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Beautiful Frome – favourite days out!

Finally inspired to put down my knitting and write something on my sadly neglected blog!  This autumnal weather has had me beavering away on hats and scarves for the whole family….am now struggling with a dog walking cowl for me which I messed up in the car yesterday…..but anyway….

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We had our annual trip to one of our favourite places yesterday – Frome in Somerset.  Only an hour and a half from our front door, we discovered Frome by accident on an impromptu camping trip that took us to the Bell Inn at Buckland Dinham on the weekend of the Frome Festival a couple of years ago.

We’ve been heading back ever since to enjoy the eclectic mix of independent shops, art centres and regular vintage fairs and craft markets!  Frome itself has it’s history in the weaving trade and is Mendip’s largest town, with cobbled streets and apparently more historic buildings than any other Somerset town.  There are masses of events during the year including a monthly Artisan and flea market and a Cheese and Agricultural show.

This time though we were here for the third incarnation of The Vintage Bazaar!!  We’d been to the first but missed the second somehow…but desperately wanting to buy some art deco buttons I’d seen Sophie from Fading Grace had been carding on her blog and knowing she was going to be there we thought we’d kill two birds with one stone…

This is a truly lovely fair with an emphasis on the vintage rather than the handmade and a wonderful warm atmosphere.  Also being a little further away there were exciting exhibitors that we hadn’t seen before. Mr M of course headed straight for the maps to increase his burgeoning vintage map collection with one of North Cornwall from 1927 while I drooled over the beautiful eiderdowns and fabrics available, and a number of 50s dresses that were as usual far too tiny for me!

Blue Tit and Buttons

We caught up with Sophie and picked up the buttons and couldn’t leave this little guy behind although he’s quite heavy so I’m not at all sure what to do with him as yet.  He can’t sit on my sewing machine for ever that’s for sure – no matter how pretty he is!

We also especially liked the upcycled cabinets from Box Mad like this fab Beano covered cupboard which was a bit out of our price range but gave me plenty of ideas for furniture renovation.

New to us was Donna Flower who had loads of really gorgeous fabrics and haberdashery from every era.  She got a really cool website too so check it out if you need anything in that line.

Donna Flower Fabric packs

After grabbing coffee in our favourite cafe we headed off to St Catherines Hill – possibly one of the best shopping streets in England if you like the old and the crafty.
Top on my list this time was Millie Moon
which is just like a beautiful yarn shop but for sewing.  I have seriously never seen such a fantastic  selection of fabric and haberdashery in one place.  We bought a pretty little owl tape measure for Meg for her birthday although I’m so tempted to keep it for myself it’s so cute!  There were really pretty frilly knickers kits too.
Talking of yarn there is tiny but perfectly formed Marmalade Yarns and also super clothes and vintage shops Make and Mend (great name!), Nova and Poot.  Deadly is the Female is not to be missed with it’s quirky pin up girl style that includes great underwearmake-up and shoes
 
Follow them on twitter or facebook for some great online savings and offers from time to time.
We also hit dreamy Bramble and Wild for more birthday pressies and for me to look at the lovely flowers.  They also have a very cheeky parrot!
Keep the vintage love xx

Favourite Shops – Made by Swimmer

 The eagle eyed among you may recall that we were excited about the Made by Swimmer stall at the recent evening vintage market that was part of the Bournemouth Arts Festival Light Night  brilliance.   Well the good news is that their website has just been updated with lots of new and especially funky things.  I absolutely love the loop knitting items particularly the scarf and there’s a fantastic emphasis on upcycling and recycling fabrics as well which is always a winner.  The velvet clutch is top of my Christmas list though!

Here’s a little gallery of my favs…!

Craftastic Day Out

The Alderholt Craft Collective otherwise known as our Tuesday Knit and Knatter group hit gorgeous Ally Pally yesterday for some fantastic craftastic fun at the Knitting and Stitching Show!  After a lovely tour of the New Forest courtesy of Solent Coaches (not quite what we had anticipated!) we arrived in my old stamping ground of North London…

North London's Iconic Ally Pally

Shockingly although I lived just down the road in Highgate while I was a student in London I had never been to Ally Pally – it’s worth going just to walk in the beautiful park land and to see a fab panoramic view of London

London Panorama

The view once we got inside was even more exciting though!  There was literally every kind of needle and textile craft imaginable represented including some of my favourite shops like

Loop

and online yarn sellers like Loop Knitting from London.

Black Sheep  Wools had by far the best bargains though – I’m still regretting not picking up some beautiful half price Noro Silk Garden Chunky  Noro Silk Garden

I was also in love with this pretty bias binding at sewing kit supremo Cloth Kits

Beautiful Bias from Cloth Kits

and there were all sorts of new and exciting shops and products to see.  I especially liked the pretty kits on sale at Nest  from Crouch End.

Garden Party Bunting Kit from Nest

I also got very excited about trying some spinning

spinning

at the Handweavers Studio and Gallery    and picked up some lovely tops and a drop spindle and a quick tutorial from the friendly girls on the stall.

There were also some fantastic exhibitions from textile designers of all sorts and other crafts from machine embroidery and quilting to fabric painting and felting.

Art:Cloth 4+4

Sadly there wasn’t time to take in The Upcycling Academy which featured Barley Massey (Fabrications), The Street Style Surgery, Craft Guerilla, TRAID and War on Want to give people a chance to work with recycled materials and create fantastic new garments but check out the Fabrications website for ideas.

The other ladies bought some fantastic yarns too and we headed home tired but happy and planning next years visit!!

keep the vintage love xx



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