Sunday, 11 March 2012

'Her Head' on International Womens Day.....

All through the city of Stoke-on-Trent you'll find lots and lots of statues. Some are placed in places with a high volume of traffic. Some cost A LOT of money. Some are shiny, some are unloved. As a group we decided that this particular piece of art from the 80's needed a facelift.

She's called 'Her Head'. Given to the city of Stoke-on-Trent as a gift from the artist Dhruva Mistry

We gathered all together.

This was to be our first daytime yarnbomb. It didn't go without a hitch though.
I guess we should have known. You see, the statue is right next to the Army Careers Advice Centre. Next to there?? In the adjacent office block??....Only the flippin council!

It wasn't long before we were approached by three people. Not so official looking but obviously not the usual spectators. Two men said they were from the council and asked (quite politely I may add) what we were doing and would we be leaving it all there. We (politely) told the men that we were celebrating International Womens Day by installing a beautiful scarf onto 'Her Head'. It had taken a few of us quite a few hours to make. 'Yes, we are leaving it here'. They hit us with a slightly amusing sentence....'You can't, its flytipping!' He asked if we'd like to go up to see his manager Mr.P.
The other lady who came with the two men hadn't introduced herself. We later learnt that she was from the careers office. She suggested that we take it to a childrens nursery or something and then added,
'I'm not being horrible but why don't you do it at the library?'
That really made one of us giggle. Why would doing it at the library be horrible? Our city library is great! Right next door to the potteries museum, which for me is inspirational :0)
After meeting with Mr.P. (who was a bit confused by the whole thing) he took my contact numbers and told me that he'd ring me to come and remove it if anyone complained in the next few days. Complain? Really?
I would think most people would smile as they walked by, like our one talking spectator.....

"I used to kiss this lady every day on my way to work. I guess I'm just too busy now, with work and stuff. You get tangled up in life don't you? Well, now you've done this, I might start giving her a kiss again"

So if nothing else, we've made this guy smile on his way to work everyday.

Here's what she looked like BEFORE her makeover......

and AFTER.......

I think she has an enigmatic smile. Like Mona Lisa. She looks happier with a scarf on now somehow.

We'd love to do more sculptures around the city. There are loads of them that people don't notice.
Here's a site showing all kinds of art around the city.
Here's another and another and finally another

The silver tree is my personal favourite. It'd look really great with some birds perched on it *ponders*
Better get the number for the councils art department. Do they have even have an art department? They should if they have all those sculptures going un-noticed......

We've recieved word today that the scarf has gone :0(
It was great while it lasted and has made many people talk about
'Her Head' and International Womens Day.
RIP Scarf.
Sadly missed 20th March, 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentines Eve....

This was our first evening yarn bomb as a big group. First a couple gathered in the dark, then a couple more until we were around ten strong and armed with all kinds of love!

Twas the night before Valentines when all through the town,
women were gathering, tying stuff down.....
The lovehearts were hung all around the trees with care.
We're hoping the dustmen will leave them all there.

The children all asleep, so out snook the mums.
armed with some yarn to go meet their chums.
All wearing gloves to keep ourselves warm
freezing it was! But a break from the norm.

Not a pedestrian was watching, nor walker in their fleece.
No one even waved.....apart from the police!
The moon hid away as the rain was so dull
but it didn't put us off hanging our wool.

We'd knitted and crocheted and now it was done
We'd all had a laugh and smiled, it was fun!

So here are the finished articles. We hope you had a love filled day with your better half, friends or just your thoughts. Maybe you could visit our little shrine of loveliness and share a kiss? Happy Valentines Day xx

These concrete balls are around waist height. They look so much better now they're loved up!

The fluffy yarn on this lampost is lush.

Here is where the action happened.

Rows and rows. Some yarn and lots of sewing!

Even the trees didn't get away unscathed.

These decorative railings had been crying out for something.

This was the very last heart to go up. Pretty ribbons. Lovely.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

our advent 'yarnvent'

Having been inspired by yet another facebook group we decided to join in with our very own yarnvent.
First we picked a spot. A railway crossing, great idea. There are some trees in a garden area. Its beside a carpark which people used when the trains used to stop in the village. The trains don't stop anymore. The cars have to though. People out walking and cars have to stop for the trains. Waiting while trains go by can be pretty boring. It's a notorious crossing with folks having to wait for three, sometimes four, trains at a time. Fifteen minutes is a long time when you're sitting in a car. Maybe they need something to look at....

It began with just two of us who live in the same village. We decided to split the daily bomb to odd and even dates. The first one went up. It was the 'Happy Christmas Barlaston' tree. It was made using crocodile stitch. he tutorial can be found here. Its a great stitch to learn and I couldn't wait to do it. On the bottom I stitched a base for the tree and added some embroidered words......'Happy Christmas Barlaston'

The items grew until the tree infront began to take shape too. This tree was more like a Christmas tree full of decorations. There hung snowflakes, knitted baubles, a bell that tinkled, a Christmas pudding and even a crocheted paper chain.

The snowflakes were great. I loved how they blew in the wind and caught the eye of passers by.

This photo shows the two trees together. They looked wonderful....

I talk in past tense as they've all been taken down. We didn't want to bestow bad luck on the whole village and so we needed to take them all down before 12th night. We turned up after nightfall with a hot flask of coffee and a little helper (who enjoyed climbing the tree more than holding the bag open.....*rolls eyes*) It was quite sad. I felt happy that we'd hopefully made people smile during the minutes waiting in cars, standing in the cold with their dogs or holding the hands of children on the walk home from school. Sad that all the work we'd done had been put away until next year maybe??

The before and after shot....

My personal woolly favourites were.....
The reindeer. He looked soooooo geeky he was cute.
I love the free standing spiral tree hiding amongst the shrubbery.
and finally the scary snowmn with staring eyes who looked down from high up in the tree.

Moments to remember......
Taking a stepladder and giggling as I tied the scary snowman on. Nobody asked what I was doing, which made it funnier. I smiled for the whole day.

And picure the scene:
I pulled up onto the kerb in my car to quickly attach the reindeer. There were some work vans parked up right next to the trees. I couldn't see any workers and so began sewing him onto the tree. The first van drove away leaving a handful of bewildered workman looking at me. Their puzzled expressions said it all. I wonder what was said once I'd left LOL

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project. Lots of others did little baubles or snowflakes to hang while they were passing through. We even managed to meet a new crafter. Sh's doing some quilting to hang around. Watch this space!

Valentine yarnbomb next people........:0)