Operation Sock Monkey Western Division: Craftivism and Healing using Sock Monkeys and Sock Owls

I am delighted to still be part of Operation Sock Monkey Western Division—the relationship is going on 10 years now!  Time for an update as to what we have been up to lately!Screen Shot 2018-05-23 at 9.49.11 AM

About OSM:

Since 2005, Operation Sock Monkey has raised nearly $10,000 in support of the humanitarian work of Clowns Without Borders. Partnerships with Clown Sans Frontieres (Montreal) and CWB chapters in the United States and South Africa have helped to bring joy and laughter to children affected by trauma around the world. OSM has sponsored CWB expeditions in Haiti, South Africa, Asia and Swaziland, sending clowns to bring smiles and laughter and promote healing through joy. In 2009, OSM partnered with Woza Moya, an HIV/AIDS community resource centre in Kwazulu-Natal South Africa, to teach the art of sock monkey to local artisans. The Woza Moya project is now producing sock monkeys for sale in craft shops in Capetown and Durban, proceeds from these sales will supplement the income of underemployed crafters in the Ufafa Valley.

Initial connection:

I initially came connected with the founder Lindsey Hodgson when I was working at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School where I used sock monkey making in my art therapy.  The students and staff and community members created hundreds of sock monkeys for local and global initiatives.

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Various OSM Western Division projects over the years:

There are COUNTLESS sock monkey therapy/ OSM Western Division stories of amazing people in my community of family, friends, schools, organizations etc. creating and giving.

Such as:

H. using a sock monkey to comfort her as she testified in court against an abusive boyfriend.

T. making a sock monkey for his sick friend to take to treatment.

M. struggling with mental health issues, making sock monkeys with worn socks and dental floss and couch stuffing, bringing them to me to send to Africa.

C. using sock monkey making in her work with people living with Alzheimer’s.

A. making a sock monkey for her hero, after his mom passed away.

L. using sock monkeys to process trauma to face her abuser and to create dialogue and raise esteem in her peers.

H. interpreting her favorite artist’s work through sock monkeys then connecting with the artist through her micro-industry online sales and social media.

Passion2Lead bringing sock monkeys as comfort for young victims at a rape relief crisis center in Cape Town.

Families using sock monkeys to help comfort their terminally ill children and themselves.

The use of our sock monkeys in attachment therapy with Clowns Without Borders South Africa.

HELP YOUTH CANADA sock monkey workshops to create safe space to dialogue on education.

And the countless of people simply sewing a monkey to help them through emotional crises such as trauma and grief…

An alternative craft is the SOCK OWL to work around time constraints and as an adapted craft that is easier to tackle than a sock monkey, but equally fun!

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These crazy little sock owls are wonderful for creating dialogue around the craft table!

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There are so many healing stories– connection building through the lowly craft of making a monkey out of a pair of socks!

Some of the latest—

Mulberry PARC:

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I love that the Mulberry PARC Retirement Living Group always approaches sock monkey making as a team helping each other with challenges such as arthritis, poor eyesight, bad backs, loneliness , grief, etc- there are those that sew, those that stuff, those that assemble…

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Canucks Autism Network:

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Intersections Media:

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Diversecity:

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Byrne Creek Secondary School:

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Project Sophia:

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Sophia, age 16, was born with a life limiting condition sadly passed away on January 1, 2017.  She was part of the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice community for 14 years.

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Sophia loved to spread joy around and this included handing out countless sock monkeys (made by her and our Operation Sock Monkey community members) to patients and staff at Canuck Place.

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Sophia with a GIANT batch of sock monkey ready to handout at Canuck Place! (August 2016)

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Sophia and Glen (sock alien made by Darcy Glip) at Canuck Place…

Project Sophia continues and celebrates the joy that Sophia brought to the world.

Kat with sock monkey maker super hero Lynn Gosnell and Sophia’s mother- Beverley Pomeroy at Strathcona Winter Craft Fair, 2016.

I am honored to witness Sophia’s mother, Beverley Pomeroy, doing extraordinary work as she carries on her daughter’s legacy and shares her own personal story of Living Grief- the profound journey of ongoing loss.

