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Herald Journal | DC Enterprise-Dispatch | Delano Herald Journal
Local artist, Old-Fashioned Christmas pay it forward
March 19, 2012

DELANO, MN – Local fiber artist, Jan Johnson immediately volunteered when approached by Make-A-Wish volunteer Natasia Moose, to help grant a wish for Maddie Schutt, daughter of Kevin and Jill Schutt of Cokato. Maddie has juvenile myositis, a rare auto-immune disorder which attacks her muscles and joints.

Johnson is a member of the Delano Area Council for Arts & Culture, and was demonstrating rug hooking with members of the West-enders Rug Artists during Old-Fashioned Christmas in Historic Downtown Delano in December 2011 when Moose approached her to volunteer.

Moose attended the Old-Fashioned Christmas event, looking for artists willing to work on an art project with Make-A-Wish children for the foundation’s Wish Ball auction.

Johnson took down all the information to present to council members and the Delano Art Guild.

She volunteered to work with a “Wish Child,” which allowed her to pay it forward.

Her niece, Sara Steinhoff, received a wish 20 years ago. Sara had cystic fibrosis. She wanted a computer (despite her sisters wanting to go to Disneyland). Sara received her computer and had four wonderful years using it before she passed away.

Johnson met with Maddie in early January. Her wish was to go to Rome, to study the architecture, an interesting wish for a 12-year-old.

She will be traveling there in late March, along with her parents, and sister, Emma.

Johnson and Maddie reviewed possible projects for the Wish Ball, and it was decided to create an Oxford punch mat, which would be framed.

Maddie worked on several designs before deciding to craft a contemporary rose in a garden setting. The rose grew to a garden. Maddie caught on immediately, and completed the actual mats in four weeks.

The framed mats are named for her grandmother; Lillian’s Rose, and Lillian’s Garden.

Maddie’s grandmother loved pink roses, always made sure the soil was well-mulched, and treated them tenderly, thus, the colors chosen.

Some of the yarn was donated by Laurie Lausen from LJ Fibers, and Johnson provided the balance of materials needed.

The framed mats will be auctioned at the Wish Ball in early March at the RiverCenter in St. Paul.

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