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Craftivist Collective founder launches School of Gentle Protest to help people become more effective and kind activists

A new YouTube web series has been created to help individuals and groups tackle prejudice, injustice, corruption and inequality wherever they see it – without resorting to aggression and hostility.

In these challenging and uncertain times, more people than ever are looking to take a stand for what they believe in. But many feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start, while others often have good intentions but are taking action without a careful strategy.

The School of Gentle Protest will cover lots of issues such as how to challenge a friend or stranger who has said something harmful, how to campaign by encouraging people in positions of power and becoming their critical friend rather than an aggressive enemy, how to attract and intrigue people to join your protest rather than force your message onto them, and much more.

Participants in the School of Gentle Protest will get access to weekly vlogs featuring the likes of Orsola de Castro (Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution), JP Flintoff (Co-Founder of School of Life), Catherine Howarth (CEO of Share Action) and Tom Baker (Head of Mobilisation at Save the Children UK). There will also be ‘homework’ that will be enjoyable and question your thinking; things like films to watch and activities to do and offline events to attend. There will be an event in Lincoln, home of Magna Carta, at the start of Fashion Revolution Week on Monday 24 April

The School of Gentle Protest is being launched on 20th March by Sarah Corbett, founder of Craftivist Collective, in collaboration with www.1215.today, a project inspired by the Magna Carta which encourages discovery and debate around human rights. Sarah will deliver six weeks of the school curriculum online during her virtual artist-in-residence with www.1215.today.

The daughter of a political councillor and vicar, Sarah grew up in a low income area of Liverpool and has been involved in activism since the age of three. She has worked as a professional campaigner for over a decade for a number of NGOs, most recently Oxfam. One of the leading spokespersons in the craftivism movement, Sarah set up the Craftivist Collective in 2009 and has since worked with the likes of Unicef, Secret Cinema, the Victoria andAlbert Museum, Bauhaus University and Helsinki Design Week, amongst others.

She said: “If we want to make the world beautiful, kind and just,  then we need activism to be beautiful, kind and just. Shouting and screaming at people often creates walls not bridges. Gentleness is not a weakness, it’s about treating everyone how you would like to be treated, whether they are a victim, perpetrator or bystander, encouraging them to be their best self and improve our world for all.”

“Gentle protest has been used effectively throughout history for long term change by people like Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela – they never demonised anyone and not only helped change laws but also hearts and minds.”

“Activism is a craft like any other and with over 10 years as a professional campaigner I am passionate about doing activism with courage and care. I wanted to create the School of Gentle Protest for people who are feeling overwhelmed, who don’t know where to start, how are nervous of activism, and also for those who are taking action but without a robust strategy. I hope these resources will give people the tools they need to  protest against systemic, structural or societal injustices in a thoughtful, loving and effective way rather than a violent or unkind way.”

Ann Jones, Project Director of www.1215.today said: ”Sarah’s kind of activism is thoughtful, non-threatening and totally beguiling. Just what we need Today!”

After her online residency with www.1215.today Sarah may continue to develop the School of Gentle Protest on an ongoing basis after receiving feedback. She is asking people to send in their problems and questions, from which she hopes to continue to produce fresh material for the web series.
Editor’s notes

CRAFTIVIST COLLECTIVE: Founded in 2009, the Craftivist Collective produces projects, products and kits to help individuals and groups across the globe change the world one stitch (or sentence) at a time using slow, gentle, beautiful activism. You can find out more at www.craftivist-collective.com.

SARAH CORBETT: The daughter of a political councillor and vicar, Sarah has been an activist since the age of three. She has worked as a professional campaigner for a range of NGOs, most recently Oxfam. She has delivered workshops and talks around the world, including TED Talks and Do Lectures. Sarah founded Craftivist Collective on the back of a massive response to her blog, A Lonely Craftivist, from people and organisations around the world who wanted to join in.

www.1215.Today: Launched on 14 June 2015 by the University of Lincoln, www.1215.today is a virtual House of Culture where people aged 14-24 from all over the world can discover, debate, create and connect through the arts, while exploring their individual rights and what matters to them.

MOLLIE MAKES / ROPE BASKET DIY. Hello Folks! Its Thursday afternoon and by now those of you who are already subscribed to Mollie Makes Mag will have received your copy of issue 77 and be enjoying the ‘Spring Has Sprung’ theme!

