Social Networks: Real and Imagined

mans head

I’m doing two totally new- to me- things this week. Joined Facebook, and I’m going to the Renaissance Faire. Two friends of mine responded to this newness with: “Facebook- why?” Ren Faire: “omg you are desperate for geeky guys.” What I read into those comments is that there is some supposition that neither are real social behavior. Interestingly, the guys who said those comments favored one over the other.

Why Facebook?

  1. Fast. (MySpace crawls.)
  2. Networks Key.College and work networks are built in to the application and given a spotlight. Let’s be honest- networking is core to these things, and schools & work are the hubs of our networks. So building them in speaks legions.
  3. Interesting applications. Companies have built tiny little widget applications that are equally fast and load right onto your main page. These apps keep me coming back because I’m so compulsive- but other folks are too. Scrabble, etc. all makes us keep hitting it and updating our cute little statuses and stuff.
  4. Design. It’s clear, it’s simple, it’s NOT the swill-that-is-MySpace. Don’t let people design their pages, they will suck at it. That is what we learned in MySpace.

Making Costume for Ren Faire & Thoughts on Sewing Your Own Clothes
I sat through four Scrubs hand-basting the gores on the panels of this ancient Icelandic dress pattern. It was sooo relaxing. The muslin is tough to work with, but I managed to do this all by hand because I lent my sister our super duper sewing machine we inherited from our grandmother (Singer, touch-panel technology) when I was travelling for work. Now she is a better & more active crafter.

As I sit there sewing, I think of the history of people doing the exact same thing over time. This is the connection of netowrking, over time and with people. Now that we have cheap labor across the seas making our t-shirts, are we better off, carbon footprint and all. Large tanker empty to China. Feed and house thousands of textile workers, then pack in containers and haul back to SF (this is the Gap example).

Does anyone make their own clothes? Is it realistic to do so? Growing up, my mom made a lot of clothes for us kids- 5 kids and many patterns. She’d do simple ones, elaborate ones, ones that really backfired (the polyester swim suits- ugh) and ones that were hits- a little one-button smock for toddlers that worked for smaller kids as a top, with a fish cutout applique as a pocket! So cute. Not sure if she did this to be earthy, because she was fond of us, or because she was saving money.

There’s something great about hand-sewing too. There is a detail and control that is difficult with machines. I remember making my first button hole with a machine setting, and how it was just so much easier to do it by hand. I’m in no means a good seamstress- I know far better ones. This dress I made with safety pins first to see if it worked before committing with thread. Friend of mine who is a respected costumer was told by her parents she was too young to use a needle, so she made clothes out of safety pins. She can also tell you what size you wear just by looking at you (a lot of experience costuming large chorus lines). It’s a fun party trick, or people-watching trick.

The issue I have with sewing one’s own clothes is that fashion designers have a better way of cutting a line, picking color, all of those things. It’s like make-up- when I worked at a “make it yourself” make-up company, I quickly realized I didn’t know how to make good smelling cosmetics. Now, I pay Aveda for that ability. The benefits are huge, though, if you know something about your measurements and how clothes look on you.

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