Friday, 31 August 2012

Readings...August

I've had another varied month of reading - as well as these books I started "Little Women", but I kept picking it up and putting it down, so hopefully that will be one of my finished books for September. It's been a pretty busy month so I've had to squeeze in my reading time, but I've still managed to stick to my New Year's Resolution of four books a month and I'm very happy about that! 
So my August readings were...

  • "Fifty Shades Freed" by E L James
  • "Faithfull" by Marianne Faithfull
  • "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett
  • "The Tent" by Margaret Atwood
It's starting to get Autumnal and chilly in the evenings, and I'm looking forward to cosying up with a book under a blanket!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Markets are Ace!

I may be a little biased, but I really love Oswestry Market. I know I have a stall in there, but it really is a pretty fab place! I had a chat this morning with my lovely friend (and former stall neighbour) Bob - he has a record shop downstairs - and we were discussing the near-obsolete format of cassette tapes. Now, I've always liked tapes, and have been saying to Bob for a while that I think they're due a come-back in the same way as vinyl, and today I happened to mention that on my "want list" is a personal cassette player (we always knew them as a "Walkman", but of course that was just the brand). So Bob disappears, and comes back with this little treasure...     
It was brand new in the box, instructions and everything!!!

So this evening I have been digging around in the black hole that is our spare room, to find some of my tapes!
This is just what I've found so far, but I'm pretty sure there's a shoebox in the attic too!
So in a round about way, what I am getting at here is that this is  the reason why I love my little market, and markets in general. There's no other shopping experience like it - they are a treasure trove of weird and wonderful things, full of people who genuinely know a lot about what they do, and where you never know what you will find. Bob made my day today, and I think that's pretty ace. 

The Hats are Multiplying...

Had another load of hats today and we're more than half-way to our 1000 hat target! I now have 531 hats on display in the stall, and they are beginning to take over every little nook and cranny! 
This is my work bench (hoping I don't need to actually make any jewellery between now and 15th September...)
This is the cabinet outside my shop...
 And I also have a plate stand that is filling up rapidly...
And there are two washing lines full too! They really are looking fab, and so cheerful - I'm going to miss them when they go on their epic journey to London!
Not only are the hats making my stall look lovely and bright, they're causing a bit of a stir - this is the write up about the day from the paper...
And yesterday I was interviewed by the local Radio station - BBC Radio Shropshire! The interview can be heard here! It was terrifying but very exciting, and I'm pretty sure I forgot most of what I should have said!!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Happy Monday

It's been a typical rainy Bank Holiday, so I have been indulging in a well earned day of reading and tea drinking. It's been delightful. 
(I have also been enjoying our new chalk board, and wondering how we have managed for so long without one...)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Shopping List Sunday

In honour of our day at the seaside...
Mid Century Seaside Trio from Keepsies
Seaside A4 Print Unframed from hellomonkey

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Saturday, 25 August 2012

Big Knit Along 2012

It's been a lovely day of knitting in my stall today! We started the day with 243 hats, and by 9.30am we'd had some delivered and we were already up to 317 - bearing in mind that last year we reached 300 at lunch time! The final tally for the day was 459 hats, so we've almost reached the halfway point for the target! I have set a deadline for 15th September for the hats to be delivered to me, so there's still plenty of time but I'm so glad we did so well today! 
Some of the hats!
(L-R top to bottom) Martin, Anne, Vicky and Sam!

I had lots of happy helpers - There were two early birds who arrived by 9.30 - Vicky who was crocheting hats, and Sam who was making pom-poms! Also on Pom-Pom making were fellow knitter Anne, and Martin who not only helped with the pom-poms but delivered 70 hats that his lovely wife Kay had made! My mum arrived at lunch time with 20 hats and a big tin of cookies that my sister had kindly made for us, and we were later joined by my lovely friends Samantha, Graeme and their sweet little girl Abigail (also bringing yummy biscuits!) and their friend Paula! Many thanks to them all for coming and helping, it was  a lovely day!

Friday, 24 August 2012

T'was the Night Before Knitting...

It's come around so quickly - tomorrow is the the Big Knit Along that I am hosting in my stall! It's been mentioned in the local papers several times and I'm hoping we'll have a good turn out! So far there are about 250 hats in the stall and there are lots and lots more promised!
Today I set everything out ready for the arrival of the knitters - yarn, needles, patterns and pom-poms (ready-mades and templates) - there is a bowl of hats waiting for pom-poms, but I think I've recruited a couple of people who are pom-pom proficient, so we'll soon get them finished and hung up! I'm so excited!
I'm looking forward to sharing pictures of the day -  I'm really hoping it will be a big success!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Procrastination...

I must confess that I've been spending rather a lot of time smelling the roses of late (they're very pretty orange roses, but nontheless...) and things seem to have gotten away from me ever so slightly, so I thought a catch up would be appropriate! Here are some of the little projects I've been quietly working away on...

