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 🙂


All about August…

After all that sunshine, sewing, and camping in June and July, my August was somewhat blighted by catching a cold during our damp and chilly spell!  But still, there were many things to enjoy… My brother coming to visit, and choosing the last really warm day for a picnic at one of my favourite spots near Cader Idris… cwmmynach …luscious blackberries!  Which I spent a happy afternoon picking, another happy afternoon baking into muffins and crumble, and then several happy afternoons increasing my waistline even further with the yummy results…blackberries…finally finishing the Limeade Dress!LimeadeLongshot …deciding to embark upon a HUGE clearout of my flat, and rediscovering some of my old graphic novels and comics from the early 90s that I haven’t looked at in years, like Alan Moore’s ‘D.R. & Quinch‘…DR&Qpages …and, lo and behold, the sun came out right at the very end of the month, and so did these beauties on my walkway!sunflowers looking forward to the ‘mists and mellow fruitfulness’ of September… have a lovely week everyone!

WhooHoo! Wiggle cushion

At last, here it is: my alpaca version of the ‘Wiggle’ cushion!finishedwiggle1 I LOVE the feel and texture of this, combined with the fab-tastic chevron pattern and crazy colour combo it’s all come together in a very happy-me-making way!  Not that using a different yarn from the one recommended was without its snags, I must confess.

As mentioned in my previous progress report, the fabric worked up into a very long scrunchy ‘concertina’, and  I was right to worry about whether this would block out easily.  The answer? – no, No, NO!  I tried steam blocking it, spraying it, even pinning it to the ironing board and pressing it with a cloth.  As I unpinned each cooled, supposedly pressed section and moved it along, it just scrunched itself back up again.  ARGH!!wigglepressing In the end I resorted to pressing it directly with the iron, which still didn’t result in an entirely flat piece of work, and also filled my sewing room with the delightful aroma of burnt wool….

So, wiggle by name, wiggly by nature!  I found crocheting the foundation row and final rows together a bit of a fiddle, too, but perhaps this was down to my gorgeous hairy alpaca yarn not giving quite the same stitch definition as the cotton 4-ply recommended in the pattern.  But happily, once the cushion pad was in, this stretched everything taut enough to make sewing the side seams relatively easy.  The book says to use a mattress stitch, not something I’ve used before and I wouldn’t say mine’s particularly tidy – my hand sewing isn’t up to much at the best of times!wiggleseams Nevertheless, compared to the this image that I fell in love with in the Kaleidoscope book,wiggleprojectplanning I must say I’m CHUFFED to bits with my version of this lovely design!finishedwiggle2 I’d love to know if anyone else has had a go at this, or had similar blocking issues when working with alpaca?

For the rest of this week I’m planning on finishing up a bag project which I’ll share with you soon, and also have an exciting new crochet pattern I’m working on – look out for a full tutorial coming next month!

Til then, happy hooking, stitching, and general crafty goodness!

Jane Crowfoot ‘Wiggle’ cushion

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted Jane Crowfoot & Debbie Abrahams’s sumptuous crochet and knitting book Kaleidoscope in a couple of my recent post-picskaleidoscope2I don’t normally buy brand new books, I prefer to get mine ‘pre-loved’ from second hand shops or online dealers, but THIS book just grabbed me, from the first time I saw it on Black Sheep Wool’s website!insidekaleidoscopeA WHOLE BOOK of cushion, bag, and blanket patterns!  I had a bad case of ‘the wanties’, I can tell you…  I resisted for quite some time but I kept thinking about that colourful chevron-striped cushion on the front cover, and eventually I caved in and bought it!

But I’m SO glad I did, it’s full of lovely patterns for things I will actually make.  And when I discovered that I may potentially NOT be allergic to alpaca, I knew exactly what my first project was going to beselection of brightly coloured alpaca yarnsMy thinking was, sitting against an alpaca cushion would be a potentially less distressing way to find out whether I’m allergic to it than, say, wearing an alpaca jumper.  And if I do turn out to be allergic, it will be easier to find a new home for a cushion.  The ‘Wiggle’ cushion pattern actually calls for cotton 4ply, but I figured since the alpaca is also 4ply it would work up in a fairly similar way, but just be a bit denser.  And hairier!  This, you’ll remember, is how it looked last weekend:wigglecushion1But as you know, I’ve been hibernating this week, so this is how it looks today:wigglenearlydoneAlmost done (but look at all those ends that need sewing in)! Just 20 rows to go.  I’ve never worked crochet in rows before, so I’m rather pleased at the way this has progressed, especially as it’s worked on a teeny tiny 3mm hook and I thought it would take forever.  I’m curious about the way the chevrons have given it a kind of ‘concertina’ effect – steaming it flat should be interesting…

So I’m hoping there will be a ‘WhooHoo!’ post on this project in the next few weeks, followed by a few more as I gently work my way through those Works-In-Progress!

Have a lovely happy hooky stitchy week, whatever you’re working on 🙂