Zen about Christmas; Braid In Classes

Christine here.  Weirdly, wordpress won’t let me add photos today.

Like many of you, I’ve been madly shopping and wrapping presents. This year Christmas seems to have snuck up on me, catching me completely unawares. I just shut the refrigerator door on the Thanksgiving leftovers and then Surprise! There’s Christmas.

I spent a week running between stores and standing in check-out lines and staying up late wrapping presents and then suddenly… I sat down. Now I am sitting here mutinously and I don’t want to get up again. I don’t want to think about what everyone else wants for Christmas. I don’t want to think anymore about butterflying a pork loin or baking a bird. I am already ticked off at all the Christmas lights. I want to sit and braid and have everyone leave me alone.

My daughter is home from college and has somehow forgotten that her mother is not her servant; my son is hanging out in his room/cave and pretending he isn’t part of the family; my husband is just generally irritating because he’s my husband. Correspondingly, I’m sure I’m a real peach of a mom/wife at the moment.

But this is always the way it is, isn’t it? If we let ourselves focus on the annoying aspects of Christmas or anything else, then we ourselves become the annoyance.

I have resolved to achieve that zen-like space where you realize that it’s all fluff and feathers and not really something worth getting upset about. I’m trying to remember that the important thing is The Family Getting Together, and the rest is irrelevant.

It is not easy. I would rather sit here and scowl and sulk. I may have resolved to be zen, but I ain’t there yet.

The one thing that has been fun lately is about 100 emails back and forth with the teachers and the Teaching Committee for the Valley Forge Spring braid in. We finally… I think… have the list of courses. I just had one teacher withdraw for health reasons and a new teacher added, so I don’t have the final schedule, but I have the list:

Valley Forge Spring Braid In, April 29, 30, and May 1, 2016

Basic Braiders

  1. Beginning Braiding (Dot Pepe + others)
  2. 2-Braid Spiral (Debra Weinhold)
  3. Continuous Strip Rug (Debra Weinhold) (ends flip over front to back at edges)

Intermediate Braiders

  1. Annie’s Fanny Butting (LO & RO) (Christine Manges)
  2. Patterned Hybrid Basket (Dianne Tobias) (uses plaid selvedges from Pendleton to create butted, stacked plaid patterns)
  3. Braid Bowl (Kris McDermet) (butted, bowl-shaped braids around Hooked Center)
  4. Multistrand Braiding (Christine Manges)
  5. 6-braid Hexagon Trivet (Christine Manges)

Advanced Braiders

  1. Flowers in a Chair Pad (Anne Eastwood) (These are the pieced, 6-petal flowers over 2 rows each)
  2. Braided Landscape (Delsie Hoyt)
  3. Multistrand Butting (Christine Manges)

Non-braiding Fiber fun

  1. Felted Flowers (PeggyAnn Watts)
  2. Beginner & Intermediate Kumihimo (Debbie Wykosky)

On Jan 1, 2016  I’ll post the schedule and registration information on the Valley Forge website (www.ValleyForgeRugBraidingGuild.com).

We’ll be doing things differently as a result of some feedback in a survey that Jeff Wykosky did for us with last year’s attendees. For one thing, Class Registration will be centralized through Nancy Young, who has very graciously volunteered to take on this huge task. Classes will be paid for individually above the cost of the braid in. And many of the classes will have kit fees.

These changes will hopefully take care of: 1. Rising costs to host the braid in, 2. Complaints that classes were too full because wuss teachers would never say no to more students (ie, me), and 3. Drop in students who came to class unprepared and then demanded teacher time.  So we’re trying to be more professional and I think a centralized registration for classes will help.

We’ve also revamped the Braid In registration form to make it (hopefully) much clearer.

Hope to see you there!

2 thoughts on “Zen about Christmas; Braid In Classes

  1. Sympathize Christine with your desire to set Christmas and family commitments aside and just braid and create. Will happen. Great list of classes and teachers for the Valley Forge Braid-In.

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