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From the Presidents' Corner

February 2018

President's Letter - We have all just returned home after a wonderful and uplifting weekend at the retreat. Wow! What a weekend. WHAT A WONDERFUL AND TALENTED GROUP OF PEOPLE! WHAT A GUILD! So much fun, so much excitement being together, so much progress, so much laughter. Rugs were started, rugs were finished, opinions were asked and offered, and friendships were started or reinforced. So great to see our friends from afar and to be able to spend time with them. A great time was had by all. And a few pounds might have been gained too. We even experienced 3 seasons of weather while we were there---summer monsoons, fall, and freezing winter! Always a great event! We hope that all our long distance attendees made it home easily. We also hope that the rugs worked on will find their way to show and tell for February, however much progress has been made.

And in the same vein of excitement about our group, we had a very exciting meeting/auction in January, with lots of books being bought for ridiculously low prices, lots of wool being bought for great prices, and some unusual buyers. A man who had come to the County Admin building to check on some septic plans walked into our room (it was ridiculously warm in our room—64 degrees and pouring outside—the doors were open to the hall, as were the hall doors to the outside). His daughter was a fiber artist of some other sort, and he ended up the winning bid on an antique rug for her. He was excited, as were we. Thank you, John!

All in all, the auction raised over $1900 (a record!) which goes to help underwrite the cost of our August rug hooking school (also known as camp). We are blessed by this kind of generosity, both in donations and in bidding, in that we can afford to keep camp costs down while we are bringing in nationally acclaimed instructors to lead us. Our June 2 hook-in will also help underwrite camp.

As “Presidents on the wane”, we would like to encourage those who have never or have not recently stepped up to help, to do so. We have volunteers to take our jobs beginning in May, which is a wonderful start. More excitement—new blood, new ideas, new enthusiasm. We will have new camp directors. When we have approved the bylaws, there will be other opportunities for people to help in small but important ways. Many hands make light work, but also make a sense of ownership. You know how when your favorite public TV or radio station does their fundraiser, and they are constantly interrupting the programming to ask for donations, and they mention the “thank you” list of donors? When I first donated to my local station, I suddenly didn’t mind those anymore. I was now part of the support for that station. Same thing with our Guild. When you take on a job, even a very small one, it becomes much more real that it is “your” Guild.

We look forward to the rest of our term, and to the rest of the year, we are very encouraged and excited by what we see. It’s going to be a great year!!

Yours in wool,
Weezie, Jan and Fred

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The Hunterdon County Rug Artisans Guild was founded in April 1977. We currently have over 130 members from nine states. The mission of the Guild is to perpetuate the tradition and art of rug hooking, to encourage creativity, to provide the means for an exchange of ideas and information and to promote educational activities to enhance the interest in rug hooking. Monthly meetings in Flemington, New Jersey offer programs for someone new to rug hooking as well as the seasoned artisan. Members have opportunities to participate in hooking demonstrations, rug exhibits, rug camps and “hook-ins”. A supportive environment is provided for those new to the craft and for those looking to refine their technique. New members are always welcome!

For more information, please contact Weezie Huntington at weezie711@gmail.com or Jan/Fred Cole at jantique@ptd.net

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