"The World is but a Canvas to the Imagination"
~Henry David Thoreau~

April's Tender Nest....
Where the Creative Spirit is nurtured and cared for.

April Martin-Ko
Creativity Consultant, Holistic Life Coach and Educator.

Tea Time at April's Tender Nest

Tea Time at April's Tender Nest
Tea Time at April's Tender Nest

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

grandmother university

today marks the 100th anniversary of international women's day. on this significant day i had the privilege to participate in an aboriginal women's conference. the theme was... building success through education and wellness.  i had the opportunity to listen to well known aboriginal leader margaret harris, who is a respected cree elder from northern manitoba who has lived in prince rupert and vancouver throughout her adult life. starting in prince rupert she founded the we yah hani nah coastal first nations dance festival which was instrumental in reviving first nations culture in northwestern british columbia. she and other elders, who are part of grandparents group from raycam community centre came to share songs and dance.  i was inspired by grandma harris' (as she is known in her community) teachings today that emphasized the importance of connecting to cultural traditions and how they must be passed down among the generations.

warrior woman:  haida wolf and moon

she also emphasized that elders can learn from the vitality and creativity that is held by children.  this reminded me of why it is important that i share my sewing, and crafting skills i have learned from my mother and grandmothers with adaryn.  vedana shiva actualized this through her "grandmother university". she argues that passing down women's skills, which have often been labeled as craft, is an act of feminism "three centuries of marginalization of women's traditional knowledge needs to be corrected. The correction is vital for gender justice and women's empowerment and vital not only for women's equality, but for planetary health and humanity's survival" she argues for this last point because women's traditional knowledge is based on a holistic system, just like biodiversity. read more about the grandmother university at:   http://www.navdanya.org/diverse-women-for-diversity/grandmothers-university
on my way home after the conference i stopped by a used bookstore and as i usually say...' a book found me',  no idle hands: the social history of american knitting by anne l. macdonald. i thought this book was fitting regarding my renewed interest in the craft; i look forward to learning how women of the past used knitting to express themselves and mark their place in history... i hope it continues to feed my desire to keep this craft, which my fraternal grandmother loved to spend her time doing, alive.

Monday, March 7, 2011

cherry bombs

it feels like spring is about to bloom. today mr. and mrs. finch serenaded me as i surveyed my garden, making plans to get the fallow soil ready for bulbs.

yesterday crafters, knitters, authors and artists all gathered at the historic joy kogawa house to bestow some early spring in the form of wool and yarn on the cherry tree that inspired naomi's tree, read more at  http://www.fitzhenry.ca/detail.aspx?ID=10126.

the event was a partnership with the kogawa house and authors of yarn bombing: the art of crochet and knit graffiti, mandy moore and leanne prain http://yarnbombing.com/. it was a wonderful event of community art bringing together people from different areas of the city, diverse generations and backgrounds to string up hundreds and hundreds of knitted, crocheted and in my case, a felted cherry blossom, on the tree.  the local fire department even lent their ladder and i was told they were quite serious about where they were placing the woolly flowers. it was an inspiring experience to see all gathered lending their artistic hand to decorate the tree.

i felt especially inspired to attend this event, not only because of my love of cherry blossoms, spring, crafting and eagerness to learn how to knit again, but....also to re-connect with my childhood friend and author, leanne prain.  leanne and i grew-up on vancouver island playing together when our parents would have social gatherings; our parents being long time friends. both leanne and i had mothers who sewed; i think their interest in craft has seeped into our psyches and evolved our own passions.

unfortunately the knitting skills  i learned from my grandmother have been forgotten. i tried to learn crocheting from youtube before the knit in's but all i'm able to do at this point is make a chain, but that was all i needed on sunday to help string up the blossoms.  instead i made a needle felted a cherry blossom, which was welcomed.  i hope to re-learn my knitting skills with a stitch and bitch group so i can be ready to knit hats for next winter and maybe even yarnbomb my own yard this spring.