Knitting crafts – Bella Knitting Mon, 03 Oct 2022 23:25:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Knitting crafts – Bella Knitting 32 32 Arts, crafts and fabulous knitted letterbox tops being created at Cliffsend Village Hall – The Isle Of Thanet News Tue, 27 Sep 2022 17:00:58 +0000
Arts and crafts being created at Cliffsend Village Hall

Every Monday afternoon, Cliffsend Village Hall is buzzing with creativity.

From knitted and crocheted soldiers, pumpkins, lollipops and a whole range of items for use as letterbox decorations to intricately detailed watercolors and handcrafted cards – the Cliffsend Arts and Crafts Group has it all covered.

Maureen Aslett has been a member of the group for about eight years, but says it’s actually been around for about four decades.

Currently, there are around 11 core members and the group hopes to attract more people, from parents and children to more men, as the artisans are currently mostly women.

Before the covid pandemic, membership numbers were higher, but two years of being unable to reunite means the group now has to rebuild.

Maureen said: ‘The arts group started here almost 40 years ago, then about five years ago the craftswomen wanted to knit and crochet, so the two groups merged.

“We put a notice outside for people to come and join us. There’s no subscription, it’s only £2 for every session you come to and people get a cup of tea and cookies too.

“I like to come because I have a few hours to myself to paint, as well as to chat, because if I’m at home there’s always something else to do.

“We were closed during the pandemic so it was good to come back and see everyone when we reopened and now we just have to increase the number of members.”

On the knitting/crocheting table, the ladies are busy making pumpkins and harvesting everything for the next batch of mailbox decorations. They recently came together to pay knitted tributes to Queen Elizabeth II on her passing. The group had also made royal-themed decorations for the Platinum Jubilee and received a thank you card from the Queen which poignantly arrived on the day of her state funeral.

Member Liz Langston said: “We often knit seasonally, although doing it for the Queen’s funeral was a bit last minute.”

Fellow knitter Ann Townsend added: “We did a little tribute to Captain Tom when he died and for his funeral, it just depends on what happens in the news.

“Then we have the seasons, Christmas, Easter and in the summer we make some for the kids, we even made ice cream and lollipops. Now we’re heading into the harvest.

Artisans, including 96-year-old Christine (pictured above), who makes cards, often sell their creations at town hall morning coffees to fund the group’s coffers of materials and costs.

Everyone is welcome to join, just drop by Cliffsend Village Hall in Foads Lane on Mondays between 2-4pm.

Review: BLACKPINK creates an addictive and varied album with ‘BORN PINK’ Wed, 21 Sep 2022 07:00:00 +0000

Photo courtesy of YG Entertainment

By Jacob Pellegrino 09/21/22 00:20

Rating: ★★★★½

Top Track: “Stop”

On “BORN PINK,” BLACKPINK creates an addictive album that blends elements of pop, hip-hop, and rock, leaving listeners wanting more. Drawn from a wide range of places and forged over years of preparation in K-pop’s trainee system, BLACKPINK has found a unique sound that draws on both the strengths of its members Lisa, Jennie , Rosé and Jisoo, as well as the combined production know-how. from their agency, YG Entertainment, and producer Teddy Park.

For those unfamiliar with K-pop, the closest US equivalent to YG Entertainment’s role in BLACKPINK’s success would have to be Berry Gordy’s Motown Records in the 60s and 70s. based on each member’s strengths and provided assistance with instrumentation, songwriting and artists’ production desires. This system brought musicians like The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder to the forefront of American popular music in its heyday. Motown and similar labels have been major sources of inspiration for many South Korean entertainment companies. This close relationship between label and artist can provide a level of polish and consistency that is often more difficult to achieve in bands that form in a more traditional fashion.

“BORN PINK” kicks off with its debut single, “Pink Venom,” a track that combines a hip-hop beat with traditional Korean instrumentation. “We wanted to relay our identify in the song as much as we could. Since ‘rose’ and ‘venom’ have conflicting images, we thought they reminded us a bit,” Jennie said of the song. “Pink Venom” combines the traditional feminine beauty of the color pink with poison, emphasizing that the girl group’s music will go “straight to your dome” like the titular poison it is compared to.

This is followed by another energetic track, “Shut Down”, which refreshingly samples Paganini’s 1826 violin melody, “La Campanella”. “Shut Down” is a response to the hate received during the group’s hiatus, claiming in the original Korean lyrics that “it’s not a comeback since we never left”. The clip further emphasizes the band’s artistic progression, displaying sets from older videos with doors closing in front of them. The video ends with BLACKPINK entering an elevator as the members continue their ascent.

