Wednesday, February 3, 2010

All Jazzed Up Again

Last week, (wow, was that a whole week ago?)  my favorite Art Teacher Pal/Dear Friend (DF) and I had a most wonderful opportunity to present all about Aunt Sally to a large group of women who meet once a week to enlighten and enrich their lives by listening to guest speakers and then have tea.  These women are all of a mature age, college educated and most seemed monied.

They are a lovely group of 80 women.  Yes, 80!  Now, DF and I have never addressed a group larger than 30 or so and certainly not a group not currently affiliated with education.  So, we tweaked and modified our presentation, decided to bring Miss Mae with us and added a few more slide to the power point.  We spent hours putting together our signature take away kit.  Putting together 80 of those kits was made a bit more pleasurable as we did the bulk of it in the backseat of my favorite Music Teacher's car on our way to our favorite Girl's night away trip to The Container Store and IKEA.

SO, DF and I pack up Miss Mae (she is delightfully easy to collapse and take) the night before and the next day show up as we were assigned.  We  were brought a lovely lunch by our hostess and we munched and set up.  We were on an actual stage, people!  A STAGE with a humungous screen and little microphones...I mean we were high tech and wired for a good time.

The ladies started trickling in, and they were just so lovely. Inner and outer beauty was abundant.  Very gracious and brilliant women.

So, we do our presentation, and although DF needs about 5 minutes to become articulate ( she is a gifted gabber, but needs a minute to adjust to being THE SPEAKER), she is an incredible presenter.  Our presentation went so well.  Well, of course it did.  DF and I are exceptional in so many ways.  We passed out our kits and taught the lovely ladies to weave kumihimo style.  They each got a ziploc with a small foam loom, ribbon attached to a clip and detailed and illustrated instructions.  DF did an admirable job on the instructions.  She also did the demonstration on an oversized kumihimo loom made out of cardboard while I took questions from the audience.  And let me just tell you that the questions were excellent.  None were light weight and all were of substance.  We were impressed.

So, then on to tea and we were approached, nonstop, by so many lovely ladies with comments, touching personal stories and great suggestions.  It was stimulating, gratifying, and gave both DF and I renewed energy and affirmation that what we have done is important.

Here are a few interesting notes I made.

1.  No less than 6 women came to me to ask if I thought this would help kiddos on the spectrum. 6 women have a child with Autism in their families and all of them are looking for any strategies to help their loved one along.  Autism is certainly an epidemic.
2.  A very smart and resourceful woman suggested that we get an old wringer washer to do our dyeing.  This is absolutely brilliant!  So, if you know of anyone aching to rid themselves of an old wringer washer, please show them the way to me, please.
3.  Many of the lovely ladies were very engrossed in the products of their own weaving and had hopes of sharing with others.  You could see the resourceful wheels turning in their heads about all the possibilities.  It was exciting.
4.  A handful of lovely ladies have taken it upon themselves to begin discussion and action regarding finding a loom for one of the kiddos we mentioned in our presentation who has moved on to middle school and no longer has access to Aunt Sally.  This is just so amazing to me.  Really amazing.
5.  One of the lovely ladies is in the middle of dealing with loved ones who are suffering Alzheimer's and cancer and she and I engaged in a discussion about how important using one's hands for good is. She makes dammit dolls for people living in stress.  She gives them all away, makes them from bits and scraps of old clothing and such.  She is totally into repurposing.  She told me she had made and given away almost 50 dammit dolls in the past month.  Imagine!
6.  Our presentation still brings some to tears.  Gotta love that, huh?

Most importantly, I felt smart and confident again.  As you all know as of late I have been in a world of turmoil and self doubt sprinkled with a generous helping of self loathing.

So, today I will spend my time searching for calls for presenters at conferences.  I will send in proposals even after deadline cutoff dates because you just never know when conference organizers might find themselves short a few interesting presenters.  Aunt Sally will not be denied, and I believe her magic will get us speaking gigs where we need to be.  She is magic and must be shared.

1 comment:

  1. I recommend you check Craigslist for a wringer washer. You could even advertise for one there. Call the Habitat Restore, too.


Although I am dangerously opinionated, I am a flexible thinker and welcome your thoughts.