Friday, 9 July 2010

Shopping For The Crafty Nomad

As we move around I am getting used to finding my craft supplies in a variety of places, from gorgeous little independent shops and old fashioned and fusty little places, to haberdashery departments in well-known stores and monster-sized craft warehouses.

Ideally I love to go to the little, characterful shops first. Everyone knows that our high streets are at risk of becoming identically dull, lined with the same old chains. I can confirm this, having scoured many of the nation's high streets in two and a half years of the nomadic lifestyle. Many of them are functional at best, a boring waste of time and shoe leather at worst. So we need to frequent and support the independent and the individual when we find it.

On the other hand, I can get excited by the seemingly endless choice in a large store. I'm the same with bookshops. Sometimes I know exactly what I want and I know a small bookstore will do everything in their power to get it for me. On other occasions I have stumbled across something delightful and unexpected whilst moseying around a large temple to all things bookish.

But variety is key. We used to live in a town in the Lake District. There were about twenty shops selling walking gear and waterproofs but there was no haberdashers, and we had to drive forty miles to buy new underwear. And when we got there, we were in Carlisle, or The Pit Of Despair, as I tend to call it. One of our first stops on our Airstreaming odyssey was Bath. What a contrast. I thought I'd transcended this mortal plane and been reborn in a more heavenly realm.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Luscious Temptation

We found a lovely fabric shop in Cambridge, Cally Co. It reminded me of a cake shop, filled with luscious temptation.

Occasionally, but not often enough on our travels, we come across a french-style patisserie which will have confections of the lightest, aerated meringue and macaroon. Have you seen those pink and pistachio macaroons? I always have to have one, not only because they are divinely light but chewy and a bit gooey in the middle. I have to have one because that type of frivolously colourful and pointless confectionery is such a rarity that it might just be my last chance to indulge in that way for a very long time. Scones and fruit cake have their place, but so do mille feuille and macaroons.

So, back to the scrummy Cally Co, I found it just as delicious as a posh cake shop. You know when you want to touch everything? We bought some polka dot, dove grey PVC to use as an outdoor table cloth. We have been looking out for just the right one. Some are too dull, some are too madly patterned. Dove grey seems just right with our silver table and grey chairs.

We also had a jolly chat with the two lovely women in the shop. When we described our nomadic living arrangements I knew I wouldn't need to explain what an Airstream is, and I was right. I'm going to try to go back to that yummy shop before we leave the area. There must be something else I need.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Mad As A Box Of Critters

The sock critter commission has arrived at its destination and everyone is happy, especially me. The walk to the local village post office with a box of critters under my arm was most enjoyable. And here's a sneak peek at the crazy little monsters.

They will be for small kiddies so the eyes are firmly sewn-on felt instead of buttons. And you might have noticed a glimpse of the Airstream in the background. I've been enjoying a bit more of the al fresco life and sewing outside, under the awning. Sucks to be me!