However, the album isn’t just an embrace of hip-hop styles – in typical BLACKPINK style, they blend a range of genres to create a distinctive sound. “Yeah Yeah Yeah” uses a ’90s rock-influenced guitar riff before expanding the track with synth flourishes. The tight groove of the guitar riff contrasting the over-the-top synth hits make the song, almost entirely in Korean, a particularly fun listen.

“Hard to Love” is an interesting inclusion on the band’s album as it is a Rosé solo. It’s an anthemic track characterized by upbeat, danceable retro-pop instrumentation that sounds almost joyous until you listen to the lyrics, which detail an inability to fully commit to a relationship. This fundamental tension only increases the effectiveness of the song as Rosé warns someone to “keep [their] distance.”

BLACKPINK isn’t just limited to making high-energy songs — they can also pull off emotional ballads, as seen on “The Happiest Girl,” sung entirely in English. The track is about putting on a veil of happiness after rejection, with Jisoo repeating “I can stop the tears if I want” throughout the chorus. The pristine vocal lines throughout the song complement a soulful piano performance to beautifully convey the feeling of masking one’s true emotions to sound happy.

“BORN PINK” is a lush mix of pop, hip-hop and rock with hypnotic vocals and polished production that only gets better after multiple listens. BLACKPINK’s confidence and delivery as a group shows how well they know each other’s strengths and leads to a balanced album that has no bad songs.

]]> Artists celebrate craftsmanship at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival | Community News Sun, 04 Sep 2022 04:15:00 +0000

Fiber artists drank colorful hand-dyed yarns, snapped knitting needles and flipped through quilt patterns at the annual Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival, held Aug. 25-27 at the Double Tree by Hilton at Green Tree.

Avery MacGuinness creates unique dresses from books Fri, 02 Sep 2022 15:53:43 +0000

Avery MacGuinness. Photo by Angie Gray

While studying fashion at school, 15-year-old Avery MacGuinness sewed an elegant and durable dress from the pages of a classic novel.

How to make fantasy a reality? For Avery MacGuinness, just try again and again until you succeed. Combining fantasy, imagination and skill, MacGuinness fashioned two long dresses from book pages. Inspired by the slender silhouettes and grandeur of the novel vanity lounge and executed with tenacity and skill, his tireless efforts paid off.

A sophomore at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, MacGuinness majored in technical theater and worked as an assistant costume designer in the school’s costume department, sewing and helping with other tasks. “[Cab Calloway] focuses a lot on academics, but there’s a lot of arts incorporated into these things,” she says, “especially with tech theater, because you learn from the experience. It’s really fun.”

However, MacGuiness’ artistic pursuits began long before high school. When she was about 4 years old, she lived briefly with her grandparents. “Virtually everyone on my dad’s side can draw. everybody has always made art,” she says. His father and grandfather taught him to draw. Around 5 or 6 years old, she became interested in fashion. It started with fashion sketches, then duct tape dresses for her dolls. In fourth grade, her school offered a fashion class. “It had a very big influence on me,” she says. “I started sewing and trying to do things for myself and for others.”

Born into a creative family and with an affinity for the arts, Avery MacGuiness, a sophomore at Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington, finds her footing in costume and fashion design.

When MacGuinness saw a picture on Pinterest of a miniature dress fashioned from book pages, she was inspired. “I was home due to COVID in January, so I decided to make one myself,” she says. “It was kind of an accident,” she adds with a laugh.

She created the first dress from linen sheets and pages of vanity lounge, the famous 19th century novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. The story emerged in monthly installments from 1847 to 1848 and was published in book form thereafter. Once she started the process, she decided, “I might as well do the silhouette that would have been there when vanity lounge was written.” This period saw full skirts, sumptuous fabrics and elaborate head coverings. “I did a book cap and everything too,” she says.

The dress became Cinderella’s costume in Cab Calloway’s production of In the woods. It took MacGuinness three days (and three long nights, she points out) of painstaking stitching and gluing.

“The dress became Cinderella’s costume in Cab Calloway’s production of In the woods. It took MacGuinness three days (and three long nights, she points out) of painstaking stitching and gluing.

She didn’t stop there, but instead decided to create another, even more extravagant “book dress”. This time his process was simpler. Instead of using linen sheets as a base, MacGuinness used a strappy dress from the 1950s. “It was made of crinoline. … There was a liner in it, so it was good to give it a fuller effect. I also bought a hoop skirt to make it more voluptuous,” she says. She also planned the construction of the bodice with designs and patterns. “I measured and checked that everything was fine, and [that] it was the right silhouette.… I also had to add a lot more detail,” she explains. The pages came from a collection of free books from her high school because, MacGuinness says, she wanted the dress to be made from recycled materials. She also chose the ones with the most faded and yellowed pages for a gradient. “I wanted there to be a kind of fade into more yellow pages at the bottom,” she explains.

