Miss V to Miss P – November

From: shelley@scarletopus.com

To: victoria@scarletopus.com

Sent: 22.11.11 at 10:39

Subject: November musings

Queenie in 7 days I’ll be 31 … I’m just going to let that sit out there for a few minutes.

How has this happened?  How has an entire year passed by since I was freaking out at turning 30?!!  Do you remember Grace Bonney’s posting over at Design*Sponge on turning 30?  Remember how it seemed she had perfectly described my ‘style limbo’ as you call it!  Well, a year on and I think I’m more confused than ever: I know exactly what I like (I think), and I know exactly who I am (I think), now how to package it all together??!!  Grace really struck a chord when she said she could no longer see herself in her “things” and her home and I wonder if being in this job has totally ruined me!!  We have access to so many fabulous Designers creating wonderful work and every time I see something new I want it regardless of it having a completely different style from what I wanted last week let alone last month!

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE PIECES

Clockwise from top left: Eskayel’s Cosmonaut Crystal Amethyst wallpaper; Wooster lights by Jake Phipps, produced and distributed by InnermostMeystyle’s False Vision LED wallpaper; Rothschild & Bickers’ Vintage light; Fin chair by Noda Designs; Peacock chair by Dror Benshetrit for Cappellini; Silver Crush table by Fredrikson StallardDesign By Leftovers’ Rockstar chest; Nendo’s Cabbage chair

Once your eyes have been opened to so much it’s even harder to know what exactly is for you and stick with that and just admire the rest from afar.  Last month when we were speaking at INDEX you mentioned to the audience we always wear black because with our work we’re living in the future and when we go shopping everything seems so old!  And you’re so right but I’m wondering … do I need to also start living in a blank canvas?!!!!!

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the idea of community and re-connecting, taking proper time to really understand how we live, how we live with our neighbours, what we really need, and what’s really important day to day (do you remember I touched on some of these ideas for the Remembering 9/11 posting?).  It’s hard; I think we’ve spent so long living in quite isolated, independent bubbles that we really have gotten used to living quite self-centred lives and it’s hard to be that honest with yourself and take action.  It’s perhaps easy to recognise where change needs to be made but it’s definitely not so easy to take those first steps and really step out of the bubble and connect.

That is one of the reasons I was so interested in the Flattr movement to support bloggers and other creators through “social micropayments”.  Basically once you have an account you can add funds and Flattr online content you admire, and you can add the Flattr icon to your own blog/platform and be Flattr-ed by your viewers.  Let’s say we put £10 in to our account, at the end of each month all the blogs we’ve Flattr-ed will be sent a proportion of our £10; so if we Flattr-ed 10 blogs each of the bloggers will get £1!  Genius!  I’m so excited to start financially supporting our fellow bloggers and I’ve added the Flattr icon to our own postings so hopefully our readers will show us some click love!

But I digress, to go back to my original line of thought, I’m hoping that through trying to change the way I view my life in connection with my friends and community I’ll be led to my style, the one that really fits me.  What do you think?

Although it seems an age since you were here for INDEX and FoID I’ve put together some of the best shots of the week.

Annemette Beck was definitely a highlight of the show with her wonderful textiles, and was certainly a favourite on the VIP Trend Tour which was yet again really well received.  You can see from the pictures how into it everyone was!  I was really impressed with the winning design for the Contemporary Majlis Competition this year too, Sinmar Al-Said from Internal Line Interior Design created a super cool space using traditional Islamic patterns.  AND check out how it looked lit up, I found this online:

I loved having the chance to see Beau McClellan’s awe-inspiring Nomad chandelier again at the Downtown Pavilion and now that it’s hanging in the B5 showroom I can go to see it whenever I like!  Did you like the vibe at the Pavilion?  I really like the urban edge, it was definitely the right location for Amartey Golding’s Live Art showcase, I’ve never seen that style of rubbing away the paper to reveal the art beneath before, thanks God you were there to explain it to me.

I wonder if you’ll agree with me when I say that the absolute highlight of the week was the surprise graffiti penguin in the ladies bathroom at the Pavilion?!!!!!!

