Kington Show: Highs and Lows

dsc00139HIGH!  We got our stalls and workshop area all set up in time, everything was labelled, Mr Phoenix was finished (more on him soon), and it all looked gorgeous!

LOW… I nearly didn’t get there at all, because I went to the wrong gate first and the guy wouldn’t let me turn round to get to the right one 100 yards down the road, but sent me on a 4 mile detour down narrow country lanes instead, resulting in me nearly colliding with a landrover, skidding and only just managing to avoid ending up in a ditch…

dsc00137dsc00135HIGH! We had a good spot in the Horticulture Marquee and our stalls looked great; lots of visitors, lots of interest, and we met some lovely people!

LOW… actual sales were on the disappointing side…

dsc00134LOW…Cy: This is a nice demo granny square you’ve made Sar, shame it’s not the pattern I asked you to put on the handout though

Sarah: This IS the pattern I’ve put on the handout

Cy: I’ve never seen this pattern before in my life…meteachingdsc00146HIGH! It didn’t matter!  She learned it over a cup of tea, we had a fantastic bunch of people turn up for both workshops and we soon had them all hooking away!  Herefordshire now has a slew of new crocheters!pincushionsLOW… competition was stiff in the Pincushion category, and my little macaroon (top left) came nowhere…dsc00142secondprizeHIGH! Quilting category entries were pretty scarce this year.  I won second prize!  And £2!! Oh, I LoVE our local show!

And, overall HIGH! because it was such a great day, we met so many nice folk and there was a brilliant atmosphere.  Thank you to Cy for being fabulous, to Boo who invited us to come and do the workshops, to all our lovely workshoppers (we hope you’re happily crocheting away at home!) and to everyone who worked so hard to make it all happen.  dsc00140I am now officially Collapsed in A Heap…

Wishing you all a HIGHs-far-outweighing-the-LOWs kinda week! 🙂

 

Free Crochet Workshops at the Kington Show!

crochetworkshopadHelllooo!  As mentioned a while ago, I have some EXCITING NEWS about an upcoming event.  The event is the annual Kington Show on 10 September, and the news is that Cosmic Crochet has teamed up with TradRad Crafts and we will be launching our new partner venture, Phoenix Crafts, with some FREE beginner’s crochet workshops at the show!

Not only that: we will have a fabulous stall full of lovely yarny and crafty goodies for sale, some of which you can see on display here in my front window (there has to be some advantage to living on a busy street, right??).  The stall will be open all afternoon in the main marquee, and the workshop sessions begin at 1.30pm and 3pm.

We will be making simple granny squares, and there will be lots of yarn, hooks, and handouts available so you don’t need to bring anything but yourself!  Any squares you don’t want to keep will be worked up into blanket squares and donated to the African charity KAS (see this post).

So if you live in the Herefordshire/Powys/Marches area (or feel like visiting), do come along and have a go at some crochet, or just pop by and say hello.  We should be fairly easy to spot, providing I can get this little project finished in time!phoenixinprogressWishing you all a flamin’ good week 🙂

The Festival of Quilts at Birmingham NEC

compass quiltOh. My. WORD.  I’ve just been to Patchwork Heaven!!  And it’s in Birmingham – who knew??

Last weekend me and my lovely craftsy friends took ourselves for a Grand Day Out to the annual Festival of Quilts at the NEC.  The show is organised by The Quilter’s Guild, and it’s the biggest in Europe.  And, people, I can tell you – it was HUGE!!  I mean, just VAST!  We were there pretty much all day and I don’t think we even got round half of it.

Our initial strategy of working forwards from the back of the hall was soon foiled by the Kaffe Fassett Quilt Collection.  As we paused to admire the vintage and modern handiwork on display, who should appear but the man himself!  And THEN, the curator came over to us and said, ‘Kaffe will be giving a guided talk about the quilts in a minute ladies, if you’d like to join us?’.  WOULD WE?!?Kaffe1I must apologise in advance for the quality of photos in this post: not sure if it was me or my ancient, failing camera, but many of them came out very blurry.  BUT – the gorgeousness of the quilts shines through, I think!  This is my fave of Kaffe’s own quilts, with some details of the beautiful machine quilting (though he admitted to us that he doesn’t do much of the actual quilting himself these days!)Kaffe2Kaffequiltdetail1Kaffequiltdetail2Colour-tastic or what?

