Mid-west Weavers Conference

on Monday, June 29, 2009

I left for the Mid-west Weavers conference under billowing clouds.

The drive took a little over four hours.
There were three car pools, nine ladies, that went to the conference from my weavers guild.
I rode with two of the ladies.

We chatted and I knitted as we traveled.

I am just getting to know these ladies.

The conference was held in Grinnell, Iowa, at
a lovely old campus with new dorm rooms.

We stayed in the dorms. I brought linens and a pillow.

I was told the rooms were cold. I was glad I had an extra blanket.

I shared a room.

I set up my coffee and tea service.
I like to have my creature comforts.

After unpacking we found the dining hall.

I found the hospitality room.

On our first evening we listened to a keynote speaker talk about her teachers
and how she learned to weave.
She talked about how the Grandmothers in Central America teach their grand
daughters handicrafts, spinning and weaving, and the patterns of their culture.
She talked how we need to pass on the knowledge of our art.
I call this, "water from another time."

Friday I attended a spinning class and I met an 84 year old woman
who was getting back to her spinning.

I also met a 13 year old boy who was learning to spin.

There is a train that runs through the campus.
The new dorms are on one side of the tracks and the old, main campus, the other.

My Grandmothers did not teach me to weave or spin.
They did not teach me to knit.
I grew up in the city. I grew up on the new side of the tracks.
I have no patterns from my family; no traditional weaves. We have no crest; no tartan.
My water from another time comes from nature.
I am taught by Mother Nature.
She is my Grandmother.

I walked the campus and was called by the Crows. They gave me feathers.

The Native Americans thought the Crow was magical.

I knew they were bringing me the call of creation.

I knew the Crows would be my teachers.

I walked the campus and was greeted by bees.
They taught me color.

They reminded me to sip the sweet honey of life.

I was lead to look at the light by the Dragonflies.

I thought of how many Dragonflies were in my life.

I remembered they represent transformation.

Hover flies showed me patterns.

I learn best when I am surrounded by beauty.

A Robin flew near and landed in a tree right above me.
I listened to his calls and noticed the bark on the trees.
I listened to the trees.

A Cabbage White Butterfly landed near me.

I thought of my friends that love the bees and the butterflies.

I thought of my husband and our bug safari.
I walked and thought and took photographs of nature.

It is in her classroom I am most comfortable.
The native gardens were full of inspiration.

I learned I fit best when I am in the
world of trees and birds and bugs.

Going to the conference was an adventure for me.
This is a beautiful campus with lots of walking.

I had time to think and plan and consider
what was best for me and my art.

One of the ladies had to leave early and there was concern that not everyone would fit in the remaining two cars. I decided to come home early on Saturday. This way our friend would not have to drive by herself and there would be plenty of room for the others and their luggage on Sunday.

I did not mind. I was ready.

I had found what I had come for.

I had signed up for a class for Saturday afternoon
on dyeing with native plants that I was looking forward to.

Since I was leaving at noon I would be missing the class. So I would not be disappointed
I decided to give myself a class. I had brought my book with me so I began reading and taking notes. I looked at the native plantings on campus. I made a list of materials I would need. I spent three hours in my self taught class.
I enjoyed every minute of it!

There are sculptures on campus.

I was inspired by this one.

Fiber Art is an expression for me of my love of nature.

I came home with a fullness of heart.

I came home inspired.

I wore my new Beetle Brooch.

I am Mother Nature's child.

I will spin and weave and knit the patterns and colors of nature.

My teachers are right in my backyard.