“Just because I liked something at one point in time doesn’t mean I’ll always like it, or that I have to go on liking it at all points in time as an unthinking act of loyalty to who I am as a person, based solely on who I was as a person. To be loyal to myself is to allow myself to grow and change, and challenge who I am and what I think. The only thing I am for sure is unsure, and this means I’m growing, and not stagnant or shrinking.”
― Jarod Kintz
WELCOME to the first Community Thursday of 2013! Yay yay yay! I’m happy to report that the world didn’t end, the new year is FULL of promise, and people are starting to submit projects and leads for me to share in this weekly post. It’s a freakin’ PARTY up in here. To the end of making things easier to submit, I’m looking into adding a form that you can fill out right on the website. When it happens, I’ll make sure to make a big deal out of it, like I do.
Please read this. It’s long but the idea is important and inspirational, and I’d love to see more of my friends and readers get involved with Stephanie’s project. Helping others to learn and explore the Arts is one of my goals in life, and Stephanie Brown‘s The Artisans Project is a perfect example of a vibrant and exciting way to make that happen.
Hi, my name is Stephanie, and there’s an idea that’s been in the back of my mind for years. It began with one of those “what would you do if you won the lottery?” conversations. My answer (part of my answer, at least) was that I would like to create a scholarship foundation for kids in small towns, who have an interest in the arts or who have talent, but lack an opportunity to develop it.
I am a huge fan of the new “Handcraft” movement that began with the Recession – or at least began its resurgence then. This artisan culture is flourishing on both coasts, and in larger cities across the country, but it hasn’t made its way (not surprisingly) to the small towns of the heartland. I believe there are kids in these small towns, many of whose art programs have been stripped for budgeting reasons, who could have talent for some of these “lost” arts and artisanal trades, and who might be interested in learning more about them… if they knew that such things existed. For many of these kids “art” means a pencil, a paintbrush, or a spray can – and any talent they have been given is something that must be set aside when it’s time to enter the workforce. And for a lot of them, the workforce is either the local Walmart or the family business.
I went to high school in a town so small that it is actually classified as a “village.” I was lucky in that I knew since childhood that I wanted to pursue the arts in some way. Even so, I spent years trying to figure out what I wanted to do, specifically – I was led to believe that I needed to find a “real job” and that I could be an artist in my spare time. I was further lucky in that I eventually made my way from the village where I went to high school to the amazing city of Portland, OR. It was there that I was finally able to let go of the mistaken belief that I needed to find a “real job,” and declared myself an artist, which was what I’d always wanted to do anyway. I went to art school, didn’t finish, and years later I learned that there were branches of the arts that I never even knew about. Things like blacksmithing, bookbinding, spinning – people still do those things? And where in the world do they go to learn their trade?? Even in art school, none of these things was ever presented as a possibility to me.
I learned online. I’ve been spinning my own yarns and threads for about a year now, and I learned almost everything I know about spinning on the internet, from other artists all over the world. We live in a global community, and there is no reason for anyone to be unaware of the opportunities that exist. Even in the smallest of rural villages, most of the high school kids still have a Facebook account.
I want to create a group of artisans, in a virtual setting, whose goal is to make the Handcraft movement available to anyone who might have the interest or the talent to become part of it. I’ve started by creating a Facebook group, as a gathering place of sorts. Later, I want to create multi-media presentations that can be taken to small-town high schools, community colleges, etc. Eventually, I’d like to create a program where those who are interested can meet with working artisans and spend time learning more about their trades hands-on – a program that my husband suggests might someday even develop into a summer camp of some kind. Right now, I’m just trying to get something started.
To that end, I’m trying to find as many working artisans as I can. If you or someone you know practices a forgotten trade, please join our group – the Facebook group is called “Artists & Artisans” (I’m still looking for a better name.) If you have questions, other ideas, or can think of other ways to help, please feel free to contact me via email: Halaylah@yahoo.com. Thank you so much!
Winter doesn’t have to mean expensive trips to the grocer for fresh veggies. Even though many Farmers Markets are closed for the season, and even if you think you’ve got a black thumb… you can TOTALLY grow lettuces. I promise.
The photo is from my Winter cut-and-come-again planter. I grew a varied Mesclun mix with little attending-to with tasty, tasty success. Want to know how?
Good recommendations for varieties: http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/2961/cut-and-come-again-lettuce-sampler
General instructions: http://www.thekitchn.com/urban-farming-tip-plant-a-cut-and-come-again-window-box–169715
I’d love a ceiling covered in these!
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
― Andy Warhol
NOT just for a holiday. This really says “Winter” to me, yet you really could do them in various colorways for each season!
This collection by Julia Ramsey is illustrative of just the sort of rebellion that I love.
Made from minimally processed, unspun fiber, the shapes are rough, untamed, utterly WHAT THEY ARE. They are garments with a mind of their own, and they are completely beautiful.
All of her collections play with texture, color, and fiber in fun and challenging ways, and I really adore her aesthetic. Please make sure to click through all her collections on her website.
Julia Ramsey Knitwear: http://juliaramseyknitwear.com/
Big thanks to Sister Diane of Craftypod for sharing this on Facebook – a delightful heart-shaped handwarmers tutorial from Our Cozy Nest! This Winter’s been cold enough for all the help our poor hands can get, and this is a nice way to share some love with a family member or friend. Easy-peasy!
I don’t do “resolutions” – rather, with words being everything to me, I prefer “goals.” That being said, these are an adorable way to keep your goal in mind. Simple, cute, and sure to keep your mind focused!
And there we have it, the first Community Thursday of 2013! I even got it finished before 9pm this time, my New Year’s enthusiasm is in full effect!
As always, I want to hear from YOU. Did you love these links, were you inspired, do you have something to share? Comment or email me! I love you, Community!