I recently read Andy Couturier’s book A Different Kind of Luxury: Japanese Lessons in Simple Living and Inner Abundance which introduced a number of people who are living rich lives with little money. Many of them find joy and satisfaction in working with their hands, producing food, creating art and making crafts. While reading, I was reminded of how much pleasure I used to get from making my own clothes.
I once loved wandering through fabric stores, trailing my hands over silks and wools, and then choosing fabric which I would then make into a mini-skirt with pantalons or a pair of jodhpurs, or something else. Using Vogue patterns and fine materials, I whipped up outfits by Perry Ellis, Norma Kamali, Ralph Lauren, Claude Montana and Laura Ashley. I made this one really cool architectural-looking dress out of white linen that a fellow college student borrowed and never gave back.
In Japan, it’s hard to find clothes that fit me properly, and in these hard economic times I hesitate to indulge the clothes horse in me. But inspired by Andy’s book, my children’s fifth grade home economics class, and a recent viewing of a movie about Chanel, I went to the brand new crafts shop that sprang up a few months ago, bought a length of chocolate brown linen and made myself a pair of pants. Next, maybe the dress.
An early Mother’s Day present for me – I just got word that my most recent anthology, Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering has been named a finalist for the 2010 Independent Book Awards (a.k.a. IPPY) in the Multicultural Nonfiction category.
Thanks once again to the mother writers whose contributions make this such a great book!
My story “How Harumi Became a Punk Rocker” will appear shortly in the anthology Woman’s Work: The Short Stories to be published by Girlchild Press. For more info, and to pre-order copies at a discount, see here.
Last fall, a municipal putting course opened nearby our house. According to the newspaper, construction costs were around 3 million dollars. At any given time, there might be four or five groups playing – hardly enough to support/justify the expense, I would think. Anyway, inspired by Ryo Ishikawa’s amazing/record-breaking score of 58 the other day (12 birdies!), we decided to try out the course.
Yesterday, it being a public holiday and sunny, too, there were lots of people – grandpas with kids, families with babies in strollers, couples on dates. I saw quite a few women in skirts and ruffles. At least two wore spiky heels.
We brought Lilia onto the course in her wheelchair. And here I should tell you that it’s not a professional-type putting course for serious golfers. The balls are colored, and the putters are short with big fat balls on the end – not standard equipment. It’ s more of a place for family recreation and exercise for the elderly.
Lilia did pretty well. It took her quite a few whacks to get the ball into the hole, but she could do it. We were all having a good time, and I was thinking, wow, this is something fun that we can do from time to time. But then, around the 17th hole, one of the retired gentlemen who works at the course came running over, smile on his face, to ask us not to bring the wheelchair on the green. It should be noted that we weren’t leaving any tracks. I’ll bet those spiky heels did more damage.
We finished the course with a bittersweet feeling. The public putt course is not for everyone, after all.