Thursday, May 06, 2004

Bowie Folk Art Studio: A Mini-Review
On Wednesday nights from 6-9, the former Year of the Rabbit Cafe, now Folk Art Studio addition (6700 Race Track Rd in Bowie, MD), stays open from 6-9pm for free knitting lessons. Since it's only about 20 minutes from home, and an opportunity to knit with other knitters, Tim drove me out to check out the environment.

The Folk Art Studio was the pottery place next to YOTR, and now encompasses both spaces, for a lovely, large creative space, wtih built-in coffeebar/deli setup. Creativity oozes out of every space, with most surfaces either hand painted, decoupaged, or both. The furniture is partly leftovers from the cafe (small tables, boring restaurant-type chair) and partly flea market makeovers. Lots of goddesses and earth tones abound, showing off the creativity of those involved with the store -- I'm pretty sure that most of the artwork was done by owners/stakeholders in the cafe, who also do commissioned pieces.

I had run into owner (?) Kathy at MD Sheep and Wool Fest, as she chatted with the Koigu distributors at their booth. I recognized her Folk Art Studio shirt and introduced myself. When I arrived yesterday, she recognized me and remembered my name. Very impressive, considering the craziness of the fest. She exudes a friendly business owner aura, and was patiently teaching a couple of new knitters how to start their first projects, while also answering questions of her staff (mostly enthusiastic young adult types, who are likely working in exchange for food and fiber), warning teenaged boys that the bathrooms were for paying customers only, chatting with everyone who came in, and otherwise multitasking in the way that I'm sure any new business owner has to. She mentioned that they were working on getting a webpage up, as well as getting wireless internet, and booking bands to play on weekends. Ambitious stuff.

The yarns are all pretty high end, and largely novelty type stuff -- lots of Colinette, Fiesta, and more eyelash yarns, handpaints, chenilles, etc. Standby Lamb's Pride Bulky was displayed in lots of colors, at $7/skein. The yarn selection is small, but displayed fancifully in cupboards and other household-seeming spaces. I wouldn't be surprised if I returned someday to find a decoupaged claw foot bathtub full of yarns (one of my favorite displays in the Knitter's Stash book). There were a few patterns, a few finished pieces for sale, some needles (mostly Brittany, and Susan Bates, I think). I didn't get too close of a look, since I'm on a yarn diet after last weekend, but it's very pretty and inspiring. The beverages were lovely - I had a bubble tea and Tim had a chai. No complaints there. We'll see how their mochas stack up some time later. Desserts looked good, but I'm also on a food diet of sorts after the two huge orders of fries and bag of kettle corn, also courtesy of Sheep and Wool.

Overall, I think it may be trying to be too many things at once and that makes me nervous for it, but it's a nice place to hang out, and I'll probably keep visiting. I think the posted hours were Monday-Friday 10-8, and Saturday/Sunday 10-6. They're planning to host a grand opening of sorts and do more advertising by Memorial Day weekend, but they're there already, so check it out!

(Incidentally, this was also the most recent post in my livejournal knitspace. I'm still deciding whether I'd rather post here or there or both, so bear with me).

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