August Episode III: From Swing Dacing to Lace Knitting

Sayraphim Lothian got us spreading little ripples of happiness and compassion in The Art of Guerrilla Kindness. With felt and thread we snipped and sewed to create felt cupcakes, good enough to eat! They were completed with a label “for you, Stranger” to leave around the city and bring a touch of love and beauty to somebody else’s day.

If you have ever found yourself having difficulty being creative, then Understanding Creativity would have been great for you! Michele Grimston’s class was full of fun activities, including sculpting with playdough and acting out emotions as over-the-top as possible. But it wasn’t all just fun and games: there was solid advice and techniques in how to approach the creative process, as well as ways to deal with “artist’s block”, so to speak.

IdeasDaniel Jolles, from Plann Consultancy, gave us an overview of How to Have Better Ideas with examples from the business world to Super Nanny’s parenting techniques. We learnt a great recipe: Better ideas = Diversity of people + Speed of connections + Remixing and recombination of ideas; as well as useful tips to get the creative juices flowing. And we got our boogie on in Swing: Put on Your Dancing Shoes. Steph Bellmaine took us on a fantastic musical journey to distinguish what swing is and what swing isn’t: from early Charleston, jazz, blues or rock and roll to modern takes like neo swing and electro swing. Then we tested our dancing skills with some Charleston and swing steps! 

EmbroideryIn Embroidery 101: Art by Thread Sue Southern taught us the basics, including a variety of stitches such as straight stitch and backstitch, and everyone got plenty of practice embroidering circles in the fabric. It’s not as easy as it seems to make a nice smooth circle… Meanwhile Mark Stevens, jazz guitarist and music buff, taught us about the life, influences and career of one of the great musical minds of our times iJazz Giants: Miles Davis. Listening to Davis’s landmark recordings throughout the class, we talked about his evolution through different styles like bebop or electric fusion and discussed our reactions to his music in the context of his life.

Rock UkeHarry Harrison was back with lively ukulele renditions of Bob Dylan’s hits in Beginners Ukes via Bob Dylan. With his entertaining teaching style, we learnt the basics of playing uke; from how to hold it (it’s not a guitar!!), to hand position, tips about strings and a few chords. We played and sang Blowin’ in the Wind and Don’t Look Twice. We even have videos to show you (coming soon)!

Then it was time for some Lace Knitting with the wonderful Nola Raabe. With the basics of knitting already in hand we ventured on to the next level armed with our needles and yarn. We learnt all about different lace patterns and how to follow a lace chart – it is all very mathematical. There are so many things you can do with lace!

For our final event of Craft Cubed 2013 we welcomed back the amazing Michelle Lackenby of PaperLab to show us how to make our very own Do-si-do Books! We put our needle and thread to good use once again but this time making these two-in-one books, brilliant for bringing together two separate parts of your life into one place. Pretty neat!