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Today is the first day of spring – and I woke up to a world of snow and wind. Our groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, had it right on Groundhog Day when he predicted six more weeks of winter!
One of the more beautiful things about winter is the snowflake and the lovely pattern it has. As stitchers, most of us have tried our hand at trying to reproduce these beautiful snowflakes. In mid-February, I was part of a team that offered a short stitching workshop entitled ‘Let It Snow!” with instruction in making a small beaded snowflake.
We are fortunate to be included in the Long John Festival in Truro, this being our third time being included in this Winter Festival. Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture contacts us and offers us this opportunity. We come up with the project, the supplies, and the team and they do all the promotions, register participants, and provide the space. What an easy way to get our name out to the public! This year we had 14 participants; they were all ages and all levels of experience – but all were eager and excited about trying to make a beautiful snowflake, similar to the samples on display. We worked on perforated paper with two strands of DMC floss and both bugle and seed beads. Card stock paper was provided for backing but samples used backing such as felt, cotton fabric secured with an iron-on fusible web, and iron-on fusible interfacing. What a shock to the participants when we started to demonstrate how to cut out the perforated paper to form the snowflake! Stitching was one thing, cutting quite another.
Most people preferred to finish their snowflake as an ornament to hang on the Christmas tree or in the window but we offered a few other options: put a magnet on the back and use on the refrigerator, glue a pin back to the back of the snowflake and wear as jewelry, glue to a piece of ribbon to create a bookmark, or attach to the front of a card to send as a Christmas card or a thinking-of-you note in the winter.
We were able to talk to everyone as we stitched, sharing hints about stitching and also about our Guild and the fun and camaraderie that we share there. It was truly a delightful evening with fun, learning, and laughter! And so I say to you all, “Enjoy the snowflakes but now take time to enjoy a wonderful Spring!”
11:59:00 PM | Edit Post
Most stitchers seem to have things in common and one entertaining trait we share is our inclination to collect stitching tools.
Some of our tools will have sentimental value such as this brightly coloured needlecase my mother made that I inherited after she passed. So not my colours but there is not another I treasure more.
The hardanger needlebook was my first attempt at hardanger and one of the first projects I completed after joining EAC approximately 25 years ago.
Some of our collected goodies show where we have been and how we have grown. These four needlebooks are a clear indication of how I have become obsessed with crazy quilting!
We tend to collect items to add to our hoard – items others have cast off that are purchased enthusiastically by us in thrift stores or garage sales so we can scurry off home with them clutched to our chests protectively.
After awhile, we collect so many stitching treasures that we have several in a theme, like these bonnets or the little potted pincushions.
Some we make for ourselves such as the delightful Souvenir of Saskatchewan. The kit for this one came from the ladies of the Saskatoon chapter of EAC.
We make these tokens and swap them with each other like this one constructed for me by a friend. This pinkeep is made from two old CDs. How ingenious!
These two were both gifts – the heart came from a dear friend in Japan and the pedestal pincushion was designed to stand tall above the clutter in my sewing area.
We all have favourites though, and this one is mine! Constructed for me by a friend in Europe, this dear little goblin makes me smile every time I use her. You might think she is rather ugly but she is blissfully unaware of how unattractive she is and lolls around happily showing off her gold jewelry and her other “gifts”. How can you not love her?
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I’m sure many chapters are a bit apprehensive about hosting an EAC meeting. There are two opportunities when this might happen – the Fall Board Meeting and the Fall Regional Meetings in eastern and western Canada.
I belong to the Calgary Guild of Needle and Fibre Arts (CGNFA) since 1989. In addition I was the Prairie Pacific Regional Director from June 1, 2008 to May 31, 2012.
I was approached to join the EAC Board in St. John’s, NL during Seminar 2007 by then Past President, Deb Blackmore. The Regional Director position suited me as it would give me an opportunity to meet many of the western members and maybe get to know them one-on-one. What an amazing and fabulous opportunity it was for me and I hope for the PP Chapters and PP National Members I met along the way feel the same way. Many long lasting friendships were established over my 4-year tenure.
As the PP Regional Director, I attended three (3) fall Board meetings (work commitments prevented me from attending the meeting in PEI), four (4) spring Board meetings/Seminars and attended/chaired four (4) Regional meetings. I met fabulous hosts, chapter members helping with the meeting logistics, chapter representatives and fellow Board members during these meetings. As the PP Regional Director, I felt honoured that it was my duty and responsibility to be the spokesperson/liasion for the PP members. I support sharing information with the PP members and Board and I continue to hear from some of them even since my departure from the EAC Board.
Now let’s discuss opportunities for you and your chapter.
