Domestic Skills Symposium… Inside Out

I am feeling accomplished.

I should back up. The last two weeks have been miserable, exhausting, and absolutely not as planned. The last two weeks were supposed to be focused on preparing for the Domestic Skills Symposium and filling my Holiday Shop, both things I enjoy immensely. Instead, I spent it focused on doctor visits, “doctor says”, and stressing.

So, as I packed my car Friday for the Symposium, I was worried I was too over-done and would melt or wither or something in the midst of people or my workshop.

I’ve never before had the level of nerves and concern about a workshop or presentation as I did about my Sunday Straw Surgery workshop. Not speaking in front of 200 peers, not speaking in front of 300 strangers, not teaching for a national organization.

I’ve now been home an hour. Half the bags and boxes are in. Clara is fed. I’ve eaten a little. And…..

I feel accompished.

This isn’t the “I got this and this and this and this done” type of accomplishment.

It is more of a “I pulled myself together, and did me” feeling.

Symposium Awesomeness

This is the point where I want to share a whole bunch of photos and say “see! Look at the awesomeness!”

Except few of my photos came out.

So, here is the photo minimal run down on what was truly a great weekend…..

Saturday morning I arrived at the museum as the sun was rising and thd the ground was going “crunch” under its icy glaze. After unloading my car, I took time to meet some of the museum kittens, a trio of siblings and the prettiest pastel. Two of the siblings were a matching pair of midnight black babies while the slighly smaller dark tabby sported the coolest pair of bat wings. As adorable as these dears are, I really wish people would stop dropping cats off at historic sites and opt to get their pets spayed or neutered.

I headed inside to a much warmer meeting center to get my table set up for the day.

I brought an assortment of pin cushions, pin keeps, pen wipes, sewing cases, and minitature straw goods for people to choose from. People were intrigued by the pen wipers. I spent a good portion of my time explaining how they were used and they types of pen wipers that were made as well as sold.

A Story in the Threads: The Clothing of Enslaved Women in the Antebellum South\” by Cheyney McKnight, Public Historian and Proprietor of Not Your Momma\’s History.\n\”Upon These Shoulders: Speaking Truth to Power. The Freedom Fighters in Upstate New York.\” by David Shakes, Actor, Director, Producer and Historical Interpreter.

The one photo I took that I did like was this one of the village goods:

After setting up, I went over to look at Louise’s beautiful woven pieces. I’ve been wanting something of hers for ages and I finally decided it was time to get something. See in the lower right hand corner… Those are her quilted petticoat pannels. That is what I wanted. A big big big treat. I just needed to decide on 2 or 3. Problem. I got distracted. When I looked back over they were gone.

As the registration portion of the morning proceeded, it was so very nice to say hello to people I simply do not see often enough. Among them was my neighbor, Kristen with her beautiful jewelry and beadwork. It was nice listening to her talk people through which stones and styles were popular when. It is really cool when we really love our research topics.

I was only able to catch two of the presentations: Cheyney’s “A Story in the Threads: The Clothing of Enslaved Women in the Antebellum South” and Mr. Shakes “Upon These Shoulders: Speaking Truth to Power. The Freedom Fighters in Upstate New York.” Both were excellent and informative. It was nice to finally hear Cheyney present in public.

I confess, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to the quilting presentation. I just finally went into the house with the quilting demonstration this summer for the first times since Grandma died.

(I am getting tired as I write.)

A few of us went out to dinner. Itvwas very nice. We stayed out too late. I am old.

By the time I got home and got into bed, I was that uncontrollable cold I get when I am overly tired. I have no temperature control.

On to Sunday….

This was my teaching space for Straw Surgery: Care and Repair of Straw Millinery.

We talked about how to store, care for, reinforce for musuem longevity, and repair straw hats and bonnets. Each attendee was asked to bring a damaged straw hat or bonnet for us to discuss and repair as part of the class. Each did. Some brought 2. I was worried people wouldn’t bring any. I was so happy and relieved by everything they brough. They were fun challenges. I got the impression each person enjoyed themselves and learned some things.

I do have photos of everyone working…. But I forgot to ask each about sharing. The photos show them very focused on their work.

Okay… My hands are cold and I am tired. Time to hit “publish” and crash on the couch with a nice ginger beer.

P.S. There are a couple other things about this weekend that particularly made me happy and or smile. Thank you.

Published in: on November 10, 2019 at 6:21 pm  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thank YOU Anna! You were fabulous. Thanks for being there to share your knowledge and skill, as well as present your wares. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.

  2. Anna, I have been wanting to take your workshop for ages and was thrilled to be included. I learned so much about turning an incorrect piece into something period appropriate and wearable. Thank you ever so much for sharing your research and expertise. We had no idea you were feeling a bit punky, it didn’t show.

  3. It was so wonderful having you in class. You were an ideal student. The piece you brought was a great choice. I look forward to seeing it finished.
    Thank you so much for not noticing my fizzle.


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