Crafty Magazine blog tour: Sarah Corbett’s A Little Book of Craftivism

5th December 2013 by

Crafty-template-for-main-imagesWe were pleased as punch to be approached by Crafty Magazine to review A Little Book of Craftivism as part of their blog tour.  We’re the last stop this week and thrilled!

For those of you new to Sarah and craftivism, be sure to check out our Q&A and the fun had with our Patron Josie Long.

The Review: A Little Book of Craftivism

For someone who appreciates physical books, small things, clear and concise info, how-to create craft project instructions and social activism, A Little Book of Craftivism is a small piece of brilliance in your hand.

What’s even better is that for those who have no idea what the Craftivist Collective is all about, it’s an essential read.  It lays the concepts out very simply:

‘…craftivism is ‘slow activism’.  It gave me an opportunity to reflect in a way that I hadn’t really made time for before.’

‘…projects are small, attractive and unthreatening.  Our mini protest banners or cross-stiched masks catch the attention of passers-by in a respectful and thought-provoking way without forcing our views on them.’

‘With craftivism, we encourage people to meet up in small numbers to create craftivist projects in public places or on their own on public transport.’

Some of you may also be thinking - I have never picked up a sewing needle… help!    You’re in luck as the book lays out small projects you can follow carefully.  Also, an integral element at the heart of the Craftivist Collective is to join other crafters, find a group near you or better yet – create one.

A few final wise words from the author herself:

‘Craftivism isn’t the answer to everything: there is no quick fix.  But we can all be part of the solution and craftivism allows us to express ourselves, and to create safe spaces for honest, open conversations… Justice isn’t soemething we wait for, it’s something we MAKE.’ – Sarah Corbett

Pros: Clear, concise, exciting how-to’s, an easy read, informative and interesting! An excellent stocking stuffer so why wait?! Click here to purchase the lovely book.

Cons: none that our eye can see.

And don’t forget to check out all the reviews by various bloggers this past week:

Crafty Magazine
Mancunian Vintage
Tom of Holland

Guerrilla Knitting

20th May 2011 by

In case you didn’t know I am a knitter, a knitist even. I love knitting because you can do it  everywhere, except I believe on airplanes these days, which is fine by me since I’d rather be on the train clicking my needles anyway. So if, like me, you have an slightly obsessive compulsive desire to make things constantly, I recommend counseling. Or knitting.

All of my nearest and dearest are proud owners of surprisingly shaped hats. I once bought a cardigan from a charity shop, unraveled it and knitted it back into a jumper – and yes, believe it or not, it was worth it. One day I hope to only wear socks of my own creation. So far I have 3. I would love to knit and wear this jumper.

Real wool is expensive, but it is lovely and luxurious and comes in beautiful colours. I have tried to ban myself from wool shops but I occasionally go in and stroke the shelves. Recently I met a man who spins undyed wool from his own sheep, it takes him a day to make a hat, the result is beautiful, warm and waterproof (the oil in untreated wool gives it water resistant properties). He gave me some, it still smells of sheep.

Luckily I was bequeathed several bin bags of wool that a friend bought at a car boot sale. This matched with my penchant for unraveling second hand jumpers means that my wool habit should be forever satiated. This much wool in the cupboard is a constant race against the clothes moths, but I do like to live dangerously.

Anyway, imagine my excitement at discovering that June 11th is International Yarn Bombing Day (it’s also Worldwide Knit in Public Day, what a coincidence). Stitch and Bitch London will be marking the occasion with a Stitch Crawl through the Royal Parks.

Yarn bombing for those not in the know, is the process of decorating the streets with knitted or crocheted graffiti. Yarn bombing (also know as guerrilla knitting and yarn storming) is practised in cities all over the world. Past targets have included a London phone box, a bus in Mexico City, street furniture, trees and a subway carriage in Berlin.

