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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Creative Cafe Garden

The 3 'Crafts for All' sessions are (weather permitting - touch wood!) envisaged as 'Creative Coffee Garden' times at Gallery Cafe's secluded secret garden:

Since the beginning of the Arts Association this best kept secret of Penicuik has seen creativity of all kinds, and some of it can still be seen today, or again be seen today like the ivy embattled colourful mural here - of unkown long ago origin now cleared by Mary
Mary and Jan exchanging ideas midst coffee guests

or that drumming sessions with Ron as part of a not so long ago  Midsummer party
check it out on you tube
The planned session for July

are envisaged to encourage you to use the garden for co-creative pursuits: come and play, practise, improvised a tune or too, come and help making the garden beautiful whilst we can still!

rescued craft bomb reinstalled after vandals had gone to town over it

now lets gather and dance
watch this space for a last month or two! Lots could be done....esp now the broken and then vanished ivy fence is exposing a ragged space with potential:

Friday, June 21, 2013

the end of "Making Space Penicuik" -> the beginning of "Crafts for All"

Many have enjoyed this wee labour of love, and "Making Space Penicuik" that has been around here now for 3 years.  Hope you enjoy remembering when you read the above document.

And hope you will enjoy the new team emerging now over this summer through the transition into "Crafts for All".
Looking forward to see you being part of the change.....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Penicuik Craftbomb poem anonymous

Shining a light on the significance of craft and art

A transparent 'craftbombed' tree in Belfast, May 2013
Never has art and craft been more important to be nurtured and to be nurturing us than today. Respecting and caring for what we have - at home and in public spaces - is connected with how we use our hands and our mind as a result of that.

The global and national rise of 'craftbombing' (see slide show page links) is highlighting the irrepressible need of a human being to be creative in a meaningful way as a service to the community. The fact that there are people who willfully destroy what other folks in their community created with endless love and care points even more to the need for true skillfulness and service (= real "work"!) to be given to those destructive hands, within the context of a community that is in response-able touch with each other.

This necessity of being and staying in response-able touch with each other is something that was very alive, as a matter of life and death, in any mining community. Penicuik and environs has a history of the mining loyalty, and it also has army barracks with a community of service men and women. Also in the army that loyalty and interdependence, and dedicated service is what makes people treasure being part of it and makes people wanting to serve with the best of their skilled strength and power.

Ever since mankind walked this earth 'craft' was part of its survival and pride, - and power.  'Craft' as a principle is applicable to every kind of work and 'making things'. Even the breaking down of things. As often the raw materials have to skillfully get broken down and newly assembled with both a sense of ownership and service.

Where wanton destruction happens in a community, especially when it happens on a regular basis, it a sure tell-tale sign that there is urgent need for hard hands on community building. HANDS ON!
an ode to anonymous

In other languages the word for 'craft' is commonly used  in connection with the word 'hand' and 'strength'. And it also implies 'artfulness' and 'texterity', as in fine and precise flexibility and having a bright intuitive mind.

Lets have a look at what we can learn from the  word itself (words are very crafty!) Smiley

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Help! Our Nation has gone bombastic!

Shock! The yarn terror has not ceased yet!

Thanks God :-)


Nationwide craft bombs keep appearing - much evidence below!
here in this photoalbum from our fellow bombers 2013
click on image to open photo album
Nationwide Craftbombs detected!

Or better still watch VIDEO evidence!

http://www.littlehamptongazette.co.uk/news/top-stories/latest/pictures-yarn-bombing-at-knittlehampton-museum-1-5119402 :

Read about the new way to sanity in the National and Local News:

link to the full article

Chic and comfortable - read the full article
of how one A-level lassie here earned herself world wide fame

Not seen enough news yet? There is this photo album collecting some more of the news and social media footages found. Nationwide Craftbombs publicity
click on image for access to album
Nationwide Craftbombs publicity

Well, this YarnBombing is here to stay. Catching the bug and dying to be part of the fun, are you now, dear readers?

There is lots more out there now to show you what craft bombers have done and are doing, like this bunch of knitters - they admit to knit their creations which bombed an underpass in Brixton with the intent that the public can take them away home to keep and to enjoy!

Enjoy watching the videos - the above by the way is part of a play list by the way, taking you round the world to trace the new craze!

People commenting on the Penicuik Craftbomb


 We got many many comments verbally and by email or on facebook. We want to thank everybody again who gave us their constructive feed back. It made it all totally worth it. And gave us the courage to believe that next year the communities of Penicuik will come back with a better and bigger craft bomb for the so much needed brightening up of Penicuik's streets and places.

