I spent a week in Inuvik as an artist at the festival. The entire trip was paid for thanks to the Touring Arts Fund through the Yukon Government. What a treat! Each day meals were made for me, I spent the nights in the college dorm, and I got to spend my time doing what I love- sewing and visiting with people.
There were a number of other ladies from across the north that I got to learn new sewing tricks from. I spent a lot of time with the elders and they all seemed to get a real kick out of the fact that I sew with leather and fur yet I am as white as can be! It was good to sit around laughing and sewing with them.
Plus I had a lovely couple from Inuvik who read this blog stop in to say hi!
I sold a number of items and hosted two workshops. I am really happy with how much money I was able to make in just one week. Too bad all weeks aren't like that! I was impressed with the organization of the festival, the army of volunteers there were always there to help when needed, and the coordinator, artist liaison, and curator of the festival. All wonderful people that made the festival a huge success in my eyes!
Now I love my husband and children, but I sure did need that week away for myself. I didn't really even miss them! I did call the boys each day, but all I got over the phone was "Hi Mom. I miss you. Here's Grandma." So I think the feeling was mutual!
I will definitely consider applying for the festival again next year.
A cute little tyke wearing one of my headbands:
My little sewing station! It was right in the middle of the gallery where all of the work was for sale. I had a blast talking to all of the visitors to the gallery. People could pull up and chair and chat with me while I was sewing.
I completed this hat while I was up there and it sold the same day! Here is the happy owner wearing it:
The three participants in one of my workshops. I taught them how to make a pair of leather and fur baby booties:
The carvers in attendance were pretty darn amazing! Here are two mini mukluks that had been carved and were to be turned into earrings. I was impressed with the bigger of the two and then he brought out the wee one and I was blown away!
Here I am with two ladies from Canadian North Airline- one of the big corporate sponsors of the festival. They signed up to take my bootie making class!
Here I am with my finished parka cover! I was lucky enough to be able to take a workshop with an elder to make it. Nothing like sewing with an elder who speaks very little English! My stomach was sore from laughing so much that afternoon!
I felt quite out of place up there too. I wasn't an artsy person (I just have no clue how to relate to that crowd), and I wasn't a partier (everyone kept asking me to come to the bar with them at night). I did not know a single person up there. But I am friendly and chatty and made some great connections with people. It also gave me time to reflect on where I want my hobby to go and life in general!
I was also a bit disappointed that I didn't get to see more of Inuvik. It was hot most of the days (+25) and I really don't do well walking around in the heat. But I did have a lot of time to sew!
Of course the positive experience far outweighs the negative. I am just kicking myself for not taking more photos!