Finished reading: The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food: Step-by-Step Vegetable Gardening for Everyone by Joseph Tychonievich 📚

This was a good read. Lots of information, but instead of being overwhelming, it is fun and easy to understand. Great for people who are brand new to gardening or people like me who think they have an idea but missed some key points along the way. For example, I learned that my seedlings are growing so slowly because I should have thinned them out sooner.

I was recently thrown into a teaching position.

It is just one class once a week, but it has consumed my brain entirely. My mind is constantly planning out what to say, revisiting moments I froze up or left something out that was important, trying to improve upon my mistakes. I cannot handle any attention. When put on the spot I get flustered and my mind goes blank. I know this will improve in time, but I don’t want my problem to inhibit their learning. To compensate for this I have been spending at least two hours thoroughly examining each of their projects, giving them detailed feedback, information on the tools, and ways they can improve. I hope it helps.

In January, I have to start training for a CTE credential. Adobe Education Exchange has lots of free courses for instructors in all disciplines. So I plan on going through as many of those as possible. Been reading through old textbooks as well and reading up on classroom management and the like. It is a lot. I am trying to do the best job I can. I just don’t want to let anyone down.

Making a real effort to grow as much as I can from seed. A bit late in the season but the babies are getting big! Using actual seed starter soil was a huge help.

Close up photo of a flat of seedlings. Baby lettuces are in the foreground with kale and broccoli in the background.

Link - Op-ed Every Design Studio Should Be a Worker-Owned Studio

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“Across the advertising, architecture, and graphic design fields, you can find a similarly inverted relationship between the executive class, who hold the decision-making power, and the young, hungry underlings who execute much of the labor. In this system, design firms work toward signing the largest clients possible, make enormous profits on their work, and then pay their designers as little as they can get away with. Though this business model is still heavily entrenched within the status quo, we’re presenting an alternative to all designers who are increasingly aware of the precarity and exploitation they face: Consider joining a co-op or transitioning your studio to a cooperative model.”

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A good little piece with a nice list of co-op/other studios. Article also links to this spreadsheet which was created to encourage salary transparency.

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First attempt at visible mending. Still have one more knee and the butt to do. Tried to keep it pretty simple. I still don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to sewing, but slowly learning.

I think I pulled the thread too tighy because of all the puckering. It looks fine when they are on though.

The instructions I followed did not say to fold the edges of the patch, so I didn’t. Kind of concerned about fraying though. Will try folding with the other knee and see how that goes.

A close up of a pair of faded black jeans. Both knees have holes. The knee on the right has an interior patch with lots of rows of stitching.

Currently Reading: The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron 📚

For a while now I’ve been feeling blocked and creatively empty to the point where I have trouble figuring out what to even make for dinner. Still able to work, somehow, but I feel like what I am making isn’t as good as it could be. Going to give this book a real try to see if it does live up to the hype. Made an attempt years ago but didn’t have the time (two full-time jobs + grad school) to devote to it. The practice of writing morning pages was so incredibly helpful, it gives me hope for the rest of it.

If I read another interview about a designer that follows the format of “By the time I graduated [expensive school] I already had three unpaid internships / 5 connections at my dream company,” I’m going to scream.

I want to hear more stories about the people who had to work full time while going to school. People who were self-taught, actually self-taught, not “my high paying job wasn’t fulfilling so I took a few months off to take a Yale extension program and now I’m a Creative Director.” People who had no idea how to navigate the professional world because they didn’t have connections/parental examples, who struggled, who were late bloomers, people who actually had to figure it all out and somehow didn’t give up even though they wanted to. Stories from people who are still struggling to figure it out. I also want to hear about the people who did give up because this whole system is rotten and designed to make sure they don’t advance past working some dead-end minimum wage job.

When I say this I am not looking for those “inspirational” stories. Stories of how all you have to do is “hustle” and only sleep 3 hours a night. Nothing but capitalist marketing to make people feel like not working hard enough is the only reason why they haven’t “made it.”

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Prepping the garden for the fall. Went through and pulled up/pruned. Now to actually sit down and plan this year instead of just dropping seeds in wherever. Time to actually start a garden journal. Since we will also have a plot at the community garden this should help keep track of things.

Currently taking a little four-week victory garden course offered by the UC Master Gardeners. Learning a lot, would recommend, even if you already have some experience.

Recently found out about Remainders Creative Reuse. It is a store, makerspace, and classroom. One of the many things that makes this place unique is that everything for sale has been donated and sold for next-to-nothing. Which means lots of bins of fabric scraps and buttons and things to dig through.

It combines several things that our society needs to prioritize: reuse, learning skills, repair, and community. They also give free supplies to educators.

I’ve only known of one other store like this, and it was all paper goods. Sadly, it did not last more than a year or so, but it was in one of those weird locations that always have a high turnover rate.

Haven’t been yet, but eagerly looking forward to it. Have quite a few items that need patches (like my shoes) but don’t have any scrap fabric or anything I could afford to cannibalize.

It is kind of amazing how many graphic design problems can be solved by just asking, “what if I make this element REALLY BIG?”

Link - In CAPS LOCK, Ruben Pater Untangles the Relationship Between Graphic Design and Capitalism

“One of the key lessons of Pater’s materialist history is how much of it happens behind designers’ backs and beyond their control. In his chapter on “The Designer as Brander,” which begins with a devastating look at slaveholders’ marks, Pater draws attention to the example of Milton Glaser’s iconic “I <3 NY” logo. Layered over the context of a mid-1970s fiscal crisis, he describes how the design supplied cover for the city’s harmful campaign to roll back social services, expand racist policing, and displace poorer residents to make way for wealthy newcomers. If, as Pater concludes, “even the work of socially engaged designers with good intentions (like Glaser) can be used to drive gentrification,” this means we need to focus on something other than intentions if we are to make sense of design’s history — and the potential for ethical and political action within it."

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This old favorite was on repeat all last week and it is looking like this week will be much of the same.

Don’t trust people who don’t have a favorite neighborhood tree.

A close up of the bark of a cork oak tree looking up to the branches

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Been listening to this on repeat for days. It is peak comfy synth. Just the right balance of warmth and adventure.