Hello peeps, how are we all doing? This has been such a challenging time but it has been good to have so much company and kindness from the members of 52 Stitched Stories. During lock down we have been very busy…..I never expected 52 Stitched Stories to take off as it has and I also never expected to be leading it on my own. But lock down has brought with it a whole new experience as the project has continued to shift in response to members’ ideas and suggestions. Back in 2019 we were continually asked to produce a starter pack and once we did it became an instant success. As the year turned more requests were coming in for kits and packs and the Etsy store was born. That meant that buyers from around the world could access the collection. When lock down started it all moved up a gear again. The 11am coffee morning burst into life and now upwards of 400 people drop by each and every day. It is a chance to share a creative idea and catch up with one another. Then came the sea and shore mood board challenge and then came more kits and packs and so on…..a little gallery of images might give you a sense of just how far the project has grown in a matter of a few weeks.
I decided that it is possibly a good time to review as life begins a very slow return to some kind of normal. When I began 52 Stitched Stories it was a chance for me to put back in the world of art and craft that has sustained me for so long. I am keen to hold onto that. I am also keen for the project to hold onto and extend the virtual support it offers its members. At its heart is the challenge to create a postcard once a week for 52 weeks or as many as life allows. The delving into other creative areas was a direct result of significantly changed daily living habits and some of this will continue for some time to come. The 11am coffee morning seems to have a complete life of its own. So that will, for now, continue on the 52 Stitched Stories Facebook page until it is no longer needed. The Facebook page will be further developed in the coming weeks and months to include some virtual gallery opportunities, a featured postcard and or maker slot and more. The page also has the direct link to the Etsy shop. I think when I began this project I believed everyone had a stash the size of several rooms in the house! That is clearly not the case. So the kits have served a really strong purpose. In the meantime I have discovered a love of designing and creating kits and inspiration packs. As a teacher my whole adult life this feels a little bit like that, albeit virtually and through resource led learning. What I have discovered in recent weeks is just how effective virtual support can be for a project like this and the impact is limitless.
I never wanted 52 Stitched Stories to be a Facebook group. I wanted it to be an open and welcoming page that required little admin leaving time to share the project and support the members. Now, however, there is a much stronger argument for a group to be developed linked to the main project, so that is what I have done. I have created a linked group called ‘One stitch at a time’ that captures our wee phrase I often use when talking about getting through this difficult time. In this group I will continue to grow and develop creative projects beyond the postcards through the sharing of ideas, tutorials and discussion. My Etsy store now has buyers from the general etsy community and while they are welcome I do want to ensure members of 52 Stitched Stories get advanced notification of new launches. I also want to be able to offer discounts as I can to members – both of these things can happen in the group. There will be members only interested in the postcard journey and that is completely fine but for those that want to join me in creative wandering into pressed flowers, soy candles, converting tea trollies into mobile sewing stations and everything else I fling out the group will be the place. The daily coffee morning post will allow for some cross posting for a while to ensure we all make sense of the changes and I don’t lose anyone who doesn’t want to be lost!! I hope members will like this change and that it makes sense. If anyone has any questions just message me as normal through the Facebook page.
Beyond those changes I have another two quick things to share. Moving forward I am going to including supplies in my packs and kits made by some of our members. I am visiting Facebook pages and Etsy shops looking for things to include as I design new kits. I want this project to support other artisans. I am also going to be launching a schools project in the autumn which I hope members might like to get involved with. More details on that soon but I am currently on the look out for members who might be primary or nursery school teachers. If that is you and you want to find out more message me and we can chat.
I am quite sure that is enough for today! Sorry…..🙈
I will end by reaffirming what a complete honour it is to coordinate this project and I very much look froward to the times ahead. There is much up my sleeve……😉🙏🧵❤️