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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Do I have Stash?

Someone asked me if I had much stash and how I stored it… Well yes, but not as much as some others I know… but I do have my fair share…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASince I do several needlecrafts I have a large overlapping stash…(my DH calls it my mini Hobby Store…This is from a man whose workbench and area looks like a hardware store after an earthquake..don’t tell him I posted this picture!)… mine is very well organized even though it does take up a large portion of our home. I dabble in any needle art, but my favorites are needlepoint, temari, needle felting (new), knitting (learning), crochet and sewing.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have a library…it has all needle related books.  I have a stitching area in here but seldom use it.

 

In our office I have a stitching chair too, but use it mostly for selecting threads. I have closet with threads and beads; these are stored on wire shelves in plastic boxes and drawers. Most are stored by type (i.e DMC #5 Perle, DMC Floss, Kreinik #8 Braid, Rainbow Gallery silk, Silk and Ivory etc….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithin the box or drawer, it may vary as how I store each thread: DMC and Rainbow Gallery Silk are stored by number, some Rainbow Gallery, Silk & Ivory and all Kreinik and beads are stored by color.  All threads and beads are clearly marked by number as well as who produced it and name (if applicable.) It is whatever I find works best for me and the particular thread or bead.

My general supplies are stored in clear plastic containers or bags and marked in my master bedroom closet: I have painted needlepoint canvases, cut plain needlepoint canvas
yarn (for knitting a & crocheting), leftover yarn from crochet projects is wound into bases as I go to desired sizes) I use this bases not only for temari balls but also for needle felting balls. When I’m making a temari, I chose the ball and wind with sewing thread.


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My sewing threads are kept in the sewing area with finishing supplies for finishing needlework.

 

I also keep  a box and/or bag for each type of needle art tools/supplies:
I have a bag and small tin for knitting and crochet OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
tools…haven’t been in to this long enough to mass great supplies.

 

 

 

I have a lunch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
box with Kumihimo disks, and weights.

Bobbins are in a plastic bag.

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATemari has it’s own lunch box of tools.

 

 

 

I have plastic boxes with stitching tools for beading. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

Since I started needlefelting I purchased a set of rolling drawers. I store some supplies and  needle felting roving in here. I also have a plastic box for tools and a couple containers with tools I use.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut needlepoint takes up the most areas.  I have a couple stitching nests; each has a floor stand, light and comfy chair for stitching. One area has a set of drawers to keep extra supplies and dodads.

 

I have three bags of stitching tools; one large with seldom used tools, one small that I take to classes and seminars and one I use all the time. Not to mention my collection of needlework tools that I have blogged about before.

So yes, I guess I do have stash! I’m lucky I have a pretty good idea what stash I have and where to look. I can go right to it without much trouble.

I would love to take over the living room (we live in our family room) as an art area but DH has drawn a line in the sand, says he can’t turn around now without fearing for his life of being stabbed by a needle or pair of scissors…men!)

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

ttfn…sue


 

Christmas notes and ornament too

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that you were so good Santa left gifts in abundance. I was a good girl, received my usual Christmas books, but it would not be Christmas without books. Added a couple Jiminy Crickets, and of course a needlepoint…more about these later.

Every year our family does an ornament exchange; only rule is the ornament has to be homemade. This year I decided to do needle felting. I had seen instructions for a snowman on another website (http://craftsncoffee.com/2013/12/05/how-to-make-adorable-needle-felted-snowman-ornaments/) and thought he was cute. I have all the needle felting needles and stuff so I decided this was for me.

After downloading and reading the instructions I began to gather stuff together…and wouldn’t you know it that’s when I found out I didn’t have a styrofoam ball. Not to be deterred by a small basic necessity I decided to make a ball (temari OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAball making has come in handy). So I started with a basic ball made by wrapping yarn to desired size and adding a layer of cotton crochet thread over the top…presto magic a ball. Nice part about this was I didn’t have to make sure it was as round as possible; it wasn’t going to be a temari ball. As I was rolling this ball I decided that this might be a better choice

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for me since I was not sure what I was doing  and I probably would make a mess of a styrofoam ball…There was also the fact that I had waited until the day before I needed the ornament to begin.