I am thrilled to be featured this month with a new fast craft project to help brighten and organise your favourite crafty spaces or work station… dust off that hot glue gun and turn to page 16 for my Boho Bright Rope Basket DIY this weekend! Its simple to create a multitude of shapes and sizes of Berber style baskets to suite your organisational needs! I use fine stiff bristled paint brushes and pop colour acrylic paints to achieve a modern boho look.

Pick up your copy now in all good book sellers & news agents! And find more craft project DIY’s in the Super+Super craft book series here x

Creative Seasons / Spring Craft Project Inspiration

Hello folks! I have created a mood board with a few key images that will inspire my spring creative seasons projects & craftivism and wanted to share this with you. Small and special projects are high on my list this season. As well as working on a craftivism project inspired by the ever inspiring Sarah Corbett’s ongoing gentle protesting methods with the Craftivist Collective!

It’s taken a while to find what felt like the right direction for this first ‘creative season’ of projects. But small nature/nurture outdoorsy and plant inspired ideas feel right and a fun way to get other’s involved too! I am also going to use up lots of ends of yarn and scraps of fabrics for these first project to help spring clean my craft stash… And challenge myself a little further! Find full details about the mood board images and more on the Spring Craft Project Inspiration Pinterest board. I will also be posting more about these projects on my IG as I continue to curate this first season and share some progress. Feel free to tag your spring craft projects too using #creativeseasons

a mood board featuring spring craft projects

Title image care of The Craftivist Cllective. Clockwise from top left

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Super+Super Creative Seasons

The idea of Super+Super Creative Seasons has evolved from my ongoing aim to do less better in life and business to allow me to share more in depth creative skills, projects and ideas with you folks AND to spend more time honing my craft as a creative/maker/designer and small biz owner. I’m excited about this new way of packaging up what I do to make it more lovely for you guys to see and share!

Over the past 5 years I have worked on some brilliant projects as a small creative business owner and also had opportunities to collaborate with like minded peers and companies to create some very special projects and workshops. Now don’t get me wrong, they don’t always go to plan, and my goodness have I learnt some lessons along the way. So I decided that this year I am going to plan my projects to fit in with the way I have come to realise I work/create and succeed the best. And that’s by looking at all my creative offerings in terms of seasons. Trying not to overload myself and leave space for things to come to me and grow naturally from what i’ve planned. Some of you may have seen my post on IG about my word of the year which this year is ‘Evolve’. Well It may sound pretty woo woo but I am going to try and embrace that this year!

So back to this creative seasons thing…

I will be running creative and crafts workshops as I always do, but this year I am going to work on really focus on skills based projects and things that have some kind of seasonal or practical relevance. Whilst re introducing more intermediate and higher level classes and courses that run over several weeks.

I want to work towards connecting people with hands on crafts and creative skills as a tool for relaxation, storytelling, overcoming social anxiety and sustainability.

It’s an exciting way for me to develop ideas and expand my own creative skills set, whilst developing in-depth / intermediate and higher level workshops which I can create along or in collaboration with other awesome peers!

I’d also love to work on some collaborative workshops & diy design based projects this year! As I mentioned on fb last week I am planning to re introduce craft diy project tutorials to the blog, eep. And I think these will follow the same kind of idea as workshops. i’d also really like to collaborate with other designer-makers here and create large scale craft based projects and events!

a group of young people sitting around a light wooden table with bright coloured soft yarns and modern weaving looms learning a new fun craft skill

I am also going to get back into creating free diy craft tutorial projects for the blog that fit in with this whole creative seasons idea. This sits really well with me and feels way less daunting than trying to publish a project once a month to fit a schedule. There’ll be more to come on the blog diy side of things… as I get some ideas down!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this, i’ve spoken to several creative peers recently who are really embracing the idea of seasonality in their creative process and desigs,. AND if you’d like to discuss a collaboration project for the revived diy tutorial section on the blog OR an in person project drop me an email to hello@supersuperhq.com

Read more about the one little word project for inspiration on finding your word for the year over on Elise Get’s Crafty podcast – episode 117 

Amy x

 

3D Christmas Star Decoration DIY

Its almost the end of Advent but that doesn’t mean we can’t still make lovely crafty decorations and get festive, find our collection of random treasured decorations and make cards, gifts and plan for the Christmas holiday! This paper craft project was taught to me by my Danish Aunt Mona when I was about 12 years old and has remained a seasonal favourite. its pretty simple but a little bit fiddly… a great project to make with friends. I’m super happy to be passing down a family favourite with you all this year!

