Craftivism Opportunity #EndGunViolence

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photo and stitching by Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch.

One of my favorite people, the awesome Shannon Downey of BadAss Cross Stitch, has created an amazing opportunity for you to participate in some craftivism to help End Gun Violence. And she’s done it in that super-savvy, clever way that she is just so good at — connecting craft and cause.

As Shannon explains on her site:

“I was simply stitching elaborate guns as a way to process my own feelings around the prevalence of gun violence both in our country and especially in the city I love, Chicago.

I’ve decided to continue on with this series and eventually sell them to raise money for an amazing program called Project FIRE.

Project FIRE (Fearless Initiative for Recovery and Empowerment) is an artist development employment program that offers healing through glass blowing to youth injured by gun violence in Chicago. Project FIRE combines glass arts education, mentoring and trauma psycho-education in order to support trauma recovery and create employment opportunities for young people who have been shot or witnessed the homicide of a loved one.”

Since Shannon expanded this idea and put out a call for submissions, the project has really taken off:

The craftivism pieces are rolling in from ALL over the world and it’s SO exciting. Because it’s catching on, I’m going to extend the deadline to October 30th!

Project FIRE is going to be wrapping up their session around then and we are going to host a collaborative gallery show of all of your amazing fiber art AND the beautiful glass art that the young people involved in the program are creating. It’s going to be amazing.

Interested? Go to BadAss Cross Stitch and download the cross stitch pattern. Not a stitcher? You can also participate in any fiber art medium. It’s going to be a really big shoooow and raise a lot of money for a great cause!

Working on my piece for the show has really helped me process some of the frustration and horror of all the shootings this summer, including in my home town of Dallas. So get to stitchin’ and create something that only you can–no two interpretations are ever alike. Plus, did I mention it’s really great therapy? Bonus.

I Challenge You!

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Check out this gorgeous pattern! If stitched on 14-count material, it’ll measure just over 9 inches square. I think it’d make a great pillow.

I will be stitching it shortly, but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there as I think it’s a challenge and just in time to while away the rest of the summer.

How can you NOT? 😉

Free Stitching Therapy

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If you were a fan of The Colbert Report, Stephen brought back the “old Colbert” this week for a segment of The Word and the word was Trumpiness. This pattern is FREE because right now I think we all need a little stitching therapy. Enjoy the irony, if you can muster up the humor!

This is a play on Colbert’s creation over 10 years ago, Truthiness, which we stitched for him and he hung in his office.

p.s. This is NOT me getting involved in politics, just offering a therapeutic way to endure all the hatred out there right now.

Time For Courage and Love

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Lately the climate out there has been scary, with all the violence in the world plus kooky politics. It’s easy to shrink back in fear and become outraged or hateful. But I say FUCK FEAR! Be courageous instead.

Dallas, my beloved home town, is filled with so much love right now. People have been standing in line all week in the Texas heat to hug cops. The Texas heat!! Feels like 105 degreees! Black Lives Matter protestors and counter protestors — guys in cowboy hats with guns wearing confederate flag T-shirts! — came together and made peace in a group hug (see it on CNN.com).

All the anger out there comes from fear and I say FUCK FEAR! What the world needs now is LOVE, sweet love. So if you need something therapeutic to help you through this summer, stitch one of these up yourself!

Commercial Cross Stitch work

I cleaned up and updated my custom and commercial page today. Here are a few of the jobs I’ve done for fun and profit.

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1. Billboard designed and stitched for Shiner Beer’s first IPA, Wicked Ram.

2. Designed, stitched and framed work for Garden & Gun magazine, current issue.

3. Logo converted to pattern and stitched for Thrillist offices.

4. Orange Is The New Black phrase designed and stitched for Netflix social media.

5. Designed and stitched catchphrase from Broad City for a Bust magazine stitchalong. Featured in Viacom reel.

6. Designed and assembled tiny kits and stickers for subscribers of You Are Beautiful.

7. Designed, stitched and/or managed a series of tins for blueQ.

8. Designed and stitched book cover art for Heather Armstrong of dooce.com, a best seller!

9. Oops, there is no 9. Dang it.

10. Designed and stitched series of cross stitch patterns exclusive to DIY Network.

11. Designed and stitched cover art for Parade magazine!

Stitch Your Way To Wellness

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These bold new postcards will be going out in orders soon!

SERIOUSLY, do you know how therapeutic crafting can be? I can attest firsthand to how much it helps relieve my stress, depression and ANXIETY. It’s all about FLOW–there’s just something magical about engaging your hands in stitching that lets your brain roam free. That’s one reason I constantly remind you that it’s not about perfection–who really cares how the back of your stitching looks or if you’re “doing it right”?

Stitching is all about the journey and the journey is a relaxing one. It’s good for stress, health, aging, everything. On top of that, I believe happiness comes through gratitude and giving, and nothing is quite as fun as gifting someone with your finished work–especially if it really cracks them up. Think about the last time someone gave you something handmade that made your day not only because it was funny–they thought of you and spent their free time creating something especially with you in mind. That kind of kindness means so much more than a store-bought card. It’s a true gift.

This is the whole reason I started Subversive Cross Stitch. It’s art therapy, it’s surprisingly soothing, and the end result puts a smile on other peoples’ faces. What’s better than that?

There are so many articles out there and more coming out every day. Here’s a quote for starters:

“Crafting can help those who suffer from anxiety, depression or chronic pain, experts say. It may also ease stress, increase happiness and protect the brain from damage caused by aging.”

Read the whole article here. (CNN)

And here’s another. (New York Times)

And another. (Martha Stewart)

One more. (Washington Post)

And a TED talk.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start stitching!

Cross Stitching Overboard!

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You may remember extreme stitcher Kirsty G. from my previous post. Well, I just had to share this update from her because here she is CROSS STITCHING IN THE DEAD SEA!

Yeah, I know, right?

According to Kirsty, “I carry my cross stitching with me most places (it’s a great way to pass the time) so I thought the Dead Sea was the perfect place to float and stitch.”

Because, you know, the Dead Sea. Right?

I have no words except for maybe AWESOME. What on earth is next?? Thanks, Kirsty!! I’ll think of you this summer while in my little inflatable kiddie pool!