Aldona Vaitoniene was a master weaver and part of the original group that founded LTFAI. Based in Toronto Canada she was an active member of LTFAI and wove many beautiful fabrics that were then made into literally hundreds of national costumes for folk dance groups as well as for many other Lithuanian groups and individuals.
She passed away some time ago and her family is now in the process of selling the house in Toronto where she had her studio. A number of items still remain in her studio that need a new home. This includes two looms (3.5 ft and 4.5 ft wide), weaving thread, loom parts and an industrial sewing machine. All are in good order. See the photos below.
Origins and Development of the Lithuanian National Costume: National costumes were developed and worn as a form of folk identity. Learn the history behind the development of the National Costume in Lithuania, what it consists of, various regional styles and how it is worn today.
Did you know that April is Membership Month here at LTFAI? We have so much happening:
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Activity and Volunteer Planning
Membership Renewal Time
We hope you’re as excited as we are about brainstorming ideas for the future of LTFAI!
Once again our AGM will be held online. Mark your calendars for 2:00 p.m. (EST) on April 23, 2022.
The session will cover current activities, special projects, our outreach initiatives and an update on our plans to create more opportunities for you, our members, to get involved. We will have an open Q&A session at the end. All ideas and comments are welcome.
After the session, we will send you a link to a form where you can let us know how you’d like to become more involved, whether by volunteering to help out with our events, by sharing photos of your own folk-art creations, writing articles for our website, or in any other creative way you can think of!
Our goal is to create fun activities that we can share amongst ourselves and with others.
History and Significance of Easter Eggs in Lithuanian Life: The egg has long been seen as a symbol of fertility and life. Learn about the role of decorated eggs in ancient and modern times. Get to know the customs and decorative techniques specific to Lithuania. (Please note, this is not a hands-on workshop.)
Do you have spring fever yet? We have two special free events coming up soon: 1) A talk about Lithuanian Easter Eggs and 2) Our AGM (Annual General Meeting) — and we’d like to invite you to both.
It’s almost time to start thinking about decorating Easter Eggs. We’ll be having a free online LTFAI talk on Easter Eggs on March 30th. Registration will open a week in advance, so watch our page for a link to sign up. In the meantime, you can read about margučiai, Lithuanian Easter Eggs here.
LTFAI TALK: History and Significance of Easter Eggs in Lithuanian Life: The egg has long been seen as a symbol of fertility and life. Learn about the role of decorated eggs in ancient and modern times. Get to know the customs and decorative techniques specific to Lithuania. (Please note, this is not a hands-on workshop.)
Date: March 2022
Time: 7:00 pm EST
Registration: Opens 1 week in advance.
AGM (Annual General Meeting)
At our AGM we discuss the year in review, talk about our plans for the coming year, vote for board members and discuss and vote on other issues of interest to members. Meetings will be held in English.
One important topic that we will discuss this year is how to provide you–our valued members–more opportunities to get involved. We’d like you to be able to share about your own Lithuanian folk art and crafts projects, and to share your expertise in other areas with LTFAI so we can work together to spread the news about our wonderful Lithuanian traditions.
All current LTFAI members are welcome to bring up topics and are eligible to vote.
Membership renewal will also be due by the AGM.
Date: April 23 2022 Time: 2:00 pm EST Registration: Members will be notified of how to register in advance.
We look forward to seeing you at these events and working with you throughout the year.
Are you ready for an action packed year? Here at LTFAI, we are. We have a full year of online workshops and talks lined up, and we are excited about ideas for several new projects and programs. So check out what’s new below, and keep an eye out here for more frequent posts in 2022 than we’ve had in recent years.
2022 Events Calendar
On our main events page, we have included a calendar showing all of our planned events and we have also listed the details for our paid workshops and free LTFAI talks. Our workshop plans include:
Knitting color work mittens
Straw Christmas ornaments
And we will have free talks about:
Registration for LTFAI Talk about Amber NOW OPEN
Gintaras – Our Golden Heritage: Gintaras, or Amber, has been important to Lithuanians and Baltic people for millennia. Important in terms of culture, art and symbolism. Learn about various aspects of Amber to bring you to a new and better understanding and appreciation of this beautiful “golden stone”.
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 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.i1660325233aftl@1660325233tcatn1660325233oc1660325233, 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)
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.
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.