Throughout the process, MacGuinness honed his skills through trial and error. “I went through a bunch of different methods,” she says. She first tried to sew the pages by hand, but her punch holes tore and the pages slipped. “Then I tried Elmer’s glue, which wasn’t great at all,” she laughs. Fabric glue was no better. Finally, MacGuinness found success with a gun and about 200 tubes of hot glue.

MacGuiness’ artistic interests include painting, ceramics, knitting and crocheting. She also performed in musicals and learned to play the guitar. At 15, she already knows she wants to pursue a career in styling. “I want to work in a magazine or something like that. And if that doesn’t work…a traveling tattoo artist. Or something like that.”

Related: Wilmington designer Dallas Shaw talks about his personal style and comfort

Artists celebrate craftsmanship at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival | New Fri, 02 Sep 2022 04:15:00 +0000

Fiber artists drank colorful hand-dyed yarns, snapped knitting needles and flipped through quilt patterns at the annual Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival, held Aug. 25-27 at the Double Tree by Hilton at Green Tree.

For nearly two decades, the festival has brought professionals and enthusiasts from across the country to Pittsburgh to celebrate the fiber arts. This year is Laura Regan’s second time hosting the event, having bought the festival from Barbara Grossman in 2020.

Artists celebrate craftsmanship at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival | Life & Culture Fri, 02 Sep 2022 04:15:00 +0000

Fiber artists drank colorful hand-dyed yarns, snapped knitting needles and flipped through quilt patterns at the annual Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival, held Aug. 25-27 at the Double Tree by Hilton at Green Tree.

For nearly two decades, the festival has brought professionals and enthusiasts from across the country to Pittsburgh to celebrate the fiber arts. This year is Laura Regan’s second time hosting the event, having bought the festival from Barbara Grossman in 2020.

When the pandemic hit, Grossman decided to retire, after 17 years at the helm of the festival. Regan, who for years was a salesman and freelance knitting, crocheting and dyeing instructor at Creative Arts Fest, couldn’t let the festival shrink to a ball of yarn.

“There’s a lot of…sheep and wool parties in Ohio, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York. There was nothing in that area, and it’s a crochet market really huge,” Regan said. “I just didn’t want to see it go. I just think our industry as a whole would have had a gap. I didn’t want the fiber community to miss this festival.”

The large fiber arts community turned out in droves. People from as far away as Kentucky and beyond, and as close as Canonsburg, settled in and chatted with other vendors and attendees about their wares and experiences creating with yarn.

“I didn’t expect it to be like this – it’s unbelievable. Nirvana,” said Linda Listing, who hand-dyes yarn and creates artwork at her studio, Ursula’s Alcove, in Canonsburg.

Listing’s passion for fiber arts began years ago when she was an assistant naturalist.

“We taught children how to make natural dyes. I was like, I could do it,” she said.

So she did. Although she’s been a fiber artist — yarn hand-dyed with natural ingredients like tarragon and lemon balm from her garden — for about 20 years, this was her first Creative Arts Fest.

“I just didn’t know it was here,” she said as she surveyed the scene. “Weaving is my passion. I hope to inspire people to weave.

People walked in and out of the Yarns Bits and Bobs truck, a Pittsburgh-area yarn truck (think food trucks filled with soft skeins of colorful materials instead) that debuted at the festival alongside Yarnbyrds.

Fewer than 20 wire trucks exist nationwide.

“North of Pittsburgh, there’s nowhere to buy yarn,” said Julie Pasquarelli, owner of YBB. “I want to fill that need.”

Yarns Bits and Bobs parks at various locations north of Steel City, selling trade fibers from the Shop on Wheels.

As festival-goers eyed the wares outside, Keri Fosbrink stood inside, crocheting at her stand as people browsed her display of yarn in varying degrees of sweetness.

“I do all the dying. Every skein that is here with me is dyed by me. I’m a one-woman show,” said Fosbrink, whose husband encouraged her to open Youghiogheny Yarns in Connellsville almost seven years ago.

While Fosbrink’s business is a one-man show, the artist enjoys hosting classes in his studio and connecting with other fiber enthusiasts at shows and festivals (this was his sixth time at the Pittsburgh Creative Arts Fest ).

It’s “the people,” Fosbrink said. “The face-to-face interaction, being able to talk to them, discuss their plans.”

Conversations – sharing stories, knowledge and role models – are the common thread that connects vendors, teachers and attendees.

