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Ash Wednesday. It is so great to see these women so proud of their work & their faith.

We are putting our focus on our collaboration with the St. John’s Quilters. Paraments for the sanctuary.

Our garden seems confused!  This is March 1, 2017.

peace & gratitude, the women of our project

It feels wonderful to begin a new year, 2017, having completed our commission for the Dane County Jail.

These are the 6 Core Values, soon to be installed at the Public Safety Building.

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Found & revitalized this small shelf, perfect for a traveling display of our work.

Available for for workshops, retreats or any event folks may desire to have us attend.

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I just returned from a trip to Uganda. This is my friend, Rebecca. She is a business woman who travels around the world featuring Ugandan art. The women & men creating, like us, work in small creative spaces, often in their own homes with children under foot. At our project we are looking for opportunities to provide some economic possibilities such as    setting up savings accounts & learning more about how to budget our resources.

Women like Rebecca inspire. Uganda is a country with visible poverty but also a wealth of creativity and spirituality. We have much to learn in our affluence. May we continue to share our gifts & talents! peace & gratitude, Julia

Every month we try to create a meal from our garden. We freeze what we can for the winter months. We forage for whatever is in season. This month we had green tomatoes…lots of them & no one to fry them up for us!  We were whining a bit about that one week & the next week we had a young woman who loved cooking… & she had her own way to fry green tomatoes!

The very special part of this story is watching her use her gifts in the kitchen. She was in her element; efficient, creative & blissful. The result was the best fried green tomatoes ever. She will be joining the class at Just Bakery for the amazing baking training experience they offer to men & women who have Huber work release privileges.

This is one of the greatest blessings of this project, seeing women identify their gifts & create from their souls! peace & gratitude!

There are always a few garden stories such as our one orange pumpkin that disappeared or the cucumber plant that was pulled out for one cucumber and the missing kohlrabi. But for everyone of those stories there are the weekly images on Facebook that show the glory of our bounty…and there is a new small green pumpkin today!

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Today we will eat swiss chard quiche, sesame kale and delicata squash.

And this is our queen sunflower!

peace & gratitude,

the women of the project

It all begins with love, strawberries, pumpkins & a few zinnias!

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Our spiral herb garden & another snapdragon from last year!

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These kale wintered over!

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We have had some delicious cukes!

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The rainbow chard is a hit!

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Sunflowers for the birds!

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Cherry tomatoes & collards!

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Our last beautiful trellis blew over in a wind storm & took the gourds with it!  We will fix it in the fall. Every garden is an adventure & now we harvest. peace & gratitude from us

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Taking a peek with visitor, Lois Komai on June 24, before the 5:30 unveiling.

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Our friend, Deb Anderson, photos us from the street.

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Christa Fisher blessing the sign, with EVP owner Tracy Danner, mosaic artist Marcia Yapp & me, Julia Weaver. We worked very hard the past few months to finish all the pieces for this event & we sold pieces off the wall!  Here are few wonderful examples of our work:

At the same time we have been busy in the garden. We provided a salad  & a pot of greens for our event. There was still enough salad in the garden for one of the women to create a salad for herself at group:

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Peace, love & gratitude to all who support us in our work!  Julia

When our friend Jess brought Tim Sprengelmeyer to visit our group to talk about garden trellises, we had no idea what would come of it!  We just knew we had some money left from our Willy Street Reinvestment Grant. In our conversation we learned that he loved to sculpt & that he was deeply committed to sustainable practice. It just doesn’t get any better that this!

 

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There will be 5 more in various forms, one for each of our raised beds & inspired by the visions of the women who sat with our garden design last year, allowed images to rise & then put their ideas on paper.  I believe the sculptures  are  there as I type & I can’t wait to see them today!

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The raised beds are so beautiful & just about ready for this year’s planting. This lovely crocus popped up in one of them!  Joy will bring us more compost for the last boxes. K&A Distributing Co. gave us a huge donation of tiles. Several will form the basis for a surface we hope will be wheelchair accessible. Spring is here & we are ready!

The women of the project

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So many women added to this project and we were thrilled to invite Tracy from EVP to show her the new sign for her coffee house on Baldwin. _MG_0728.jpg

She was so moved, speechless….momentarily and when she found her voice again, with tears in her eyes, she shared her gratitude. She described for us the intention she has of providing safe & welcoming places for people. We, too, are so grateful for the gift of her coffee! We celebrated with a meal & conversation.  Installation of the sign will come in spring when the weather warms up. _MG_0750.jpg

The women of the project.

This year has been one of our most challenging and most gratifying. We received several grants to assist us in our work against human trafficking. These grants included monies for setting up a weaving studio. We have two looms that are ready with a third in the setup process. Our large floor loom is dedicated to paraments for St. John’s Lutheran. We are weaving those in collaboration with the children from St. John’s Sunday morning Learning Place. The Navajo loom has a Peace Weaving for India. The Peace Weaving Project has been creating group weavings since 1991. Each weaving is a visual prayer or intention of peace for a specific place. The completed weavings are delivered to organizations that provide help and healing. Twenty-one weaving have been delivered to places around the world.

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Over the course of 2015 we have worked slowly and steadily on a sign for EVP Coffee on East Wash. Using words from Tracy Danner and even a mug that broke during our conversation we have a work of art we are proud to share with the community! This spring it will be installed with a dedication, party and an exhibit of our individual mosaics for sale.

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We were so honored to receive a grant for our garden from the Willy Street Co-op Reinvestment Fund. We were able to hire Matt Dries, the Resourceful Handyman, to create beautiful raised beds and Megan Cain,  the Creative Vegetable Gardner, to help us design a more productive garden. Thanks to Joy’s family, we received wondrous compost, a glowing term for dirt but truly deserved. They have brought us several tons in the past two years and our garden responds. We have enjoyed monthly meals with food from our garden and our participants.

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Our goals for 2016 are ambitious and we always welcome visitors to our program on Wednesdays from 1:30-3:30 or visit our website at backyardmosaicwomensproject.org.

• Create mosaicked images of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office’ 6 core values: Integrity, Respect, Knowledge, Leadership, Courage, Professional Excellence
• Design & commission trellises
• Design & fundraise for benches
• Weave paraments for St. John’s sanctuary
• Install EVP sign and create a fundraising exhibit.
• Peace Weaving for India

We are so grateful to Community of Hope, UCC for being our fiscal agent and look forward to further collaboration.
Julia Weaver, Marcia Yapp, Christa Fisher, Cara Erickson and the Women of the Project

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Willy Street gifting us with a grant from

the Community Reinvestment Fund.

It is fun getting money, but what is even more import

is the support we are receiving for our work.

The money will go towards raised beds,

including accessible beds & trellises.

We are currently working hard on the designs

in coordination with the landscape project

that will be happening at St. John’s.

Beauty happening.

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Progress on our EVP sign!

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We had a wonderful meal from our garden

& veggies from friends Ann and Joy’s gardens.

Sharing it with women from:

AFFW Current 2014

…another major funder of our project, made it even more fun!

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Check out the lovely article they wrote about us

in the AFFW’s August website.

Does it get any better than this?!

peace & gratitude,

the women of the project