I recently signed up to participate in a sock monkey swap and donation, sponsored by Six Degrees of Creativity. This involves creating one sock monkey to be mailed and swapped with another participant, as well as creating a second monkey to be donated to Operation Sock Monkey. Although creating my first sock monkey was a bit challenging, now that he is done, I'm hooked! What a cool transformation to see a regular pair of socks turn into an adorable toy monkey. Just like quilting or knitting, hand stitching sock monkeys is a great group activity as you can help each other out, see the unique results of each person, and enjoy the company and conversation.
Lessons from my sock monkey:
Ready to try making your own sock monkey? Check out this helpful video from art therapist and sock monkey maker extraordinaire, Kat Thorsen:
- Patience and persistence: Although you can find many tutorials on using a sewing machine for sock monkeys, sewing one by hand is an enjoyable challenge. Because hand stitching all the pieces can take a while, you will need to be patient and not give up.
- Nonjudgmental acceptance: Each monkey is unique, and the imperfections can add to its charm. I had to remind myself to not get caught up in trying to make my monkey "perfect." The experience was much more enjoyable when I focused on appreciating my monkey (and, likewise, my own crafting skills) as he was, flaws and all.
- Have fun!: We all need to be reminded from time to time to not take things too seriously. Look for the fun in what you do and make time for fun in your life.
Want to try sock monkey making with a group? Check out Fresh Art's page about sock monkey workshops for some inspiration: http://www.freshartnyc.org/smonkey.html
To learn more about and contribute to Operation Sock Monkey, visit their website: http://www.operationsockmonkey.com/
Carolyn Mehlomakulu, LMFT, ATR is a psychotherapist in Austin, Texas
who works with children, adolescents, and families. For more
information about individual therapy, child counseling, family therapy, and art therapy services, please visit www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
Labels: 6 Degrees of Creativity, group therapy, sewing, sock monkey