"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From cozy knitter to concerned consumer

       Keeping cozy and busy indoors for the most part. A trip to town last tuesday in wind, rain, and ice was enough to make me want to hibernate a while longer. If we hadn't needed to stock up on a few things, including candles, and lamp oil (we have been having power outages, including one on sunday for over 24 hours) we would not have taken the chance on the treacherous roads. I just took it very slowly and Bob had country/western music playing in the CD player and the dogs came along, so it was actually a pleasant trip. 

         Yes, that is the afghan as it currently looks. I need to make it longer and add wide borders to the sides, top and bottom. I knit in a few rows every evening while we watch DVD's from the library. Pushing myself to paint is a bit harder. 

          I made a decision, also, to NOT purchase an iPad. I had planned to give myself this "toy" with some of the money from the selling of the Daffodil paintings but I found out that the factories in China where these things are made are sweatshops of horror. I also understand that for many of the workers the conditions back home in poor villages are even worse, but that doesn't make the slavery they endure at Foxconn and other factories right. Apple is making some efforts to improve things but it is not enough yet. People have actually been dying. Do I want to play with a gadget that somebody died to make? A gadget that no one in China actually gets to have for themselves? I realize that almost everything we purchase comes from the labour of some poor person in a third world country but taking a stand somewhere is better than not taking one at all. Please carefully consider every purchase. Do you really need that new thing? Even if it is bringing some economic improvement to a poor country, is it worth the pain they suffer? Eventually this will improve...a lot of workers quit when things get too much and it is harder now, I understand, to find worker replacements. This leads to factory owner implementing changes so they can attract workers and keep them. Apple is agreeing to oversee more improvements. Consumers are more aware now and voicing their protests. Until this happens I am steering clear. Maybe someday I can actually buy myself a wonderful iPad or other miraculous gadget and not have to feel bad about where it came from. That would be nice. Gee. I really, REALLY wanted one...


  1. I had no idea the iPad was made in China till I received mine and it says so on underside of it. Nice afghan you are making. It seems we get one wind storm after another and hope that the power stays on. I am looking so forward to spring, really want to make a trip up your way.

  2. The afghan is beautiful, the painting starts are beautiful, and your personal protest is wonderful as well. I so admire you, Karen! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful detailed instructions. I'm going to try to keep them in mind when I attempt my next piece.

  3. I was so happy to read this post! It's encouraging and wonderful to see people making conscious, informed decisions that make sure their dollars are going to support something they can feel good about :)

    and the afghan looks cuddly, and I love the flower paintings! especially the peony.

  4. Hi Karen, I think I got my posting problem fixed. I really appreciate your decision about the iPad. I didn't think much of the iPad when it first came out but after taking a workshop this summer where the instructor used it to show us art examples I was hooked on the idea. I have it on my wish list, then the truth about their manufacturing came out and well, I don't see myself buying one now. Thanks for posting about this! I think our future depends on more people, myself included, thinking about what we consume.

    1. Hi R.L. Glad you got your posting problem fixed! (Computers are great when they're not making you crazy, eh?) About the iPad, I'm glad you have also decided to defer on getting one for now. I have been watching to see Apple's response to all the negative publicity and it seems they are making efforts to change conditions for the workers, etc. I might get an iPad in a year or whenever they can show that they REALLY have made important changes that provide safe, pleasant, well paying, conditions for workers...no underage or prison workers...no 12 to 16 hr. workdays, etc. Also I think they should be able to get iPads too if they want them! Right now Chinese people can't even get these things (iPhones are just now becoming available to them). It is impossible to be totally free of participating in a lot of the negative implications whenever we purchase or consume almost anything, (unless we live as hermits in the wild and make our own stuff, etc...I don't really want to do that though!) But, we can at least make our feelings known to companies that make and sell us stuff and also vote with our wallets, and be very careful not to be contributing to the problem as much as possible.

  5. Good Girl Karen..A woman of principle...I didn't know that I PADS were made in China ! I want one too but..hmm..what about our computers...shudder to think where this is made...
    Love your work..afgan, paintings and light worker