[This is the final post in a series of twelve posts designed to feature a wildly creative and exciting group of crafters and artisans. Please take a moment to visit the shop featured in this post and all the shops featured on the left and right hand sidebars of my blog. You'll have the opportunity to learn about two fabulous shops a week - just in time to get all of your holiday shopping done. Enjoy!]
One of my favorite things about the internet is the opportunity to meet people that you might never come across in "real life"...I would have to say that this is how I've introduced myself to most crafters, but also social justice leaders and visionaries have weaseled their way into my life via this tangled web of tubes. Four years ago this fall, I joined a community of journalers and thinkers (though in some cases, I would use that term very lightly) called LiveJournal and while roaming around some of the larger feminist and queer communities, I stumbled upon Becca. We became fast friends in an environment that catered to the heteronormative feminist woman, and managed to cause ruckus upon ruckus at every possible moment. Bonded by bannings and a mutual love of Johnny Cash, Becca and I have managed to stick it out and stay friends until now through love, heartbreak and heartache. I remember the moment I met her in person...I sat a coffee shop, slackjawed and mute, while she managed to crochet at the approximate speed of a whirling dervish, while drinking 8,000 cups of coffee and talking off my friend Shaun's ear about the wonders of her city, Cincinnati.
A logophile and Scrabble enthusiast, Becca developed her love for needle and thread from her grandfather (who used to stitch to relax after working 2nd shift) and her mother. While living in the creative isolation of Oberlin, OH she picked up cross stitch after reading about Subversive Cross Stitch in Bitch Magazine. Later she would start embroidering after discovering Jenny Hart's Sublime Stitching empire. Using the computer program PC Stitch, Becca now creates her own patterns as well as merging traditional techniques and themes with bold, political mantras and statements. A radical queer feminist to the core, bee listy's stitches are abrupt, thoughtful and immediate conversation pieces. Unafraid to share her feelings and sentiments through some DMC floss and a piece of cloth, Becca fights oppression and injustice through a very tradtional medium. One of the highlights of her work is the custom portraiture she's pulled together for family gifts and for special customer requests. Everything from her grandparents' wedding portrait to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Dolly Parton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Johnny Cash, Morrissey and Oprah Winfrey. Recently she even told me that she was working on a piece featuring a customer's cats!
With an unbelieveably committed and detail-oriented approach to her stitching, bee listy manages to provoke awe and wonder, thoughtfulness and action in all of her pieces. Whether she's embroidering ties for hot butches and bois, hankies for the ladies or a sentimental piece for a friend or stranger, you can feel the heart and soul worked into every criss-crossed stitch. She writes regularly in her personal blog, started up Queer Craft, guest writes for Radical Queer News, The Dating Algorithm, Twin Cities Avengers and will start [what might become] a regular spot soon on Sartorial Butch. Becca is also one of THE biggest music nerds I have ever met, constantly dumbfounding me with her lyrical knowledge as well as commitment to supporting indie artists from all over the world. She is funny, sweet, snarky and incredibly generous. In many ways, bee listy is what I want craft to be...an amalgam of traditional techniques, political energy and a celebration of everything that makes us different and unique. Please visit bee listy and request your custom piece. You won't regret it!