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A few weeks ago Project Sophia met up at The Landing in Ladner BC to use sock monkey making to process grief, connect and laugh:

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Photo by Denise Levine

Check out:

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Go to Operation Sock Monkey for more information on how you can support this amazing global initiative!
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Here’s my HOW TO MAKE A SOCK MONKEY video created by my awesome brother, Fredrik Thorsen:

How To Make A Sock Monkey (HD) from Fredrik Thorsen on Vimeo.

Every stitch a thought- problem solving embroidering drawings.

I’ve got a lot to think about these days.  (Not really any different from other days, I guess, but seriously, there is some amazing stuff brewing).

To stay on track with massive projects, to dos and ideas racing around in the head, I have found great solace in pulling out embroidered drawings.

As I stitch, my mind relaxes and somehow- magically, solutions arise, anxiety dissipates, energy refreshes, ideas come to light.  Fascinating.

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It’s all about following the lines of my drawings, just wandering along the pathways, new ways of looking at things, no attachment to the thread or how things unfold.  Just let it unfold.  And I think that is my greatest lesson in all this- let it unfold.

When you can step back at moments like these and see what is happening, when you watch people you love under fire or evaporating, you realize that the secret of life is patch patch patch. Thread your needle, make a knot, find one place on the other piece of torn cloth where you can make one stitch that will hold. And do it again. And again. And again.
Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair

You have to keep taking the next necessary stitch, and the next one, and the next. Without stitches, you just have rags. And we are not rags.”
Anne Lamott, Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair

 

Sock owls and creative engagement

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These crazy little sock owls are wonderful for creating dialogue around the craft table!

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OWL talking piece for tomorrow’s professional development day at a local middle school.  The owl feathers- a gift from Kevin Cowan

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Our intergenerational sock owls will be on display next week at Mulberry PARC’s Ignite Your Passion event (September 28, 2017 2-4 PM) as part of ACTIVE AGING WEEK!

See also:

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The Mulberry Panels: art project with older adults

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!  We have had 5 sessions so far and, at this point, confirmed 10 more that will take us into November!

My goal with the art sessions is to not only teach fun arts and crafts techniques to the students, but to build connections and provide a safe and healing space.  My students are very courageous, daring to dive into challenging work, working through frustrations, laughing at the outcomes, letting go of attachment to personal projects in order to create group pieces, embracing challenges such as hearing and sight issues, arthritic hands, and anxiety- being present and curious in the moment and meeting it all with a sense of humour!  I am very honoured to spend time with each and every one and treasure the experience and grateful to the Mulberry staff for inviting me!

 

 

The evolution of the panels:

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This post is dedicated to my dear friend, Cheryl Bain, who has the greatest gift for working with older adults and who inspires me to no end each and every day.

Related:

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The 100 Herons Art Project: Session 1! And pre-sale!

I am deep in the process of a very personal art project– the 100 Herons Art Project– to answer the call to create art born out of my deep desire to capture the magic of the herons in my neighborhood…

“The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard

… and to help support my ability to provide free arts programming for a local program that supports refugee youth ages 16-24.

Session 1 was yesterday!

I hopped on transit yesterday afternoon and spent a couple hours on the Skytrain and the bus headed to a Lower Mainland youth program that supports refugee youth.

This program is extraordinary- “a collaborative, case-managed service model for the delivery of comprehensive, holistic and client-centred programming.”  It provides youth with support services across the board, helping them navigate their new environment, learn life skills, build community and connection.

Today was Session 1 of the initial intro to the free arts programming that I will be providing this for the group this summer.  We spent an hour and a half together in a cramped room that filled with lots of laughter and smiles as I instructed in English (and Swedish as one young woman who is multi-fluent exclaimed that she knows Swedish) while the program coordinators translated.  It was quite wonderful hearing art instruction in multiple languages all at the same time!  I did my usual intro lesson using newsprint and china markers drawing OWLS and 3-D eyes to build trust, introduce my style and to create safe space.

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Many of the participants grabbed a china marker on their way out at the end of the session.  YES!  That is what it’s all about!

Sitting on the two hour ride home, my mind wanted to go to: What are you doing?  How can you sustain this?  But my heart was full.   I feel so honored to spend time with this wonderful group.

