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Me, in 3-D, and the “New Domesticity”

Recently I had the opportunity to become an official “talking head” sociologist for a story on Voice of America about why “young” people are returning to domesticity.
Also, interviewed in the story is Emily Matchar of New Domesticity. As @thejaymo mentioned on Twitter the other day, this is, indeed, proof that I am a real 3-D human and not a typing robot.

Also, of note, there appears to be a university class on Craftivism at George Washington University, which oddly is a university in the same city in which I live. Welcome, students! I kind of want to meet you all for coffee and talk craftivism now.

P.S. The skirt I’m wearing in this piece was made by Zoe’s Lollipop.

P.P.S. I just enabled Disqus comments/reactions here, and it tells me that old comments made before today will show up on older posts. I hope so, otherwise, I’ll be looking mighty unpopular! :)

Craftivism and the Self, pt. 1

So sometimes, you come back from an awesome international trip and move and then get settled and then your blog gets hacked. The past month has been one of those times.

Therefore, in the hiatus, there’s quite a bit of stuff I want to share with you. Yay! One of the things I’ve been working on is activism of the self, our internal activism or self-activism, I haven’t really figured out how to phrase it (have any ideas?). However, it’s using activism/craftivism as a way/tool for self change instead of changing others. At times on here I’ve felt incredibly selfish when people contact me about the work I’ve done with craftivism, as honestly, it all started by accident. When I started to knit in 2000, I was in an incredibly dark place where, seriously, I don’t know know where I’d be if I didn’t find knitting. When I say that “knitting saved my life,” I’m actually not kidding around.

Crafts connection to activism came out of the healing of my own self. As I got stronger and better, I was able to see how crafts has changed me; therefore, it wasn’t a far leap to see how it could change others, albeit in different ways. Over time I realized that craftivism allowed people the time/space to really think/internalize their own views on craftivist pieces, starting a change in themselves. And it is my belief that this internal change in others is what can make the world a better place, because we change ourselves. But first, we need to help our own selves heal/get strong/thrive before we can truly help others. Thoughts?

I’m calling this part 1, because I’m running out of time and won’t be able to upload the snapshots from the conversation on twitter yesterday with some lovely thoughts from the always helpful and inspiring @MrXStitch, @hstryk, @janislena and @thejaymo.

Also, know any Swedish crafters? The new Swedish craft website Zickermans was kind enough to run a lovely little interview with me over here.

Craftivism in Belarus!

There are few things I love more than seeing the craftivism love spread to other countries, which means I was super excited to see that there was a blog post today over at on craftivism!!!

This is especially exciting to me as in college I studied Russian for 4 years, although I can do little but read Russian phonetically these days… Meaning I almost peed my pants when I saw read “Термин крафтивизм (сraftivism) впервые был использован в 2003 году теоретиком и практиком Бетси Грир (Betsy Greer).”*

According to its Facebook page, KYKY is a “an on-line magazine which tells its readers about interesting cultural phenomena: music, art, design, fashion, literature and city from Belarusian observer perspective.” Wanna know more about what’s going on in the craft/art/music scene in Belarus? You can also follow KYKY on Twitter over at @kykyorg! Thanks so much, KYKY for writing about craftivism!

What’s fascinating to me are the ways in which different countries and cultures take craftivism and bend its tenets to its own ideosyncrasies, preferences and current situations. And seeing something written about крафтивизм (craftivism) in a language I studied for so long is just so freaking cool I had to share it.

Because using your creativity and your activism in joint force is not an American thing or a British thing or a liberal thing, it’s a universal thing that’s been happening since time began! The term “craftivism” is just an umbrella term to hang the type of work on, as often it’s easier to understand/explain/internalize/share what we’re doing if we have a name to call it.

By giving it a name, we allow ourselves to sink into what we’re doing and let it become a part of our lives and ourselves, truly getting behind the honesty and grit and reality of our work as we work to help the world understand how we see it. Because we know, that it’s not necessarily that we want people to agree with us, it’s that we want people to see how they can use their creativity as their mouthpiece and speak out for what they believe in.

Hence, our actions give others permission to think, make and create as they please. By internalizing the creative process and letting our work speak for us, we become permission givers to those who might have an inkling of an idea of something to make, but aren’t so sure if it’s crazy or stupid or pointless. That’s our whole job as makers, to share with people that it’s okay to feel, to scream, to care, to cry, to laugh, to love.

(Also included in the article are some pretty amazing craftivists like Radical Cross Stitch and Craftivist Collective! Always chuffed to be included with such great and inspiring company!)

*However, if I got it wrong and this is in Belarusian, and not Russian, someone please let me know!!

Faça Você Mesmo en no Brazil* (DIY in Brazil!)

So happily I came across this post earlier today, which is an article I was interviewed for last year. This article is written by the incredibly lovely Brazilian journalist, Priscilla Santos, who interviewed me (along with Faythe Levine) for an article a few years ago for Vida Simples magazine. (Original article here and here.)

Translation for this article seems to come out pretty fair in Google Translate, which is great as it includes tutorials for:
Wallpapering with Xerox!
Building a fix-wheeled bike!
Making a mini guitar amplifier!
Making an invisible bookcase!

In case you haven’t checked out the DIY scene down in Brazil lately, there are some pretty amazing things going on down there! I especially recommend the work being done by Rede Nami and Anarkia (Panmela Castro), but know that there’s much more amazing work being done by others, too!

Plus, there’s a lovely article about the work of Rede Nami here. And more about the work of Anarkia here over at Culture is Your Weapon and here at Senses Lost.

[And somewhat unrelated to this, yet still related, while looking for links I also discovered the further awesome Brazilian projects Grupo Opni and Coletivo Briza!]

I first noted this over on Tumblr. Got a blog over there? Lemme know, so I can see what awesomeness you’re up to!

*”en Brazil” may not be the correct Portuguese. Feel free to correct me! THANKS, Luiza for correcting me! Awesome!

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