Friday, June 14, 2013

My Squam Sling and Maya

(view from the workshop window)
 I know there's not much I can say about Maya Donenfeld that hasn't already been said by many others whose lives she's touched in her own special way.  She's one of the most soulful, spirit-filled women I know.  She has a special grace about her that makes you feel better, just by being around her.  I'll confess right now that one reason I hoped to take her Squam Sling class was not because I needed another bag, but because I just love spending time with her.  She and I have shared some similar painful life experience and because of that, I felt a connection, even before I met her last year.  It's been so rewarding for me to watch her adapt and grow strong in her confidence to make a new and better life for herself and her children.  One of Maya's special gifts is how she creates a setting for each class.  There are always flowers and music and special touches to let us know she's been thinking about how to make us feel safe to participate in creating something that will reflect ourselves.

As I said, I had several reason for signing up for the Squam Sling class.  I love Maya's book, Reinvention, and the Squam sling is one of the projects in it.  I also wanted to learn to design and make my own stamps (though the actual design aspect of that almost scared me off!).  Not to worry, Maya gently encouraged me through my dithering and I got the design I wanted.  I didn't finish my bag in class, but have done so since returning home and I really, really like it.  I can't wait to carry it and just hope someone will ask me about it so I can can proudly say, "Why yes, I made it -- and not only that, I made the stamp for the gingko leaf!"

(Maya and Laura-Lynn)
One of the women in the class was Laura-Lynn.  We met last year when we both took part in Thea's Spirit Session photography class.  Laura-Lynn is another one of those who became a friend, through that shared class experience, so it was lovely to reconnect with her and work along together on our bags.  The class was full of talented women, who created amazing designs.  It was so much fun to see everyone come up with such individual and unique ideas.

I finished my Squam sling and finally got the buttons on yesterday.  The natural linen was planned to be the outside (with the gingko leaf stamped design on the pocket) and the lining is the gingko leaf patterned fabric.  The bag is completely reversible.  I love both sides and think I will use it a lot .... and best of all, every time I see it, it will bring back great memories of my time at Squam.