Welcome to 2014. I have so much to be grateful for. Family, friends, health, a warm home, good food from our garden, and an occupation that I love. Weaving with plants, being outside close to the birds and the bugs, building and creating whatever comes to mind, gosh, this sounds a bit like a childhood dream!
For now this dreamer is content to get the years bookeeping done; harvest and organize the sticks I like to weave with; start on the commissions; and catch up here with the plant and art stories I’ve been hoping to share with you.
Last year I had so many wonderful opportunities to teach young people. I saw a lot of smiles there. I could sense the pride/confidence students gained in being able to make something, and I heard the quiet kids speaking about what it was like for them as they were working with the branches, grasses, vines, and barks. I am grateful to have had this experience.
This year my family took a once in a lifetime trip to visit the tiny island of Kvaeoy in North Norway, where both my father’s parents were born and raised. We enjoyed 80 degree temperatures while there, the ol’timers saying they had never experienced such weather before, and we were reuninted with family, many cousins, who were gracious and kind, treating us to an amazing cultural experience. I came away with an understanding that everyone on that island was of Sami ancestory. Sami is the name of the culture of the indigenous Northern Europeans, and their story is similar to that of the First Peoples of our Pacific Northwest region. I have much to learn and explore along these new threads of understanding my own history.
This year I am deliberately taking off of teaching (except for a few promises to keep), so that I may focus upon using the many wonderful materials I’ve gathered over these umpteen years. (I’ve filled my studio, and one shed full to the brim with cured materials!) When you realize that the pile of notebooks with your own sketches and ideas is much taller than you are, then it is time to do ones own creative work.
I’m not exactly sure what that will look like. And it’s a little scarey too, because I’m just putting myself out there. But I’ve been encouraged by my family, my community, and generous patrons of the arts. And the greatest thing about cultivating a skill for making art or crafting, or whatever you call it, is that once you start working with your hands (or instruments, if you are a musician) and following your muses, the fear goes away! And it becomes very clear that all you need to do to guide you, is to be grateful for everything!
Blessings and Light to You and Yours!