Peacefibres

Beginnings

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And, 2013 stretches before us, pregnant with potentiality. Peace is possible. Un otre mundo es posible. Another world is forming as the web connects, entwines, awakens us to our connections to each and all.
Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.

The day after…. Scarves of Peace Community Braiding

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Sixteen scarves braided in observance of the International Day of Peace

Sixteen scarves braided in observance of International Day of Peace

 Grand Marais community members gathered at East Bay Suites on Friday, September 21, to braid fibres that had been contributed from weavers and spinners across the globe, six continents included. Elders at the care center tore strips of fabric and braided them; Mary MacDonald’s art students created chains of finger crocheting that were included in the scarves; people mailed fibres from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and North America; braiders sent and brought significant fibres; and, Bob Lohn measured, cut, and wound hundreds of five-yard lengths to be included.

         An abundance of prepared five-yard lengths of fibres, ready for     braiding. 

         Messages of peace were included with each scarf.

          Suggested recipients of the scarves include President Obama, Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the President of Iran, Mitt Romney, the director of the Peace Corps, Greg Mortenson, the United Nations, UNICEF, Rosalind and Jimmy Carter, members of the City Council of Grand Marais, Cook County Commissioners, Gabby Giffords, and many others.  Scarves were already presented to Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (presented by Denny FitzPatrick at the Democratic National Convention).

Braiding teams, musicians, community connections…. with intentions of respectful relationships to self, to one another, to the Earth and all of her creatures:

     

Let there be peace on Earth….and let it begin with ME.

Peace Fibres is/was sold at a reduced price, with 100% of proceeds donated to the Violence Prevention Center of Cook County, sponsor of this event, along with Drury Lane Books.  Anyone wishing to purchase a book at the reduced price ($25/book, 2 books for $40) for the VPC, contact Karen Lohn via email: karenlohn@boreal.org. This offer continues for 100 days.

Peace.

SCARVES OF PEACE…. Braiding Relationships

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The theme of Peace Fibres is creating peace by connecting to self, to others, and to the larger world with fibres the medium. Scarves of Peace offer a simple, symbolic, hands-on opportunity to directly participate in this process.

YOU can participate…. directly, simply, absolutely. Read on for a full explanation….

Scarves of Peace
Why scarves?
Perhaps nothing demonstrates respectful relationship better than a scarf that is created by the hands of one, then draped and worn for warmth and adornment by another. With each contributed strand blessed by its source with wishes for peace , then braided by teams sending the intention of peace, the scarves become more than symbolic of the human yearning for peaceful relationship to self, others, and to the larger world; they become a tangible connection.
Who receives the scarves?
To begin with, scarves will be sent to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with the request that they not only wear a scarf themselves, but that they present a scarf to the other world leaders with whom they share the responsibility for creating peaceful relationships.
Other scarves will be sent to leaders in other positions of power….. corporate heads, elected officials, teachers, film stars….. with the message to remember the human longing for respectful relationship at all levels.
Scarves will also be sent to places where turmoil and conflict, natural disaster, or poverty create an acute need to feel the warmth, love, and beauty sent to comfort them and to stand in solidarity with them.
How is Peace Fibres: Stitching a Soulful World involved in this project?
The goal of the book is to create awareness, inspire awe, and stimulate action in service of more peaceful relationships on a personal and political level; the universality of fibre work makes it an all-encompassing vehicle to do this. ALL proceeds from the sale of Peace Fibres through this project in Grand Marais will go directly to the Violence Prevention Center of Cook County. Other organizations creating a braiding session in their communities may donate proceeds to any cause promoting a cessation of violence.
Peace Fibres will be sold at a reduced price to participants.
How can I participate?
There are four easy avenues to participation, as follow:
1. SEND FIBRES BLESSED WITH YOUR WISHES FOR PEACE!
• Fibres must be 5 YARDS IN LENGTH….they may be yarns, ribbons (cloth), ½” stips of fabric cut to length, finger-crocheted chains,* fringy strings, almost anything appropriate for braiding.

THEY MUST BE AT LEAST 5 YARDS LONG.

• Slip into an envelope and mail to:
Karen Lohn
P.O. Box 1181
Grand Marais, MN 55605

• Your fibres will be braided by teams on
International Day of Peace, September 21, into
Scarves of Peace!

2. JOIN OUR BRAIDING TEAMS!
• We’ll meet by the shore of Lake Superior to celebrate a day of peace with braiding, music, talks, food, a little dance!
• ANYONE can do this…NO TALENT, EXPERIENCE, OR EXPERTISE IN ANYTHING IS REQUIRED!
• Contact Karen Lohn: karenlohn@boreal.org (218-349-8072) OR

3. ORGANIZE A BRAIDING SESSION IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!
• Gather a group, large or small
• Collect as many 5 yard lengths of fibres as you can
• In teams, braid the fibres into “Rapunzel” scarves, blessed with intentions of peace, turning them into Scarves of Peace. * * (instructions follow)
• Sell copies of Peace Fibres at a reduced price to contribute to your local peace organizations.
• Send completed scarves to leaders or peoples of your choice, or send to Karen Lohn at P.O. Box 1181, Grand Marais, MN 55604, for distribution.

