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Granny Square Baby Blankets Holga

It’s Friday night and I’m about to settle down to a rocking evening of crochet + something undemanding on the iplayer. I’ve spent a day wrestling with gatekeepers in the accounts / finance departments  of UK industry and a server which kept on conveniently breaking down (Crochet break yay!) So tonight I’m aiming for the Joy of Completion. Many years ago I was hell bent on becoming the most awesome filmmaker in the history of film and spent years writing scripts, proposals, going to beg for funding! occasionally making a film! (working for free on other people’s films! ) but only probably twice and occasionally had fleeting experience of the Joy of Completion. The first time I had it after an edit at STV studios in Cowcaddens Glasgow I walked down to Sauchiehall Street and had what I can only say was a mystical experience. Seriously. I looked at all the rag tag of people walking down that road and felt  complete, whole and totally at one with the world. Of course I then fought like hell to replicate that amazing feeling with little success. It is only now as I have become a MAKER I realise I can now access that feeling on a regular basis. Instead of waiting for someone to allow me to make something or wait for permission I just go right ahead and do it. All I need is to regularly turn up ( or in my case lie down as a huge percentage of my making is done in bed) and do the next stitch. I’ve completed  7 blankets this year, contributed to 2 collaborative blankets, I scarf  and made 10 textile art works and its only half way through the year. (I cannot help but wonder if it is precisely that craft has few gatekeepers is why it is so despised? )

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On Friday last I went to Glasgow to stay over night before the yarn dyeing adventures. I waited outside this cafe for a friend coming from work. Luckily I didn’t overload myself with a long list of things to do and see beforehand so I sat for an hour with my crochet just enjoying the passing bussle. Loads of hipsters, dogs, teenagers coming from school, students, babies in push chairs. It was just lovely to enjoy the passing theatre.

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"The lesson that life constantly enforces is 'Look underfoot.' You are 
always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure 
of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is 
where you are. Don't despise your own place and hour. Every place is the 
center of the world." 
- naturalist John Burroughs

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The garden at Gladstones Library. Each day we fell into the delightful habit of doing Chi Kung under the guidance of Lourenço de Azevedo out in the grounds. Its a relaxing but energising form of exercise and unlike most did not make me want to lie down and have a nap after! Though I’m sure that at the Library half of the benefit was standing outside enjoying the breeze and the twittering bird song. If you sign up here to get notifications of the next  (un)productivity summit a free 20 min video running through a basic set of exercises will be sent to you. I’ve been doing it each morning in my garden here in Edinburgh before going to work this week… causing much puzzlement from the Fat Black Cat as I wave my arms about, shake like a monkey , miaws of concern.

 

Milo MacLaughlin of Clearminded Creative has made a fabulous wee video giving you flavour of the event at Gladstones Library in May. More to come over on our mini site including the recordings of presentations. Sign up to the newsletter there to get advance notice of other summits. And DO  try the Chi Kung introductory session which we did with Lourenço de Azevedo. Even without the magical backdrop of Gladstones Library its a wonderful grounding set of exercises (even for those ‘allergic’ to exercise!)

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Despite our gentle schedule we made time on our last day to record an episode of Mountain Shores podcast  – coming soon! And as all our presentations bar one with a technical hitch were recorded a mini site is going to be set up where they can be accessed. I’ll keep you updated.

In the meanwhile can we encourage more of these kinds of events? Lets get out from behind our screens and do meet ups in real life. This one was a bit ambitious having people from 4 different countries but why not?

Here plan your own at Gladstones Library!

 

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