Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Creativ Festival - Days 3, 4 & 5

(Note: After a lengthy discussion with digital camera, computer and blogger, we've agreed to disagree on the uploading of photos today. Blogger wins, I lose.)

More in the continuing saga of the this year's Creativ Festival.....

Day 3 had me downtown early as a friend had an early class while I didn't. The show floor didn't open until 10AM, so I sat in the lounge and beaded the model (which, incidentally is now finished and on its way back to the magazine! It would have gone last week, save for some back-stitch issues I had to work out with the designer....). When the floor opened I had my first tour around and naturally, picked up some stash....

First I grabbed Jeanette Douglas' special 20th anniversary sampler that she designed for the festival along with the special beaded trim kit that goes with it. It is so pretty IRL. Funnily enough I also have the 10th anniversary sampler in my WIP pile (guess how many years that has sat there???), so naturally I had to have the 20th as well. The 10th anniversary piece was designed by Charland Garvin from Charland Designs.

Next up in my stash acquisition was Dragon Dreams' Santa's Dragon. I was so intent upon picking up this chart that I actually didn't notice the stitched model in the booth until I was paying for my stash. I just needed the chart. Immediately. Clearly, I'm ill.

I did a round of 'business' at the various needlework booths - curiously enough for a good portion of the needlework-related booths I tend to work for the designers as a model stitcher or I was dropping in on my co-workers at A Needle Pulling Thread. I also managed to wrangle myself some more model stitching possibilities for a designer I have admired for years, so hopefully that will pan out at some point.

Business completed, it was time for lunch, another meander on the floor to the areas I don't normally go (I don't knit, crochet, scrapbook or want to buy a chamois) and then it was time for class.

Day 3 - Class: Teeny, Tiny Treasure Box

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

Jennifer brought forth another great creation from her seemingly endless store of cool ideas. We stitched a teeny, tiny little treasure chest on perforated paper. It worked up very quickly and I almost had it stitched by the end of class. Once home, I finished the stitching in less than half an hour and then folded and assembled the treasure chest. To complete our little chest Jennifer also gave us (what else) treasure! Some pretty beads (one that even looks like a little dragon egg) that have left me looking at my bead stash in a whole new way.....


Day 3 - Class: Sleeping Dragon Ornament

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

This piece has to win the cute, cute, cute prize. Jennifer showed us the most adorable little dragon, asleep and clutching his teddy bear. Another fast-to-stitch piece, but that wasn't where the creativity really began. Seeing that our little dragon is sleeping, clearly he needs a bed, right? Jennifer provided us with some felt to build a pillow and another larger piece of felt to make a bed. Then we had some fantastic supplies that we could use to decorate the bed. Sparkly, pretty things. Oh, the possibilities! I got a little overwhelmed with the thought of just what I would do (and it's a tiny thing!), but then decided I needed to meet my dragon before I could make his bed, so I stitched and spent time thinking about how I was going to make the bed. I think I've figured it out, but you'll have to wait to see the finished product!

At the end of the day, I had the great fortune to have been invited for a sleepover at a very good friend's hotel. You would think I was a little kid again - I was *SO* excited. After dragging all my assorted cr*p to the hotel room we went to a little seafood place near the hotel for dinner. We had the most amazing seafood shish-kabobs - swordfish (grilled), scallops, shrimp - oh! Talk about yum-o. I ate till I was ready to burst. We went back to the hotel and got into our jammies and stitched and chatted and caught up and just had the most wonderful time. It was just perfect and a wonderful way to spend time at the festival.

The next morning, however, proved to anyone and all that a) I should never attempt to drive without caffeine and b) that my friend has incredible patience and fortitude. Why, you ask? Well, you see, I don't drive much in Toronto. It is generally something that takes all my wits to manage. Can you see where this is going?