So since you left I’ve been hard at work on our new blog design, it’s certainly been a challenge but one I’ve enjoyed and I just can’t wait to reveal our new look to all our readers soon … watch this space.  And then of course we’ll be launching our brand new member’s area in the New Year, I’m putting together all the details now and will be letting everybody know next month what they can expect from their subscription.  There’s certainly lots to pack in before the end of the year, can you believe we’re so close to Christmas already?  I really must get organised with my shopping … perhaps I’ll wait to read your column for The National on how to Personalise Christmas this year!

Speak soon fabulous colleague!

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From: victoria@scarletopus.com

To: shelley@scarletopus.com

Sent: 25.11.11 at 11:17

Subject: RE: November musings

Greetings Miss P!  I can’t believe you’ll be 31 so soon!  Really though…where has the last year gone?!  I remember the trauma of your 30th birthday like it was only a few months ago….whilst my 31st birthday is now a distant, distant memory.

Miss P…you are going through a change.  Sorry but you are.  No one tells you.  The transition from your 20’s into your 30’s is often a tricky one for women in terms of personal style and home style preferences.  There’s just a load of stuff that’s not really appropriate anymore (even if you do still like it and feel you can pull it off!).  And at the same time you haven’t really got enough experience at 31 of actually being in your 30’s…so how are you meant to know what your new 30something style should be!  You have to settle into it.  Some style sins may be committed but you’ll come out the other side I promise.

That skirt is too short for me isn’t it?!

I hope you’ll experience the same grounded confidence and contentment that started to come to me once I passed the 35 mark and headed on that road to 40.  Plus I had a real turnaround on my previous cravings to own more stuff!  Quite suddenly I felt that the physical things I owned were tying me down…stopping me from being spontaneous and even messing with my values.

As I get older I need things to be simpler.  I’ve said it before Miss P but I’m gonna say it again – Less is Better!  And I was the worst for craving things…I found it frustrating not to be able to have the stuff I saw and coveted.  No more Miss P!  Now I honestly feel that through my work as a Trend Forecaster I’m fed a full helping of eye candy everyday.  For me it’s enough that loads of amazing products appear on our blog, trend boards and in our trend reports.  I don’t feel like I need to own them anymore.  I’m freeeeeeee!

Having said all of that…I just completely fell in love with these gorgeous martini glasses from Katharine Pooley.  Well a girl’s gotta drink!

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Actually the topic of collecting stuff came up earlier this month when I was chatting over a glass of wine with a journalist who writes for the FT’s How To Spend It Art & Collecting section.  She was telling me she interviewed a chap who had hundreds of lawnmowers!  Passions can get out of hand.  But I digress.  The event the journalist and I were attending was a private dinner at The Russian Club in London to mark the unveiling of Alex Randall’s new lighting pieces for The Memory Collection.  

Above: Invitation, Menu & Mural

When the Dreamweaver heard they’d be serving a special foraged menu he was keen to come along too.  And the lovely Lyndsay at Helen Edwards PR fixed it for him ;)  So we enjoyed a fascinating menu by chef, forager & wild food expert Mark Lloyd consisting of found herbs, leaves & flowers with pigeon spring rolls, venison and finally a dessert of potted quince, candied butternut, vanilla jelly & cinnamon posset.  Oh Yes we did!  On top of the dessert he served green leaves that tasted like Ribena!  And there was a herb on another course that tasted like cut grass smells.  It was a mind bender!

The table was beautifully set and amongst the central candles a scattering of antique Optometrists lenses got everyone talking (we were pleased to be seated with Alex’s completely charming Mother).  On the wall behind where I was sitting was a huge mural of the piggy photo ‘The Last Supper’ by Claire Rosen (featured in my montage above) and hanging above the long table were pairs of horse lights, created by wrapping rawhide around carousel horses.  Intrigued?  You should be.

