Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creative Festival 2013

I'm back! Well I got back on Sunday, but I've been down with a cold so it took me longer to unpack everything and take pictures.

First off, I will definitely be going again next year. It was really fun to be able to stitch the same project with other people. Being the youngest in the classes, I still have a lot to learn and, it was a great experience to talk to the other ladies and learn from them. For example, I finally learned how to knot a thread :D, which is something I tried learning from videos but couldn't get.

So I'm not going to post pictures of the kits I got from the classes since I'm not sure if it would be okay, but I will tell you what I thought of each class. So first thing Friday, I had "Introduction to Needle Painting" with Carol Arsenault. All the other students in the class were beginners so we were all at the same level (no one got bored lol). What I did find was the class was way too short for this technique. It is not something that is easy to learn and requires a lot of practice, time and patience to get it right. Carol Arsenault had a booth and was selling some amazing patterns, some of which were stitched entirely in French Knots. I decided to get one of the smaller kits. She promises that by the end I will be able to make a perfect French knot lol.

French Knot Flowerpot Pincushion
At the end of Friday, I had a presentation class called "What to Look for in Yarn" with Lily Chin. Although I don't knit (yet), the class was very interesting and Ms. Chin is an amazing presenter. We learned the difference between different yarn weights, where they come from and how they are used. She even gave tips to identify mystery yarn. She has a book called Lily Chin's Crochet Tips & Tricks: Shortcuts and Techniques Every Crocheter Should Know (she also has the same book for Knitting) that I will definitely buy.

The third class I had, held on Sunday, was "Tiny Fantasy Kingdom Over 1" with Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams. I already have experience stitching over 1, but I couldn't help myself from taking this class. It was a lot of fun and Jennifer is really interesting to talk to. When I walked into class, a volunteer from the festival came directly to me calling me by name. It turns out I wasn't the last person on the list to get there, but I was the only person whose face she didn't recognize. It seems that a lot of the ladies who were attending have been coming to the festival for years and taking classes with Jennifer. Jennifer was also teaching 4 other classes this year and had some kits leftover. So I also brought home a kit from one of the other classes called "Blackwork Knight", a companion to "Blackwork Princess" which I will definitely have to buy.

My last class at the festival was "Sashiko: 2 Styles in 1" taught by Alma Laidaw who is the owner of Sew Fancy. I took this class out of curiosity, I saw a lot of really nice pictures on the Internet and found the designs lovely in their simplicity. So when I saw the class listed in the catalog I decided to try it out. Again this class wasn't long enough for all the material Alma Laidaw had to teach us. By the end of it, I decided that although I really like the results from Sashiko, this is probably not for me (at least for now). I will however try and finish the kit that I got from the class.

Now to the fun part =D. Here are pictures of what I brought back from the festival. We had tickets for Saturday and Sunday and shopped both days. Now although there weren't that many needlework booths there, it was still hard not to buy everything I saw. I did try to shop in moderation, but then I kept telling myself winter is very long and I'll need something to keep me busy.

From Sew Fancy I got some good needle threaders, Clover tatting shuttles and my sister asked me to get here the threads. It's called Floche and is 100% Egyptian cotton (and super expensive). Knowing what she might do to it, I almost don't want to give it to her.

Linda Lachance of Northern Pine Designs had a booth where I bought the kit for this gorgeous butterfly. I'm jumping the gun getting another needlepoint kit when I haven't even started the one I already have, but it's so pretty. She also had other designs on display featuring snow and winter in general, all gorgeous and sparkly. But I had to stop myself from buying them. We don't celebrate Christmas, so there would never come a time when I would be able to display them.

She was also selling off some of her old stash.

X's & O's was one of the few stores featuring cross stitch work. They had this pattern stitched and on display at their booth and it was gorgeous (I know I'm using this word a lot lol). So I bought the pattern and specialty thread and beads, I'll get the fabric and DMC thread later. The fabric on the left is Hardanger fabric (another technique I've been meaning to try).

Here are 4 more kits. The Damask Rose kits (needle book and scissor fob) are from Ruach Crafts and the two Dimension kits are from Mary Maxim who was holding a 2-for-1 sale.

There were many booths that were selling supplies of all kind for quilting, sewing, embroidery,... I took the opportunity to buy a few things I wouldn't be able to find in Montreal. I also snagged this D.I.Y. embroidery kit by Kiriki.

Another booth was selling craft books of all kinds. On Friday, I saw two ladies looking through this book and was disappointed to find that it was the only copy. They said they were going to buy it, so I figured no loss. Now that I know what it contains I'll just order it from Amazon. Imagine my surprise when I pass by on Sunday and find the same book on display in front of the cash register (with a shorter waiting line).

