Tuesday, 16 December 2008

should I, shouldnt I?

I started this xstitch 'belt' hoping that it would be a wearable piece of craftivism but I've messed up it up so many times I'm not convinced its worth finishing.

what do you think? All of the hearts are different shades of red= oops! the letters arent all on the same lines = oops! and it takes so long to do I'm struggling to find the energy and motivation to carry it on = oops! :s

I thought i would xstitch about a metre long and then just pin it on black dresses as a belt. It would include other words like empowerment and freedom and whatever else fits on the end.

maybe it will look less threatening because its wonky, maybe it will be more of a conversation starter because it looks homemade or maybe its just really lame and will look embarrassing if i wear it.

hmmm....decisions decisions.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

why the blog name?

why the name? well, there are a few reasons: I'm new to london so it can feel lonely, i love crafting; sometimes to make things for friends, but mostly to get people to think about global poverty and injustices and hopefully act on those thought seeds that my 'craftivism' projects plant (hopefully)

I'm lonely because:

-craft groups dont tend to do activism through there crafts; they meet to do their own thing while chatting to people. this frustrates me but i am sure is great for some people
-most craft groups are knitting cirlces: I hate knitting so I'm often not allowed to join these groups
-I love activism but I am not vegan, straight-edge, an anarchist, atheist, cyclist, wear black or hemp clothing...
-I have a very demanding job that i love but that is time consuming and exhausting so i cant make many meetings, demos, stunts and other actions. i just tend to do my craftivism in bed, in front of the tv or in a quiet coffee shop.

Does that justify my name?

bigger = easier

So this is the same design as the small one below but it is on a bigger grid. It's on a carpack fense off Hackney Road, London. It was a lot quicker to do because the grids where bigger so my fingers and hands could get around the back easier. I want to do more big grid work but I am struggling to find any 'blank canvases' in this material. Does anyone know of any? Please send me directions in the comment box so i can check them out and see if i can start doing some more cross stitch graffiting- I'm hooked now- I love it! :)

Am I improving?

So this is my second try at stitch graffiti. It’s a small one on Brick Lane, E1 London. I decided to do it at 1:30am on a Monday morning because no-one would be stupid enough to be up then right? Wrong! There where still some drunken students and some actual authentic drunks and worst of all; there was a guy (who sounded American) who wouldn’t stop watching me do my 'graffiti', asking what my tag name is and how i came up with the idea.I don’t have a name. Why should i? I'm not doing it for cool points Mr.; unlike himself who later couldn’t help but tell me he is a graffiti artist and i should look his name up "smiff with one f". I honestly don’t care about that world I just want to make people think and hopefully see that 'love stinks if you don’t act on it!'

but saying that: I'm really nervous that this man will steal my style. He kept asking how i was doing it, what wool i use, how i came up with the ideas, how i decide on designs and come up with designs etc etc. He saw my little scrap of cross stitch fabric with ideas on (and this one on i was using as a reference) and you could hear the cogs turning in his head. I told him it would be disrespectful if he stole my style but he just smirked.= Smif if you are out there: Please don’t do it! Please don’t steal my style! :(

Monday, 24 November 2008

have you ever been asked: Do you care?

You will soon realise that I absolutely luuuuuvvvv Shrink Plastic. I can't remember when I first found out about it but it was year ago and I get excited about using it and thinking of new things to make with it.

I made this badge last year and wear it as often as I can. It is a speech bubble saying 'Do you care?' and I have had quite a lot of comments about it from people I know and also complete randomers.

My hope with making this badge was to get people to ask the question to themselves. It's open enough for people to link it to what they are thinking already or ask me to explain it more. It's a great conversation starter into talking about global poverty and social justice issues.

one example: I was at Wagamamas with my amazing older sister one day. We were sharing a Yaki Soba (its the only dish i ever get; its too good not to have it!) and drinking tap water. Big Spenders I know. And what makes it worse is that it was near Liverpool Street and Bank, during rush hour so lots of corporate's were there spending loadsa money watching us order tap water and more free green tea. However, luckily our waiter was lovely, understood our budget lifestyle and even gave us some 2 for 1 vouchers for next time. Legend! Anyway, back to the point: the lovely waiter asked what my badge meant. My response was "so do you care about people living in poverty, the effect your carbon footprint have on the world and how everything we do makes a difference in the world?" He looked at me like he had just bitten into a lemon but then smiled and said he will "think about it" = result!:) I hope I did it in a non-threatening, smiley way and not a preachy way.

The badge is te easiest Shrink Plastic thing to make. If you want one send me your details and I'll post you one:)x

This is my first: I'll get better... I hope

Ok, bear in mind that this is my first ever xstitch graffiti piece so I went for something quick and easy. It's supposed to say 'I hate dirty money' hence the smelly squiggly lines above the pound sign.

I did this about 3 months ago. Its done with thick wool and you can find it at the top of Brick Lane on Bethnal Green road.

I did it at 5am on a weekday thinking Brick Lane would be dead but it was so bright that day, loads of cars went past and i got a few heckles from random old guys saying "thats illegal you know". I agree; it is but its not permanent- you can cut it off with scissors really easily. I also got two lovely guys come up to see what i was doing. They were street cleaners and said that they hate having to clean off graffiti and stickers but they liked what i was doing so they promised not to take it off. And guess what?: its still there (yay!) and the weather has actually made it stronger and stiffer which is a relief because i thought the knots would get loose easily because the wool is so soft.

I hope it makes people think about how we spend our money, where our money goes and what it is supporting. Even if it doesnt make anyone else thing, every time i walk past it, it keeps me in check and reminds me to try and live ethically