Around this time last year Craftivist Collective along with Share Action started a positive campaign asking Marks and Spencer (M&S) to pay their staff the living wage. If you need a wee reminder here’s my blog post about it. A … Continue reading
I thought I’d show you my progress on the 100 day project the I mentioned in my last post. So far I’m enjoying the challenge of creating different circles every day although, as I work irregular hours, it can be … Continue reading
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Almost late to the party but thanks to the wonder of Twitter I’ve heard about this project just before it starts. The idea is to get your creative juices flowing but working on a project every day for 100 days. … Continue reading
Last Sunday I was invited to a crafty afternoon by Laura Ashley (get me!) and the JoeBlogs team. The event was held in the relaxed upstairs room of the Tea Rooms on Bath Street and yes there was tea and cake – woohoo!
I hadn’t realised that along with clothing and household lines Laura Ashley had started selling various crafting kits.
The first kit we tried was decoupage. It comes with the letters spelling HOME and a big love heart as well as all the bits n bobs you’d need to do it eg lots of lovely paper, brushes, glue and instructions. Would look fab on a mantelpiece or bookshelf.
I’d recommend putting on your favourite chill out music and relaxing into it. Oh and only do one side at a time as you need to let it dry (it does dry pretty quickly if you don’t use too much glue) before starting the other side. I really enjoyed it and think it would be a lovely present for the crafty person in your life who’s doing up their home or maybe as a wee minding for someone getting married.
Then it was time for cake and a chance to find out more about some of the other bloggers attending the event. Red velvet cake = yum!
The second kit we tried was needle felting. Now this does take a bit more time to get the hang of but if you’ve had a stressful day the stabbing motion of the barbed needles will definitely help relieve the tension. Thankfully for us The Crafty Hen team were on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment.
Again the kit has everything you need from the brush, needles, fleece (lots of lovely warm colours) and instructions. The only thing you need is some imagination. On Sunday the items made ranged from Santas to Christmas puddings and teddy bears to mermaids but you could make wee decorations, brooches or even a pendant. I’ve a lovely cardigan that has a few holes in it so think I’m going to get creative with the needle felting and get my visible mending on.
It was a really fun day & the kits are a fab way to try something new without laying out too much money. In fact if you ask Santa nicely they might notice that all kits are currently on sale.
I believe that an individual can instigate positive change however, when a group of like-minded individuals comes together it is even more powerful. This is certainly my hope for the hanky I’ve just created for the Craftivist Collective / ShareAction campaign I’m involved with.
Did you know that Marks & Spencer is not a Living Wage employer? This surprised me especially as they promote themselves as everything that is good about Britain and have a reputation for being a good employer. I naturally thought they would be one of the 1570 employers in the UK who paid the Living Wage (£7.85 ph UK and £9.15 ph London), employers that include Scottish Government, Santander and Transport for London but they’re not. So when Sarah Corbett of the Craftivist Collective contacted me to find out if I would like to take part in their campaign I gladly accepted.
Along with 24 other people I stitched a unique hanky for one of M&S board members and influential celebrities. I chose board member Laura Wade-Gery not only because of her progressive outlook but because, like me, she likes her classical music. Along with a hand written letter from me it will be hand delivered to her at M&Ss AGM on 7th July. All I ask, as a M&S customer, is for her to do the right thing and implement the Living Wage across M&S. Sarah sums up the campaign beautifully in this blog post.
History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up
And hope and history rhyme.
I chose to quote the opening of Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy as I know she studied history at university, for its importance in recent historical events including Bill Clinton’s speech during the Northern Ireland Peace Process, and more importantly because it is about hope and knowing the right time to be on the positive side of justice. (the character who says these words was injured, spent time in the wilderness but ultimately went on to be the person who freed Troy during the Tojan wars)
I also embellished my hanky with a dandelion puff with our wishes and hopes interspersed with musical notes echoing the poem and our joint interests in music. The colours purple, white and green reflect the suffragette movement and with over 70% of M%S employees being women I hope it is not lost on her.
Naturally other craftivists also wanted to get involved so as part of a more visual campaign they have been tweeting and even stitching outside of M&S stores from Brighton to Irvine engaging with members of the public and raising awareness of the campaign.
