Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yarn Bombing Family Style :-)

There is nothing that can compare to the satisfaction of teaching your children  something that you yourself enjoys doing. My daughter Dahlia is soon - to -be eleven years old and is learning to knit and crochet right now and its awesome :-)
Seeing that look on her face when she completes a project she has taken on is a wonderful moment . Watching her mind figure out how to create something she envisions is really fun for me. The joy continues if she then turns around and gifts someone with her creation  or sells it at a show.

The last few times i have gone to Yarn Bomb during the day i have taken one or both of my children with me. I HIGHLY recommend this practice if you get the chance yourself :-)
What better way to teach your children how to express themselves in a positive creative way that gives joy to strangers  and adds to your community all in one.
Now keep in mind that Yarn Bombs or yarn graffiti is not always welcome or encouraged in your area and you CAN get ticketed and fined for graffiti .  Here is my guide for a fun fine-free family adventure that will build strong healthy young minds , cultivate useful skills and leave lasting lifelong impressions through learning :-)

Getting Started:

First of all you will need to find a place that you want to add some beauty to. Talk to your children to see if they have any advice. Children spend most of their time in a vehicle as a passenger and often see places that could use something cheery :-)  Drive your local area as a family and talk over possibilities.

Once you come to a decision on where you wish to bomb,  I suggest you pick something simple like making a flower chain which can be added virtually anywhere onto anything. If you want a "bigger" yet still simple project pick a small to medium sized tree to  measure and make a wrap for.  Don't focus on the entire tree just focus on the length it would take to cover the middle/center area which allows your children to reach for the install :-)

Asking a local business ahead of time for permission to add some beauty to their store front is a great way to avoid fines and stress and what could end up a not so great memory for your children. This will also help instill a sense of responsibility :-) Ask your children's daycare or school . You can also check with your city/town/state officials and ask them if they have an area in town where they would like some free beauty added.
You would be surprised how many people are very open to yarn graffiti and welcome its use .  Some people will tell you that this is not a "real" Yarn Bomb because a "real" Yarn Bomb is done at night without permission.  Okay so be it.  Then this is what a Family Yarn Bombing is ;-)

Brainstorm with your children as to what theme you should work off of while creating. Children who are 2 - 4 can help in many ways! Have them help  you create by picking colors for you, putting together layered flowers for you to sew and for holding the piece while you sew it on as well as helping you sew .
Older children can help by actually knitting or crocheting even if all they can manage to do is make a chain by finger crocheting. You can turn the chains into flower stems, flowers, tree's, funky hanging details or, as my daughter has taken a talent for; making mustaches ;-)

For smaller children use plastic canvas needles and saftey scissors that should ALWAYS remain in your possession when not being used. To avoid losing the needles, create a necklace chain in which to string the needle on  and keep an eye on them to make sure no-one is chewing on their needles :-)

I also recommend scouring your local resale and thrift stores for your needles and yarn. Giving "new life" to discarded yarn is an awesome way to recycle as a family and save money :-) 

To help your family keep track of its supplies i recommend getting a basket, canvas  or plastic organizer with the spacers or a bucket such as the Homer buckets at Home Depot and the bucket organizer that hangs off of it.
You will be able to keep all your supplies neat and tidy along with your knitted /crochet work and it won't roll around or get lost when you are getting in and out of the car :-) If you get a bucket with the bucket organizer you can then use the bucket as a seat when needed as well :-)
  *I myself use a basket, a yarn tote with a knitting needle holder and a tool belt which keeps all my supplies easily at hand  and i can chase after my 2 and a half year old if he needs me to :-)

For younger children i recommend a stroller with a sunshade or a shady spot for anyone who needs a nap or timeout .

Your supplies should always include the following:
1. Tape Measure

2. Safety pins or zip ties to hold your work while you sew

3. Extra yarn and needles/hooks for last minute add ons and for the actual sewing.

4. Extra  sewing needles (just in case)

5.saftey scissors.

6. Snacks and drinks for your family. If planned around a meal time, bringing a picnic lunch is an excellent practice! Activities like books or a few toys to occupy younger children are a must have as well :-)

7.Sunblock and hats as the weather dictates.

