Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought.
Sisters Nina and Sonya Montenegro are illustrators, printmakers, menders, quilters, beekeepers, and gardeners. In 2013, they founded The Far Woods, a creative collaboration making artwork that seeks to contribute to a cultural shift in which there is a land ethic, reverence for nature, rejection of the dominant throw-away mentality, and direct connection to where our food and the things we use come from. Many of their artworks serve as educational tools, and their practice crosses disciplines to work toward an ecologically viable and socially just future. Their studio is situated on an organic farm just outside of Portland, Oregon.
Selected by Powell's Books "30 Books We Can't Wait to Read in
"In this thoughtful and gorgeously illustrated book, Nina and Sonya Montenegro remind us what our grandmothers taught us: that mending is a radical exercise, both in its creative play and in its role in fighting consumerism and waste. For anyone who yearns to mend but needs helpful advice, this is the coziest book you'll ever own."
-Lisa Congdon, artist and author
"[Mending Life] positions making things by hand as a path to a less consumerist, more centered, maybe even more spiritual existence."
"Mending Life is equal parts illustrated textile repair primer and gentle prescription for fixing our fraught relationships with the planet and each other."
"With a guiding mantra that 'There's nothing broken that can't be fixed,' this very accessible guide will encourage readers to look with hopeful possibility at their well-worn, well-loved clothes."
"This powerful book, full of care and gratitude, will inspire you to give new love and attention to the objects in your wardrobe. But it will also awaken you, challenging you to rethink your outlook on the world and your role in it."
-Anna Brones, author of Fika and Live Lagom
"A book to use long after the first reading. Like the garments the authors so carefully tend to, these pages are sure to take on the stains of well-worn, well-loved readings."
"Mending Life walks newbie sewers through the process of mending their clothing in visible, stylish ways."
"It is so refreshing to read through this beautifully organized and illustrated book. It will inspire you to take the time to engage with your second skin in a manner that was almost lost to the tsunami of fast fashion. Regenerating your wardrobe with your own two hands is an act that gives the planet an opportunity to rest and repair itself."
-Rebecca Burgess, founder of Fibershed and author of Fibershed and Harvesting Color
"This is a heartwarming tribute to generations before us as much as it is a practical and mindful toolkit for learning to repair our belongings. You'll be well equipped to tackle any snag, hole, or frayed end. A patch we mend into our favorite jeans becomes a thoughtful story about what we value. This is a book to treasure."
-Andrea Marie Sanders, meditation teacher and artist
"Mending Life invites us back into real care and love for the material world, and by extension, all the worlds of our experience."
-Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, and Climate-A New Story