Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger Lindy Weber. Her story warms my heart and I’m thrilled to have played a small part in her dreams. Lindy will be a regular guest here as she embarks on her adventure of a lifetime. She’s giving away a beautiful framed piece of her own art work too.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, yours truly was quilting, fiber arting, fabric dyeing and quilt blogging.
Through a Hansel and Gretel breadcrumb approach to web-surfing I came upon a friendly, informative, fun web site – the Quilting Gallery! I registered my blog, ‘liked’ QG on Facebook and signed up for the newsletter.
One day Michele, QG web developer extraordinaire, shared an offer from Jamie Malden, owner of media business, Colouricious. There would be a series of free tutorial videos from Jamie’s Talking Threads DVDs. They would arrive in my email box on a weekly basis. I signed up for what turned out to be a life-altering experience.
Through these presentations, I was introduced to some of the UK’s top fiber artists; Gilda Baron’s sumptuous landscape embroideries, Myfanway Hart’s creative dyeing of fabrics, Jill Kennedy’s stunning silk painting and Fay Maxwell’s elegant slash work. I began craving (fiercely) to take workshops from these ladies, but I live way out in the woods of Washington state, USA. “Dream on,” I told myself. “Can’t hop in your car to cross the Pond.”
Meanwhile, my very bright, focused, preacher/husband, Rick, was online day and night researching for a book he is writing on wisdom. He was finding theological colleges with stellar libraries that he would love to loose himself in – all in the UK. He attended a science/theology seminar, 2009 & 2010, in Oxford. I went with him the first trip and loved it there!
Every time Rick found some wonderful library he would turn from his PC, mournfully sigh, tell me all about it, and go back to searching. This went on for months…at the same time I was silently longing to attend all those workshops. About eight months ago Rick began his “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go and research?” I replied, “Let’s do it!” His jaw dropped, his eyes lit up. “Really? Really!”
We are not rich. We are not poor. We just have a dream. Because Rick is receiving a letter of appointment from Black Friars College, Oxford as a Visiting Academic, we will be able to stay for one year. Mere mortals are only allowed 6 months. We will sell the house, the truck, a car. I’ve parted with one antique sewing machine and oak table through the want ads. I’ve donated books to the library, clothes and household items to the women’s shelter and stuff to the Senior’s Center. I’ve already found a good home for our dog. I still need to place two very spoiled felines.
I don’t know if all artist types are like me, more dream than reality, but thank good husband Rick is Practical, with a capital P. I was going to pack all my batiks and hand-dyes. I would take my cutting mat/padded ironing surface and rotary cutter. Hmm…should take the huge one and the little one, as well. I need my PC, printer, monitor, my faithful sewing machine, and what if I wanted to make some clothes ‘over there’? Throw in the serger. I will need paints, printer fabric and canvas. My ribbons, trims and beads. An entire roll of batting, three bolts of PFD fabric, dyes and supplies.
All this impracticality came to a screeching halt when Mr. Practical announced his research on the Ex-Pat sites suggested packing very, very little, as the cost of shipping is prohibitive, around $125 per 3 cubic feet box. “30 cubic feet?” I asked. “No, 3 cubic feet.” he reiterated.
But he didn’t leave me in tears. Instead, he did more research and found a 7 year old Viking sewing machine for $150 US on the UK version of Ebay. My current machine is 34 years old. Hmm…I am being forced to buy a newer machine when I get there? I can live with that. What about fabric for the workshops I will be taking? I will have to buy what I need? Hmm…I can manage shopping for fabric. What about my PC? Santa brought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas with a purpose in mind. Thank goodness for Cloud storage!
So, we have our flight tickets for June 18th. (Mr. Research found a tremendous deal – we are going first class! My first time ever to escape the cattle car section!) I have registered for a 5 day workshop at Missenden Abbey with Gilda Baron on felted landscapes beginning July 29th.
I am on a waiting list for a one-day class on silk painting/embroidery flowers with Alison Holt, in Oswestry, which is close enough to Wales that Rick will drive me to the class August 11th, then into Wales for a couple days. On the way ‘home’ to Dingwall, Scotland we will stop at the large quilt show in Birmingham, August 16th. Mr. Research found that one, too. He is a keeper, yes?
I am already ‘over there’ in mind and soul. My body just has to make the trip to catch up and then the dream begins. Friends and Family are in one of two camps; “How exciting! An adventure of a lifetime!” or “Are you guys nuts?”. I think it is both. Thank you Michele, Jamie Malden and serendipity!
Each month I will be giving away a prize to a randomly picked someone who answers my question in the comments below. Since I will be taking a class from Gilda Baron, this month’s prize is a 3″x5″ framed piece that I was inspired to try after watching the Colouricious tutorial.
The question? If you were adventurous/nuts, where would you go on your Great Adventure? Winner will be chosen March 28, 2012.
Winner selected: Congratulations to #21 Louisa Lawson.