I’ll keep you informed of the progress we make however if you want to know more about the organisations involved or the Living Wage her are some links to get you started:
Marks & Spencer
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Some posts are easy to write whilst others are very difficult. This is one of the difficult ones as it is about me, my life with depression and a fab cross stitch project set up by a fellow sufferer. … Continue reading
There are lots of reasons to hibernate until spring comes but that would be boring and who likes boring?
I’ve found a few creative ideas that might tickle your fancy that are happening in January. Most are in Scotland but if anything inspires you why not start something in your town. Warning: there are a lot of links in this post so grab your mug of tea and notebook to start planning.
Try something new or rekindle an old passion. At Edinburgh Contemporary Crafts they don’t just have studio space but run various workshops from bookbinding to weaving, silk printing to carpentry. If you’re not sure of committing for a long course then why not dip in for a day or weekend? I’m quite interested in the bookbinding classes run by Allison Downie in Glasgow. Lots of museums run free classes for both adults and children so it’s worth checking by heir websites or just ask the next time you walk by I know Glasgow’s museums certainly do.
Pick a project and do it every day for a month. It doesn’t need to be time consuming. A timed 5 minute sketch every day, knit that jumper you’ve been promising yourself or go for a walk with you camera. A thanks must go to Helen Shaddock for highlighting the fun-a-day project to me. This project which started in Philadelphia has now crossed the Channel and Dundee is embracing it.
Start a pictorial diary with Blipfoto. Take a photo a day on your phone or DSLR upload it to Blipfoto with or without words and challenge yourself to doing for 365 days. It’s a brilliant way to become more aware of your day as well as improving your camera skills. Oh be warned it can become addictive and you’ll find yourself dipping into the lives of other blippers from around the world.
Be curious. You might remember way back in 2011 I took part in several fun projects by The Curiosity Project, well they’re back with another one off idea. This time you have the chance to send a box filled with a story. With a limit of £20 you tell your story with only your imagination to limit you and in return you’ll get a story from someone else. You can find out more on their website.
Of course there are also lots of free things to do like get out for a walk and really look at your surroundings, find out what art exhibitions are on in your area and GO to them and of course volunteer. A good place to start is the Voluntary Arts website which covers the UK and with Voluntary Arts Week coming round soon now’s as good a time as any to shake away those winter blues and get creative.
So? Anything take your fancy? If so let me know & please leave links in the comments if you know of other creative things we could be getting up to.
Finally getting all my granny squares and knitting together for Scattercraft’s yarn bombing around Hampden Park, Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games. If you’d like to donate some knitting or crochet please contact email@example.com.
PS they are also looking for some lovely people to help install the work on the 21st & 22nd July.
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I enjoy embroidery for embroidery’s sake but sometimes I’ve used it to express my political (with a small “p”) feelings. So I was really pleased to find out more about a movement called craftivism. I’ve been reading about this slow, … Continue reading
Just over a month ago I joined other curious folk at Cushion & Cake to meet Sarah Corbett to find out more about craftivism.
During the meeting we contemplated what our legacy (or footprint) would be on earth. This was assisted by the CC footprint pack which required us to think of a phrase or quote that meant something to us. We then started to embroider the phrase onto a footprint for us to keep and contemplate on while Sarah explained more about craftivism.
Craftivism is a slow contemplative form of activism. There’s no shouting or banging of drums but rather while you stitch your mini protest banner or Don’t Blow It hankie for your MP you have space to think about your cause. When you’re finished photograph it, blog about it and start spreading the word. Who knows how many people will stop, look and think about the mini protest banner you put up in a public place.
Don’t get me wrong I believe that marches and demonstrations can create change too but this allows the individual to have an impact too.
I chose a quote I found on a gravestone that resonates with me
as measured rolls of set music we march to the grave in quick and slow step.
It might not seem cheery at first however it reminds me not to judge others and that I can still make my voice heard along with those whose voices have been muffled.
Some of us have subsequently met up to finish our footprints and have some interesting plans to take it forward…but that’s for a future post:-)
Here are some useful links to find out about this growing movement:
What is craftivism?
How to host your own stitch in