Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Sewing Bee for Women with Cancer

While I was in Searsport for Fiber College, I was finally able to join the ladies of the "Searsport Sewing Bee" as they made chemo scarves to donate to women with cancer. That seemed especially appropriate to me since September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
 I started sewing scarves for my sister, Nancy, when she began chemo for ovarian cancer in 2006. I made them for her and for other women having infusions at Maine Medical Center.
Nancy at MMC
Then, when Nancy passed away in 2010, I just stopped sewing.
I was crazy with grief and
couldn't concentrate on the scarves anymore.

Until I met Kendra.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Making Ceramic Buttons

As a sewer, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn to make ceramic buttons with potter Conni Whittaker from Fryeburg Pottery at Fiber College of Maine. What fun!

Conni had lots of small "cookie cutters" to use for cutting the button shapes out of terra-cotta clay. Once they were cut out, we used a variety of stamps to make impressions in the clay.

I love how Connie used found objects (like a butterfly-shaped earring her husband found on the ground at the Common Ground Fair) to make her stamps. She attached each object to the "head" of an old-fashioned clothespin . . .

Which provided the "handle" of the stamp. She even had steampunk clothespin-stamps made from old gears and watch parts.

Potter Conni Whittaker (right) teaches a Rolling Class at Fiber College 2015

After our buttons were cut out and stamped, we applied two coats of glaze to the edges and both sides of each button.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Faces of Fiber College, Part 2

There were so many amazing people at Fiber College that I couldn't include all of their faces in one post. So here's Part 2 . . .

Steve is a chainmail artist! He designs clothing and jewelry, link by painstaking little link. When he's not making suits of armor and whatever, he is "Santa" to hundreds of children and a few dozen elves. In his "real life", Steve does biochemistry or astrophysics or something incredible like that at Johns Hopkins. We recently discovered that Steve and I were undergrads at UMass Amherst at the same time, as was . . . 

Steve "Santa" Schreurs

His wife, Susan.  Susan loves to knit, sew, and play with fiber. She modeled this shawl she made at the "Wear Your Art" cocktail reception.


And then there's Larry. Larry and his wife just moved to Maine from Florida after spending many summers working at Searsport Shores, where Fiber College takes place. Larry loves to cook. He "rescured" an old (1930's?) industrial-size potato chip machine and tried it out for us on Friday night.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Faces of Fiber College, Part 1

I've been away from the blog enjoying camping on Penobscot Bay at beautiful Searsport Shores, the home of Fiber College of Maine. One of the best things about Fiber College is the chance to make new friends from different backgrounds and cultures. Here are some of their faces . . .

Waiting patiently while Mom & Grandma cook our Somali feast

"Fiber College of Maine is an annual fiber festival whose sole reason for being is to celebrate the fiber arts in all forms. Maine is particularly blessed with artistic energy and inspiration from the flow of the tides, the rolling hills of the blueberry fields and the stars in the night sky."
 ~Fiber College website

Phoenix making a ceramic button

At the beach bonfire, I met three very funny women who had come to Fiber College together from Massachusetts. Somehow we started talking about the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and our tendencies to hoard materials for whatever our fiber passion is. (Somehow, that seemed hilarious at the time.) After we parted, I worried that I never find my new friends again. . . we'd been talking and laughing in the dark!

Hula Hoops on the Beach

But, the next day, they found me. 
And here they are, the self-proclaimed "Three Hoarders"!

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Pottery Barn Inspired Bedroom Update

My sister and I spent the last two weeks of August decluttering, reorganizing and redecorating much of her home as she prepares for retirement in January.  We started with her new downstairs family room and "Andi room" and then moved upstairs for a living room re-do.  
All that was left was the Master Bedroom. We just finished that and I thought I'd share what we accomplished.  I think we learned, once again, that "Less is More".

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