Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wholly Craft! - Columbus, OH

Yesterday was a seriously happy day. I mean.. most of my days are pretty happy lately... aside from the obvious stress of being on the road (long drives, too much stuff with too little space, missing my apartment, missing my family, missing my friends and not having a KITCHEN). But.. really I feel very lucky to be making a living doing what I love, with the one I love. That aside, as I was was saying, yesterday was a very happy day. It was set into motion by a fantastic shop we found in Columbus called "WHOLLY CRAFT!" I mean, seriously, just
the title is enough to make a craftaholic like me smile.

I first stumbled upon this lovely little shop while I was looking for LYS in Columbus. I found a great new shop, WonderKnit, and while exploring their website I found a link to their neighbor... Wholly Craft. The shop was filled with so many things that made me smile. The first joyful item we stumbled upon was Shanon Gerard's Plushtash. When JD held it up under his nose I screamed.. "Why didn't I think of that!" The woman behind the counter said "we hear that often." JD is obsessed with the idea of a sweet moustache. I can't believe I never thought of crocheting him one.
Next.... I found a perfect little tree purse by In Hope. I know I have way too many bags/purses with me on the road. But I couldn't pass this up. Trees always made me happy... and it was the perfect size! I love big bags, but I always fill them with too much junk. (the girls in the dressing room started calling me CVS) This new clutch will help me simplify.
I slowly made my way through the bits of whimsy to a small craft supply section in the back. I bought, a set of vintage circular needles (mostly because I loved the packaging), a big vintage belt buckle making kit, two used books on crewel designs, and a blue plastic hoop . I've recently
been drooling over the trees at Wool and Hoop. Unfortunately they didn't have any tree kits left. We'll see if I can actually find the time play with the techniques in these books.
While I was going through the crafty goodness... JD came up with tears in his eyes. He had found something that sent him over the edge of enjoyment. This squirrel print by Berkley Illustration had him on the floor laughing. He especially loved the tie. I had been worried he would be bored at this shop, so seeing him so happy made me even more happy. We bought the 5X7 print for his niece Olyvia. She loves his rendition of the Aladdin song "A Whole New World" called "A Whole New Squirrel" so we figured this was the perfect gift.
I had to stop myself from buying any more. Sometimes I wonder wether selling my own hand made crafts makes me as happy as buying goodies others have made. I guess I think supporting other artists is great cause it keeps the whole hand made movement in motion.
We did end up at the yarn shop next door. The woman behind the counter (who I think was the owner) was chatting with one of the customers about her new book... "Pints and Purls - Portable Projects for the Social Knitter" It's not out in stores yet... but the customer had pre-ordered her copy on Amazon. I loved hearing them talk about the process of publishing the book. I was able to flip through it, and it looks like something I'd love. I've done my best to convert the non-knitting members of my cast, but I still get crap from those who don't
understand my addiction. I find bringing a skein to the hotel bar to be very normal. I even brought my Innovations Knitting machine to the hotel bar in Toronto. (ok - that might have been a bit much, but I was excited to try it out) I feel like this book might actually validate my addiction. I ended up with a few skeins from Wonderknit. I bought 1 skein of Loop-d-loop Fern in white (I've already started a lovely drop stitch scarf), and two skeins of Frog Tree Chunky Alpaca.
To top off my lovely day... I started and finished a new shrug when I got home from work. We have a cast party tonight and I really wanted to wear a new dress... but I didn't have a sweater that matched. Problem solved! I used some left over Brown Sheep Burly Spun in Dark

Charcoal and some sparkly grey and white label-less yarn I bought downstairs at Romni Wools. I've never knit a shrug, and I completely improvised the design... but it totally worked! I finished it in under 2 hours, and I'm super happy with the way it turned out! (please excuse the awkward cell phone pic with the lovely hotel carpet background)

PHEW - Thats it! Yesterday was a long wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

At last... the begining

This is one of my first Dance Recitals.....

This is my first show at The Music Room. I played Peter Pan : )

     About a year ago my fiance and I started formulating a plan..... I call it our 10 year plan, but we really have no time limit set.  Our plan is to open our own Dance/Music/Theatre studio for children(and adults) with a yarn store/coffee shop/performance space attached. Now... I know this is a gigantic plan.  BUT, I really think we can make it happen!
      When I was a kid, I went to a musical theatre studio called The Music Room School of Performing Arts.  My Mom always called it "The Church of the Music Room", because it was such a great source of positivity and happiness as we were growing up. There were no religious affiliations, it just kept us happy and kept us out of trouble.  The studio had two large dance rooms, a few smaller piano rooms, and a lobby with a few chairs.  Many of the parents would sit in the lobby while we were in class, but there wasn't much there to keep them busy.  Other parents would hang in their cars, in the parking lot.  How great would it have been if the parents could have been sitting in a LYS, taking their own class next door! Crocheting, Knitting or Felting while your children hone their craft! 
      What's better than spreading more love of art, and craftiness?  Food and drink while you work on what you love (or while you do homework).  We want to have a cafe with sandwiches, salads, juice, smoothies, tea and fresh roasted coffee.  When I was a student at The Music Room, the studio shared a parking lot with a Carl's Junior.  Somehow, we ended up spending most of our homework time between classes at this fast food joint. They had a salad bar, and the employees were all very nice.  But, I can't help but thinking how nice it'd be to have had a little cafe next door that was run by the fantastic couple who owned The Music Room (Sharon and Lee Westenhoffer).  
      And... how about a more "grown-up" cafe/wine/cheese bar at night.  In our wildest dreams of this complex, we see a small performance space.  How great to have a venue for our friends (and students) to share their music. I'd love to teach our students how to put together their own songs,  sets, or even full evenings of music.  
      In addition to taking many classes at The Music Room, I started teaching there when I was 16.  I continued to teach there all the way through college.  I so clearly remember the day I finally confessed that I just couldn't manage to continue teaching while pursuing my own career as a performer.  Boy... was that convo filled with a lot of tears.  I loved teaching and, while I feel so lucky to be a WORKING ACTRESS, I know I want to teach again someday.  My fiance also has several years of teaching experience.  He worked with an AMAZING nonprofit called First Stage Children's Theatre,  and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra.  I could go on and on about those studios, but I'll save that for a later post. 
     I am so grateful for the millions of hours I spent at The Music Room. It provided a fantastic foundation for a fearless imagination and a place to work on my craft in a supportive, loving environment.  I'm even more excited about the idea of providing future generations with a similar playground.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My blog, it is a Changin'

After reading Kim Werker's most recent blog post...  I'm officially inspired to run things a little differently on my new little blog.  Check out her post on Crocheting blogs.
   I have felt myself limiting my posts to updates on the LYS' I've visited. But... it seems that didn't excited me as much as visiting the yarn stores themselves did.  From here on out, I'm going to write more often, and write about thing that are exciting me or pushing me to look for new answers.  

    For now, here are a few of my recent goodies.  I wear this scarflette (mostly as a head
 warmer) all the time.  I'll be
 posting more like this for sale on Etsy soon.  This skoodie is a mock up for a
 pattern I'll be writing as soon as I sit myself down and actually write.  And... this shrug was just for fun. I found this yarn for sale at Yarns 2 Ewe in Houston. It's so soft with gold flecks. The cutie in the red headband is my good friend Melissa who just moved to Huntington, Indiana.