Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Three great stash-busting ideas

Now that I have no stash and no time to make anything more interesting than a folded pile of clean laundry, I keep hearing about lovely events for makers.  For a compulsive and usually prolific maker like me, this is a form of torture.  So rather than just sit here getting bitter, twisted and frustrated by my inability to participate, I'm going to write about them here in the hope that someone out there participates and I can live vicariously through you.

1. Wild Tea Cosies Competition

I have spies in Nelson.  One of them a) loves the wonderful Nelson independent bookstore Page and Blackmore Booksellers, and b) told me about a Wild Tea Cosies Competition they are running. Here is how it works:

Crafters and creators get your fingers clicking. Make a tea cosy to win the book Really Wild Tea Cosies by Loani Prior
Entries close Tuesday 28th May. All entries will be displayed in our window and the winner will be drawn 1st June.

And yes the competition is open to people from outside Nelson.  Take or send your entries to:

Page and Blackmore Booksellers Ltd,
254 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010

If you would like to have your tea cosy returned, then enclose a prepaid and pre-addressed post bag.  28th May is not far away, so hop to it, click-as-you-can!

2. "It’s a Tree" collaborative community project

It's a Tree is a project by OutdoorKnit, sponsored by The New Dowse, Craft2.0 and Knitsch yarns. The idea is this:

there are a few very tall lamp posts outside the New Dowse in Lower Hutt, and OutdoorKnit decided it would be a pretty fun idea to turn them into something different...trees!
What OutdoorKnit needs is lots of knitted, crochet or even sewn flowers, leaves and native birds to cover these 'trees'. The best medium for this is acrylic - it wears better when the weather gets a bit grotty.

For more info see:
The OutdoorKnit blog and the Craft2.0 blog.

The picture above is of some of the flowers and leaves in progress and the picture below is, well, something else pretty, jolly, special.

If you are in any doubt about how rewarding, enjoyable and successful such collaborative projects can be, then check out this Knitted Wedding.  A few years ago, textile artist Freddie Robins curated the exhibition Ceremony (Pump House Gallery, Battersea Park, London) which culminated in the Knitted Wedding of Freddie and artist, Ben Coode-Adams.  To read more about it, see Elvis Robertson's great account of it on her Lovely Textiles blog here, or browse through the photo albums here and here.  I've never really got weddings, but that, I get.

3.  Floral Frocked Floosies

Now don't run away.  Just as "hood" no longer just means "odd, infrequently-used, hat-like appendix hanging off the back of a garment", so "floosy" apparently no longer just means "the lady I thought must have missed the No 46 bus up Manchester St and so offered to drive home one wet and windy night on my first week living on Christchurch while on my way home from the library." (Sigh. We still see each other sometimes and smile and wave.)  No, to see what a modern-day floosy gets up to, see the picture at the very top of this post.

If you have had even the quickest trundle around the crafty bits of Interwebland, you will have gathered that it is a very caring and sharing place. There are dozens of blogs and websites giving tutorials, patterns and crafting tips for free.  Sometimes I look at these sites these and wonder "Who has the time to put all this stuff out there? And why? And what do you get out of it?", but mostly I just think "What a kind lady. Nice tip. Thank you very much".

Sometimes though, when you are attempting a new crafty project, nothing beats being in a real room, with other real crafters, with a nice real person who knows more than you do and is willing to help you.   Like the Realworldland version of those online tutorials. Now add cake.  I know!  Who could resist!  Well that is what Floral Frocked Floosies is.

Floral Frocked Floosies is a Christchurch crafting group co-ordinated by Justine from Redflax.  They get together every fortnight or so on a Monday at 7ish.  The group decides what they want to learn to sew and Justine teaches it - apparently with sometimes hilarious results.  There are two different groups - one just for pottering and finishing stuff etc, and one more structured with a set lesson - like cushions, hottie covers, bags, skirts etc.  You can find out more at their Facebook page.

So people, go forth, have fun, and if you do participate, then I'd love to see the results.  Right.  Best go get the washing in.

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