Posted by: bschutzgruber | September 30, 2016

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

September has been a month encompassing creative projects in two different areas.

The first involves storytelling. I have been working with friend and fellow storyteller, Dorothy Cleveland from Minnesota, on a book based on her 2005 master’s thesis focusing on developing a story structure of the Heroine’s Journey. When we started this project we naively thought how hard can it be to translate an academic thesis into a ‘hands on – how to’ guide– we soon learned otherwise.


It has been 2 years since we started. The experience of collaborating with someone 700 miles away via the cloud and phone calls plus periodically traveling to work in the same room has been a grand adventure and learning experience. We read, researched and picked each other’s brain as to how this Journey unfolds in traditional stories. We mined the nuances of personal stories.  We witnessed the evolution of our ideas with joy, laughter and a few tears. This past August between attending Convergence and the Michigan Fiber Festival [see last month’s blog] I traveled to Minnesota and we began our final push to complete the manuscript.





Beyond the Sword Maiden: A Storyteller’s Introduction to the Heroine’s Journey is a book focused on both the Hero’s and Heroine’s Journeys to assist writers, storytellers, therapists and counselors in voicing the stories of strong women. We developed templates for structuring these stories and offer sample stories from both folklore and personal narrative to illustrate how the templates can be used to create stories that resonate in 21st Century.

I am pleased to say that in mid September we submitted our manuscript to be considered for publication. Fingers crossed!



The second half of the month has been focused on fiber with demonstrating weaving at another historic farm in the area and creating a shawl for a fundraiser.

The Sutherland-Wilson Farm is a Michigan Sesquicentennial Farm partnered with the Pittsfield Township Historical Society. The Pittsfield Township Historical Society holds an annual Harvest Festival in September to raise funds for restoration and I was pleased to be a part of the event.





The final project for this month was creating a shawl to be auctioned at the Educational Trust Fund Benefit evening for St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Ann Arbor. This year’s theme is set in the Roaring Twenties’s at Ruby’s Jazzy Speakeasy. My inspiration came from the lines and colors found in Art Deco architecture and stained glass plus the sparkle of beaded gowns from the 1920’s.


The warp blends 3 colors of  8/2 tencel at 27 epi
threaded in a Rosepath Twill pattern.

The weft yarn is 96% rayon 4% metallic boucle yarn from Fiesta Yarns.
















  1. Good luck with the publication 🙂

    • Thanks, Alastair! Will keep you posted.

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