Judith Roddy, an employee with with Park Place Estates, thought it would be fun to see how Weber's work would stack up against other artists statewide. She brought a crocheted baby blanket that Weber had made down to the "Art from the Heart" contest in Des Moines earlier in December.
The "Art from the Heart" art show and contest is sponsored by the Iowa Health Care Association and the Iowa Center for Assisted Living. It is for residents and tenants at nursing homes and assisted living programs from all across the state of Iowa. In all, 25 residents statewide had art work entered in the showcase.
Sure enough, Weber's blanket impressed the judges enough to warrant a second place finish. Over 300 employees, administrators and owners from Iowa nursing homes and assisted living programs enjoyed the art show and voted on their favorite projects to decide winners in eight different categories: crafts, crochet/knitting, drawing, jewelry, needlework, painting, sewing and other.
Weber just thought the event in Des Moines was an art show, not a competition.
"Had I know it was going to be a contest, I would have been a little more careful," joked Weber with a grandmotherly grin.
But Weber is careful to always remember those who are less fortunate. Her blanket was made possible because she was given some leftover yarn that was provided by the Rejoice! Community Church. After the contest in Des Moines, the blanket was donated back to the church's "Care and Comfort" program.
Weber says that there are several others at Park Place Estates that also contribute handmade donations to the "Care and Comfort" program. At least once a month, several residents get together and tie quilts that can be donated to the program too.
Learning as a young girl how to crochet from her grandmother, she said designed the pattern for her winning work herself.
"I think my grandmother was crocheting even on the day she died and she lived to be 101 years old," said Weber.
Her mother also taught her how to sew using an old pedal-driven machine and she does well with embroidery too. Among her many crocheted creations, she's also done quilting, some wall hangings, worked with plastic canvas, toiled with beads and enjoyed many other crafts as they've become popular.
"I remember working with beads thirty years ago," laughed Weber. "Now, that's all what the kids are doing again these days. It's amazing how fads come and go."
Like her grandmother and mother before her, Weber knows the importance of teaching others how to explore their creative intuitions. She's taught some of her grandkids how to crochet, but she's even willing to help her fellow residents, if they ask her.
"There are some others here who crochet too," said Weber. "If there are others that want to learn, I'd help them. I'm not a teacher by any means, but I'd be glad to help them get started."
"I just really enjoy doing it all. It keeps my hands busy, which is important," noted Weber. "It's really a pleasure to help out."