28 September 2018

Today’s thoughts: Kavanaugh Hearings


America yesterday stopped to watch the Kavanaugh hearings. News media all over the world attentively followed the hearings  and today   moving articles are showing how Americans all over the world stopped to watch the testimony provided by both Dr. Ford and the Hon. Kavanaugh. This shows how important this appointment to the supreme court is. This shows how the Americans are attentively following the subsequent moves by both Republicans and Democrats.
I believe that more than Americans are following this appointment and subsequent actions. The whole world not only watched the Kavanaugh hearings will be following subsequent votes. I, as many others, watched closely the testimonies provided by both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the Hon. Kavanaugh. 

I might not be directly affected by this American Supreme Court Appointment, I am not an American after all. However, due to the present worlds mood and strikingly divisiveness, I find myself following it intently. The USA is a reflection of how divisive the world is. This is not mere appointment, this is an appointment that will shape the Americans lives in the future, and mostly, the American womens future. What happens following the hearing will reverberate through the world. Woman’s liberties, woman’s health, woman’s lives will most certainly be shaped by this judge, and during his hearings his position about these liberties where questioned. I am fearful for Americans women future. I am fearful for all the womens future.

This hearing also presented what many other women have already repeatedly screamed to the world, but  our patriarchal society so stubbornly refuses to acknowledge. Its double standards. The inequality between men and women. The gender divide is materialized in this hearing. And to better illustrate this, lets look back in history. As many explained,  with this hearing, history is happening... again. Lets remind ourselves what happened almost 30 years ago: the Anita Hill hearing. Professor Anita Hill accused Justice Clarence Thomas for sexual assault, a painful hearing took place where professor Hill described the unwarranted sexual advances made by Justice Clarence Thomas.  At the time after  an unbalanced hearing where Professor Anita Hill was painfully questioned, Justice Clarence Thomas was appointed to the supreme court. A solitary female voice talked, eloquently explained what happened and was not listened too. Her voice was sadly ignored. Her better male counter-part was more believable. In a recent interview, Anita Hill explained how she felt that in todays society this would not have happened, that a background check would be able to pick up any negative behaviour, or any history of sexual assault. That society was more aware of sexual assault, and that women’s voices are listened and acted upon. However, this hearing is showing that unfortunately this might not be the case. As I am writing these words, the voting deciding Hon. Kavanaugh future in the Supreme Court is happening in Washington. This will be decisive in how much our society is  in desperate need of a balanced power between the genders. The Kavanaugh hearing is a stark exemple of how unbalanced the power between a women's voice and the men's are.

The Kavanaugh hearing Thursday began with a 4 hour testimony provided by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford illustrating what happened in earlier 1980s. She provided an eloquent, compelling, moving testimony which still resonates in me. I memorized how she described the most painful moments of her assault, answering a question by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont: Indelible in the hippocampus, it was the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two.... In my expense. The pain endured by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was a result of a male bonding experience. At her expense, two teenagers bonded while one boy assaulted a young girl. And not only they caused her painful experience, they laughed over it. The revolt that I felt while hearing her recount is un-writable.
Throughout her hearing she was credible, she was compelling and most of all, she was brave. She survived a harrowing assault and was literally put on trial during her hearing attempting to serve her civic duty. She is nothing more than a hero. Her life was turned upside down, she is victim of life threats, her family had to move for safety. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford along  with her family endured all so that what she believed her  civic duty be fulfilled. She was well aware that this might happen, which was the main reason that she requested that her allegations remained anonymous at the time. The persecution of women (and their families along the way) who dare to accuse a man of assault is well documented. The victim is vilified, while the believed perpetrator is subject to what is now coined himpathy. Its beyond my reasoning why she was questioned about her reluctance to come forward. Again, the unbalance between men and women is well known.

I followed her testimony, and I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. She provided compelling evidence that this assault happened, and the accusations of a Democratic plot is nothing more than ludicrous. She told her story for the first time to her husband before Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by Trump as a supreme court pick. She told her story to her therapist, again before Brett Kavanaughs nomination. She is open to an FBI investigation. She provided witnesses to the assault, and until now, none deny her allegations. But above all Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has nothing to gain from this allegations and only to loose. And she already lost so much. Following Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accusation, other women described disturbing behaviour perpetrated by Brett Kavanaugh, which provides if not more prove attesting his toxic behaviour, doubts about his character.

Mostly, this hearing screamed how unbalanced the voices between men and women are heard. The female victim is vilified, whilst the accused (if not truly the offender) victimised.  Another example of how unequal this hearing was is reflected by the way the questioning of both Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Kavanaugh happened. Rachel Mitchel, a prosecutor appointed by the Republican senators, painful questioned Dr. Christine Blasey Ford attempting to find wholes on her description of the assault. Unsurprisingly, this same prosecutor failed to question Judge Kavanaugh throughout his testimony. Rachel Micthell was only allowed to question Judge Kavanaugh a few times, and after a dreadful performance by Brett Kavanaugh she was prevented to continue her line of questioning. If  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was literally on trial, Brett Kavanaugh was allowed to dodge the prosecutor questioning.



