The guiding light and CEO is the divine Janet de Boer. She is a total free spirit and improv queen, brilliantly leading and organizing the whole event. Each day she appeared in madcap costumes. She was Elvis with a black pompadour wig and white rhinestone jumpsuit. She was a penguin, a nun, a koala bear, a drag queen, an Arab princess. She sported an array of gaudy false eyelashes and wigs and hats, and she clowned for us all throughout the week. She was generous, and gave away fabulous items to people, such as the froufrou jester's collar she dressed me in one morning after pronouncing my look "a little drab". At the same time, she didn't miss a beat. She stayed on top of every detail of everything going on, and kept the Forum sailing smoothly. She has done this for many years. She is precious!
Her sidekick right-hand-man, who is President of the Board of TAFTA, is the delightful Jude Skeers. He, too, keeps a finger on the pulse of the event and races to the rescue, effortlessly fixing everything and everybody. Jude is a knitter, and he fully participates in the joyfulness of the Forum by constantly changing his headgear. His hat collection is vast and breath-taking. I wish I had gotten more photos of this debonair sweetheart in every one of his toppers, but here is a peek. I spent a fair amount of time with Jude and found him to be a scintillating conversationalist, a great supporter of women, a possessor of a delicious sense of humor, and above all, such a kind and warm person. I already miss him!
The last 24 hours at TAFTA were a whirlwind. Daniella's workshop ended and we had to clean and pack all the equipment and vacate the studio. At 6 pm there was a celebratory dinner followed by an amazing evening of dancing to a great live band, fashion shows, champagne, more dancing, cake, laughter, dancing - and did I mention dancing? That night everyone dressed in their wildest outfits, so it was all a feast for the eyes. The fashion shows featured clothing designed and made by workshop participants, beautiful felted woolens and Eco-dyed silks and cottons, all modeled by workshop attendees.
Finally, on Sunday, the dining hall was set up as a Makers Market. Women hauled out trunks of items they had made, mostly clothing, textiles, yarns, or whatever, a huge crafters bazaar that was open to the general public. People came up from Melbourne and the surrounding area to shop at this once-a-year event, and a buyers frenzy ensued.
We said our farewells and our friend Chae came and picked us up and brought us back to her beautiful home in Melbourne. We are staying here for 2 nights before flying off to NZ on Monday. We are thrilled that she has a dog, a beautiful red heeler named Ruby, whom we are enjoying immensely. We miss our own pets!
Last night we had dinner at Sabrosa, a tapas place around the corner. Our dear pals, Linda and Peter McClean met us there. We had visited them at their elegant home 3 years ago and last night we had a great reunion, so lovely to be with both of them.
Sorry for such a long post. I'm way behind with keeping up this blog!
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