·         Love it, my kids had a great time yesterday looking at all the different things. Well done.

·         Brightened up the place , good idea

·         SWRI: Penicuik is a rainbow of colour this morning! A massive well done to everyone involved in the Craftbomb for Voluntary Arts Week - it looks great!

·         Wish I was visiting Penicuik today this looks fantastic, so colourful.
Just wanted to say, the town looks fantastic! I had no idea this was happening and got a great surprise when I walked down the street just now! Penicuik is unfortunately a pretty depressing and soulless place these days with little going for it's town centre, but all your hard work has made it look cheerful and happy and somehow comforting, even if it's only for a short time! We need more things like this to improve the aesthetics as much as possible...
Well done and thanks v much,

·         Well said, its really pretty and its nice to see some colour and creativity out and about!
·         Totally agree! Well done to all involved
·         If you can make people smile then you've done a grand job. Great work!
·         Do tell!
·         Hi PCAA. Fantastic work! Do you mind if we pop these on our website and in our paper? Thanks ^TS
·       It was lovely to see the crafts displayed around Penicuik and very sad that what was probably a minority, had to spoil it. The idea of linking next year's event with the schools is great as it would publicise the whole event throughout the town and maybe encourage more to become involved. Maybe in some way link to the Hunter and Lass week? Well done to all the crafters!
·       I think it was a really nice idea and you should do it again next year, I'm sure lots more people would like to get involved. Maybe you could link it with the schools? My 5-year old loved walking round looking at all the colourful crafts, especially the ones made by her little friend. She was so sad to see it destroyed and said there were some 'really bad people who did that' 
·       Here's a comment from my friend who moved to France a few years ago: 'That's really sad. If they are going to re-do it, I'd like to make something and send it to them.'

We had many people advising us to take a lead from the good examples of community networks engagement in Merseyside and Glasgow for instance, where local groups and schools came together with amazing results. On the May 2013 entries of our Making Space Penicuik Blogspot here we are now posting a number of well linked up articles in the hope to link you up to inspiration and action for our next Penicuik Craftbomb.

We have more comments for you to read and share on this document (please click to access)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The trials and tribulations of craft bombing in Penicuilk

from the Penicuik Community Arts Association website

Craft Bomb

The PCAA, Making Space and lots of volunteers spent many, many hours making some fabulous things from fabric and yarn to decorate our town. A team went out on the 10th of May and put up bunting, butterflys and a whole array of colourful crafts around the town centre and farther afield. See the results at the links below.

Unfortunately some less community minded person(s) decided to vandalise all their great work and about 80% was torn down or removed. We are all very saddened by this but luckily many people saw it beforehand and let us know how much they liked it, bringing a bit of colour and joy to our neglected town centre.

Read the full public statement here 

And keep revisiting and exploring this blog for more updates, and we are appreciating your comments.

Mary's work with the children
many hands work... sadly now largely vanished
5 year old Robin (not real name) wants the bad people go to prison :-(

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Caroline's article on the Craft Bombing event in Penicuik

PR Release by Caroline Fraser

14th May 2013

Craft bombing in Penicuik brightens up the town and receives encouraging feedback

As part of Voluntary Arts Week (11-19th May 2013) the Penicuik Community Arts Association and their group Making Space have co-ordinated the craft bombing work which has been displayed in Penicuik since Friday (10th May).

Voluntary Arts Week provides an opportunity for amateur arts and crafts groups across the UK and the Republic of Ireland to celebrate their activity and encourage others to join in.  Craft bombing is decorating designated areas of a town or village with crafts that have been knitted, crocheting, stitched, quilted or embroidered and are intended to brighten up the area and make it look attractive.

This has been a culmination of the extremely hard work from all the crafters and volunteers who have made items over the past few weeks including children and those with a wide skills range.  Others have donated materials.  Since March this year, there has been a craftbombing group meeting at West Street Arts Centre and making all sorts of creations such as pom poms, banners and bunting using wool, scraps of material, old table cloths, buttons and fabrics. 

The beautiful creations have been hung on trees, lamp posts, railings, a wall and the odd house and the feedback has been very encouraging.  One lady commented that she didn't know that the craftbombing had taken place and how it was a lovely surprise and how it brings a smile to the faces of those who see it.  Another commented that her children enjoyed looking at all the items on display as well as many 'thanks' and 'well dones'.  Sadly there has been a small minority of people who have not been so taken with the offerings.

The reasoning behind taking place in the Voluntary Arts Week is twofold.  Some people like to get together in a group to craft for a shared purpose, and others like to work alone, explore ideas and share in the fun of still being part of something greater, locally, and nationally.
Overall, the intended wish is to make their local town a brighter place.

