Tuesday 29 September 2015

A Festival Of Creativity, Craft & Colour...

Hello lovelies...
How are you all?
I've just returned from a beautiful weekend in Yorkshire...
The reason?
Wool... and lots of it!!!!

Let me explain....

have any of you ever visited Yarndale before?

You haven't?
Not sure what it is?
Well my lovelies, go and grab a cuppa and take five mins out of your day and let me share all the details with you....

Yarndale is a festival of creativity and craft that prides itself on promoting British & handmade products with the emphasis based on highlighting the wonderful artisans out there designing, creating, making, producing and selling products which support British Wool.

If you love crocheting, knitting, wet-felting, needle felting, spinning, weaving, mixed media. rag rugging, or even quilting with woollen textiles then you will absolutely adore this event.
There is something for all ages, all abilities and for all interests.

Exhibitors range from small artisan designers, producers of  beautiful hand dyed products, individual textile artists, as well as manufacturer's of yarn and patterns.

Having never visited before, I was super excited I have to say!
I always love visiting any event that encourages and celebrates creativity and Yarndale certainly disappoint....

It was really wonderful to see so many people wearing or carrying their own creations and proudly sharing their love of all things handmade with each other.... scarves, shawls, cardigans, hats, bags, gloves, even items of clothing. 
All were admired with lovely smiles instead of the often skeptical or be-littleing glances I sometimes see at events which always make me feel sad. The fact that someone has spent hours making something special and then has proudly worn it out to have someone scoff at their design 
is simply atrocious in my eyes. 
We can't all be the next Christian Dior or Monet!
(*old woman grumble on soap box moment* - sorry!)

For me personally it is the first festival/ show/ event that I have attended where everyone embraced their own individuality. It was simply wonderful to be able to be a small part of that even if I was only a customer!

The Yarndale team had clearly put in alot of thought to the customer and their requirements and speaking from experience I can definitely guarantee the important things....
  • Parking - Huge thought had been given to this and free car parks were offered with a regular shuttle service courtesy of a London Red Bus
  • Meet & Greet at entrance - Lovely smiles from everyone involved! A free catalogue was included with your ticket price...again another bonus :)
  • Toilet facilities - Loads of AND regularly maintained!
  • Food & Catering - Excellent facilities....none of this corporate rubbish that costs a fortune for some plastic cheese. The food was simply good honest fare that hit the spot when you needed a much needed rest with a huge choice of options AND with seating unlike at other events where often I see people having to sit on the floor to take a break
  • Rest areas - Spare spaces were left empty with chairs provided for a rest which I think is just fab as it shows Yarndale has total respect for their customers and values the fact that all that walking around buying goodies is important but looking after their guests is more important!
  • Learning Lounge - A lovely relaxed area to learn new skills...
  • Exhibitors - A fab range on offer which provides interest for everyone whether you are an experienced yarn lover or simply want some help to get started on your journey. Artisans were all so willing to offer advice and share their passion with everyone which I think is just lovely. 
  • Visitor participation - displays of visitors donations could be seen all over the event which again added to the friendly atmosphere!

Overall I was super impressed at the really lovely atmosphere Yarndale offered (can you tell?!!!)
There really was too much to showcase in just one post so I will be doing a couple more posts focusing in on certain aspects of my weekend...

So keep an eye out folks for my future piccies!

x x x

Monday 21 September 2015

Happiness is simply stitching from the heart....

Hello my lovelies!
How are we this lovely Monday?
I hope you all had a fab weekend...

Let me tell you about my mine...
Why this weekend in particular?
Well my lovelies, this one was a little extra special.
You see because of my lovely hubby being ill this past year, I haven't really done
any workshops.
I've had to prioritise my time of late, but with hubby now having been given the all clear so far I feel a little happier returning to doing some workshops again...

So, on Saturday I did my first workshop in a very long time but not in my little Vintage Workshop. Oh no indeedy, I was asked by my lovely friend Julie to do a workshop at Bee Crafty based in Ellington, Cambs.
The theme for the day were these little gems....

'Patchwork Hexies'

So what were we making?
....An envelope cushion full of gorgeous vintage loveliness Tilly Rose style!