Art creates joy.  If only in the moment.  And that is all we have.

Check the panels at:

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I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!

INTERESTED IN PRE-PURCHASING PANELS?

The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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“The Dead Heron.” #100Herons Art Project

I am between contracts– creatively hustling while applying for new contracts to survive and to be able to provide specially requested arts programming for refugee youth (at no cost to their program).  That is what my 100 Herons Art Project is all about.  

HERON’S MOST SIGNIFICANT ESSENCE: aggressive self-determination and self-reliance

Check out:

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I am focusing on the Pacific Blue Herons who are nesting just down the block from me in Stanley Park, Vancouver:

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THE DEAD HERON:

Recall that on June 15, 2017, I took a walk to the heron nests to look for some feathers in the grass for collaging… and I came across a LARGE pile of scattered heron feathers– obviously from a heron who fell or was pushed out of the nest and who likely lost its life to a predator.  A teen heron perhaps?  I gathered as many feathers as I could– thanking and honoring the heron’s life by incorporating the feathers into the art.

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence…

Recall as well that I took the feathers home, soaked them in gentle detergent to clean and disinfect, and laid them out on newsprint to dry them.  I then categorized them and collected them into mason jars.

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I have been incorporating the feathers into the 100 Herons Panels.  For example:

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A week ago, I came across what was likely the body of that heron whose feathers I collected.  I felt so moved.  Compelled to examine.  (Yes, those are maggots and blow flies doing their work).

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In fact, I have been a bit obsessed.  I kept walking back to the spot witnessing the taphonomy process: the transition of animal remains from the biosphere into the lithosphere.

Biosphere: the regions of the surface, atmosphere, and hydrosphere of the earth occupied by living organisms.

Lithosphere: the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

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Yesterday, I decided to sit down beside the decaying remains and draw the little thing- thanking it and honoring it.  I was, in all honesty, tempted to take the skull, but sitting there under the nests– the atmosphere strangely silent– I knew I was simply there to be a witness.  And to leave the heron to its process.

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I left a little flower and went home to incorporate the moment into, what is now, the 5th panel.

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$375.00 of the $2500 goal raised so far.  My goal by the end of this long weekend is to reach $750.00.  My first session with the refugee youth group is booked for July 13, 2017, and I hope to be able to bring not only drawing supplies for the session but art kits for the 26+ youth on that day that they can take with them.

Thank you to my donors so far and for all of you spreading the word.

THE PROJECT: 

I am creating of twelve (OR MORE 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  The panels will be exhibited and sold.

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program. Funds go to program development and facilitation fee, art supplies, art kits for participants, travel costs.

DONATION BUTTON:

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I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer britakatarina@gmail.com.  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

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I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!

INTERESTED IN PRE-PURCHASING PANELS?

The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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The Heron Feathers: 100 Herons Art Project

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THE PROJECT: 

I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons [between June 14 to July 31, 2017].  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide much-needed FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program in July and August.

DONATION BUTTON:

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I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer britakatarina@gmail.com.  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

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I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!

INTERESTED IN PRE-PURCHASING PANELS?

The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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READ MORE AT: 100 HERONS

The art is drawn in my signature style–

 

 

– then collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels–

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PANEL 1 IN PROGRESS

– and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

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Yesterday, I took a walk to the heron nests with my friend Darcy to look for some feathers in the grass for collaging…

Usually I find one or two heron feathers.  Well, we came across a LARGE pile of scattered heron feathers– obviously from a heron who lost its life to a predator.  A teen heron perhaps?  Of course I had to gather as many as I could– thanking and honoring the heron’s life by incorporating the feathers into the art.

A feather from a heron symbolizes patience, grace and confidence…

I took the feathers home, soaked them in gentle detergent to clean and disinfect, and laid them out on newsprint to dry them.  I then categorized them and collected them into mason jars.

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100 HERONS Art Project

 THE PROJECT: 

I am creating of twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017.  

For every $25 raised I will draw a heron!

THE SPONSORED ART will allow me to develop and provide FREE ART LESSONS for REFUGEE YOUTH from war-torn countries at a Lower Mainland program.

 

DONATION BUTTON:

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I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer britakatarina@gmail.com.  I can provide receipts.

