Poststreet deluxe Sock Monkey Kits! Order now!

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My deluxe sock monkey kits come with:

  • Pre-sewn sock monkey body (surprise high quality socks)
  • Buttons
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needle
  • Felt heart
  • gLOVE bird
  • Link to how-to video
  • Instruction sheet
  • Small original surprise drawing

JUST ADD STUFFING!

$30.00 CAD (includes shipping)

THROUGH PAYPAL

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Or Email Transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

CONTACT ME FOR SPECIAL PRICES FOR BULK ORDERS

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Shane and Operation Sock Monkey at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, 2010

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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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Poststreet custom order sock monkeys.

I’ve had some interesting requests and ideas over the years and I do love the challenge of finding materials and interpreting the subject.  Here are some samplings and planning sketches…

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A Clockwork Orange

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Frida and Diego
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Elizabeth I
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Waterhouse’s Circe Invidiosa

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Detail from Picasso’s Guernica
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Sock Pug
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Dia de los Muertos
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Amy Winehouse
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Monkey in wool sweater
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Girl with the Pearl Earring
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Advent Monkeys
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Jack Skellington
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Cubism
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Basquiat
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Jedi Knight with a light saber (I know— oh dear)
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Wedding monkeys
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Charlie Chaplin
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Dorian Gray
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Mona Lisa
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Francis Bacon

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Bride of Frankenstein

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Beetlejuice
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V for Vendetta
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Mia Wallace
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The White Queen
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Christo
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Robert Smith
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Wonder Woman

Contact me for your custom order and pricings!

CONTACT KATARINA: EMAIL

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!

Stitched together with good intentions- a grumble of [sock] pugs!

On September 1, 2016, Fall weather and autumn vibe seemed to come on full force here in Vancouver BC.  Along with the autumn atmosphere comes the rejuvenated desire to craft, to create product and re-open the ETSY shop and the reminder to focus on the Winter craft fair to do list.

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So I put away my other work and focused on a full on production day yesterday making my signature sock pugs!

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I wondered what a group of pugs is called… OMG:

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Public domain image



“To dream of a fawn colored pug is signifies that you are accepting whatever changes you are trying to make and integrating them into your life. Alternatively to see many Pugs in your dream signify’s your inability to accept certain changes in your life even though these changes are necessary for you to move forward at this time. The dream is letting you know that the changes will happen with or without your acceptance.” – source

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.

– Augusten Burroughs, Magical Thinking

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I know these faun sock pugs have black tails which is probably incorrect- but hey- they are DOUBLE CURLED (top standard) and are made of socks, so… and also they do have anuses(!) so that should balance out the incorrect color of the tails!

 

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Available on my ETSY shop:

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Original drawing of a pug included in order.

 

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source

 

 

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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Sock Rottweiller plans!

Quite a few years ago, I designed my first sock pug.  Since then I have made many, and they continue to be very popular!

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My pugs are available made to order on my ETSY site for $40.00 USD.

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Due to multiple requests, I am now tackling a Sock Rottweiller!

According to my plans, they will be a bit more complex than my pugs.  They will be listed for $45.00 USD on my ETSY site.

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To me -the Rottie represents confidence, courage, strength and committed choice.

The finished Rottie will measure about 10-12″ front to back.

My personal #Chakra #SelfCare #CheckIn #Toolkit

I can’t help but love the magical thinking that happens when considering the chakras!

The 7 Chakras are the energy centers in our body in which energy flows through. Blocked energy in our 7 Chakras can often lead to illness so it’s important to understand what each Chakra represents and what we can do to keep this energy flowing freely. – source

So I have been developing a toolkit to enhance my imagination and awaken my inner creative!

This Chakra Self-Care, Check-In Package includes:

  1. Personalized Hand-drawn Chakra Chart
  2. Chakra Healing Sock Monkey
  3. Embroidered Centering Heart
  1. The Chakra Chart is hand-drawn, depicting a Frida Kahlo-esque goddess and illustrates the 7 main chakras and pertinent notes regarding each chakra.  This is a tangible, visual check-in chart to allow me to have a relaxed dialogue with my body as I consider where I am feeling blocked- physically and emotionally.

 

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18″ x 24″ on newsprint.  It’s meant for me to USE- write on it, fold it, hang it up, add to it, not be afraid to spill on it, copy it, research and add more notes etc.

I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.

– Frida Kahlo

2. The Chakra Healing Sock Monkey is something to hold and meditate on and cuddle.  The tactile experience allows me to feel childlike abandon and helps me to imagine that I release those blocks.  And I place a felt heart at the root chakra.  The grounding base.  (Some people are squeamish about the heart at the crotch… I say, don’t worry about it.)

