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Just getting started: Studio Miranda Issue #11

Wow. What a weekend, hm? With the official count at around 3 million marchers around the US, that mea
Studio Miranda
Just getting started: Studio Miranda Issue #11
By Studio Miranda  • Issue #11 • View online
Wow. What a weekend, hm? With the official count at around 3 million marchers around the US, that means nearly 1 in 100 Americans showed up. And the distinctive feature of the march? A handmade hat.
When I updated my newsletter design over Christmas, I was just footling around. I wasn’t entirely sure about the slogan I came up with, Making is meaning, but I thought I’d let it settle. I read it two ways: first, on a very personal level, I find meaning – purpose – through making. And second, making something is a highly intentional process. After this weekend, I feel it goes further.
The popular notion that craft is inherently an act of resistance is one that I struggle with. Craft can be very much a consumerist hobby. (Let me tell you about my shelves of sewing supplies, and my two sewing machines that I’m too scared to use.) But after this weekend – especially after seeing the suspicious, conspiracy-theory tweets about those hats (mass-produced abroad, bought and paid for by George Soros! Like the protestors themselves!) – well, I’m far more ready to entertain the notion that making is politically meaningful. 
Abby Franquemont has written about this failure to recognise real, hand-made, grassroots things, and by things we mean movement. I don’t want to read too much into it, but I am certainly convinced of the connection between making and political activism. Creating something with your own hands, realising that you don’t have to be just a consumer, is empowering. Millions of people creating something by hand that becomes such a powerful symbol – that’s galvanising. How much more can we do?

Crafting for a cause
Act local is always the best motto. Find out who needs help, what political action needs support, where you are. But also check out these links. 
First 100 Day Resistance Agenda
Resist: a stranded knitting chart
Take inspiration from these men
Keep working
It’s not all about politics. I know you need to get on with your own stuff. 
Productivity in Terrible Times
And finally
When my husband read my last newsletter, he said he disagreed with just one thing – online courses are great! Only then did I realise I’d suggested they weren’t. Guys, I love online courses. I love learning. I love that there are courses for just about everything, and yes, creative business courses and craft courses and writing courses are 100% part of this awesomeness. Offering such a course yourself, to diversify your creative business? Also awesome. The only thing that gives me pause – veering to severe ick, in a few cases – is when those courses, or business counselling offers, hold out the promise of $$$. Because it just doesn’t work that way. Building a business (whether writing, or crafting, or selling craft supplies, or anything) requires skill, suss, passion, time – and luck. By all means, work on upgrading those skills, and seek advice or help with the business-y parts you might be less confident on, and learning smart strategies could reduce the time it takes. But there are no guarantees. Ever.
Phew, that was a loooong letter. Who was it who wrote, “Forgive the long letter, I didn’t have time to write you a short one”? 
Happy crafting!
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Studio Miranda

Inspiration and food for thought for crafters, from yarn twiddler Robynn Weldon.

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