In a blog post a few years back, I talked about my mentor, Chris Gustin. She has been a weaver for 40 ish years, and she owns Homestead Weaving Studio in Columbus, Indiana.
In the beginning, I took a 6 week basic weaving course, one night a week. It got me started, but it left a lot to the imagination. I bought a second hand loom, and went for it, even though I didn't know much. Unfortunately, there was no one locally who could help me.
I found Chris online. I know you won't believe that my "shy self" called her, but I did. I was desperate to get Crazy as a Loom off the ground, and I knew enough to know that I was clueless.
I even ordered a blue jean rug from her, just so I could see what mine should look like. It is still on my bathroom floor.
From the very beginning, Chris shared her knowledge with me, and her love for weaving, in a generous and totally unselfish way. She jokes now that she helped to create her own competition, but she is proud of what I've done, and has never, ever been anything but supportive.
I will always be grateful to her for that, and to this day, when people ask me for help and advice, I give it freely, passing on the gift that was given to me. Paying it forward.
Thank you, Chris, for everything, but most of all thank you for your continuing friendship since that first phone call.
Just recently, Chris has taken her generosity a step further, which is why I love her.
Chris has always campaigned against plastic bags, and has been weaving them into beautiful rugs for a long time. She has taken it a step further now, helping to reduce the impact of plastic bags on the wildlife in KENYA.
Yes, I said KENYA.
This is Chris with her newest weaving student.
James Nampushi, a Maasai warrior from a small village in Kenya.
Read her story HERE: http://www.homesteadweaver.com/kenya_weaving_project.htm
because she tells it best, and because she has awesome pictures of the whole process.
It is amazing.
She is amazing.
I want you to meet her.
You will never feel the same about recycling your plastic bags. And you will see how I have been inspired in my passion for Crazy as a Loom.
love this post .. life, if we keep ourselves open to it, is filled with opportunities to pay it forward and isn't it a great feeling?
Lovely post and photos . What a wonderful person to be inspired by , sounds like a fantastic lady no wonder you two get along so well ! Thanks for sharing ! We are preparing for a big snow storm to hit as of this evening through the night and into tomorrow ! Have a good day !
Wonderful post. What a kind face this woman has. Very lovely. Deb
Really wonderful story. I guess I never considered plastic bags being woven into rugs.
As Cornelius tenBoom, a Dutch watchmaker, once noted about the owners of another watch shop up the street, "Not competitors. Colleagues!"
She sounds like a colleague in the best sense of the word.
I have been fortunate to have met Chris too! What a lovely shining soul of weaverly goodness!
Karen and Steve
RVing: This Country Is Our Big Backyard
Great post Hilary about a wonderful woman....you and Chris were my inspiration to begin weaving. I was fortunate enough to spend three days with Chris, and she is a fabulous teacher!!!!
Yes! She is amazing! I try to play it forward as well...though sometimes when someone I taught does exactly what I do and passes it off as her own, I feel a twinge but I'm working on my attitude! :) Gary says imitation is the highest blah blah blah. ok. Still working on it!
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