V ä v a! V e v e! weaving cloth one thread at a time

Friday, April 23, 2010

By the way, I did end up finding my wallet

As it turns out, I had lost my wallet at the RiverCentre when setting up my booth space for the ACC Show, without even knowing that I had.  So for a whole few hours between the 3 am escapade to the 24 hour Walgreens and the start of the show, I worried about where I could have lost my wallet, or worse, who could have stolen it!?!  But it did not take all my attention, being that the show was my very first ever show and having never done this before, I was required to pay attention!

Minutes before the start of the show, I was standing at the back corner of my booth, double checking that the few towels that I was able to weave were all hanging straight, and that the pens were all aligned with the edge of the table. . . okay, . . okay, yes. . .that's a bit over the top.  I didn't really do that. . . well, yes I did. . .along with making sure that the Post-it notes were aligned with the pens. . . but I do get nervous for major events in my life (for which this show qualified in spades) and the way I calm myself is to make sure that everything is in it's place.

So let's just say that I was making sure that everything was in it's place, when SUDDENLY! a hand appeared through the drapery at the back corner where I was standing!  And again, just as suddenly, a face appeared!  There we were, nose to nose for a nano-moment!  Then I jumped out of my skin and back 3 feet!  A pretty young woman was on the other side of the drapes holding my wallet!  My startle morphed to an almost head tilting puzzlement.  What the. . . ???  What was she doing with my wallet??!!  With confusion clouding my brain, I just stood there, dumbstuck.  She said, "I believe you dropped this?"  Still, I just stood there.  "I think it must have fallen on the floor yesterday and been kicked into my booth area."  she said helpfully.  I finally shook off my paralysis, and ventured, "Oh!!!  My wallet!!"  Then, words gushed out, "Oh!  ThankyouthankyouthankyouTHANKYOU!!  I thought I had lost it or worse, that someone here had stolen it!"  She handed the wallet to me and said, "You're most welcome!" and disappeared with a smile.  I quickly checked to see if any money was missing or any cards.  It was all there.  And then I felt guilty.  Why had I automatically jumped to suspicion in spite of the fact that this wonderful person had just handed me my wallet, when in fact there was nothing requiring her to do this except her own conscience??  And wouldn't that same conscience be afflicted with the same guilt if she had only taken part of the contents of my wallet, rather than the whole thing??  Why couldn't I have just accepted the wallet without attaching suspicion to it?  Why do we all have to be so suspicious of others??

And then, fortunately, that moment passed as I thought briefly about that old adage about looking at the teeth of a horse given as a gift??   "Oh! NEVERMIND!!"  I said to myself.  "I'll think on that another day.  Today I have a show to do!"  I had gotten my wallet back!  Complete!  My heart soared realizing that there are people out there that do have scruples!  Today I had experienced the very good side of human kind!  I didn't need to look any deeper than that!  Today, through one person's simple honest act, I had felt hope for humanity!  What a great start to my first show!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Can you say "STRESS"?!

Right around 2:00 am the morning of the ACC show I was just taking the color samples I had woven out of the dryer.  They were damp dry and. . . .OMG???. . . no..nonono. . .NONONONO!!!  The samples that I had in my hands had all ravelled!  The zig-zag stitching that I had had done had all come out!  OMGOMGOMG!!!!!  They were ruined!  RUINED!!!!

I sat down at my dining table, put my hands to my face and let the tears come.  I was exhausted!  I had been working nonstop AND hadn't eaten properly in weeks, I hadn't slept in the last 36 hours. . . all to come to this. . . these rags I held in my hands. . . I finally had to admit defeat.  I couldn't go on.  I had gambled everything. . . everything. . . and lost.  but wait. . .wait just a minute. . . was there a way? . . . there was always a way. . . what could I do?? . . .

So after a short meltdown,  I set about figuring out what I could do to salvage the mess of threads I had in my hand.  It had to look good, and I had to be able to do it in the next couple of hours, with what I had at my house.  But, oh no!  All my project materials are at my studio downtown!!  I had a stapler and a roll of scotch tape and a kitchen shears.  Out of my foggy mind came a vague memory.  "I know. . .Hey!"  I said, a bit blearily "Walgreens has a 24 hour store!  They should have some glue and some decent scissors!"  And off I trudged to my car.  The 24 hour Walgreens was only 5.62 miles away.

