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Conscious Crafting in Community

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Grandmother said that if I had been a good girl the moon lady would weave for me a magical blanket and every stitch will be made from a moment of my life, a forgotten moment, a memory. Every stitch would be special. It would be made especially for me.”

... Kanza Javed, Ashes, Wine and Dust


Sew peaceful

On a Creative Contemplations retreat we aim to develop a deep sense of connection with each other and a shared purpose. Our mission is to be as inclusive as possible - we want our retreats to be accessible to all, and when people are here, we want them to be on an equal footing. We hope a lone embroiderer pushing his comfort zone will feel as much part of the group as the jolly crew of regular knitters who have booked in.

We aim for you to leave feeling warmed, restored, with new friends and bursting with ideas. Seeing people connecting and enjoying each other and each other’s art makes us feel as warm and fuzzy as a pair of felted socks.

We believe creating a crafting community offers these benefits

  • a quiet sense of common purpose – even if one person is drawing, another knitting and someone else weaving, we will all be creating with our hands, our heads and our hearts
  • social connection – a lovely benefit of working together communally is that it creates an unpressured social connection. If we are relaxing while we stitch we have an easy inroad into conversation – and we have a shared passion too. During the Conscious Crafting sessions, we get to sit in quiet companionship and harmony
  • a sense of sanctuary – somewhere you can just be and do what you love, with other people doing the same
  • learn new skills and techniques – watching how other people do things, swapping ideas, getting tips and learning tricks and shortcuts
  • teaching skills – passing on knowledge can give us a deep sense of wellbeing
  • tackle more complex projects – plenty of willing expertise to help and problem solve
  • encouragement to take risks – being in a different environment and among people working on a range of projects may help you decide to be bold with your art
  • Acceptance – being together peacefully as we work and as we are is an enormously connecting experience

Some years ago I was asked as a local journalist to write something about a community initiative creating a giant tapestry. I was in a hurry to get my story and go - but when I walked into the small upper room in an ancient building in Exeter's Cathedral Yard, there was such an atmosphere of stillness and peace that my driveness evaporated. Several ladies sat around a giant canvas stitching, there was a sense of quiet industry in their murmered conversation and the magic of what they were creating under their highly skilled fingers. Despite being more than 20 years ago, the scene is vivid - and I can easily conjure the feeling I had of being at peace.

Karen, Creative Contemplations