Tony Lipsey, a rising crochet star who won his fiber arts crown when his first book, The Tunisian Crochet Handbook: A Beginner’s Guide, was released in November 2021, graciously chatted, signed autographs and posed for photos with fans.

“I learned from my mother when I was a teenager,” said Lipsey, whose mother, Gwen Jones (“I’m a proud mom,” Jones smiles) also attended the festival. “In my early twenties, I just needed a hobby. I picked up crocheting and never really quit.

Lipsey founded TL Yarn Crafts in 2013, and its online classes, patterns, and clothing have grown. In 2017, the effervescent Lipsey quit her day job for a career in crochet.

“It’s the perfect time to be a craftsman,” she said. “The pandemic has slowed us down. 2020 has been a very exciting year to be a crocheter. It’s…become a very creative process again.

Creativity abounded at the SACK (Supporting A Community with Kindness) table, where the nonprofit’s founder, Stacy Wiener, knitted alongside volunteers and festival attendees.

SACK donates soap, packaged in hand-crocheted or knitted soap bags, to local food pantries, homeless shelters, veteran clinics and other social service organizations. Since its inception in 2017, Wiener estimates that over 250,000 bags of soap have been donated worldwide.

“We’re all about dignity,” Wiener said, noting that food stamps don’t cover the cost of toiletries. “The need is there, no matter where the people are. We have volunteers all over the world.

And fiber arts exist all over the world. People from different cities and states gathered in classrooms to showcase their skills. Classes included everything from traditional knitting and crocheting to color theory, English paper drilling and wine glass painting.

“We have polymer clay, we have weaving, macrame,” Regan said. “Usually an artist puts their fingers in a little bit of everything, so this festival offers, from a class point of view, a lot more.

There’s a lot more to come too. The next Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival is already scheduled for August 2023, at the same location.

Until then, fiber vendors, teachers, and artists will hone and develop their crafts, and encourage anyone who wants to “do” to pick up yarn and needles and start creating.

Handmade craftsmanship makes people happy all over the world Mon, 29 Aug 2022 19:08:18 +0000

Since the end of World War II, Japan has earned an excellent international reputation for its quality craftsmanship or monozukuri based on the Kaizen continuous improvement philosophy. However, nowadays companies must also provide value-added products that meet the latest market requirements. As a manufacturer of handicrafts, could you tell us what is for you the essence of monozukuri?

This question covers a really broad topic, so it’s hard to fully answer. From the perspective of the craft industry we are in, we want many people to be able to enjoy crafting (monozukuri). Our company operates under the business philosophy of “making people happy all over the world through handmade crafts”. We want to make people around the world happy and enrich their lives not only with tools and materials to enjoy handmade crafts, but also with information on how to make and enjoy handmade crafts and workshops where people can experience artisanal craftsmanship. We believe that handmade craftsmanship has the power to make people happy and enrich their lives.

Chinese or Korean alternatives exist for these small, everyday products like stationery and crafts, but Japanese manufacturers such as Mitsubishi’s Uniball pens are some of the best-selling pens in the world. other small components that are appreciated all over the world, for example in your company. craftsmanship. Why do you think Japan was able to overcome this tough regional price competition and succeed?

As far as our company is concerned, we are manufacturers, but we strive to have as much contact as possible with end users and listen to their voices. For example, we participate in many local events where many consumers gather to hear directly from our customers, and we use their feedback in the development of our products and various services. In addition, when we place advertisements in magazines, we include the telephone number and email address of our customer service center to ensure that the voice of our customers is heard as much as possible. These efforts require a lot of resources, but they lead to further improvements in our products and services. In my opinion, including in the stationery industry, a sincere attitude towards customer feedback will make our products and services appreciated by many customers.

Japan’s population is the oldest in the world, with 28% already over the age of 65, and it is also decreasing due to the fertility rate which is currently 1.37. This creates two problems, the first being the shrinking domestic market, and the second is that there are fewer talented graduates to hire. What challenges or opportunities does this issue present for your business?

One of the challenges Japan faces is population decline, which may lead to a decrease in the size of the handicraft market. However, the number of people who love handmade crafts is not so large compared to the total population, and we believe that there is still room to convey the joy of handmade products, we so let’s not see that as a major problem for us. In terms of recruitment, it is clear that the competition for employment is becoming more and more intense every year, so we believe that we must actively communicate about our company, our objectives and our corporate culture through advertisements in the magazines, our website, SNS and other means.

In our research, we found that in the United States, over 90% of craft users are women over the age of 65, but it’s still a big business worth over of $4 billion. What steps are you taking to attract a more diverse audience and increase your market value?

