There has been a lot of community building lately.  At my daughter's elementary school, we held our twice a year grounds cleanup - with parents, teachers, and students pitching in to make the school sparkle for the new year.  Downtown Ithaca is celebrating the reopening of the Commons after a lengthy renovation project with a two day party filled with live music and family friendly activities.  Look for us down there in front of Sunny Days, bringing our crafty fun to the masses.  

At Craftstitute, we've been enjoying the bonding that comes from learning together.  Erika put on a spectacular indigo class, and I was right there in the middle of it, learning for the first time about this living dye pot.  It's magical, unfurling your scarf after pulling it out of the vat and watching the color shift from light green to deep blue as it absorbs oxygen.  We had a lot of laughs as we tried various folding and wrapping techniques to create patterns of positive and negative.  So much fun.  One person later referred to us as "a sports bar for crafters."  I don't think I can tell you just how much I love that.


The good cheer carried over to the Shrub class this week, with Marc Miller walking students through the steps of creating this vinegar based fruit concentrate.  While the indigo pots were stinky, the perfumes of the fruit had everyone sniffing the air. 

Last night, the sweater knitters held their last class.  While not everyone was finished, we did get to see some sweaters modeled and new techniques were discussed - sewing a zipper on Annie's cardigan, and the beautiful tubular double-rib bind-off for the collar of Gail's sweater.  There was discussion about a sweater club, so we'll be exploring that idea - calling it something like the KITA Knitting Club.  You'll have to guess what that means.



Tonight, Craftstitute is helping out a local institution.  When the pie bee coordinator for the Ellis Hollow Fair contacted us about running a pie class because she couldn't find participants to help make pies because everyone said they didn't know how to mark a crust, we stumbled on the perfect instructor in our last bookbinding class.  Gail Brisson will be taking the mystery out of the pie crust, and class participants will be getting future class credits if they follow up by helping at a pie bee.

This weekend, we've got a full plate and will be scattered.  Lisa will be at the school hosting the magnificent Cal Patch and Maya Donenfeld as they collaborate on their first workshop together - printing fabric and then customizing a design of Cal's for a unique article of clothing.  Erika and I will be manning a table outside of Sunny Days, with some crafts perfect for all ages.  The new Commons is really beautiful and we're so excited to be part of this celebration!  Make sure you come say hello! 

Meanwhile, I hope you've been keeping your eyes peeled for these treats we put together for observant folks.  The good people of Sunny Days have been hiding them downtown for us - we had a lot of fun making them!