3D Christmas Star Decoration DIY

You will need:

Paper strips from Tiger or Sostrene Grenes

Scissors

Needle + Thread

SAMSUNG CSC 1 – Lace your 4 paper strips together.SAMSUNG CSC

2 – Roughly tighten the ‘mill’.SAMSUNG CSC

3 – Fold back one length of strip of 4, then fold back one length of strip 3….SAMSUNG CSC

4 – Across 4, fold back 2 across 3, fold back 1 across 2, then push it under strip 4.SAMSUNG CSC

5 – Fold strip 1 over into a point.SAMSUNG CSC

6 – Next fold down into a triangle.SAMSUNG CSC

7 – Push the strip under 4, but take care! It can be difficult to get behind the strip. SAMSUNG CSC

8 – Repeat with all four arms of the ‘mill’ until they are all points.SAMSUNG CSC

9 – Turn over and repeat on the other side.SAMSUNG CSC

10 – Lift up a strip and thread the adjacent one loop around and thread under the strip you have lifted.SAMSUNG CSC

11 – Pull strip through until a start point begins to pop up! Turn your start 1/4 anti clockwise and repeat this lifting – looping – threading method to create 4 points on each side.SAMSUNG CSC

12 – Trim off the excess length of paper…
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13 – thread your needle and sew through one corner of each star.
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14 – Display in your favourite spot at home or in your studio!
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Why I Choose A Handmade Christmas

For many years I have chosen a handmade christmas in part or full. Most years I have good intentions to start creating gifts for my nearest and dearest around October but then December comes and I have to speed things up a little to catch up! I wouldn’t say panic, but my plans become a little less elaborate that’s for sure! I guess its easier for me to go on about why a handmade Christmas is such a brilliant thing because I am a maker… so it just makes sense. But for those of you who are new to the idea or less confident in your creative skills there are still a wealth of simple and lovely projects to make to get you started on your creative christmas journey. You never know by next year you might look forward to origami decorations and knitted sock making!

I thought i’d just bullet point a few of my favourite things about creating a handmade christmas in the hope that inspires you to think about even the smallest things you could do.

Thrift and consumerism Lets start here – I am OVER the bombardment of adverts and consumerist BS trying to sell us pointless, useless stuff that has been created from the latest fad trend which will be yesterdays news as soon as the January sales begin. Don’t get me wrong I love a little treat now and again, but as a creative small business owner I have gotten used to working with and supporting small business and seeing from start to finish how thoughtful and beautiful hand crafted items are created. So in short I just cannot support this crazy consumerist trend of buying for the sake of the latest must have gift. It puts so much pressure on families to earn more, spend more, work more and more. more more more. Don’t even get me started on giving gifts because you received a gift! In short I’m sure I am preaching to the converted but it just feels like this time of year can quickly become about retail rage and money stress. Lets not support that craziness, save some of our hard earned pennies and try and find small ways to stay happy, healthy and calm this holiday season! Rant over :)

Mix things up

Why not keep the cost of gifting down this year by setting yourself a small budget for those in your family you need to buy something for and thrift or make gifts for the other nearest and dearest on your list? My Mum for example is desperate for a new pair of slippers that she can take the dog out in the garden in every morning – I can’t make those so have bought her a pair, but the rest of her gift is going to be handmade. You see!

Pop into your local charity shop and see if anything exciting catches your eye. Not only are you supporting a local charity and keeping your costs down, but you literally have no idea at all what you might find! Last year I got a couple of amazing retro board games for my best friend and avid collector and said games came to £2!

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Personalise your treasure

Making a small item is a super easy way to personalise a hamper or stocking. You can add a message or paint their initial on the item making it special just for them! Buy a sweater and add patches or fun cat shaped pockets, order some blank notebooks and print with ink stamps on the front, cut out triangles in some old fabric and make a string of bunting with their favourite saying on it… there are some fun and simple things to make with a little crafty skill.

Joy/sentiment

Sentimental gifts are always a little extra special aren’t they. And they can also be super sweet and cool too! For example, do you have a stash of family photos or are you an avid IG’er? Try and sort out a few snaps and create a mini photo album for a loved one! My friend Ollie makes sure that every christmas he goes through his phone photo albums and Instagram feed choosing his top snaps from that year and prints and sends a couple in a lovely little card to all his besty’s as a reminder of the adventures we have had together. There are plenty of apps and websites where you can get photos printed cheaply in a high quality.

