who am i?
i'm amy dame. i live just outside of vancouver, british columbia, in canada. the city i live in is nearly as big as vancouver, but no one's ever heard of it, and i don't blame them at all! i grew up in the canadian prairies, and they still hold a big piece of my heart. i try to go home at least once a year, more if i can manage it. the other half of my heart is for east vancouver - i moved out to the suburbs more than 5 years ago, but if i could afford a big enough place for my studio, i'd move back in a heartbeat. i miss the community, the politics, the running into friends every time you do errands.
i'm not married, and i don't have kids, which feels like an anomaly in the world of craft and quilting blogs. even stranger, i'm queer, and though i could if i wanted to, since i live in canada, i don't even want to get married. i'm also not religious, and i'm super lefty. some days i wonder how i got myself into all this! i'm outspoken about things i care about, and i care about a lot of things. i don't get too political on this blog, though i'm sure some folks think what i do post is bad enough. i think crafting and quilting and sewing are inherently political, and there's no way i could completely separate the things i create from my beliefs.
i do have a cat, Tuxie, and i'm incredibly close to my family (- and their cats!). i'm thankful every day for my family, both biological and chosen.
i started this blog in 2007 - i can't believe it either! i first discovered the online craft community in 2002 or 2003 via livejournal communities, and then moved on to craftster.org early in 2004. i did a ton of swapping, and became a swap moderator. i was a mod for a long time, and i met some of my favourite people in the world through craftster.
i've always been super crafty, and i've done pretty much everything over the years. i've always sewn clothes, and still do, along with bags, home decor, etc. i did costuming for community theatre for way too many shows, i sold a clothing line in vancouver, i did costumes for a burlesque troupe for a long time, i worked extensively with vinyl for years and years. i've crocheted, embroidered, done cross stitch, encaustics, mixed media artwork, altered art, assemblage, paper crafts, made atcs, done machine embroidery, digitized machine embroidery designs, silkscreen, etc, etc! i've always teetered between craft and art; some of the stuff i make is craft, some is art.
for the past few years, i've been obsessed with quilting. i learned the basics about 10 years ago, but never got super into it because i didn't like the fabrics available, the patterns were cheesy, etc. in June 2010 i went to the very first meeting for the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, and that was that.
now i'm a member of Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. i just started my fourth (or fifth?) year on the executive for VMQG, and it's fabulous. i have met so many amazing people through quilting, it blows me away every time i stop to think about it!
other things you might like to know about me -
i'm a person living with a dis/ability. or, if you break it down, multiple dis/abilities. the main things are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. if you've met me, you might find that hard to believe. that's the thing about invisible dis/abilities, you can't see them, and like all dis/abilities, they affect different people in different ways. plus, i can fake pretty well for short periods of time, but i pay for that hardcore afterwards. if you'd like to learn a bit more about people living with invisible illnesses, i highly recommend that you read the spoon theory. it's not technical or medical, it's just a straightforward way to wrap your head around the reality that so many people live with.
i love thrifting. LOVE. way too much! (and i mean real thrifting, not antique stores or vintage clothing stores. that's cheating!)
i swear like a sailor, and don't have a problem with that. however, i DO have a problem with the offensive language that so many people use, words like retarded, lame or pimping. i believe in the power reclaiming words, so you'll see me use words like fat or queer, but there are words that we don't have the power to reclaim.
i hate capitalization. this really really bothers some people, and i've never figured out why.
i jokingly say that i'm never going to grow out of my goth phase, but it's totally true, and not a joke at all. 90% of my wardrobe is black, and i like it that way.
i collect things. lots of things. some of the things i collect are: vintage snowglobes, the dome shaped tacky ones; double and triple strand chunky pearl necklaces from the 50s; catholic imagery like virgin mary, lady of guadalupe, sacred heart stuff and rosaries (i try to avoid crucifixes and jesus stuff); vintage fabric and half made quilt blocks, vintage aprons in awesome 40s and 50s prints; pyrex/fire king/JAJ/phoenix/glasbake/milk glass bowls, casseroles, vases and mugs; brightly coloured vintage tupperware canisters; melmac; old suitcases, especially train cases; vintage kitchen clocks and alarm clocks; vintage linens like sheets, table cloths, etc; paint by numbers, either finished pieces or the original blank canvases; buttons. oh my lord, do i collect buttons. my favourites are the brightly coloured mid-century plastic/bakelite ones; typewriters, primarily mid-century portables; cuckoo clocks; perzines, crafty zines and political zines; sewing machines, though i'm a lot pickier than i used to be, so it's mostly just elna grasshoppers or oddly coloured machines now; books of all kinds, i can't resist them; all sorts of sewing notions; vintage and retro christmas ornaments.
i have a (not so) secret love of poplar trees and wooden grain elevators. i love doilies, brocades and chandeliers. i LOVE halloween, but i hate pumpkins, my halloween is gothic and elegant. i love stripes and polka dots and non-brown leopard print.
i'm a feminist (but not by the anti-sex, anti-trans, anti-porn, 2nd wave bullshit definition). i support women's organizations that are open to ALL women, no matter what; but i don't think we need to put gender limits on everything, if anything, gender's subjective anyway.
i adore brightly coloured linen, modern quilting cottons, kona solids. i like brightly coloured trims like lace and pompoms and zippers and contrasts, i like ruffles in unexpected fabrics. i love a lot of the prints that moda puts out, but i don't like how many of them have cream or brown undertones - blegh! i love japanese cotton/linens that are funkier, like enchino and ruby star rising.
i would love to "meet" more misfit crafters and quilters, i know they're out there. the queers, the atheists, the unitarians, the POC, the gimps, the genderqueers, the parents who don't fit in at PTA meetings, the people who teach their children about colonialism, not thanksgiving.
my favourite movie of all time is some kind of wonderful. i also love tankgirl, cabaret, pretty in pink, heathers, crybaby, home for the holidays and pump up the volume. i obviously <3 80s movies!
some of my favourite books are the Weetzie Bat books by Francesca Lia Block; Holding Still As Long As Possible by Zoe Whittall; Butch is a Noun by S Bear Bergman; everything by Ivan E Coyote, especially the short story books; The Birth House, by Ami McKay (they just rereleased it in a trade paperback size. hint!); anything by Joseph Boyden, he's amazing; anything edited by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore; anything that Anna Camilleri wrote/edited/contributed to; Subrosa by Amber Dawn; the Anne books and the Emily books by Lucy Maude Montgomery; and The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch.
my favourite non-crafty publisher is Arsenal Pulp Press, my favourite mixed media publisher is North Light, and my favourite sewing publishers are Interweave and Stash. i'm revising my opinion of Lark, they've made a huge improvement over the past few years.
and yes, i am such a geek that i have favourite publishers!!