Thoughts On A Summer’s Day

Today, I gave myself permission to ignore my to-do list (prep for Sievers workshop next week) until afternoon. By then, I should have a huge accumulation of laundry washed and hung to dry. In between trips to the clothesline, I need to download a huge accumulation of stuff from my head. Some are things I wish I had taken better pictures of, or better notes, or any pictures or notes, because I think you would find them inspirational. Others may be of no interest to anyone but me. But it’s hard to be tidy during a mental house-cleaning, so here’s goes.

Willow laundry basket by Joanna Schanz.

Things have been piling up since I left for the Midwest Weavers Conference in St. Paul, MN in mid-June. From there, I went directly to the Willow Gathering in Decorah, IA. I got home in time to do community things on the 4th of July. I stayed home to care for the dogs and the garden while Bill went to the Woodlanders rustic makers’ gathering in Mineral Point. He got home, and I left the next morning to go back to St. Paul for the National Basketry Organization’s biennial conference.

Scout in my studio July 2015.

While I was there, I learned that a friend had passed away suddenly. Today, Bill went to his funeral without me. For us to both go would be too long to leave our ailing 13-year-old Golden Retriever home alone. Vinnie would understand about staying home with the dog.

Next week, Bill will be by himself, mashing liverwurst into Scout’s kibble to keep her eating something, while I’m off to Sievers to teach. And also to attend the memorial service for another friend. We worry about our aging parents, and our siblings, and our pets. But it appears we’ve reached the age where we can no longer pretend that we and our contemporaries have plenty of time.

So I’m especially grateful for things this summer that have reminded me to do stuff that matters before it’s too late.

Pamm Spooner's granddaughters in 2015 Midwest Weavers Conference fashion show.

Like the project Pamm Spooner chose to do with her granddaughters for the biennial Midwest Weavers conference.  She and the girls did all kinds of fun fiber things together, and the girls modeled them in the fashion show. I really wish I had a better picture, or notes about all the techniques Grammy Pamm and the girls used. But I suspect those girls will never forget what it felt like to be on a stage in an auditorium with people admiring and applauding things they made. And the picture reminds me of how much it means to have a friend who tells you when you’re about to miss a deadline you thought was later. Getting a project like this finished so it can be shared is important, because kids grow up fast. And you never know when someone in the audience will decide to not put off making those memories with their own kids or grandkids.

The Bathrobe Project from the Eclectic Study Group.

Here’s another poor picture from Midwest Weavers. I loved that MWC included Fiber Friends/Collaboration as a fashion show category. The Eclectic Study Group of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota all wove bathrobes for the fashion show and modeled them together. I was so busy admiring their work I didn’t get a decent picture of the whole group of eight. But you have to admire them — not only for encouraging each other to advance their weaving skills and share the results on stage but also to do it in a way that evokes the fun of slumber parties and weaving conferences (which have many similarities).

Exhibit from Sand County Weavers Guild at Midwest Weavers Conference 2015.

(edited 8/19/15) I didn’t get any pictures of the guild exhibits at Midwest Weavers, but after this post first published the lovely Cathy Krupinski sent me some. Words alone did not do justice to the Sand County Weavers guild, which has just 3 members. They had 100% attendance at the conference and 100% participation in their weaving challenge, After The Picnic.

Midwest Weavers Conference 2015 guild exhibit first place.

The reason I wanted to share that is not because they  took first place in the guild exhibits judging. It’s because they didn’t let their small numbers stop them from tackling an ambitious study project, or from sharing it with others.

Again, no pictures and I didn’t write down the figure, but the number of people who volunteered to help at Midwest Weavers was in the three digit category. And every one I encountered could have been a poster child for the phrase “Minnesota Nice.” It’s wonderful to look back on an event and have what you remember most that many people made a conscious effort to make participants feel so warmly welcomed.

That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the wonderful things that happened at Midwest Weavers. And I haven’t even started on the Willow Gathering or NBO. But the last load is out of the washer and I have to get to the post office. So I’ll leave this for now, and pick up the thread later.

Scout with her Kong in her younger days.

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a picture of Scout from her glory days, and a wish that your days are blessed with a bit of her exuberance, the joy of friends, and a love of learning.





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Donna Kallner

fiber artist, teacher and explorer, inspired by ancient fiber techniques and all the ways contemporary fiber artists give old ideas a new spin

2 thoughts on “Thoughts On A Summer’s Day”

  1. Oh, Donna. You have touched my heart. Such beauty in these words. You made me cry. We really do not have all the time in the world, and so we work and create. I ‘ll take Scout’s exuberance of bygone days. Hugs.

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