Above: Dinner table setting & ‘In memory of the horses’ lights

You’ll remember that last month I posted an interview & showcase of Alex’s taxidermy work on the blog.  Well Alex’s latest work is a collection of lighting art-works using a new technique to create lightweight and ethereal casts of statues using rawhide (waste from the venison industry in Scotland).  Rawhide has been used for a long time for drum heads and Alex explained to me that she had seen the skin removed from a drum and noticed it kept it’s shape…and that got her thinking.  Apparently rawhide was also used as a torture device in ancient times – as it dries it shrinks.  Yikes!  The reason Alex chose to start working with rawhide was because she “loved the connotations of using something that resembles a cast away skin casing like that of a snake or chrysalis.”

Alex has made something truly precious, magical and evocative from a waste material.  As far as I’m concerned Alex Randall is an alchemist!  Miss P the effect was just stunning – the darkened layers, the curled edges and the amazing details she had managed to capture.  She commented that “The way the light shines though these pieces is very special.  You see every line and crease”…and it’s so true, check out the bottom right photo in the montage below.  It’s a close-up shot I took of the angels wings…see the perfect detail of the feathers from the original statue (representing triumph) now captured forever in the rawhide cast…like a memory:

Above: ‘In memory of triumph’ & Alex Randall

The centrepiece was a huge piece called ‘In memory of Freddie’….that’d be Freddie Mercury!

Above: ‘In memory of Freddie’  – from The Memory Collection by Alex Randall

We were chatting to Ol Beach (lead singer of Yellow Wire & son of Queen manager, Jim Beach) who was telling us how after Alex ran into a load of red-tape associated with getting permission to cast British statues, his father had offered the use of the statue of Freddie Mercury in Montreux.  And if you go to the Portfolio section of Alex’s website and click on ‘Casting Freddie Mercury in Montreux’ you can see photos of the casting process as Alex works away in the crisp air by Lake Geneva.  The profits made from the sale of this piece will be donated to the charity set up in Freddie’s name; The Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Actually it had been a really good day even before we got to Alex Randall’s event because we went to check out and spend some time at FARM:Shop

Above: Getting some work done at FARM:Shop.  Wondering about my temp’ tattoo?…it’s from Tattly.  I’ve got loads of different ones and I’ve taken to wearing them when I give seminars.  I might wear this one when I lead the Speed Trend Tour at the SURFACES show in Vegas!

FARM:Shop was the brainchild of the chaps at Something & Son.  Originally started as a Social Enterprise using Council funding and a team of volunteers, it is now self-funding.  So what’s it all about?…Well it’s ALL going on at FARM:Shop!  They have transformed a derelict shop into an urban food Hub, cafe and arts venue.  It has a mini aquaponic fish farm, which works by recirculating the dirty water (poopy but filled with nutrients) from 2 big fish tanks (filled with edible Nile Tilapia) around the beds of salads & herbs that are literally everywhere throughout the cafe space.  The plants then filter the water, making it clean so the fish continue to have a happy tank life.  And the cafe sells lovely sandwiches & soup made from the produce grown in the FARM:Shop.  They also have a Fruiting Room upstairs which is kept nice and toasty enabling tomatoes and chilli plants to thrive.  And there are chickens up on the roof providing eggs!

Note:Egg is not in proportion to chicken!…just to be clear.

Outside they have polytunnels with soil beds to grow produce all year round (sweetcorn, gherkins, peppers, squashes & more salads) and it doubles as a brilliantly unusual venue for music events too…it even has a glitterball!  Then in the Meeting Room that’s for hire they have a basil hydroponics system on the wall growing lots of different varieties of basil and making the room smell amazing!  And you can rent work space in FARM:Shop by the day, week, month or longer.  I’m raving I know but I think it’s excellent.

Whilst I was getting a bit of work done in FARM:Shop (they have super fast wifi) and enjoying a bowl of homemade soup, a group of ladies arrived and like a flock of birds descended on the counter of cakes.  The general concensus was that the poppy seed & lemon cake was to die for!  It was a bit of a shame actually because if they’d arrived just 5 mins earlier they could have met the delightful Deniz who actually makes all the fantastic cakes…she had popped-in with her latest delivery of spongey loveliness!

