Well, it would seem as though things have been a little quiet lately, right? If you happen to follow me on the old social media you may have been wondering "Where has she gone?" (again) - whilst it's true that things have been quiet on that front, behind the scenes life has been nothing of the sort! In fact, it's been incredibly exciting over the last couple of months, lots of changes, new directions and many pieces falling neatly into place. (Yay)
I may have found myself remaining quiet for a little longer, however, I was invited yesterday to chat on a number of BBC Radio stations throughout the UK today, so I figured now would be a good time to catch you up on what's been happening... (and because I'm feeling as though the universe is saying 'hey girl...it's time').
The End of New Day Knitwear
I began writing out the story to this within this post...however, turns out it was shaping up to be a pretty long story! So if you're really that interested, you can read about it here instead (when I finish writing it...)
Long story short; I closed down New Day Knitwear as a Community Interest Company early this year. I had no doubts in my mind at all that I still wanted to create and to crochet, and to continue supporting people and working within mental health (and encouraging the use of creativity for self-expression and self-care) - it's just the 2 weren't gelling together as a business, at least not in accordance with what I actually wanted to do...So I did what felt right for me. I cut that chord, I pulled the strands apart and I pivoted. Which brings me on to...
We Are Enough & Yarn Bombing Truro
Literally, a week after I decided to end with New Day, I found out my idea for a community yarn bombing project had been selected as one of the Crowdfunder and Go Daddy's 'What's Your Idea?' campaign winners to win £1,000 towards a crowdfunding project - I was like 'Whaaaat?' - followed shortly by utter panic that I had no more than 3 weeks to get it together whilst personally being right in the middle of figuring out what the hell I was doing. (Turns out this was a nice push in the right direction, thank you world).
Crowdfunding was one heck of a rollercoaster, let me tell you that; after a lot of self-doubts and one final 'all-in' push on the last day we successfully raised £2,500 which was an amazing £500 over the initial target! I couldn't believe it. I'm still quite amazed that happened, and still so grateful towards every single person who helped make it happen.
As I was no longer planning on running my own community groups, I asked my friends at Quiet Connections if they wanted to be involved in the project; the mission was so in line with theirs and the community aspect fitted like a key to a lock within their ideas for their Community Connections groups. So once again, we began collaborating...which has led to something amazing. I'll come back to this in just a moment... and I'm very excited about working on my own individual pieces for the project as well.
Launching We Are Enough meant I also got to do this...
And then this happened ❤:
So, it was just after this whole shabang that I went quiet, so time to fill you in... I'll start with Quiet Connections, and then I'll get into my crochet work ❤
Joining Quiet Connections as Co-Director & Community Coordinator
Yes, that's right! As a result of planning We Are Enough and involving QC in to deliver the community groups to create the street art, I was offered the opportunity to join the team as Community Coordinator and head up running the We Are Enough project; this means that the whole of the We Are Enough project is now being delivered through QC, and has such been developed into a full-on social movement campaign that is due to launch next month ✌ It's so exciting! Find out more here.
What's more...I was then offered the position of joining the Board and becoming a Co-Director! (So much love for this) - the offer had actually been on the table for a little while, but the time was right to accept in April! So naturally, I've been spending a little time lately settling into these new roles.
Remeber when I mentioned earlier about still wanting
" to continue supporting people and working within mental health (and encouraging the use of creativity for self-expression and self-care)"
This is where the stars have aligned. Because I get to do exactly that. That part of me is now so satisfied being within QC. It was right to pull my ideas apart, separate them and let them find their own home, allowing what now feels like more room and space for my creative projects to grow...
Commissions and Editorials
Again, not long after deciding to close ND, I was asked if I would design and make a top for a magazine editorial. At this point, I was feeling like 'say yes to any project that takes your fancy' - so I said hell yeah! I love working on editorials and photoshoots; I just love photography in general. I can't go into detail because it's not being published for a good couple of months yet, so it's lips sealed on that front. But I did get to spend a beautiful day on a rural Cornish Beach with a lovely bunch of people (and a dog on an adventure named Bisto aka Gravy).
