Way back when I first started hunting for instructors to teach classes, I spotted a local Etsy shop full of charming figurines - Edward Gorey inspired cats and bunnies, and serene mermaids. I contacted the shop owner/maker about teaching a workshop, and when she responded a few days later she mentioned that she had a book coming out that might be more interesting to build a workshop around than her clay figures, which is what she does when combating writer's block.
Little did I know then that I was engaging in a conversation with a wonderfully talented and very very funny writer, a real honest to goodness published author, or I might have been a little more intimidated.
When Rebecca Barry showed up at Craftstitute with her Edward Gorey tin lunchbox stuffed with clay figures and wearing groovy black boots, I knew I was meeting a new friend. We talked about her new book and we laughed over her writer's block solution. We discussed what made more sense for her involvement with the school, and she said she'd drop off an advance copy of her new book and we'd plan a workshop around the themes,
Now, I'm mostly a reader of fiction, I need the escapism. I picked up "Recipes for a Beautiful Life" on a day filled with errands, and sat down with it, exhausted and frustrated, over lunch. And was instantly captivated by the warmth and humor. I picked up my daughter from school and returned to the book while she sat with her homework and paper dolls. I proceeded to read the entire book through, ignoring emails, phone calls, and my children. I laughed out loud and cried and felt like I had been given a gift, this intimate glimpse into a life trying to be authentic and creative, yet filled with the obligations of modern day family life, and trying to find a balance that works. Rebecca's observations can be bitingly funny, which makes this memoir work.
So, it is with great excitement that I share the news that we are going to be hosting a book party for Rebecca on Friday, April 24th from 5-7pm. She's going to share the story of how this book came to be, read a little, and guide us through the quick meditation that she uses to jumpstart her creative juices. We'll have locally sourced food and libations to enjoy, since her other endeavor is acting purveyor of Fresh Dirt Magazine with her husband.
On another note, I learned again this past week that it takes a village, in this case a community, to build something, like a school. In a moment of publicly expressed doubt, lots of people stepped up with encouragement and ideas and offers of help. It was so heartening, and we want to thank everyone for the generous outpouring. Sometimes you just need to hear that you're on the right track.
We had some great classes this past weekend - Zentangle proved to be a great excuse to gather with friends and get creative, we'll have another on the schedule soon. The coffee brewing methods class was a happy surprise for my husband, who hates to give up his Sunday. He loved every minute of Jesse's presentation, and has some new skills to use with our existing devices. The Japanese stitched journals were such fun to make and we're so proud of our finished treasures.
This week is a little quiet on the class front - the Learn to Knit class continues and if you would like to take this class, let us know please. Friday night is Sewing 102 - Making Napkins. We have used handmade napkins for years - they hold up to kids, lots of washing and abuse, and still look great. Saturday, we're going to host a drop-in Kokedama make it and take it. Come prepared to work as a team (great parent/child opportunity) as it takes at least 3 hands to make it work, but the results are pretty cool. The $10/moss ball fee is just to cover our materials cost - you can make it and go anytime during the two hours we're at the school.
Enjoy this marvelous sunshine... and make stuff!