Monday, January 24, 2011

Friends, Fun, Food, Fiber

I had a great time collaborating with some of my creative NE Ohio friends for a fiber arts retreat at our friend Cheryl's gorgeous place, nestled between nature-filled wetlands in a rural area east of Cleveland. I've had the pleasure of watching the progress on her beautiful home for several years, and Cheryl was anxious to break in the newly-completed studio. Wow, it would be a dream come true for any artist- tons of space with sitting areas, a central table for gathering, a deep sink and tiled space for working with wet stuff, and even a huge and luxurious sleeping area with room for several friends to sleep over (which we did!)
There were five of us, and everyone contributed some bit of knowledge and taught it to the others. It was soooo neat to learn how to card colorful art batts and then spin them into art yarns of several types (here are some of mine- I can't wait to do more!).
Robbie and Donna are alpaca-owning friends who have focused on making incredible and original products in the Alpaca Fiber Studio in Chagrin Falls, and it was easy to see why so many people enjoy taking their classes, as they're very patient and encouraging teachers!
I hadn't met Barb before, but soon discovered that she's a real sweetheart and also a great knitter and crocheter. She finished this beautiful shawl and modeled it for us at the end of our retreat.
Donna and Robbie had just put on a fashion show at a local country club, so they showed us some of their unique nuno felt fashions they had made for it (some of the items were modeled over pajamas, so there was lots of hamming it up and laughter!).
Having lived in Kentucky for more than half of my life now, snow is a big deal for us but not for the tough Northeasters! Here's what my car looked like on the second morning, and at one point it looked like a blizzard outside but my spunky friends never even commented on the weather except for an occasional blase remark, "hmmm, it looks a bit bad out there." The rare flash of sunshine elicited a lot more attention!
As is usually the case with my woman friends, there was a lot of laughing, excellent food, and good wine to be shared. We all compared our sources, techniques and ideas, it was so much fun! The only time it was quiet was when everyone was concentrating on learning something new, such as when I taught the others how to make a felted birdhouse.
They all turned out beautifully! Robbie's heart-shaped "love nest" was especially cute, and I hope to make some of these in time for valentine's day as well.
Thank you so much to Cheryl and my other friends for including this "southern friend" in the retreat and I hope this will be at least an annual event! Alpaca breeding originally introduced us, but the fiber of friendship still holds us together, and for that I am very grateful.
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WonderWhyGal said...

What a wonderful gathering. I especially love that it is fellow Alpaca owners. I want to see more breeders playing with their fiber.

Loco Lindy said...

Thanks, Andrea, it was great! I think that a lot more alpaca breeders ARE playing with their fiber now... I always have and there's always more to learn!

Andy and Deb said...

I think this is amazing!!! I have to find something like this up here in Canada!!! Either that or I have to move to

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Looks like you had a fabulous retreat! We all need to take the time to energize our creative sides and I love it that you all are so willing to share your knowledge with each other.