Summer is waving hello

Hello everyone.   We’ve had a busy spring and just wrapped our first weaving workshop.  Lots of interest in sashes weaving and our LTFAI sashes book.  Thanks for your participation!    We are taking a short break for the summer and have a number of workshops and potential LTFAI talks coming up in the fall.  Hope to see you there.

On a another note.

LTFAI is saddened to announce the passing of longtime Board Member, Aldona Rygelis.  Aldona passed away on June 14 after a short illness.

Aldona was a weaving enthusiast and active LTFAI member and organizer and served as a Board Member for almost ten years.  Aldona was passionate about folk art and was dedicated to preserving it for future generations. As an initiator of LTFAI’s National Costume Archive Project, she photographed many costumes woven in the diaspora and worn in Lithuanian communities such as Toronto, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Hartford.  The digital archive was launched in 2019 and we will continue her legacy, further adding costumes to this rich and detailed LTFAI resource over time.

Spring is Here!

Spring is finally here, and that means our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is coming up soon. Saturday, April 17th at 1:30 pm (EST).  Members please join us to find out about our exciting plans for workshops in the coming year and special member benefits. Please note that membership dues ($10) for the coming year need to be paid prior to the meeting.  Not a member?  Please join us!    Go to our Support Page to register.

To register for the AGM, send your name, preferred email and telephone number to gro.i1634836891aftl@1634836891tcatn1634836891oc1634836891, and we’ll notify you with joining instructions a few days before the meeting. There will be no presentation or workshop this year, but we will have time for suggestions and discussions.

  • See the Resources section for instructions for decorating  Easter eggs –margučiai along with interesting egg-dye recipes.
  • Check out our website for new articles (The Flax Journey, by Danute Mileika of Boston, who expanded the beautiful presentation she gave at last year’s  AGM) and an article on felting by member and artisan Remigija Smolskis.
  • Be sure to visit our Facebook page! (Lithuanian Folk Art Institute)

Here’s to a Healthy and Creative New Year!

Welcome to 2021! 


Joana Adamonis taught us how to make pretty stars for our Christmas tree

We had a very successful straw ornament workshop in December, with 35 participants in the morning session and 31 in the afternoon. We even attracted 6 new members! We thank Joana Adamonis of Montreal who led the workshop, and Sebastian Grinham for technical support. We hope to add more workshops to our calendar for 2021, and will keep you informed of possibilities.

 

 

 


Knitwear designer and author Donna Druchunas

Thanks to administrator Donna Druchunas,  knitting expert and author in Vermont, our Facebook page has proven most effective, as we saw from the responses of dozens of new friends who learned about and took an interest in our December workshop. Please friend us and see our latest post on Facebook which includes a quick survey of what areas of Lithuanian folk art you might be interested in, so that we may plan our year accordingly.

New Session for “Šiaudinukai” Webinar – December 12

Hello! We are happy to announce that our 10:30 am (EST) webinar is at capacity, and we are offering an afternoon session on the same day, Saturday, December 12 at 3 pm to 4:30 pm (EST). This will be perfect for anyone on the West Coast to join us at a reasonable hour!

Please tune in 20 minutes before our start time to ensure that any technical difficulties may be resolved before our official start time. See our previous post for details about the webinar.

Just in time for Christmas!

Welcome back, everyone! What’s new and exciting?

“Šiaudinukai Webinar – December 12

Learn how to make Lithuanian “šiaudinukai” – straw Christmas ornaments – with skilled craftsperson Joana Adamonis. At this workshop she will tell us about the history of these ornaments, show us how-to basics and guide us through the process of making 2 ornaments (a basic form and a star) to hang on a Christmas tree.  This class is beginner-friendly: no prior experience is necessary.

When:  Saturday, December 12,   10:30 am to 12 noon  3:00 pm to 4:30 pm  EST

Where: Online – must be registered to get an invitation

Cost:      Free for LTFAI members, $10 for non-members

What you need:              

  • Plastic straws, crochet thread, tapestry needle, scissors, ruler, pencil  (materials list below)
  • A limited number of kits with all materials and pre-cut straws are available for $5 (plus postage if applicable, curbside pickup in Toronto)
  • It is strongly recommended that you pre-cut the straws as it can take some time and the workshop has not allowed for that

How to register: 

  • Contact us at gro.i1634836891aftl@1634836891tcatn1634836891oc1634836891 Please provide your name and phone number (in case we need to dial you in).  Interesting to us, but optional:  tell us where you are from and maybe a bit about yourself and why you are interested in this webinar. If you are not a member, please pay the $10 fee through the PayPal link here on our website (see “Donate” below).

How to participate:

  • Once you have registered, you will receive an email with a link to join the workshop
  • Make sure to log in 10 minutes before the session in case of any technical difficulties
  • Please ensure you have all your materials ready

We’re looking forward to having you join us!

Materials List:

These are available at craft stores or Walmart

  1. Straws – White plastic drinking straws (3/16th inch/4mm width) approx. 8 inches (20 cm) long, about 20 straws cut into lengths (straight across, not diagonally).
    1. Basic ornament: 12 pieces at 2 inches (5 cm).
    2. Star ornament : 24 pieces at 1 inch (2.5 cm) + 16 pieces at 1.25 inches (3.175 cm) + 32 pieces at 2.5 inches (6.35 cm)
  2. Needle –Tapestry needle (blunt end)
  3. Thread – Crochet thread, size 10  (11 yards or 10 metres)
  4. Scissors – must be sharp to cleanly cut the straws
  5. Ruler or straight edge
  6. Pencil – to mark straws for cutting

An Excellent AGM!

