Monday, April 25, 2011

Muse Mondays #1 - Crafting for Good

So, when I’m feeling a bit uninspired to do my own thing or just have that crafting bug but don’t have anyone to make anything for I usually turn to secretly crafting for someone else.
Right now my favorite “Crafting for Good” site is dedicated to spreading happiness to the communities in which we live in by making and anonymously dropping off soft toys in random places (what fun!). The Toy Society is chock full of hundreds of little handmade creatures that people from around the world (currently 47 countries and counting!) have made and anonymously dropped off in parks, restaurants, museums, doctor offices, and many other random places so that they can put a smile on a stranger’s face. The best and most fun part about The Toy Society blog is being able to read the reactions from the people who find the little toys and it seems that anyone of any age including full grown men appreciate and enjoy finding the stuffed with love critters. It brings a smile to my face even thinking about it! I mean, could you imagine what it would be like to stumble upon a neatly packaged little toy with a note tied to it saying “I’m yours, take me home” and a neat little note explaining that someone in your community had taken the time to create the toy by hand in order to help your day feel better?
I know I jumped on the opportunity to do put a smile on someone’s face a couple of times ^_^ I did three drops (2 scotty dog puppies and 1 lil' bunny rabbit) and my son helped me drop them off!

The first puppy I made

My lil' man Zack learning about giving and making the drop himself

The Toy Society actually had its start back in 2008 in Australia when it’s creator, Bianca, tried a social street project to see how observant people were of their surroundings. She placed handmade toys in inconspicuous places to see if people would notice them and as a reward for being observant, those who found the toys got to keep them! Since then, the movement has picked up momentum and is categorized under RAK or Random Act of Kindness, another movement in society that’s been gaining momentum and can now be seen throughout the web and world in several different other ways:

Operation NICE was created by Melissa who loved the idea of being kind and nice to the people she meets and to the people she doesn’t meet. She started leaving “nice notes” in places where people would find them. These notes could be a simple statement of “You’re Awesome!” to a nice (albeit somewhat cliché sentiment, but still nice to hear) “The world is a better place because you are in it”. I think the best part of this project is how simple and easy it is and it doesn’t cost hardly a nickel! Just get a piece of paper and write a nice affirmation on it and tape it up somewhere! Genius!

The next bit of inspiration that I have isn’t really considered a RAK but rather a RAC or Random Act of Craft. I’ve been wanting to participate in this for a couple months (well, since I discovered it, anyway) but haven’t had a real chance to yet, though I do still plan on doing something with it. Whether you call it Yarn Bombing or Guerrilla Knitting (I’m more of a crocheter, so Guerrilla Crocheting?), it’s still a really fun way to add color and beauty to your community! Simply put, you go out and find an object you want to decorate in your community (such as trees, light posts, bike racks, etc.), measure it, go home and create a piece of craft that can wrap around it (you want the craft to be slightly smaller so that it can be wrapped tight around the object, then when no one is looking you tie your craft around the object and voila! You’ve just beautified your community! Some people do this RAC alone while others find groups of people to yarn bomb with (some of these groups have been able to completely cover whole parks in one night with their crafts!) Check out some of these yarn bombing creations! (hint: click on the picture to go to the page where I found them! And no, the pictures are not hot-linked ^_~)

99 Yarn Bombed Trees by KnittaPlease - The Blanton's Faulkner Plaza in Austin, Texas
This was created by 170 volunteers!

Yarn Bike by erindoy1

Yarn Bombing on Facebook Here you can see lots of different pictures from all over and from different artists all in one fell swoop!

There's one last Crafting for Good I want to share with you that combines both RAK and RAC, but it seems that the site it's on is currently down, so I shall be updating this post as soon as the site comes back up ^_^ Please forgive me!

EDIT: I found the original post that I was thinking of which ended up leading me to where she had gotten inspired from!

Hats For the Homeless, though it's not the official name of the project, and even the project isn't really a project and rather just random smattering of people doing a good deed for others, is a wonderful way to spread some warmth (literally and figuratively) during the cold winter months. Please, click on the picture to be able to read the full article! It's a great and inspiring story! And I shall leave you with a quote from the article as I think it sums up what this entire post is about:
"What a tangible way to say, 'I care'"

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