January 13th, 2007

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Went to the PenWAG (http://www.penwag.org/) meeting

You know that stereotype of sewing organizations (which I won't name here) being a bunch of stuffy little old ladies who don't really have any sense of imagination or adventure?

Well, PenWAG isn't that group.

Sure, it's almost all women (now, before we joined it was all women), and many of them "are of an age" but they're definitely imaginative and have a sense of adventure.

We found the meeting in the Immanuel Lutheran Church's fellowship hall. There was a table of snacks and a big pot of coffee just inside the door, and people starting to gather in the meeting room. I could tell that this was a more expressive group than I'd run into before when I saw a gal (the newsletter editor, actually) wearing a large colorful spiked headdress (which, it turns out, was made of a plastic visor, a bit of fabric, bamboo skewers and wooden beads). Then I saw one of the older women wearing a chinese silver headdress not unlike this:


While not as silly as a basfa meeting, it was definitely a high-energy group. There were probably over 40 people there. Members modeled and showed things they had made and in some cases bought, pieces that displayed a broad range of techniques. One of the members showed wide-format printable fabric that she had printed her own designs on for a project. Others showed quilted, dyed, appliqued and knitted items. It was very impressive.

We handed out a lot of Costume-Con 26 fliers.

The day's big event was (instead of a workshop) a meet-and-greet game. Members were asked to submit stories and facts about themselves that other members weren't likely to know. There was a prepared list of items, and the trick was to match each fact with a member. They included things like "I used to be a carrot breeder" and "After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from an Ivy League school, I went to work as a waitress at a GI bar." One of the members is the General Counsel for Apple, Inc. (got to remember to drop "computer") and another developed the monitoring and control systems for the life-sciences experiments on the first shuttle flight.

They bring in local and national workshop presenters, and often have limited-attendance workshops which should provide some real quality time with the instructors.

If you're at all interested in textile arts, I can highly recommend this group. Meetings the second Saturday of every month (unless rescheduled).
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Fannish communities...

If you like the worldcons community (for talking about Worldcons, and for folks who go to Worldcon), and you're a left-coaster, you might like westercons.

westercons is not an official operation of The LASFS (which owns and protects the Westercon trademark) or the Westercon Business Meeting, nor is it an official operation of any past, current or seated Westercon committee, but that doesn't mean it's not worth joining in on.