Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Midwest Felting Symposium...I did it!! PART ONE: Susan's farm in Columbus Wisconsin.

Now that that long anticipated/dreaded week is over I can be truly proud and glad that I did not let any of my fears stop me from going to teach at the Midwest Felting Symposium. One of the difficult things about being bipolar is that the person I am when I am up can be so different from the person I am when I am depressed. In this case I agreed to, and wanted to, teach at the symposium because I was on a high. I was in that phase where I feel confident and have the energy to tackle new things. Since my moods are so closely tied to the weather and seasons once winter hit I fell back into the person who has zero energy and loses the ability to see much worth in anything. The last 5 years or so have been much better in this regard but this year was worse than anything I had suffered for many many years. I had several times where I had to just go back to bed to survive the day and was even having a bit of delusional thinking. This winter was extreme where the weather was concerned but I know that the fear and stress of the up coming Symposium was a major factor in my depression. Stress is the biggest factor in triggering mental health issues and a spiral up or down can get out of control. I have learned much about what I can do to keep this from happening and getting rid of the stressors is one of the tricks and tools in my mental health toolbox. I almost called Susan McFarland who is the creator, director, heart, and big bundle of energy behind this event to tell her that I had to bow out. I didn't want to quit and was banking on the change in me that comes during the spring and summer. I am so glad I was right and did not give up. It was wonderful and such a big growing experience for me. I am thankful to Susan for asking me to be part of this event.
After Susan and her incredibly helpful sidekick Holly Tang picked me up at the airport I was lucky enough to meet up with my friend Pamela MacGregor who drove in from Ohio. We all drove out to see Susan's Fiber Shop and her beautiful Teeswater sheep. It was such a beautiful drive and it gave me a taste of what that area of Wisconsin is like.

 The skies were incredible that day and I am not used to seeing quite so much sky all around.

And I can not tell you how wonderful it was to drive along with someone who sees the same beautiful scene that you do and have her turn around and go back so you can get a photo. The light was already fading by the time we turned around but I still got the essence of that moment.

And here are photos of Susan's sheep with those incredible skies in the background. I want to use these as reference for a painting.

 And here is Stacy, the girl I wandered out into the pasture to see up close.

It was really funny to see all the sheep come running when Susan came to the fence. They were all 'talking' to her and each was making different sounds....very loudly!

I really was having a great time taking photos. Here are a few more. My next post will be about the actual Symposium...stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Diane, congratulation on teaching your first symposium. Big huge smile. I look forward to seeing what you taught your students. Susan farm does look wonderful and beautiful. I am happy for you that Spring and Summer gave you the energy to teach. Hugs Judy