Stencils in the City

Crime Stoppers launched a complete fail of a project in St.John's this summer. The idea was to remind folks of the important and anonymous role they play in keeping their cities safe.In reality though, the posters portrayed St. John's as a dangerous, crime riddled back-alley; not the charming jelly-bean town that Newfoundland tourism has been so diligently promoting.The campaign was particularly offensive to downtown business owners who felt the posters painted an unfair portrait of the city-so within days they were all torn down. The mood had been set though, and news reached not only Twillingate, but the mainland too. You can read about it here.With a trip to the city on the horizon a cheeky idea started to formulate.Inspired by the fabulous Ladies Fancywork Society use of doilies and spray paint, I went to town...literally and figuratively!I made three doilies with positive, everyday messages; messages that one would be quite likely to encounter throughout Newfoundland.I installed them on Duckworth and an alley off Water Street and then went home.By the time I arrived back in Twill, I had messages from three CBC reporters. They were rather excited by my response to the campaign and wanted to chat. You can read about it here.Of course, I was all fired up about doilies and spray paint then, so I made one for Gander too.From what I can tell, they're all still up too! I'll be back in St. John's in a couple weeks- installing art for the Out of Earshot Festival so will confirm (and remove) then.And now I want to know, what message-on-a-doily would you like to see in your community? Or better yet, what message does your community need to see? **Disclaimer: If you suggest something that can fit my doily, I might just make it for you! 😎I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas, so holler at me here in the comment section, or let's connect on insta- and then you can show me what you're making too!-Rock out

Knitting in Public

As widely announced, June is my very favourite month. This is because there are a number of 'days' relevant to being a 'knitting, street-crafter living on the edge of Earth' worth celebrating. This past week saw World Oceans Day, World Wide Knit in Public Day and International Yarnbomb Day. So, obviously I had to get out and make some noise about it all!Twillingate has the highest ratio of yarnbombs/capita in the province and this is all due to highly committed gang activity in 2015-16. We haven't knit together since I returned from my travels though, so it was high time to call the gang back together.IMG_0811-0Eighteen of us gathered at the Captain's Pub for a knit along and it was wonderful. We were one of over 1000 groups who got together worldwide to knit in public, and were even joined by a couple tourists who happened upon us and had their needles!I spent the time working on the final rows of my Yarnbomb Giveaway-which I am very pleased to announce will go to...drumrolll please...Zsa Zsa from Yellow Springs, Ohio! Yay, congrats! I'll be sending you knitting very, very soon.IMG_1276That same evening I installed my latest yarnbomb which is highly inspired by my yarn-graffiti-idol London Kaye. London uses crochet and makes large scale installations that interact with the environment so the illusion of yarn pouring from the spout is inspired by her work. But, of course I made it relevant to my environment in icey Newfoundland. IMG_1769As you may know, Twillingate is considered the iceberg capital of the world which means we are pretty much surrounded by ice year round- but for short window in the summer during breakup.I have heard stories of seals and even polar bears ending up in town, carried to shore on icepans. Despite having lived here for almost four years I still haven't seen either one. I should mention I am only really hoping to come across a seal, though a polar bear would be nice from a safe distance.IMG_1478So, given all these factors, street crafter +4 yrs+no seal sightings+IYBD...this yarnbomb was my solution! Behold, my Atlantic-Sea-themed yarnbomb intended to celebrate World Ocean's Day and International Yarnbomb Day, and coinciding with Worldwide Knit in Public Day.IMG_1760It involves a doily from the local thrift shop, a seal pattern from Fuzzy Mitten, inspiration from London Kaye and my imagination for the rest. I even had to learn how to crochet a bit for it! I intended to use glue but wanted to keep it entirely 'temporary' so secured it with tacks to an old door I found on the beach and tied the rest of it together with yarn.IMG_1772Sadly, at writing, this yarnbomb has already been removed thus winning it the title of shortest Rock Vandal yarnbomb lifespan ever! It's too bad, but it is in keeping with seals being very elusive beings around here.Anybody else get super pumped for Knit in Public or International Yarnbomb Day? What did you do? Who pulled out an old, abandoned project?  My Instagram was entirely filled with knitting that day and I loved it! Comment below and fill me in what you were getting up to!  

