Florilegium

I think I will keep taking the trip down memory lane by shop or type of technique (sorta off), so I will try and not forget anything. Second stop Florilegium…

If there is one place to go to get your creativity going this is it; the most wonderfully creative place in the Midwest! So if you are anywhere near Kansas City and St Joseph, make Weston, MO a sure stop on your itinerary. I would allow minimum half a day because after you step into the creative world of Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/)  you may only come up for air when your stomach growls for food (great places to eat in Weston, Mo. too.)

Gretchen (pictured on left) is the artist and owner and she is another person I would just like to follow around and watch the creativeness dripping off of her. If only I could carry a basket and put some of her creativity into a basket and bring it home.

Cathy (pictured on right) is the store manager and is soooooo sweet, just talking to her can lift you up. She claims she’s not that creative but I’ve seen pictures of her house and yard. I think she is creative. And her munchies are very creative….I’ve eaten my fair share.

I never go in here that I don’t feel so inspired, it is eye candy for the creative. And I always want more.

AND this is one of the places I have been learning new things; I like to think of it as expanding my creativity, that sounds so much better than increasing my stash.

But in order to catch up quickly I am just going to list what we (there is always a group of us headed that way) learned in no particular order. We make a day of it; leave KC after rush hour, arrive about 10AM, stop for lunch (great bar-be que place (Tin Cup) in Weston) or Gretchen has a lite lunch if we are having afternoon class. If we don’t have afternoon class we shop and head home before evening rush hour starts. I love my days spent in Florilegium; whether you learn a new needleart or you just go for the eye candy, you are never disappointed.

Our first class was a beaded tassel. I forgot to take a picture but imagine place mats with everything laid out like we were having a meal. I was awe struck, I was also a bit dismayed because there were these two very fine knitting needles laying there and I knew that most of us did not know how to knit…

Sure enough Gretchen wanted us all to knit an “I” cord so long…we all looked like deer in head lights…knit? No, we are needlepointers. Gretchen never missed a beat…she told us to pick up our wooden bead, and thread our tapestry needle with our silk ribbon. She explained how to start covering the wooden ball with the ribbon. And while we were all engrossed in doing this, Gretchen slipped out of the teaching area, grabbed a different tassel and was back before our wooden ball was barely covered. I’m not sure anyone else noticed she had left the area, but since I was a needlework teacher, I was watching her to see how she adjusted to our bump in the road. Trust me, it did not faze her and I was in more awe of her. Not only is she soooooo very creative, she is calm as a cucumber.

We spent the morning making a tassel. Just before class was over Gretchen slipped out again and came back with a basket of yarn and needles. She placed it in the middle of the table and told us all we were going to have our first knitting lesson. And we did. Everyone tried to cast on several stitches and then she had us all knit. We knitted both directions. She suggested we go home get some size 8-10 knitting needles and a skein of sports yarn and knit the skein. When we were finished with that skein to get another and just purl the skein.  And when we were ready to start a project , just come back and she would help us.

We all left that day with more than our tassels, but then that’s a given when we go to Florilegium. You can order the tassel on her webpage or just drop by and sit a spell and Gretchen will be happy to start you on your creative adventure with her.  We also had picked out our next adventure…beading.

ED Note: A group of us get together a couple times and either finished our tassel or made another. And I have a bookmark that we need to do sometime this year. We usually get together again for most of our projects or just to stitch on our favorite things.

Beading was our next adventures…there were two adventures…

We made a beautiful Rose necklace; the technique is bead-weaving. The highest rose was supposed to hold the gold ring in place around your neck, but mine kept slipping. So I improvised and added another leaf to wrap around the gold ring; this worked sometimes but not always. So I decided to take the top rose off and to reattach above the brass ring. The third time is working; the necklace still goes over my head but the rose above the ring keeps the ring from sliding up. This was my first attempt at beading and so I may someday re-bead because I think with wear the beading thread will stretch…I’m not sure I stretched my beading thread before I used it.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next venture was Herringbone stitch. It was adapted from the book

Bead Play by Beth Stone. This was a fun little venture into a new stitch and also different beads. I really got into this and you will see my little piece again down the road. The hardest part was the diamond, but the instructions are in the book and by the time I got to it I had taken a Peyote class and was familiar with that technique too.

 

 

And yet more adventures were awaiting us at Florilegium: two types of needle-felt we learned.

Victoria Hart Ingalls (http://www.victoriahartingalls.com/) taught us Proddy Flower needle-felt and later some took Victorian Heart Fine needlefelt (http://florilegium.com/florilegium-events/). Victoria has been doing this a long time I have a bunny I purchased from her when I thought I might want to take up needlefelt. I went to a yearly gathering they have in town, but it was overwhelming to me at the time and I decided needlepoint was best for me at the time. I loved the Proddy Flower and finished mine and used some of the techniques later to make Christmas ornaments.

