Friday, 31 July 2009


stitch and sew and stick and snip... getting ready for Craftwerk tomorrow. Lots of crafty fun at St Aloysius Social Club from 1pm this Saturday. Made a stack of seaside purses, bags and new for craftwerk, some bunting anklets!

And managed to squeeze in some sewing for our niece's birthday pressie. I made up one of the lovely clothkits dolls and a little wardrobe to go in her spotty suitcase!

...and popped my seaside swap in the post - just a sneek peek for now! Phew.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Craft goes pop...

... at the Midland Railway in Butterley! aka the home of the Indietracks happening once a year, where Fabric Nation teamed up with Printed Wonders to run a bunting making party in the indietracks workshop wigwam.
Indietracks is a delightful music festival run in the grounds of a railway museum. It's been going for just a few years and is a lovely, perfect small celebration of all things indiepop. This year, for the first time, they included a workshop wigwam. We zoomed up the M1 on Saturday morning, pitched our tent and arrived just in time to meet the lovely Alice and transform the workshop wigwam into a bunting world.
With stacks of felt, sequins, buttons and teacakes on hand, we spent a fab afternoon with indie bunting makers. We were thrilled by all the lovely designs and bunting love, most especially, the girls who made birthday bunting for their friend and later met her off the steam train and wrapped her round in it!
The workshop wigwam was buzzing with creativity all weekend. As soon as we scooped up our pins and needles, Tatty Devine took over with a jewellery making session, helping indie campers create jewellery out of campsite finds. There were lots of train tracks and choo choo whistles being transformed into necklaces. We loved Alice's train track necklace.
Tatty Devine also where they were selling fab indietracks jewellery, including a bunting necklace, which of course we had to have!
Later on we joined Hey Ho Let's Sew to make felt and fabric corsages, really simple but effective designs and endless possibilities.
Here's Alison showing how to make a felt corsage, and Xtina modelling one she made.
It was lovely to meet the Craft Guerrilla's too. They run crafteroons in East London and had made a felt cassette brooch kit specially for the festival. I wish Walthamstow was a bit nearer to South London as their craft events look really good fun.
These scenes were typical of the weekend in the workshop wigwam. Everyone into whatever they were making and really enjoying it.
The craftiness was rounded off with a crochet and knitting that sprang out of the Buttons for Eyes portable workshop.
We also met Rachel from Kathleen and Lily, their shop is named after their nans! I loved their bingo earrings.
Even the indie popsters were getting in on the craft act, including this handmade CD cover stitched in felt from Little My.
We had such a lovely time, and I've not even told you about the steam trains, old buses, choo choo whistles, singing 'love is in the air' with a spainish popster, chatting with bar tenders about cheeky ales, riding steam trains, doing the indie dance with MJ Hibbett, dancing on the tracks, the happy express, tents with doors, sipping beers in old train carriages, guitars between the pews, falling asleep to boys singing 'we are the pipettes', and lots and lots of photos of vintage formica! Oh, and there was music too! More to come soon...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Winchester - part II

Still playing catch up... here's what we got up to at Handmade Winchester. The Guildhall was a lovely grand venue and brimful of lots of wonderful crafty people.

I was looking forward to my new stall set up with the Fabric Nation bunting and a traditional postcard spinner for my postcard purses.

Alas the pop-up card display was not! I met someone at the Makey Do as well with one of the same dreadful contraptions and he had ended up making his own. Looking around the craft fair I was impressed by the ingenious homemade displays people had constructed. Raspberry, had homemade clamps that could display her bags and string decorations across her stall. Hatastic used a chandelier, and Ruby May London made a rack for their teacosies. Funky Mutts had a homemade display for their dog collars with clever use of towel rails!

I had lovely neighbours in The Soap Fairy and 23 Beech Hill, with These Charming Things and Sarah Dodd across the way - I loved the table cloth These Charming Things had embroidered for their stall with cups and plates.

There are too many lovely crafters to mention, so for now I'm just going to mention some of the other textile crafters who were there too. I finally got to see the famous Half an Acre sock bunnies and saw more lovely textiles from Non Such and Menina Feliz, Junky Chicken, Kate Talbot, Monda, Coco Crafts and Tomato Tea, who along with Hearts and Skulls is setting up the oOak Tree network for crafters in the South. Kate Talbot's work was very inspiring, she is a textile illustrator and her work included pages from a children's stories and wonderful textile illustrations of tarty chaps and robots to name but a few!

And finally, lino prints from Five-in-the-morning. I had been admiring these online, so it was lovely to see these full size, and he had brought some of the linos too, which look amazing. I couldn't choose between the vegetable print and the fish.

It was a good day, thanks everyone for your hard work! And all of you who stopped by for a chat. Knitted biscuits all round (courtesy of Kate Talbot)!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Nice start to the week...

Just popped into Folksy for a quick peek ( I should be working!) and had a lovely surprise as they have a new seaside themed front page, and one of my postcard purses is featured! And in such nice company too. Smiles all day!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Bust London Summer Craftacular

Yippee! Hot off the press is confirmation of our beach hut at the Bust London Summer Craftacular. Fabric Nation is teaming up with Printed Wonders and Made to Measure to bring you for one day only, the delights of The Seaside Sisters. On offer in our pop-up beach hut will be our postcard purses, bespoke alphabet bunting, vintage tea towel bags and many more seaside delights. And a chance to win more goodies with Guess the Number of Teabags in the Thermos! Find the Sarnie in the Sand! and The Lucky Lolly Picker! Pack your flip flops and swing your beach bag down to Bethnal Green on August 22nd!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


Lots of catching up to do! So here's a belated write up of our Handmade Winchester weekend. We set off from Waterloo on Saturday for a day at the hat fair before Handmade. The hat fair is a collection of street performers, the hat refers to the hat passed round to collect money. We had a lovely afternoon, starting with lunch in the Cathedral cafe - a lovely spot with lots of outdoor space and a little orchard. We sipped beers on the cathedral green surrounded by performing artists and took a little trip around the amazing insect circus - we were astounded by the snail harness and gasped at the antics of ladybirds and butterflies.

We spied this house and wondered if this is where the insect performers live...

We slipped into the cathedral which is just beautiful, so vast and calm and full of sound from the organ. Deep in the crypt is an Anthony Gormley. I liked the rows of chairs with little shelves for books (this would be handy at home) and handmade cushions - each one different.

Winchester was buzzing - no recession here! I guess that may have something to do with the public school population. The place is full of amazing buildings and hidden courtyards, but feels a little unreal and privileged. Reading about the buildings, it's clear this place has a powerful relationship with church and state. And is also ideal for picking up charity shop treasure! I managed to pop into a few and picked up some ladybird books, including the 'What to look for in Summer' series and Swallows and Amazon stories. I love these illustrations.

Best of all were the water meadows. Towards the end of the afternoon we wandered out of the town, down a pretty lane into the water meadows. We walked along rivers, across bridges, through fields and deep into rushes to listen to birds and watch flurries of butterflies. Also attempted some nature spotting with our new ladybird books. Blissful.

On the way back to our b&b we stopped off for supper at the Wykeham Arms (bonkers link to 'ladies who lunch in hampshire'!!). Full of old school artifacts, including little school desks for tables. Not sure how we managed to pack that all in! And in need of a good nights sleep before Handmade. Sunday Handmade stories to follow...