As I pulled into the parking lot I saw some dark looking teen-somethings hanging by a car in the corner away from the light.  I locked my car.  I walked into the store and noticed that there seemed to be quite a few people there for it being 3 am.  I also noticed that the folks that were there all looked a bit jumpy and what was it. . . maybe wide-eyed?  Those were the things I noticed immediately.  "Too much coffee?" was a thought that came into my mind and I discarded it right away.  So suburban of me!  Then, like lightening, the next thought bolted into my mind.  These are the people that have chosen an alternate lifestyle.  These are the people that one doesn't see until it gets dark.  These are the people that you read about in the newspaper and hear about on the news.  This is the part of society that you don't meet until a fabric emergency brings you to Walgreens at 3 am in the morning, or even worse, to a dark alley downtown!  (Wait, what kind of fabric emergency would bring me to a dark creepy alley downtown at 3 am in the morning???  Oh! shut UP!)  Well, Dorothy!  You aren't in Kansas anymore!  I looked again at the people around me.  Sure enough, these folks had to be a part of the underbelly of society.  The ones with too many problems to cope.  The ones that didn't fit into 'normal' society.  The ones with problems they couldn't find answers for. Or the ones that tried to straighten their lives out with drugs or alcohol.  I went quickly around the store, gathered my necessities and went to check out.  I got in line behind a very thin woman who was wearing a heavy jacket and a stocking hat pulled down on her head, and talking a blue streak.  She was muttering, and talking to the cashier, and muttering some more. . . so fast that I could hardly understand her.  "I got lossa money, lossa dough, jus' not here. . . tha's all. . .not here. . . not here. . . Put that down here, yeah, good.  I got lossa money, but not enuff to pay for all this here. . .not enuff. . . Here!  Take this out. . . now wha's the total??  too much. . too much..take this out and this.  Now what?  okay, okay." She continued to take this and that out of her pile of already checked-out merchandise and had the cashier re-total, until she had the same amount in her hand as what was on the total.  It took awhile, with her talking fast and faster.  And I thought to myself. . .there but for the grace of God. . . !  Then I was next.  Finally, I thought, as I shot a pitying glance at the crazy woman leaving the store, and thanking God that I had all my faculties.  As if this night hasn't been long enough, I have to get a humblepie notice from the Big Man Upstairs?!  I step up and put my things on the counter.  The cashier moves each item into a bag after scanning it.  He rings up the total.  Meanwhile, I am starting to get a little frantic.  While my things were being check out, I was digging in my purse for my wallet.  Now, I didn't have such a big purse, and my wallet was actually very big.  So, it would be obvious in the limited space of my purse.  Dig,dig. . . digdigdig. . .DIGDIGDIG. . . empty. . emptyemptyempty.  All of the contents of my purse was now out on the counter for all to see.  My measuring tape, several receipts, my Leatherman, my breathmints, my keys, my changepurse, my mp3 player, and my handwoven wallet made from $2 bills by my swede-man (aka darling husband), given to me for Christmas one year.   But this was my auxiliary wallet. . .not my real wallet.  This was the wallet that I used to carry CASH, which I never had!  But no REAL wallet came out of my purse.  No wallet containing my plastic!  Suddenly I started talking and muttering really fast. . .and caught myself.  "How much?"  I asked with trepidation.  "I seem to have lost my wallet."  my eyes drifting to the aisles, fertively searching the floor for my wallet before one of these desperates grabbed it. "Suurrre. . ." said the the bored looking cashier.  "Great!"  I thought, "He thinks I am one of them."   I grimace when he tells me the total.  I grabbed one or two items out of the bag and asked him to re-total.  Then. . . slowly I start taking apart my Christmas gift.  All eyes were on me as I deconstructed my gift and unfolded each bill and placed it on the counter. All eyes starred and were entranced, and wondered what kind of crazy woman keeps her money like that??!!
I walked out with 27 cents in my pocket and only a fraction of the merchandise that I had brought to the counter with me. . . . just like the lady in line before me.  I got in the car.  I had what I needed to repair my samples.  I could do this!  Then I chuckled to myself.  Exactly WHO was the crazy woman tonight anyway???

Monday, April 19, 2010

ACC Show - St. Paul, MN

After coming out of the deep coma of exhausted sleep that is only experienced by complete novices of the art circuit, I realize that I will have to work on toning my show muscles for my next show!  What absolutely physically and emotionally draining work!  I think I was that tired once in my life, after working by myself for endless hours on making rock steps carved into the hill leading down to the shore at our cabin on a particularly warm and humid day.  Or maybe it was the few weeks leading up to the ACC show when I was weaving round the clock trying to get some inventory woven so I would have something to show in my booth!!  I was falling alseep at my loom while weaving!! 

But even though exhaustion plagued my physical and emotional self, my spirit soared!  There I was, booth 408, rubbing elbows with long-time fiberartists like Randall Darwall and Brian Murphy, randalldarwall.com, and meeting greats like Tim Harding, http://www.timharding.com/!!  Shelley Tincher Buonaiuto, http://www.alittlecompany.net/, was directly across from me!  I was awestruck by the talent that was within the walls of the St. Paul RiverCentre.  Stunning work everywhere I looked!  And there I was in the middle of it, wondering to myself if I belonged!  But as the show progressed, I found that visiters did indeed consider me to be part of the talented elite!  Words like beautiful, inspired, elegant, stunning, creative, and unique fell on my beseeching and grateful ears.  Who needs sleep?!  Who needs sustainance for the body when one can have this 24 carot food for the spirit?!!