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Monday, May 21, 2012

Jason Collingwood Workshop in Shopiere, WI - Sunday (last day)

This is the fourth (and final) post about my weaving weekend at Vavning Studio in Shopiere, WI

Sunday morning was a bit cooler than Saturday.  Again, I got my "Kitchen Wench" duties under control.... but oops!  I missed plugging in the coffee urn at the other end of cord! ACK!   I had the one end plugged into the pot, but for some reason it was unplugged from the wall.  An hour later when folks were wandering in, the coffee was not done!   It took about 15 minutes for it to finish, and I felt bad about slacking on my duties.  LOL   I prepped up some more deviled eggs, and put out some fresh fruit, bagels and hot water for the tea drinkers.

While I do this in the early mornings, I crank Juanita's CD player with Celtic Woman music, which floods throughout the studio in the early morning hours before anyone else comes.  I play their music at home all of the time too.  Makes me feel "creative".  One weaver, Ellen, gets there early each day, but she likes the music too, so I keep it going.

I wanted to take a moment to mention our darling hostess Juanita Hofstrom.  She is a talented lady, art major and retired art teacher, who is living her dream with this studio she has created.

 Each year as I have attended these workshops, she manages to hand create some lovely gifts for each participant.   Over the years I have received pottery, shadow boxes, necklaces and shuttles.  All are treasured, as are the fond memories associated with them.   This year was just as special... with gifts of her small tubular handwoven Buddy Bags.  They can be used to carry your keys, cell phone, money etc.   Great if you are out and about jogging, hiking, touristing or attending a conference such as this and don't want to haul along a purse or wallet.  Hang it around your neck, tuck it inside your shirt, and your valuables are safe.   Plus, I found a ball of pretty special sock yarn tucked into my basket by my loom. Hmmmm wonder where that came from?   Also, here is the photo I talked about yesterday that Norm took of Steve and I by the tree he planted for Juanita's studio.  Wow.. did that tree ever grow!

Okay, back to the weaving workshop!

Folks wandered on in, ready to start another day of learning.  Jason keeps two of these large write on wipe off boards going with tons of information, diagrams, lifting sequences, color patterns and lots of other weaving jargon.  If you don't snap a photo of each board, like this one below, before the next lecture portion, it's erased and replaced with MORE stuff to put into your head.  (by now our heads are sooo full of information)   We have great handout notes to refer too, but sometimes snapping a pic helps.   Juanita, our "Fiber Goddess" hostess, as her favorite shirt depicts,  was making the rounds, checking that everyone had what they needed.

We were all weaving away the morning, and most of the group went back upstairs to learn about rug finishing techniques on the edges....   I was out in my hallway area working on my rug samples in between dashing in and out to prepare a meal for 11:30 a.m. before folks would be hitting the road.  Other years I have done things like lasagna or soups... but glad this year we decided I should do a nice meal of steamed fresh veggies, stirfry chicken and 2 steamers of rice.  It was lighter fare and easier to handle on a hot hot hot 90+ degree day.

Soon our classes were over and folks were loading up their looms and supplies.  Steveio was helping folks carry things out to their cars in the parking lot.  Seated at the picnic table by our rig was Mark Huttner, the guy who I mentioned in yesterday's blog.  He was patiently helping a customer work through some of her knitting foibles she was having with one of his patterns.  Talk about "Customer Service" on a Sunday no less!

Once the students' looms were out of the way, 
it was time to set up some banquet tables down the center of the room . 

I had all of the food ready at once.... whew- that is a feat!   I always feel a flash of success when a cook can get all of the food done at one time-----   It was served buffet style so everyone could  take or add just what they wanted to their own tastes.

Juanita picked up a special Turtle cheesecake from Annie's Restaurant down the road.  It's special because the turtle name takes on another meaning, being in Turtle Township by Turtle Creek.  Awwww   Then a fellow weaver, Joan, brought in a "to-die-for" chocolate cake!  It was a flourless cake with fresh raspberries garnish.  Oh MY!   We all had to sample a piece of each.

I feel the meal is a good time to connect once again and chat about things other than weaving. We had a chance to unwind a bit, and catch our breath after weaving and packing and sorting and loading.
Then we all had to hit the road and head on home again.  Sigh. 

Steve and I hung around to help clean up, do the dishes and load up my things into the rig.  When we were done, Juanita and Norm were ready to lock the doors of the studio and head on home too.  

We said our goodbyes, with tears in our eyes.  One more year of a Jason Collingwood Workshop under our belts.  whew.... 9 years of having him come to the studio and present these classes.  He rotates between Shaftswitching, Twills, 3 end Block Weave, 4 end Block Weave and Plain Weave classes.   

You can do one better that coming to a class like this, by actually going to England and taking a class right in his own studio!   He holds residential classes by weaving one-on-one with him, staying a week in a furnshed apartment by the studio.   You leave with a finished rug at the end of the week... not just a sample, a WHOLE RUG!    
More information here:  http://www.rugweaver.co.uk/

(to my children-- take note-- if you ever want to get me a really cool present, 
sending me to England for a week would be totally acceptable) 

The dogs were all excited and ready to roll as we left the parking lot.  I was pooped out and dozed off for a while as Steve drove home. It is about 200 miles back to home, so our ride was long.   But the dogs don't care, they just wanna GO!    

They are quite disappointed when we pull up in front of the house.  They thought we were going somewhere else.  ANY where else!   They HATE coming home, and usually it's Duke who pulls a hissy fit temper tantrum about leaving the rig and having to go into the house.  Lately Duchess (a.k.a. Ducky) has been pulling the same temper tantrum!   It's hard to pry them outta the rig and make them go across the yard into the house.  They break away and dash back into the open motorhome door.  

I know how they feel.  


  1. It looks like a wonderful time was had by all! I wish I could have been there, if nothing else than to visit with you and Juanita!

  2. It sounds like such a fabulous event for learning, sharing and socializing. Does it ever make you just want to stay where you are and have all that space to be creative?

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend and the food looked tempting. I think it might be hard for the kids to miss the not so subtle hint and just tell the doggies it won't be long before they won't have to leave the motorhome.

  4. Looks like a great time was had by all! The food looks great, I see why you were chosen as the cook. I think the dogs are right. It's not time to head home, it's time to head out. Counting the months right along with ya.

  5. Hope this doesn't show up twice…first attempt at a comment hiccupped…
    Our friend Judy is a fiber artist too and has a loom and all the tools. Very interesting!


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