17 Jul Introducing the #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!
Ladies and gentlecrafters, we are thrilled to finally be able to share with you our new project…
The #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!
This exciting collaborative venture will show how craft activities can help improve wellbeing by involving participants like me and you in the fun, connected, sensory and mindful process of making things.
Craft. Connect. Reflect. Challenge. Grow.
This is a unique project that goes beyond seeing craft as a relaxing tool but seeing craft as an incredible tool to help us connect, challenge ourselves and help us grow and flourish in our lives in different ways and help us see how we can change the world one stitch at a time.
If you’re based in the UK, we’d love you to join in and hand-embroider, knit or crochet a flower for our #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden, while reflecting on the importance of wellbeing and what we need in order to flourish as individuals and as a society. I came up with the name ‘wellmaking’ to describe our actions here we cannot just be and we cannot rely on actions with good intentions; handicraft helps us to slow down, make, explore, think critically and strategically to create wellbeing in individuals and society. Don’t you think?
The World Health Organisation defines ‘wellbeing’ not as one but as three things:
- Realising our potential (not comparing ourselves to others or trying to be someone else)
- Coping with daily stress (small things that affect all of us daily)
- Contributing productively to society (not just focusing on our own direct physical and mental health like you might think!)
Many of us have read about or experienced first hand how craft helps people’s wellbeing, and we believe it is also a beautiful tool for us to reflect on how we can improve the wellbeing of those around us in our communities and in society.
Craft is a lovely way to keep us optimistic and striving for better things; it’s a great tool to think about challenging and sometime uncomfortable thoughts (like how we all impact each other and planet) with the comfort of craft to help us not go into despair or feel disempowered.
We want each flower to represent you as a flourishing flower in our garden (which itself represents society, obvs!) and the time you have taken to deeply think about wellbeing for you and others. We’ve also created an app to collect your private answers to our questions for us to then present to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Arts & Health in January 2015, to provide evidence of the power craft has to improve our society. And we’d love you to join our #wellMAKING Garden Party in January when it is confirmed.
All you need to get involved can be found here & at www.craftivist-collective.com/wellMAKING :
- Summary YouTube video
- Instructions sheet
- Facilitators notes (if you want to set up a group stitch-in event)
- Stitch-In craft event poster template
- Craftivist Garden badge we would love you to put on your website linked to www.crafitvist-collective.com/wellmaking
- Local press release template & tips
- We have hi res images in a Flickr album here for more inspiration for your flower & if you want to download & use to blog and share this project with others (please accredit to “Craftivist Collective/ Tom Price”)
- You can buy our #welllMAKING kit on Etsy here if it would make life easier. At just £4 to cover costs it doesn’t break the bank.
- And don’t forget to download our Craftivists App as part of this project on Android and iPhone
Download our app to take part in this project on your iPhone or Android device
We are really excited that we will have a virtual garden map thanks to an app that will allow you and other participants across the UK to upload photos of your work and location (you can keep this vague if you like) to show your crafted flower blossoming alongside others in our garden.
The #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden UK project is being run in partnership with Falmouth University, Voluntary Arts and Arts for Health Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, and is a Connected Communities project supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
To find out what each of our partners has to say about the project & updates on our progress do keep checking www.craftivist-collective.com/wellMAKING.
So let’s craft, connect, reflect, challenge so we can grow as individuals in society. Come join this unique project to think beyond craft as a relaxing tool into a tool to help us strive and flourish in our lives in different ways and change the world one stitch at a time…. x
PS If you are not a UK resident don’t be upset; we have lots of other projects you can take part in on your own or in a group on our Project Page here and you can buy a kit for help in our Etsy online shop. We hope to make a Craftivists app for worldwide use in 2015, so watch this space! x