Depicted here is the sock monkey I made my Dad in 2010.

3. The heart is THE CENTRE.  And this Embroidered Centering Heart almost acts as a labyrinth, as I run my finger along the knooks and crannies of the heart.

Embroidered heart on cardstock.

I use chakra check-ins in my own self-care and in my therapeutic art classes.  Considering the chakra chart is a powerful visualization technique.  It may not be proven science but simply creating space and time to reflect on the idea of the chakras helps us let go in the moment and take a breather.  A mini-vacation, if you will.

Your biography becomes your biology.

– Caroline Myss

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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 Huge thank you to my sock monkey makers and support team!

I love you all!!!  YOU ARE AMAZING!

Special mention to my hero Lynn Gosnell, “Auntie Lynn,” who has created and donated an incredible collection of her monkeys.  She is an angel on earth and has positively impacted countless of youth in her many years as a child and youth worker.

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Auntie Lynn receiving a sock monkey made by student, Liz, at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School in 2011.

And thank you to our beloved customers and donors whose generosity keeps us going!

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This is such a feel-good craftivist movement for everyone involved!!!

Check out:

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UPDATE November 30, 2015:

The craft sale went well!!! We sold about thirty monkeys- most at $20 each, some at $10 and some given to vulnerable kids. We raised $524.00!  I sent $290.00 to KYT Foundation and the rest goes to much-needed supplies and free workshops with local homeless women and youth, as well workshops with refugee youth and students at Mountainside Secondary.

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My daughter, Anna Thorsen, manned the booth with me and Queen of sock monkeys, Auntie Lynn, visited us!  Her monkeys were a huge hit!
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Operation Sock Monkey Western Division Operative, Leann Weisbecker, dropped off some gorgeous creations!
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One of our very happy customers!

Mountainside will be hosting a craft sale December 11 at which we will sell more monkeys (funds from the craft table rentals and sock monkey sales to KYT) and I have a stock of 20 at home I will be offering on ETSY (proceeds to KYT).  LINK

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I held a workshop for refugee youth last month and we all had a great time! Monkeys spoke a language we all understood!  I will be offering more of these workshops in the new year as the need increases and will be assisted by social justice students.

Tons of love! Kat

“I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya, the hummingbird

Update December 9, 2015

A total of $350.00 has been donated so far to Kamala Yonzon Tahrayli Foundation from Operation Sock Monkey sock monkey sales from Nov 28 craft fair sales and Dec 7 sales. Sock monkeys were made by local community members and students at Mountainside Secondary School! And the school is holding a craft fair on Friday Dec 11 to benefit KYT Foundation!

Craft: three birds, two monkeys, one tea towel. 

   This cozy sock monkey measures 18 inches tall and wears a tea towel dress and a little bird on her head.  Let her accompany you in your kitchen; she’s washable- so let her infuse your kitchen with magic as you wipe your hands on her dress.  The little blue bird adds an extra delight and spice.

Now available on ETSY: LINK

This adorable little monkey is accompanied by two birds.  He measures approximately 12 inches tall.  He’s super cuddly and a real good luck charm. His friendly demeanour is ready to soak up any anxieties and the birds will safely process all your worries.

Now available on ETSY: LINK

    

Update- SOLD: Art sale to celebrate Frida’s birthday! One of a kind package. 

FRIDA KAHLO BORN JULY 6, 1907

To celebrate the woman who inspires me everyday- I want to spread the love, so I am releasing these 4 original interpretive portraits of Frida as a package deal for only $135 CAD ($106 USD) includes shipping. First come first serve. Email me to purchase.

UPDATE July 7, 2015: SOLD

Package includes:

Frida doll in Tehuana headdress with pocket for prayer, worry and wish. Handsewn, my design. (see other details at LINK)

Fetal Frida doll. Handsewn, my design. (Yes, that is a sock umbilical cord) (see other details at LINK)

Frida portrait– chinamarker on newsprint. (see other details at LINK)

Frida chakra chart– chinamarker on newsprint. (see other details at LINK)

CONTACT KATARINA: EMAIL

  
    

Check out:

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VanCaf Reflections Part 5 of 6: Inspector Pancakes- lessons on marketing

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Fabulous afternoon at VanCaf Day 1- the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival on May 23, 2015!