Yarnstorming Montreal

Montreal is a fabulous place, especially for a long weekend celebrating Mother's Day. While touring the city, it was obvious I wasn't the only one who thought it was a perfect destination for a city-escape with the Mama.I've got a well rehearsed vacation itinerary now that can fit almost any destination and when things are particularly well planned it involves yarnbombing.IMG_1420This was one of those times when the stars, sun and moon aligned in every conceivable way, ensuring an absolutely wonderful time. In my world, it doesn't get any better than Montreal bagels and lox, a visit to the spa, Cirque du Soliel and knit-grafitti. And to share it all with my mama, well that's the absolute best!This yarnbomb was temporarily installed on St.Denis street and inconspicuously watched over from a distance. In my enthusiasm, I anticipated a highly excited and enthusiastic response from passerbys-while my mother was concerned the piece would be snatched up and carried off.IMG_1437Ultimately, no one touched it; In fact I can't be sure anyone even saw it! Regardless, it was a fun exercise to release the knitting to the world and call for a celebration of mothers...a la francais too!This was my first out of province, Canadian yarnbomb and was based on a pattern from a designer in Toronto who owns and operates the Knit Cafe. It's also the first time I've experimented with glue, aptly called Guerilla glue, which I figure must be intended for guerilla-art.IMG_1642Be sure to stay tuned for more adventures with yarnbombing... and glue; this weekend provided a few extra hours of transit-knitting so you can be sure I've got more crafty street art coming at ya!IMG_1436In the mean time, did anyone else connect with their mother/daughter over arts and crafts this past weekend?

Street Art & Crafts

Knitting is definitely my main craft-squeeze, but every once and awhile I get a hankering for something different.The term 'Street craft' seems to describe my crafting preferences the best. It's a combination of  street-art +craft thus all crafty forms are welcome ie. knitting/embroidery/cross-stitch, all in an urban...or rural art setting. Looking back through the blog archives, I am reminded of some awesome, early projects and suspect that compiling them in one post will paint an entertaining picture of what street-craft is, Rock Vandals style!img_0504Here are a few of my favourite projects from the past; some of which are solo projects, some of which come from the gang. Perhaps they will inspire you to get involved in this highly accessible and playful form of street-art or make you look around your own community differently. Whatever the case definitely let us know what you think by commenting below or reaching out through social media. Hearing from you is a big part of the fun!Here we go:1) 0 Lives Remaining: This was a very cool project by Tronon&on intended to comment on the preciousness of life. It also stokes the ultimate question relating to what lies beyond! The crafty component of this project was donated (as a set of 5 no less) by Knit2, the very first Rock Vandals gang member.I take my knitted hat off to both of these amazing gangsters!image2) Art abandonment is where art is made and then left in public for strangers to take. Mo Wren is a New Brunswick based artist and RV-gang member who's very into this form of street craft.She participated generously in the Old Manolis & the Sea campaign by creating the zine, spearheading an installation in Canada's capital city AND knitting multiple starfish, one of which she left for a stranger at the Aquarium du Québec.Old Manolis and the Sea Zine3) Sticker Letters open up all sorts of potential project ideas. They are clean and official looking so this can make them extra fun to use. Here are a couple examples where I used sticker letters in rural street art. For what its worth, I also found them incredibly useful around the house!
5) Cross Stitched fence H'art: This project remains a highlight in terms of installation-bliss! It was my first and only attempt at cross stitch. I used parachute cord and one year on, this piece has weathered the North Atlantic storms very well. It's the only surviving piece of this post's collection thus still available for Twillingate-based selfies. If you want to pose with some really impressive embroidered street craft though, you'll have to make your way to Germany to see Miss Cross Stitch's work.image5) Leafy Encouragement: This project was so simple and allowed multiple opportunties to be punny; this is excellent squared in my books!IMG_07166) Potholes of Gold: Pothole season hit Twillingate hard in 2015 and as a result it inspired creative-action. I cant say for sure, but I can say for 'pretty sure' that that summers ensueing road repairs were a direct result of the Rock Vandals glittery protest. Pothole art is a mischievous form of street craft but also one that requires special attention to safety. Be especially cautious if playing in the streets, my friends!IMG_0500So there you have it: Street craft Rock Vandals style! Perhaps next time, ill round up some knitting to include in the fun!Knit well, Be well.