Monday, 5 May 2008

Crafty London meet and giveaway!

I've had a most exciting weekend! On Saturday, I went to London, not to see the queen, but some infinitely more important (and more fun too, I suspect!) ladies - Florence of Flossie Teacakes, Jo from Today we are and Lisa from U-handbag. Plan for the day: eating cake, chatting and fabric shopping - definitely a day out with my name on it!

We started out with coffee and pastries (sorry I ate the evidence before I'd thought to photograph it :D), then off to Liberty for a long browse and some button-buying.

After Liberty, my first visit to The Cloth House in Soho. What a beautiful shop - full of gorgeous linens and cottons and trims.

It was all so lovely and inviting, I just couldn't help buying a gauzy brown cotton fabric with a cream pindot print and this lilac linen offcut.

We also made our way down to the other end of Berwick Street where the Cloth House have another store devoted to knits, jersey, wool and silks. I have never seen so much jersey, felt and wool in one place. The place really is an Aladdin's cave of lovely fabrics.

Naturally, after such a huge fabric hit we were all in need of a sit down and some cake, so we made our way to Patisserie Valerie on Old Compton Street.

I think we must have stayed here for several hours (overcome by the heady scent of chocolate, no doubt!) having such a great chat about crafting and life in general. I think the staff there had probably given up on us ever leaving by the time we finally vacated out table!

And how best to end such a lovely day out? With mocktails in tall glasses in the 5th floor bar of Waterstone's in Piccadilly, and more chatting, naturally! And the beauty of going to a bar in a bookshop is that you can go and have a nice browse through the bag-making books on the way out.

Thanks, Florence, Jo and Lisa for a lovely day!

And finally, I haven't forgotten (miraculously!) that I promised a small giveaway at the end of my last post. If you'd like to be put in to a draw to win this clutch bag made from Amy Butler prints, just leave a comment on this post telling me about your ideal crafting/crafter's day out. Everyone's welcome, including lurkers and new visitors, and I'm happy to post internationally. You have until midnight (UK time) on Monday 12th May to enter, and I'll chose the winner at random on Tuesday. Sorry blogger doesn't provide me with your email addresses, so you'll need to check back to see if you've won.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!


  1. Those chocolates look divine! *drools* :D

    My ideal crafter's day out would include chocolate lol. And of course buying lots of fabric and art supplies. Its better when the day includes more than one person as working on the projects that result from buying the supplies is more fun when you have lots of people to talk and share ideas with. I would try to combine the fabric and art supplies, so I could make pouches for pencils, and funky coloured tool belts to hold all the supplies. if I couldn't find any art supplies or fabric I would try to take a course in making different chocolate cakes and cake decorating. Would be very handy sometimes to know how to make fancy cakes and decorate them so they look pretty :) Can't think of a way to combine chocolate, fabric and art supplies but I will figure something out one day :D

  2. Hi, Looks like you had avery nice day!
    In my ideal crafter's day out i would have to include my sister. (We always get good ideas when we're together.)
    We would visit yarn, fabric & craft shops; probably do some shopping; definitely have coffee & cakes and a perfect end to the day would be to go home and make something.
    Unfortunately we live to far apart to do this often...

  3. What a fab day out and in such great company too!

  4. Sounds like a great day! And I have been lucky enough to enjoy quite a few crafters days out. It's always the company which makes them special, and you had great girlies to play with!

  5. My ideal crafter's day out is a trip to all the local thrift stores in search of old cashmere sweaters and vintage sheets, a stop at the really nice (and pricey!) fabric store to drool over fabric I can't afford, with a stop at a nice cafe for a latte and conversation (a real two-way conversation! not just me babbling away at my toddler!) Lovely clutch, by the way...

  6. What a great day with such fabulous company too. Love the aqua and red combination on that print. My perfect crafter's day out would have to involve shopping for fabrics, buttons and ribbons with a bit of thrifting and eating thrown in. Above all it would have to involve some like minded people with the chance to do some crafting together!

  7. What a fun time you had! I've never had a crafter's day out, but I've always had visions of renting a cottage by a lake and knitting a whole weekend away with friends.

  8. Woo hoo - lucky you! I'm not sure what I'm more envious over - the tea and cakes or the button and fabric loving! Sounds like you had a great day - and the weather was wonderful too.

  9. Sounds lovely! My ideal day out would be spent collecting fabric with an unlimited budget =)

  10. OMG well that sounds like an ideal day out to me!

    I think my ideal day out would be a crafty day course (or even better a weekend, but that would be too much to hope for), so I can spend the day absorbed in what I'm doing with no distractions. I've really enjoyed Gillian Harris's felting courses at her home in Surry. Her workshop is amazing and colourful, the courses are great fun and there is always a great lunch with cakes to follow. I'm hoping to do another one soon - so that would be my perfect crafting day out I think (though it's a very close tie with your one)!

  11. sounds like a wonderful day, although I like clothcats idea of a course, as long as there was shopping, and cake, and tea!

  12. Wow, what a lovely day. You can't beat PV cakes, Liberty and Cloth House for a day out. I think I've missed your competition..nevermind, but my ideal crafty day out would be crafty market crawl around London, starting at Greenwich market (because I live close by), Candem Market, Spitalfields Market, Portabello Market and any other crafty markets in London.

