Soon the doors will close on 2013. We will put away the calendars, tidy up unfinished jobs, join or organize a little party with friends and share some good food (and maybe a glass of sparkling wine). Hang the new calendars, make fresh resolutions and look toward a fresh start…Everyone has a personal way to close out the old and welcome the New Year.
I remember my fourth grade reader: A story about a family all busy doing this and that one last time… it took me till the final paragraph to realize that whatever each person was engaged in would be the last activity for THAT year. Somehow this story stuck with me, and each year as the end of December approaches I recall its details.
A blog is a great vehicle for journaling throughout the year. It records one’s events, adventures and experiences. For me it is a way to capture my creative activities, teachable moments and share knowledge. I can’t believe where this year has gone – somehow I feel it passed me in warp speed, pulled me into its vortex and is finally releasing its firm grip.
2013 was a year like no other for teaching and reconnecting with friends from the past. It all started with the second year of offering design workshops from the studio. In 2013 I had two introductory classes. 16 design students traveled from near (5 km down the lake road) and far (3 – 4 + hours in good weather conditions) to participate in full day sessions, once a month for three months.Weekend workshops for the Prairie Hearts Quilters’ Guild and Art Gallery and Museum in Moose Jaw were offered in February and March in addition to the studio classes.
At the end of April I was ready for some sunshine and warmth. The SAQA conference in Santa Fé was a perfect opportunity to escape the dreary, never ending winter of Saskatchewan. While attending I delivered a session on entering and staying on the teaching circuit.
The first weekend in May was spent in Hanna teaching for Corinne Hewitt at her wonderful store. Participants from Alberta and Saskatchewan filled the class and kept me busy.
We carried on with our trip to Penticton for Quilt BC where I co-taught the Quilt Judging Certification Part I session with Kathy Bissett, followed by two days of design and a lecture to fill in for Libby Lehman. Visits with friends south of the border provided some much needed down time.
Upon returning home it was time to host the wrap session for my design students in anticipation of the Student Show Case, an exhibition honoring participants efforts during the winter months. June was filled with getting ready for the Open Studio and exhibition.
Once July arrived it was time to prepare for the second half of the year. Workshop kits were waiting to be assembled, handouts printed and new lectures were written and organized and augmented with appropriate images.
August arrived quickly, and soon 12 eager quilters gathered for the first Art Quilt Campus at Shekinah near Rosthern and Waldheim, SK. Participants traveled from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Colorado for a week of adventures into creativity. We dyed, explored design exercises, shared ideas and practiced critiquing. The overall positive feedback has prompted me to plan for two consecutive Art Quilt Campus weeks in 2014.
Immediately following Art Quilt Campus I caught a plane to the Seattle area to co-judge the Pacific West Quilt Show in Tacoma with Scott Murkin. What a treat to work with a professional, very experienced judge in the US. The judging event was one I will not forget. Our styles truly complemented one aother, and Scott and I were soon finishing each others sentences.
Once home from Tacoma it was time to start packing in earnest for my September workshop in Italy. But first things first: I had promised our local Weavers and Spinners Guild a day of silk dyeing with acid dyes. My studio was bursting with creative energy. At the end of the day everyone left with a rainbow of colors to be transformed into something unique for the next conference.
A week-long stop in Germany to connect with family was the prelude to our excursion to Italy. Rome in six days is a challenge… but Colin and I made a good start. We truly enjoyed our short time there. If you are interested in more details about this part of my journey check out my travel blog here. Soon we arrived in Sulmona, Abruzzo for a week of complete immersion into Italian culture. The workshop was geared to all levels and the seven participants were focused and open to all possibilities, including impromptu excursions to the country side and town. Check this blog’s archives from late September for details. If you are interested in taking part in this adventure in 2014, check it out here. A discounted price is in effect until midnight tomorrow, December 31st, 2013.
On October 2nd it was hard to return to reality in Canada after sunshine and travel fun, but responsibilities were waiting and could not be ignored. I was home for just eight days when I boarded a plane bound for California. (I am smiling as I am typing this… It is – 25 C outside my studio window… I am trying to imagine + 25 C, the way I experienced it in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara – good memories! These will get me through this winter.) California was fabulous – reconnecting with friends after 21 years, and my sessions for the PIQF exceeded expectations. I am so excited that I was invited to return in 2014!
Once back in Canada I had less than two days to pull together my supplies and samples for the final workshops of the year. It all started off at the Saskatoon Quilters’ Guild Show where I helped to “Fan the Flames” of creativity with my back to back lectures. The weekend was busy between lectures, volunteering on the floor and evaluating an apprentice judge.
I had a day to regroup in the car en route to Edmonton where I had two weeks of teaching design and a lecture ahead. The time just flew with more motivated students and before I knew it November made its presence known. A big snow storm reminded me that I could definitely not escape winter. But the friendly and warm attitude from workshop participants kept me busy and well protected from the snow and ice outside. Two weeks passed quickly and I soon boarded another plane, destination Yellowknife. Design and Kantha workshops made six days go by in a flash. I was actually able to explore the town and surrounding area and take in an Aurora Borealis tour. Yellowknife is a place one has to experience at least once. There is an energy in this northern city that I have only experienced in Newfoundland and Saskatchewan. I departed Yellowknife feeling like I left behind a group of new friends, and a place I will definitely return to.
I took a deep breath as I landed in Calgary. Five days of sleeping in, reading a good book and watching the landscape outside the car window as we passed from Alberta to BC restored my energy levels to near normal. Three days of teaching in Peachland for the Quilt BC LOC and two days with the Fabricators in Penticton completed my teaching commitments for the year.
This is my time to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who invested their trust and energy in supporting me during 2013: the various organizers who made contact, booked venues and sorted out the logistics for my stay, the hostesses who provided great accommodation for a comfortable stay, the committee members who advertised my workshops and managed to fill them consistently, the workshop participants who traveled various distances to attend my classes, generated great discussions and challenged me to stretch my knowledge and problem solving skills… And a special thanks to all of you who have followed and supported this blog. Your comments and suggestions are what makes this blog continue. Thank you to everyone – you know who you are!
Warmest hugs! May the next year continue to be filled with creativity and opportunities to connect. Anna