Meet Cassie Stephens , art teacher extraordinaire. I first learned about her, literally a few days before the National Art Educator's Conference. I was meandering around the internet, as that happens far to often to us, and I came across her picture.
I stopped in my tracks and I was like, who is this? She looks fun! And she is WEARING FELT!!!! I totally have to meet her now. In the hubbub of the next 72 hours of packing and prepping, getting to the show, setting up, dealing with the Union Teamsters and such, I kind of placed it in the back of my mind.
Well, lo and behold, I was talking to the vendor coordinator of the Illinois Art Educator's Conference, and who should come walking up across the aisle but Ms. Cassie Stephens herself? In her wonderful, colorful glory, she definitely had the aura of a superstar. So the gal I was chatting with, casually glances over and says, "Have you met Cassie Stephens yet? She loves to felt too! I'll introduce you to her".
So that's how it happened. Cassie is one of the nicest, most genuine people and crazy creative. An elementary art teacher and blogger, she really makes art come alive for not only her students, but a whole cyber world of her devoted fans- many of whom are teachers drawing ideas for their own classrooms.
We chatted, and I learned that she had taught a needle felting embellishment class a day earlier at the conference. She said everyone in class was asking her if she had heard of Esther's Place! We laughed and said "where have y'all been my whole life" (well she said it that way in her charming Nashville accent). I really felt like I met a kindred spirit.
The lesson I learned from Cassie? If you love something, love it with abandon! Go after it in a big way. Forget what people will think. The right people will love it. You will be a star, one that illuminates and lights the way for others. A superstar!