Yeah, who knew? I was well aware of the bakery treats to be had in Stoughton, not to mention the cheesey goodness. And I was familiar with the secondhand shopping opportunities as well. But Sachi and I went there today on our field trip day and found great crafty inspiration that I thought I should share with you. This is by no means an exhaustive list (I also got a great vintage suitcase for display at the shop from St. Vinnie's and three dresses at the Goodwill that we stopped at on our way out of Madison), but these are my three craft-related highlights from the day:
1. Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts. We happened to park on the street right in front of this place and were drawn in right away. I must say, there is something about Nuno felting that really appeals to me. I haven't done any felting at all, but this tempts me greatly. The shop is filled with felted creations and supplies and I've already put it on my Christmas list... and not just for myself.
2. Diakonos Designs beads. Considering that we've put off our trip to Vintaj brass in Galena for warmer months, this was more than enough to satisfy my beading needs. The store is packed with pretty much anything a beader would want, including an interesting array of clay beads that were very tempting. I always like to see the way that individual store owners affect the composition of the store. It might seem that a bead store is a bead store is a bead store, but there are definitely some that stand out. I would count this store among them. They had some inspiring created pieces, a great set-up for stamped charms and workshop options. I came home with some drilled river pebbles. I know, I know, I could do that myself. But it isn't something I've ever done before, and, honestly, I'm just fine to pay someone else to do it. I love what contemporary jewelers are doing with river rocks and I'm looking forward to making earrings - a pair for myself and maybe some for the shop, too. Just a warning, if you are feeling strongly atheist (or just anti-Christian), you might want to wait to make a visit until you are at least feeling a little more pluralistic. Those who are paying attention, might have known that upon seeing the name of the store but my church education is a little slim on such matters. It is unfortunate that the Christian Right has tainted the image of the cross and scripture in my mind - I automatically brace myself for some tirade which I consider unChristian when someone comes across strongly as Christian, even though I myself, consider myself Christian and reject the way that we allow the Christian Right to dominate all Christian conversation, to the point where someone else might say that I am coming across as too strongly Christian. Such a tirade was completely absent from this store, but there was a LOT of Christian imagery - just in case that is something that makes you uncomfortable, I don't want you to accuse me of sending you there without warning.
3. Saving Thyme fabric shop. Ah, if you only knew how many yards of fabric have passed through these fingers. Just like with bead shops, not all quilting fabric stores are created equal. In particular, each owner tends to reflect their strengths or interests as related to color. I am NOT a muslin/homespun type of girl so I've met with disappointment on occaision. This little quilt shop wasn't packed, but I found several pieces of fabric that I will turn into headbands so I'd definitely say that there was more in my particular area of interest than I expected. They also had an assortment of batiks I would have found appealing... if I didn't already have more batiks at home than I have time to sew. I did almost bite my tongue to keep from interjecting while a customer asked for advice on a quilt that she was making. She was working on her first quilt but didn't have it with her and was asking for recommendations for borders. From my own personal experience, of oftentimes missing the mark on borders, I really think that she should bring the quilt in to pick out the borders. But then again, I'm the type of person who has to see a thing in person. I'm sure that whatever she picks out will be fine. Right?
(Sorry that I don't have a picture of my fabric. It's already waiting in the cold water wash laundry basket at my parents' house).