Wikipedia, the source of all random knowledge, says:
The practice is believed to have originated in the U.S. with Texas knitters trying to find a creative way to use their leftover and unfinished knitting projects, but it has since spread worldwide.

While other forms of graffiti may be expressive, decorative, territorial, socio-political commentary, advertising or vandalism, yarn bombing was initially almost exclusively about reclaiming and personalizing sterile or cold public places. It has since developed with groups graffiti knitting worldwide each with their own agendas.

The movement has been said to be “changing the face of craft” as stitchers are more and more frequently being viewed as fibre artists.

So get your needles out and improve the urban landscape one stitch at a time. Does that seem a bit wooly?

Pretty things corner

2nd March 2011 by

Is this giant clothes peg real? Does it matter? Twee is all I need sometimes.

In the spirit of twee I’ve been making baskets out of some pretty old welsh maps that my housemates found through freecycle (join up to your local group here) using these instructions.

I didn’t have a craft knife or mat and found that, contrary to the instructions, scissors were fine (all you need is: paper, scissors, ruler and some thread/string. Sorted). Good for bike bits. Good for giving as present. I find that the old wallpaper I got from a charity shop works well too.

When it comes to crafting, making, fixing, the internet is your (ethically caught) oyster! The incredible website instructables will tell you have to make just about anything yourself from food, to fashion, to furniture. Go forth with thy search engine and craft!

I felt inspired by the Otesha HQ’s car park garden so for my next act of twee I will be planting garlic bulbs in old colourful shoes that are beyond repair (plantable now and foolproof, apparently) to brighten up my concrete back yard.

Craftivist Mission of Love (and Justice)

9th February 2011 by

I was very excited when Sarah Corbett of crafty activist group The Craftivist Collective got in touch to ask if I would help her make a video about their Valentines project, and even more excited when I heard that Joise Long, Otesha’s very own patron, was getting involved…

For the last few years the Craftivist Collective have been attempting to ‘hijack’ valentines day by asking people to “show some love” for their global neighbours, as well as their BFs, GFs, BFFs etc. This year they have teamed up with the cult jewellery designer Tatty Devine and on February 14th will be taking to the streets all over the UK to plant alternative love letters, complete with beautiful handmade keyrings, so that they can be stumbled across and make someone’s day whilst raising awareness about climate change. The idea is that whoever finds the letters will not only have the instant impact and mind stirrings from reading the letter (extract below), but will have a beautiful keyring to keep, which will remind them of the project and hopefully spur other actions and conversations.

To my Valentine,

Every year February 14th comes around and provides us with a beautiful opportunity to show someone we care about them: most of the time we direct that love at just one person. This year I want to encourage you not to limit that extraordinary capacity we have to just one person, but to love the world. In the name of love, brighten up someone’s day and remind them of our global community and inspire them to get stirred up to think about how the poorest people in the world are being affected by climate change, despite having contributed the least to the problem.


The best thing about the project is that anyone can get involved – there are already groups doing the project in London, Leeds, Bristol, Bangor and Newcastle. I really recommend it – even just making one, it’s brilliant hiding the letters and then watching people find them and the intrigued bemusement and fat smiles that ensue, all whilst raising awareness on a day which has become so ridiculously commercialised.

There is a template for the letter and instructions on how to make the keyring on The Craftivist Collective website.

Josie Long & Otesha meet the craftivist collective

30th September 2010 by

Following last months inaugural video with our patron, Josie Long & Otesha meet the craftivist collective, this month we decided to sew our way to social justice.

Josie Long and Otesha met Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective! The Craftivist Collective use the power of craft and art to highlight issues of social injustice, like global poverty, human rights abuses and climate change impacts. So, during October, we’re challenging you to get involved, pick up your needle and thread and make your very own mini protest banner (you can make your own or buy one from the Craftivist Collective website). Remember to send us photos and the best banner wins a bar of fairtrade chocolate.

there is no point to a globalisation that reduces the prices of a child's shoes but costs the father his job...


Search Blog

Get Social