Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My dear friend Jean Leinhauser

I am quite late in writing this post but I didn't have a blog when we lost Jean back in June and I really want to share my memories with you.

My first meeting with Jean was about 8 years ago at a CGOA conference in Manchester, NH. Her longtime business partner and closest friend, Rita Weiss had sent out an email prior to the show to schedule meetings with designers. Of course I wanted to take advantage of  this opportunity and quickly sent an email to make my appointment. But when my meeting time came, I couldn't find them! I was frantically searching all over the designated area but I had no idea what they looked like! I was at the point of giving up and so disappointed! This is when Doris Chan walked up. She was supposed to meet with them after me. So I wasn't nervous enough just having the meeting to begin with but now I was late and also sharing the meeting with Doris Chan! Once we finally all got together, one of the first things Rita said was "So you're the one that can crochet with your feet?" Years ago Jean had been the editor of Talking Crochet and had done an article on me doing foot crochet. But that's a story for another day.

I have already been missing Jean in so many ways. I had emailed with her in April as we collaborated on a design. We would have little email chats and there was never an occasion that she didn't make me laugh! Doris and I would often call Jean and Rita "The Living Legends". Jean would correct us immediately and say that she preferred to be called a sex goddess!

I still smile and chuckle everytime I think of my friend.

This photo was taken just before walking into the fashion show and banquet the day after meeting them for the first time. Jean took my arm and said "YOU, my dear, shall sit with us" What an honor!

Always a smile on her face!

From front left to right: Marty Miller, Doris Chan, Me, Jean, Vashti Braha, Rita Weiss.

Like I said - Jean always made me laugh!

One of my favorite things to do was to sit at the Creative Partners booth in the market and visit with Jean. Last year I picked out a couple books that I wanted to buy. As I reached for my purse, Jean patted my shoulder and said "My dear, you picked all the ones that are free" I couldn't figure out what she was talking about at first but as soon as I realized I began arguing with her that I was not taking them without paying for them. Naturally Jean won the argument. So as soon as I got home I packed up a cute little purse that I had with lots of color and bling to send as a thank you gift. Inside the purse, I tucked a bottle of bright bluish/green nail polish. Everytime Jean saw me with my blue nails matching my outfit she would remark how much she loved it. The last time we emailed she told me she would be wearing her new blue nail polish to the Minneapolis conference. How I would have loved to see that!

This was the last time I saw my sweet friend. This was taken right after the banquet and fashion show last summer.

I feel so blessed and honored to have known you Jean! Thanks for so many great memories!


  1. What a wonderful tribute Tammy! You made me cry! :)

  2. Oh- what a sweet tribute to an awesome woman. She seems very down to earth and quite a firecracker. Flip 'em the bird and give 'em hell, Jean!

  3. Thank you so much for this, Tammy.