Sensational Butterflies at the Natural History Museum

“Let’s take the Tiny Overlord to the butterfly exhibit at the Natural History Museum”, he said. “Baby? Museum? London? Butterflies?!”, I stuttered. “The Tiny Overlord will love it”, said the Aussie. “Hmm…” I sceptically replied.

But with that our little family of three (myself, the Aussie and the 7 month old Tiny Overlord) headed off on the train to London to go to the world renowned Natural History Museum.

The Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum, London

The beautiful Natural History Museum. The Sensational Butterflies exhibit is in the marquee on the lawn, however, we also had a sneaky peak at the diplodocus skeleton and the Earth Story while the little one snoozed in the sling.

Beautiful butterflies

The butterflies were beautiful and exotic. Not like anything I had ever seen in the UK before.

'owl' markings on the underside of butterfly wings

Though I was as equally fascinated by the stunning markings on the underside of their wings, coloured to help camouflage.

lemon tree

I was also rather taken by this lemon. I am easily pleased.

baby looking at butterflies

And what did the the Tiny Overlord think? Well, he was fascinated, genuinely and utterly fascinated – watching them land, take off and fly around the tent or just calmly observed them simply flutter their wings.

I’m not sure if this is a common occurrence in early motherhood, but I am sometimes hesitant to take the little guy to new and unusual places. Despite the fact that, if I am honest, I really don’t enjoy baby orientated events. Am I worried that he won’t enjoy it? Am I worried what other people might think if he cries? I couldn’t say for certain. But every time we do take a ‘brave’ step, we all have a wonderful time and I wonder why I do not step out of my comfort zone more often and find something that we all find stimulating and enjoyable?

It is really important to us to get the Tiny Overlord engaging with the outside world. I know it is very easy and ‘natural’ to want to keep our babies inside and safe. But even at such a young age he already seems to love nature and being outside. Seeing the world through his eyes is wonderful too, imagine what it must be like to see your first butterfly? Getting him outside I have little problem with, taking him to inside places I often need a little more convincing. However, Seeds and Stitches recently did a post about taking babies to art exhibitions. They also shared links to the fascinating Culture Babies in Manchester and the very interesting Kids in Museums initiative.

Buoyed by our weekend’s success, I am certainly going to try to think out of the [toy] box of places to take the tiny one. I just need to have a little more faith in all of us.

 

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Yarnbombing: Brentford

Not just yarnbombing, but here on Little Stitch we bring you yarnbombing spotted on the move!

These photos of yarnbombed trees on Brentford High Street come from ‘The Aussie’s’ helmet camera, after he spotted them on his bicycle commute in to Central London. You might need to tilt your screen a bit…

Yarnbombed tree on Brentford High Street

Yarnbombed tree on Brent

Aren’t they fabulous? As always, do you know who made these yarnbombs? And why? I’d really love to know.

You can check out more of the gallery of yarnbombing gallery from around the world here. And if you have spotted any mysterious yarnbombs you would like me to feature, please drop me a line – my contact details can be found here.

Happy hunting!

More Pieces of the Puzzle: #imapiece

Have you been wondering about what happened to all those jigsaw pieces that were embroidered for the #imapiece project? Here’s a little update on what they (and I) have been up to lately…20130514-193224.jpgIn April I was honoured to be invited by Save the Children UK to attend a showcase of all the embroidered pieces (completed to date) for the #imapiece project. It was exciting and very moving to see all the pieces together, knowing that each one had been carefully embroidered by someone that felt so strongly about global inequalities and wanted to send a message to G8 to act.20130514-193405.jpg To see over 700 pieces together was really moving, knowing the time, energy and focused passion for fighting inequality that had gone in to each piece.

20130514-193344.jpg

I think this might be my new favourite piece, I love the play on words and its affirming message.

The showcase seemed to be really well received, people spent a lot of time reading the individual messages and admiring the whole impact of the jigsaw. It was a fantastic evening.

sarahcraftymag

Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective in Crafty Magazine

In more news, it is always a delight to see the lovely Sarah, founder of the Craftivist Collective, in her regular column for Crafty magazine. However, I got rather excited to see #imapiece featuring alongside her, especially because you can spot a lot of the pieces from our Reading Stitch-in in the picture. Fame at last lovely Reading crafters!

People holding the letters 'IF' in Hyde Park

But amongst all this excitement it could have been easy to lose focus on the reason we made the pieces and who their messages was ultimately aimed at. But when I went along to the Big IF rally in Hyde Park on Saturday, it was brilliant to see Save the Children UK showcasing some of the pieces and encouraging people to make some more. The Big IF Rally was timed to run alongside the ‘Hunger Summit’ that was held by David Cameron before the G8 meet later this month in Northern Ireland. It was wonderful to see the jigsaw pieces there as part of the rally, engaging people in thinking in the wider issues around food inequalities around the world.

#imapiece at the Big IF London

But #imapiece doesn’t stop there: If you are in Belfast this Saturday, there will be more #imapiece workshops at the Big IF Belfast.