Our next needle-felt endeavor was needle-felting; we made a needle-felted 3D sculptures taught by Kate Barsotti, a really creative person. You can Google her and also see some of her things on Pintress or at Florilegium (http://florilegium.com/whats/kate-barsotti-needle-felted-creatures/).

My first meeting with Kate was at a Fiber Guild meeting where she presented an introduction to needle-felting and a mini needle-felting class. I though at this class she was so cleaver in the way she presented things. She had a huge box (10 inches  long—industrial size) of Band-Aids and told us the needles are sharp and to be careful but if we needed any her Band-Aids were handy.  The other thing about her classes is that she does not have a specific 3D project for you to make. She just starts you off making a core of needle-felt and when you ask what you are making; her answer is, “The felt will speak to you.” Mine was a baby Eagle.

At Florilegium Kate taught (http://florilegium.com/inspiration/beginning-needle-felting-kate-barsotti-nov-2016/) and we got to spend more time and learned about the different needles and felts and to see some of Kates work. This time my felt spoke up and said “I wanted to be a penguin”.  And so a penguin was born.

 

Since my first steps into needle-felting I have acquired a stash and have made a few ornaments and animals but this is another posting…

 

 

We have never taken knitting classes at Florilegium but we have added to our stash and I really want to experiment with freeform crochet and knitting:

http://florilegium.com/one-small-thing-among-many/

http://florilegium.com/one-small-thing-returns/)

As the weather is getting more spring like I see a trip in my future…a day in Creative land.

Next time a trip to the bead shop…but for now I have not given up needlepoint, so I am off to stitch although I should practice knitting too…no I am going to needlepoint today.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue

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Catching up- Knitting

Okay I have looked over previous blogs so I think I have a handle on this things I may have missed posting over the last year…I’ve been taking pictures and I’m going to start with knitting.

Two years ago, some friends and I took crochet classes. I knew how to crochet but had never officially be taught. (See blog https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/5015/) I learned that I knew how to crochet, but now I can read a pattern better AND that I was not counting my chain stitches correctly… I always was a stitch or two short.

 

But knitting is a whole different story! I am a complete novice at this and I think I may even be knitting challenged. This is not my first trip down this learning curve…in fact I think it is about the millionth time I have been down this road. But last year, some friends and I took knitting lessons. We bought a book, had instructions and ended by stitching a dish cloth for out final. While I understood and could follow along I have never been completely comfortable knitting. I have friends that can watch TV, carry on a conversation and knit…THAT IS NOT ME! Knitting requires my undivided attention and then some.

I have progressed past the knitting dishcloth stage. Not because I think I am much beyond this stage, but really how may dishcloths can you have? And my justification is that if I don’t push myself no one else will either.

My first project after the dishcloth was Rally flags for Christmas for my husband and son. If the rally flag looks like dish cloths on steroids; that’s because it is a large dishcloth with a handle ( It was in my begging book). Okay this was a joke for my two baseball watchers, they kept putting holes in my blue tea towels so they could swing them arounfd their fingers to rally the baseball team (Like the team or anyone but me could see them.)  And I figure if they don’t use them I will just  have two more dish cloths.

Then I decided to try a scarf from that same beginning book. I enlarged it by a couple repeats and made it longer. I wanted to use up the yarn I had from an old crochet project. It was not a good choice because the year was multi colored (two colors) and nubby. It was hard to see the pattern and hard to see my mistakes AND there are several!

But still I am persevering. My knitting friends have suggested this knitting site: Knit Purl Hunter (http://knitpurlhunter.com/blog/) and to start with the book: Building Block instructions.  Again I made the mistake of buying yarn that is either heathery or multi-color and it is difficult to see the pattern of the block used in this book. I am only on block 4 but have decided to  preserver and when my friend Nancy comes back to KC for the summer I will get plain yarn and we will do this together with our other knitting friends that would like to join us…maybe just to laugh at me because I am sooooooo challenged at knitting. And since I am only on block 4, I may be playing catch up with all my knitting friends by the time summer is over.

Block 1

Block 2

Block 3

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s it for the knitting…in a year: 4+ dishcloths, 2 rally flags, a scarf and 3 completed  blocks toward a throw. I will not stitching a Peruvian sweater or any sweater anytime soon… But I am committed to getting better; I better be committed, I already have a stash of yarns and Santa even left me knitting needles. So, I will keep practicing but there are other things I would rather be doing. It is just a challenge, and I will conquer it…

someday!