Check the panels at:

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I currently have several 20″ x 30″ panels in progress.  They are being embroidered and embellished.  They will be exhibited at various community events in August!

INTERESTED IN PRE-PURCHASING PANELS?

The panels are being made available for pre-purchase on my ETSY site:

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The art will be drawn in my signature style– collaged onto 20″ x 30″ foam board panels and embroidered with additions of discarded nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads, and sponsor names.

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Sample drawing showing chinamarker on newsprint, embroidered, with additions of discarded heron nest stick, found heron and seagull feathers, recycled beads

THE BACKGROUND:

I have been asked if I can provide art lessons to a group in Surrey, BC, that provides support services for youth ages 16-24 who have experienced extreme trauma and life disruption.  The youth comprise of refugees from war-torn countries.

These particularly vulnerable youth face challenges and barriers that may include: lack of employment, experience of violence / trauma, lack of education /interrupted education, cultural shock, family size / issues, little or no English, social isolation, mental health/chronic health issues, lack of financial means, criminal justice issues, housing issues, alcohol/drug addiction, lack of support…

The group meets twice a week and the youth have expressed a strong desire arts-based programming.  

ART and creative expression breaks down the barriers, builds connection and resiliency, and strengthens the participants’ abilities in making healthy decisions about their futures.  Participation in therapeutic art programming provides participants with the opportunity for developing healthy relationship skills, learn stress and anger management, and build the confidence to be the best possible versions of themselves.  Art connects us beyond language.  We connect with the heart, within a safe space.  We express together and move towards healing.

The program staff, who I met during an inclusion focus group, are incredible and dedicated.  They provide extraordinary services on an extremely tight budget.  I have been asked me about my services and fees.  I am so honoured to be asked.  Creating art and helping others express themselves creatively is what I am on this planet to do.  This is EXACTLY the type of work that makes my heart sing!  But there is no way I could/would/should charge a fee for my services and supplies to this group.  

THE NEED:

Unfortunately, I am between contracts and currently not in a financial position to be able to volunteer my time to develop and facilitate the program and nor provide supplies.  And the need is urgent.  This is not the time to wait for months and months for grant opportunities.

What to do?

I took a walk into “my backyard” the other day– Stanley Park.  I stood for a long time under the heronry wondering about my own life, my work, about my desire to provide free programming to youth, at a loss as to what to do next.  I bathed myself in the sounds of the heron chicks.  I continued on a long walk into the trees, around the lagoon, listening.  Walking with the question.

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I dreamt that night of 100 Herons, walking among them.  A mixture of being up in the trees with them, under the trees, in the water.  I had a peaceful heart, feeling this was a message about the healing power of art– about my need to make personal commitment to my true path:

TO CREATE, to focus on my gifts.  To stop searching elsewhere.

THE ANSWER LIES IN MY ART.  In my heART.

 You are being called to take courage and follow your true path, which will be discovered through exploring your inner self.  Find what draws you to action.

[Message of the HERON]

And so the 100 HERONS art project is born!

THE FUNDRAISER:

Funds raised go to:

• Art Supplies 

• Creation of the twelve panels

• Program development (will include drawing, painting, journal exercises, sock monkey therapy)

• Facilitation

• Transit fees

• Free ART programming at the Refugee and Immigrant Specialized Experience Program (RISE), Surrey BC [Youth ages 16-24]

Donation Button 

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I will be drawing a heron for every $25 raised!

Any amount welcome!  Donors of $10.00 CAD or more can choose to have their name and/or a special message woven into Heron nest imagery in the panels.

You can donate via PayPal or email transfer britakatarina@gmail.com.  I can provide receipts.

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THE TIMELINE:

CREATE twelve 20″ x 30″ panels depicting a total 100 Herons between June 14 to July 31, 2017!

IMMEDIATE GOAL: RAISE $2500.00 CAD by June 30, 2017

Art classes with youth will occur: JULY 2017 and AUGUST 2017

Art lessons include: drawing, painting journaling, sock monkey therapy, one on one and group projects.

