In Baltimore, USA, Betsy Greer, the author of the book Craftivism initiated the project ‘You are So Very Beautiful’ in 2016. People were invited to create positive affirmations to then give away, by leaving them in public places where someone else would find them.
Betsy joined forces with a crafter in Vancouver, and with us at Significant Seams. Stitched positive affirmations were collected in these three places, and then a hub in Australia too. We then left them in public places for others to find.
In our experience, this project has an unexpected, BEAUTIFUL impact.
As our participants stitched, the words of their affirmation repeated in their heads. More than one maker dissolved into tears unexpectedly, tears of joy, appreciation, and surprise. We were told tha while sayings were often stitched with an admired person in mind, the stitching encouraged reflection, and makers began to see, and re-value the affirmations in themselves. Some kept their affirmations, others who thought they might were decided by the experience that the affirmation HAD to go out into the world as a ‘pay it forward’ gesture.
We received patches from across the UK and Europe. Members of our Sew and Tell ESL group and weekly Supportive Social Sewing group made loads. Some of our favourite ‘drop’ points (where patches were left for others to be affirmed) include The Olympic Park in Stratford, The Barbican Centre, and in front of ‘The Viking Shop’ in Walthamstow, East London.
This project is worth trying. You don’t need to be part of a global day of action to affirm yourself or a stranger. It’s a lovely activity to send positive, supportive vibes into your community.
Here’s how to make one:
Make a sign (no bigger than palm size) that contains an affirmation starting with “You are so very” on it. All types of craft are okay, so run with it! It’s up to you if you tag it with your @social_media_handle, but please tag it on the back with #yasvb and maybe also @significantseams.
Sets of kits with prepared felt, a needle and embroidery threadscan be ordered from us. Contact us via the etsy shop.
“*You Are So Very Beautiful is what I’m calling this for right now, because I think that we, no matter what our gender orientation, can have a problem seeing this about ourselves, regarding both our inner and outer beauty. And seeing ourselves as beautiful is a radical act.” Betsy Greer
To read more about Betsy’s inspiration, click here.