Wandering down a green pathway

It is the time of year when I am quite busy outside. I am gathering in the last of summer as well as saving seeds for next year. I thought it would be the best time to share the beginnings of our plans for the project in 2022. This project constantly evolves in response to member requests and shared experiences that provoke new thinking. For me, this makes an excellent community arts project. The pandemic has provoked change as well but, importantly, it has released a dialogue in wellbeing. Arguably, never before has wellbeing been so visible and under so much scrutiny. Our collective physical and mental wellbeing has been tested beyond measure. Although wellbeing is an individual concept it seems to have grown wings and is now a collective conscience. Stitching for wellbeing was one of the strands for our festival back in May and it was incredibly well received and has gone from strength to strength since.

Members may know that I am a meditation teacher and run my own stitching for wellbeing practice which has also grown in popularity at the same rate. I can't continue to do both so I am going to bring them into one place 'stitched stories & wellbeing'. It will give me the chance to embed my practice into stitched stories although it will have a separate section on the newly adapted website. Expect more on how that will work in practice soon.

If you know my practice you will know that it is not just about our own wellbeing - it is also about the wellbeing of the planet. My own personal creative work is centred around that as I continue to develop sustainable ways of working. Stitched Stories has been stepping onto that pathway at regular intervals again met with energy and enthusiasm from the members. In November this year the climate convention comes to Glasgow and some of us are involved in a #slowsummerstitch project in response to that.

If you add all the above together a natural opportunity opens up. In Stitched Stories we are keen on natural dyeing, botanical printing, ink making and more as examples of more sustainable practices. Importantly, all these practices connect us with the natural world. We call them rabbit holes as we are often seen tumbling down a new one to connect us even closer to the natural world. Beginning in 2022 Stitched Stories & Wellbeing is going to chart a deliberate green pathway and we hope members might like to wander along with us. We will be using stitch practice as a way to uncover all sorts of sustainable approaches as well as identifying practice that speaks to our wellbeing. The pandemic has hit the human race hard but, conversely, it has done much for the planet. As emissions have dropped radically the planet has started to show signs of recovery. At Stitched Stories & Wellbeing we want to be part of the recovery and do our bit to support a planet that sustains us all.

Charlotte, Judy and I are currently working up some concrete plans for what that might look like in 2022. The intention is to use our virtual studio to invite folk in to wander along green pathways experimenting and creating as we go. That might look like a virtual fabric rescue event or the creation of a natural dye space in our gardens. It might be a paper making course using up waste paper or a stitch cafe that shares embroidery stitches that are useful for mending worn clothes. It might be an open call for a virtual exhibition focuses on found objects or a competition to create a stitched pocket to hold our wellbeing intention cards in. You probably get the idea better now? At HQ we are ridiculously excited and we hope folk will want to wander along our pathway with us. We will also be expanding the stitched stories element beyond the humble postcard and more news on that soon too. Our postcards will always be a part of this project as it is where it all began but many members long since finished their 52 journey so we want to offer a new stories route for those members.

In essence, let us spend some shared creative time taking care of ourselves, each other and the planet one stitch at a time. We hope you will join us......if you have ideas and suggestions just drop us a wee message using our contact page.

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