Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gettin' creative with crafternoons

Inspired by so many incredible groups, some of the femmes have been participating in a, usually bimonthly, yet-to-be-named (Rad Vag gets my vote) crafternoon since late fall last year. We work on individual and collective projects like: knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, stencil-making, zine-making, drawing, letter-writing, beading, screen-printing (on paper and fabric) and more! Sometimes someone in the group will facilitate a skillshare for other members and other times we just hang out and work on our projects together.

The crafternoon has, without a doubt, helped me survive the winter and has kept me inspired on days when I really have just wanted to hibernate. Crafternoons, for me, are about:
  • Hanging out with totally rad women and engaging in thoughtful talks about feminism(s), politics, projects and you know, life in general. 
  • Learning new skills, like screen-printing, natural deodorant making and crocheting (with guidance and support as I need it). 
  • Sharing cups of tea or coffee and tasting delicious homemade treats. 
  • Learning about things that I never knew existed, like what a grommet is, and how to use it. 
  • Getting inspired by what others are working helps me with ideas for my own projects. 
  • Being part of a participatory community motivates me to try new things and learn skills that are new to me. 
  • DIY! Collective and individual projects!
  • Participating in creative activities nurtures my mental/emotional health (especially in the winter). 
  • Sharing time, materials, skills and food feels good.
  • Encouraging long and short term accountability for projects. I've started and finished more projects since I've been hanging out at crafternoons. 
While one of the aims of Wall of Femmes is to promote recognition of women we admire and find inspirational, I wanted to recognize those I know a little closer to home. Folks I've met in Montreal are facilitating, organizing and mobilizing around so many events that it encourages me to join in or start up something myself. So, back to crafternoons. For me, they've been a great starting point to collaborate and share ideas and maybe make plans for other projects too.

Maybe you want to start up one of your own?  Need some more inspiration? Find a Stitch 'n Bitch knitting group or start your own. Or, maybe you would prefer to send postcards and letters to those near and far by starting or joining a letter-writing club, like the Fight-boredom Letter writing club in Montreal. You could also get inspired by Fun-a-day projects or check out the workshops held at Ste-Emile Skillshare or drop by on Saturdays for their open studio. All it takes is getting a group of talented (or not so talented) crafters together to share skills and eats, then let the crafty times ensue!

Crafts pictured: 
Red polka-dot bag, sewn by hand made to hold Scrabble tiles.
Natural deodorant, made from scratch.
Crocheted scarf (this skill needs perfecting).
Mini-zines (made especially for friends and lovers).
Screenprinted bag (a first attempt at screen printing!)

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