Connecting with like minded creative’s

If you are part of a local creative group or FB forum why not ask what everyone else is up to this year?! You can share tips and ideas with other novice crafters’ and support each other though the trials and tribulations of project making on a tight deadline! Why not organise a craft social and take your xmas gift crafting projects along! Again get advice or just spend an afternoon or evening crafting along to fun festive songs with a mulled wine in hand.

Value in time

When you hand make a gift you are investing your skill but also your time… and we all know that more often than not that is a rare treasure in itself! Choose an item that’s simple and lovely that you can take to your day job and work on in your lunch break! If you have an hour a day that’s ample time to have several yarn or paper goods finished in a week. Failing that I find that crafting along to a box set is an amazing way to manage my xmas crafting time! I have challenged myself to create one item per 1hour episode this year…. ha so far i’ve had mixed results!

Crafting on the commute… follow the same rules as above, choose a small simple item with few materials, pack all your bits into a tote bag or carrier and pop it in your bag and go.

Warning – make sure the programme you choose isn’t too scary/tense or has subtitles because this will most definitely throw you off task!

one of a kind

I can guarantee that even if you decide to choose the most pinned handmade gift project on Pinterest, no one will receive the same lovingly hand crafted item that you are about to make! Crafting has its own hand writing… each person has individual nuances that distinguish their work from someone else’s. And thats the beauty of it! So scroll that board and pick a couple of lovely projects to try.

craft along club

supporting local makers

This year I became an Etsy team leader in my home town Nottingham and have been so lucky to meet the most amazing bunch of craft and creative small business owners. So where possible I have tried to buy items from them. There are so many christmas craft fairs going on around the country so now is most definitely the time to hop on board the #buyhandmade #buylocal wagon. And if you can’t find what you are looking for at the fair or market you visit you could always try Etsy! Or just supporting the local makers you have met by sharing their store’s and websites with your friends and family. Every little helps! And with the handmade community going from strength to strength now is that time to find some cool and up and coming designer makers to support.

A great way to spend a winters evening

Back to basics… what the giving season should really be about is community, family, loved ones and feeling grateful for the abundance of things and opportunities we have. Right?! I love spending a cosy evening at home planning and making little treats and gifts for the awesome people in my family and friendship circle. So grab a pom-pom maker, fresh cup of tea and cosy down on the sofa for an evening of crafting… there’s list of gifts that need finishing!

Everybody loves a jar of something home made

If all your best efforts fail or this year you simply do not have the time or brain power to try creating a handmade christmas… you could always try making a pan of fruit or savoury chutney with simple ingredients on a Sunday afternoon, popping it into some (clean) jars from your recycling box and writing the name of your bestie, college or gran on a label then sticking it on the front. Brownie points for tying a ribbon around the top! I used this recipe as a basis for my hampers last year and added a few little extra spices etc. It has turned out great!

Before I get back to it, here are a few things that I have created this year that are perfect stocking fillers for those of you looking for handmade gifts. I am excited to be designing new items for my Etsy store Jan 2017. You can also find lots of inspiration and projects over on the Super+Super Pinterest account!

If you are looking for inspiration or to connect with crafters on IG or Twitter try using the following Hashtags #handmadechristmas #buylocal #buyhandmade #DifferenceMakesUs #craftyxmas #favehandmade #diygifts #etsyUk

 

Super+Super Online School Of Craft Special Offer. Hello Folks! Its getting cold and grey outside and if you are anything like me you are getting ready to cosy up at home and have begun planning a winter’s worth of new creative projects… which means every night is a staying in and crafting night. This time of year is pretty exciting isn’t it! There has been a big trend for all things Hygge this year aka the Danish art of cosy happiness and all things slow winter mindfulness. Some of you may have seen all the gorgeous little books that are available or some of you might just already do your very own version of hygge. I know for me as soon as the leaves begin to turn and the light goes that’s the signal that UK winter weather is around the corner and its time to prep for cosy evenings in and crafty meet ups with friends!

I am happy to have a brilliant group of friends in my town but also those that I stay in touch with via Skype or email on a regular basis. So for me the winter months are about using free time well to get projects finished and begin planning for a new year! I love crafting at home and working on projects online with friends sharing ideas, inspiration and feeling connected to a wonderful online community of creative peers.

I also love working on mending and upcycling projects during the winter such as darning holes in favourite socks and well worn sweaters, or putting finishing touches to me made outfits left over from the summer… ready for next year!