When CGNFA originally discussed hosting any EAC meetings, we were apprehensive and were not initially very supportive. When discussing hosting a regional meeting, the CGNFA members were concerned about the cost à EAC will cover up to $800 of the associated costs to host the meeting; billets, who are these people à fellow stitchers with the same passions as you and me (that’s why we joined EAC.); responsibilities of the billet hosts à be friendly, provide a bed / a few meals, share a laugh or two; general responsibilities of other local members à transport delegates to and from the airport, transport delegates to the meeting location if the billet is unable to do so, make a potluck dish for the Saturday potluck and social, make some goodies for coffee breaks during the meeting, help with cleanup and set-up if required, etc. In the end, I was very proud and ecstatic when CGNFA agreed to host the Fall PPRM in Calgary in September 2011. A great job was done by my local chapter and in the end, many said they enjoyed the experience and many felt they had made a new friend from somewhere else in western Canada.
As many of you know CGNFA has agreed to host Seminar in Calgary from May 12 to 17, 2015. As part of hosting Seminar, Calgary will host the Fall Board meeting November 8 -10, 2013. Another great opportunity to showcase our fabulous members. Once again CGNFA will provide billets for Board members, a meeting location, meals and transportation during those two and half days. EAC does provide some reimbursement for associated costs by the local chapter. This two and half day event includes a presentation by our Seminar 2015 committee on the classes CGNFA plan to offer during Seminar 2015 (Friday evening 7 – 10pm) and two full days of meetings as organised by the Board.
Your Board representatives, elected or acclaimed, work for the members to develop policies, improve communication, provide support and generally are a fun bunch of individuals dedicated to ensuring the EAC aim (preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the art of embroidery through education and networking) is shared, improved and implemented. But the Board, Directors and Appointees are all VOLUNTEERS and look to its members for assistance and ideas to continuously grow YOUR organisation. Let’s ALL help them and actively support them in whatever way we can. Another opportunity to have fun, give back, meet others, develop friendships, and see other parts of Canada (yes, there is some work involved with being on the Board).
I thank ALL of the billet hosts who took wonderful care of me during my stay in your city. I cherish every one of these friendships and most certainly enjoyed seeing my host’s stitched creations lovingly featured throughout their home. Remember stitching binds us all as it is one of our passions in life and one we all love to share with those sharing that same passion. It was a fabulous opportunity for me and hopefully my host. Thank you!
So I encourage all chapters to seriously consider hosting a meeting in the future as it is an excellent opportunity to chat with like-minded individuals or bend the ear of a Board member. If your chapter has hosted a meeting, share your views on the experience.
Guidelines for Hosting a Fall Board Meeting (November 2006)
Regional Policy (November 2011)
Jennie Wolter, Calgary, AB
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Last weekend was my sister's birthday. This is not remarkable in the usual way as I have four sisters. However, this sister's birthday marked her one year anniversary of being free of breast cancer. She still has a way to go to make sure that they got everything, but I am so thankful that she's still around that I just had to write about it in this blog.
About 2 years ago, she called me and told me she had found some lumps in her breast and had already talked to a doctor about the next step. She needed to cry a little and complain a little and I was the one chosen. Even though she lives in Louisiana and I live in British Columbia, I think the distance enabled her to say some things out loud that she felt she couldn't say to her husband, children or friends. After all, what are sisters for?
She decided to go with a lumpectomy followed by chemical and radiation treatments. The lumpectomy was a success and the doctors felt they'd gotten everything out. But she was swollen and sore and it took longer than they expected for the swelling to go down.
Finally, the swelling did go down and she started the treatments. By this time I was calling her every other week. She said the chemical treatments weren't as bad as she expected, but the first week after the treatment she was so tired about all she did was sleep. The second week, she had more energy and by the third week, she felt fairly normal and got caught up on everything she hadn't been able to do the first two weeks. She still tired easily in the third week but at least she was able to have a more normal life. Then it was time to start the cycle over again.
After the chemical treatments were over, she had radiation treatments and she lost her hair. I thought it would really upset her, but it didn't. She was laughing about having more hair on her pillow than was on her head. She said her head got a little cold, so she made herself some wonderful scarves to wear. I just had to send her a toque and matching scarf like the ones the Canadian athletes wore in the 2011 Olympics. She loved them!
Near her birthday in 2012, all the treatments were over. With doctor visits now only every three months, she decided she needed a treat, a really big treat. So in June 2012, she took a two week holiday with her son and visited family in Oregon and Washington states. But she said her biggest gift to herself was coming to Canada for the first time. We hadn't seen each other for almost 12 years and we had a wonderful time visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Aquarium and Steveston Harbour in Richmond. It was one of the best times I ever had.
So last weekend was a special day for me with many, many thanks to God for letting my sister stay here with me.
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Find out more at the Embroiderers' Association of Canada website.
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EAC is not responsible for content at external links provided within this blog.
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- The Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) is a national non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to have a fellowship of persons who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge; and thereby to work towards maintaining higher standards of design, colour and workmanship.
Our aim is to preserve traditional techniques and promote new challenges in the Art of Embroidery through education and networking.
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