Thursday, April 29, 2010

side by side

Even though I've been absent from this writing spot of mine, I've had it on my mind. I'd been very focussed on preparing for the workshops I taught at our school's Years of Wonder conference, and that preparing was mostly mental pep-talks like, "No problem, an hour-and-a-half is enough time to instruct a simple knitted body for a small doll, assemble the doll, and discuss the construction of the doll's head!" or "Sure, you can make a dozen little doll heads and give them wigs even if you wait until ten days before the workshop!" or (this is the best one and the most telling) "Yes, I can teach another workshop on a wetfelted play-mat in an hour-and-a-half. Thank you of thinking of asking me." To be honest, sprinkled in the mental chatter was the occassional, "What were you thinking?!" but I did know in my crafty heart-of-hearts that I had it in me, I just needed to exert some major power of will (talk about inner work!).

So, throughout all that mental banter, I also told myself, "Take note of these thoughts. This is part of the process. Give the thoughts their due." And so I did allow the banter. I honoured the process. I thought you might like to hear it and then see some of the results (click to enlarge):

There were sixteen terrific women in the wetfelting workshop! Thanks to the soap and the participants' lively chatter and laughter, the room smelled and sounded heavenly. Their enthusiasm and desire really carried us through what was a rather ambitious project for an hour-and-a-half session; many of them had not wetfelted before! I always worry about being a person's first lesson, I feel it is a big responsibility. All of their efforts turned out beautifully! Just imagine all the stories that will play out with these wonderful pieces as scenery...!

The doll-making workshop was equally successful, but we were a bit rushed at the end, and I had left my camera in the room where the felting workshop was, so sorry, no pictures. Enthusiasm was high though; a few knitters learned to purl; everyone finished their dolls; one knitter made two dolls (!); there was even a very friendly competition going on between two friends! Just hearing them say that their young ones at home would love this doll made me smile (actually, I'm still smiling). The two samples that I made have already made their way into Hana's play here at home, so I'll try to take some pictures to post over the weekend.

So, thank you for indulging me and my process. It's nice to have a place like this to lay such things out and take a good long look. Thank you for reading here and lending me your ear, it means the world to me. This song kind of sums up how I feel about my blog and the friends I have here; this one's for you!


Rainy Daisy said...

This looks like so much fun - like finger-painting with wool. Sounds like you had a lovely time!


I said...

You've always been a wonderful teacher, and I had no doubt that the workshop would be inspiring, productive and fun. So glad to hear you enjoyed it, too!

britt said...

looks like a very interesting class! they produced some cool pieces.

Alison said...

Oh sweet Annri, now we are all smiling with you! Yay you and yay especially for your insight and for your willingness to embrace the chatter. Since that chatter is always there for me too, I love hearing about how you have acknowledged it and accepted its part in the process—very insightful and wise {as usual}—you rock!
The samples are so vibrant and pretty—I can just feel the good vibes oozing off of them. So I say it again—yay you!...and thanks so much for sharing your "chatter" with us, it really means the world to me too.

Sayu said...

now, I'm smiling too. You're a great teacher always have been. Born to teach. Look at all the success stories! Lovely projects Annri!

Valerie said...

Lovely results from your workshop. I love that sort of creative energy!