaling a lane change and then balking when the officer asked her to put out her cigarette.

As Tisha B’Av approaches, we can add to our list of losses moral, ethical, and rehabilitative correctional facilities. Another shanda for America.

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Lighten The Load
by LouiseSilk
Jul 21, 2015 | 205 views | 1 1 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I woke up with a hangover this morning. It wasn’t from the expected drugs or alcohol but from the hard labor of the final attempt to clean up of my library. While I am proud that we were able to eliminate over 500 books, over 150 periodicals, and countless notebooks, papers and whatnot, I am also ashamed to be the owner of such an unappreciated quantity of paper.

This is one example: I had sixty-three issues of Parabola dating from 1979 to 2007. The writing is chocked full of thought- the finest found anywhere- but I haven’t looked at a one of them since I put them on the shelf in 2001.

And if the whole situation wasn’t overwhelming enough, the reason I’m opening up the space on the bookshelves is that I have run out of space for all of my SilkQuilt and SilkDenim supplies. It seemed the perfect solution- less unread paper- more accessible fiber. I’m as hopeful and satisfied as I was with the creation of the library in 20001 but stay tuned because only time will tell.

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EOzorak
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July 21, 2015
Oh my, Louise, I can relate! Accumulating paper is a major hazard of my profession.

PINTEREST Update
by LouiseSilk
Jul 16, 2015 | 349 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

I depend on Pinterest to keep track of all of my design inspirations, project ideas for my students, my knitting patterns, my recipes, and my yoga practice- not to mention shared boards with the family on a variety of topics. I loved opening my homepage and knowing every post will add to the excitement of creation.

But my love of Pinterest took a drastic turn when they decided to give me the unwelcomed guidance with their addition of Picked for You Pins (random pins they select) and Promoted Pins (out and out advertisements). They are really messing me up!

I looked to find out what other disappointed pinners have to say about the issue and found I am not alone in my frustration. Everyone hates it! I checked out some Pinterest competitors, PICCSY; BOXNUTT; and TYXO but none of them do as well as Pinterest, but I was able to find a blogger who has figured out how to block the Picked For You pins. If any of you try it- let me know how it works- 

 

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My Depression
by LouiseSilk
Jul 14, 2015 | 334 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Knowing that the next trip of EKC will begin this Sunday brings me back to my own great camp memories. I went to a small camp in Northern Pennsylvania very near Chautauqua. It was a magical place to connect and belong -a real home away from home.

My best friend from Camp Deer Run Days went on to make a name for herself as a composer, director, and writer. As synchronicity presents itself, I happened upon her new animated musical documentary as it premiered on HBO last night.

In My Depression: The Up and Down of It, Liz introduces us to a dark smudgy cloud that sits atop her head maintaining a tenacious hold on her psyche. Through her story, we understand how pervasive depression can be, how it alters her vision of everything and how if left unattended leads down a treacherous fearful path.

Thank goodness, in Liz’s case, she finds the cure in a workable combination of medicine, counseling and acceptance of both herself and her cloud companion. The music, the language, the drawings and the animation are all typical of the Liz I know and love. The imagery is powerful; the perfect mix of light and dark, happy and sad. I found myself having a particular affinity to the black hole she keeps finding herself falling into.

In My Depression: The Up and Down of It, Liz encourages us to ignore shame, share feelings, treat symptoms, and above all, keep trying. It’s just what we learned while we were at camp.

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The Next Generation of Quilt Making
by LouiseSilk
Jul 09, 2015 | 385 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

From our personal rich heritage, Sarah knows that there is nothing finer than sleeping under a handmade quilt. In between our efforts to launch our Second Collection at SilkDenim, she has begun hand-crafting her own quilts.

It began when she agreed to make a quilt as barter for work around her house. The quilt itself was intended as a gift for the friend of the commissioner. Quilt I contained clothing and textiles selected to acknowledge and appreciate a deep, lasting relationship.  The commissioner was so enamored with the finished quilt’s success that he had difficulty simply giving it over to its intended. Instead, it found its way to the commissioner’s own bed.

This spurred Sarah to embark on another quilt. It goes like this:

1. Select a quilt for inspiration; in this case it was an asymmetrical 9-patch log cabin with the center block in the corner and alternating light and dark logs connected by a lattice.

2. Gather all of the remnants of Quilt I. Arrange them by color and cut them into varying width strips.

3. Gather additional meaningful materials such as a shirt from an elder, a classic pair of designer jeans and a vintage cotton dress to complement the Quilt I remnants. Strip these and add to the palette.

4. Grow one block after the other, adjusting piecing, placement, and construction as desired.

5. Choose a dynamic material for the lattice. Cut and piece lattice to blocks.

6. Select and piece as needed a backing that is at least 4” bigger all the way around the size of the finished quilt top.

7. Make and pin the “quilt sandwich” of backing, batting and top. Select appropriate thread and needles for the quilting.

8. Quilt as desired. Sign.

9. Bind using remnants cut into 2 ½” strips pieced together.

10. Deliver the quilt. Gather the scraps and begin Quilt III.

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One Proof Of A Broken Democracy
by LouiseSilk
Jul 07, 2015 | 284 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

America is a nation founded on an ideal that all people are equal and have a stake in how our nation is governed. While we may not always succeed, ours is a history of pursuing this vision. It’s not enough that women and citizens of all races can vote – every American must also have equal access to lead.…We’re strongest when our leadership reflects the full range of talent and lived experience that America has to offer. Women Donors Network

Who Leads Us is a way to measure our progress toward a democracy where our leaders reflect the people they serve. The data conducted in the summer of 2014, comes from a first-of-its kind exploration of the race and gender composition of more than 42,000 American elected officials.

About 95 percent of the 2,437 elected state and local prosecutors across the country in 2014 were white and 79 percent were white men, By comparison, white men make up 31 percent of the population of the United States. White men in this country hold 4 times the political power of women & people of color translating to 31% of our population controlling 65% of elected offices.

Pennsylvania is 33 out of 50 states DC in its equal representation.

White men are 63% of our representation while they are only 38% of our population.

White women are 27% of our representation while they are 40% of our population.

Men of color are 7% of our representation while they are 11% of our population.

Women of color are 4% of our representation while they are 11% of our population.

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Bring Your Bag, Your Silverware, Your Take-Out Container, Your Schmatta
by LouiseSilk
Jul 02, 2015 | 479 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

June 30th was the last day anyone could legally use polystyrene foam products in New York City. This includes everything from plastic foam coffee cups to packaging peanuts. The reason is that they cannot be recycled and cause real environmental harm.

Yesterday, grocery stores across the entire state of Hawaii are banned from distributing plastic bags at the checkout. California also passed this law but the measure is on hold for a referendum in November. Individual cities like San Francisco, Chicago and Washington have all enacted bans. Plastic is not biodegradable contributing to large floating islands of ocean trash plus a whole lot more.

My family is way ahead of the curve on all of this.  My daughter, Iz, gave everyone reusable silverware several years ago as Hanukah presents; My son, Eli, uses these reusable sandwich bags; and Sarah and I pride ourselves on one of our best silkdenim products, the To-Go Bag; and since 2012 with the discover of schmattas, we all wonder why anyone would even consider a Kleenex when they could use a schmatta????

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No Union Is More Profound
by LouiseSilk
Jun 30, 2015 | 528 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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