If only Brett Kavanaugh could have skipped this hearing altogether His performance was pitiful. He sniffed. He was aggressive. He cried. He screamed. He was disrespectful to many senators, more notably Dem Sen.Amy Klobuchar. He was aware of crossing a line as following a short recess he apologized for his behaviour. However the line was crossed. The disrespect happened which cause me to question, if he behaves this way publicly towards a woman Democrat Senator, how can I believe that he respected women in the past, or respects them privately? Mostly, how will he perform as a Justice Court Judge if he is showing bad judgment so publicly? How can anyone be assured about his impartiality, but mostly about his sense?

Through his testimony he was evasive. He continuously eluded many questions. He is not open to further FBI investigations into these allegations. His performance during the hearing casts more doubts on his behaviour rather than answering the questions that would reassure senators on his credibility and character. He mostly showed that he lacks the temperament required of a Justice. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, when questioned Hon. Kavanaugh sharply notes:





Brett Kavanaugh  lacks temperament. But mostly, he lacks credibility, the most important character that supreme court justice judge should possess. If you are not credible yourself, how can you implement credible justice when judging supreme court cases? The world is watching America. Depending on how this story unfolds America will be dictating how further away from a credible judicial democratic system will be.
  



I understand that we might never truly know if a sexual assault happened, or who perpetrated it in this instance. This ends up to whether you believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or Hon. Brett Kavanaugh. However I do hope that when the senators cast their vote they remember how badly Brett Kavanaugh's performance was during his hearing. Mostly his inability to be tempered. He did not acted as demanded to a Justice. He rather acted as an arrogant, entitled man choosing to ignore any questioning regarding any investigation about the allegations. This was not an intelligent way to conduct the hearing, having him choosing to act differently he might have been able to turn the hearing to his side. Some commentators concluded that he was performing having one individual in mind - Trump. Having read how approving Trump was concerning Brett Kavanaugh’s performance this was not terribly far off. However he is ignoring all the women, all the victims of sexual assault, anyone who empathised with Christine Ford and anyone who perceived his behaviour as entitled, aggressive and disrespectful. The way the committee acts and votes now will also enlighten and measure  the weight of the women's voices are, now and in the future.  

I began by mentioning the inequality present in society today. Not only the hearing results will unfold Americas supreme court future, it will also show how further away from a equal gendered society we are. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford whole life was turned upside down by a boys sexual assault. Depending on how the story unfolds and whom you believe, this boy might be rewarded with a life position in front of the Americas supreme court, dictating (in)justice. What about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford? A life free of sexual assault or its consequences will never happen, but at  least I do hope that one day she finds herself justice, and the knowledge that her voice was truly heard. 
In-between, our fight for a society gender-equal needs to go on.






07 November 2017

Around here: a late late post on our Halloween...!


I can’t hardly believe that so long has passed since I published my last post... Almost a year!

Frankly, if time was sparse with a toddler around, now that the family has grown..., time flies  even faster. Time at home with an attention seeker toddler-young child more accurately!- and a baby is not easy. Besides  managing all  attention seekers, you still have to run all the house chores, ... which are more, and oh so often left behind to deal with your non-existing leftover time!

Nevertheless, I somehow just found some time for  crafting, and with the excuse of  Halloween... I made halloween felt decorations! I had a general idea of what I wanted to make, and for fine detailing Pinterest is a good go to source get inspiration for the look that I wanted to achieve. I started some last year, but never managed to end, but this year I was able to finish all the decors I wanted, plus some extra special request made by the little guy!  I made a bunch of felt decorations for the delight of my oldest, Hhe would ask for animals, zombies and mummy would happily oblige by creating cute felt buddies!


The little guy is in a Batman case, so he began by asking for mummy to make a bat for batman... Hence the first felt bat was born:


This felt bat has a crooked smile but still end up pretty cute!

I saw this cute zombie pin on Pinterest.... which provided inspiration for this felt zombie:


And for Halloween a black cat needs to be present....:


I also made a witch house, witch hat and boots... And the friendly pumpkin! My favourite is the zombie, which I started last year but only finished this year.

Hopefully I will be posting a tutorial on how I made these felt decorations soonish...

I also made some paintings to decor the windows, black and white paintings I did with my oldest! We both had some fun! And some mummy-toddler bonding time. With the baby around I realised that my oldest wants his mummy for his own sometimes. With our paintings I could see that he was really happy to have me all for his own. And this gives daddy the opportunity to have baby just for himself too!

Thinking about Christmas decorations now...!







10 December 2016

Christmas stocking fillers for grand-parents!


*This post was written with the collaboration of Snapfish*

It has been a long time since I last posted...
If you are following me either on Instagram or Pinterest you could see that I have been fascinated by Christmas felt decorations... since like October! I absolutely love all about Christmas and since this Christmas will be quite hectic, I have been preparing in advance. I just didn’t quite manage to find the time to post about it here.

