• Creating, Living

    Create Conversations – Building a collective superpower

    craft table and magazines Create Conversations

    Today Kate and I hosted the second Create Conversations, a local craft gathering in Redbourn, the village next to where we live. It is not a knitting group, nor a crochet group,  nor a quilting group, it is a craft group. Anyone interested in crafting can come with their current project – mine just seems to always be knitting.

    The aim for Kate and I was to have a bit of time to dedicate to our own projects but also to leave the door opened to learn any other craft and share new skills. There are more and more workshops/retreats/evening classes available around us. But nothing for these creatives to come together to work on their own projects, or next or even first workshops or just take some time off to read a magazine and get inspired.

    Back in May we organised our first Create Conversations, we had no idea what to expect. But we had coffee, tea, cake and thought that nothing could go wrong. We had enough people (we thought) to cover the cost of the hall, and probably decided that it would not matter a lot if we didn’t. We hardly had done enough marketing and sent the date way too late. 5 trusty crafters came along. I was ecstatic.

     

    I had a vision of this group since reading Katie Davies’s book Handywoman a few months back. if you do not know Kate, she is a well-known knitting pattern designer, mainly because of this pattern. She discusses her depression, her stroke, her life after her stroke, what has helped her go through tough times, and the role the knitting community played in her recovery. I totally identified with her experience. When Leo died I had another blog and a bit of a follower (not too big but really loyal), and all over the world I received messages of support as well as 3 beautiful quilts made by my super-talented friend Lucy. (whom I met through my blogs).

    Kate expresses how I felt much better than I can…

    ‘Rather than feeling helpless in the face of something difficult or horrible, and rather than ignoring the situation (even though it had happened to someone they’d never met), my [online knitting] friends acted together with meaning and intent. They created a beautiful object whose sympathetic and supportive purpose was increased tenfold by its shared expression. And, as a recipient of that object, I felt the force of their shared strength and drew courage from it. By acting and making together. my knitting friends transformed a sense of individual powerlessness into something like a collective superpower’. 

    I cannot tell you how much I missed my blog community, and no, instagram cannot replace it. I have met a lot of great people through IG, but I had and have shared so much more on my blog posts that I got a lot more back. I had felt the need for a new blog to rebuild a community for a long time but also wanted to be more anchored in my local community – it was obvious that something like Create Conversations needed to be part of my life as part of my recovery and support others too.

    Our second Create Conversations today showed that we have already gained some momentum, and maybe others need to come together too. There were 14 of use around the table. We are still trying to figure out how many people we can host, where to host them, which shape the table should have, how to leave space for people who want to dedicate 2 hours and a half to their own project, and the others who want to chat.

    A lot is happening right now, it is amazing how quickly bits click into place and momentum is gained once you actually do the work. It is exciting, not yet overwhelming. New dates will be posted on the ‘join my community’ section of this blog and you can join the conversation on our dedicated FB group. I will be posting on my instagram of course.

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Create Conversations – Building a collective superpower