I wandered around Railroad Square last week, up in Tallahassee. Tucked away behind the train station, as you enter there is a sculpture garden atop the most impossibly green grass. A serene space with memorial park benches tempts you to stop and sit a spell, if it isn't raining, which it did most of my visit. Railroad Square is a thriving art park filled with galleries, working studios, shops and the only cafe in town that is built from an authentic caboose.
It was very quiet while we were there but one of the shop owners took the time to explain about First Fridays when everything is apparently hoppin! You can read more on their website if you are going to be visiting Tallahassee and wish to explore the local art scene. There is more than just a college there if you can imagine.
I was drawn there by the lure of spinning wheels and supplies at Really Knit Stuff but once I was inside the shop there were no wheels anywhere! After speaking with the owner, who doesn't enjoy spinning herself, I realized how lucky we are in Sarasota to have a knitting shop that not only carries awesome spinning supplies but has an owner who is supportive and shares our enthusiasm for art yarn.
I am not knocking Really Knit Stuff- it was a cool shop with a nice selection of yarn and some Ozark Mountain handspun but it was not exactly what I was hoping to find- I am just not a real traditional girl- and I have a heavenly art yarn shop here in town- I was just checking out what Tallahassee has to offer. When I go up to visit my son I try to explore the area and love how GREEN everything is there. It makes it seem quite dried up and brownish around the edges here- I hadn't noticed our lack of verdancy until I was there.
I really love these art communities and am reminded of Asheville's Artist District where they have warehouses down by the river filled with studios and shops. I wanted to visit Bacon and Bakin but it was closed. One nice shop we visited was Bali Hi and it was tranquil and overflowing with exotic items from (you guessed it) Bali and Hawaii.
Owner Elaine Grace made me feel welcome and I hope to return there to show her some of my products- I have been busy learning about jewelry making and soldering and repurposing junk into charming eclectic art to wear. I know, how can I be making so many things at once? I just don't sleep- that's my secret!
I meant to post a few pictures of Railroad Square and then move on to show you my recent mermaid and mermen paperdolls I have been making using stamps by Catherine Moore and Kimberly Crick but I wanted to share enough of the RR Square to give you the idea of the place should you ever find yourself in Tallahassee some fine day with time to kill and money to burn.
Several months ago a lovely lady from England named Sophie contacted me via email and after viewing my mermaids on Etsy she wanted to know if I would make some for her wedding. I was flattered and agreed to make her some as well as a few mermen, paper mache boats and fabric flowers for her bridesmaids to wear.
Catherine Moore creates a line of Character Constructions that are acrylic stamps with doll parts in the Victorian style. Kimberly Crick creates a different sort of stamp with beautiful faces and mermaids and fairies. I have written about them before (here) and almost forgot how much enjoyment I feel when making paperdolls with their stamps. I guess I have been too busy spinning and dyeing and off exploring the wool world to be playing with paper, eh?
Ann Wood is an artist who lives in New York and I greatly admire her work, imagination and use of paper and vintage fabrics to create ships, birds, spiders, bats and owls. Several months ago she created a tutorial and pattern for a sail boat and I leaped at the chance to make some for Sophie's wedding. Any excuse to papermache gets me happy and the pattern goes together well and easy. After a few layers of dictionary paper the boats are ready for rigging and sails. Yesterday I worked on making anchors from pencils and cardboard; Sophie is a writer so this is mighty funny and slightly ironic to me. My friend Cheryl came over and made tiny paperchains to add to the anchors.
So, this is what I've been doing...wandering around the state of Florida, looking for a cool breeze and tree to sit under and getting this big wedding order finished. Playing with friends like Gina and Cheryl. Sneaking out to Knit & Bitch. What you been up to? It's mighty quiet around here when I don't come post- I am just so busy lately, my calamities- I do miss blogging everyday and hope to get back to a more routine system- but for now, just know that all is well and I couldn't be happier in my drama free serenity filled artful world.