In January I took part in a one off weaving workshop that was put on by an organisation that I get support through.
The weaver was a wonderfully talented woman called Amy Bond (I fully recommend checking her out at https://www.amybondtextiles.co.uk, Amy Bond Woven Textiles on Facebook or @amybondtextiles on Instagram).
By the end of the workshop I had managed to produce a small swatch. I was really proud of this (photo below). I had never done any weaving before so was a complete new concept to me. I thought it was interesting to see especially when my local town is rich with weaving history!
From then a more regular weaving workshop was set up and i was lucky enough to get a space… and I love it! I enjoyed it so much, I went and bought myself a frame loom so that I could weave at home too.
Amy is the weaver who facilitates this weekly workshop too. She is an amazing human! She’s super talented and has the patience of a saint! She creates a comforting atmosphere in the group. The group is a safe space to learn and to talk and share… and we do! We talk about everything, from the small stuff to the big stuff – from what we are currently watching on TV to mental/physical health issues to hopes and dreams. No judgements given! This social aspect to the group is important. It brings people together, it forms a wee community. It means we have people to turn to in times of need. We have people to draw wisdom and life experiences from. They are people who are empathetic to our own struggles. And, it is always comforting to know that we are all the same, whatever our background and experiences are we are all feeling our way through life!
Attending this group has done a lot for my own wellbeing. It is giving me a reason to get up, dressed and out on a Thursday morning. It gives me something to look forward to, a bit of structure. I have learned so much from all the ladies who attend. I have learned a fabulous new skill thanks to Amy sharing her skills. Amy encourages creativity and play in the group. She encourages to try different techniques and using different colours and different yarns and to play with textures. It is not every day that creativity is encouraged! There is a satisfaction in weaving you have something visual at the end of what you have worked on and you get a sense of achievement when you finish a swatch.
A sense of community, new skills, personal development and being good for your well being, what more do you need in an activity? The weaving workshop provides all this for me and has fast become very important in my life. I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t have weaving in my life now. It is another, and important factor in my own journey of self management with my own health and wellbeing, but also my own journey feeling my way through life!
Just a wee short post from me today.
I went to a meeting today to get information about a singing for wellbeing group that is being started up in my local area.
It was hinted that I could be a big help due to my singing background.
As well as that, the facilitator said that the organisation is starting a skill share programme soon. She asked if I would go in and do a wee demonstration of my weaving (post about weaving to follow another time) and has asked me to join the peer support group. She said that I have a “calming” and “nice” way about me which was very nice to hear. Especially when I feel anything but calm at this moment in time.
Maybe I’m still riding the high I’ve got from yesterday’s sense of achievement at tailoring my own jumper but it is nice to hear that I am achieving things. It’s especially important for me to be reminded right now. I can do things. I am not useless!
This evening I attended a workshop called ‘Meddle and Make’ at Remode. Remode sounds like such an amazing thing. I’ve included a picture of the ‘About’ page from their leaflet.
I fully recommend checking them out!
I had a lovely evening learning new skills. I took an old jumper along with me. This jumper was way too big for me and had zero shape to it. As well as that I also had a ladder style hole in it.
The thing is though, despite this thing just hanging like a sack on me. It’s a comfy jumper and I like the colour a lot.
So after chatting to the lovely ladies about the jumper, I was advised on wee small changes I could do to make it more flattering. In theory it sounded easy enough but I have next to zero sewing skills!
First I put my jumper on inside out and got it pinned in to shape. Next I was given a small piece of material to practice on. This is the first time I’ve used a sewing machine since high school, like my second year of high school…. so around 2005! I was not convinced that I would be able to do it. Lines were drawn on the material as a guide to practice.
Then I could move on to the jumper! Which was very scary!
So I pulled in a bit on each side to give it a better shape and I fixed it so that the shoulders sit better on my body now. As well as that, I adjusted the length of the arms. That was particularly scary as I was scared I would see the arm holes closed!
I know it doesn’t look like much bit I am very proud of this! It no longer hangs like a sack and I repaired the hole! I can’t wait to keep practicing these new skills!
Recently I have been trying to be more creative in my quest to self manage my health.
I took part in a group called Threadlines set up by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Regeneration Scheme. Threadlines is a group of artists who take part in activities that explore my home town’s printed textile industry.
Check out what the amazing ladies do on instagram at @threadlines_
Through attending the group, I met a group of amazing ladies. The group became more than exploring creativity and the towns heritage. It was about building self esteem and self belief. It was about being social, being able to talk to other people.
In the group we drew inspiration from local nature and foliage and print from old weaver journals. This weekend, as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival, the pieces of work that was produced was exhibited and there was a DIY printing station set up, along with the launch of the collaborative newspaper that we put together.
Remember to treat each other kindly because you don’t know the struggle that they may be facing. People are all just trying to feel their way through life.