Completion of the panels July 31, 2017

Art exhibit and sale: AUGUST 2017

THE ART:

Thumbnail list of panels plans

  1. Nest and heron silhouettes (The Stanley Park Heronry)
  2.  Heron portraits
  3.  Heron portraits
  4.  Heron portraits
  5.  Heron portraits
  6.  Herons on West End buildings
  7.  Herons in ocean
  8.  Herons at Lost Lagoon
  9.  Herons at Beaver Lake
  10. Eggs and chicks in a nest
  11. Heron nest with eagle in background
  12. Heronry trees

Total of 100 Herons drawn!

Each panel will include surprise additional Stanley Park characters: racoons, mice, squirrels, sparrows, chickadees, owls, insects…

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Each panel will also contain additions of discarded heron nest sticks, found feathers, string, beads…

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PRE-PURCHASE

Interested in pre-purchasing panels?

$375.00 CAD per panel [plus $40.00 shipping fee if panel needs to be mailed]

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PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

UPDATES:

June 13, 2017

The first four out of 100 ready for embroidery and embellishment!  (The donor wishes to remain anonymous)

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No. 5 out of 100:

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Sponsor: Terry Cowan

What the sock pigs taught me…

This past Sunday morning- hanging out on Vancouver Island, my 4 friends and I had a hankering to create sock pigs.  There is such magic in sitting around the dining room table at my friends’ house, surrounded by crafting supplies creating.  We laugh, we go deep, we eat, we drink coffee, we share time.  It is a SAFE SPACE.

But why the sock pig specifically this time?

I am a big fan of looking at symbolism.  It’s such a fun instigator of self-reflection.

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The Pig Spirit Animal also symbolizes your ability to stand on your own two feet, weather the storm and come out even better than before. Pig does not allow for self-righteousness, but rather a quiet self-awareness that taps into ingenuity so you can turn on a dime without falling over.

When Pig roots around in your soul, it can be a sign that NOW is the time to move forward! Pigs never root while moving backwards – only forward. They have a nose for opportunity. Make the most of the landscape in front of you. If it is not yielding the nourishment you desire, move on – find another patch of ground to explore.  [SOURCE]

Yes- MOVE FORWARD.

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Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville, BC April 2, 2017 (Photo by Merv Glip)

Dedicated to Beverley, Sue, Darcy and N. <3

Related:

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For I need to SPEAK FREELY. Without restraint…

So, I’ve been doing a lot of chatting in the past few days about my passion project: Molly- a true crime analysis:

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I’ve been chatting, speaking, blabbing, vomiting words with friends and family about it, at the dinner table, over the phone, even on the radio—

Check out my INTERVIEW about Molly- a true crime analysis from January 20, 2017 Radio Interview on ESSENCEtial Conversations CJSF 90.1 FM with hosts Rebecca Mears (catchingfire.ca) and Lucca Hallex (powersourcerer.com):

Somehow, I have NO PROBLEM chatting away here on this blog, sharing verbosity without fear—

And I have no problem, indeed it is my mission, encouraging others to speak as I capture dialogue of participants when I mind map and co-faciliate- I want to make it safe for you to speak freely—

 Then why- when I speak out loud, sharing my passion, does a voice inside my head try to shush me?  Why does this voice tell me I am talking too much?  Why is it telling me to not take up airspace, to not waste people’s time?  Who is that voice?   Why is it asking me to be apologetic?  Is it still that teen that wanders around aimlessly in my brain?

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Recall:

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But, on this weekend, of all weekends, as millions of women (and supporters) MARCHED- why would I listen to that voice?   What events in my past have trained me to listen to that voice at all?

Instead of marching Saturday morning here in Vancouver, I was busy finalizing my latest section of Molly.  I knew that for me, working on Molly was the “march” I personally needed to do for myself- to fulfill this commitment I have made.

So shush, wandering teen, you shush.  For I need to SPEAK FREELY.  Without restraint, constraint.  I deserve it.

“Continue to embrace the things that make you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable. You are enough. And whenever you’re feeling doubt, whenever you want to give up, you must always remember to choose freedom over fear.” – Janelle Monae at Women’s March on Washington, January 20, 2017.

