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It is all about cross stitch… (no, really!)

I had a dream this week where all my friends, old and new, were at a cross stitch party and they were all better at it than I was. Dreams are so boring to hear but it is still so impossible to refrain from sharing your own eh? I’m sorry. And I bet that dream sounds like THE MOST BORING EVER! A crossstitch party?!
But actually, while dreams are boring, cross stitch is not. Nope. It has been transformed by the ranks of subversive stitchers and now it is The Absolute Best.
It was the Craftivist Collective who first got me in to it – they cross stitch gorgeus social justice messages and leave them in prominent places such as this one I found last week at the Occupy LSX camp at St Paul’s.

However my first cross stitch was a bit of a fail as I liked it so much I kept it and put it on my wall. (Don’t tell them.) How un-world changey of me. And now I am unstoppable. (Sort of, I do a few a year.)

One thing I like about crossstitch is that it has a rep for being one thing (antiquated and quaint) but has now become something else (cool and even edgy) kinda like if Katy Price was to picket the upcoming Miss World (cool) or if Bono (justice warrior) was to become a tax dodger (ah, yes, done. And so not cool.)

I love words and sentences and my house is covered with them, like this lamp and this wall. But crossstitched words and sentences are completely Next Level. 

Another thing I love about it is that it is so thrifty; a few bits of cotton and the canvas bit you sew on to will set you back a couple of squid and last FOREVS. Giving cross stich words epitomises the goodness of thrifty gifts- it is cheap but not cheapskate- the time and effort put into crafting it up can far outweigh the flashy beauty of a bought thing.  Something like this from this epic selection would be ideal for new babies on the scene: 

And you may have picked up that I love quick craftiness- while crossstitch does need a bit of patience it can be picked up for the odd five minutes here or there, or taken with you so you can do it on the hoof. The Love one below was done on a train journey while Ramona slept. Chucked in a cute old frame it sets off this bookshelf rather deliciously.

This post is sponsored by NeedlePointer; Camberwell’s favourite needle supplier. JOKES. When I was about 11 me and my cousin and my sister spent several hours making up a melody and beautiful harmonies to a song about Needle Craft- we had seen an ad on telly and for some reason it seemed like a grand way to spend a morning. The tune has been running through my head this whole time. Bonkers. I’ll have to sing it to you one day. As a treat. Maybe I could also tell you my top ten weird dreams too.

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The writing (and a pair of flares) is on the wall

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When I was 14 a can of spray adhesive changed my world. (By world I mean bedroom.) Gone were the tatty, blu tacked up Green Day posters and up went all manner of random stuff that shouldn’t naturally be stuck on walls. A pair of purple velvet flares that didnt fit me anymore. Some balls of tin foil. Wrapping paper, letters, the necklace I made out of ring pulls. (Even as a tike I liked digging around in bins.) It all went up, stuck solid.

Recently I have gotten back in touch with that spray adhesive loving 14 year old, but in less of a 3D way.

This is a line from a Foy Vance song. You don’t know him??? Shivering timbrels, you must check him out.

This is an ancient pack of Happy Families.


We have decided to keep our walls bare with all their cracks and concrete and plaster imperfections because we genuinely really like that bald, rough look. And easier to paste things up. (Got any spare flares?)

It does seem a bit weird posting about something so trivial while the UK is rioting. So to add a little depth… the solution is clearly for more love to get walking around, then we’ll all be happy families.

?????

Sort of.

But these are some links I have nodded along to- less “pointless violence by stupid youths” and more “awful violence by hopeless youths but maybe there is a point in here somewhere about inequality and life chances.”

Caring Costs but so do riots – The Independant

They don’t respect police or their parents – Guardian

Psychology of looting – Guardian

“…just because there is no political agenda on the part of the rioters doesn’t mean the answer isn’t rooted in politics.”

Yeah, yeah, the Indy and the Guardian? But, woah, what’s this!!

The underclass lashes out – Telegraph

So, peace and stay safe all. Let’s walk a little love up to some people’s faces.