Thursday, May 22, 2008

Conferences and meetings...

Lily's New Look
Lily's New Look

But first darling dog got her new haircut last week. She loves it! And beside her is the bright purple yarn for the socks I'm knitting. They're going along quite quickly. The yarn is Crystal Palace's Panda Cotton in 59% Bamboo, 25% cotton and 16% elastic nylon. I heard somewhere that the yarn splits a lot, but I don't find that happening. Most cottons seem to split a bit but so far this hasn't been as bad as some commercial wools I've worked with.

Lily and TJ stayed at Buddy's Boarding in Floyd while I was gone to the conference (see below). I think they had a great time, although TJ was a bit frightened when I left. Diane said Lily acted like a queen while I was gone, parading around and being the boss. And that TJ is a sweet dog (spoken in a dubious "well, he's a Lab after all" tone.)

Opening Plenary (what a word!)
At the "Building a Creative Economy in Southwest Virginia" Conference

So anyway, there we are at the conference, all dignified and dressed up, with mostly government types surrounding us. "Us" at the moment is dear Charlotte and me. Charlotte's the chair of the Patrick County Tourism Advisory Council and a quilting/weaving member of Bull Mountain Arts, while I'm, well, the local crazy bunny lady. And also a member of the Tourism Advisory Council. Joe Wilson is the master of ceremonies. I play the CDs from the Crooked Road book that he wrote just to hear his wonderful voice. So he's up talking; everyone settling in to hear politicians, government officials and all that usual conference stuff that puts you straight to sleep. And he invites two Southwest Virginia musicians up to play. There they stand, surrounded by politicians and dignitaries, while everyone taps their feet and nods in time to the music. I bet New York City economic conferences don't start this way!

The whole day was quite lively, with lots of interesting information, slideshows, films and great food. Kudos to 'Round the Mountain, The Crooked Road and Appalacian Sustainable Development for their hard work in putting the conference together. And many thanks to these organizations and others like them for making such a difference in Southwest Virginia. Because dear Linda couldn't attend, I was asked to demonstrate spinning. Since I had planned to attend anyway it was no problem to do so. The Artisan's Marketplace showcased the talent of
Southwest Virginia with demonstrations of dulcimer making, spinning, weaving, basket making, wood working, stained glass and gourd art. And of course I didn't get a picture of my little display!

Barter Theater
Barter Theater, Abingdon, Virginia

On Tuesday I headed back home, after a quick look around Abingdon. I plan to come back in a couple of weeks for a yarn shop opening! Abingdon is a beautiful town filled with lovely architecture and interesting shops. One of the nice things about these conferences is the interesting people you meet. I spoke to a lovely young lady who came through the Artisan's Marketplace and then ran into her again at Zazzy's. Donna Akers Warmuth is the author of several books on the history of Abington and the surrounding area. Check her web site for titles and events!

The rest of the week has been filled with getting ready for company and MORE bunnies, in between meetings! When we got back on Tuesday we spent the rest of the day working on replacing the bottoms of the sadly deterioriating and aged cages where the rabbits live. We managed to get a lot of them fixed up and the bunny house looks brand new again. Chris is coming this evening with new stock to replace the senior citizen rabbits that finally died over the last year or so. Looking forward to seeing her! And Jane from Fiber on the Mountain is visiting over the weekend as well to attend the Hit 'n Miss Engine Show and festival. Chris, Sally and I are heading to the Sedalia Fiber Festival on Saturday. My car is stacked full of fiber that needs to be weighed and separated into bags for sale!

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