We decided to leave the hotel early and grab some breakfast at the convention centre (the hotel was going to charge an arm and a leg for the simplest of food!)...... I was clearly not awake as I completely neglected to notice what road we were on as we left the hotel parking lot. I was sure that we were on one particular street. Being so mind-numbingly sure of myself (note the lack of caffeine here!), I turned left, then left again, being totally sure I was heading south. Sadly, my brain was *not* functional - I was going North. I drove by some very obvious street signs that (if my brain had been working) would have clued me into the fact that I was, in fact, going in the complete opposite direction that I wanted to be going in. But I was clearly unable to grasp this fact and then spent the next half-hour or so meandering my way through an enormous portion of Toronto. Thankfully my friend didn't shoot me, yell, scream or otherwise become (not undeservadly) hysterical. She finally figured out where the he** we were (and she's not local to Toronto and I am!) and got us to a point where I could manage to get us to the convention centre. I'm an idiot.

I am eternally grateful that my friend didn't shoot me and drop my lifeless form on an unnamed corner next to a homeless person. I certainly deserved it. I think she's still even talking to me. I am an underserving wretch. :-)

After an extraordinarly rushed breakfast (remember, we left early, I got us lost, hence making us very nearly late), we each headed to our respective classes......

Day 4 - Class: Lacis Snowflake

Instructor: Kathryn Drummond of Gingerbread Girl

This class looked quite intriguing from the show brochure and I was sorry that there was only me and one other person in the class. Nonetheless, Kathryn persisted and took us through what I can only describe as a hardanger inspired piece. We satin-stitched a 66x66 box, then did a pulled 4sided stitch on the outside of the box. Next we moved onto cutting every 2 threads inside the box. I didn't manage quite all this in class, but I tried hard.... After all the cutting is done and the threads removed then a series of wrapped bars and dove's eyes create a really pretty snowflake. I do want to get back to this piece as it was simple and fast. I just need to remind myself that I do know how to do dove's eyes.

Once this class was over I had a mad dash onto the show floor - I had forgotten the supplies I needed for my next class!!!!!!!!!!! Doh!

Day 4 - Class: Monster Mix-up

Instructor: Jennifer Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams

I wasn't entirely sure what to expect with this class, but knowing Jennifer, I knew it would be entertaining, if nothing else. We were presented with a bunch of different charts all together - 4 different heads, 3 different bodies and 4 different legs/feet. All we had to do was select a head, body and legs/feet. I worked my way through the head in class, but haven't yet had time to get to the rest of my friend. It was interesting to peek at what everyone was choosing - they were all different and done in different colours as well! We were supposed to bring two different colours of DMC from the same colour family - one light and one dark. I will be using DMC 160 and 161 but the rest of my creation will be secret until it's finished.

I found this to be such an exciting class - there were so many possibilities! I've already got colours picked out in my head for another monster...... But I guess I'd better finish the first one before I start #2!

Saturday night was the banquet which is always interesting. Food was quite good all things considered and was enjoyable. After dinner they herded us (somewhat like errant sheep) back onto the show floor (which was closed by this time) to one of the stages set up on the show floor. We were treated to a knitwear fashion show as it is Vogue Knitting's 25th anniversary. They showed off some very neat and interesting knitwear pieces.

The best part though was at the end when a select group of designers at the festival showed off a number of one-of-a-kind specialty items that they created for the show. They were raffled off at the end of the night. Yet again, I came home empty handed (naturally) but (and this is a big but) my good friend WON! A gorgeous beaded belt/necklace/thing full of swarovski crystals made by William Hodge. It's amazing to look at - it's so pretty! I was so excited for her. I'm not sure the shock has worn off yet..... :-)

Finally we arrive at:

Day 5 - Class: Reflections
Instructor: Anna-Marie Winter

I'm sure by this point Anna-Marie was thinking I'm a stalker as I was in all but one of her classes. What can I say? More silk! More silk!

This piece is done in some beautiful sage-y greens - more silk mori and silk serica. It's a gorgeous piece and if I get it finished, it will look great in my dining room.

It was a full-day class but everyone seemed to have run out of stitching steam (me included) by about 3 PM. Everyone pretty much packed up and left. I toured the floor a bit and then left a little before 5 PM exhausted, happy and glad to go home.

Overall it was a great 5 days. There were some things that I wished had been different and some things that were just fine. I had a great time catching up with old friends and spending time doing what I love most - stitching.


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