Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Day Tripping- Delightful Stroud

Last weekend my husband and I decided to go out for the day but couldn't make up our minds where to go. We were in the car when I suddenly had a brainwave to visit a town nearby which neither of us had ever been to. We're a bit spoilt for choice where we live, although we live in quite a rural town we have easy access to 3 big cities- Cardiff, Bristol and Gloucester are all within 40 minutes of us and so we tend to head to these.
As such we've never been to Stroud which is only 30 miles away and actually a little closer than Gloucester so with the Sun shining on we went.
On arrival we immediately discovered a lovely Farmer's market, which was fantastic and as it turns out is award winning- http://www.fresh-n-local.co.uk/markets/stroud.php It was a lovely mix of yummy food (lunch and dinner sorted) and handmade items. It put me in the hubby's good books as they had a great selection of real ales- his equivalent of my buttons.
This led to a street that gave me high hopes for the town, Threadneedle Street!
Situated here were shops and a flea market with a whole array of goods for sale from wool roving to antiques. Now we're talking!
Whilst in a charity shop around the corner I headed straight for the button tin (it's like a magnet), this is where my other half stepped into his own and told the lady I'd buy the lot if I could, at which she replied you can have them all for £3! Wahooooo yes please, thank you very much.
There was a very interesting "pop-up shop" filled to the rafters with weaving looms, wool and truly beautiful blankets. A shop called "Made in Stroud" as you can guess selling items made in Stroud, there were some exceptional items, it really was a feast for the eyes- there are some very talented people in the area.
On the other side of the high street was another market selling fresh produce outside and an eclectic mix of items.
At the bottom of town was as a wonderful vintage shop, Strangeness & Charm http://www.strangenessandcharmvintage.com/ I picked myself up a quirky vintage brooch made from wire and thread. It's so intricate and I love the thought of someone crafting each of the individual petals and leaves before putting it all together- I look forward to pinning it to my favourite blazer.
The lovely owner was super helpful and gave me a map of Stroud she'd put together pointing out all the great places you might pick up a vintage treasure or two.
There was also a wonderful wool shop called Yarnarama but as I have given up buying wool for Lent I only paid a flying visit (roll on Easter).
We'll definitely be returning in the not so distant future and it just goes to show there may be a little treasure of a town near you just waiting to be explored, give it a go, who knows what you'll find!
Until next time, craft in earnest! Craftin Ernest xxx

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Ding Dong The Bells Are Going To Chime

I do love a wedding, it's such a delight to share in a couple's "Big Day".
I can totally appreciate all the hard work that goes into making the day so special and all the decisions that had to be made along the way.

I also love a bit of wedding related crafting! It's the most perfect time to get busy with the pearls and crystals, lace and ribbon.

I recently had the pleasure of making my close friend's sister-in-law-to-be's beaded tiara and the bridesmaid's hair accessories! (Not great pictures sorry)

Also, as I mentioned in previous posts I had the great honour of being part of my friends' Becky and Steve's wedding. For part of their wedding gift I thought I would make them something personal to commemorate their special day and decided on a cushion.
I used transfer paper for inkjet printers to copy an image of their hands with their wedding rings onto white fabric. It took a few attempts as the instructions didn't mention anything about letting the image cool after ironing before peeling off the backing paper. Probably very obvious (especially as it's not the first time I've used it) but I forgot so trial and error certainly played a part, as did some choice words.
Once I'd finally got it right, I machine embroidered the lettering. I used white tissue paper to space the words just as I wanted them.

I went over each letter a number of times with two different colours. To finish it off, what else but a few buttons- heart shaped, shell buttons were perfect for this project in my opinion.

I think the happy couple were pleased were the result, it's certainly very personal to them.
We have a few other wedding this year to look forward and to keep me busy :-)
Until next time craft in earnest, Craftin' Ernest x