Next we were drawn to the City & Guilds students’ showcase, and this display really caught my eye.  The giant orange opens up and holds a cook-pot, but it’s quilted into ‘orange segments’ inside as well – wonderful!orangecookbagThe Quilter’s Guild competiton quilts, numbering into the hundreds, formed the main part of the display. There were stunning examples of every technique imaginable, from traditionally pieced blocks and hand-applique to very modern free-form machine quilting.  I  personally love quilts that use a mixture of piecing, applique and hand and machine work.  Here are a few I found particularly inspiring, especially the beautifully worked details:colourpanelscolourpanelsdetailblockquiltblockquiltdetail1blockquiltdetail2AnniversaryQuiltdetail2AnniversaryQuiltdetail1The theme for this year’s Guild Challenge was ‘On the Beach’ and it was great to see all the different interpretations and designs people had come up with, and such a huge variety of quilt styles:165BeachExtravaganza184GoldFootOntheBeach1153PebblesontheBeachNow, let’s talk about COLOUR, shall we??  Here are some eye-poppers for you (the last one is entitled ‘Pretty Hippy’ – it’s my kinda quilt!):83PainttheTownAnyColourMiniquilt259PrettyHippySo of course as with any competition, there has to be a Best in Show.  However, I’m not going to give you the actual quilt that won Best in Show.  Nope.  We decided we’d each choose our own!  So, this one came close second for me.  We all loved the design and the details, especially the really original use of silhouttes as a border.  Sadly after so many quilts, I’ve forgotten the maker/title – sorry!  But here’s me and H. admiring it (sewists note, H. is wearing her fab self-made Washi dress!):Me&HelenBut the hands-down winner for me, was the spectacular Magical Mermaid’s Caslte quilt by Claudia Pfeil.  I absolutely adored this quilt – the design, the colours, the exquisite hand-stitched and painted details.  Apparently she used 30,000 Swarovski crystals in it!  mermaidcastledetailMy pics of this quilt were some of the last taken on the day, and by this time both me and the camera were past our best.  When I uploaded them I was distraught to find all were blurry and out of focus.  But I SO wanted to show it to you, that I emailed Claudia hereself and she very kindly sent me these two lovely photos to share with you – craftsy folk really are the loveliest!  So here it is in its entirety, plus a super sharp detail shot.  My personal Best in Show:Magical Mermaids Castle by Claudia PfeilMagical Mermaids Castle CP detailIt was a very magical day indeed, and there was a lot of picnicking, browsing, fabric shopping, and laughing in there as well!  We saw so much creativity and met such lovely people, and came away with bags of fabric and inspiration.  A HUGE big hug and thanks to my friends A. & H. for making it happen and for sharing it with me.  Can’t wait til next year!Wishing you all a very Magical Mermaidy week! 🙂

Christmas Fair & Art and Craft Show!

DSC00036

SATURDAY 28 NOVEMBER, 10am – 1pm

Almeley Quaker Meeting House, Almeley, Herefordshire HR3 6PX

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again!  This year, Cosmic Crochet will be at the Almeley Christmas sale, and I also have a couple of items in the Art & Craft show at the same venue.

There will be stalls selling crafts, cakes, produce, gardening things, books and bric-a-brac, as well as teas & refreshments.  Entry is FREE to both events!

So, if you fancy getting your hands on a Cosmic Cosy, or having a look at the Mexican Sunset cushion in real life, then do come along, it would be lovely to see you 🙂

 

All about October

metalsculpture1

Ola!  A little late, but I’ve been laid up with the cold-lurgie that seems to be sweeping the nation this last week, so let’s go back in time and I’ll show you some of the highlights of my October…

Earlier in the month I visited the outdoor sculpture exhibition Out of Nature at Newport House in Almeley, just a few miles from here.  Not only were there some brilliant and inspiring sculptures, but the setting and the lovely gardens were a real treat as well.  The driftwood sculptures by Heather Jansch (below) and filigree metalwork by Aragorn Dick Read (above) were amongst my favourites…driftwoodhorses…but I also loved the huge ‘land sculpture’ by The Cart Shed community, made entirely from fruits, seeds, leaves, and other natural ‘harvest’ goodies.  This is just a small detail, the colours and textures were wonderful and I although I took dozens of photos, none really do it justice!harvestsculpture

…So yeah, all that fresh air and walking about makes a girl hungry, y’know? – Good thing I still had some of my own harvest left!  Fresh basil pesto with the last of the tomatoes was VERY yummy this month…heypesto

…as mentioned in my last post I finished my latest blanket project, the Late Summer ripple blanket, around the middle of October.  I loved every stitch of this project, a gift for my dad, who was over the moon to receive it – it really has been a joy!  (And yes, I am already planning another blanket!)…finishedblanket…just before I came down with the lurgie and the weather turned to mist and drizzle, I did manage to get over to my local woods in time for an eyeful of the beautiful acers as they did their spectacular autumn thing…ParkWoodMaples2…whilst in my own garden, the cosmos and sunflowers put on one last dazzling display…cosmos&sunflowers…so, now the clocks have gone back, the nights are drawing in, and it’s time to start making things for the Xmas Craft Fair!  This year I’ve been using up my yarn stash on some stripey kids’ hats, I’ll show you more of these when they’re finished…hats…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because there’s still fireworks, trick-or-treat, dressing up and PUMPKINS to be had!  Oh yes, I do so LoVe Halloween!pumpkinlantern

