I woke up to the best news this morning – I have been awarded a $2000.00 travel grant by the Textile Society of America (
to attend isend2011 ((, a natural dye symposium in La Rochelle France taking place at the end of April! I am thrilled to represent TSA at the symposium. I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge that I can then share with others through Stories of Hope.


I have been invited by the US Embassy in Kazakhstan to participate in a Carpet Weaving/ Dyeing Project as a Cultural Envoy.

It is such an honor to have been asked to participate in this program!

The project falls under the broader scope of the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation in which a local non-government organization has been awarded a grant to revive Kazakh carpet weaving traditions in southern Kazakhstan.  It will also help build life skills for the local women.

I will travel to two rural villages (Shymkent & Shauldere) to teach natural dyeing.

The skills of natural dyeing and carpet weaving have become as the country has been embroiled in war & strife for more than 100 years

I leave on March 26 and will return on April 5th.