“There is More Love than Hate” toy drive for the surviving children in Newtown ,CT. Continue reading There is More Love than Hate- Nebraska shows Newtown it’s Love!
What should I paint next?
I have a few picture choices from Douglas County Nebraska. Keeping the Light of Nebraska project rolling along!
Hey if you want to become part of this project and help out…. I’m always in need of paint brushes. Check out our supply wish list for this project.
Thanks you for your gifts! 🙂
The Awiya Project delivered a piece of art today for a benefit dinner and auction for a young man named Paul. Paul has been diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma, an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer. It is with a warm heart that The Awiya Project wishes Paul & his family all the best.
UPDATE: The All for Paul benefit dinner in Omaha over the weekend drew over 1,200 people In attendance.
Guest Blogger Michelle Mullin
“When we had moved back to Nebraska, after my Air Force time stationed in Tucson, I eventually worked at Nebraska Furniture Mart. There was an elderly lady who worked at the central info desk who I used to talk to all the time. Vivian, with bright red hair and twinkling eyes. One day at lunch, she was watching me make something and remarked that she saw very few young people these days who could crochet, or would take the time to make
things like that. Then I found out that she knew how to make tatted lace! I knew what that was because I used to make some crochet patterns I found in old Workbasket magazines, and I had seen some shuttle tatting patterns there. But no matter how I begged and pleaded, she wouldn’t agree to teach me. She said she just didn’t have the patience, but finally she told me she’d ask her husband to show me… Apparently, he was the one who’d taught her in the first place!
Such a nice old gentleman, Wendell must have been close to eighty…and when the weather was bad he still would drive her to work and wait all day to take her home safely. One of those days, during my lunch hour, he taught me to tatt. He had learned to tatt from his father, who’d been a fisherman in Canada, and they used it to make nets. Sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, tatting; in his day and age they weren’t only for women. Obviously, there wasn’t tv, and most people still had to make their clothes. If you wanted to have something nice, you needed to make it, and if you were bored, there was always something that needed made or mended. I was so grateful he thought I was worthy of the time.The only thing he asked of me in return was that some time in my life, I had to teach at least one other person to tatt. I promised him I would, and I also gave him my first tatted doily.
Thread Art by Michelle Mullin
Eventually, after having a string of jobs that each worked out worse than the last, I started my own small business teaching crochet and tatting classes through Hobby Lobby… and one of the times I was sitting there by the door handing out my fliers, in walked Vivian and Wendell! I was so happy to be able to tell him that I had lost count of how many people I’d taught to tatt by then. Since then, I’ve taught crocheting and tatting at various times thru Michaels, and even the Adult Continuing Education dept. at Metro Community College.
I volunteered at the elementary school my daughters were attending for Pre-K to teach small numbers of sixth graders to crochet as a reward. Twice a week for an hour we’d take a table in the library and work there. There was a girl who the librarian was tactless enough to comment that she doubted would ever finish anything… I made sure she darn well did. She crocheted a decorative scarf for her grandmother which she even went so far as to finish off with beaded fringe. So there! I took her picture wearing it and I still have it. Never assume what a kid can’t do.
One other little girl there really touched me, because she was just so determined. The first project she made after learning chains and starting a small potholder, was a baby blanket for the little brother who was coming soon. And I don’t mean a little cutesy postage stamp sized baby blankie, no… she made a baby blue and ivory striped afghan big enough for a single bed. One day as she worked I was so tickled when she told me, “You know what Mrs.Mullin, crochet is all about math isn’t it?” Yes, Karla, it is… wasn’t that sneaky of me?
Next, she brought in a scarf someone had begun in shell stitch which she wanted to finish for her little sister. After that, she wanted to make a purse! She’d never had one, and she wanted to make one for herself. 3D crochet is quite a leap from just learning to do it flat… but we started one, using the fuzzy eyelash yarn that’s so popular, but a royal pain to work with. That was what she wanted, and she was determined to make it.
was impressed, she did a fantastic job. She crocheted around some hoop handles, and did gradual increases and decreases of stitches to form the shape – no pattern, simply by how it looked! – and then we sewed a liner in it. But before she finished it, she told me that she wasn’t going to get to keep it, her family was going to visit her Grandmother in Mexico, and she was told to give it to her as a gift. It never occurred to her to object, although she really had wanted to keep it and I didn’t say anything, but I almost cried and the minute I was out of her hearing I said some unfriendly things about her elders under my breath. It did seem unfair to me, but I’ve since come to understand that in her family, it was considered an honor.
Her counselor (who taught me to knit, BTW) and I decided, however, that would not stand. We got her the stuff to make another one, and this time, instead of making it from scraps, she got to pick the color. It ended up the pinkest, fuzziest purse I will probably ever see…and I was secretly thrilled because probably no one would want one that pink but her. She told me later that there were members of her family who had begun to ask her to make them one, and I was so proud that she remembered what I’d taught her about what to charge and how to conduct her small business. In a family where her older siblings were off doing their own thing and she was the one to watch the smaller ones than her, she’d developed a useful skill that got her respect.
We barely had time at the end of the year for me to quickly teach her granny squares and give her a big bag of yarn scraps to use over the summer to work on a blanket. I thought I’d probably never hear from her again, but the beginning of the next year, she called me at home to let me know she’d finished it. At the start, she didn’t think her family would be willing to spend money on yarn for her to learn… but by the end of the year, they took her to the craft store and got her what she asked for.
