Well, Johanne's opening for the studio and store at her L'Ourse Qui Danse ranch went wonderfully. It looked a bit like rain, but ended up being great weather - very important for anyone wanting to go say hi to the alpacas!
I hadn't seen the studio since before they started fixing it up, so I remembered it as a cement-floored, ladder-to-the-loft, cobwebby outbuilding. I got updates on the progress of the renovations, but still, you never know quite what to expect until you see the results. Let me show you the new look!
You drive up or walk up, and see the front of the studio.
Then you get to the honey brick doorstep, and open the door. The main floor is divided into two parts, with the store area right in front of you as you walk in. Racks and antique cupboards hold alpaca yarn and products from the ranch.
As you walk in to see the things at the back, the space opens out on your left into another room with stairs against the back wall. This is the workshop/social sort of space - cozy, furnished with chairs, a table if needed, and the makings of tea on the antique stove at the corner, and two windows, one looking out onto an alpaca pasture. I spent the day spinning in the corner by the window, where you see my wheel.
Up the stairs there are more alpaca things on the wall and on the landing, then you enter the studio space, with looms and equipment.
It's a super cozy, homey space, and I think a lot of the people who came felt that also. Granted, quite a few people knew either one of the ranch team or other visitors, but it really seemed more like a party than a store opening. There were snacks and drinks, and people chatted and admired, and signed up for classes - and I don't think anyone just came, toured, and left. I swear most of them stayed for at least 2 hours.
The only drawback to the day was my cold. 7 or 8 hours of talking - or croaking - to people (mostly in French) and spinning proved to be tiring, and by the time the guests were cleared out and we all had a chat about the day, I was definitely not up for my cousin's reception. Mom and I went home and had tea and supper, and I tried knitting a bit, but I was falling asleep. So, rather amusingly, the parents got dressed up and went out to party, and I said goodnight, have fun, and rolled into bed at 9. It proved a good call - I was able to garden all day Sunday!