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I tried the roving for a background but soon realized that this was not going well and was going to take forever. Another ah-ha moment…cut a piece of felt to fit ball and try adhering it to the base. What was the worst that could happen? (I had a needlepoint

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ornament in the wings, if needed) So I cut a piece of felt, trimmed the ends, roughed up the felt and began to adhere the felt to the ball. I think dumb luck sometimes guides me…I decided to begin in the middle and work toward the ends…that way I could cut and adjust the felt as I went. I needle punched

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaround the center portion, ruffed up the felt at the cut lines and then did the same to the ends. As you can see from the pictures there was no pattern just a rough cut …next time will be more precise.

13-12-27 I patternsAfter I got the background on the ball I cut a white oval from felt, roughed up the backside and adhered it to the base. At this point I decided hit and miss was not going to do it…I needed a plan so off to my trusty computer to make some patterns. Made a pattern divided it up, printed it off and cut it up and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmade adjustments to computer pattern…had been to large first try. Second try was better and so I used these patterns to finish the parts of the snowman. First I used roving to make the cheeks, then I rolled roving to make a cone nose and the rest was cut felt (all were roughed up on their backsides to adhere better. After all the felt was in place, I used #8 perle OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAcotton to make Colonial Knot eyes and French Knot mouth with a chenille needle.

Then I decided ornament needed something on the back side…back to the computer and one holly pattern later was ready to finish the ornament. I OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAtried to write my initials and the date on red felt berries but pen and felt don’t mix well so I used red roving to cover my mistakes. .One hanger later and my ornament was completed.

There are several things I would have done differently and I plan to make more, keep better OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnotes and write the instructions clearly.

But for now I am off to read, sip tea, stitch NEEDLEPOINT and watch the New Year arrive in a few days.

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today and everyday the rest of this year! ttfn…sue

What a week!

The old saying, “Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.” is apropos for this week.  This was the week that was…and truly it went by much too quickly…I’d like another, thank you very much. If nothing else was going on this week the weather was beautiful…and I caught a sever case of Spring Fever!

I could barely keep myself inside this week and had the doors open on several occasions…in February! Lucy sniffed every blade of grass in the yard and even wanted to play soccer. From 2 feet of snow on the ground to 70 degrees, love that Mother Nature!…but Jack Frost will be heard from again and not in the too distant future I’m sure.

It was also Valentine’s Day this week. My valentine bought us a picture I have wanted for a long time…Thomas Jefferson painted by Bob Holloway a local artist. I have several of his pictures and love them all. http://www.bobholloway.com/

I also purchased supplies to try needle felting. It looks like fun and something that could be applied to needlepoint as embellishments. I made a ladybug just to see if I could. Since I am not sure yet…was searching the internet last week and bookmarked several stops but haven’t gotten back to them yet. There will be more to come about needle felting I’m sure.

I also picked up a couple packages of rick rack to make rick-rack flowers. Kathy’s blog Shakl http://www.shawkl.com/search?updated-max=2011-02-11T09%3A21%3A00-06%3A00&max-results=10 told how to do them and I thought they looked like fun and something else that could embellish a needlepoint. When I was a the store picking up needle felting supplies I also picked up two packages of rick rack, I didn’t read the blog close before I left home to know which size to buy. I also bought a rick rack that was one sided (painted). I just had to cut my rick rack and make a couple adjustments. It would have been easier with one color but these turned out just fine for my first try.

Also made a large temari ball. I thought I might participate in Barbra Suess challenge but I may not have enough time since I played this week. You can read all about it and see Barb’s beautiful temari on her blog http://temaribarb.blogspot.com/  or her website  http://www.japanesetemari.com/ . But at least now I have one very large temari ball…unstitched

And poor bunny…well, he is still on the stretcher bars. All the black (except ears) is stitched. Started working on the turkey tuff tail but between the nice weather; trying my new projects; and oh yes I am suppose to be doing computer graphics for a teacher (sh-h-h, maybe she won’t notice it is taking me forever) I haven’t made much progress. I tried to stitch six thread lengths a day but I am about 24 threads behind this week…but who’s counting.

And that’s the week that was in the Midwest…and now I’m off to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day. Lucy and I are taking a walk and then we are cooking on the grill tonight. If Mother Nature wants to tease us, we are going to enjoy every moment!

 I hope everyone has beautiful weather too and if you can squeeze it in…time to stitch!  ttfn…sue