Tag Archives | photography

Another #craftivism photo round up!

Checking out #craftivism on Instagram is one of my very favorite things! Therefore, I wanted to share a few photos from that feed that have made my day recently!

i'm so honored and grateful to say that these freedom collection stitched pieces are connecting with so many. i'm excited that something small that i'm doing is connecting and shining a light on the issues surrounding modern day slavery. i've shipped off two more pieces to some beautiful folks and began working on this last night. and most importantly, i've sent funds to @ijm as they represent, rescue, and restore those in slavery. can't wait to share the new look of the freedom collection along with a variety of price points…very soon! cheers… . . . { #healing #endslavery #slavery #hope #bethechange #smallthings #greatlove #inspiration #natural #linen #organiccotton #stitch #embroidery #mindfulness #craftivism #plantlove #rustic #ivory #liveauthentic #vintage #wabisabi #peace #compassion #simple #fiberart #textile }

A photo posted by pendrops couture (@pendrops) on

I've been quiet about the Orland Shooting for a while. It's taken me a bit to process it. My friend lived in Jacksonville for four years and she used to go to that bar. Her friend who still lives there goes almost every weekend still. He wasn't there that night, but he lost SEVEN of his friends in this act of hateful terrorism. She told me it's not unlike the gay bars we frequent here in Baltimore. All I know is it could have been me. It could have been my best friend. It could have been you. It wasn't, but it was fifty people whose best friends and families are now in mourning over an act done out of pure hate. I can't make bigots love queer people. 🌈🌈🌈 What I can do is try to let queer people know they are beautiful as they are. You are beautiful and you are loved. Not by all, but by many – including me. Here is a token of that. 📷: @maurahousley #lovewins #lgbtqpride #lgbtpride #gaypride

A photo posted by Mary England💖Self Love Teacher (@uncustomaryart) on

And one last image, which is an #ssslovebomb!

Small Victories.

Small victories. We all have them. Small triumphs over small things can personally feel just as good as big victories over big things. But do we always take note of those small victories?

I think we do, actually. Especially these days with apps like Instagram, where we can take visual note of our every day goodnesses and kindnesses and small victories.

When I look over my Instagram feed, I see small victories that I would have otherwise not noticed. A quote that makes my day stronger, a handmade sock (made by my hands!) that fits my foot well and doesn’t fall off, and a photo that simultaneously makes me happy with myself in the mirror and makes me further appreciate art (in this case, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam).

When was the last time you noted a small victory? Really truly felt that little (or big!) leap of accomplishment deep down? Did you capture it on camera? Take a mental snapshot in your mind? Kiss the memory with your soul?

I think as makers, we need to dive into these moments and let them truly wash over us in order to keep our creative well full. Do you agree? If so, how do you do it?



yayoi kusama

See Yourself Happy.

So it all started when I posted this photo on Instagram last week. And I posted it because I was happy with it. And because I was super happy to be happy about a photo of me. It felt like a success (perhaps a somewhat pathetic success, but still a success).*

However, my mind kept going back to an #effyourbeautystandards photo (NSFW-ish) I saw last week by the Instagram user _redlipsandliner_. How happy she looked. How fully and completely joyful. I even saved it on my phone, because it hit me so hard how I don’t equate happy photos with beautiful photos of me. Ever. Happy me is not beautiful me in my mind. So I wrote this.


And looked at other people’s #selfies on Twitter. Not a lot of people using #selfie seemed to think their smiles were worth showing either.



And so I put on some Taylor Swift and took happy photos of me to see what I looked like. In succession vs. just one photo in isolation. Dorkily, it’s kind of the first time I have ever seen myself happy over a period of several minutes.

This is what happened.



You can read it a bit more concisely here, because I couldn’t decide which version was better. Revealing the photo of me, not revealing it? Making a longer post or a shorter one?

And I feel like a total dork for being happy about the happy photos, like really, honestly, practically-bone-shattering happy. Then I checked Facebook and a friend posted this and my whole mood changed. It triggered the living crap out of me. (My experiences were different from hers, but still, whoa.)

And I started cowing in my own house. My shoulders crumpled. My heart constricted. My head bowed. My throat felt like it was closing up. I was holding back tears suddenly after a day post-happy photos of awesomeness. Because a long long time ago, some people took the happy from me, sucked it out like marrow. (Again, it wasn’t the same, so please don’t feel sad, okay?)

And then liking, loving the pretty, happy me suddenly became a rebellion. A celebration. Standing tall instead of trying to be tiny and unseen. And I probably won’t remember what day this happened a year from now, ten years from now, but this video is proof. Proof that a happy me is a pretty me.

So, I’m wondering, when was the last time YOU saw yourself happy? (And liked it!)

You, too, deserve to take back your happiness. Go find it, now. Maybe it’s just me that has this problem. But maybe, maybe not.

*For anyone wondering what this has to do with craftivism… A happy craftivist is a better craftivist.

Finding Your Anchor(s).

Some days you need to find your anchor(s).

Today, mine are the past (a photo of girls from my great-grandmothers’ Domestic Service class, that says “Don’t they look happy?” on the back) and the future (going forward despite trepidation or uncertainty with a quote from the epigraph of Smile at Fear: Awakening The True Heart of Bravery by Chogyam Trongpa).



As I move forward and agree to take on things I’m scared about (as we all are with new big things!) these are the reminders that I need today that everything will be okay and that the past and the future both began with the same stitch. So we continue stitching and threading and weaving our way forward, strengthened by all that has come before us.

May you find your anchor(s) today, too.

Who, Are, You?

“The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead. […] To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
— Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living

Last night, while watching the Olympics (multi-tasking!) I updated my Facebook page, which I hadn’t done in over a year. I also updated the photo of me on here.

While the photos we choose to represent ourselves online are also curated by us, online photos are, shall we say, carefully edited. Or scripted or public relations related or any of a million other things photos do. Although yes, now I have to uncomfortably look at myself when and if I log into Facebook, and then I just sit there typing while the me of the last week watches the me now.

Eventually I got down to the box where it asked me about my “Favorite Quote” and I put the above. It captures who I am better than any photo ever could and it reveals more about me, too. Noticing this, I then got annoyed that that particular box was all the way down at the bottom, when that box really should be at the top.

As instead of the photos we choose to show the world, the words we choose to hold dear and sacred enough to remember despite being barraged constantly with more and more and more words are what really define us.

The rest? Fluff you have to muddle through in order to get to the good part, discovering what we hold to be true and right and kind. So we take the photo, put it up and hope that the people who come into our lives have the patience, the love and the wherewithal to stick around long enough to find that teeny tiny really way far down box. As that’s what holds the essence of who we are always, not just who we chose to be frozen in a moment in time.

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