For more information on the Voluntary Arts Week please see http://www.voluntaryarts.org/take-part/voluntary-arts-week/ or for more information on the penicuik community arts association see http://www.penicuikarts.org/index.htm for further details.

Friday, May 10, 2013

the eve of the craft bombing week

The day of the 'bombing' had arrived and it started with a bombshell@
the lovingly created
the greatly admired well dressing
 over Penicuik's well
to brightly honour Cowan's care for the town...

we had to remove it again as one or two people reported it as offence after they showered us with highly offensive language  We are very sad for Penicuik in this respect.

But we can truly understand that some craft decor might not be to everyone's taste - and that a treasured monument deserves TLC. Well - we'll let you judge whether the gentle beauty and care (result of many hours of work) you see above, and some watersoluable crayon drawings (by a very enthusiastic crafter, oh dear, these volunteers!) and the applause and brightening faces of dozens of bypassers during the few hours when the waters flowed again are not the TLC this well and monument deserves?

What was left to decorate was then the trees and railings and lampposts (and there are loads of them!), as well as a couple of participating houses.

Feel free to check out more pictures here  - Only a tiny fraction of what has been done....

It was an  AMAZING amount of work that has happened: all the crafting (and thanks to our generous fabric and fibre donors, beautiful crafting) and then all the mounting. And all the work still to come of monitoring the craft bombs conditions and taking things down next Sunday...

We hope you will come to the town centre and have joy at seeing the colour. And please also help us by reporting to us at PCAA (West Street) if anything is not right
 We would have loved to cover all the sad looking sights in our town - like this wall:

But in the end decided not even to use the barbed railing above for the rainbow banner, but to stick to the trees..

and participating places

We were asked to say a few things why we took part in this national craft bombing week.
Well - different people do it for different reasons: some like to get together in a group to craft for a shared purpose, and others like to beaver away alone, explore ideas and share in the fun of still being part of something greater, locally, and nationally.
What all share is the wish to make their local town a brighter place. A firm and evident conviction that creating something beautiful is bliss, and an acceptance that different people have different notions of what is beautiful and that it is nice to be different.

.................... more from us to follow soon

find out more about what happens Nationally here this week:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lets put Penicuik on the Map this May!

download pdf file of our poster here
Lets put Penicuik on the map this May!
YOUR chance to promote your local group, or to join in with us at PCAA, or to simply do your own wee thing and then join up with us on the 10th of May, craft bombing Penicuik!

This year’s Voluntary Arts Week takes place from 11 – 19 May, and we’re planning to join in with Voluntary Arts' most ambitious craft project ever!

If you’re a knitter, crocheter, stitcher, quilter, weaver, embroiderer – whatever your craftform – we loves us all, locals and expats and friends far and wide, to get involved in Penicuik in the Voluntary Arts Week CraftBomb. We are part of the calling on all crafters to help turn public spaces across the UK and Republic of Ireland into a riot of colour and creativity to celebrate the first day of Voluntary Arts week.

Lets do it here, shall we?
Lets bring a cosy crafty colour bomb of peace to Penicuik, maybe a bit like here: ?

visit some peace firing friends across the ocean

or here
at some secret location
Whether you just want to contribute a small wee flower or ribbon, or whether you want to give a coat or cover to something big or even huge... we do hope you make space for making it, and for connecting with us, so we don't all have the same idea for the same object - but spread our blessings wisely and widely - so we can be sure we all are proud to have put Penicuik on the map.

See here for when the first local group (us Making Space!) to participate has got organised so far to have drop in sessions open to the public.

Join the new facebook group "Craftbombing Penicuik" and invite your crafty firiends to join in, exchange ideas and patterns, and have an online blether.

Tell your nans and grans overseas that it is her chance to chip in with a few homemade pieces for to be let loose on Penicuiks lampposts etc...!

Check out our emerging photo album with pictures collected from the www to inspire vision and ideas.

Here are a few questions answered we have had in the last couple of days when we started to spread the word (equipped with laptop/ipad to share images of how folks do it all over the world, as one can simply not talk about craftbombing - it has to be seen and felt!)

  • What happens when the wind and rain tears things to pieces?
  • It will only be up for one week in May - we hope the weather will be kind to it then!
  • What happens to all the stuff afterwards?
  • some of it can be recycled (after it is maybe washed) and some might have to be binned
  • isn't that a waste filling up the landfill site?
  • well, many arts costumes end up this way, and in the end, if it has brought joy to the maker and the public - it will have been worth it! Recycling would be best, thogh, of course and using recyclable materials. 
  • How will we be known all over the UK and further afield?
  • The Voluntary Arts website http://www.voluntaryartsweek.org/  will promote us, and the PCAA will ensure we are updating there... and anyone here in Penicuik should spread the word through their networks - it is your chance to promote yourself! 