8. A camera or video camera for documenting your work which can be scrap booked later :-)

A yarn bomb is something that is a unique personal expression . There are no real rules as far as what it has to look like or how big or small.
Sometimes the things that impact us the most are the smallest most simplest things such as a group of three flowers sewn onto a chain fence by a run down factory.
 Small but powerful signs of love, joy and hope made by you and your family for anyone who happens along.   Be prepared to meet new people and possibly make friends with fellow knit/crocheters as they discover your artwork :-) Yarn Bombing is a very social experience if you do it during the day which opens up a whole new way to help your children build strong social skills as well :-) 

I cannot stress enough the importance of the lessons you will be helping cultivate in your children  which will grow into valuable lifelong assets they will be able to use in their grown up lives. Knitting and Crocheting develops, self confidence, patience, love, respect, sharing , giving and imagination. It also gives an outlet for eliminating stress and is awesome for hand eye coordination :-)  Yarn bombing is an activity that builds a healthy social awarness and a sense of community. We are all living in this world together, let's make it a place we can all enjoy!

*Jane Thompson :-)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP at The Commons

I was able to install the first part of my gorgeous lacy circle patchwork bomb . I lost daylight quickly and the weather threatened rain so i will return Thursday to add the final touches :-) I am excited!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Want not, waste not : An evening of improptu yarn bombing :-)

Today i received a call to let me know how much the Brew fest officials enjoyed our wraps and i was given the "heads up" that we should come get our wraps before the tent take down . Not wanting to simply waste them we gifted the outside of Stella's with some art :-) I will be adding giant circles to this art-in-progress ( its a massive tree!)
While we were installing some of the staff asked if i could yarn bomb one of the  bikes as a joke/friendly hazing . Do you know how long i have wanted to do a bike? I used whatever pieces i happened to have on me at the time and it turned out pretty decent :-) I made sure it was still ride-able

Then we drove to Escape Salon so we could Yarn Bomb Victoria :-) We had a great time hearing compliments on our other installation and met a lot of cool people. I was even gifted some fresh baked bread from Pleasanton Bakery ;-) We used a combination of the wraps from the Wine fest and some pieces i had and pieces Ellen had to create a beautiful/funky new corner :-) I even left Victoria a little froggy friend :-)

It was a great night :-) Tomorrow we will be gifting some panels to Left Foot Charley and UnCorked :-)  Life is sweet

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday night Hooker's meeting leads to fun :-)

Dahlia has been away for the summer and so she missed out getting to see the Kilwin's/Pangea alley bomb in person. Tonight i took her along with me to my Hooker's meeting so she could have some much needed "Mother Daughter" time and possibly learn how to knit or crochet at the same time.  She really was surprised to see the "Bee Tree" in person and she posed with my fountain :-)

Ellen took the time to show her how to chain and gave her an idea about crocheting to where Dahlia created a mustache . A mother more proud you can not find tonight , my friend.  Now to get the mustache to stay on she went up to the bar and asked for a piece of tape.  After the second time asking they just sent her back with the dispenser which got my mind whirling because it looked an awful lot like a snail to me. So i knit up a tape dispenser cozy and declared UnCorked  " bombed" lol  Amanda and Mara were very pleased to get the tape-snail :-)  Life is sweet . 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Toadly off the beaten trail......

I took the kids up along the side of our new home which is surrounded by a steep-ish hill and we discovered a big wood toad Mikey promptly named " Toady" :-) He turned out to REALLY enjoy being petted and agreed to pose for a few pictures before making his new burrow in my front flower bed :-)  I figured a toad dressed up as a turtle for Halloween was very fitting for my upcoming fall art shows :-) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Knit Room is coming along

We bought our very first home and one of the many perks is the fourth bedroom upstairs which is the perfect Knitting Room :-) It's SO nice to finally have a space where i can get all my supplies out of the clear bins i had been storing them in and organized to where i can readily just grab whatever i need at the moment . I love having the room to spread everything all out and a place to put completed projects :-)