#Grateful31 starts today!

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And we’re off. Our new 31 day grateful challenge starts today, and it has already made me feel so happy. I almost couldn’t wait to share how grateful I am to be alive in this amazing life, waking up to sunshine and birdsong. Oh grateful challenge, how I have missed thee!

Then I came across this wonderful post from Christine Carter in my inbox and just had to share it with everyone. It’s a really lovely read about noting down the good things that happen, even if you are not a journaler! I totally relate – I must have at least 5-10 notebooks with a few pages filled. And when I read them, I realise that in the past I have often written when I am sad. Re-reading my notebooks can sometimes take me to places of profound sadness. So how important to now also remember to jot down when I am happy, and today is definitely one of those days. I also love her tips about texting your kids. I’m gonna try that next week when my cheeky monkey is back from his Dad’s place. I am already anticipating the funny look on his face to receive a message and photo from me!

In the meantime, hop on over to our Grateful Project facebook page, or tweet or instagram #Grateful31 all those grateful feelings. It’s guaranteed to make a difference!

Binky’s Darwin YarnHeart adventure

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imageWow. Darwin was amazing. Much fun and heartmaking was had amidst the festivities of I Heart Bagot and the Darwin, errr…Festival! It was all very festive, what can I say?! 

The response to YarnHeart was wonderful and we are still churning out the portraits this week and probably for the next couple of weeks. The heart installation space was in Bagot House where folks could go visit, have a cup of tea, see the fabulous hearts sent from near and far and enjoy learning about the history of Bagot Community.

Big thanks must go to Producer Kieren Sanderson. This project was conceived over emails and phone calls but could never have been delivered without the amazing on the ground skills, coordination and leadership of Kieren. Thanks also to Louise Doble, who’s incredible design talents were put to good use with our beautiful YarnHeart logo. Louise is also the unofficial Binky photographer and archivist and took many wonderful images during our time in Bagot community – we’ll share more of these over time. Thanks also to the talented Zoe Davis, photographer and the plethora of amazing production crew who made our time at the festival just so much more wonderful – Ally, Sophie, Vanessa and anyone else I’ve missed. And thanks to Darwin Community Arts Centre for supplying the crafting supplies for the YarnHeart space. What a collaborative effort! We couldn’t have done it without you.

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Off to Darwin for YarnHeart

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imageWe’re super excited because tonight we fly to Darwin. We have a stash of YarnHearts to share and photograph and we’re very happy to be able to see the project come to life.

There are new portraits up in the gallery and we’ll be trying to share images and observations from the community and the festival as much as our internet connection will allow!

If you’re in Darwin and see us, come say hi!

Heart and records a good mix for NAIDOC!

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The City of Darwin did a heart making workshop at Bagot using old records, to celebrate NAIDOC Week! Big thanks Darwin City and Aly De Groot (workshop facilitator). They look amazing! imageimageimageimageimage

 

How to organise your own YarnHeart crafternoon

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Connect your community and organise a YarnHeart crafternoon where you live. YarnHeart can connect us in so many different ways – with our friends and family, work colleagues, local communities, online and of course with Bagot. Help us connect Australia by bring together people, stories and handmade hearts!

Resilience and music: rock on

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Me and the Kukey girls. You can hear us at backyard parties and special events.
Me and the Kukey girls. You can hear us at backyard parties and special events.

Music is one of those things that I always turn to when I want to celebrate, commiserate or just contemplate. Lately I have been lucky enough to perform again with a group of friends and the experience has been a bonding one. Rehearsing over a meal and some drinks, retraining our ears to hear the parts of others not just our own, learning to watch each other for cues and taking our turns to shine has been an experience that other activities just don’t come close to replicating. In turn, getting up in front of others and performing is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. But the end result is empowering. An ‘I did it’ feeling, regardless of the quality of the turn in the spotlight.

I loved reading this article by Joanne Ruksanas from The Conversation about the link between resilience and music, mainly because it validates my own perspective but also because of the way resilience is described:

Resilience is an important characteristic often referred to as an umbrella trait. It does not remove problems – but it provides shelter and protection while people make choices about how they will deal with what they are facing.

How beautiful. This description doesn’t deny the fact of the storm, nor the fact that shelter might be required. It draws a picture of being able to find some time to get your bearings and decide what to do next.

Music, gratitude, art, connection to others; all contribute to make this umbrella that provides shelter from the storm, and helps us to emerge when the sun comes out again.

My son has witnessed my fervour in this regard. He came home one day, eager to start learning guitar. I was thrilled. We set off for the local music store (we’re very lucky to have one), grabbed an acoustic guitar and booked in for lessons. After about lesson three, he was less enthusiastic but I encouraged him to persist, even bribing him with slushie drinks. I never heard any adult ever voice regrets about having music lessons. The reverse though, I’ve heard plenty.

Maybe Binky should do a music project? If you have an idea, let me know. I have explored this thought with some musician friends, and I think there’s potential. In the meantime, let’s celebrate music. It may just be the ticket to a better life.

 

Check out the YarnHeart Gallery

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Images from the first YarnHeart Workshop in Bagot

July 3 YarnHeart Workshop in Bagot
July 3 YarnHeart Workshop in Bagot