We’ve been doing quite a bit of traveling lately. Apart from meeting wonderful people and seeing great crafts there are also these moments and views that seem so utterly english – at least to an outsider’s eye

1. of course, there is always the rain:

2. countryside in semi/somewhat urban settings:

or is it the other way around?

3: still catching up on my royal history with a long way to go …

4: surveillance politics

and yes, not last, wonderfully talented and friendly people

for more pics see our flickr photo stream!


Migration …. it’s starting …




“they were inspecting them and trying to figure out what it was about. […] she started to google and figure out the identities of the birds.”






“took a friend home with me”

And here, online:

The beginning of spring,

today, March 21st, and it is grey as so often in England. Even more reason to support Rausfrauen’s “spring awakening” call ( to decorate and enliven our towns with “fancy colorful art in the open space .”  And so we knitted, crochet, embroidered and sewed to provide our fellow overworked and stressed out academic colleagues with a cheerful spring morning smile …

… battled against and with cleaning and security staff but so far our “hazardous” knitted ladybirds and crochet flowers are still in place.

The ladybird is watching and we are following …

It has seen everything. Has been everywhere. Their names range from A. Greig and Ajaypal S. to William T. II and William V. and the 496 others in between that represent all the first names of fortune 500 CEOs.

The “lady” knows about global trade and exploitation. Indeed, on the shopping bags of a major UK retailer, it’s been part of everyday British consumer culture and experience.

And … now that they’re here, following the lady and all other “things” (, will be our next “mission.”

What a beginning of spring.

Check out even more pics on our flickr page ( of AAG crafting and yarn bombing.

Also, like this plant growing on a tree (“foundation”) on the  Appalachian trail (hiking in North Carolina after AAG), we’re happy to announce that we just got awarded a first small grant to take our research and interests to North America.

So …. North Carolina, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nova Scotia ….. here we come …. Keep in touch and let’s all re-meet and get together soon again!

 … and, in line with some of our activities re yarn bombing and geocaching ladybirds in Exeter, UK … geocaching on local organic marmalade in Asheville, NC, USA as part of a (unrelated but nevertheless relevant and similar) follow the things initiative.

Photos of the work produced in the Geographies of Craft and Crafting sessions at the AAG 2012 conference can be found on our flicker site. The work, spare bags, needs, threads and post-it notes were subsequently cleared by the cleaning staff where Doreen and I were staying … who knows where they are now….

AAG crafting with bags

As promised, here are some of my NYC favs …

City views:

Staten Island Ferry: my absolute favorite for city viewing. Free and the most amazing way of approaching/entering the City.

2nd fav: Waterfront Long Island City/Pepsi Cola sign. Amazing views especially at night of midtown Manhattan.

Empire State: if you go, make sure you do so just a bit before sunset so that you can see the city change from daylight to nighttime

Manhattan Bridge: best view for any photography of downtown and the Brooklyn Bridge.


Generally, I find the boroughs (i.e. outside Manhattan) so much more interesting:

The “obvious”: Brooklyn Bridge (Manhattan –> Brooklyn): on your left (north) is DUMBO (down under the manhatten bridge overpass) located between the B & M bridges: interesting tiny neighborhood of old warehouses that underwent massive gentrification under the leadership of David Walentas (Two Trees management). Really nice views of the City and B bridge from the waterfront park.

On your right (south): Brooklyn Promenade and Brooklyn Heights. Impressive brownstones –> downtown Brooklyn (hmmm … not my fav) –> Cobble Hill (Smith Street) & Boerum Hill (Atlantic Ave): sweet local & ethnic stores and restaurants –> Atlantic yards (massive new urban development). To the left/north: Fort Greene (interesting, transforming neighborhood), to your right/ further south: Park Slope (5th Ave) i.e. what I like to call the Prenzlauer Berg of NYC.

The less “obvious”: 7 train towards Queens, get off first stop (Vernon Blvd) to check LIC waterfront  –> get back on train to see 5Pointz graffiti from 7 train (between 21 St & Court Sq) –> off Court Sq and walk west on Jackson Ave (towards Manhattan) –> turn into Davis Street (left, under the train) to check out Davis Street Art Building Graffiti –> turn around to go and see 5Pointz from Crane Street entrance –> back again for a visit of PS1 art museum (22-25 Jackson/46th Ave)

Option 1 “International Express” i.e. 7 train: head back to the 7 train and take it to Jackson Heights for South Asian food and other goodies (also really great at night) –> even further along the 7 Train is Flushing Meadows Corona Park & the Queens Museum of Art which houses the largest NYC panorama: a must see!

Option 2 bus 62 from Jackson Ave towards Brooklyn: will take you from LIC –> Greenpoint (polish)–> Williamsburg (arts-led gentrification) –> Williamsburg (hasidic jewish) –> Clinton Hill/Fort Greene (African American, transforming) –> dtown Brooklyn. Get off at the various neighborhoods for great food & shopping, waterfront views and new hipster high-rises 😉 I used to take the 62 all the way to Red Hook but looks like you might now need to transfer dtown. This is also the route of the G subway but the bus is much more interesting as you’ll be able to see the different neighborhoods.

Also, here’s a really short but interesting read re Brooklyn:

If you’re staying a bit longer, don’t miss the Bronx Culture Trolley on March 7th for an arts tour through the South Bronx.

Shopping / visiting:

Local design: 3rd Ward, SHOPBOX

Etsy is in DUMBO (offices only)

For more “mainstream” design: Brooklyn Industries

Vintage: Beacon’s Closet

Brooklyn Flea: outdoors are still closed but indoors are at 1 Hanson Place/Ashland Pl Fort Greene (Sat & Sun, 10-5.00) & Brooklyn Brewery, 79 North 11th St. Williamsburg (Sun 12.-5.00) – i.e. across the W’burg Beacon’s Closet

Oh, and for haircuts see Marcel Dagenais @ deluxewilliamsburg with reservation.

… and if I wasn’t giving a presentation at exactly this time, I’d go and see my FAVORITE art collective on Sunday:

pics © me.
NYC empire state & Manhattan bridge 2001
DUMBO 2010
LIC 2006
W’burg waterfront 2002

I am sooooo excited. Scarf I knitted a long time ago while visiting friends/snowboarding in Innsbruck, Austria, just went up this morning at Yarnboro, North Carolina, USA!

Thank you guys for making me part of this project from afar!!!

Lots of more pictures about all their “bombing” today here:

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