  • How about some nice themes for the craft pieces then?
  • Jolly good idea! Lets do it! History? Natural Scotland (this years tourism theme!)? What do you think?

Think you have no skill? No way!
Come on:
There is something to do for ALL Ages and ALL stages!
Organise your own meet ups or join us:
Ø  weekly drop in at the West Street Arts Centre

Room 1, Thursdays, 4pm - 5.30pm

Ø  some Saturdays from 11.30 am - 1.30pm
30th March, West St Arts Centre
Ø  6th & 27th April + 4th May in the Townhall

Ask us questions, share your ideas, get hands on, and spread the word also with this: we need YOUR help!
Just IMAGINE what it would look and feel like if every lamp post from Tesco to Esk Bridge was dressed up like this

Well, I know, quite unlikely for this year, eh?
But how about something modest like this then?

Friday, March 22, 2013

shhhh - don't tell anyone but make sure everyone knows!

Secret plans underfoot to craft bomb Penicuik as part of a National week of colour riot covering our towns and places!

Are you in? Come on - you always wanted Penicuik to look beautiful - now is your chance!

Share links and creative mischief fire...

Check out what others did in the past all round the world, such as here

or here

watch this blog for secret public updates,
or ask the join the secret "Craftbombing Penicuik" facebook group QUICKLY
- we only got 7 weeks left as if today!

Lets share patterns, plans and progress for a perfect Penicuik craftbomb ready to roll out in the merry month of May!

Once more the plans here so far:

Share your ideas and passion, & join our planning
Contact us to talk about / let us know
what you or your group could & can do!

Organise your own meet ups or join us:
Ø  weekly drop in at the West Street Arts Centre

Room 1, Thursdays, 4pm - 5.30pm

Ø  some Saturdays from 11.30 am - 1.30pm
30th March, West St Arts Centre
Ø  6th & 27th April + 4th May in the Townhall

Got any yarns & colourful fabric to donate?
Please drop off at Gallery Cafe, West Street with a label saying 'for Craftbomb making'

Here contact details once more:

Please email pcaa@penicuikarts.org,
Or call Mary on 07917890466

everybody can make pompoms!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Animals of Africa in townhall

Creative jampacked chaos again on stage in the townhall this Saturday.
It looks like our new rhythm of Crafting in the Community sessions in the townhall every last and very first Saturday of the month finally got into folks' system and the felting frenzy once again took hold.

After 2 and a half years of bringing free (by donation for materials) crafting fun to the community the thrill of transforming wool fibres into something rewarding to keep for decoration or play is always new and fresh again.
 Mary's cool discovery of using pillow or matraze protectors to trace images in books for needle felting working on in detail is a sure way of exploring detail of firm and shape:

The finished piece can be used then at home on wall or window or if small enough as a brooch. One can felt it smooth or rough. And one can explore the stories the images or characters came from:

For more of the picture story of today, please visit our photoalbum of this session, and maybe you can come and join us this coming Saturday for the second session of the Animals of Africa theme that also tallies with the themes of the Penicuik Cinema. (the home ground of the Lion King on the 24th March)

3D miracle worker Sarah had also been able to join us, and this up there is what this Shaper Wixz did today in just under 2 hours!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Treasures of the Sea kicking off!

Lovingly prepared by Mary, seen above at a townhall session casting her nets, 

Today we had a small select troop of makers gather at West Street to start our 6 weeks exploration of the "Treasures of the Sea" Theme.  On show was all the collected floatsam, our trust sea storyscape creatures and materials - and lots of good books from the library to inspire and guide us.

We were also especially pleased to welcome new PCAA committee member and Making Space Penicuik Volunteer Wendy Dodds into our creative mix.

It has been so rewarding and reaffirming to witness newcomers to the felt craft warming to the soft touch magic of wool fibre and its brilliant and breathing colours.

Special thanks also to Annemarie from the Craft shop who gave us a true treasure box of wool and other sparkly fibre bits so we can create new treasure troves for folks to take home with.

Click here on our Treasures of the Sea sessions photo album to see just a little bit more of what went on today. Hope you can join us next week to hear and create more of Mary's story of the sore mouthed shark and clever Ismy and her friends...

Follow this photoalbum link to catch some tricks of the trade as to how to make precious stones and pearls with wool for your treasures of the sea collection.