Out and About: City Needlework

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Today I popped into City Needlework in San Mateo, CA.

I managed to walk right by the shop twice before finding it! The name of the store is above the large awning, which is perfectly visible from the street and the other side, but just walking by on the sidewalk, not so much. The window is full of painted canvases, but somehow my eye glossed over them while looking for the name and address number.

It’s a smallish shop, but packed to the gills with beautiful painted canvases and fine threads. Like the other local crafting stores I’ve been to, there was a table at the front where you can come and stitch a while; a woman was there working on a piece today, in fact.

They did not carry perle cotton, so that part of my expedition was a bust, but I was soon enchanted by their silks and other threads with various textures and effects. Upon finding out I was an illustrator, I was helped to some blank 13-pt canvas to get started with a basic project of my own design. (Very exciting for my wallet, since those beautiful painted canvases come with a price tag of appropriate artistic compensation.)

I didn’t have anything in mind to start with, but I chose three colors I liked together and added black and white just in case.

Silk threads from City Needlework.

I’m planning to start with a simple bookmark design and go from there. I made a brief foray into needlepoint in the past, but I made the mistake of choosing a poor quality craft thread and was a little soured by the experience. I am confident that this will go much better. :)

On the way home I was already thinking about the project after this project, maybe something involving sweets because I love them and if I can’t eat them, I might as well make art with them. And I want to go back to the shop and talk with the ladies a little more!

What I learned today: I love shiny things! (Okay, maybe this wasn’t something I learned today but it was really apparent in the shop.) I need to try something with metallic thread ASAP to scratch this itch.

P.S. With regards to the perle cotton, instead of heading out this weekend to go to Jo-Ann Fabrics, I decided to just buy it on Amazon. I figured that way I’d be less at risk of another big craft store trip. ;)

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