Tag Archives: teaching

Artistic Thread

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.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Holiday Ornament by Michelle Mullin

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!”

Advertisements

Be that One Person

“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.

Nature of People

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 awiyalife@yahoo.com . Introduce yourself & let me know if you want to receive future introduction emails.

The Awiya Project 2: Cycle of Compassion 

From Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska

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.

All for Paul 

As always, Stay on the Awiya Side of Life and be present in your authentic nature

Various updates. . . From The Awiya Project

The Art of Being Jes

Well, a few quick updates. The last couple of weeks have been particularly challenging for both my wife and I. First, I tore my meniscus pretty severely, and the next week my wife had to go to the emergency room with Kidney stones. Oy. Well, we are back at it, working harder than ever.

We were, sadly, disappointed with the results of our initial Indiegogo campaign, raising just a fraction of what we had hoped. However, neither one of us are the types to give up easily, much less to give up on a life’s dream. So, we are launching our second attempt, though a much smaller, narrower in scope version, From Palette to Canvas. This particular campaign leaves out our efforts to help benefits, fundraisers, charities and the like, but focuses solely on Nebraska public libraries. Last year, Lou and I held a month long free public art…

View original post 204 more words

A New Cycle Begins!

 

 

 

From Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska

Jes and I are building upon the success and popularity of our Palette to Canvas: The Colors of Wahoo we did in September of 2011 and launching another in the series called “Light of Nebraska”. You can become a Contributor today by clicking on the side bar links . More to come in the next few days as we are updating all our websites and starting this new series. Stay on the Awiya Side of Life my Creatives!

D.I.G the Gems with an open heart

“It Ain’t Over: The Business 9 Women Kept A Secret For Three Decades”
http://t.co/w8GRfd3K

The Huffington Post brings us this little gem about 9 Nana’s with big hearts and yummy pound cakes. This story really inspired and refueled my dedication to continue painting & give it away mantra Jes & I started. We continue to donate painting to charity and benefits as well as initiating a another Palette to Canvas series. Like the Nana’s who scraped every penny to bake goodies, drop off baskets of hope to those in need… It’s the heart of compassion that’s larger than the self. No matter if you contribute to our campaign or mail us a tube of paint… Or not…. We will continue to paint & give others hope, inspiration & beauty… One painting at a time.

From Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska

Light!

Jes & I are very excited to take The Awiya Project to a new level!

We did a “Palette to Canvas: The Colors of Wahoo” last fall. We did a series of impressionist paintings of local images,held a month long Nonprofit art show & donated pieces to local public spaces.

Now we are planning “Palette to Canvas: The Light of Nebraska”. We want to paint 10 impressionist landscape paintings of the diverse landscapes of Nebraska, hold a nonprofit art show & then donate the pieces to 10 Nebraska public libraries. We are in the process of organizing our next project and taking this love & passion of painting & giving to a new level.

We are applying for nonprofit 501c sponsorship from The New York Foundation for the Arts & Artspire for our next Palette to Canvas series. This sponsorship will provide many more opportunities for grants & donor funding for our projects and national exposure for Art that Gives.

Check back frequently as we are in the process of planning our next project & writing our sponsorship proposal for submission.

 

 

The Awiya Project~ Thank you

The last painting of the current project has been delivered!

I want to thank our donors, supporters and recipiants for participating in The Awiya Project! We were given an amazing opportunity to share our talents & abilities with others. Connect with other artists, community fundraising events & organizations and lovers of art.

 This experience has refueled our passion and drive to continue to paint and donate our art for the benefit of others.

A Heartfelt Thank you cannot express the gratitude we feel for sharing in this experience with you.

 

Garden Vision

New Painting ready for The Awiya Project

 

 

“Garden Vision” by Lou Ewers for The Awiya Project