♦  On June 6, 2020, thanks to technical support by Sebastian Grinham, we were able to conduct a Board meeting and our Annual General Meeting online. We had an encouraging number of attendees, about 20 including Board members. It seems that not everyone who had registered was able to participate: either their plans changed or they were unable to connect. It was our first time trying this method, and hopefully next year we will be able to refine the process.

♦  We had a short but extremely productive AGM, in that we found new volunteers for both media marketing (author and knitter extraordinaire Donna Druchunas of Vermont) and several handcrafts (Remigija Smolskis of Toronto, for felting, papercut art, Easter egg decoration and sash-weaving). Donna posted a note online immediately, and we received several new membership queries as a result.

♦  The highlight of the AGM was a presentation on our favourite Lithuanian fabric, LINEN (linas) by Danute Mileikiene (Boston). She described its history and use in Lithuanian culture, and the process from seed plating to fibre extraction to spinning in great detail, with beautiful photos and video clips. We were all about to order seeds, but she warned us that to weave one shirt would require planting a 15 x 15 foot square area of flax, and the fibre extraction takes much more than a passing whack at the bundle of stalks. Her depth of knowledge was fascinating, and she promised to expand her presentation to eventually post on our website. We look forward to that, and thank her for her time and effort.

♦  We are also very pleased to present 15 new costumes in our online National Costume Archive. Work continues on expanding the collection within the year.

♦  We will be pausing for a summer break, and hope to bring news of workshops and other activities in September. We send you all our best wishes for avoiding COVID-19 and spending a creative and happy summer.

♦ We were encouraged to hear from several people who expressed an interest in our activities. However, not all of you have paid the $10 annual membership fee. Please do so through PayPal, here on our website.

♦ We continue to work with the Lithuanian Museum Archives of Canada (LMAC) in Mississauga, Ontario. At our meeting, it was decided that the physical archive we finished organizing this spring will be passed to the LMAC.

♦ Regarding National Costumes, LMAC has issued the following announcement:

Lithuanian national costumes are heirlooms of culture and artisanship. The craftsmanship and techniques used in each extraordinary ensemble result in objects worthy of preservation for future generations. The Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada collects Lithuanian national costumes, preserves them with care, and curates exhibitions with educational value that tell their story. If you have a Lithuanian national costume, individual components or other article of clothing that was hand-woven by an artisan, please consider donating these heirlooms to LMAC – you will be passing these treasures on to future generations. LMAC email: ac.su1634836891mirp@1634836891amlk1634836891.

♦ On a sad note, we received news this week about the passing of a long-standing member of the LTFAI, Dr. Angele Kazlauskas (July 10, 1935-June 4, 2020), formerly of Oakville, Ontario. Aside from her activities with the LTFAI and a life-long interest in folk art, she was one of only three graduating women from a class of 150 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry in 1959, Angele was the founder of the charity dental clinic “Perlas” in Lithuania.

A New Kind of AGM

REMINDER: our Annual General Meeting is coming up on June 6. The session will cover current activities, special projects, our outreach initiatives and an update on our ambitious national costume archive including new content.  We will feature a presentation on flax and linen that will showcase the process from field to finished garment and its importance in Lithuanian culture. This will be presented in English by Danute Mileikiene, a fibre artist from Lithuania. We are looking forward to having you join us!

♦ To join the session, please send your name and email address to gro.i1634836891aftl@1634836891tcatn1634836891oc1634836891 so that we may send you an invitation. Everyone is welcome but only members are allowed to vote. If you haven’t yet, please update your $10 membership fee through our Paypal portal.

A message from the Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada (LMAC): Lithuanian national costumes are heirlooms of culture and artisanship. The craftsmanship and techniques used in each extraordinary ensemble result in objects worthy of preservation for future generations. The Lithuanian Museum-Archives of Canada collects Lithuanian national costumes, preserves them with care, and curates exhibitions with educational value that tell their story. If you have a Lithuanian national costume, individual components or other article of clothing that was hand-woven by an artisan, please consider donating these heirlooms to LMAC – you will be passing these treasures on to future generations. LMAC email: ac.su1634836891mirp@1634836891amlk1634836891.

Spring is Here

♦ Spring is here at last, but unfortunately, so is COVID-19. We hope you are all staying well and coping with this disturbing situation as positively as possible. Due to the health and safety regulations governing us at this time, we have cancelled our AGM, and postponed the date to June 6. In case a physical meeting is not possible at that time, we are already making plans for a virtual, i.e., online meeting. We will keep you informed as to which option will be possible.

♦ For the AGM, aside from annual reports about the Board’s activities, we have invited Danutė Mileikienė to make a presentation on growing and processing flax into linen. She will also conduct a workshop, showing us how to felt a “lino žiedas” — a flax blossom. Materials will cost $10.

Winter 2020

  •  Best wishes to all members and friends for a very happy, healthy and creative New Year! We are working on presenting more costumes in the online catalogue and will be announcing the launch as soon as we can
  • If you did not receive our Christmas greeting, please send us your current email address, as some of the emails bounced back due to overfull mailboxes and changed addresses. We are eager to keep in touch with all of you! Our email is gro.i1634836891aftl@1634836891tcatn1634836891oc1634836891.
  • The Annual General Meeting is scheduled for April 18th in Toronto. We hope many of you may come this year – we will have another interesting workshop and look forward to discussing various LTFAI matters with you.