Above: Tasty treats from the fair hands of denizgoksu@gmail.com from Sophie’s Organic Brownies

The next day (after a good nights sleep at the Avo Hotel) I headed to the Steelcase showroom on Farringdon Road, London to present 2 Trend Seminars to a group of their clients made up of mostly Architects, Product Designers & Interior Designers.  So you see I’ve been keeping myself rather busy since I returned from the crazy couple of weeks in Dubai with you for the design festival events!  I’ve also squeezed in a Press event for Harvey Jones Kitchens which was very enjoyable and well received.  The journalists were LOVING Yarn Bombing!  But in answer to your very important question I can confirm that Yes, Betty-the-Bikini-Penguin was the highlight of the Dubai festival for me too ♥  Let’s hope we can get involved with the FoID again next year.

The Flattr movement you’ve got us all turned onto is really worthwhile so I’ll be interested to see how many other bloggers and readers sign-up and show their appreciation across the blogosphere.  I’ve seen some great articles over the past few weeks so I’m keen to get clicking!

Oh…before I sign off, did you get chance to check out the products Lakeland applied our Amelie design to?

Above left to right: Amelie mug & coaster in presentation tin, cosmetics bags (small & large) and shopper.  Nice one Rebecca!

Cheerio for now Miss P.

I hope your Christmas shopping is coming along nicely!  I’m at the wrapping stage Ho Ho Ho!

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Trend Arrival: Defend & Destroy

As we hurtle head-on into the jolly festive period, this month I’ll be taking you through one of Scarlet Opus’ decidedly darker trends of the A/W 2011/12 season and how it has transitioned onto the high street.

‘Defend & Destroy’ is a blackened, contorted, manipulated trend.  As we deal with the after-effects of the widespread recession right into 2012, our distresses and trepidation play out in full scale in our interior choices.  Products appear mutated and distorted through crushing, burning, melting, and stretching, reflecting the transformation we are dealing with.  Surfaces are scratched, warped and the focus shifts to heavier materials.  Cast iron, burnt wood, leather, and resin give us the grounding for ‘Defend & Destroy'; a darkened vision of our future.  With an other-worldly aura, this trend takes us into the shadows and dances with our fears.  Black makes a statement and the trend directs us away from all the “wham-bam-glam” of yesteryear.  Metals are scorched, blackened, melted, oxidised.

‘Net Z33′ (below left) from design collective Numen/For Use fits perfectly into this darker trend.  As you climb through the suspended nets there is a feeling of entrapment as you levitate above other users; the nets literally ensnare you.  Although based on flamenco dancing, the public space by Cheng Gong and Jinming Feng (below right) drips like oil onto the ground.

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The recent Cloud Cities exhibition in Berlin by Tomas Saraceno gives you the impression of walking on air and the domes themselves are strangely twisted and warped, a web like structure.

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We now look at the available products on the interiors market and discover The Virulence of Her Touch.

The Virulence of Her Touch

Fury.  Anger.  Hatred.  Its all she feels, all she can feel.

An abhorrent rage consumes her, twists her vision, strangles her emotions.  Hatred and rage have distorted her beyond all help.  Bound to her darkened confinements, she is alone.  Imprisoned by the anger, she imprisons the fury.  Imprisoning the venom, it has imprisoned her.

She cannot touch, nor be touched.

Left to right: Squiddy side tables by Straight Line Designs; Kink oil bottle by Deb Jones available at Jam Factory; Raw Side Table from The Lollipop Shop; Ceramic candle holder by Kiki Van Eijk; Money Vase by Chris Kabel and Coat Rack by Zanotta all available at yoox.comAdnet Mirror from Gubi; Lathe Chair II from Sebastian Brajkovic; Flocked Wallpaper from ilias available at Matilda; Super Red and Matrix Black lamps from Evil Robot Designs

Writhing and contorted, her infected soul transfigures inside, seething and dark.  A venom, all encompassing, fuels her uncontrollable violence as her grace and goodwill fades.  Once a beauty to behold, the fairest of all; now the pale pallor of youthful skin has withered on her face, bowed to the ferocious malice of her being.  Withered and cracked, her flesh is clothed and hidden from the light.