4. BUY PEACE FIBRES: STITCHING A SOULFUL WORLD !!
• ALL proceeds from the sale of Peace Fibres for this project will be donated to agents of peace.
• In Grand Marais, the recipient of the proceeds will be The Violence Prevention Center of Cook County, an organization committed to the cessation of violence on all levels.
• Purchase at the events, online at www.peacefibres.com or at local booksellers.

** INSTRUCTIONS FOR BRAIDING FIBRES INTO SCARVES OF PEACE:
1. Collect at least 39 strips of fibre, each strip at least 5 yards in length.
2. Include colorful, fringy, additional yarns as desired.
3. Divide the strips into three separate groups, at least 13 lengths of fibre in each group (try to distribute weights, textures, and colors among the three groups relatively evenly).
4. Pause together to bless the fibres with an intention of peace, personally and politically. Hum or chant together as desired.
5. With an individual holding each of the three groups of fibres, bring the ends together, tying a secure knot of all the joined fibres, leaving about 3-5 inches for fringe when complete.
6. One individual holds onto the secured end of the joined fibres and will be the director of the braiding process.
7. The three holders of the long strands begin braiding as the director instructs.
• Be sure to tighten the strands each time a group crosses another.
• Constantly straighten the long ends of the groupings to avoid tangling.
8. Braid until the shortest strand has only about 5 inches remaining.
• Knot the strands at this point, leaving 3-5 inches of fibres as at the beginning.
• Trim the strands to the length of the shortest, either straight across or in varying lengths for an irregular look.
• Trim the ends at the beginning of the scarf to match the finish.
9. VOILA! You have created a SCARF OF PEACE! THANK YOU!

* An alternative to single strands is to join chains of finger-knitting (or finger-crocheting, a favorite fibre technique of children.
To start finger crochet, wrap the end of the yarn around the thumb of your off hand (for most people that’s the left; lefties should use the right instead). All the thumb has to do is hold the end for the first few rows of work, so the yarn doesn’t have to be tight or even knotted. Now, with your palm facing you, weave the yarn through your fingers as follows: behind the index, in front of the middle, behind the ring, around the pinkie, in front of the ring, behind the middle, in front of the index. You should end up with a row of loops around your fingers. Repeat the weaving sequence again, so that you have two loops on each finger.
On your index finger, take the bottom loop (the one closer to your palm) and lift it up over the top loop and over the top of the finger, leaving it on the back of the hand. Repeat for the other three fingers. That’s the first row of work. From here, it’s a simple matter of repeating the weaving sequence and lifting loops. You’ll only have to weave once for each row after the first, because there will always be one loop left from the last row. When your chain of stitches is as long as you need it to be, cut the yarn and pass the end through the last four loops to finish it off. The chain will look bunched up and cramped until you pull it out straight, so don’t be put off by the messy-looking mass of yarn that will develop on the back of your hand for the first few rows.

I would like your help!
Enclosed is a lengthy explanation of a project that I am organizing for the International Day of Peace on September 21. Would you please be willing to take a moment to read it AND then to participate in one of the four ways suggested?
I have a hunch that this will resonate with you! Let me hear back, please.
With gratitude and wishes for peace,
Karen

The Fabric of Life…. Undulations!

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Dear Followers,
When I decided to blog, I thought it would be so simple as I write nearly every day in my early morning time of solitude, Yoga, and meditation. Silly me! I simply cannot keep up with the multiple, wondrous demands of my busy, busy life. Since Peace Fibres entered the world, so did two new granddaughters, health challenges for my husband, many, many events to observe and celebrate the launching of the book, and the decade turnover to age 70. What a rich, complex, wondrous life I am blessed with; yet, blogging regularly becomes quite a challenge.
I often find myself, hands immersed in dishwater after a family meal (or, just as likely, immersed in diaper wetness as I change those two glorious little babes who grace my life with wonder, laughter, tenderness, joy, and, sometimes, poop!), thinking of what I would like to be writing if I just had the time to sit down to do so.

Consequently, these entries are few and far between; perhaps that makes them more relevant, more fitting to the reality of everyday life. Chop wood, carry water.

And the fabric of life continues to weave in all of its beauty, texture, and warmth as life wanes on one end, waxes gloriously on the other.
I am so happy to be seventy years of sage!! Dear friends were not blessed with longevity. Others suffer grievously with the ravages of age. I am blessed with a healthy body, a lively mind, and an emerging spirit. I am satieted in the beauty of dancing water, skies of majesty, earth of solid support, and air that breathes me. I am enormously grateful for this day. I hope that you, too, celebrate life.

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New friends and dedicated workers involved in WARP: couple installs solar collectors on an island in Lake Titicaca; Dorinda works in the highlands of Bolivia with weavers, refining their work and dyes, marketing their creations; roommate, Janice, works with weavers in Kenya, including growing plants that respect biodiversity. These people are truly building relationships that stitch a more soulful world.

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Presenting Peace Fibres: Stitching A Soulful World at WARP conference in Boulder, CO. I am blessed to be among such dynamic, generous people.

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WARP supports efforts across the globe to empower marginalized people through guidance in techniques and marketing connections.

Action into the world!

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Weave A Real Peace (WARP) conference in Boulder, CO.

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