There are three important strategies here, one of them is to attract young people. We try to make our designs and products more appealing to them and use more social media such as Instagram to improve the look of our products in a way that will appeal to a younger generation. We also hope to foster the development of channels different from conventional craft stores, such as general merchandise stores, bookstores, pharmacies and home centers, to increase opportunities for direct contact with our products.

Secondly, we would like to expand the scope of crafts we work on, develop and sell DIY-related products as well as existing categories, so that as many people as possible can enjoy handmade products.

Third, in order to increase the opportunities for people to come into contact with handmade crafts, as I mentioned earlier, we exhibit at many events where many consumers gather, not only in Japan, but also in the United States, Europe and Asia. We exhibit at many events in our industry because we are able to share the joy of handmade through the opportunity for people to come into direct contact with handmade crafts. We are also introducing many how-to videos and recipes virtually on our website and SNS.

Traditional craftsmanship is a very old technology that has been around for centuries and revolves around simple craft processes that have remained unchanged for many years. However, in today’s modern world, younger generations are looking for digitization and a way to interact with even old technologies such as sewing with digital tools like an iPhone, for example. What is the relationship between digitization and craft tools? Is it possible to integrate it into your products?

Kinda out of the question, but when fast fashion became popular, many people predicted that the handmade industry would face a tough environment as more and more people would buy cheap fast fashion clothes instead. than making their own clothes, accessories and accessories. other fashion items. However, as a result, there was not so much impact, and after environmental and labor issues were discussed, more people became aware of the importance of embroidering and decorating fast fashion items. , to repair worn or torn clothes and to use them with care. for a long time, and many people started making new handmade items. Many people have also started to take up new crafts.

It is true that digitization is needed in various areas, and we actively promote digitization in our internal business processes, but there are also many people who are engaged in digital detox, where they walk away from digital tools for a time. We believe that digital and handmade crafts will co-exist and thrive even as new digitization efforts are made.

For many B2C companies, e-commerce has grown significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Could you tell us more about this and which of your products became the most popular at this time?

Due to the initial shortage of masks caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, many people started making their own masks, leading many people to continue making handmade masks today . Later, as lockdowns and states of emergency were declared around the world, people spent more time at home and the number of users of video streaming services increased, but likewise the number of people making crafts that they can enjoy at home has also increased. .

Regarding places to buy, the publication of closures and declarations of emergency forced retailers to close or shorten their hours, which increased the number of people using e-commerce sites, and the cottage industry as a whole has seen its market expand.

One of the products in demand during the Corona disaster was the sewing-related products needed to make masks.

You constantly launch new products, such as desktop needle threader, “QUICK” Yo-Yo Makers, Wonder Pins, Wonder Clips and so on. Could you tell us about the uniqueness of some products that you have released recently and that you would like to highlight?

Although it is not a new product, we can cite as an example the “Armure” series of knitting hooks, which are popular in the world market. In addition, the desktop needle threader is also one of our best-selling products. It is a very practical product in which you can simply put the needle inside, press the button and the thread will pass through the eye of the needle. This is particularly useful for the elderly, the main consumers in this industry, since it is particularly difficult for them to manually thread the thread through the needle.

office needle threader

As for the Wonder Clips, we have developed their hardness based on our research, according to the female grip. The pressure needed to pull the fabric together is consistent with the average woman’s grip. It has been less than ten years since we launched this product, but it is also one of the best sellers.

< Clips merveilleux>

Additionally, new products, such as the Wonder Pins, a curved pin that easily grabs and holds fabric for sewing, have also become popular as unique products.

You have been in Los Angeles, USA since 1983 and now have thousands of products available in the US market. Could you tell us about your plans to increase your sales in this market and what other countries are you focusing on to expand your business?

We will continue to improve the quality of our products and services by exhibiting at many events where many consumers gather and communicating with as many customers as possible, including local specialty stores.

As for the countries we focus on, we already sell our products to the United States, Europe, Asia and other parts of the world, but there are still countries that we are not yet in. entered, so we are looking for reliable partners through online communication to determine the best time for our entry.

Imagine coming back on the last day of your presidency and interviewing you again. What goals and accomplishments would you like to have achieved by then?

At the start of this interview, I talked about our corporate philosophy, which was formulated by myself and other volunteer members of our company based on our corporate credo, “Good Products, good people, good company”, which expresses the wishes and ideas of our founder, Toshio Okada. Our purpose is to make people around the world happy and enrich their lives through the handmade products and services we provide. We don’t have a specific numerical goal, but we will make as many people in the world as possible happy through handmade craftsmanship. This is the future I would like to pursue.

