Introducing the #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!

17 Jul Introducing the #wellMAKING Craftivists Garden!

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*DRUMROLL* 

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?

Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING project small flowerbed that will hopefully grow into a large flowerbed by January 2015. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

The World Health Organisation defines ‘wellbeing’ not as one but as three things:

  1. Realising our potential (not comparing ourselves to others or trying to be someone else)
  2. Coping with daily stress (small things that affect all of us daily)
  3. Contributing productively to society (not just focusing on our own direct physical and mental health like you might think!)
the 3 elements of wellbeing hand-embroidered onto a fabric flower

the 3 elements of wellbeing hand-embroidered onto a fabric flower. Photo by www.tomalprice.com

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.

The project:

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 :

Download our app to take part in this project on your iPhone or Android device 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.

our Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING kit includes, fabric flower (all unique), coloured thread, needles, double-sided colour instructions sheet & facilitators sheet all in a little ziplock bag. Find it on Etsy

our Craftivists Garden #wellMAKING kit includes, fabric flower (all unique), coloured thread, needles, double-sided colour instructions sheet & facilitators sheet all in a little ziplock bag. Find it on Etsy

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

20 Comments
  • Polly Thompson
    Posted at 09:48h, 17 July Reply

    Hey hey fellow Crafters! I’m not going to be able to download an app, is it possible to upload pictures/answer questions/generally join in with the crafty fun, without the app?

    Thanks
    Polly

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 09:24h, 22 July Reply

      Hi Polly :) If you can email us the answers to the 5 questions plus what area you live in and photos I can try and upload it for you to the app.

  • Gill
    Posted at 19:16h, 20 July Reply

    This is a fascinating project, it inspired me to make a flower that has helped me manage my emotions about the war in Gaza. Thank you.

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 09:27h, 22 July Reply

      Hi Gill :) Thanks for taking part. Did you have a think about the 5 questions on the instruction sheet whilst making your flower & input your thoughts into the app? It’s great that making your flower helped you with your emotions on Gaza and it would be great to hear more thought the wellbeing questions of how craft has helped you with looking at global injustices. x

  • sian
    Posted at 09:37h, 01 August Reply

    hello! when do you need the flowers by? is it January? is there a date? hope to organise something for autumn/winter this year.xxx

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 12:16h, 01 September Reply

      Hey Sian :) Flowers need to be posted to us by 3rd January 2015 please. Do let us know if you are organising an open event you would like us to help you promote. We also have more detailed facilitation notes if you need them and you can always give me a call to talk through the project to help you prepare. Thanks for your support & I can’t wait to see your flowers.

  • Juliet
    Posted at 21:18h, 02 September Reply

    I’m already planning ideas in my head! Just to make sure though, can we go wild with our designs? I was thinking crochet with maybe some sequins/beads etc. what are the guidelines exactly?

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 11:01h, 04 September Reply

      Hey Juliet :) Great question. We would love you to create something creative & beautiful but also don’t forget that the priority of this project is to use craft to make time to slow down and fully focus on meditating deeply about what wellbeing means as individuals and society using our 5 questions (on the app) and the meditative repetitive handicraft actions to focus our brains on what wellbeing means. Therefore fellow crafter don’t be tempted to make your flower too complicated to execute, otherwise it harms the project because your brain won’t be able to think about wellbeing because you will be focusing on losing beads etc. I hope that helps & good luck!:) x

  • Vicky
    Posted at 08:59h, 08 September Reply

    I’m working with young people on arts and health projects that will run up towards and arts and health conference in March 2015. If we were to make flowers with some of our youth groups, it would be great to show these at an exhibition or display before we sent them off to the main event in January. It would also be good to have some photos from our exhibition and the main event for our conference in March.
    Would this idea work with what you are aiming for? What is the address we would send flowers and how do you think it would work?

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 17:20h, 11 September Reply

      Hi Vicky :) It’s best to email me the details and we can talk from there. It would be great if you displayed them before posting them to us in January. The address to post the flowers to are on the wellmaking page & instructions sheet. It’s 43 Norman Grove, London, E3 5EG. I’m sure we can send you photos of the January installation event for your March event. It will be great to work with you and your young people

  • Gen
    Posted at 12:03h, 08 September Reply

    Hi, we are hoping to have a Wellmaking session in Brighton as part of our World Mental Health Day celebrations on 10th October. I’m having trouble downloading the instructions sheet, and wonder if you could email them to me please. Also, we can’t access the app, but can we get our photos to you another way? Thanks for your help – great project!

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 17:17h, 11 September Reply

      Best to email me Gen and I can send you everything and have a little chat too :)

  • Naomi Hewerdine
    Posted at 19:57h, 08 September Reply

    I’m having trouble getting the all instructions to print on A4 paper – I this just me?
    The ready made packs seem to be sold out on Etsy. I don’t want technology to stop me getting involved!

  • Fern
    Posted at 07:09h, 21 September Reply

    This is an amazing idea I have really wanted to be involved projects connected to crafting and wellbeing, being a health professional working in stroke care, but so far in my local area projects like this are so rare. I’m hoping I can run a small group here in Southampton I have just ordered the pack to get me started, I’m very excited xx

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 17:55h, 08 October Reply

      Great news Fern :) Do keep in touch and we can send you a Facilitators pack with more tips on how to do your event

  • Susan
    Posted at 17:04h, 07 November Reply

    Hello, sorry if this question has already been answered, but I can’t see it. What date do you have to have the flowers in your ‘hands’?

    • Craftivist Collective
      Posted at 09:53h, 10 November Reply

      Hi Susan :) before 1st January please x

  • Kitty Willow
    Posted at 11:44h, 25 November Reply

    Hello there! I read about your project in the latest issue of Cross Stitch Collection and just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that I think this is a great project and am excited to be taking part. I just downloaded the app and am generating ideas as we speak!

  • Kitty Willow
    Posted at 11:55h, 25 November Reply

    Just ordered the pack!

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