I know, I know, I just was on vacation. But we'd planned this play day a while back and so I drove up to my sister's yesterday for a fun day. As usual, we combined errands with the fun. On my way north, I got my suitcase zipper fixed--while I waited and for less than I'd expected! The Corner Cobbler was a bit of a trip, but they're one of very few authorized Samsonite repair experts. The Corner Cobbler 404 W. Railroad Kingston, IL 60145 Tel: (815) 784-4452 Fax: (815) 784-4453. They do all sorts of leather and shoe repair work, too.
Once at my sister's, we discussed recent projects and WIPs and our plan (what things we wanted to to balanced by things that needed to get done) and then set out. Before the day was done, we'd been to dozens of places. Some of them just for fun.
The weather was weird. It was overcast and humid. In the car with the windows down it was very chilly, but with them up stifling. Some shops were steam baths, others freezing. But a little thing like weather won't put us off shopping and having fun.
We went to a new place (to me, at least) in Geneva called Nosh. They don't have a website but it's a great place for lunch. They also serve breakfast all day. On Metromix I learned they also serve dinner some nights. I had a trio of crabcakes and my sister had a chicken salad wrap (or perhaps it was a pita...it was flat). Yummy! And, best of all, Nosh is right across the street from Designer's Desk. Well, of course we had to go in and, of course, we found some great bargains. (I got a half-price Lorrie Birmingham kit for a counted and stumpwork lid for a small basket and some threads--you can't not buy threads at Designer's Desk. There are just so many they jump at you. really.
At Designer's Desk we saw a shawl pin, nice but not quite what we wanted, but that reminded us it was on our list of things we were looking for (do you have one of those, just kind of a running list of things you'd like and you kind of scout for them whenever you're in a place that might have them?). So we walked around the corner and went over to Wool and Company. Wow!
I'd seen their ads and checked out the blog but that didn't prepare me for this lovely large store. And my sister found her shawl pin there. I found a few little pewter charms with words (joy, love, hope, and made with love).
We stashed our stash in the car and headed over to Fine Line Creative Art Center (above, on our gloomy day). I have a long-standing relationship with the place that is mostly in my head. I visited there at a trying time in my life and found a wonderful sense of peace. Since then I've watched their progress from afar, as they moved from a wondrous idea to a full-fledged center for the arts. They now have two lovely galleries, the classes offered are enticing, and their store is large and full of great stuff.
I remember many early classes focusing on art as healing and art for insight. They'd have pajama-party style retreats, sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor, providing time and peace to focus inward. They've broadened their scope and where I remember a few looms is now a large room full of a variety of looms and related tools. There's a patio full of raku kilns, large airy classrooms for painting, glass, fiber arts of all types, calligraphy, book and paper making, you name it. If you're in the area it's definitely worth checking out. As I've told myself many times over the years, I need to also translate my mental relationship with this place into a more real one--and actually take a class. (I've tried a few times (it's about a two-hour trip for me so scheduling's hard) and either the class has been full already, the date changed and I couldn't make the alternate date, or not enough people signed up and the class was canceled--so it kind of seemed fated that it would just remain this haven in my mind.)
The sun has already changed and I don't have light for morning photos any more--I need to switch back to taking lots of pix on the weekends. But, then, I've been out every night this week, so I haven't done much stitching. The cutwork ornament is assembled and trimmed. I'll take a photo this weekend. I've knit a few entrelac squares and made and ripped a lucet cord a few times (I go along fine and then I get a lump I don't like so I rip it out and start over...it's good practice).