This was supposed to be a ‘how to’ before Christmas but illness interfered with writing plans. Enjoy this retrospective instead; not only what we did but what we learned from it for everyday life.
Last November I caught the end of a Radio 4 programme about advent, in particular emphasising that it is the only Christian festival that looks to the future, instead of remembering the past. I’d never thought about advent this way before; it had instead been laden with childhood notions of chocolate and counting down to presents. At the time I was lamenting our lack of advent calendar* and was struck by the opportunity to capture something of that anticipation for the kind of future we’re trying to intentionally build in an advent calendar. Something that would help us spend time during December acting on our desire to be more kind to people and the environment, more creative and yet, perhaps paradoxically, do this all at a slower pace of life and with more breathing space.
I headed off to university accompanied by a newly bought laundry basket, a fabric symbol of soon to be tested self-sufficiency and independence. It was perfect for my transient life – just material and a spring, it folded down flat for storage during the weeks outside of term-time. Ten years on, my life is a bit more settled but that laundry basket is looking pretty tired.
When I bought a sewing machine, having never threaded one in my life, I was particularly taken with the idea of making my own quilts. This was probably born out of some romantic notions left over from watching the film ’How to make an American quilt’ as a teenager, along with the fact that I love a good blanket as much as the next person. Despite choosing a sewing machine with quilt-making capabilities, a few years into my sewing ventures I have not yet made one. Continue reading →
Craftivism: “a way of looking at life where voicing your opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper” – Betsy Greer.
I became aware of the Craftivist Collective over a year ago, but it wasn’t until last summer when I watched Sarah Corbett share her story that I began to understand the power of this kind of slow activism. Sarah talks about how as a worn out activist, she discovered the power of pairing her enjoyment of craft with her passion to see the world changed for the better. This change in her personal approach has grown into the Craftivist Collective, with people across the world taking part in craftivist projects, sometimes on their own, sometimes in groups, but always in solidarity with the movement. Continue reading →
Last year our neighbours moved out and for reasons unknown left behind enough furniture, decorations and one particularly tragic looking teddy bear to fill the garden. As lots of perfectly good yet abandoned stuff was slowly ruined by the autumn weather, I salvaged a couple of cork noticeboards that were beginning to warp in the rain. I was tempted by a lovely set of brass fireplace tools despite currently lacking the necessary fireplace. I’m glad I resisted; I wouldn’t want them to become a symbol of thwarted ambitions if we ended up transporting them from home to home, never acquiring a fireplace. Besides, we are trying to avoid excessive consumption in the form of unused items (even if they’re second-hand). Continue reading →
…local coffee shops serving delicious lemon drizzle cake.
…being outside, especially by the sea.
…padding about barefoot in the summer.
This Valentine’s Day the Climate Coalition, which is made up of over 100 organisations including Oxfam and Tearfund, is leading a campaign to raise awareness of how climate change threatens many of the things we love. By wearing a green heart and sharing it with the hashtag #showthelove you can join a nationwide movement demonstrating your concern about climate change and your support for global action. Continue reading →
I grew up describing myself as ‘not creative’. I had great ideas that I was incapable of bringing to life in art class. Apart from a weekend of book-related inspiration when I was nine, I never chose to paint or draw. I was reasonably content that this was not part of my skill set. Continue reading →