You may have seen a snippet from Miranda Liever‘s creature video in the CBC news clip last week. She’s the one whose Grade 1 teacher used her diorama as an example of how not to use glue. Poor Miranda. I’m really glad she had a chance to work out her lingering anger about that last week during the Mighty Ugly crafts experiment.
Here’s what Miranda had to say about her experience making her creature:
- I think my brain is warped because I loved many of the dolls created. I couldn’t believe no one wanted to keep theirs! I loved yours [Kim’s], I loved the giant snake, I loved the cheerleader… so many. I secretly want to keep them all, but they’ll be going to a good cause in Kimli’s Northern Voice talk.**
- I really, really had fun with the fact that my plans and ideas could change so fluidly and evolve as I went. There was no “but that’s not the plan” little voice… and the end product was so much better because I just went with it as I was creating. Normally once you make decisions you are more committed because you’ve already sewn that part or whatever and you can’t easily retrofit, but in the case of an ugly doll I could just sew a leg on top if I needed to without worrying about more traditional construction methods. This was freeing.
- I liked that we were making dolls with cloth and similar materials available, because they are plush and have a certain cuddly factor even when they are filled with glass, like mine. As a kid I played a lot with paper and other materials and those items just become recycling, where I think a doll is in many ways more permanent. I felt like I was creating something more substantial and valuable than if I just glued a bunch of things to a sheet of paper.
- I think my favourite part – like many have likely said – was that it was a social activity. I personally would be interested in doing this on my own, but the reality is that I would have a hard time making the time with everything else I have happening. Conversely, I will make time for social activities, and this was a great one.
- I would be interested in hearing how non-creatives felt about the activity. As crafters we already knew how to work with the materials at hand – how to sew, how a glue gun works and behaves, the concept of sewing an item then turning it inside out and completing with stuffing to create a traditional stuffed item. These skills are fairly basic but something I think everyone at the table was familiar with, but I think there are people who would find the actual mechanics of working with the materials (stuffed or otherwise) to be stressful. Even if someone was gluing an item together rather than sewing, not everyone knows that white glue will take forever to dry vs. a glue gun which will actually dry quite quickly. I wonder if there may be value – and I’m sure doing a workshop with non-crafty types would tell you – in doing like a 5-minute intro on the basic tools that they have in front of them? Print out a poster showing the most basic of stitches? Have a stapler for those who want to do that? I’m not sure. Just thoughts.
I love Miranda’s reactions and suggestions, and will certainly be keeping them in mind as I begin to lead Mighty Ugly workshops***.
And here’s Miranda telling her creature’s story:
** Northern Voice is a blogging conference that will be held here in Vancouver next month. Kimli Welsh will be presenting a talk on overcoming social anxiety and she’ll be using the creatures created during the MU experiment in… a surprising way.
*** That’s right, it’s official! Mighty Ugly workshops!