I just got a tweet from a participant that said, "It's a very special thing you do there on a Tuesday night." Which made me all warm and fuzzy inside. Because that's exactly how I feel about it too.
Every Tuesday from 7pm till 9pm we gather in the upstairs space of my studio and gallery and sit and stitch and sketch and knit and embroider and sew and quilt and laugh and talk and pick each other's brains. There is a regular bunch of women who attend and then there are less regulars and then there are the once-off visitors. And I advertise it for any creative work, not just stitching. It makes for wonderful, varied and interesting evenings.
A lot of the women I had never met prior to these sessions but we share a love of hand work and being creative. That forms a common bond before we even start talking. And then the socialising effects of tea and biscuits kick in...
There is a little community forming and connections being made and I take a secret pride that they are happening in part because of me. Yay! I wanted to give something back to the community, and whilst that outwardly doesn't seem to be a huge thing (no big free children's education programs or public art donations here) I feel that friendships and support networks are being formed and that is no small thing either. It really warms my heart and makes me smile to see these women who didn't know each other a couple of months ago greet each other with broad smiles and sit down for a good old chat.
Our last Tuesday night was a funny one, with lots of jokes and laughs. The one before that got a bit deep and meaningful. Some have been quieter, some smaller, some bigger, some with visitors who could barely speak English, and some with just a couple of us so we could have real heart to heart conversations.
So if you are local and reading this, come along and join in. If you aren't so local, are you in some form of group like this, or have you tried forming a social creative group of your own?