I have broken down some highlights from my visit into 6 blog posts:

1. Julian LawrenceDrippy the Newsboy, Conundrum PressBLOG LINK

2. Kat Verhoeven, Towerkind, Conundrum Press BLOG LINK

3. Emily Cowan, Boundary Comic BLOG LINK

4. Jasmine Schuett, Spaceclub Comic BLOG LINK

5. Inspector Pancakes

6. Erica Moen, Boumeries and VanCaf takeaways/notes

5. INSPECTOR PANCAKES

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I am often drawn to children’s books- the whimsy, the colors… but what truly drew me to the table of Inspector Pancakes was the clever and very simple marketing tools.  Big sign, simple layout, a few clear offerings, elevator pitch… I took note.

It was somewhat unusual to have a “children’s” book per se in a room full of independent comic book artists.  But the book is more than that.  It has a parallel adult story line in fine print (though I know my three year old nephew would demand to know what it says) and audio.  And it is about crime investigation and murder mystery.  And it’s edgy!  Hello!

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“Written by Karla Pacheco and beautifully illustrated by Maren Marmulla, this 18 page atrocity follows the adventures of an adorable dog helping the President of France solve a series of horrific murders. At least it does if you’re an adult. If you’re reading this to a child you’ll be learning terribly inaccurate things about France while a dog in a hat looks for a croissant.” – SOURCE

Unfortunately, I didn’t pick up a copy of the book- my budget very limited and strategic (sort of)… but…

Being a crafter, I HAD to have the make your own stuffed Inspector Pancakes merch.  Duh.  Again, I took note.

       

A great lesson in simple marketing!

Sock sparrow. #recycledcraft

   

My personal therapy is randomly picking up an old scrap, grabbing needle and thread and seeing what happens. In this case, I was donated a cozy pair of wooly socks and their color just told me- make a sparrow

Recall: Pay attention to the birds: SPARROW

“The sparrow reflects self-worth.  If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.  The song sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth.”
  

@BYPOSTSTREET ART HOUSE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT SERIES 1 PHASE 1

THE @BYPOSTSTREET ART HOUSE

GLOBAL: Creative Director, Anna Thorsen

LOCAL: Art Director, Kat Thorsen (Vancouver BC)

MISSION: To awaken creative expression

VISION: To develop global art initiatives

Art Events, Street Art, Apparel, Curriculum Development, Workshops, Workbooks, Speaker Series, Craftivism, Illustration, Portraiture, Documentaries, Graphic Novels

PRESENTS

Curriculum Development Series 1:

The @BY POSTSTREET

Sock Monkey

Life Skills and Entrepreneurship Program

for youth groups, schools and community organizations

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Phase 1:

Pilot Project Phase 1: May to June 2014

Introductory Message from Katarina Thorsen

In my role as art director at @bypoststreet, and as therapeutic art facilitator in the Lower Mainland, I am fulfilling my passion to awaken creative expression in everyone around me.  I do this through visual art, art facilitation, art events, street art, blogging, journaling and craftivism.  Especially sock monkeys.

Sock monkeys are a significant part of my work.  Perhaps my life’s work!

I have been delivering sock monkey therapy and workshops for years and there is nothing quite as magical as witnessing the smiles on participants as they awaken to the healing power of the sock monkey.   I use sock monkeys as part of my therapeutic art classes for at-risk youth and in my general art classes for all ages.  The process is quite miraculous.  The simple process of making a loveable creature allows for a moment of safety and caring.  The socialization and resulting dialogue is part of the magic.  Each stitch in a sock monkey contains thoughts, laughter, tears, dreams, horror, joy, secrets, trust etc.  The natural instinct for many is to want to make more and to share them.

There are so many stories:

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.  The entire school (Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, North Vancouver) infused with sock monkey fever as we made 200 for Operation Sock Monkey.

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Lindsey Hodgson and her Operation Sock Monkey team working GLOBALLY,  delivering 1000’s of sock monkeys to children in South Africa, Nepal, India, Haiti, Northern Canada and more.  Passion Foundation 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 sock monkeys in attachment therapy with Clowns Without Borders.  Women in Woza Moya making an income through sock monkey making.

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Photo by Woza Moya Project

Little Maxx annually bringing smiles to children in a hospital in Philadelphia as he gathers sock monkey donations.

Photo courtesy of Operation Sock Monkey
Photo courtesy of Operation Sock Monkey

And the amount of people simply sewing a monkey to help them through emotional crises…

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It’s endless.  The feedback I get could fill a book and maybe it should.  It’s hard to imagine the actual number of people  who utilize the power of sock monkey  to make the world a better place.  And I am honored to be a small, albeit extremely passionate and vocal, member of that tribe.

I still make them on my own.  All the time.  I make them as my art.  They help me calm down.