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Check out:

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Eliza’s Story

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“210 years later, Eliza Hamilton’s orphanage — now a family services agency called Graham Windham — is still helping kids get their shot.  Graham Windham serves over 4,500 kids and families each year.  Just like Eliza’s husband, these kids survived a tough start in life.  Graham Windham provides services like family counseling and treatment, after school academic support, health services, and other services that help kids thrive into adulthood.”

– ELIZA’S STORY

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I am SO EXCITED to be connecting with this incredible organization that is so aligned with all my passion and values.

I am buzzing with excitement that plans are in the works to bring sock monkey therapy and creative engagement to Graham Windham when I visit NYC July 2017 (when I go see Hamilton: An American Musical with my daughter who gifted me a ticket! AAAAAAH!!!).

Here is my specially requested portrait of Eliza Hamilton for Graham Windham:

Her eyes “betokened a sharp intelligence [and] a fiercely indominable spirit,” [Ron] Chernow writes in the biography. – smithsonian.com

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Grieving, but now out of her husband’s shadow, Elizabeth threw herself into charity work inspired by her Christian faith and her husband’s upbringing. She and two other women founded the Orphan Asylum Society, New York City’s first private orphanage, in 1806. She served as its second directress until 1821 and then first directress until 1848, raising funds, collecting donated goods, and supervising the care and education of at least 765 children. – smithsonian.com

Spreading sock monkey love is one of my favorite things:

 

Check out:

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Operation Sock Monkey Project Sophia 

SOCK MONKEY THERAPY AND CRAFTIVISM

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PROJECT SOPHIA

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Sophia, age 16, was born with a life limiting condition and she has been part of the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice community for 14 years.

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Sophia loves to spread joy around and this includes handing out countless sock monkeys (made by her and our Operation Sock Monkey communtiy members) to patients and staff at Canuck Place.

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Sophia with a GIANT batch of sock monkey ready to handout at Canuck Place! (August 2016)

Project Sophia celebrates the joy that Sophia brings to the world, as well as the incredible work Canuck Place does to support children and their families.

We had a wonderful and successful day at Strathcona Winter Craft Fair on November 28, 2016!

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And it is always so wonderful to see how people pick and choose!

We raised well over $500 for Canuck Place and sock monkey therapy!

Huge thank you to my Operation Sock Monkey team!  I love each and every one of you!

Inspiring program: Work2Give via @PunkyLake

It was such a delight to meet the extraordinary Sarah Jackman of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society http://punkylake.com/ on March 15, 2016 as we presented together our experiences in restorative practices in CRIM 442 at SFU.

My name is Sarah Jackman and I am the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society.

I was born and raised in the west Chilcotin and though I’ve since moved into Williams Lake I still have very close ties to the area.  My family has lived in the Chilcotin since 1950 operating a fishing lodge, guiding business and, a cattle ranch.

I accepted the position as Executive Director for PLWCS in August 2012 and have enjoyed my experiences here immensely. This position also allows me to sit on the Boards of other groups with similar goals and like-minded missions such as the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Williams Lake.  The growth and development I’ve witnessed in all aspects of our programs, our staff, and most importantly in the community members we serve has been remarkable.

Our goals at PLWCS are to promote and build self-worth, leadership, experiences of culture, and, healthy, strong life choices in the youth of our communities and in the communities themselves as a whole.  I believe very strongly in both the Youth Success Program as well as the Tsilhqot’in Restorative Justice Program that we offer.

I am honoured to be a part of this team and these goals. – Sarah Jackman

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I am blown away by Sarah and the incredible work she is facilitating and leading in the Chilcotin region and within prisons in the Lower Mainland.

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I am particularly moved by the Work2Give program:

The Work to Give Project, a partnership between the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society and Corrections Services Canada, is an initiative designed to provide incarcerated offenders with employment skills while contributing to low income communities and families.

Check out:

 

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And- OMG- they make sock monkeys!!!!!!!!   My heart!!!!!  Sarah sent me a calendar!  Look!!!!

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Looking forward to developing some collaborative projects with Sarah and Punky Lake!

The sock monkey and the paper dress.

 I love making paper dresses!

Check out:

I’m obsessed with my paper dress

The bypoststreet paper dress

 The bypoststreet punk paper dress

My dress hangs there

I finally made one for a sock monkey.

Surprised that it took me so long!

