Wednesday, April 29, 2009

YARN STORE KETCHUP, Philly and Atlanta

I've been crazy busy seeing loads of amazing places all over the country. Here's a few of the fiber highlights.

          This is the first shop I visited. I walked by it twice without seeing it, which I couldn't believe. It is... like the title says... a cellar.  Nice shop packed with loads of skeins to please all. The staff was helpful, and obviously very passionate about their craft.  I'm sure I would frequent this shop.  It's a little cramped... but great for treasure hunting. I spent quite some time digging through their sale basket.  
            I'm so sad I wasn't able to spend more time in this shop.  It was very clean, bright and spacious.  I literally had 10 minutes tops to run through their shop, so my

 memory of what they have is fuzzy, but I did end up with a great little project bag by Blue Sky Alpacas, and some wonderful roving for felting.   This flower is one of the many flowers I've made from the roving bag I bought at loop. I loved the
 natural rustic color combo.
             Two of the gals in my cast found this shop and recommend it, so I ran down between shows on our last day in town.  I am so glad I did.  It was crazy full of fiber and color.  The owner, Nancy, clearly had a zest for life and a passion for fiber. She excitedly took me up to the sale section of her shop, and then showed me how everything was organized. I don't know if I have ever encountered a more helpful yarn shop owner/employee.  Like I said, this shop was FILLED with color, some things that were a bit too bright for me, but I so appreciated the time and passion that went into the display.  My favorite part was a collection of yarns Nancy had paired and wound and was selling together.  I often mix 2 or more skeins, but I've never thought of having them wound together at a shop.  She sells pairings that she suggests, or will wind combos of your own.  Why have I never seen this at a shop?  Great idea!  I bought two of her combos and made one of my own.  I love them so

 much, I might not ever bring myself to knit or crochet them. I'm sure someday they'll tell me what they want to be. 

               Hands down.... THIS IS THE GREATEST YARN SHOP I HAVE EVER ENCOUNTERED! Just the building was enough to make me squeal. Exposed brick, rustic wood, and a spiral staircase leading from the first floor to the second floor. As you enter the gate, this lovely creature greats you. Then, a large pot of their own coffee brew welcomes you as you step into the shop.  The first floor was PACKED with all kinds of wool yarns. And, a nice little felting section with unspun fiber. (including lots died by local artists)  The second floor has cotton, acrylic, and a WALL OF WASHER/DRYERS for rent so you can satisfy all of your felting needs. What?  I don't have a washer/dryer in my apartment, and obviously don't have one on the road

. I've tried this whole felting in the bathtub thing and it's a messy pain the butt! A shop like this would be so amazing!    I ended up leaving with some super soft Blue Sky Cotton, and a shirt that makes me so happy.  I wanted to buy another for a friend, but it was the last of it's kind. I found it online at CafePress. I've already been approached by friends who think it's some sort of dietary yoga message.  I know those who really get what I get, will get it too. 

    Visiting these yarn shops around the country has made me so happy. It is so inspiring to see so many places around the country that are thriving and bringing wooly goodness to their community's.   I really hope that some day, I can do the same. 

****One Non-Yarn bit of joy*****   
    I also went to the shop at SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design).  I found this ridiculously soft skirt by Vanessa Boulton.
don't be surprised if I wear it every day!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Philly has been a crazy whirlwind week!  I began the week teaching two classes through a great company called Broadway Connection.  I really do miss teaching.  The kids were great! Several of the
 students also came to the show. I gave them a backstage tour and they were so excited.  Luckily my fellow cast mates were good sports.  Dirk Lumbard (who plays Boris) stood there and smiled while they all took close up shots of his face. It was so funny.  Once they had their fill of Dirk they all began begging for the Child Catcher. Luckily, Oliver Wadsworth was still around.  He was a great sport too. The kids were so happy to get autographs, pictures, and to see how the car flies.      I went straight from teaching on Wednesday to a Seder.  It was my second Seder and I have to say... it was absolutely fantastic!  It was lead by Rabbi Jonathan Blake (the husband of our Truly
 Scrumptious, Kelly McCormick). I know so little about the Jewish faith but what I do know, I really love.  Durring the Seder I was reminded of one of my favorite Buddhist quotes - "Believe nothing, no matter who says it, even if I say it, unless it resides within your own heart and your own reason." I love the idea of being able to question religion and the idea of actually getting answers.  There were several people of different faiths at the Seder, and I really believe

 everyone learned something.  Jonathan brought his guitar and several silly items to help explain Passover. I'm so glad we were able to participate. I hope this Seder was the second of many that we will attend.
    I also had some AMAZING friends come out from NYC to see the show and hang in Philly.  Sal Sabella and I spent all day Friday walking the entire city.  The murals around this town are out of control! Every time we turned the corner, another huge display of art would whack us in the face.  So cool!  The most amazing was definitely Philadelphia's Magic Garden. According to their website. The Magic Garden mosaic murals span all over the city.  It reminded me of the 

Hundertwasser House in Vienna, Austria.  I especially loved the mirrored bits, because the reflections change depending on where you stand, causing the whole mural itself to change.  In one of the pictures I took, I managed to get the reflection of our eyes. We had such a great day.         On Sunday my amazing besty of about 12 years, Melissa Cullen, came out with her beau

  Roger Smith.  We shared lunch between shows with great food, and great company.  I've felt so lucky having JD on the road with me for the past few weeks.  Being able to spend time with JD and a few of our friends made it even more sweet.  
What impressed me most about Philly (aside from the yarn shops which I will get to in another post) was not the art that humans created... but the art that naturally grew on the trees.  I have never seen such amazing blooms and they were everywhere.  It's like God decided to remind us the reason for the Passover/Easter season.  The trees were screaming look at me, I'm GORGEOUS, and I'm just here to make you smile.

Friday, April 3, 2009

In my mind I'm going to Carolina

     This week, the tour took us to Raleigh, North Carolina.  The whole week was filled with loveliness.  Dirk Lumbard, a friend in the cast had us over to his house in the country.  He and his partner, Andy Ferrell have the most elegant, beautiful home!  I've included a few pictures which, really, just don't even begin to do it justice.  We spent the day on porch swings, in rocking chairs, and ate a perfect home cooked meal.  It's so strange how much we miss the simple things, like having a kitchen.
    I also was able to make it to a shop I'd been looking forward to checking out called Panopolie.  I don't think I've ever seen a shop like it.  Half of the shop was a normal bead store, but the rest of the shop and so many specialty craft items.  Scrapbook items, little glass window boxes, loads of roving, metal working materials, watch parts, charms, vintage watch clasps, keys, and loads and loads of charms.  They offer classes and were very helpful.  The gal behind the counter's name was Mollie.  She was super sweet and said she might come to the show.
   I have roving with me on the road, and I've felted a bit, but the roving I bought here inspired me to make these little felted flower headbands.  They've made me so happy.  I've started posted them on Etsy and I'll be sure to post more soon.
    We head to Philadelphia on Monday.  I'm sure it will be great, but I'm seriously not looking forward to leaving the 70 degree weather or the Southern hospitality we've enjoyed in Raleigh.