CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

A New Year’s Resolution That Should Not Be Missed!

It’s hard not to do!  A New Year comes, and we all want to be better, do better and have more fun!  You’re reading this because you have art in your heart, and you are attracted to warm and fuzzy things and experiences.  Your New Year’s Resolution, whether you wrote it down, or it is now imbedded in your soul, is that you would like to learn a new fiber arts skill and have that exciting moment of feeling more creative in 2015 (the Year of the Sheep, by the way!).   You have undoubtedly taken many  fiber arts classes  and workshops over the years, and now realize that you need a little something extra. You have discovered what your passion is, and whether you are a “sheep to shawl” type person (i.e., you do it all:  you have a fiber animal, you love processing the fiber, spinning, and weaving or knitting, crocheting or felting) or, you prefer to focus your talents, time and energy on one aspect of fiber arts. In either case, you are challenged to create continuously and constantly.  You love the challenge.
So, in the past, you have enrolled in workshops and classes where you have met life-long friends, adored the instructor, had ‘Aha’ moments, produced a “thing of beauty and skill” and walked away with that wonderful feeling of creativity.  And, as you have progressed in your art form, you have also attended workshops and classes where you felt that the information given was redundant, you might have been co-opted to help “teach” fellow students, done so willingly, yet at the end wished that the class had more for you and your skill level.  (Believe me, I have heard many stories of this happening!)
The answer to this New Year’s Resolution is just a phone call away.  We are so lucky to have 28 Guilds, in beautiful locations throughout Northern California, with so much talent in every form of fiber art.  Some of us are happy to observe, and be The Students, some of us are born to teach.  Some teachers love to teach children, some thrive with large groups and/or offer a consistent curriculum, and some teachers have the time and patience to attend to the individual needs and desires of just one student, or a custom designed class for one or two people.
We have a great opportunity in 2015 with our network in CNCH.  Step forward and identify yourself if you are a teacher who accepts a one-time student.  List the menu of what you offer, where you are located and include a photo of your studio and if you would like to be featured in CNCHnet.
There are many Guild members (and guests) who are not able to attend workshops that are scheduled, but would like to choose a date and time that is more convenient for them, and identify a goal that is attainable.  Often the cost of a private lesson is the same as a longer workshop, especially if you are getting exactly what you want and need in one session.  You will need to negotiate a win-win situation with the teacher.   Another bonus, if you choose a teacher a little bit farther from home is that you can design your own personal field trip.  Combine learning with leisure, and if you are lucky, attend a guild meeting in another area!  And, you can offer gift certificates for a class, and send house guests who like to add a bit of creativity to their itinerary!  I will be adding that to my list of suggestions this year as my out of town guests troop through!  Let’s spark their creativity too!
To illustrate this New Year’s Resolution, we invite you to consider two of our members.  They both live and work in Petaluma, a very nice town to visit, and have a tasty lunch or dinner, see a few sights, a great field trip, and come away with something special you have made or learned!

Marta Shannon

Marta Shannon

Marta Shannon, (I have taken a 6 week weaving course from her at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, and she also taught my daughter to weave when she was 12 years old!  My daughter has taken many classes from Marta.  Learning to weave served my daughter well, who is now a junior in college, and continues to add weaving and fiber arts techniques to many of her final projects).   Marta offers not only group lessons and workshops in various locations in Sonoma County, teaches privately in her studio in Petaluma, and will also come to your home for a consultation (some looms need to stay put!). Marta teaches everything from the very basic to the highly technical.  Marta is patient, with a light spirit, an eye for what went wrong and where and, I can attest to watching over the last decade, that she has many happy customers!  Call her at (707)658-1707 or email martashannon(at),  google her, or friend her on Facebook!
Stefany Perlman

Stefany Perlman

Stefany Perlman, also of Petaluma, has a menu of classes to offer, including twined pattern basket weaving, making felted hats, creating small felted toys and critters, making silk flower fairies (which are whimsical, a light-hearted lesson, and a great gift for any age), tie-dye for adults or kids, indian corn necklaces, lavender gifts, collage card making, indigo for kids, as well as kumihimo, tapestry weaving, pom-pom making, and tissue paper flowers (that never fail to delight people of all ages).  She has a cozy studio, the best quality of supplies and will help you customize your learning experience with a smile.  I met her 10 years ago, she taught my daughter how to make a felted hat (I’m still wearing it, a great investment), and subsequent to that experience, I have witnessed her teaching both children and adults in a wide variety of fiber arts.  Once again, happy customers!  Contact Stefany at 707-477-7261 or sfgperlman(at)
I hope this inspires you for the New Year and hope you will embark on a mission of creativity, and that, if you are born to be a Teacher, let CNCHnet know that you need to be in a future article!  Happy 2015, have art in your heart, always.