Staring into the darkness, her eyes glaring, her thin lips drawn revealing disheveled, crooked teeth.  Hollow cheeks cast long shadows over her jaw line, uneven and broken.

Left to right: Crooked Spine lamp from Alexander & Pearl; Smoke cabinet from Maarten Baas; Brass frame clock by Kiki Van Eijk; Marc Jacobs Bang by Marc Jacobs; Spun chair by Heatherwick Studio; Diesel light and Normann Rug from yoox.comIcy Lady and Love You Love You Not by Brand Van Egmond; Quarry Stool by Gitta Gschwendtner; Carbon Chair (and close up) from Moooi; Ploop Stool from Hay at yoox.com

The world has changed, the light, beautiful days long since lost to the corruption and greed.  War, famine, disease, and pestilence incites the abomination inside, she can feel it pulse and pound, racing through her.  She stands as her heartbeat quickens, her temples throb.  Her spine cracks as she struggles to contain the anger, twists and twines.  It surges up through her body, coursing through her veins.

Crippled in agony, her hand contacts a stool nearby.  It warps at her touch, crushed by her infectious energy.  The power of her anger manifests itself in the air, it quivers and vibrates around the room.  The force of her fury is unleashed pushing the table across the room.  The side cabinet catches fire, flames licking up the tattered wallpaper.  Glass vases warp under the heat, as the lamp melts into the blazed surface.  The brass chandelier explodes, molten leather falls from the armchair like black smoldering tentacles, the wire framework exposed.

Left to right: Plastic Chair by Scrap Lab; Rubber Bowl from yoox.comStack Vase by Gitta Gschwendtner; The Octopus Chair by Maximo Riera; PS Svarva Lamp from Ikea; Swarovski Multileg Cabinet by Jamie Hayon for Swarovski Crystal Palace; Cast Iron Teapot by Esprit Zen at yoox.comExploded Chandelier by Studio Ward Van Gemert available at MintCavern Leather and Crystal table by Fredrikson Stallard; Incadescent Yolk light by Chris Stoneman; Ceccotti Chair by Hayon Studio

Havoc is wreaked across the room and she lays in the midst, struggling to control the rage.  She forces the feeling back inside, slowly abating into her body.

“Breathe,” she remembers, “breathe… don’t let it control you.”

She finds the strength to rise, to stand back on her feet.  The floor at her feet is scorched, the wood glistening in the firelight like a thousand crystals.

Left to right: Mr Bugatti Chair at www.yoox.comAlto Coffee Table by Patricia Urquiola for Kartell available at madeindesign.co.ukPhantom Table by Graft available at designandart.atStill Life Meltdown vases by Marie Retpen; Rabbit Lamp by Front at Moooi; Smoke Dining Armchair and Chandelier from Moooi

Her eyes look upon the destruction around her, a sight she has seen many times before.  From within she pushes out the last of her true human emotion, a happy memory.  Like an invisible field of energy, it rushes through the room and the flames die out.  Everything is transformed beyond recognition, a metamorphic disarray.  There’s nothing left, nothing to salvage.  She gathers what’s left of her blackened clothes and leaves.

Left to right: Winerack from Menu; Titanic Lamp from Matilda Design; Kula wool Trivet from Normann at yoox.comStiletto Table from Brigid Strevens; (On table) Tutti Frutti Bowl by Gaetano Pesce at Unica Home; Mediterraneo Plate by Driade Kosmo at yoox.comStill Life Meltdown Silver Vases by Marie Retpen; Icons Chair by Jan Plechac; Elements 002 Table/Stool by Hayon Studio at Moooi; Wicker basket by Muuto at yoox.comOrg Table by Fabio Novembre at Cappellini; Unfold Lamp by Form Us With Love available at Finnish Design Shop; Melted Light by Marie Retpen; Extension Chair (shown with coat-stand) at Moooi

Shelley’s Quickfire Questions:

What/who is currently inspiring you?

