Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here's more about my book ideas

Again from the IT blog.... ********************************************* Some of you know that I am working on two book proposals at the moment. The first is one that I hope to have published commercially by an established publisher. It is about refashioning and upcycling your old clothes, using textile art and needlework techniques. The projects include garments and items for women, men, children (including toys) and the home, organized around type of source garment - men's shirts, tees, interlock cotton, denim jeans etc. A big part of the aesthetic is being able to do these projects with ordinary, household tools and facilities - like a pot in your own kitchen and ordinary sewing machine - and still complete a polished, well-finished project that people will actually wear or use. I have written most of my proposal, including four sample chapters. I'm still doing the competing title analysis, and the lab work to include samples of work for the proposal. Lucky for me I have tons of old clothes, especially men's shirts squirrelled away. The second book is one that I need help with, and I am considering self publishing in order to pick up the pace of completion. The working title, which I adore, is "Making, Mending and Mothering: Living an Artistic Life as a Family". Cool huh? Says it all, right... I will be interviewing parents who are doing this for part of the book - sidebars, examples, featured stories - families who are making creativity and artistry one of the cornerstones of their family life - how they do it, their children's creativity, art as a business, different kinds of artistic & crafting endeavour. I will also be writing my story and including creativity prompts and family activities that we like, and new ones too, wreathing a lot of unschooling philosophy into it I hope. At this time it's a bit like a research project. I don't know if families that are successful at this life have anything particular in common, or what kind of strategies they use. I'm kinda hoping to find out that unschooling makes this easier and better, although I do plan on interviewing other parents who are not unschooling. It's just that most of my contacts are unschoolers and home schoolers. I do read on crafty blogs, especially at this back-to-school time of year, a lot of "thank goodness the kids are back in school so I can work" sentiments. I'm probably not going to be willing to feature anyone whose business strategy is "carve out time despite your kids' needs", "be strong about defining your time", "be firm with your kids" etc. or anyone who actively wants to exclude their kids from their arts practice. That is kinda the opposite of the theme of this book. Instead I want to show that it is possible to live a life of vibrant artistic and creative expression, in all ways and all arts, as a family, including all members of the family, and the myriad ways how this wonder can be accomplished.

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