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.

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Frida No. 6: Sock doll in Tehuana headdress

 I’m celebrating my blog with an art event. The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo.

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For 10 Tuesdays, I am creating/posting 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another. It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever… A surprise. I have been posting one a week.

Recall:

Frida No. 1: Sock Doll

Frida No. 2: The Dream

Frida No. 3: The Chakras

Frida No. 4: Frida and her magic cone of truth

Frida No. 5: A Coloring Page for You

FRIDA NO .6: SOCK DOLL IN TEHUANA HEADDRESS

Inspired by Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait, 1948, with Tehuana headdress

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This portrait sock doll measures about 14 inches long.  It is my own design and hand-sewn.

Materials: grey work sock with red detailing, black sock, embroidery thread, vintage crocheted cotton doily, vintage cotton material with pineapple print, vintage ribbon, polyester fibre stuffing, button.

I am taking custom orders for $69.00 each (plus $8 shipping) via PayPal. (allow three weeks for delivery; doll will have similar features but vintage items will vary).

    

NEXT WEEK I WILL BE POSTING ON MONDAY JULY 6, 2015 TO CELEBRATE FRIDAS’S BIRTHDAY.

10 Tuesdays. 10 Fridas. Art blog event. Frida No. 1: sock doll. #recycledcraft

I’m celebrating my blog with an art event.

The event honors the woman who inspires me to keep it going as an artist: Frida Kahlo.

(How many of you that know me are right now rolling your eyes and saying, “duh”…!?!?  I realize I am a tad obsessed.)

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For the next 10 Tuesdays, I will be creating 10 different portraits of Frida Kahlo in some form/medium or another.  It may be a drawing, an object, a doll, whatever…  A surprise.  I will be posting one a week.

These new and unique Frida arts and crafts are my own designs and will be for sale here on the blog for a special presale price before I put the item onto my online store.  The sale price for each product will last for one week, then it gets listed if not sold here.

Frida No. 1: the sock doll

This Frida is made out of 100% recycled, gently used product.  Her body is made from a work sock and her hair is made from a black sock.  Her skull face has a white sock as ground color.  The dia de los muertos/sugar skull face is embroidered.  All the thread is from my mom’s old sewing basket.  Her tattooed arms feature Frida portraits from discontinued socks from Haight and Ashbury, San Francisco.  Her dress is made from vintage materials and her flowers are made from an antique hand-crocheted doily.  The little lamb is made from an old blanket.   The doll is about 24 inches tall with skirt (body about 18 inches).

PRICE: $175.00 CAD (Shipping free in Canada).  Email me for purchasing details.

CONTACT KATARINA: Email

UPDATE May 27, 2015 : ITEM IS SOLD

     

   —

There is nothing more precious than laughter.

Frida Kahlo

 

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.”