I’d say the Hunter Gatherer trend is still one of my current design inspirations, that and anything copper really. I used copper back when I was at college and its been a bit of a love affair since, I’m really drawn to the way it changes and the patina develops over time.

What have you got planned for the Surface Design Show in February next year?

I’ll be exhibiting my Industrious Senescence flooring collection with the University of Huddersfield as part of their Graduate Showcase. I hope to be able to push the concept into production and get a potential company on-board with the whole process.

What design has caught your attention recently?

There’s not one particular design that has caught my eye in the last month, but I am in love with everything copper and brass!  These few products are a definite on my Christmas list!

‘Hex’ brass paperweights and bottle opener from Iacoli & McAllister; Brass ruler by Midori from Baum-Kuchen

Who would be your perfect client?

I’ve probably got my student-y head on when I say this but someone who has complete flexibility in what they would let me create for their flooring. They’d let me run wild and do as I’d wish, creating the ultimate flooring for the whole interior.

What have you been up to over the past month?

Well at the end of last month, I went back into Uni to give a small presentation on my trend forecasts and the low down on the process I use and also about the guest blog here and my own blog, Without Pattern. It was great to share my experiences of working with Victoria and for Scarlet Opus and to share a few of my own trend musings.

Thank you Anthony for another wonderful story!

Next Monday Victoria and I will be sharing our work highlights from the past month, including a visit to FARM:Shop in London, the launch of Alex Randall’s new lighting collection, November’s Trend events … and much more!

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Yarn Bombing: Take up your needles & KNIT!

I’ve had an avid interest in Street Art since Banksy’s first book Wall and Piece was published back in 2005.  Banksy’s prolific work and widespread publicity undoubtedly led to a greater appreciation of graffiti, and ultimately to its acceptance as a true form of Art which opened the way for other Artists.

From graffiti and stencil Artists my fascination broadened to include pavement Artists creating amazing 3D illusions (such as Kurt Wenner & Edgar Müller) and the hidden Street Art of Creatives like London-based Slinkachu, whose miniature street installations focus on the mini dramas of modified train set figures which he abandons and leaves to fend for themselves in vulnerable situations.  I completely LOVE his work…check out his blog HERE.

Many of these disciplines have now moved from the street into art galleries and auction houses and the pages of books and have become familiar, accepted and respected.  Yet it wasn’t until relatively recently I became aware of “Yarn Bombing” (or YarnStorming as it’s often referred to in the UK) – the act of making and installing knitted and crocheted pieces in public places.The Telephone Box Cosy in Parliament Square above was Yarn Stormed by the brilliant sneaky stitching team behind Knit The City in London.  Take a bow ladies!  Why did they do it?…because they can…that’s why!  Thanks for making London a more colourful place & making us smile!  Founded in 2009 by Deadly Knitshade, we follow their antics on Twitter.  Oh if anyone knows who knitted the bobble hat for the bus stop please let us know and we’ll be happy to credit or link to them!  Email us at designteam@scarletopus.com

Also known as “Knit & Crochet graffiti”, this guerilla practice started in Texas back in 2005 (with a little red jumper on a tree), but has gradually spread to become an international movement with wonderfully woolly installations creeping their way around parking meters, benches and statues across the world.

I really started to take note of this emerging Street Art when the Charging Bull on Wall Street, NYC was given a nice jumper for Christmas 2010 by the Artist Olek:

You can watch a video of Olek fitting it to him during the wee small hours of Dec 25th HERE.  The precision of the pieces she has created is amazing…wait until you see her putting the knitted pieces onto the bulls horns.  Perfect fits!  Olek gave this piece of Street Art to the people of New York as a gift, wishing everyone well for the year ahead….nice lady!

Then last month Olek put her fancy graffiti knitting techniques to good use again, this time creating a colourful piece of knitting for a black London taxi:

You can see the full photo shoot over at the HookedBlog HERE.

