BUUF Social Justice Tarpestries

Summertime Slump

I know I’ve mentioned more than once the difficulty of living your life, and at the same time blogging or Instagraming or Facebooking about it. It’s like you have to be you, and a reporter/photographer who is constantly documenting yourself. It’s a little tricky.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed out on documenting something I’ve done because I’ve been too busy doing whatever it was. Of course it’s summer which means I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing this,…

Sunning with Snug

and this….

Clouds over Hillcrest

Which has felt like a bit of a slump. Between episodes of sunning and cloud watching however, I have managed to get a little work done.

Just today I got to install the tarpestry I made for Owyhee Elementary School. They are the “Jets” (I think because the school is so close to the Boise Airport) and their values are Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Dignity, and Team Work.

Melissa Sasi Chambers and the Owyhee Jets Tarpestry

This tarpestry was the largest I’ve created in my “new” studio, (one of those things I was too busy “doing” to docmument) which I set up as soon as we returned from New Orleans:

Sasi's studio

Sasi's studio view

View of Sasi's studio

It’s really nice not to have to work on the floor anymore. And to have a table big enough to accommodate at least an 8′ X 8′ tarpestry, like the Owyhee Jets’.

Owyhee Jets Tarpestry

As you know, I also managed to complete the last social justice tarpestries for 2015-2016. The one for Idaho Head Start is hanging for the month of August at the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Idaho Head Start tarpestry in BUUF Newsletter

And any day now (she said, eyeing the sun-lit patio), I will begin 9 new social justice tarpestries for 2016-2017. But, the most exciting thing right now, is soon I will have a second book featuring my tarpestries available for purchase. This time with the first 12 social justice tarpestries accompanied by 12 wonderful poems by Dena Duke. It’s called “From You I Recieve, To You I Give” and you’ll be able to buy a copy through this website. I’ll keep you posted.

Meanwhile, the sky is blue, the sun is shining, and I need to soak up all the Vitamin D I can before this summer has flown.

Sasi's handful of sun

Latest Social Justice Tarpestries

As you know if you follow me on Instagram (@sasiwasi) and Facebook, I have been working on a series of tarpestries for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) which are given to the Social Justice “plate partners” along with the funds which the church raises for each organization during the month they are featured. I wrote about those tarpestries I completed before we left for New Orleans in a previous post.

There were four remaining to be created once we got back to Boise, and this month’s, “Boise Autism Mom’s,” will be on display at BUUF until the end of July.

BUUF Newsletter info on Boise Autism Moms Tarpestry

I wrote about that tarpestry and my emotional connection to that organization in my last post.

Boise Autism Moms social justice Tarpestry

There will be three more to follow, through October, and then we’ll see what happens after that. The tarpestry for August will be “Head Start of Idaho.”

Head Start of Idaho social justice tarpestrybysasi

In September “Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN)” will be featured.

Suicide Prevention Action Network social justice tarpestrybysasi

And in October, the last in this series will be the “BUUF Pay it Forward Fund.”

BUUF Pay it Forward Fund social justice tarpestrybysasi

You can see all 12 of the social justice tarpestries on my Portfolio page. I am starting to work on another book like the one I produced for my “Tarpestries” exhibition (Tarpestry The Evolution of an Art Form). This book will be extra special because it will open with a forward by Debra Smith about the BUUF Social Justice ministry, and each of the photos of the tarpestries will be accompanied by a poem penned by Dena Duke. It’ll be awesome, I promise.

Boise Autism Moms’ Tarpestry

The latest in my series of tarpestries for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowhip Social Justice Plate Partners (man is that a mouthful!) will be on view for the fist time at BUUF on July 7th. It’s for the group known as BAM! the Boise Autism Moms!

Boise Autism Moms social justice Tarpestry

This tarpestry in particular felt very personal because I too am an Autism Mom, (Woot woot, Logan!! #aspieson). When Logan was growing up there wasn’t anything like this group available as a support system.

Logan, Mike and a photo bomber at Cheesecake Factory
(That’s Logan, his dad, and a cutie photo bomber at Logan’s 26.5 Merry Unbirthday on June 25th.)

There were other Autism Moms out there though, and we would find each other in our pediatrician’s waiting room, or outside the nursery at church, or in the school hallway outside the resource teachers’ classroom, or waiting in the school office to speak to the Principal about our kid’s behavior. And over the years, through our various experiences with Health & Welfare, Katie Beckett, Social Security, various out patient groups with different psychiatrists, and school counsellors, we would share with each other what we knew, or were learning, about negotiating the system, and dealing with meltdowns, discrimination, bullying, separation anxiety, anger management, sensory overload, medications, and behavioral issues.

Our lives and our conversations were filled with acronyms, the understanding of which separated us from the “Neuro-typical” Moms…ASD, ODD, BD, DD, OCD, TSC, SIB-R, IEP, ISP, ADD, ADHD, SSI…OMG…WTF? I’ve got all those, and more written into the background of the Boise Autism Mom’s tarpestry — even the last two, because sometimes you have nothing left but to laugh. LOL.

Detail of Boise Autism Moms Tarpestry

I think BAM is such a great resource for all the mom’s out there who more than anything need to know they aren’t going it alone. Keep it up! You’re helping your kids, you’re helping each other, and you’re helping yourselves. Everybody wins.

And by the way, I know there are a ton of awesome Dads out there too who need to know they are not alone either. Maybe one of them will start a group. They could call themselves BAD-ASD or Bad-Ass Dads for short! I’m already designing their Tarpestry in my mind!

Logan laughing

Getting a Jump on the “To-Due” List

You already know I’m a big “To-Due” list keeper, and, because I DO get things done, you would think I could keep those lists pretty short.

Nah.

Of course the little habit I have of adding things to the existing list after I have accomplished them, just so I can cross them off said list might be one reason for the length of those lists.

But I don’t want to talk about that right now.

Anywho. I’ve got a really long list this week because on Saturday — 2 days from now — we are getting on the road to NEW ORLEANS!

But you don’t want to know what’s on my To-Due list before we hit the road with 3 dogs, all of Mike’s paintings for his exhibition in May, clothing for 3 versions of climate change, and at least a couple of my new tarpestries from this past year, do you?

Nah.

So instead, here’s a photo album of the Tarpestries I’ve created for the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (BUUF) Social Justice Partners 2015/2016…

November 2015: Farmer’s Market Mobile Market — Food Justice, food security, income inequality
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December 2015: ACLU of Idaho — Criminal Justice Reform, Against the Death Penalty
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January 2016: BUUF Partner Church Meszko Sholarship Fund — Supporting UU 6th principle of world community
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February 2016: Feed the Gap — Child Hunger, Food insecurity
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March 2016: Interfaith Sanctuary — Homelessness
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And because we are going to be away, and I didn’t want to leave work undone, I have gone ahead and made the tarpestries for the months we will be in New Orleans….

April 2016: Women’s & Children’s Alliance — Domestic Violence
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May 2016: Planned Parenthood — Reproductive Justice and Comprehensive Sexuality Education
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June 2016: Habitat for Humanity — Affordable Housing
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I have 4 more tarpestries to create to finish the year — which I’ll make when we get back from New Orleans, and, I’m planning on creating another book with the help of my friend Debra Smith who is doing the Social Justice coordination for which I am creating these tarpestries. Team work, baby. Collaboration is the name of the game for me these days, and my tarpestries are my medium.

I’ll update you from the road, and then undoubtedly inundate you from NOLA, because that city knows how to make Action Girl work up a serious head of steam!