Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hale and Farewell

Yesterday, May 11, was the Sandia Mountains May Luncheon. It has been going on since before I joined the chapter in 2001. It is a day of celebrating our times together as a chapter and just to be together for a meal. We have a short business meeting, a short program, and then we eat. Sometimes the May Luncheon has been a pig roast at Susan and Michael Newnam’s place in the East Mountains. At least once Jane Moses catered the lunch at the Asbury Methodist Church where we meet monthly. Recently we have been reserving space in local restaurants for our feasts. We always have fun.

The short programs range over many topics. Once Marilyn Rodee came to give us a short talk on her book Southwest Textiles. Once the Art of Embroidery Group showed story boards of how they developed needlework designs. Last year Charline Wells, an EGA Master Judge, gave us a demo on her judging techniques. The programs are always well received.

Yesterday the program was put on by the Beading Group of the chapter headed by Carolyn Bivens. The beaders modeled and displayed their work done over the last nine years since their inception. It was wonderful to see--all the bracelets and necklaces in all colors and styles. They have been very busy.

Carolyn had to leave early because her husband Dale was ill and had been for some time. Sadly he died yesterday, shortly after Carolyn got home to him. I have known Dale as long as I have known Carolyn. He was a gallant man, very amiable, very likable. We will all miss him.

Dale wasn’t the only member of our ranks to fall this year. Ann Cook, a wonderful blackworker, and a very long-time member of Sandia Mountains, died earlier in the year. And last year, one of our most beloved members, Elizabeth Bundy, died. It is hard to have long-time friends, sisters and brothers of the needle, fall by the way. As members of this chapter, we are a big family who see one another on a weekly, if not more often, basis in the course of a year. We have grown close over the years. We see new friends come in and join us to become old friends. And let us not forget the husbands who are so willing to help out, to carry and tote whether to and from airports or up and down the stairs at the State Fair.

Hale and farewell.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Fish

Several people have asked me why I named my class on creativity A Fish Swallowed My Pencil. That seemed a lot more fun than Creativity and You or Let’s Ramp Up Your Juices, or even Ladies and Creative Collage. I had named the class several years ago when I first conceived of it. But the title sort of fit in with EGA’s 2010 National Seminar Stitchin’ on the Barbary Coast. Coast, fish, get it? Pirate’s Gold, the other class for the 2010 seminar, was named specifically for the theme.

This was a long, but productive cold season for pilot classes. The first class was in February and was a four-day. The second was in March and was a four-day. This one on the first two days of May was only a two-day. That’s okay--I was close to mental exhaustion by that time. Three brand-new classes in four months is a LOT. But they are done.

I flew up to Cheyenne to be with Ann for Fish. It is a great rest for me to go up to see her always. We always do interesting things. But this is the first time I have ever run a pilot there. We had a cozy group with Ann’s sister Sharon Wilson from Denver, Ann’s daughter-in-law Tiffany Erdmann from Laramie, Virginia Hazen from Casper, and, of course, Ann.

Class kits are getting more expensive these days because of shipping. No longer can we throw an extra suitcase onto the airplane gratis. I shipped up the kits themselves and most of the class materials by US Postal Service. Then I had to ship back the class materials via the same carrier. Coming and going can be expensive.

The class itself was wonderful. We were certainly a compatible five-some. Tiffany and Sharon are not members of EGA, though Sharon has taken one other pilot from me and so has some idea of the work that the students have to do. Poor Tiff was taken blindside, but she passed through the ordeal with shining colors.

We grouped around Ann’s large kitchen table the first morning. It was a cold May Day in Cheyenne and there was wind as I recall. I mentioned the duties of a pilot class. We went through the kits to make sure everyone had everything. And then we were off. It can be difficult to get immediately into the spirit of the class, especially if a person has no real idea of what is going on. But everyone managed it all.

Fish is a creativity class with a dash of design theory and color theory thrown in. Since a lot of people think of creativity only in the context of art, I decided to teach from that angle, even though creativity permeates a human’s life. But in order to do art, that same person has to have an idea of the ground rules for artistic expression. So the first morning we looked at design theory with the elements and principles of design. We made a few notes in our notebooks. We looked at a few things. Then we started the first of the collages. The first one was doing a collage from one of our own photos. And from there we took flight.

It was a fast two days. I was able to estimate the timing of the various parts of class. At seminar I will have at least twice any many students and I could have as many as 22 altogether. The class will go much slower with that many. But I can adjust for that too. I was glad to have Tiff and Sharon there as people unused to this sort of class. I could judge more clearly what did and did not work. With more people I can shorten the last section with no harm to the main part of the class.

I had a good time in Cheyenne. Ann and John Erdmann as hosts were wonderful. We ate well. I was soundly beaten at Boggle by both Sharon and Ann. And I slept wonderfully well.

Thanks everyone for giving me your time and attention.