Gladwyne Library League Arts and Crafts Show preview is perfect Mon, 22 Aug 2022 13:47:48 +0000

Pictured: From left to right, photographers Kelly Reene (Gladwyne), Alex Lowy (King of Prussia) and Debbie Laverelle (Villanova) stand in front of entries in the photography category.

GLADWYNE- It’s been a minute since I’ve done Gladwyne’s social scene. And yes, Gladwyne has one, although you may need to pay attention to local community signs and posters in order to locate events. Let’s just say we are “small but mighty”. Personally, I long for music and open-mic nights. I have already spotted the perfect place for my chimerical adventure. That, however, is a story for another article.

“I think the power of art is the power to wake us up, to hit our depths, to change us. What are we looking for when we read a novel, see a movie, listen to a piece of music? We seek, through a work of art, something that alters us, of which we were not aware before. ~~Jhumpa Lahiri

Speaking of the 19035 social calendar, I was delighted to meet Anne Foote of the Gladwyne Library League as she laid cheery signs in the floor announcing the annual League Arts and Crafts Fair. I was walking my pup when I met this “hooman”, the aforementioned Anne. We chatted as long as Tillie Rose gave me a break from silence (Mom, it’s my walk time!). Upon the split, it was decided that I would contribute both dessert and event coverage for the show’s opening night.

The party night took place on a beautiful spring evening. I arrived as attendees were streaming into the library’s second-floor meeting room, where the curated exhibit was being held. The room filled up pretty quickly. People were locked in, eager to get out and feel the warmth that comes when food, drink and people come together for a good cause or just because. Add art into the mix, add a wealth of local talent, and it’s a sure bet for great turnout. Attendees gathered in abundance to enjoy light bites, wine and desserts, socialize and enjoy the art.

“The creative adult is the child who survived.” ~~ Ursule Leguin

I thought about what it takes to put together such an event – not just the preview party, but the whole show that lasted almost a week. Anne has been creating show masterpieces for many moons. But she doesn’t do it alone. There is a massive contingent of volunteers who dedicate their time, energy and talent to ensure the show’s continued success. Take, for example, Heidi Cooke, who designed the charming and whimsical centerpiece displays, one of which was placed in the drinks and edibles area. An oval-shaped piece of Plexiglas, fashioned after an artist’s palette, was dotted with circular paint blots and adorned with three brightly decorated paintbrushes tied to the base with bandanas. A splash of paint in the middle with text advertised the show.

Library staff and social media manager Emily Hutchinson designed eye-catching show flyers, while a panel of “distinguished professionals and accomplished artists” served as volunteer judges. Showcasing their individual works in the “Judges Corner”, Peter Seidel, Mickey Shumway, Lisa Herrmann and Alex Lowy made up the formidable creative team of award pronouncers.

Others donated bottles of wine or provided light bites and treats. The restaurant area was colorful and attractive – a work of art in its own right. While perusing the entrees for the show, guests enjoyed finger foods such as fresh fruit, cheese and crackers as well as vegetable dishes and dip. Before show time, curators had hung and arranged the pieces, while art custodians, at varying times, kept a close eye on creative valuables throughout the event. Eva Kay Noone organized the very popular treasure hunt.

Obviously, it takes a whole village and it’s the ultimate labor of love when so many people gather behind the scenes, working tirelessly and energetically to bring this beloved event to fruition. Many others also share selflessly. These collective contributions are greatly appreciated. Residents of Gladwyne and others in Lower Merion Township (residency is a requirement of exhibit entry) show their gratitude year after year by visiting in droves and through donations and contributions that support and benefit the Library League.

“Practicing any art, whether good or bad, is a way to grow your soul. So do it.” ~~ Kurt Vonnegut

To find out more about the League, I did some research and found that it was created to “foster a closer relationship between the Gladwyne Free Library and the residents of Gladwyne.” Its mission is to promote knowledge of the library’s functions, services, resources and needs and to participate in the development of programs that will enhance and enhance these resources and services,” the library’s website states. Funds raised for help “maintain the library’s historic building and grounds and help support the library’s extensive collection of books.” of the library of all ages.

It was exciting to meet the artists and hear them talk about their creations. I enjoyed discovering the inspired stories behind creations such as “Him” by Beverly Kiefer (see photo below). My series of captioned photos following this text is a visual representation of the event. Scroll for a glimpse of the art and artists who facilitate our community’s collective ‘soul growth’ in the ‘Heart of the Village’ (as Gladwyne Library has been called since 1931) while providing cultural stimulation.

