… and they are off again! The wonderful Craftivist Collective (www.craftivist-collective.com) have launched another project for everyone to be part of. Titled “The Craftivists Garden #wellmaking Project” this new initiative is a collaboration between the Collective, Falmouth University, Voluntary Arts and Arts for Health Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Anyone can take part by simply making one flower, by hand, either knitting, crochet or stitching while reflecting on the importance of wellbeing and what we need to flourish. The full details of this project can be found here: http://craftivist-collective.com/wellmaking
The World Health Organisation defines ‘wellbeing’ not as one but as three things:
1. Realising our potential (not comparing ourselves to others or trying to be someone else)
2. Coping with daily stress (small things that affect all of us daily)
3. Contributing productively to society (not just focusing on our own direct physical and mental health like you might think!)
The aim of the project is to consider these definitions while making your flower and answering the following five questions (with my own answers):
1. What does it mean to realise our potential?
- That moment when the simple act of doing something brings about the ‘eureka’ moment that this is only the beginning – empowerment
2. What does it mean to cope with daily stress?
- To be able to take a step back and consider all the options available instead of plowing on regardless
3. What does it mean to contribute productively to Society?
- Being open-minded and making the effort to understand situations and circumstances around others and using that knowledge to work towards a positive outcome.
4. How has crafting helped you engage with the issue of well-being?
- Crafting (and Art) allows me to give myself permission to reflect and gather my thoughts so that I can get a better and more balanced perspective on my life.
5. Is there anything you want to tell us about your craft story?
- Having struggled with depression for a large part of my adult life, I have found through Crafting (and Art) an outlet to say the things I want to say, whether they be personal observations or as part of a group ‘voice’ articulating and highlighting larger issues.
As I am not terribly good at either knitting or crochet, I chose to make my flower from fabric and to embroider a message on the petals. I made my own fabric by digitally printing three scanned images of paintings I have made a while ago on to treated calico.
My paintings printed digitally on to calico
Next I cut 3 templates to make up the flower head and traced around the middle sized shape so that I knew where to place the embroidery.
Embroidered message on the middle petals
This message is a quote from the author Hans Christian Anderson and says –“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
Once the embroidery was complete, I cut the other petals out, added some Bondaweb and then cut mirror image shapes before ironing them back to back.
Bondawebbing flower shapes
To finish, I made up a cover-button for the flower centre and added a rim of clear beads which could be symbolic of pearls of wisdom or gathered knowledge.
Cover button and flower ready for stitching together
The finished Flower!
This is the third Craftivist project I have undertaken (#imapiece (The Jigsaw Project for the Save the Children’s Race Against Hunger campaign) and the Mini Protest Banner to highlight the problem of sweatshop worker in the fashion industry; and is the one I have enjoyed most so far. I think the reason for this is that it is about an issue to which everyone can relate in some way and also I found the questions to be a really good way of concentrating my mind on the matter in hand.
Get involved at www.craftivist-collective.com/wellmaking or share your thoughts at #wellmaking