Wednesday, May 01, 2013
So exciting to know that three rugs, hooked by three lovely ladies I met on my trip will soon be on display at the Textile Museum in Toronto. Definitely a road-trip worthy event - and one I will be making!
:: OHCG Kingston Annual
Sadly I will have to skip out on attending (and vending) at the Annual this year. I had already decided that I wanted to be able to ride the creative momentum that was undoubtedly going to surge following my travels earlier in the year (and did!), and I was planning to take a year off from vending, so that I didn't have to focus all of my energy and spare time on getting products ready for market....but I was still hoping to be able to just go, see, chat, and hang out with my peeps. Sadly, the %$^#&*@! day job is getting in the way again and I can't get around working that weekend. So I am feeling a little bummed, but in the scheme of things it's a very minor.... ;-)
:: R.U.G. on May 4th
Yes, I will be vending again at R.U.G., this upcoming Saturday, at the Simcoe County Museum. As I am not going to be at the Annual this year, and I would really like to reduce a bit of my inventory and free up some space in my hallway.....I have decided to offer a rare sale of 10% off all in-stock and available items. Discount available in person and at R.U.G. on May 4th, only. Hope to see you there! ;-)
:: May is Making up for Lost Time Month for me
For the past couple of weeks, I've been trying to tackle the growing list of things I've been waiting and wanting to do, but just never seem to get around to it. So far I have finished a purse, made 2 pieced Euro shams, hemmed two pairs of jeans, caught up on my business paperwork and figured out my taxes (admittedly at the 11th hour, so it barely counts...LOL!), and other, more trivial matters. I will share some snaps of the fun stuff soon.....and hopefully continue adding to the list.
:: Cool video site
I found a link to this site on someones blog - sorry can't remember where, just that it was a non-rug hooking one – to little scraps of paper. The site contains many short little documentaries of various artisans, their studios, inspirations, glimpses of process, and bits of wisdom. A great way to distract you from things you should be doing....and hopefully inspire you to get back to them! ;-)
I have watched quite a few, but am trying to draw them out a bit...to savour, rather than gorge. Enjoy.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
I find, for me, the best approach to working out a completely new project is to make sure that I have a big chunk of available time when I finally sit down to start playing. Regardless of how many potential process kinks I work out prior to starting - simply by spending a lot of time thinking, there are always some rude surprises along the way...and for me, I know that the absolute worst time to stop is right after enduring a disappointment. So by setting aside more time than I know I will need, which in this case worked out to be a whole day/evening, with nothing else to do, on a long weekend...I was able to make some real progress.
Usually with new techniques and processes, there is a bit of a learning curve. For the first time in a long time, I was able to witness a fairly quick evolution of my own ideas, practically right before my eyes...modifying, revising and fine-tuning my techniques along the way. Such is the charm of a small, quick project: there is little time to forget what you learn before you finish the next one, and another, and yet another! ;-) It's actually a little bit addictive, to be honest. And it certainly helps that I am so excited about the possibilities.....
I've even experimented with making belts...and soon hope to expand and play with the idea and basic techniques to incorporate them into other functional items, too. Stay tuned....
Frequently, over the course of the last few weeks, I have been reminded about how
So this is just a little glimpse into what has been exciting me and occupying me of late....back soon with more new projects.... ;-)
* I will be teaching class on these in Vermont this October/November. All of the details available here.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Over the past 7+ years that I have been blogging, the blog has undergone many transformations... changes in themes, purposes, and intentions. I've been very happy to have it as an online presence....and it's been a great way for me to share information, ideas, and current projects.
I've also found it to be highly motivating - encouraging me to create, make and share. In spite of all of the good, there seems to have been a bit of a shortage of energy here lately for me.
Just in case I missed the fact that I don't know people in all of the 47 different countries listed on my Google Analytics page – or even people in 47 countries, for that matter....ha ha! – recent events have proved that there are many 'strangers' lurking in my midst, and visiting my blog. I'm not going to really get into what has transpired, but suffice is to say that it's left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth and zapped my blogging mojo.
Despite all of this, I still want to be here in this space. I want to make it work. For me. I haven't got a firm plan yet, but I have decided a few things. Baby steps. So here is the plan, for now....
1. Bye Bye Comments
I've come to the conclusion that the Comment feature was/is just dragging me down. Too much spam. Too few comments. Bothersome snarky comments. Too much guilt about reciprocating and feeling obligated to reply. And, really, why does any of it matter, anyway? I don't want to care about the comments or have to worry about them any more.
