What Happened in 2018


Recently, Facebook showed me a little video it had produced to summarize the high points of my life in 2018. So thoughtful of them.

Fun times with Linda Stark from ClothRoads on the road in Morocco.

They did manage to include some fun trips and moments with special friends, though they omitted a son’s wedding and a couple of other major milestones. Made me wonder what else they had missed, so I went back through my old-fashioned pencil-on-paper appointment book. Here are some nuggets:

  • Plant snap
  • Clean phone
  • Put away Christmas ornaments (this was on March 31)
  • Woman, dog, morose
  • Trust numbers
  • John—other things

Except for the Christmas ornament bit, I have no idea what these items portend. I don’t recall my phone being particularly dirty, and John who? More to the point:

In March, Susan Schaefer Davis’s Women Artisans of Morocco came off press. We celebrated with an author talk and reception at the Weave A Real Peace (WARP) conference in Iowa in June (only mildly interrupted by a tornado watch), and then followed up with a splendid group tour to Morocco in November with Susan to meet many of the women who were featured in her book.  There will be a second tour in May of 2019, which is already full. Wonder if we should plan a third tour?

Master weavers from the Berber village of N’kob, Morroco. We presented a copy of Women Artisans of Morocco to each woman featured.

About the same time Susan’s book was arriving in our warehouse, we were sending Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today to press. It made its debut at Santa Fe Indian Market in August, and authors Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas took it on the road as they lectured and taught their craft all over the country, non-stop. At this point, sales have burned through almost half the press run—a record for a Thrums book, if we were keeping track.

Master weaver Florence Manygoats, featured in Spider Woman’s Children.

In betwixt the flurry, Rug Money: How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives Through Art and Innovation went to press, came off press, and was a hit at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe in July. And at the Minneapolis Textile Center in September, where Rosmery Pacheco, one of its featured artists, spoke eloquently. It’s sales have also burned through more than half the press run—two records in one year! Rug Money is another book that offers a related travel experience: you can visit Maya rug hookers in Guatemala, learn the craft with them, and have an altogether immersive cultural experience. And did I mention that Rug Money has won a special award for Longest Subtitle of the Year? And that my son had to explain to me that the main title was a play on words?

Authors Mary Anne Wise and Cheryl Conway-Daly with Maya rug hooking artist Rosmery Pacheco at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe.

But wait, that’s not all. Our two spring 2019 books, A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala and A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Peru and Bolivia, are en route from the printer and ready for an early spring release. We’ll be fêting the authors, Deborah Chandler and Cynthia LeCount Samaké, at WARP’s 2019 conference in Washington DC in June. Deborah will be there in person, Cynthia in spirit.

Deborah Chandler in Guatemala. Photo by Joe Coca.
Author Cynthia LeCount Samaké in Peru. Photo by Jeffrey Roth.










Our nuts-and-bolts excitement this month has been the re-launch of our website, now complete with shopping cart and will frequently offer great deals. Take a look.

And of course, there’s more—new books in progress, new authors under contract, new ideas to explore. But we won’t tell you just yet. First I must figure out what to do about that morose woman and her dog. Or her morose dog.


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