Our fibre community suffered a huge blow yesterday with the loss of friend and mentor, Deb Behm. She was a gifted fibre artist, teacher, writer, and friend.
Deb taught fibre arts in our community for a long time through city programming at the library, as the Resident Fibre Artist at the Neil Balkwill Arts Centre for more than 20 years, as an active member of the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild, and through Golden Willow Natural Fiber shop classes and drop-ins. And that long list just hits the highlights of her involvement in our community. She also taught for Olds College during Fibre Week and was a contributor to Spin Off and Ply magazines. She earned a SOAR scholarship to the Spin Off Autumn Retreat in California a few years ago and while there was honoured with the Gisela and Bill Evitt Scholarship which is awarded to individuals who work with children and youth, teaching them how to spin, knit, weave, or felt.
Deb was also a student and teacher of yoga and she used her fibre practices as meditation opportunities. This is evident in her beautifully written blog, Heart Like a Wheel. Click the link to see her last post when she knew cancer had returned. I reread it today and it made me cry. Further browsing on her blog will demonstrate her clever and sometimes irreverent humour and her interest in social justice.
I remember Deb telling me about visiting with her friend and spindle maker extraordinaire, Ed Tabachek, at Olds Fibre Week each year. Ed would bring new spindles in the trunk of his car and Deb said that she loved to get a chance to see and buy some in the parking lot before he set up his booth in the vendor area. Ed recently succumbed to cancer too and I hope that he and Deb can spin together again where pain can't touch them.
Deb loved spiders and bats. I knit this square as part of a throw that her friends made for her in November as a 'warm hug' from us.
Farewell, my friend. You will be missed.