Poetry In Crochet
Personal project/museum exhibition/electronics. I'm really excited to have begun work on a project that I've been thinking about for a little while now, and seeing how it's developing and taking shape has been amazing.
It began with being inspired by the short poems a good friend of mine had been writing (shout out to my girl Chloe Hayfield!), I loved reading what she was posting and something was drawing me in to want to crochet those words. So I've begun working on a collection of what will be about 5-6 (maybe more, who knows) large-scale pieces of crocheted poetry; using poems whose words resonate with me personally.
I then started working with an e-textiles artist (on a completely different project) and she introduced me to the world of incorporating electronics into textiles; it's f* awesome. And of course, this was perfectly suited to working into my poetry project, it's added this extra dimension that'll really give the pieces meaning; connecting the viewer to the creator through the senses; seeing the poetry, feeling the crochet and hearing the poet speak the words. I'm really excited about this.
The collection will be showcased at the Helston Museum next May as part of a collaborative exhibition exploring mental health. More info will come soon. The exhibition ties in with the We Are Enough campaign and I'm also involved in the planning of it through QC (there are so many great things happening right now, by the way!)
I'm not going to reveal much about this, because it's my little secret, and I'm quite happy keeping it this way...for now. I started this project back in 2015 and found myself very quickly abandoning it when it started to feel too 'real'. I don't believe I was ready at the time to get too deep, even though I wanted to. Something has shifted this year though that has left me feeling like I'm ready to be 100% uncensored in my work and what I'm expressing. I felt this change happen after making that big decision to end New Day, as with that I realised that the only person I ever need to create for is myself; this is what this project is about. I believe that certain ideas hang around and wait for you because they need to be brought to life. This project has been with me for 3 years and it patiently sat quietly in the background whilst I went through the journey that would ultimately set me up to embrace it.
This project is personal. It involves exploring some dark shit. A side of me that isn't usually expressed on the outside, but one I'm very familiar with on the inside. It's ultimately a self-portraiture project that is incorporating a number of creative mediums to pull together the final pieces. I have no idea how long this project is going to take. It's not to be rushed. It'll be ready when it's ready. And then we'll see what it will have grown in to.
Interview in Naked Threads
A little while ago I was interviewed for indie mag; Naked Threads (great name, right?), and it came out last month! I haven't got my hands on a physical copy just yet, but hopefully, there will be one arriving in the post soon.
Naked Threads in an ethical fashion magazine (which already makes it a must-have) and I love the fact that it's been founded, edited, printed exclusively all in Sheffield.
I was actually interviewed for in February whilst I was going through my whole transition thing, so some of it may not seem completely relevant, but it's still great and they were so lovely
BBC Radio Interviews for World Knit in Public Day
And to finish this (long-winded) catch up off; This morning I was invited into to BBC Radio Cornwall to have some live interviews about knitting & crochet ahead of World Knit in Public Day tomorrow!
Over the last year, I've done a couple of radio interviews, but this was a whole new experience this morning! I was sat in a booth alone with nothing more than a mic, headphones and a running order (oh and a cuppa, of course), waiting for someone from another station to start speaking into my ear to have a chat! So I spoke to Shropshire, Lincolnshire, Solent, Oxford and Somerset, before being grabbed by someone in the Cornwall studio to pre-record an interview that will be aired next week! Despite a couple of technical issues (I could hear myself speaking back in the first one and it was super offputting which meant that I started speaking really s.l.o.w.l.y ahah) I had a great morning and it was good fun!
In personal news, life also has been jam-packed with house hunting, weekends away in Bristol, Plymouth & London, Birthday celebrations and sleeping.
That about sums up what I've been up to! If you made it to the end and read the whole thing let me know because you probably deserve a giant gold star.