But my favoured source for keeping up-to-date on these joyful projects is Mandy Moore & Leanne Prain’s blog www.yarnbombing.com which provides comprehensive and passionate coverage of the work of Guerilla Knitters around the globe.

Allow me to introduce you to the lovely lasses:

As well as being a blogger, Leanne Prain is the co-author (with Mandy) of the bestselling book “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet & Knit Graffiti”, and the author of “Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery” published this year.  She co-founded a stitch & bitch group called ‘Knitting & Beer’ in order to expand her skills while knitting at the pub.  The Genius!  She is a professional Graphic Designer and holds degrees in creative writing, art history, and publishing. She lives and knits in Vancouver.

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Mandy Moore is the technical Editrix of popular online knitting magazine Knitty.com, and of various other knitting & crochet books and publications.  She blogs with Leanne at www.yarnbombing.com, co-authored the Yarn Bombing book, and also lives in Vancouver.

LOVING this shot of Mandy by Jeff Christenson.

 

Above: A selection of pages from Leanne & Mandy’s Yarn Bombing book

Unusually Yarn Bombing is a predominantly female-dominated Street Art, bringing a refreshing injection of colour, softness and femininity to the hard, grey, masculine aesthetic of our cities.  Mandy agrees that “the juxtaposition of soft, impermanent, handmade objects with the hard, impersonal urban landscape is striking, and inspires people in such a variety of ways!  Some crafters seem affronted by the idea of using your time and skill to make something, and then abandoning it to an uncertain fate; we feel that it offers unique opportunities for artistic expression!”

Mandy & Leanne have been fans of Yarn Bombing since they first heard about it, but it wasn’t until they began writing their book in 2009 that they started actively Yarn Bombing themselves – “We don’t do a lot of it, but it is so fun and rewarding when we do!”

Mandy & Leanne join other graffiti knitters to work on a special piece on International Yarn Bombing Day  – June 11th

Mandy explained to me there is no coherent Yarn Bombing manifesto or agenda.  Different groups and individual knitters do it for different reasons; to elevate the perception of needlecrafts, as an exciting secret hobby and Mandy believes “many bombers simply do it to delight themselves and others!”

I started talking to our Trend seminar audiences about Yarn Bombing this year and it never fails to make people smile!  Earlier this month a number of members of the UK Press waited to speak to me after one of our talks to say they loved the whole concept of Yarn Bombing and some of them wanted to take up their needles and start graffiti knitting themselves…Yey!

One of the great things about Yarn Bombing is you don’t have to be a highly skilled knitter to get involved…if you can knit a square then you can become a Graffiti Knitter this very week!

Although I’ve seen examples of extraordinarily complex, intricate and accurately executed pieces, there are also many fabulously simple projects which involve little more than a considerately placed tube of knitting or string of knitted flowers.  It seems to me that some of the most effective works are successful because of the knitters determination to realise a clever concept, their quirky attitude and generosity of spirit to make our cities & towns more colourful and interesting places to live.  They are quite simply random acts of knitting!

Yarn Bombed Cherry Tree

So why not take up your knitting & crochet needles and brighten up the town or city you live in.  Even if you can’t knit, there is plenty of time to learn and plan a cheeky cheerful project before next year’s International Yarn Bombing Day on June 11th.

    • To learn more about Yarn Bombing and follow updates on global projects visit www.yarnbombing.com
    • Mandy Moore & Leanne Prain’s fab bestselling book “Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti” (the definitive guidebook to covert textile Street Art, packed full of beautiful photographs, interviews and easy step-by-step instructions for knit & crochet installations) is available from www.arsenalpulp.com
    • And you can watch a short video of Mandy & Leanne showing projects from their book at an event at ‘3 Bags Full’ HERE.  I LOVE the knitted picture frame…such a brilliant idea!!!
    • And why not check out Leanne’s new book Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery HERE

    I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s posting as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.
      Be sure to check back next Monday for The Graduate: Part IV with Anthony when he’ll be looking at our Autumn/Winter 2011/12 trend, Defend & Destroy.

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