Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lots Of Time To Study

Well, I got some bad news last weekend. I had gotten special permission to stay onsite at the faire, including the right to use the electricity behind my booth during the week. Then I paid my "crew camping" fee. A few days later, Poof! The power was cut off. The explanation was that the county forced the site manager to shut down all electricity except to the food court for some reason having to do with health codes, fire danger or somesuch.

Well, this changes everything. I can't sew. I can't work on office work. So, what to do? Study.

I've got two topics on my plate right now: patternmaking and the foundation of a new monastery. There are two books I'm reading for those purposes:

Helen Joseph Armstrong has written the textbook used by most patternmaking classes in fashion schools. I'll study her book, try out as much stuff as I can, and decide whether I want more schooling after that.

I am finding that handwoven cloth is more suitable for clothing than it is for accessories. People are willing to pay more for something they'll wear, especially if it's versatile. Bags require a heavy cloth or a sturdy lining in order to do their job dependably, and people don't care as much whether their accessories are handwoven.

Before the holidays, I want to have some new garment designs under my belt: a versatile, lightweight unisex short-sleeved shirt, and some simple lightweight unisex pants with hidden pockets. I can't sell them in Annie's booths, but I can find my own outlets next year.

While chatting with a friend a few weeks ago, I have come to realize that there are many similarities between the Radical Faeries and Alcoholics Anonymous. We're a bunch of people with very different backgrounds, trying to run organizations with a distributed power structure and no "leader". I'm reading this book to see how AA made the decisions that they made to create the stable organization that they have. Perhaps there is wisdom in there that will help as I try to wrap my head around the best way to structure this new monastery.


eastbaytarotblog said...

What's the book you're reading for the monastery? I think images may not be rendering for me (Fx 3.6?).

Blossom Merz said...

Hey, Elise!

It's called "Alcoholics Anonymous Comes of Age". It's a history of the group, giving a lot of the history that led to the development of their steps to recovery and their principles for running an organization that's not an organization.