It’s early January and the festive frivolities already feel like a distant memory. Unfortunately, for all of us here is the UK and for many around the world, 2021 hasn’t exactly gotten off to the good start. The UK is in another national lockdown. This means more isolation, working from home, school closures, home schooling, and no visits from friends and family. However, with the gradual roll out of the vaccines, the government has reassured us that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But the potential impact on mental health is a very real concern which may be long lasting.
Long-term fans of the School of the Stitched Textiles will already know that we are advocates of stitching and crafts and the benefits they have on physical and mental well-being. We’ve therefore pulled together a few resources (or a stitch remedy) that aim to help and support businesses and individuals through this incredibly difficult time. We like to think that although we’re an online business, we’re first and foremost an online community: A community of like-minded stitchers, crafters, makers, teachers. Please get involved, reach out to us if needed and share these resources so that we can help people far and wide.
We’re Still Open
Before we get started we’d like to reassure existing students that we’re open as usual. Our team will continue to work remotely. All of our tutors and assessors are on hand as you continue to work your way through your courses.
Support for Businesses
Retailers, especially independently owned stores are bearing the full brunt of this Pandemic. Last year we established the Stitch Directory! A dedicated online resource for businesses to promote their stores and online shops. The aim of the Stitch Directory is to support independent shops to help promote and support the uptake of crafting and the sale of craft supplies; highlight their existence and ultimately help them to attract new and returning business.
If you’re a business selling haberdashery supplies, craft suppliers, needles, buttons and machines then you can add your business to the directory. It’s completely FREE! We are doing our best to showcase businesses that join the directory. This includes social media posts to our 15k strong followers and the potential to be featured on our home page and across our site which attracts over 3k unique visits each month.
Gain extra exposure for you business now by adding your business.
Stitchers ! You can also support your favourite suppliers and stores by recommending them to join the Stitch Directory. Simply recommend a business here and we’ll do the rest. For more information about how businesses can get involved and what we’re doing to support business please check out this article.
Combatting Coronavirus Anxiety
At the start of the Pandemic our Head of Centre Gail Cowley shared some fantastic tips on how to mentally cope with ongoing pressures and uncertainties. Her advice for combatting Coronvirus Anxiety includes practical measures like eating well, getting plenty of sleep and following the obligatory hand washing. She also discusses the benefits of compiling a ‘to do’ list that include things that will interest and absorb the mind and distract attention away from the day to day worry of the situation.
She recommends creative things that impart a huge sense of achievement when completed. Creative things that completely emerge you. With this in mind, we have some recommendations of our own.
Online Courses for Beginners
If you’re new to stitch crafts and textile art then we have some fantastic online beginners courses that you can access instantly and study anywhere. Not only are these a great distraction but you’ll also learn some beautiful techniques that you can use again and again. All of our beginner courses include patterns and tutorials on how to make a number of projects including greeting cards, bunting, cushions, iPad cases and much more.
For a short time only we’re offering you the chance to do a FREE course with us. Discover the basics of Hand Embroidery with this FREE mini hand embroidery course. Learn how to make this beautiful dandelion seed hand embroidery design by following along with our online tutorial, from the comfort – and safety – of your own home.
In-depth Accredited Courses
If you want a longer-term challenge why take a look at our City and Guilds accredited distance learning courses. Again, these are distance learning courses which mean you work your way through the course materials at home, with full support from your very own personal tutor. We will continue to assess work as it’s submitted. To study one of our accredited courses you will need to enrol at our next enrolment day. The good news is our next one is taking place on Saturday 6th February. This is YOUR chance to start something new, keep focused on something positive, improve your skills and gain a City and Guilds accreditation doing something you LOVE.
If you’d like more information about a particular course or you’d like to invited to enrol onto one of our accredited courses then please register your interest before the 6th February.
If you’re already studying with us, then why not try to immerse yourself in your coursework in order to escape the ubiquitous coronavirus commentary?
Craft Your Way to Mindfulness
Almost all of us will at some point in our lives experience prolonged bouts of stress and low mood. This is normal during times of worry, like the Coronavirus outbreak. But taking proactive measures to increase mood is the best way to achieve mental well-being. Mindfulness is about living in the now, being thankful for the good things in your life, embracing life (the good and bad) and acknowledging and accepting how you feel.
Ultimately, the art of mindfulness is about pursuing the things that make you feel happy, help you to relax and improve self-esteem.
We’ve looked at the positive impact that crafting can have on mental well-being so get ready to embrace a more fulfilled, creative you and start crafting your way to mindfulness, one stitch at a time. Take a look at how you can craft your way to mindfulness now.
Motivation in times of crisis is hard to muster. Thankfully, nearly all of the professional textile artists that we’ve interviewed over the years have experience of a lack of motivation but offer fantastic words of wisdom on how to spark a creative ideas and stay focused.
You can find all of the interviews with Inspirational Artists here. But here are some of our top picks.
Another great way to get the creative juices flowing is to simply sit back, relax and surround yourself with inspirational delights. We have LOTS! You can either take a look at some of the latest work from our graduates or take a look at the some of the work being produced by our existing students.