And if you can’t make it to Belfast but still need some motivation on how and why you can get involved, check out the incredible work done by Anne Clark. A truly inspirational lady. I loved what Anne managed to achieve, it really makes you think about what more you can do yourself.

You can keep up to date with the #imapiece project with the Craftivist Collective. If you want to catch up on all of my personal #imapiece journey please check out my posts here.

Welcome, Tiny Overlord

tinyoverlord

Things have been rather quiet here in Little Stitch Towers, while I have been juggling the two challenges of university final assignments and exams and the first trimester of pregnancy. But in good news, I’m now nearly 15 weeks, so far our Tiny Overlord is looking mighty fine, my last exam is next week and I am going to celebrate by going to see #imapiece in London.

Thanks for continuing to visiting this little space and I’ll have lots more to share with you very soon.

The Tiny Overlord cross stitch design is by Subversive Cross Stitch and this version was made by Threadia Blog.

Want to come and see #imapiece in London? It’s on Thursday 25th April at Craft Central. Read all about the event HERE.

Hopefully see you there x

I’m a piece: The Craftivist Jigsaw Project Launch

On 16th October 2012, members of the craft community from all over the country descended on glamourous surroundings of Mary Portas’s Living & Giving charity shop in London’s Primrose Hill to stitch together. But this wasn’t your average cupcake-fuelled craft evening – it was the launch of the Craftivist Collective’s and Save the Children’s Craftivist Jigsaw project – more commonly known in these social media savvy times as ‘I’m a piece’ or #imapiece.

embroiderers at work

Hard at work in the Living & Giving Shop: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

Launched on World Food Day and the focal point of the project being next year’s G8 meeting, the aim is for people to make three jigsaw pieces, stitched with provocative but encouraging messages to remind people that we all have a role to play in tackling inequalities across the world:

  • One of the pieces will go towards creating an art installation to raise awareness that we all have a role to play and show that the craft community wants the Government to use its power and influence as host of the 2013 G8 to tackle injustice. The last time the G8 was hosted in the UK, the public responded with the Make Poverty History campaign. So this could be a big opportunity to make historical change.
  • The second piece is for you to keep as a reminder to be part of the solution – a reminder that can all do our bit in so many ways – from buying local and reducing our carbon footprint, to raising awareness and talking to our MPs about important issues like food prices and biofuels.
  • The third piece is to give to your MP to ask them to be the positive change they wish to see in the world.
Cakes and embroidery

One of my finished jigsaw pieces at the project launch: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

The philosophy of the Craftivist Collective is that we can all change the world stitch by stitch and this project aims to show that we are all connected and our actions make a difference, whether that be through what we decide to buy, vote for, how we treat people etc. There is no one solution to the problem of injustice but the Craftivist Collective strongly believe we can all play a part in a movement for change.

fabric jigsaw pieces say 'We are all part of the solution'

‘We are all part of the solution’: Photo courtesy of the Craftvist Collective/ Save the Children

I’m an unabashed fan of the work of the Craftivist Collective and wear my ‘Craftivist’ badge with great pride, but this project has got me really excited. Firstly I get really enthused about mass-particiaptory pieces of crafted art work – I have written about Desconocida Unkown Ukjent, but I also love ‘In a war someone has to die‘ – I think a group (however it is organised) creating something together is beautiful and empowering. So I am looking forward to seeing the completed created for the G8.

But I also really love this project because it tackles the apathy that we can all often feel (*holds up hand* I know I do). It provides a quiet but thoughtful reminder that everyone has a part to play is dealing with issues such as poverty or malnutrition – they are not just things that happen in other countries – and that we are all part of creating a solution. Despite currently studying poverty and development issues, I often need reminding that I can also do more in my ‘everyday’ life to be a better global citizen, to think about the wider consequence of my choices. Sitting down, stitching, creating gives me a chance to reflect on that. And I truly believe that when other people see these beautiful unobtrusive but strong jigsaw pieces, they might find some inspiration, they might find something in them that they hadn’t previously considered and might start thinking about how they can make their own change, in their own way. Positive and powerful. That’s why I’m proud to say that #imapiece.

embroidery that says #imapiece

#imapiece: Photo courtesy of the Craftivist Collective/ Save the Children

You can read more about how you can become a piece in solving this puzzle on its dedicated website and also see loads of information and vlogs on the Craftivist Collective site.

Living next door to the biggest party on earth

In the summer of 2012 East London hosted what was billed to be the biggest sporting party on Earth – the Olympic and Paralympic Games. During the games, we walked along the Herford Union Canal in Hackney Wick (which adjoins the boundary of the Olympic Park) to have a look at what it must be like to have such an infamous neighbour…

Hertford Union Canal

We all hate the Olympics

Stadium roof

Imagine

No cycling

stadium

You can also read about my visit to the Paralympic cycling road racing or see all my London 2012 photos on Flickr.