Yarnbombing At The Fair

Last Saturday was my first ever Fair demonstration and it was AWESOME! I had a great turn-out of people who came by my yarnbombing demo to knit and crochet with me.

 

fair demo It was so much fun! There were people from all walks of life joining in to yarnbomb a chair. I love the collaborative nature of fiber art!! It truly brings people together.

The chair will be complete at my next demo, this coming Saturday from 4-8pm upstairs on the South Stage in the Home Arts pavilion. Stop by if you can and add a stich to the project. I’ll have needles and hooks and yarn, so bring your imagination and nimble fingers! I can even teach those who don’t know a knit from a purl how it’s done.

fair demo2 Thanks to everyone who showed up last weekend! I was blown away by your talents and had the best time getting to know you all, my fellow fiber artists. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of. I look forward to this coming Saturday. Hope to see you there!!

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See You At The Fair!

I have some great news! I have been asked to be a knitting demonstrator at the WA State Fair. I will be given a little stage, microphone and six hours over two Saturdays to spread my love of fiber art. I’m thrilled!! Can.Not.Wait!

I’m focusing my demo on Yarnbombing. So it will be eye-catching, whimsical, and totally bad-ass! I’ve taught small groups and individuals to knit and crochet, but nothing on this scale-I’m excited to try it.

The Fair will print out as many handouts as I request. I will put together a pamphlet that showcases local and online businesses that support fiber arts, as well as educate people on current fiber artists that are blurring the lines of craft and art.

In our current technological age, where everything moves so fast, it’s awesome to re-introduce the art of knitting and crochet. Slowing down and focusing our energies on a tangible piece of art is where it’s at. This ain’t your Grandmama’s knitting! The only doilies we’re making now are with rope or cut-up sheets and it creates a rug or large wall-hanging.

I also plan to do a giveaway each time I do a demo. It will be a knitting bag filled yarn, needles, notions and info. Possibly chocolate and lotion! You’ll just have to come see me at the Fair to find out.

Check out this amazing crochet art from Katika:https://www.facebook.com/Katikacrochetart

Here is a Yarnbomber from New York who is doing amazing instillations:https://thewillowwanderer.wordpress.com/

Volunteer. It’s Good For You!

Being a stay-at-home-mama has been a great occupation with many rewards, however, the hours are long and contact with the outside world is slim. Some Moms plan a Lady’s Night or Girl’s Getaway, but I’m so nerdy cool that I have my “me time” while I volunteer at places that feed my inner child;Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) and the school district my kids attend.

It’s actually quite selfish on my part. I only give my time to places I think are worthy of my support and I truly get more out of it than they do.

Volunteering gives me the opportunity to get out of my bubble of domestic-bliss and gain work experience while making friends and being a part of something I’m passionate about.

I help with school tours at TAM. It’s really special to me. I get to play host (“Welcome to my museum!”) and I have the honor of being the one to show kids that art isn’t boring. I don’t know much about art concepts or technique(I’m still learning), but what I do know is how to be with kids and share my love of art. So far, it’s worked pretty great.

My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special volunteer appreciation dinner every year. It's amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special Volunteer Appreciation Dinner every year. It’s amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.

I can’t stress it enough: get out there and volunteer your time in a field you are passionate about! Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, I can guarantee you they are looking for people to volunteer.

Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you have to commit to a 40-hour week. You get to choose the hours and time that works best for your schedule, but I can tell you that even though there is no money exchanged for your service, you will feel richer for the time you spend supporting a cause or business you believe in.

Don’t worry if you find that the people suck or the work you volunteer doing isn’t something you look forward to doing, you can quit and look for another place to donate your time and efforts to. There is no shame in trying it out and changing your mind. I have volunteered in several places only to find that I can’t handle the personalities or that the work I do doesn’t line up with who I am as a person. I felt like a shit for quitting, but you know what, if I had stayed with it I would have been one of those bitter old ladies who thinks herself a martyr, who hates every minute of it, and then I would have never stumbled upon true “volunteer heaven”, where I absolutely adore everyone I work with and where every time I volunteer it’s fun and rewarding.

Creative By Nature

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember. There’s never a dull moment in my mind or life. It has its downfall though, when everything seems possible and my ideas out-number the hours in a day.

