I’d arrived early before the gates had even opened. The sun was shining and my festival ticket was in my hand. The queues were already starting to form and I was anticipating the chatting and shopping ahead of me.
The venue had a huge hall filled to bursting with lots of spinning wheels, wet felting, a table loom and lots of beautiful wool art pieces (many of the artists will be participating soon in Bucks Arts Week).
As part of the Feltmakers ‘team’, I was kept busy, setting up our stand and teaching wet felting ‘make-n-takes’, however, it wasn’t long before I was distracted and started chatting to the other exhibitors – easily done! Continue reading “Working with Wool – Green Dragon Eco Farm”
The wonderful Autumn weather brings with it the most vibrant colours and those cool, blue, crisp days. It’s at this time of year that I start to retreat into the sewing room and rediscover textile projects, some long forgotton, that need a little tweeking or finishing.
My latest thing is mounting work in anticipation of new hanging space in my home, and a fast approaching deadline for a local quilt show,
Some pieces have been moved around my sewing room for so long, the thought of having to frame them has made me really focus on ‘how to finish’ the piece. I’ve sourced some fabulous white frames and I’m now on a roll. Continue reading “Hares, Hearts and Hexies”
Thought I’d join in the WOYWW gang today, for ‘What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday’.
This yummy, vintage sewingbox has been languishing under my sewing table for some time, feeling a bit neglected and waiting for a little TLC. The legs are wonkey, screws are missing and this Little Lady needs a bit of spit and polish.
Our journey together started when I visited a local charity warehouse for my weekly rummage.
I discovered the adjoining unit had been taken over by a house clearance company who’d piled lots of rubbish outside just waiting for a skip – or me!
I couldn’t resist a look. I spotted the handle of a sewing box! I popped inside and asked if I could have it – “yes, it’s waiting to be skipped”. I picked it up. My heart was racing because it was so heavy – always a good sign of treasure. When I got home, the bottom tray was full of vintage knitting needles and the rest were lined with buttons! Happy me.
Since then, the sewingbox has been waiting for a makeover, so I took out my trusty screwdriver.
Unscrewed. Dismantled and piled up all the parts.
This little Lady was filthy.
Out of the kitchen came the microfibre cloths and anti-bacterial cleaner and I started scrubbing.
So much dirt!
That little bit of elbow grease has made such a difference!
I’m so happy. My postman delivered the replacement screws today.
No more wonkey legs for this Lady.
As of this morning, this is what’s on my workbench.
The sun is out and I’m pondering the next stage before I reassemble.
Whatever the weather, there’s plenty to do in Bath.
Me and my chum had been planning a day out in Bath for ages and we’d hoped for some glorious sunshine. On the day we visited it was cold and raining, but that didn’t curb our enthusiasm for a fabulous day out. After lunch in Cafe Lucca we went rummaging around the streets looking some for vintage shops and found the most wonderful Vintage to Vogue, tucked away down an alley, and very close to the Fashion Museum.
After another cup of tea (we like our tea), we popped into the Fashion Museum for some more vintage treats. Lucky us! There were two exhibitions on – the History of Fashion in 100 Objects and Lace in Fashion. Here’s a browse through some of the treats we spotted on our visit.
Gorgeous garments dating from the early 1600’s onwards.
All hand embroidered and hand stitched. The workmanship’s breathtaking.
Dresses from the Georgia Period in the 1700’s.
These Muslin dresses of the 1800’s.
A beautiful printed cotton day dress dated around 1860.
An embroidered Dolman – part coat, part cape, dated 1870.
A gorgeous, embroidered silk bodice and skirt dated 1865.
Fabulous vintage ‘fashion on a ration’ 1940’s pieces.
The Lace exhibition was a smaller curated selection of the most exquisite pieces, ranging from historical to contemporary catwalk couture.
Examples of bobbin lace, tatting, crochet and many other forms of lace are on display.
I never knew there was so many forms of it!
And to finish.
I fell in love with this little number from Alexandra McQueen.
If you’ve enjoyed my edited highlights, then pop along to see the other beauties on offer – vintage embroidered gloves, tiny shoes and there’s also some lovely outfits you can dress up in too!
What a wonderful visit to Brussels! – something to tick off my bucket list.
I love a good city break. Each place I visit I like to do some of the usual touristy things, then go hunting for something that’s a little bit off the beaten track that makes the trip my own. My Brussels’ highlights included chocolate, beer, an Orange Tour and of course some textiles shopping. Here’s a few things I can recommend.
Starting with a little bit of shopping. I found some scrummy vintage textiles sold by the kilo at Melting Pot Kilo – including baskets and baskets of vintage embroidered linens. Make your selection from all kinds of vintage goodies – clothes, shoes, handbags, coats, and textiles. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasure.
On Rue Blaes – on the way to the famous Marolles flea market – there’s a yummy Mid-Century furniture shop and several eclectic, vintage clothing stores. I loved the curated collections of pieces in these shops – lots of inspiration, nice pieces and nice prices. It was such a contrast to the jumbled chaos waiting for me, at the flea market just meters down the road. Marolles Flea Market at La Place du Jeu Balle is on everyday 5am-2pm. I arrived at 8.30am and spent a good 2-3 hours rummaging – there’s treasure to be found, but it takes time, patience and lots of haggling. There’s plenty of cafes in the square, so you can take a break and rest your legs before returning to the rummaging. Lots more about my visit here on my previous blog post.
When I’m not rummaging, I like to look around for inspiration. Around every corner there’s a new surprise. These stunning carved biscuit moulds were on display in the fabulous Maison Dandoy.
Fabulous, colourful yarn bombing – the crochet was weathered and rather wonderful.
Every now and then I find a food place that really stands out. On this visit it was Mer du Nord in Place Saint Catherine with their alfresco tapas style seafood lunch – I had calamari and oysters – all prepared fresh to order. Give them your name & order and find a table – they call out your name when the food’s ready. The place was very busy and had a real buzz.
I then popped around the corner to Gaston for a sit in the sunshine with an ice cream
– the deck chair and view were free.
There are plenty of galleries in Brussels, but for me the Rene Magritte Museum is a must, especially for all the Surrealists out there. I’d seen postcards of his work before, but to see his life and paintings curated in such a beautiful way was a real treat.
Finally beer – it’s everywhere. I can heartily recommend a visit to the Delirium Cafe, (very close to the Jeanneke Pis). With over 3,000 beers in stock you can definitely find a beer to suit your taste buds. My favourite Trappist beer was the Westmalle Triple.
The bartenders here, know everything about everything when it comes to beer. I asked them for two very chocolatey beers – Oh Wow! Barista Chocolate Quad was like very dark chocolate and Pannepot (mine was a 2010 vintage) was like treacle toffee. Delicious and very easy to drink.
I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing some of my city highlights.
I can heartily recommend Brussels, it’s a very special city and I’m sure I’ll be back again soon.