Sunday, April 24, 2016

Museums & Craft Shows & Thrift Stores, Oh my

I was lucky enough to get into the Big City a couple of times recently for some exciting crafty adventures. Living large... :)

My first trip was to Toronto's Textile Museum. This was a small, easily visited museum in the short time I had to pop over to it after meetings all day. I was most intrigued by the Eutopia exhibit. Unlike a utopia, a eutopia is an ideal but achievable future: the textiles shown were often activist projects or community building ones.

It was so interesting to see textiles used as activist material - craftivism is something I am very, very fascinated by so this was a great show to see. There was a neat interactive bit in which museum goers were invited to fill out a postcard stating their own ideal of eutopia. It looked like cross-stitch but is just a printed card; I like it.

One real highlight for me is that I got to see a real-life painting by Christi Belcourt in this exhibit. She's a wonderful Métis artist whom I recently found as a result of her collaboration with Valentino for their Resort 2016 line. I just love her work, which is inspired by the beadwork and culture of her Métis heritage. (if you are interested in this kind of beadwork, she's also written a book on the subject).   I recommend visiting this museum - they have a wonderful gift shop as well.

april 24 and 25 2015

The next big adventure that I had came thanks to friends who were attending the Creativ Festival in Mississauga and invited me to join them. Thank goodness it just happened to be my day off. I spent a day at this fun event, becoming saturated with colour and fabric and IDEAS! No, I don't need to take on one more crafting habit, but it sure is hard to say no to some of the wonderful things I saw.

I ended up focusing on my latest obsession, and this was the result:

I picked up one or two items at many of the booths I visited and now have a lot of new-to-me threads to experiment with. I was particularly thrilled at the wide choices in cotton perle, and the discovery of some glow-in-the-dark thread! Fun times.

The Creativ Festival also has free sessions you can attend throughout the day, and I was so pleased to meet Sherri of Thread Riding Hood, who was doing one of the presentations. If you haven't visited her blog, you've got to check it out. Tons of fun tutorials and great posts too.

One of the things I was excited about was meeting Maria Rypan of Rypan Designs. She's a Ukrainian beading expert who I've followed online for a long time, despite the fact that I don't do beading (my dad does a lot of it, though). I've always been impressed by her Ukrainian patterns and it was a real honour to meet her and chat with her for 15 minutes about her beading and about Ukraine. I was thrilled to meet her; she's like a beading rock star to little old Ukrainian Canadian me!

And then closer to home this week, I picked up this interesting little bundle at a local thrift store for only $2. It was folded into a small bag, with a tangle of threads on one side. When I opened it up, I was very pleased.

I think I'll finish it. Though I don't have a long dresser to lay it on, I'll find a way to use it. And not only does it come with all the remaining threads to finish the pattern, for some reason, there are 2 cards of ecru floche tucked in as well, one holding the needles that this embroiderer was using to work on this project. Love this.

And speaking of embroidery, I've been neglecting my big project which I started months ago - but finally have made some progress on it. Here's where I am now:

What creative adventures have you taken lately? Share any links or stories in the comments!


  1. Your head must be spinning! So many wonderful things. Great links BTW. I was recently at one of my favorite antique malls. Found a lovely old slip with a crocheted bodice. In mint condition. I was thrilled to pay on $18.00. Enjoy your treasures!

    1. I love finding treasures like that! I've always liked antiques and 'pre-loved' items :)

  2. Glow in the dark thread is one of those things that makes my inner 8 year old so very happy! Thank you for sharing the exhibit info; Christi's work is just beautiful!

    1. Yes, definitely thread for the inner child :) I'm so glad you enjoyed Christi's art -- she is fabulous!

  3. Thanks for letting us in on your adventures in textiles. I loved the Toronto Textile Museum when I visited it and wished we had something similar in the UK. We do have the Fashion Museum, and of course the V&A is wonderful, but they don't have the same focus as Toronto's Textile Museum, which was just like being in heaven, my eutopia in fact! Love the embroidery, I remember my Mum doing similar things. Happy seeing, and embroidering, Trish

    1. Oh, I'm glad you enjoyed this! My dream is to get over to your environs and hit up the V&A.


Share your comments, ideas or suggestions here -- I am always interested in hearing from readers. It's nice to have a conversation!