Many of the ladies had never encountered English Paper Piecing before, so it was lovely to be able to introduce them to this calming traditional craft.
I'm a firm believer in calming your soul and for me simple stitching is always a winner.
Every stitch adds a little love to any project and always reminds the owner of a piece of work just how much time and effort has been put in.
Hand stitching transports you back in time to a much simpler and quieter way of living.
No IPads and internet to disturb you, no flashing images in front of you but more importantly, a time when life seemed a little slower in pace.
Like many of you I value all of the modern technology that our Mothers & Grandmothers were never able to access as we do today, but I do think there is a time and place for everything and that includes modern technology also.

There is nothing more important than well being and for me that means quiet time, stitching, procrastinating over ideas and enjoying the process of actually making something albeit useful or not.
Saturday's workshop was very much centred around this ethos of enjoying the processes...

The ladies started making their hexie pieces then decided on their designs...

Sewing machines cane into action as the whole project came together...

By the afternoon we were on to some gorgeous lazy daisies to embellish our designs...
again more simple stitching to soothe the soul :)

By the end of our day of vintage sewing, we had some very happy bunnies filled to the brim with tea and cake, loads of happy smiles and some beautiful designs incorporating loads of traditional stitching...

As for me...
Well what can I say?
I left beaming like a Chesire cat, may just sum it up a little!
I have SO missed offering workshops and Saturday had only reminded just exactly how much...
A BIG thank you to Josie, Joy, Sue, Anne, Peggy & Allie for joining me and making my day so lovely.

Hopefully life will deal a better card than of late so I can start offering more workshops soon...
Only Father Time will be able to tell me that one.

I will be back at Bee Crafty in the New Year for some more Tilly Rose workshops, so if you do fancy joining me on one simply click here for more details.

In the meantime, I will simply carry on stitching at home or on TV and make my heart smile and keep my soul happy...
I do hope it does the same to you when you stitch every time?

have a lovely week folks....
Toodle-ooh for now my lovelies!

x x x

Monday 7 September 2015

Discovering Treasured Old Beauties....

Hello my lovelies!
Hoping you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend with your loved ones?

I've enjoyed browsing through my collection of old beauties this weekend...
I managed to have a full day to myself yesterday sharing time with our treasured friends simply chilling....something quite rare when you work for yourself!
So these beauties were my evening reading whilst listening to a little Sunday evening Jazz.

I've been collecting old books for many years...old cookery or needlework ones are my favourites.
I also love leafing through the old pages of house managements!
Don't they hold a whole host of secrets and advice that is amazing?
And yet with a huge tone of simplicity underlining each project.

Reading through them reminded me of how talented our Grandmothers were...
I know that being thrifty and creating designs as we would now say, was through sheer necessity in some cases and but I do think we don't often give them credit for being so clever!

Could you return from a day's work and whip up a dress for the Saturday Pictures simply because you fancied a new outfit?

Or could you knit yourself a new top for your hubby's next dinner date with the boss???

It sounds bizarre to say that these days doesn't it when you can shop online and order a whole wardrobe at the click of a button but our Mums & GrandMums had to be very resourceful with very little and yet I do think they maybe appreciated things a little more than we do these days....

We live in such a throw-away society nowadays that we don't think twice to treat ourselves to a new top or dress for any occasion (unless your name is Tilly Rose of course!)
My Fen roots have made me what I am today and my Mum and Nan taught me to be particularly thrifty with everything.
Don't get me wrong I'm not tight with my pennies but it takes alot for me to be wasteful for the sheer hell of it.
Everything had to earn it's place in our home growing up...something I have obviously carried on into my own home.
I often smile when I hear the words "considered purchase" when on air because my mum would consider everything a considered purchase whether that be a safety pin to a new sofa!

I love this quote above and think it says SO much...

Looking through my treasured books yesterday I realised just how much bounty sits there undiscovered by our present generations simply because projects are hidden away in a fusty old book which would need to be opened and be discovered....

I love nothing more than sitting on a pile of books (not literally you understand although it has been known!) and chilling out in my PJ's to discover a good story, new craft project or even unveil a new recipe for tomorrow's evening meal!

I wonder if our future generations will ever feel the same?
Will we only craft through our apps on our phones?

how sad would that be?
No more treasured time with friends sharing skills together....

So in my own little crusade of one, I will endeavor to continue my quest of persuading people 
'to give it a go' simply by taking inspiration from the past and preserving the old ways
albeit from a fusty old paperback or other....

Will you join me and pass on the message for me please my lovelies?

x x x