I hope you’ve all had a bright and breezy month, have a cosy colourful weekend 🙂

 

A vintage pop-up shop

Shopfront1I’ve talked about vintage vinyl, vintage fabrics, vintage wallpaper, and all things vintage on this blog, so I guess it will come as no surprise that my tiny house is rather PACKED with all these treasures, and sometimes you just have to let things go.  What better way than to open your own, one-day-only PopUp shop?!  This week there’s lots happening in my town, with the annual show, a walking festival, and several local artists opening their studios for the county wide H.Art event (including my neighbours, details of their work here), so today I threw open the front door, put up the psychedelic bunting, and stopped the traffic with my home-made neon day-glo sign.signIt is actually much, MUCH brighter than it looks in this picture!  And the traffic did quite literally slow down outside my house to get a better look.  Maybe it was the sign, maybe it was the electric blue 1970s platforms in the window, we’ll never know…ShopWindowDespite waking up to a downpour, much to my relief things did dry out in time for my grand opening at 10.30.  As well as the vinyl, I had some vintage clothes and shoes for sale, my Cosmic Crochet crafts, vintage sewing patterns and wallpapers, a fabulous antique rug I was selling for a friend, and a selection of cards and curious things from the very wonderful Colva Books.  How’s this for an inviting-looking counter?ShopCounterand a fine selection of quality vinyl?VinylSelection

Obviously I couldn’t waste such a fabulous dressing-up opportunity!  Yes, it’s the 1970s terylene, blogged here, and my very favourite of my mum’s 70s necklaces.MeOutside

It was a fun day – friends dropping in for tea, some great sounds, plus I got to meet a bunch of lovely folk and talk music and clothes and sewing, all without having to leave my front room.  As far as sales go, well… let’s just say, I won’t be retiring to the English Riviera any time soon!  But it’s given me lots of ideas for future small events and who knows? – Maybe I’ll do it again next year.  With an even BRIGHTER sign…Me&Signwishing you all a neon day-glo happy weekend 🙂

 

2014: Makes and Moments

Ah, it’s that time here in the Blogosphere, when the hols are over, the New Year has arrived, and we look back fondly (or not so!) over our favourite stuff from the past twelve months.  I’m not much of one for making resolutions (apart from resolving to hibernate during January!), but I do enjoy reading the ‘annual reviews’ on people’s blogs so I thought I’d do one of my own, with just my favourite Makes and Moments from each month…

All in all I’d say it was a pretty colourful year!  And despite the ups and downs of my health, I still managed to do a lot of making and get out and about a fair bit, and share a lot of laughs with good friends and family.  And I’ve loved posting here, sharing all the highs and lows of my year’s creative adventures with all of you!

Thank you so much for reading – here’s to a Big Fat Funky 2015! 🙂

 

December Days

The last month of the year has come & gone already!  Don’t know about all of you, but the holidays always seem to be upon me before I’ve really gotten into my December groove, sitting by the fire working on my Purple Waves blanket… then, just when I’m really beginning to get the hang of this whole Visiting/Doing Nothing/Eating a Lot business, it’s all over!  But it’s been a lovely month, full of friends and family and lots of crafty goodness…

…kicking off with manic making in time for the Machynlleth Craft Fair on the first weekend.  Just look at all that funky stuff!  Our stall may not have been the most profitable, but it was definitely one of the most colourful…craftstallside.…I also got to play with my printing block again this month, making a hand-printed lining for my best ever yet crochet bag, which – hurray! – I did finally manage to photograph as I went along, so that much-promised tutorial is underway at last…blockprinting…then things got a bit frantic as I tried to finish making gifts in time for the last Xmas posting date!  These are mini versions of the cute owls I made last year, using Bunny Mummy’s brilliant tutorial (which you can find HERE).  I put little muslin bags of incense inside these and they smell gorgeous…Xmasowls

…and so, finally, the food and pressies were loaded into the car and my friend Ursula (of One Woman Walks Wales fame) and I shared the drive across Wales and on into England to visit our respective folks.  We waved goodbye at the motorway services and normal life ended for a couple of weeks as the holidays began…ursulawaving

...I hope you all had a wonderful end to 2014 and are feeling relaxed and ready for a colourful New Year!   🙂