Just a little more patchy inspiration today. When I see these images I truly see these pieces of clothing as wearable art. The colors and shapes and placement of the patches all seem to tell a story...not of poverty and want...but of care and pride. The images above all come from a Japanese Etsy shop called Sasaki Yohinten. Vintage clothing is rescued + repaired or remade...and given another chance to be valued + used.
Some other patching heroes:
-The Montenegro sisters make patches beautiful. Everything they mend looks so much cooler afterward!
-Matt kind of makes me want to go rip my pants. :)
-Claire Hungerford's pieces look inspired by patches.
-Kristen Lombardi makes moccasins + these adorable round patches.
-Patagonia is a trailblazer in the patch + repair "business".
-Though I couldn't find any pictures of actual repaired pieces, Ace & Jig did a series of swaps complete with a mending station + free patch kits. I imagine their pieces would only become better with more layers of color, pattern, + stitching.
There is not a stitch of shame in patches...only beauty, love + pride. :)
I'm loving these shapes from It is well LA. 10% of their profits go toward digging clean water wells in communities where clean water is needed. The pieces are made with mostly natural fabrics + sewn in downtown Los Angeles. I'm attracted to the ethos, shapes, fabrics + adaptability of these pieces. Depending on the additions made to each piece, they could take me from the carpool line to the ballet. I can imagine wearing all of these pieces together...but they could also be the base of a small collection of clothing that could serve as an entire wardrobe.
I'd love to pick up one of the shirts, both of the pants and add:
-a tank top
-a boxy, cropped top
-a fitted tee
-a fitted sweatshirt
-an oversized pullover sweater
-a jacket or cardigan
-a pair of thrifted jeans or army pants
-a slip dress
-sandals now, clogs later
This little collection could keep me happy + comfortable for quite a long time. :)
All lovely photos via It is well LA.
Coffee is a truly every day thing around here. I haven't written about it before, because it is not really my thing (although this is what I drink every single morning). One of Mr. Tribe's greatest loves, for as long as I've known him (which is since we were both 19), is strong, dark coffee. Long before I'd heard of zero-waste or minimalism, I decided that Mr. Tribe should try a french press. I am guessing that I didn't really want one of those ugly coffee makers sitting on our counter + there would be no coffee filters to buy, so that minimal little device seemed pretty perfect to me.
The first french press was an inexpensive Bodum beauty that lasted for years. Mr. Tribe became a devoted convert to the riches that flowed from that french press. The only problem was that the glass carafe did not fit tightly into the holder and twice broke in the sink during cleaning. We were able to replace the glass once, but I think the second time, decided to upgrade to this insulated french press. It is almost all stainless steel and is probably about 15 years old. It gets daily use + travels with Mr. Tribe wherever he spends the night (even Middle School camp).
When we moved to London, instead of buying another dedicated plug adapter or another grinder, I bought Mr. Tribe this hand grinder (though I don't remember it being that expensive). Besides saving electricity, it had the added benefit of being quieter at 5am when he got up to study. :) It must be about ten years old + is going strong. (Each of these devices made great gifts.) :)
Together with fair-trade beans bought in bulk, coffee is easily and simply zero-waste (on our end...because obviously coffee involves a lot of travel). Spent grounds get added to the compost. Easy peasy.
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett
Wabi-Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams
Simple Fare by Karen Mordecai
"Whilst we might imbue our [clothes] with our own shape, and mould their form and appearance through our habits, we do not do so on a tabula rasa. For these garments have their own unique structure, made by, and embedded with, the traces of the actions and habits of invisible workers, in the prehistory of their existence as commodities." Hauser 2004
Loving this tight color palette, +this one, + this one.
These wise words.
How many times can this be recycled?
The journey of a t-shirt.
Have a wonderful summer weekend, friends!!
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
This is my version of fried rice. That's my disclaimer, because basically fried rice just means adding eggs to stir fry to me. Like stir fry at our house, I don't actually fry it. :) As usual, this is just inspiration...but this time our "fried rice" included steamed carrots (no need to peel them) and broccoli, brown rice, scrambled eggs, our first garden grown (and very spicy) pepper of the year, parsley, + tamari. I know a meal is good, when everyone at the table says that I can make it again soon...so this is the second time we've eaten it in two weeks. :)
One of the loveliest reads that I've had in a long time is Wabi-Sabi Welcome by Julie Pointer Adams. While entertaining (the focus of this book) is not a strength of mine, the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi speaks deeply to my soul. I've read other books on the topic, but none has captured its essence for me quite like this one. Quiet beauty is a basic driving force for me. It is a catalyst for happiness, faith, + peace. Beauty communicates love and is the product of compassion. Simplicity is, for me, one of the purest forms of beauty...and noticing...makes all the difference. Queen Anne's lace plucked from the side of the road + plunked into a jam jar...a white linen curtain fluttering in front of an open window...terra cotta tiles under bare feet...handmade ceramics on an open shelf...
Julie Pointer Adams defines wabi-sabi as a way of life that celebrates the "perfectly imperfect". It is "beauty found in unusual, unfashionable places or objects, and in moments usually overlooked or unappreciated." It's about "paying attention. It is the habit of noticing and relishing small and hidden wonders." "It's a willingness to be easily delighted instead of critical, skeptical, or fearful." It's "unswerving from the everydayness of real life."
On its own, the Japanese word wabi is explained in part as simplicity and humility...someone being "content with little" + making "the most of whatever he or she has...always moving toward having less." I love this image of gentle process + quiet adjustment. Sabi is about embracing the imperfections, beauty, and authenticity of the process of aging. What a beautiful and peaceful picture the idea of wabi-sabi creates.
There is something amazing about reading a book that promotes humility + beauty. What a departure from the messages that bombard us today. Humility + beauty accept the signs of aging in both objects and ourselves as signs of utility and vitality. Humility + beauty see value in less and enough. Together they celebrate simplicity and function. A bed made up with white cotton sheets + duvet standing alone in the bedroom functions simply as the sanctuary it was always meant to be...humble + beautiful. Flea market finds made of sturdy, worn wood point to this humble beauty as well. Japanese paper lanterns with their delicate, wonky shapes formed from the humblest of materials, yet lending the warmest light seem to embody wabi-sabi as well. Perfectly imperfect. Allowed...noticed...embraced.
Just a gentle reminder to take another look around + see what we have that might be better used by someone else. I appreciate the reminder that what we hold on to (just in case)...we are holding back from someone else.
We have amazing opportunities to connect stuff with people these days. Craigslist, eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Facebook, + Instagram offer enhanced connection. I love that I can connect items to people who will appreciate them. It's one more step between manufacture and waste that prolongs the life of the item (+ making a little money is nice too). :) Once we begin holding our things more lightly, we begin to tune in to opportunities for generosity. Events and situations we hear about (like wildfires, floods, domestic abuse, resettlement, foster care aging out, + homelessness) can spur us to action rather than making us feel powerless.
Once material possessions become the stuff of Stuffocation or Affluenza it can be difficult to remember that the same items clogging up our homes + garages could help someone else's life become a little more functional.
Let it go. Let it be useful again.
everything is made
doesn't it seem like the world
only wants to move faster
making more and caring less
daring to choose fair one choice at a time