I love to gift handmade things, personally crafted and  lovingly wrapped in handmade gift boxes... This time around it has been a bit more difficult to achieve this as time is quite short, but I still managed to ‘make’ a few personal gifts this time around with Snapfish help.
For both my parents and in-laws my little one will be gifting photo gifts to memorialise fun times with grandparents! Snapfish has a large variety of photo gifts such as mugs, cushions or phone cases which  are quite easy to personalize for your chosen recipient...

For both grandmothers I decided to personalize a red-mug, and there are great vouchers available at the Snapfish website that you  an take advantage of, as the 2 for 1 Mugs promotion. So, do explore the deals and see which ones are the best ones to apply on your purchase...

This Christmas season I found myself drawn to the colours white, blue and red. I chose to personalise the red mug (red always feels Christmassy!) with my selected colours of blue and white:




With snappish you have a multitude of options for the mugs background, from colours to your selected photos... But I always have such fun playing around with the embellishments...! You can go full Christmas on the mug if you prefer to, but I wanted a mug that although felt Christmassy, could be used all year around, so I toned down the Christmas feel a bit.

I also love to get a homogeneous look for my Christmas gifts wrapping, and as I mentioned I am going for the blue-white tones this time around. I also like to save as much as possible so I am always raiding my craft box to see what is available to use....  I had assorted white ribbons and some silver and red crepe paper which I used to  wrap the mugs. I used the original box that they were delivered with, but before closing it I wrapped them in the red crepe paper:



Red on red... the inside of the gift could not be more Christmassy as it is!
And then it was a matter of having fun with the ribbons and the silver crepe paper! With some limited  ribbons and crepe paper you can have a variety of different gift wrappings.



And here are the mugs final look:


I cut a white and blue gift tag to add the grandparents name.... which will be written by my little one later on... that will be fun to do later on!
And how are your Christmas preparations going?

11 August 2016

Around here!



It has been a while since my last post...I have been incredibly per usually, but I have exciting news that I wish to share....:

Our little family is growing! 

Yes, we are expecting!
I am pregnant... The new baby is due by the end of December, which makes me 20 weeks pregnant already.  We are halfway through my pregnancy which seems crazy... ! So much has been happening in my life that I couldn’t share the news in my blog. I also wanted to share the news with some lovely pictures, but I could only manage the following which are a bit disappointing to be honest, but I will be sharing them anyway... I think that when sharing lovely wonderful news, visuals are needed!






I am so excited about my new pregnancy, but so anxious as well...! I am also worried about how our little one will be dealing with a new sibling. We dote him and he is so used to our undivided attention. We have been  letting him know gently about the new baby, pointing at my little bump and explaining that a baby is growing there. So we hope that he knows that a new baby is coming... He points at my bump and says ‘Baby’! And then he points at his tummy and says baby! We laugh and explain that the baby is inside my bump. So we are not sure that he actually understands that a new baby will be arriving...




I have more  news to share.... This will be such an hectic year. Besides having to finish my PhD this year (I have to submit my thesis by October) which means that I am working non stop on my thesis,  also the reason why my blog has been so quiet.....
I am also starting a part-time job...! This will not take much time from my PhD and will give me an opportunity to work on a different research project than my own. I am really excited about this!

And with all this happening, my creative life was affected. It is not that I am not thinking about any new projects, I do and lots! Its just managing to actually start and conclude some.... Still, I will try to share once they’re done...!
And I hope to share those soon here....

27 June 2016

My Monday Making: My first rag doll



It has been such a long time since I had some relative free time for some creative ventures.... Making a rag-doll it was on my to try list, and finally I made it.

Making this rag-doll was an excellent way to recycle some old t-shirts and fabric leftovers... and have lots of fun at it...!

Firstly I began by searching my fabric stash for cute fabrics for the dress.
I also draw  and cut the doll template from old newspapers:





I began by making the doll’s head:


For the doll’s head I used an old t-shirt fabric  for the face and felt for the hair. I created a pattern for the hair, and cut the felt for both front and back of the doll’s hair. I stitch the 'back hair 'together so it would look as side pigtails. I basted the front and back hair on the previous cut t-shirt following the pattern I made for the head.  I embroidered the front hair and then I saw both back and front together. Once stitched, I  then stuffed the head  and embroidered the doll’s eyes, nose and mouth.

Then I made the doll’s body...


Afterwards it was time to make a dress:


O also made some bows as hair pins.

I had so much fun creating and making this doll. As a little kid I always wanted a rag doll but never had one... I guess I am fulfilling  this as a grownup,  but better since I made it from scratch. I will later share the doll’s pattern for you to download.
Here’s another picture of the doll, although without having embroidered the mouth. I was undecided about how to make the little mouth, or even it should have one altogether...


In the end I eventually embroidered one...




I linked up with:
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