So this morning I changed my settings and turned off/hid all of the comments. You can always contact me via email (fisheyerugs AT hotmail DOT com) if you want to share your thoughts or have questions. I welcome real comments from real people, at all times - and I promise that if you email me, I will email you back....just maybe not for a day or two... ;-)
2. More pictures, less text?
Writing blog posts takes a lot of time - at least for me it does! I probably spend an hour writing a typical post. And well it might be time well spent, it also pulls time away from all of the other things I have going on. I have the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else, and I am finding it's just not enough to do everything I should be doing - not to mention everything I want to be doing. So blogging has become an easy sacrifice. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, maybe I should spend just a little more time on taking pictures - instead of the explanatory text? Plus, it will be more practice for my new camera. Win-win.
3. No commitment to post
I'm tired of feeling guilty about not posting regularly. Tired of feeling behind in sharing projects or ideas. From now on, I am going to try to give myself the gift of freedom to post only what - and when - I want to share. Whether this translates into posts on back-to-back days or weeks apart, that remains to be seen....but I am really intrigued by the whole idea of "slow blogging". So setting up feed reader (to alert you to new posts) might be a good idea, if you want to avoid the frustration of returning here to no new content....
Apart from the comments that I have hidden (this is the only way I could find to permanently turn them off - any other ideas?), all of the old content and pictures will remain here indefinitely for now.
So this is where I am at.... ;-)
See you when I see you, and hope you are well.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
If you are intrigued, want to learn more, and maybe even thinking about going on the trip yourself, I would have no problem talking one-on-one about my own experiences, and no hesitation at all in recommending it to those who have a sense of adventure, compassion and love of textiles.
There are some great places online where you can see some photos and learn more about some of various programs and groups at work in the country.....
Oxlajuj B'atz' - Thirteen Threads
(pronouced Osh-la-who-bats)....organized the tour, but that is but a small part of what they do. With projects in health, artisan and product development, small business, democracy and team building, the focus is on empowerment by increasing knowledge and skills. "The mission of Oxlajuj B’atz’ is to facilitate processes for Maya women artisans to bring about change, through their own efforts, that will alleviate the adverse effects of poverty and improve their quality of life. Our mission is guided by the principles of harmony, democracy, and sustainability."
Is Mary Anne and Jody's business, based in Wisconsin, that collaborates with artisans around the world to promote women's economic empowerment and environmentally sustainable practices. You can purchase Guatemalan rugs directly from them.
Robert Egg's Photos
Robert own Casa Kachiquel, home to Oxlajuj Batz in Panajachel. He took quite a few photos over the course of the week, especially during our farewell gathering.
Rachel is an American who is presently volunteering with Thirteen Threads. It was delightful to meet her. She took some fabulous video (and, unlike me, has figured out how to share it online....), including this one....you can see more on the Oxlajuj B'atz' Google + page.
After being home for seven weeks now, I think I am slowly starting to get a bit of a handle on the impact this trip has had on me, personally. It's going to take a little more time, though.
You can find out more information about the project here and it looks like you might (soon?) be able to purchase items here. Plus, I was happy to discover this wonderful video today by accident that shows the whole process - from start to finish. It's great!
...and everyone packed up their stuff to head home.....
And after lunch, it was time to 'hit the road'. I was pretty photoed out.....and only took a handful of snaps on the drive back to Antigua. This is one of them....still shocking to see after a week of similar sights.....
Although we didn't leave until the next day, fittingly this next snap ended up being the last photo I took with my camera....
(Elaine and I had both just woken up right before I took the snap - we were all down for the count.... ;-) )
It is hard to believe that I have been back now for seven weeks already. Everything is still so fresh in my mind, it could easily have been just last week that I came home. It was truly an amazing, life-changing experience....and I sincerely hope that the changes I have noticed that it has made in me last indefinitely.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Apparently today is the first day of Spring. At least that is what I have been hearing on the radio all day. But as with every March 20th for the last decade or so, I always do a little double-take. You see, my birthday is March 21st (yeah, big four-oh tomorrow...ugh), and growing up, I was always told that my birthday was on the First Day of Spring. Now I am not sure if was a perpetuated little white lie, along the same lines as the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and jolly old Santa, or if the global universe actually decided to change the day sometime in the last 20 years....but apparently my birthday is no longer on the First Day of Spring. Go figure.
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013
So without further ado...and in no particular order (other than the order the photos were taken), here are the 2013 Tour participants and their buddies....