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Craftivism – #yasvb

I was going to do a post today showing you all of the lovely and wonderful things that I bought at the weekend during the Spring Knitting and Stitching show, but then I realised that it would take me about four hours to take photos of all of the things that I bought, and that there wouldn’t really be much use in doing it anyway, seeing as I’ve already published the haul on my YouTube channel (if you’d like to go straight to the haul video, click              -> here <-).

img_5314So. instead, I’m going to be talking about something that mum and I came across on our Knitting and Stitching show travels. Craftivism. I’d never heard of it before, but craftivism is basically craft and activism combined; it can be used in a number of different ways, but one of the projects that is currently going on, and the one that mum and I took part in, is the #yasvb project. YASVB stands for ‘You Are So Very Beautiful’, and it aims to bring positive, self-esteem boosting messages to people as they go about their day.’ So’, I hear you say ‘how does that happen?’

The idea is this: (this next bit is taken from the You Are So Very Beautiful page of the Craftivism site , and it’s written by the founder of the project whose name I believe is Betsy Greer)

YSAVB

“In 2015, I started writing affirmations. They pushed me to see I was beautiful, capable, worthy, enough, smart, and other permutations. And in homage to the work of the late Susan O’Malley, I envisioned a project where I stitched the affirmations so many of us need to hear… and then left them for people to find for themselves, to hear what they maybe needed to hear. I wanted to be an outpouring of kindness as I healed my own heart, because I knew that just as much as I needed to heal, others did too.

Because craftivism is as much about fighting the bad things of this world as it is about fighting the bad things we tell ourselves. We live in a world where the media constantly tries to tell us what is in, out, cool, passé. Every day we have to fight to remember that we are enough just as we are, we are beautiful just as we are. Some days, though, we forget. And those days can drag on into weeks and months. Leaving our souls sucked and dry, leaving us husks of what we were as children, back when we knew we were amazing.

It’s time to remind both ourselves and others of just how wonderful we all inherently are.

It’s time to let our acts of stitching go by leaving them in places for someone to find, someone who needs to hear those words just as you do, if not more. As craftivism is about healing ourselves as we make, and then healing the world with our products, let’s get to it.”

So, the picture and all of that writing (which I’ve put in purple, to make it extra clear that it isn’t mine) is from the craftivism website, and explains the what and why of this project. Mum and I heard this as we sat down to the table in that tent at the show, and were handed a cute little embroidery hoop, a needle, and given a free run of all the embroidery threads.

The lady (the one in the picture on the right) told us that we could write whatever we liked,img_5339 as long as it was positive and started with the words ‘you are’. Once we’d finished, we could sew our message onto some felt, and either leave it there for them to use in their master project (which I believe is that they’ll put the messages all over the underground stations, but don’t quote me on that), or to take home and put up where we liked. Mine wasn’t very neat, so I decided to leave it there (it says ‘you are rad’, but mum’s was very lovely, and she said that she had something in mind for it at home. Hers was also only half finished, but I don’t think that that played a massive role in the decision.

When we arrived home and mum had finished her message, she presented it to me and told me to put it in my room. Obviously this was a very super kind and wonderful gesture of her, and the words ‘you are super’ are sitting, pride of place, on my pinboard above my bed. It looks magical, and makes me smile every time I see it. (if you’d like to see it, scroll to the bottom of the post, it’s definitely worth a look, I promise).

So – here’s how you can make your own. (This is from a little postcard I took from the tent so I could type it on here. I got you guys)

All it takes are three tiny things:

  1. Make a sign (no bigger than palm size, please) that contains an affirmation starting with “You are” on it. Although all types of handmade signs are welcome, for the museum show, we need stitched signs. If you’d like to make other types of signs, we can use them in Atlanta!
  2. Tag: It’s up to you if you tag it with your @social_media_handle, but please tag it the back of the sign with #yasvb.
  3. Send the sign(s) to the following address:

Betsy Greer
P.O. Box 51816
Durham NC 27717

img_5313Of course, you don’t need to send it to the address, you can put it up in your house or in your local area! All you need to do (well, only if you want to) is take a photo of the message, upload it to instagram and use the hashtag #yasvb. If you’d like as well, say where it is so that other people can go on the hunt for it.

I hope you’ve liked this post, and it’s given you a little bit of inspiration or made you smile on International Woman’s Day (although technically this is going up the day after). I’ll leave you with this wonderful note.