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Monday, March 16, 2009

Loaves and fishes

For some time now, we've been hoping to have a big meeting with all of the women who participate in A Little Something. After careful planning, we came up with a plan to invite all current members and new women who wanted to join so they could meet in one room and help string together a plan for the future of the project.

We hoped that at least 20 women would come. We sent invitations via mail and word of mouth. We ordered lunch, made activity kits, and hoped we wouldn't be there alone.

We were so not alone. The room was packed. As more and more women arrived, Katrina, Anna, Jaime, Susan, Jean, and I started to get nervous. We didn't have materials for this many women. We certainly hadn't ordered lunch for this many women. How were we ever going to stretch out the supplies and food to accommodate all of these women? Yikes!

It was a busy, creative day. The women mingled, talked, learned about the program, and tried their hand at making stretch bracelets. We distributed jewelry making supplies, lots of yarn, weaving fiber, advice, and encouragement. The rush of women wanting to get started was overwhelming.

In the end, we abandoned the concept of project kits and just dumped beads onto styrofoam trays, two per table. IT fostered sharing and cooperation. There was enough stretch cord so that everyone could make a bracelet and take a spool of the cord home. Somehow, Katrina and Jaime made food for 35 transform into lunch for 50. Don't ask me how they pulled this off but they did and no one walked away unfed. It was some sort of crafty miracle.

Now we just need to conjure up clones of ourselves so we can manage 50 women, go out and give jewelry-making lessons, help the knitters get on track, figure out our ever-perplexing weaving fiber confusion, keep track of everyone and what they're making and what they need to keep making it, and, and, and...I think my head is going to explode.

We need 19-strand wire. We need beads. We need crimp tubes. We need everything. Mostly, though, we need time. Hey, we were able to defy the laws of physics and matter with our beads and a catered lunch, so who knows what we can do with the laws of time? Can someone please conjure up Dr. Einstein?

Here are the first pictures from Saturday. The women here are from Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Burma, and Bhutan. Special thanks to Beadalon for helping us out with rolls of Elasticity cord.

Team A Little Something kicks off the meeting.

Getting acquainted across cultures.

Susan getting caught up with Haiffaa, an orignal Beadwoman.

Meeting our sisters.

More mingling.

Bhutan checks in.

Cooperative bead stringing with Yashoda and friends.

Their moms couldn't come, but the Bantu girls joined the group.

Htee Ku Paw tries a different craft in the company of Bhutanese friends.

Sharing laughter and wrist sizes.


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