One of my favorite places during the curated exhibition is the wall displaying entries in the children’s and youth categories. I am always impressed by the sheer volume of talent on display. This same observation was echoed by a woman standing next to me. She said she expected to find popsicle stick creations, but was blown away by the skill and skill level revealed. I jokingly told her that she should have seen my entries from a previous year which would have easily earned a blue ribbon in any popsicle stick classification.

Another partying gentleman mentioned that he was surprised by the level of mastery shown in each division. Again, the idea that such depth and breadth of incredible artwork can be found comes as a surprise to some. Apparently there is an element of closely guarded secrecy, although the local crowd knows better and more about each passing year than the small village that could do ever did. It wouldn’t surprise me if a future show featured a nationally recognized guest artist giving a speech on opening night.

The categories of featured entries are many and diverse. If it can be created, there is probably a category fit. Plus, the medium! Check out this list: painting, drawing and sculpture (including mixed media and collage), crafts such as jewelry, stenciling, pottery, decoupage, woodworking, weaving, rugs, macrame, basketry , dolls, calligraphy and furniture, photography, fabric art (embroidery, cross stitch, smocking, quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting, yarn art, spinning, felting, etc.) and group projects . Phew: this is one hell of an opportunity for just about anyone to engage in creative expression.

I subscribe to the notion expressed by Kurt Vonnegut, who said that “doing any art, whether good or bad, is a way to grow your soul. So do it.” And I did! For the 2017 show, I developed that soul into the “etc.” category by submitting three headpieces made from materials purchased from a dollar store. None sold (and I didn’t expect either); however, I dissuaded that I was not and kept the photos to prove it. I further perfected my “craft” etcetera and wore one of my creations to a Kentucky Derby party, to be photographed – to my surprise – for the Main Line Times on a carriage ride. Oh, that Kurt. He understands me; he really understands me.

I’ve met so many people who insist they lack any semblance of creativity. I disavow this notion and maintain that we all possess a unique creative self. Maybe next year’s show is already in the planning stages. If you’re a township resident and have always wanted to nurture or discover your inner artist, here’s your chance to harness that creativity well. What do you have to lose? Let go. Wake up and strike your depths. Locate what alters you. And by all means, “grow your soul, good or bad”.

See you in 2023, Maker-willing!

For more information about the Gladwyne Library and to learn about its upcoming programs, visit

4-H fair features animals, artists, crafts and more Thu, 18 Aug 2022 04:00:00 +0000

While the main stage at the Hunterdon County 4-H and Agricultural Fair provides entertainment, such as singers, dancers and more each afternoon and evening, there is much more going on.

The fair runs Wednesday through Sunday, August 24-28, at the Roger K. Everitt Fairgrounds, South County Park, 1207 Route 179 just south of Ringoes, NJ

Entries are sought for the Sewing and Home Arts Show at the fair. Classes cover knitting, embroidery, quilting, crocheting, embroidery, cross stitch, beadwork and metalwork.

Entries must be submitted in person, to the office of Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon, 314 Route 12, Building #2, (same complex as the County Library), Raritan Township on Saturday, August 20 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Just after the fair’s opening ceremonies on Wednesday night comes the Hay Bale Toss; Members and leaders of the Mount Airy Dairy 4-H Club have organized many activities for visitors to the Dairy Barn, and various 4-H animal shows are scheduled each day, including cows, horses, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry and dogs.

New this year is the educational and entertaining Agri-Puppets puppet show, all about farming and animals. Also new is the Space Adventures Thrill Show on the main stage. Acts include acrobats, aerial jumps, a comedy trampoline and “juggling” with the planets (with audience participation).

Main stage entertainment, hosted by former 4-H’er Dan “Doctor D” Torrone of Clinton, includes professional musicians, magicians and comedians, Eyes of the Wild exotic animal presentations, the band of Jug Back Porch, the Lehigh Valley Cloggers, Happy Tappers tap dance group and students from the Rogers Academy of Dance. And 4-H members will take the stage to discuss aspects of their project, such as “How to Weigh and Measure a Horse.”

The Jersey Tenors are the big band on Wednesday night while local favorite Delaware Township farmer Dave Bond and his band Real Country take the stage Thursday night, followed by bluegrass band StoneHearth.

Friday night is a big fireworks display at dusk, during a break from the stage attraction, the Cramer Brothers, a seven-piece country band from Pennsylvania. Saturday night features the Big Horse Band followed by country band Real to Reel.

For the complete schedule of all activities, shows and contests, go to

The best places to buy crafts online Tue, 16 Aug 2022 11:54:00 +0000

Nothing beats a visit to a DIY store! Whether you’re visiting your local store or browsing for craft supplies online, this is a chance to indulge your creative passions by discovering the latest craft trends, stocking your craft supplies, shopping a new craft kit or trying a new hobby, like crocheting. or knit.