There were so many booths selling knitting yarn, that I couldn't help myself. I don't knit, but it was such a good opportunity to buy nice thread for the day I do decide to start knitting. The three ball of light purple yarn (it's actually shiny) and the book are from The Wool Boutique (50% off). The turquoise yarn is from Stix and Stones Yarn Boutique. The knitting needles, threader and purple yarn is not from the Creative Festival. My sister and I got the chance to see Toronto, and I made sure we made a detour by Lettuce Knit while in Kensington Market.

That's it from the Creative Festival. But we didn't spend all of our time there. We had dinner at the CN tower in the 360 restaurant Friday night and went shopping at Yorkdale on Saturday. With all that, there wasn't any time to work on the stitching project I brought with me, so no update pics this time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Almost There

I'm back to stitching Peacock Tapestry. Every time I think of stitching something else, I look at it and think "just a little more". I've finished the peacock's tail on sections 8-9, I've moved up to sections 5-6. I will be glad when all the blending filaments are in (there are only 3 symbols using it in the pattern). I like the final results but can't stand working with it.

Before (2013/09/25)
I'm looking at when I took the before picture and a month passed in between. Once I'm done stitching the tail (up to where the green part of the peacock stops) I'll go back and fill in the eyes.

Only 4 more days till the beginning of the Creative Festival.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

New Experiences

In my last post I mentioned a huge stash enhancement possibility in the near future, but that is only part of it. I am participating in 2 new things this year.

The first is starting this Saturday. I signed up for Tatting classes at Boutique La Maillerie (which is located inside Machine A Coudre Excelle). It's 4 classes on alternating Saturdays. I'm still not sure what kind of tatting it will be (i.e. shuttle or needle) but I'm very excited to start. I've already started looking at tutorials online. I found this very good blog about shuttle tatting called Tatted Treasures.

The second is not starting for another 9 days and will mean that I will be out of town for the weekend (impromptu vacation ^_^). Some people might guess since they would also be counting down the days till it starts, it's the Creative Festival which is hosted in Toronto. I found out about this festival last year but it was too late for me to attend, so this year I made sure to note it on my calender and I've been following their blog to keep up to date on what will be happening.

I won't be going alone, my sister decided to join me and we decided to splurge. We booked plane tickets to Toronto (Hurray for Aeroplan miles!), reserved a hotel room and bought 2 bronze passes so we'd be able to register for workshops. My sister went Zentangle all the way (something she is regretting right now thought :P), while I obviously went all needle arts. I'm doing: "Intro to Needle Painting", "Tiny Fantasy Kingdom: Over 1" (this is a cross stitch workshop with Jennifer Aikman-Smith) and "Sashiko: 2 Styles in 1". What I really can't wait for is the show floor, which will be like a mini mall of all things crafty to try out and buy.

One thing I've already started doing is looking into embroidery/knitting/crochet stores in the Toronto Area. We have Saturday free, we will probably use this opportunity to go to Korea Town and maybe Kensington market, but if I can find a shop in the area I want to try and go there. If anyone knows the area and has some suggestions please let me know.

Update 2013/10/18: I just found out that my tatting class was cancelled :( Apparently some people either cancelled or couldn't make it for the days the classes are scheduled to start on. So they had to postpone and the owner couldn't tell me when the class will be rescheduled for. Oh well, at least I still have Toronto. Only 8 days left!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Stash! Finally!

It's been more than 2 month since my last stash acquisition (I've been very good), but I couldn't help myself when I saw this Cameo needle minder by Elizabeth Turner Collection at The Nimble Needle. And while I was at it, I saw what else would catch my eye. The store mainly specializes in canvas needlepoint, but they did have a few cross stitch kits that were cute. I decided on "Spring Blossoms Welcome" by the Sweetheart Tree and the owner was kind enough to throw in the custom cut mounting board, to finish the ornament, for free ^_^

Now, except for this minor lapse, I'm going to try and stay good and not buy anything at all to prepare for an even bigger stash enhancement opportunity that will be coming very soon. In 2 weeks to be exact! More on that in a later post.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October TUSAL

My October TUSAL is a little late this month. It's a mishmash in there this month. Some crochet thread from the pincushion and doily, thread from Bramble and the Rose. Most of it is from Peacock Tapestry which I am back to working on as of this weekend :) I am now working on both sections 8 and 9.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the Mood for Crochet

When I made that pincushion I realized how much I missed crocheting. I decided to pull out my huge ball of Aunt Lydia's thread and pick out a doily pattern.

Here's how it turned out:

This is Petite Pineapple Doily, a free pattern by Priscilla Hewitt. I am happy to say that the size came out exactly what it should, and it's so pretty.