Not sure why it is so satisfying, but it is!

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The classic sock monkey is made out of luscious work socks.

The paper dress dress is double sided with original chinamarker drawings (front portrait of a hedgehog on a rose and back- a Daniel Clowes inspired fan art portrait of Little Enid from Ghost World).

The monkey measures about 14″ high.

Proceeds support sock monkey therapy with local at-risk youth!

Available on my ETSY site:

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Sock Monkey Social- intergenerational craftivism!

Operation Sock Monkey (OSM) was approached by Langara Recreation Leadership student, Matthew Sung, a few months ago regarding an intergenerational project: Sock Monkey Social.

We gave him some pointers and links to a couple videos (how to make a sock monkey and a feature on OSM’s founder, Lindsey Hodgson):

How To Make A Sock Monkey (HD) from Fredrik Thorsen on Vimeo.

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Matt just sent me photos and some notes on what was obviously a very successful event:

– The title of the event was called Sock Monkey Social

– Hosted by Langara College students from the Recreational Leadership Diploma Program: students Matthew Sung, Samantha Jones, Amy Cornish, and Amanda Parliament

– Hosted at the Kerrisdale Seniors Centre on March 5th, 2016

– 15 total participants

– Participants ages ranged from teenagers – 97 years old(!)

– Everyone completed a sock monkey!

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Photos courtesy of Matthew Sung

Just wanted to give you and update of how our “Sock Monkey Social” event went on March 5th. It was a big success, we ended up having 15 participants. We had lots of food and door prizes donated by local businesses for our 2 hr event. We took your advice and pre cut all of the socks and had some pre-stuffed for our more senior participants, which worked out perfectly.

We had a wide range of ages from teenagers to a 97 year old and everyone was very engaged. Everyone had a lot of fun and we showed the short Global News clip that you sent us at the beginning of the event.  We have a very unique bunch of sock monkeys that we are excited to donate to Operation Sock Monkey.

We want to thank you both so much for your great advice and for the resources you gave us to better educate our participants about Operation Sock Monkey.

– Matthew

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The sock monkeys made at Sock Monkey Social will be donated to Operation Sock Monkey to bring smiles to faces in our various global initiatives!

HUGE THANK YOU TO PARTICIPANTS AND FACILITATORS!

Also check out:

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I’m raising funds to provide free sock monkey therapy!

I am selling sock monkeys and sock birds on my ETSY site to raise for sock monkey therapy!

See selection at:iusb_760x100.14271221_keu7

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100% of proceeds go towards me providing free sock monkey therapy workshops for local at risk youth in Vancouver BC Canada!

Sock monkey therapy creates a safe space for youth to dialogue while delivering valuable life skills and while generally lifting mood and spirit.

Check out BETSY GREER’s POST ON CREATIVE LIVE

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Orders includes a little surprise!

Love Katarina

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Special edition sugar skull sock monkey

This handmade, handsewn sock monkey is a special version of my sugar skull sock monkey line!

She has an embroidered face and her dress is soft stretch cotton with crow design.  She is adorned with flowers and a little bird sits atop her head.

Materials:

Work socks

Hypo-allergenic polyester fibre stuffing

Embroidery thread

Cotton

Felt

Artificial Flowers

UPDATE: SHE WAS DONATED DECEMBER 11, 2015 TO THE SILENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER AT MOUNTAINSIDE SECONDARY SCHOOL CRAFT FAIR BENEFITING THE KYT FOUNDATION.

  

 

  

Operation Sock Monkey Booth at the Strathcona Craft Fair Nov 28! And Latest Updates!

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My incredible Operation Sock Monkey Western Division team of youth, teachers, support staff, community members of all ages have been hard at work since July, volunteering time and donating supplies and monkeys.

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And now part of this great sock monkey collection goes on sale this Saturday at the Strathcona Craft Fair 10 AM-4 PM! 601 Keefer, Vancouver BC

Only $20 each!

Proceeds benefits the KYT Foundation‘s water pipeline project in Nepal as well as my sock monkey therapy for local at-risk youth!

Inspired by the Shaking the Movers conference in Summer 2015 and thanks to the social justice class at Mountainside Secondary School, each monkey is tagged with a human right:

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