Hey there gorgeous souls. March 8th is International Women’s Day (where we remember, and come together to push against, gender-based oppression and inequality, and also celebrate the achievements of women everywhere). I am setting up a kind of ‘pay it forward’ craftivism project, to both reflect on all the ways women are amazing, and to pass on some love to our sisters (not just our cis-ters!). Women we know, women we have heard of, women we have never crossed any kind of path with. March 8th will see me in Doncaster, making, teaching and sharing crafted hearts, but if you’d like to get involved too, here’s how:
Hey hey, it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow! That one day where we divide ourselves into two distinct camps: Those who adore the opportunity to get romantic – buy huge bunches of flowers for no reason other than to say ‘I love you’, spoil their lover with luxurious chocolates, pop a marriage proposal over a dinner date – and those who despise and deplore the commercialisation, the sickly affections, and the reminder that society values you considerably more once you’re neatly paired off.
So, as I don’t know which camp you, gentle reader, fall into, I’m going to show you
I failed my Art GCSE, did you know that? Art & Textiles: grade D. Fail. I mean, that wasn’t my only ‘creative’ exam – I did CDT (Craft Design & Technology) too, making clocks and bedside lights, working with wood, metal, plastics, all that stuff. I failed that, too. CDT: grade D. Fail. Sorry Abi, but you can’t Art.
About six years ago, after spending a long time admiring embroidered art and thinking ‘I wish I could do that’, I decided that wishing wan’t going to get me anywhere, and if I really wished it, I’d do it. So I found an old napkin in a drawer, drew some patterns on it with a biro, and started stitching. I had a book of embroidery stitches, so I tried to work through and stitch different ones. My first attempts were a bit scraggy, as is to be expected, but with practise my tangled mistakes got fewer, and I learned.
I learned, through repetition of trial and error, how
The Force is like Gaffa tape. It has a light side, and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
The photo above is one of the pieces of encouragement I’ve been leaving around the place for a few months now. Not all at once, just one at a time, when I can. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen them. But now I find something similar you might want to be a part of: because that amazing Betsy Greer is at it again, stitching things to make the world a brighter place. And she wants YOU (points finger) to get involved.
Fellow crafters and creatives, here’s a question: do you have a stash of ‘craft/art supplies’ that you swear you’ll find a use for one day? A big pile of boxes or bags or just stuff, filled with shiny things, pretty things, useful things, things to be made into other things? Do you? Will you ever use them? Will you? Really?
Yeah, I know, you don’t have to answer
I was recently invited to bring some artworks to join my amazing friends Grace Kaya and Sarah Smout at their gig. I wasn’t sure what to bring, but I knew the venue was small, with no real space to display or hang stuff, so instead of gathering up my carefully framed pieces, I rummaged in my box of unframed ‘things I have created just because I wanted to create’. This made me realise that I really need to have a clear-out of these bits and pieces, because hoarding them in a box serves no-one. Art is not meant to be hidden away in boxes, just as boxes of hidden art are not meant to clutter up my precious and limited workspace! So anyway, for many reasons (it’s nearly my birthday, I’m totally skint, I need to clear some space), but mostly because I think these creations want to be shared, I am having a Spring Clean Sale! Below are all the pieces for sale, with dimensions. If you like the look of one (or more), just use the contact form and make me an offer. Seriously, you decide what you think it’s worth, and what you’re willing to pay. It’s first come first served, and I’ll mark items as sold as they go. Postage is just £2 flat rate, no matter if you buy one piece or all of ’em.
With muchas kudos and thanks to Warren Draper for the last two photos. Way more professional than mine.
One of my very first attempts at making my own cross-stitch pattern resulted in a rather lovely (I think) piece of traditional redwork. Traditional Vulcan, that is. My first rendering was very poorly executed, on teeny tiny even-weave linen. This reworking is somewhat larger, and neater, and hey, it’s for sale! You can own this for your very own, and help me pay my bills at the same time! What a very logical exchange.
So, I’ve been snipping and stitching, and I’ve nearly finished the Winter installment of my ‘exceedingly large wall hanging trees’. I’m keeping this one much more muted, trying to stick to black and white as much as possible.
I asked the client if there was anything in particular they’d like, and they sent me a picture of two metal bird sculptures they have in their yard.
They said it would be nice to try and get the birds on the hanging, as it would feel like they’d been able to ‘bring them in for the winter’ 🙂 Not quite done yet, as I ran out of embroidery thread, so am waiting on an Ebay delivery before I can finish off, but here’s one to be getting on with.
I am really enjoying making these, and am more than open to many more commissions – large or small. So get in touch if you might be interested, and let’s have a chat about what can be done 🙂
Christmas is EXCITING, and your decorations should reflect that. New in my Etsy shop this week: scrap-fabric hearts, big and small 🙂