With this in mind and with the filming of several new exciting crochet and weaving classes about to begin I thought i’d post a little reminder that over on my online school of crafting the Geometric Pop Pocket Tote Bag class & Misty Mountain Wall Hanging class are both now available as separate single project courses. AND what’s more everyone who signs up to either of these online projects in the next month will receive free enrolment onto the crochet i-cord mini course PLUS a free copy of my gorgeous printable planner page PDF! If that wasn’t enough of a treat to get you crafting at home this winter and involved in a super creative online community, the first 10 enrolments will receive a 10% discount code for my upcoming Weaving For Beginners Online Course coming in December.

special course offer

To preview all current courses available over on my online school of craft click here. You can join the school now without signing up for a class to be sent notifications when NEW classes are released and to be kept in the know about exciting offers, inspiration, project discounts and how to get all the yarns that accompany my projects at a discounted price. Feel free to drop me a message on social media or email to hello@supersuperhq.com if you have any queries.

Happy Sunday!

Amy x

*This offer will be available until November 30th 10pm and is available to everyone! First 10 enrolments will receive a special 10% off the upcoming ‘Weaving For Beginner’s Course’ – 1 discount code per student (not per project enrolment) Please email me at hello@supersuperhq.com if you have any queries or questins about the course, online school of crating or yarns. Offer will be emailed directly to student once purchase complete.

 

Women Who Create / Ana Valls. Today I am happy to introduce the lovely Ana aka Coco Wawa Crafts to the blog. One part sewing fanatic, one part small business owner this lady’s colourful and joyful projects are infectious AND her jersey yarn selection rivals anything i’ve seen online! I look forward to seeing lots of exciting original patterns and collaborations from Ana.

Tell us a little about your background…

Hi Amy! So I am actually (or was till just a month ago) a writer and journalist. I studied Journalism at uni in Spain, where I come from, and worked as such for more than 10 years… Then, 4 years ago I discovered sewing just by attending a workshop here in London at Sew Over It and it was love at first sight… I was looking for a new hobby and little I knew it was going to become a 24 hour business and that it was going to take over my life completely! So two years ago I created Coco Wawa Crafts, an online fabric and yarn shop, first selling only on Etsy, and then opening a proper website, www.cocowawacrafts.com, a year ago. I also blog in there about my makes, post sewing and crochet tutorials and the most exciting part, I am about to launch my first sewing pattern this month of November (yay!).

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Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

As I am a perfectionist and have suffered in the past from anxiety, I take my work very seriously, but even more my free time. I have learned the hard way that working non-stop doesn’t help me or those around me, so as soon as Miss Perfectionist (as I call my other self, hehe) wakes up or as soon as I feel that anxiety feeling creeping up inside me, I stop, go for a walk, for a swim, read a book, sit down to knit or to sew something for myself or just watch a movie or meditate. This way I can come back the next day with my strength restored and also accepting that you can do anything, but not everything.

What two things can’t you live without?

Apart from my partner, I can’t live without sewing and reading. (Or ice cream from Oddonos in London and peanut butter, heheheh).

working

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Instagram is just amazing and love scrolling down and discovering something new every single day. It is incredible the talent out there! Also love Pinterest and overall, I find inspiration from movies (50s, 60s and of course, French, Wes Anderson) and books (fantasy, Nordic crime…).

What is the meaning of ‘craft’ to you?

To me craft is that thing made with love, with your hands, either using them as tools or to use other tools. Something that is not perfect, but beautiful. Something you have put your heart on. And in my case, craft is that thing I dreaded when I was a kid and thought I was not good at. So guys, don’t listen to that negative voice that tells you you are not good enough, because you are at whatever you put your mind into.

tools

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

Mmmmmm, that’s a good question. I would love working with a fabric manufacturer or fabric designer such as Cotton+Steel to create a capsule collection of sewing patterns + fabric kits. One can dream, right?

fabrics-i-sell

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

It doesn’t inspire me by itself but my sewing machine is EVERYTHING

What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself?

Even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, I love my freedom. The fact that I can wake up very early, go to the gym, come back home and start working, stop in the middle to go for a quick walk, coming back and thinking I need some new fabric for a project so popping out again… Just that freedom of movement, that can also lead you to work too much, which it is usually the case, but won’t change it for anything.

yarn

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

My first sewing pattern realising in November. It’s been so so so much work but I am also so so happy to have done it. I have learned a lot from my mistakes and hopefully this will be the beginning of many more!

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Thanks Ana! Find more on the Coco Wawa blog or via Ana’s IG here