I had what Julia Cameron calls an "Artist Date" this weekend.
What's that, you say? Artist Date. It's a real thing :-) It's when you spend time with yourself doing something you love to do. In my busy world, too often I don't allow myself time to just play. Remember when you were little and the whole day stretched out before you? You could do anything, or be anyone, and all you had to do was make it home before dark (or, as they say here, "come in when the street lights go on").
I don't always have the luxury of playing all day any more, and Ms. Cameron says they only "require" an hour. You don't have to spend any money - I've had some pretty great artist dates with origami paper and an hour of time :-D But this weekend was the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair - now in its 4th year. The first year was truly awesome - the second a little wibbly wobbly, but has gotten consistently better each of the successive years. This year, new location, all air conditioned. Yay! Because, as I mentioned, it's hot here . . . sweat through your pants hot. Yeah, I bet you loved that visual ;-)
I decided to take some classes this year. I signed up for two mini-classes on continuous strand weaving. I've taken class for this before, and I actually have two looms already - a 3' triangle, and a 3' rectangle - but these classes were for a 3.5" diamond and a 7" square. Jane Grogan was the instructor and she was very good. I really enjoyed it - in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I spent part of my afternoon weaving more diamonds and made a little amulet bag that is just about ready to felt! I made a woven dish rag, which is really interesting (I wove another one today). Since I have knit my share of them, I was intrigued to weave them - they are thinner in weight - and are in the dryer now :-) We'll see how they come out. (They came out great!)
Anyway - I drove up on Thursday night and got myself settled in the hotel, which was very nice, and the bed was very comfy. I figured that if I was going to get up at the butt crack of dawn, I could at least already be up there and could go to the gym rather than fighting morning traffic on the tollway. It was an excellent plan. Franklin Habit and I were both in the gym Friday a.m., sweating like mad!
Class on Friday morning, with a break for some quick shopping, and then more shopping after lunch. The food this year - not so great . . . oh well, you can't have everything :-)
You (and my stashbusting compatriots) will be happy to know that I only bought 4 skeins of sock yarn, one of which I've been trying to get for a year! I did buy some New England Shetland because it appeared to be a very good substitute for Rowan Donegal Lambswool Tweed and I needed just one more color in that for that Kaffe Fassett coat I'm going to make. I fell for a braid of green 100% Targhee top (I can never resist Targhee - or green it would appear), but that's all the yarn/fiber that came home with me. And really - I think I deserve props for that!
I did, however, find an AWESOME hat that FITS MY HEAD. I have a really big head (lotta brains ;-)). Seriously, my mom's head was 23" and mine is 22 7/8" When I find a hat that actually fits my head, I'm a happy camper. When I find one that fits and is in my colors, well, that's amazing- and when I find one that fits, in my colors, that looks way cute on me, well, that's just awesome, and cause for serious celebration!
Picked up two Lucets for making I-cord (those trident looking things in the upper photo), and got another necklace from Carrie Notari - This one on a domino, with a picture of Klimt's The Kiss - he's one of my favorite painters. And how kewl is it that she custom made it for me. It's a design she's had in the past and I wanted one. Thanks Carrie! I'm jonesing for some of her Route 66 stuff, too. The turquoise bag is the little bag I wove on my diamond loom! And there are some sawdust buttons and a kewl key ring with an exploded diagram of a sock. Everything is sitting in a beautiful ash wood bowl.
I guess what I got the most of this year, were books and patterns. Stuff to break down this stash of mine :-) Plus, the books I got were anywhere from 15% to 30% off, and who can resist a book sale? Not me :-)
There's one other thing I got - it's in that blue bag. It's a rug hooking kit. Everything you need to hook a small star. I have wanted to learn this technique for a long time, and this is a beginner's kit - everything I need is inside except for a frame or hoop, and I have hoops here at the house. I wanted to take class in this technique, but it was at the same time as my other two classes. Maybe next year :-)
My heels and feet gave out around 3:30 or so, and so I sat down and worked further on the diamond loom. It was such a great way to spend my Friday. Plus, it was not nearly as crowded on Friday as it was on Saturday.
I headed back to the hotel when everything shut down around 6. I had dinner and then curled up to finish The Girl Who Played With Fire. I highly recommend this Millenium series by Stieg Larsson - I'm tardy to the party with them, but they are just riveting.
An entire day-long Artist Date. Yay Me!
On Saturday, I spent most of the day hanging with Linda the Chicken Lady and Jamie the Yarnsnob. Ran in to a few more friends there - it's almost impossible not to run into people you know :-) We all headed for home around 3, and I made it back out to my house by about 4:30.
And now, the laundry is finishing and I should already be in bed - sometimes I like to draw out my Sunday nights. This is my last 3-day weekend for awhile, and I wanted to make the most of it. I hope yours was as much fun as mine :-)