Lifeschoolhouse:East Hants a humbling experience

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Those who know me well know I’ve always had a need to create.

Create writing, create crafts, meals, and more. Being creative is truly my outlet and my fundamental love.

For me, rug hooking is my art form of choice. Working with the natural fibres, creating beautiful rugs and wall hangings make me happy. There’s rugs, coasters, wall hangings, trivets, and more all over my house and in the houses of my loved ones.

I also love to share, so, when Candi Hauser with Lifeschoolhouse: East Hants reached out to see if I would be willing to put on a small workshop of rug hooking, there was absolutely no hesitation in saying yes.

At Life.School.House, facilitators from the community bring their knowledge and expertise and exchange it for bartered goods brought by the participants. All kinds of Nova Scotians come through the front door of the Hauser family home to teach and learn everything from leather book binding to Indian cooking to basic Carpentry skills, taught for free by community members from all across the communities of East Hants and further. Traded items have included everything from homemade food, to books, and toys, plants, crafts and more. Bartering breaks down the financial barriers many people face when trying to access education. In this simple exchange, neighbours meet, share time and tea, connect and learn from and about each other in a simple but meaningful way.

As I made the kits, I kept Candi in mind. she’s a free spirit, and is laser focused on being as self sustaining as possible, from gardening, to recycling, to reusing and more. To honour that, all of the material used in the kits were recycled wool clothing, and it was hooked on a recycled burlap sack.

Those who know me well also know that public speaking isn’t so much my “thing” so, while I was excited that tickets for the event sold out in under 20 minutes, I also felt immense pressure to be good, to be well spoken, and to be a good teacher.

But, the nerves were also overtaken by a huge sense of excitement over what barter items would come in. Candi had asked me previously if there was anything in particular I wanted, but after thinking about it, I wanted to leave myself open to fully experience what people would bring.

And I was anything but disappointed. As I write this, I’m enjoying a bowl of corn chowder with a thick piece of home made bread made by Pam MacNeil, and loving every bite.

I’m eating my chowder out of a bowl hand made by another participant. I ended up with four beautiful pieces of pottery, to me it doesn’t even seem fair!

I got knitted mittens, dishcloths and scrubbies, natural cleaners, herbs, and preserves.

I’m excited to do it again. In fact, I’m excited in general to continue learning more about Lifeschoolhouse in general, from their maker swaps to more workshops.

Be sure to check them out on facebook at LifeSchoolHouse:East Hants.