Forget Pinterest. I am constantly inspired by experiences and people I meet that I will be busy until my last breath. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but it’s a major time-suck for me when I have oodles of things I can accomplish in the same amount of time)

Let me just share a few of my most creative moments as of late:

1. I got a writing gig with Ruralite Magazine as the ‘feature writer’ for Ohop Mutual. I get to interview interesting local people to write about and use my photography skills to capture their uniqueness. I love writing! It’s always been a favorite hobby of mine. Pen pals in my youth, essays in college, and now getting published. Yes!

http://www.ruralite.org/magazine

2. It’s that time of year when my garden is pumping out goodies to be eaten fresh; some canned for later. Homemade jelly is my specialty. Today I’m going to be picking some raspberries and blackberries. My PB&J’s are the bomb with this yummo jelly!

3. The Eatonville Library has hired me to run some fun arts & crafts programs for kids this summer. So far we’ve made comics and fridge magnets. I LOVE working with kids! They are my favorite people to be around. Not only are they boundlessly creative, but they are upbeat and happy-like me.

Marble Painting was a fun program I did last summer for kids at several Pierce County Libraries.
Marble Painting was a fun program I did last summer for kids at several Pierce County Libraries.
Easy and super fun project for ages 1-100! Just need a shoe box, paper to fit (we folded ours to make it a card), marbles, paint, and Dixie cups.
Easy and super fun project for ages 1-100! Just need a shoe box, paper to fit (we folded ours to make it a card), marbles, paint, and Dixie cups.
The kids loved creating the marble painted cards! No two were ever alike.
The kids loved creating the marble painted cards! No two were ever alike.

What I’m Working On Now…aka, YARNBOMB 2015

Last summer I helped organize and install a yarnbomb (a large public display of fiber art made of hand knit and crocheted fabric) in my hometown. It was awesome! And I’m doing it again this year.

It started as a fun idea for a community art project then turned into something bigger and better. We ended up using our art to help raise money for local public school students’ negative lunch accounts. It was successful in putting an end to the practice of trashing lunches over insufficient funds and prompted the school district to enable “robo-calls” (automated calls home telling parents about lunch balances that are low).

My own children experienced the lunch lady yanking their lunch and trashing it over their lunch account balance being in the negative. However, I had no idea the what the balance was at the time since I paid up for a couple months and figured they would send home a notice when the accounts needed refilling. They didn’t and what happened left my kids hungry and upset, with good reason. My mama-bear instincts came out and I had words with the principal, lunch staff, and even wrote a letter to the school board. Yet, I was hearing that nothing had changed in the cafeteria.

That’s why we put our art to good use by starting https://www.facebook.com/Eatonvilleyarnbombers?ref=bookmarks to help make a difference for students who find themselves low in lunch funds. Kids have to eat to learn. Period.

Here’s a few snaps of last year’s yarnbomb and the amazing people who helped pull off such a beautiful and heartwarming endeavor:

Crafty men in my life lending a hand with the yarnbomb install. Rubin and dad, Evan.
Crafty men in my life lending a hand with the yarnbomb install. Rubin and dad, Evan.
Yarnbombing for Lunches crew (most of of anyway).
Yarnbombing for Lunches crew (most of us anyway).
Group effort with this tree. Lisa, Rubin, and I tackle it in no time.
Group effort with this tree. Lisa, Rubin, and I tackle it in no time.
Donna, Karen's mama, putting the finishing touches on this tree.
Donna, Karen’s mama, putting the finishing touches on this tree.
My mother-in-law, Tracey, and my son, Rubin, putting up a funky granny square piece.
My mother-in-law, Tracey, and my son, Rubin, putting up a funky granny square piece.
My daughter, Emma, helping with installing a yarnbomb at the park.
My daughter, Emma, helping with installing a yarnbomb at the park.
Jade with her pom-pom string ready to decorate a tree for the instillation.
Jade with her pom-pom string ready to decorate a tree for the instillation.
My daughter, Faith, and hubby, Evan, attaching a yarnbomb to a tree in the park.
My daughter, Faith, and my hubby, Evan, attaching a yarnbomb to a tree in the park.
Gwen and her hubby working on installing another piece on a lamp post.
Gwen and her hubby working on installing another piece on a lamp post.
Sherry helping Lisa install her yarnbomb piece on a lamp post.
Sherry helping Lisa install her yarnbomb piece on a lamp post.

This was a year-long project in the making, but worth every minute! It was a lot of fun to create, especially knowing how meaningful the outcome would be. We received yarn donations form many different states after I put a request in the Ruralite magazine (our utility company’s publication). The response was amazing! The generosity of complete strangers touched my heart and helped make the yarnbomb better than I could have imagined! Even Lion Brand Yarn Company was kind enough to send us a box of cool yarns. Thanks to everyone who had a part in the Eatonville Yarnbomb of 2014!

*We raised $400 to donate to the school district for negative lunch accounts*