Photo by Darcy Glip
Photo by Darcy Glip

I make them as a volunteer operative of Operation Sock Monkey.  I am passionate about spreading the word.  I get countless requests to teach sock monkey making.  But there is only one me, so my brother, filmmaker Fred Thorsen, created this wonderful video for me (originally offered as a class for Six Degrees of Creativity):

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

But there is a whole new level of sock monkey therapy that I want to explore. 

• What

I want to develop a life skills/entrepreneurship curriculum/workbook/workshop to increase the extraordinary powerful impact of sock monkey making– a replicable model that allows youth groups, schools, community organizations and Operation Sock Monkey to use sock monkey therapy to create healing opportunities and to teach business skills, business planning and mind-mapping, essential life skills and the power of entrepreneurship through a  project-based learning model.    I want to develop a powerful, easy to use tool to deliver the life skills, to awaken creativity, to increase the production of sock monkeys for income and for charity.  The pilot project will involve seven local young women (graduates of my various youth-at-risk art programming) to test the curriculum and to help facilitate local workshops.

• Why now?

This is a critical time to begin the project as Christmas craft fairs are taking applications now for their 2014 tables, as schools are planning their 2014-2015 scheduling, as my team is ready to go, and as I have opened my life to this moment to dedicate my time to it.

I want to pay the fee to become a licensed Right Brain Business Plan facilitator to increase the power of the curriculum and to be able to expand the @bypoststreet curriculum event further.

I want the curriculum to be translatable and easy to deliver– locally and globally.

I am so tired of seeing cutbacks in programming, seeing schools and community programs have very little funding for workshop facilitators, yet desperate to bring them in.  I want to create an easy means for these organizations to utilize the curriculum I have created on their own.  I don’t want them to struggle financially to be able to deliver this powerful tool.  And I don’t want to have to struggle financially anymore due to programming cutbacks!

As I wrote already, there is only one me, so I want to spread the curriculum by “training the trainers.”

I have dedicated my life to awakening creative expression in others, and now is the time for me to increase the scope of that teaching, to utilize all my knowledge and to build a new career for myself where I actually make a living through sustainable curriculum development around creative expression (from sock monkeys, to visual art, art events, journaling, business development,  etc.).

I am the one to do this.  I got this.  You know I do!

Teaching my nephew Henrik how to sew.  Photo by Darcy Glip.
Teaching my nephew Henrik how to sew. Photo by Darcy Glip.

• How?

I NEED YOUR HELP.

I am looking to raise immediate funds to begin this critical phase to be able to focus on it fully in May and June.  If you have been touched by the work that I do, and would like to see this project come to fruition, please donate.

CURRENTLY FUNDRAISING FOR PHASE 1:

a. Develop the curriculum covering:

Creative Expression, Therapeutic Groups, Art Techniques, Project-based Learning, Employment Skills, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, Mindmapping, Business Plans, Community Outreach, Operation Sock Monkey, Social Media

b. Right Brain Business Plan Facilitator License– for @bypoststreet Art Director, Katarina Thorsen

c. Develop Pitch and Power Point Presentation

d. Christmas Craft Show application fees

e. Initial Team Development

f. Community Partnerships and Grant Applications

IMMEDIATE and URGENT GOAL: $980

DONATE:

paypal

All donors will be acknowledged on website and in workbook.

Donations of $55 or more will receive a handmade sock monkey with “YES” on it’s belly!

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NEXT STEPS:

Phase 2:

July-October 2014

• Implement Pilot Project with group of seven local young women.

• Provide honorariums to pilot project team.

• Test curriculum, document and evaluate.

• Develop community partnerships (including- Operation Sock MonkeyPassion FoundationGlobal SororityGirls4GirlsMountainside Secondary SchoolByrne Creek Secondary SchoolNorth Shore Neighborhood HouseSquamish NationHawthorne Care Centre)

• Grant applications.

Loretta Cella, Passion Foundation, with sock monkeys headed to South Africa as part of Loretta's work at Patch Centre.
Loretta Cella, Passion Foundation, with sock monkeys headed to South Africa as part of Loretta’s work at Patch Centre.

Phase 3:

October 2014- January 2015

• Create a sustainable model and workbook.

• Create website.

• “Train the trainers” workshop series.

• School and community workshops, craft shows and online sales.

• Community outreach.

• Evaluate.

Phase 4:

Early 2015

• Workshop and speakers series.

• Community collaboration.

• Global outreach- initial cities New York (Harlem Children’s Zone) and San Francisco (The Centre for Young Women’s Development).

• Evaluate sustainable model.

Phase 5:

Fall 2015

• Expand curriculum series to include visual art, street art initiatives, interactive art projects,  journaling, intergenerational projects, and project based learning.

• Expand global outreach to South Africa (Woza Moya).

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