I create things; I am an artist with thread!”
“Never forget that you are one of a kind. Never forget that if there weren’t any need for you in all your uniqueness to be on this earth, you wouldn’t be here in the first place. And never forget, no matter how overwhelming life’s challenges and problems seem to be, that one person can make a difference in the world. In fact, it is always because of one person that all the changes that matter in the world come about. So be that one person.”
R.Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) architect,engineer,inventor
You shouldn’t get to live in society and give nothing back. People complain about their taxes, yet they do nothing for the community. That makes me furious. – Kathleen Turner
What Sparks Your Firecracker?
You already know what sparks my passion to paint & give back to others.
Good Evening My Creatives,
I sent out emails introducing the Awiya Project 2: Cycle of Compassion & From Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska this morning.
Here are the links to our campaigns if I don’t have your email address. If you want me to have it, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Introduce yourself & let me know if you want to receive future introduction emails.
It’s recommended that when running a crowd funding campaign that you make contact with someone 7 times. I honestly believe that is a bit excessive if not borderline wallet stalking. We don’t want that kind of negative energy around what we do. My perspective is that once you hear about it, via email, twitter, Facebook and you go look at the campaign site… Either it resonates with you & you want to be part of it or it’s just not your thing. That’s how authentic inspiration happens. It is my heartfelt wish that you become authentically inspired as we are with every painting we create & donate.
So, with that said, I do hope that you take the time to at least view our crowd funding campaigns. We do appreciate you taking the time to visit our campaigns.
Jes and I are in road trip planning mode for picture references to start painting the Palette to Canvas series. Also organizing with benefit organizers for a 9 yr old child with a rare type of cancer. A piece has already been selected & in the next week or so will be delivered. Details will be forthcoming. Here’s a link to the benefit Facebook page.
As always, Stay on the Awiya Side of Life and be present in your authentic nature
Phase 2 of The Awiya Project is up & running!
Jes & I have initiated the 2 nd crowd funding phase of The Awiya Project.
While the 1st campaign only generate $100 , none the less, it helped us purchase items needed to put the final touches on 2 paintings & 2 tubes of paint contributed to 1 new painting. All of which were donated. Check out our latest video!
Stay on the Awiya Side my Creatives!
Here in the last week we’ve seen exaggerated cases of abuse of power. The Penn State Coach and the bus aid getting bullied are both clear examples of power and influence being abused. Everyday I read through the news and day after day its more examples of abuse of power and violence against each other. Once in awhile I find a beautiful little gem of hope that we haven’t lost our humanity & compassion for each other, which of course I am all to happy to twitter it @awiya & blog it Finding the Hidden Gems: Dig it!. We need all the inspiration we can get.
However, inspiration alone isn’t enough. Being mindful and aware about what we see happening in our communities isn’t enough. We need to be doing! Doing something to stop the cycles of abuse of power, bullying, and violence in our communities. STAND UP! SPEAK UP ! GET DOING! Holding those responsible for their abuse of power is just one step. WE need to take a few more steps forward and become active in changing our community influences & experiences we offer. WE are the community after all.
What are you using your personal power & influence for?
I cannot answer for all of you out there in our human community, but I can answer for myself. I am utilizing my talent & ability of painting and donating the works to help others in crisis & donating paintings to community spaces to not only inspire hope, but to improve the image of the space, draw attention to community services such as libraries and community centers that offer a wide variety of community services & programs that instill & advocate community & personal responsibility, compassion, and unity. I am utilizing my personal power as a parent & continue to teach my children about volunteerism as they volunteer at the library reading to young children, summer reading programs & at a local pet shelter. It is our mindful living & doing NOW!
One of my biggest inspirations was having the pleasure to know & love a beautiful woman named Jenny. Great Grand Mother to my eldest son. She was a 1st generation born to scottish immigrants and lived a life of family, community & selfless giving. She knitted & donated hats, booties & blankets for premature babies at a local Nebraska hospital for over 30 yrs. She hand quilted blankets & donated them to local raffles & fundraisers. She volunteered within her community her entire adult life. She had a heart so loving & generous that anyone who met her could not help but be touched & inspired. Her smile was infectious & her presence of life strong. My son told me a story of the day he realized something he could do for his beloved Grandma Jenny when she reached into her 90’s, had suffered a stroke. He was about 4 years old and wanted his Grandma Jenny to read him a book. Whenever he would bring her a book she said no and distracted him with other activities. As time passed along and he grew older he held the belief that his Grandma Jenny didn’t want to read to him. It wasn’t until Grandma Jenny had her first stroke that he learned that Grandma Jenny didn’t know how to read. She spend a life time giving to others, but never once asked for help to learn to read. Inspired by Grandma Jenny’s love of giving & his love for his Great Grandma, my son spent many afternoons reading to his beloved Grandma Jenny. Grandma Jenny had several more strokes and passed within the year. This experience has profoundly shaped the person my son has grown to be.
What experiences can a community provide to our youngest of members?
Check out the programs offered in your towns, community libraries and community centers. Participate, volunteer, donate to local direct impact projects. WE are the community. If we don’t like what is happening in our communities, then its ALL OUR RESPONSIBILITY to change it!