My first ever sock monkey is a character in my #graphicnovel! #Vancouver 1920s-1950s

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My first ever sock monkey will become a recurring image in my graphic novel!  The real-life sock monkey is a perfect illustration resource.  And I won’t fix the button eye!  You know it wouldn’t be quite right if I didn’t include a sock monkey in the story!

From RoRoArt:

… Up here in Canada, in the 20’s, 30’s & 40’s, we did not import Rockford Red Heel Socks, so folks would use heavy grey wool worksocks with red striped ends. Sometimes these were known as Lumberjack Socks, or Hockey Socks. (Sometimes the creators would embroider large red yarn mouths on them and those Monkeys were called Canadian Rockfords!) Because in Canada socks didn’t come with instructions, the designs tended to be very diverse and individual, as their creators played with different Monkey ideas. Canadian Sock Monkeys often had very long tails…

From ArticleRICH:

Beginning in the 1910s and 1920s, the working class mothers began sewing old and used up hosiery into various shapes and sizes for their children by creating new play things and mementos from their house hold scraps. The first Sock Monkeys were stuffed with rags and even wheat husks, which gave them a cushion appeal that was similar to the more expensive cotton batting. The earliest known creation of a Sock Monkey dates to 1919, but it would be another fourteen years before the beloved play thing would reach its classic form. 

Today, the most famous example is the Red Heel Sock Monkey, which is known for its distinctive red swatch that appears on various parts of the monkey’s body. In 1932, the Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford, Illinois began manufacturing its De Tec Tip red heeled sock. The Sock Monkey grew in popularity during the World War II years, and by the mid 1950s the company was including instructions on making the monkey with each pair of socks sold. They even got a patent for its design from the United States Government. 


MOLLY- the graphic novel

Many have been asking if they can still contribute to the graphic novel project.  That’s wonderful!!!  The rewards will stay the same as on Kickstarter.  Take a look at the rewards on the Kickstarter site.  You can donate via PAYPAL here: DONATE

Community Crafts: Common Thread Co-op, sewing with a purpose @CommonThreadVan

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I was delighted and honored to meet with Melanie Conn, of Devco and Common Thread.  We chatted for a long time and she is absolutely inspiring.

Melanie Conn has been involved in co-op and community economic development in British Columbia since 1971, and has been a member of Devco since 1998. As an educator and consultant, Melanie has provided technical assistance for dozens of organizations and individual projects as well as for provincial and federal government departments.  [source]

Common Thread is a cooperative of Canadian organizations that have sewing programs and enterprises. The cooperative provides brokering and production coordination for [their] members and other producers.  

“Our social goal is to provide a flexible work environment for people who have barriers to employment…” – Melanie Conn

[Their] members operate social enterprises: businesses that have a primary social purpose, such as creating employment for a specific group such as newcomers to Canada or Aboriginal communities. Like most social enterprises, they were started and continue to be hosted by non–profit organizations…  Common Thread works with promotional companies to design products for their corporate and non-profit customers. [Common Thread] also works directly with customers who purchase products in bulk from [them.  Once a contract is in place [they] coordinate production among [their] network of sewers. [source]


Their products include: tote bags, drawstring backpacks, lunch bags, notebook covers, messenger bags, and aprons.


Watch this marvelous PSA that explains the organization:

The members:

The Kettle Friendship  Society

Coast Mental Health- Sewing With Heart

Malalay, the Afghan Women’s Sewing and Craft Co-op 

Progressive Intercultural  Community Services (PICS) 

E.M.B.E.R.S. (Eastside Movement for Business & Economic Renewal Society)

Common Thread

626 Slocan St.
Vancouver, BC
V5K 3X7
Tel: 604-736-0935
Fax: 604-737-4901



Related sites regarding community development, non-profits and social enterprises:

Enterprising Non-Profits, enp, is a unique collaborative program that promotes and supports social enterprise development and growth as a means to build strong non-profit organizations and healthier communities. 

My Arms Wide Open works directly with community members, who identify priorities for community development. They help them improve their skills and knowledge in areas such as entrepreneurship, leadership, mentoring, education and personal development.

Passion Foundation is a Vancouver, BC based social profit organization that focuses on the health and well being of young women in Canada by raising literacy and social development.

POST STREET does #Vancouver from HR to the DTES to N Van to the West End. #mymonkeysgetaround

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At Holt Renfrew (Photo by Fredrik Thorsen)

Holt Renfrew (Photo by Fredrik Thorsen)

Rebecca Rawlinson at Holt Renfrew

Grey to Green Art Market (Downtown Eastside) Photo by Julia Kozlov

Photo by Julia Kozlov

Photo by Julia Kozlov

New TFD Presents (The Flame and the Dame) Mascot (West End, Vancouver)

TFD Presents

Mascots CJ 1 and 2, Sound Therapy Radio, CJSF 90.1 FM, Simon Fraser University

On my way home in North Vancouver in the elevator with unfinished monkey (and Tobey)


Walk a mile in my socks… Love letter to the Downtown Eastside #Vancouver

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I received this beautiful sock from a Downtown Eastside artist-resident Montana King in Fall 2010.  Where has it been?  What has it been through?

I knew I would find the perfect way to use it eventually and I did today.  Montana also made the lovely laced heart.

#Vancouver #olympicdepression sock birds dedicated to @annatfabulous @TommyD and @DesmondReid!

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On this one year anniversary of Vancouver’s 2010 Winter Olympics, I dedicate this post to Anna T Fabulous, Tommy D and Des Reid.  I made the birds out of old souvenir bits.

These three amazing folk are more over-the-top than anyone else I know- and one year ago, our city finally reached the level of energy that suits this trio.  No matter what the controversy was beforehand and no matter what the Olympic legacy issues are now, for a few weeks these three were in ecstasy and so were we!

Anna T Fabulous!

Tommy D!


Support the #handmade movement! Buy local #crafts this #Christmas! #Vancouver

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Hand-sewn. One-of-a-kind. (Found this little scene in the lane between 2nd and 3rd)

All POST STREET sock creations are HANDMADE- no machines.

I will be selling my sock creations and Operation Sock Monkey products at:

1. The Urban Glamour Market Holiday Edition Dec 1, 7-10 PM Terracotta- Modern Chinese Restaurant (52 Alexander Street, Gastown)

2. Nice Balls Xmas Sale Dec 17, 4-10 PM Little Mountain Gallery (26th and Main)

I will be shopping at:

1. Make It Vancouver Nov 19-21, Croatian Cultural Centre, Vancouver

2. Got Craft Dec 5, 10 AM- 5 PM


POST STREET sock creations @sheenalouie ‘s #UrbanGlamourMarket #Vancouver Dec 1!

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Urban Glamour Market: Holiday Edition
Date: Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
Time: 7:00-10:00 PM
Where: Terracotta – Modern Chinese Restaurant (52 Alexander St in Gastown)