I have finished ten knitted squares now for my big blanket, I'm thinking of making it 5x5 squares so I'm getting on for half way! I will probably rearrange the order lots of times before I join them up...
I am also working on this crochet circle, which I originally planned as a cover for a small stool, but I'm undecided, I mostly just wanted to try it out!
As well as these two projects, I'm halfway through a sock (I've been struck by the dreaded second sock syndrome...), and my chevron blanket needs about another 10 or 15 rows, but it is so big now that I need a chilly day to finish it since it wraps around me as I work on it! It's looking fabulous, and it's so cosy!
I've also been rather busy making hats for the AgeUK/Innocent Smoothie Big Knit campaign - my knit along day in my stall is this Saturday and there are more than 140 hats already on display, with another 160 promised, and lots of people coming for the day! I'm really hoping we can pass last year's final total of 827 and meet our target of 1000!
I guess I actually have been quite busy, just not so good at updating here...

Button Button...

In a bid to encourage craftyness amongst my lovely customers I have been selling Yo-yo Brooch making kits, which have been extremely popular and have indeed sparked off some interesting crafty creativity! As an extension of that,  I recently started selling brooch pins - the logic being that once the goodies provided in the yo-yo kits have gone, there is a place to stock up on supplies. Well, it's kind of opened a can of worms, because I started thinking about how I could take it further, and I am now in the process of setting up a stand with more jewellery findings (earring parts, jump rings, kilt pins etc)  and buttons as well as the yo-yo kits! 
So yesterday I raided my button stash and started sorting and organising...
I've separated out the sets of buttons, which I have sewn onto cards, and the odd buttons have been divided by colour and put into "grab bags" which will be in a bowl on my counter. 
While I was doing all that, I was also on the lookout for appropriately sized pairs for more button earrings... I found a few...
In the last day or two I have also been writing up my crochet bunting pattern, which I will be putting on sale in the stall soon...
I've been meaning to write it up for ages, I'm so glad I finally got around to it! 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

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Sunday, 12 August 2012

{Sunday Snippets}







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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Oswestry Show

Since I left university two years ago (yikes, time flies...) I've attended quite a few craft fairs and seasonal fairs, as well as running my stall for three days a week, but last Saturday I attended my first really big event, which was Oswestry Show. 
Oswestry is the town where I live. It's a relatively small town on the Welsh border, and it is a beautiful place. It has a substantial agricultural heritage, and Oswestry Show is traditionally a very big event in the community and the region - this was it's 127th year and apparently 18,000 people attended!

I shared a stand with my good friends Lowri and Linda from Siop Cwlwm, the Welsh language shop which is a neighbour to my stall in Oswestry Market. We've been plotting and planning for the Show for months, even setting out a full-sized version of the stand a few weeks ago to work out the space! We spent Friday preparing and packing stock, and set up the stand after we had finished in the Market on Friday evening, and we arrived early on Saturday morning for the finishing touches - we were pretty pleased with the stand!
It was really bright and colourful, we both had new stock for the show, and we were so excited! We chatted to lots of people, and hopefully lots of people will come to see us in the Market.
Unfortunately we were hit by an apocalyptic storm at around 4pm, two hours before we were due to pack up, and we ended up with a river running though our stand!! We kept smiling though...mostly...
This was after the water had receded a little bit - I'm jolly glad I wore Wellington Boots!

Yarn Bombing - Liverpool

We went on a little jaunt to Liverpool on Monday - we visited Tate Liverpool and had a mooch around the city, and my eagle-eyed husband spotted yarn bombed trees. There are a bunch of them in the square by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) and they are really quite lovely!




There's something so interesting about yarn-bombing - it brightens the communities we live in and visit and is a real positive talking point, and the makers give so much time and effort to do that - it really is a wonderful thing!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

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Flea Market Finds

It's been a rather good week for finds, in fact possibly the best I've ever had EVER...
It started well on Thursday, we went for a day out and I found this sweet little record player...
and this very kitsch little ceramic dog...
but the find that made the week the best week ever was this little lady....
She's an original 1972 Kenner Blythe Doll! I can't take the credit for actually finding her, it was my fantastically awesome Mother in Law, who volunteers in a charity shop and has been on the lookout for this Holy Grail of dollies for me for a long time. I had the phone call on Friday, that she had been found in a bag of stuff that had been donated! I spoke to the shop manager and gave her an idea of how much I was able to pay for her, and said that if, when she had done some research (ebay etc), she was out of my price range, I would help her with the details and have a look at what kind of shape she was in so she could be listed on ebay. Anyway, it was arranged that she would go home with my MIL, so that my husband could pop around to take photographs of her for me, and had a look at her to see what kind of state she was in - she had a really tangled mess of musty hair and has a crack across her bottom so her legs fall out (which I believe gave my husband a bit of a fright), but besides that she was just a bit grubby. She was wearing the Purple Pinafore jumpsuit and skirt, but also had the Golden Goddess dress. 
When the photos came through on my email I nearly burst with excitement, but I had to keep it together as I was in the middle of a field setting up the stand for the show that I went to yesterday (more about that soon), I was just so thrilled that she actually was a Blythe - there was a part of me that was just so shocked that one had turned up that it wasn't until I saw the photo that I believed it! So apparently a quick negotiation took place (I am still in a field at this point waiting for a phone call) and not long after dolly was strapped into the passenger seat of the car and on her way to her new home!! She really is quite lovely, I gave her a bath and washed her hair, so now she's peachy fresh and tangle free! She doesn't have a name yet, but she's already settling in quite well. So that was my week of finds!
For more Flea Market Finds, pop over to see Sophie Isobel at Her Library Adventures!