I am off to needlepoint or bead ….and practice knitting too.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

 

ttfn…sue

I’ve Done it Again…

The reason you haven’t heard from me is I’ve done it again…I’m expanding my needlearts learning.  Last week I took a knitting class, kumihimo with beads class, a beading class, made another temari ball, wrapped 3-4 more to stitch in the next couple weeks, and yes I needlepointed too. I know I should concentrate on one project at a time but I love them all and can’t pick just one…so I’m just going to have to figure a way to sleep less, cook less (love these too), general household duties (don’t like these so much)  or maybe I could just clone myself.

And I am sorry but I think my blog suffers the most. I really am going to have to get in a habit of stopping here. Last week in a magazine I finally had time to read there was an article on how to have a successful blog and I guess I’m never going to have a successful blog by their standards. I am supposed to find a niche and stick to it…and we all know that isn’t going to happen. I have too many things I want to learn and do. Then I looked at the name I gave my blog nine years ago “sudukc’s needleart & other musings… A place to see what I am doing or not doing”; I must have known then that this is an eclectic place. It is mostly about needlepoint because that is my primary love but it is also about any kind of needle art because they are all fascinating to me. So, thank you for finding my musings interesting even if they are all over the place and sporadic at best.

I used to think I knew my limitations, and I do know that I love quilts but I am never going to make my 13 quilts…For those of you who don’t know; history or folk lore says that before a girl got married she had to make 12 quilts, the 13th quilt was made and quilted by friends and family when she was about to get married. And anyway, I’m already married, too late. But I know too that I am not a large quilt maker; I tried it, and even though I love them and they are beautiful but it is not me. I like smaller projects and there are plenty of them for me to try.

Last week I was beading at Florilegium with Gretchen and I said I wish I were as creative as she is. Gretchen tried to convince me I am and just need “to do”… After I got home I really thought about this and I think I am creative…just maybe spread too thin. No matter what project I pick up I can think of 4 or 5 other things I want to do in the technique I am working at the time. I have decided to write them in my Stash Idea book, or if they are in another book or magazine to mark and keep for after I catch up. It’s like stash…only I’m not buy the canvas and thread (well I still am buying needlepoint canvas and threads but that’s a paragraph or two down.) I’m going to think of this as stash ideas and when I want a project I will just look at my Stash Idea book, purchase the supplies and go for it. I probably could check around the stash already purchased for some supplies, but we all know I’m going to be short something.

So here’s what I’ve been up to these last few weeks…

These are the beading projects I have in the works…several fobs, a herringbone learning piece, several other projects to start…I also have marked my books with more stash ideas…I do believe my bead stash is growing.

 

Now I am combining my kumihimo with beading and starting that too.

 

 

And I am bound and determined to learn to knit…no Peruvian sweaters in my future but I do want to learn how to knit. I can crochet and have tried knitting several times before but I never seem to get the hang of it. I am bound and determined to learn this; it will not get the best of me. And I know practice is the best teacher so I try to do 5 minutes every day. I don’t go back to classes for another week, but I hope then we start a project and I have a goal in site.

Like I said last post, I belong to two Temari discussion groups online and they are having stitch-a-longs. And since I have been a lurker for these past few years I have decided to try and participate. I’ve done two so far and have two more in the works. I also try to keep an info sheet on every Temari I make (another to do), never know I might want to make another. I think it is difficult to write exact instructions for Temari because each ball is a unique size. I can only approximate the size of the balls I make and I like them about 30 cm, give or take and larger. I find for me the larger balls are easier to work on.

And I have been needlepointing too. I have a secret project in the works…I’ll show it to you soon. It is a gift and I want it to be a surprise. I am finished stitching and just have to get it finished and given then I’ll share. I am also working on a small take-a-long project but just haven’t taken pictures. This project I only stitch on when I go to a guild stitch-in, stitching with friends or to my weekly stitch-in at local shop.  I also am gathering stuff for another nest project. Nest projects seldom leave home; they are larger projects and require a stand and light.

You know I was just thinking, if I ever win the lottery (guess I should buy a ticket) I’m going to have a studio and call it Stash Studio or Creative Corner. I am going to have all kinds of my favorite stuff. I’d really like to live above the studio and whenever I want (day or night) just go down and play. When the lights were on, my friends or anyone could drop by to stitch too. I would never want for any stash, it would just always be there…okay so this is a dream but wouldn’t that be great.

I hope you all are staying cool this summer. To my Canadian friends, “Happy Canada Day” yesterday and to my USA friends have a safe and happy 4th of July. I’m off to redo my herringbone sampler, then I think I may tackle another beading project or two and then I’ll stitch and watch a movie this evening. And oh yes, NeedlePointers arrived today ; so I need to stop and look at this too.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.

ttfn…sue