But where to start ? There are so many options for buying DIY tools and materials that you can spend hours looking for where to go. Shopping online has made it much easier to purchase specialist craft equipment without needing to go to a physical store and having it delivered to your door means less travel time and more time for DIY projects. craftsmanship – that suits us!

So we’ve put together a handy guide to the best UK craft stores to make it easier for you, some are online only and some have stores too – the question is which are you going to buy first?

Best craft supplies for crafts on a budget:

The works

The Works is a value-for-money retailer selling a huge range of books, arts and crafts materials, gifts, toys, games and stationery. Because their craft supplies are so affordable, it’s a great place to stock up on crafts for kids and art supplies like paints. It also has a decent range of yarns for knitters and plenty of affordable materials for crafts like card making.


Best Crafting Supplies for Seasonal Crafting:
Creative hobbies

Hobbycraft provides all your essential arts and crafts supplies, from arts, crafts and making to baking. They hold a variety of online and in-store workshops and demonstrations, designed to give everyone the opportunity to master a new craft. Whether you’re making crafts for Easter, Halloween or Christmas, they have great ideas


Best Crafting Supplies for Specialty Materials:

Amazon is useful for many things, including crafts! They have an arts and crafts supply store, which offers great prices on a wide range of different arts and crafts supplies. Check out their featured categories which include fabric, canvas, art paper, yarn and yarn and best of all you can often find common crafting materials you won’t find anywhere else such as badge making machines. They are also great for large craft purchases such as sewing machines and Cricut machines.


Best craft supplies for fabrics:
john lewis

Drop by John Lewis for their fabulous range of haberdashery, as well as a wide selection of arts and crafts materials for children and adults such as knitting and crochet kits, painting and drawing materials, kits clay, jewelry making kits, beading kits and craft accessories. which you can buy in store or online.


Sewing enthusiasts never tire of fainting in front of the fabrics of a haberdashery

DenizToprakGetty Images

Best Yarn Craft Supplies:
Love Craft

Seamstresses and yarn crafters will find all their crafting supply needs at Love Crafts, an online craft store and community where you can buy crafting supplies for cross stitch, garment making and knitting.


Best crafting supplies for quick crafting:
Baker Ross

If you enjoy crafting with your family, Baker Ross has endless craft kits for every occasion that are quick and easy to make and often involve painting and embellishing.


Best craft supplies for papercraft supplies:

Scrapbookers and card makers will love The Range’s huge selection of arts and crafts supplies, especially a great selection of papers, scrapbooking supplies, stickers and embellishments.


side view of a closet full of bundles or skeins of rolled up yarn, order in a cold to warm color gradient

So many colors, so little time! Which of these balls would you like to use in your next yarn craft project?

Hans VerbourgGetty Images

Best craft supplies for trending crafts:
Crafts and hobbies

Have you heard of a new job and want to get started? Craft & Hobby offers a wide range of art supplies and useful crafting accessories to get you started on whatever crafts you want to try next.


Best crafting supplies for freelance sellers:

The best place to shop for handmade gifts, Etsy also has a range of arts and crafts supplies, crochet patterns, knitting patterns, and endless yards of yarn to keep your hooks and needles in action. You’ll also be supporting small independent craft businesses by shopping here.


Best Crafting Supplies for Techniques:
arts and crafts

Try your hand at everything from decoupage to glitter making with a wide range of craft kits or browse their brilliant bookstore for all the latest craft book releases so you can get inspired and learn new skills.


Best crafting supplies for crafting tools:
Direct stationery

Papermill Direct have a range of craft supplies to help you with your next project, whether it’s card making or drawing, and their colored pens and pencils are ideal for creating colourful, high quality images. . Their crafting supplies will help you with all your crafting creations, such as cutting mats and scissors.


Best crafting supplies for multi-crafting:
Fred Aldous Ltd.

North of England’s best-known craft store, you’ll find branches of Fred Aldous in Leeds and Manchester. Here you can marvel at the aisles of supplies in their art shop and haberdashery. They also have an online craft store where you can buy their supplies.


Best crafting supplies for equipment:
Makers Superstore

If you’re looking for digital craft accessories and sets, this is Makers Superstore’s specialty. You will also find a wide range of cutting machines and digital scanners.


Best craft supplies for branded craft products:
Create and tinker

Avid crafters will be aware of the many craft brands out there, so if you have a favourite, the best place to shop their latest products and get some great deals is the Create and Craft craft shopping channel.


Best craft supplies for art projects:
Cass Art

You’ll find an impressive range of art materials at Cass Art, from sketchbooks to brushes and pencils, perfect for conscious coloring.