Have Ewe Any Wool?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Fascinating Architecture.....and a Few Memories

The Blue Beaker is a wonderful and eclectic shop on LaSalle St in Ottawa, Illinois.  They have a fabulous variety of fair market trade items - sandals,jewelry, clothing, tea, gurgle pots...too many things to mention.  Plus, there is hand-crafted soaps (made by the owner), luscious hand crafted lip balm in a fabulous variety of flawors AND yarn!   What a fabulous mix of so many things that I love!!!  (And yes....of COURSE I bought some yarn!)

I had a fabulous time there - shopping and taking part in their knitting night - every Wednesday evening starting at 6 pm.  The night I went, there were 4 of us.   Everyone was very friendly and I instantly felt at home.   They had a great yarn selection at the back of the shop - great way to spend a Wednesday evening!

I even came back later in the week...to purchase more hand crafted soap and to do "show and tell" of  the finished baby blanket.   There were a couple of potential knitters in the shop...and the blanket was the perfect "conversation piece" to show them some of the variety of items that can be created with just a "couple of sticks and some string"). 

While I was there, I also demo'd drop spindle spinning to a couple of customers that were in the store.    One of them had some alpacas and really wanted to learn how to spin....so hopefully I've "jump started" that part of her crafting-career!    She even took a little video of the process so she wouldn't forget how to do it.   If you're ever in the area, I definitely recommend that you stop in - you won't be disappointed!

One of the things I really like about this shop is the memories of days past.  Years ago, the shop space was a men's store.   The main floor was the sales floor.  There was no cash register on the main floor.   Instead, the sales payments were sent via a tube up to the upstairs where the accounting/cashier person was located.   Any change/receipts were then sent via that same tube back down to the sales clerk.    (The upper section was preserved and can be seen in the photo below.  It's basically a wide balcony at the back of the store....you can see the room dividers.)

The other thing I just LOVE about the shop is the ornamental pressed tin ceiling.   They are so elegant and represent so much incredible craftsmanship!  There were two main patterns  - a medallion like pattern...

.... and a repeated squares pattern.

The lights (chandelier) were suspended from one of the medallions as well.I just LOVE looking at the ceiling.   (There's something about old buildings and old barns that absolutely fascinates me!  I took a lot of barn pictures this past August....I need to get them displayed too!)


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