  13. I am so envious. My ideal crafter's day out happens once a year when my quilt guild rents a bus and off we go to three quilt shops hour away. I sit in the back of the bus with the cool kids and we talk and laugh and eat and then spend too much money in wonderful quilt shops I wouldn't get to any other way. It is so refreshing to be away from home for the day with someone else driving and lots of wonderful women to share the experience with. I wish we did it more than once a year.

  14. Your day sounds like the perfect crafters day...I am so jealous...there are no fabric stores worth going to in Calgary. My perfect crafters day is going to my local LYS, Make 1 Yarn, browsing to my hearts content and chatting with all the other knitters who lurk there consistently on the weekend...and then buy something.

  15. My ideal of crafter's day out is going Joann's and seeing all the new scrapbook paper. Followed by a trip to Starbucks for coffee.


  16. Beautiful bag, count me in. My ideal crafter's day out would be out shopping for crafty goodness out of town somewhere, as I've pretty much exhausted all the stores in town. Or a big crafter's show, where I can see beautiful things other's have made. And I love the buttons that you found.

  17. Ideal crafters day out... much like yours really only with a large amount of money!

  18. Though YOUR day sounds amazingly fun, I'd definitely love to go shopping in a huge antique mall. I love anything vintage and I love to express that throughout my work. :) Plus, this wristlet is BEYOND adorable.

  19. Wow! I just read about your day over at Flossie's and came to see what you had to say. My ideal crafter's day now must be one in London shopping at all your favorite haunts - my American ones seem boring right now. Love the bag in your giveaway. -- Michele
    calicodaisy (at) gmail (dot) com.

  20. Just a quick note, as i don't know how to e-mail you. The vv r sale is open to everyone, I am on their mailing list so I supose they just sent me one in the mailshot.

  21. My perfect crafter's day sounds very like your trip to London - lots of cake (obviously), lovely fabrics and good friends who indulge what the rest of my world see as my eccentricities (i.e. talking about fabric etc a LOT!) I would also have to have a bit of time to do some actual crafting too - perhaps a workshop in the afternoon - followed by more cake (obviously!)

  22. I had a crafters day out the other week, and it cost me way too much!
    I thought I would go with someone else and we would reign each other in, but the opposite happened, after much oooing and ahhhing at yummy fabrics and shiny bits and buttons (why do hubbies not understand this?) we came home with too much stuff to use for the forseeable future, but also obviously will need more coordinating bits and bobs to go with the stuff already purchased.
    The internet is fantastic, but you just cant beat roaming about fabric stores touching stuff!

  23. Hi all!!

    My ideal craft's day out It will start with my best friend Mary. We love to get our breakfast very early (for me 8.30 it's veryyyy early)in a bar. On this way we can take profit of the morning. I enjoy a lot talking with her, we have a lot of ideas and projects to do and we agree at the majority part.We uses to go to a market were it's easy to find, cheaper fabrics, threads and antiquities
    Sorry for my english I'm from Barcelona!
    What a beatiuful day have you had. The next time I will going to london i will visited Liberty and of course the patisserie, ummmmm, ;p


  24. Ups!!!
    I forget to tell you the name of the market (just in case you visit Barcelona) : Les Glòries, but it's the old one.

    See you

    Elena ;p

  25. Just found your fab blog by blog hopping! I'm going to London for the day on Saturday and you have given me some lovely ideas for places to visit. I'm off to check out your etsy shop!

  26. Those buttons are supberb! I didn't know Liberty had a crafting section.

    I'm getting into vintage supplies a bit more now so my ideal crafters day out would be exploring lots of little thrift and antique shops for really unique materials, unfortunately I have no idea where that would be in this country!
    I'd probably have to stop off at a pattiserrie too, I went to this gorgeous one in Paris once which sold beautiful handmade chocolates and pastries.
    It was also a cafe and they served their drinks in beautiful china, and the hot chocolate was pure melted chocolate and milk!

    I think to end the day I'd love to finish with a class of some kind, maybe silversmithing, I really want to learn how to work with actual silver and learn how to solder. I'd like to come home with something lovely that I just made and wear it with pride!

  27. Oh wow! I LOVE that cafe!
    And the fabric shops are awesome, but a little pricey for me!!
    My ideal day out...
    Oooooh. Am I allowed to pretend I have lots of money to spend? And that the day had infinate hours? And I have infinate energy?! ;)
    I'd go to the zoo to sketch some beasts, Libertys to look at the fabric, the Science museum (I just love it in there. I always get randome ideas when wandering around!) Waterstones to look at all the YUMMY art books, Oh and I think I'd find somewhere that sold beautiful cake decorating things, buy lots of them and I'd bake some awesome cupcakes! :D

  28. My ideal crafter's day would be with my Oma (grandma) who is an amazing person, as well as crafter. It would begin with some sustenance to keep us going- a soy latte and a bagel and a decaf for her with some toast. Then we'd take a super-speedy jet to Germany to spend the day. (We live in America). We would visit some beautiful fabric shops and purchase some of the most luxurious fabrics offered to bring home and hesitate to cut into. But finally she would talk me into it and with her steady hand and years of experience, I would begin and together we would create a piece of beauty woven with love.

  29. Wow, it looks like you had a fantastic day! Am much envious of the chocolates. :)

    Crafty days are slightly harder for metalwork jewelers, I think, since there are very few lovely little stores that filled to bursting with beads, wire, sheet silver and cabochons. But were I to have such a day, I would love to work in a light, airy studio with 3 or so other like minded folks who perhaps used techniques or materials that were quite different to mine so that we could all learn a few new tricks!

    But then, of course, there would be lunch at a divine cafe with dreamy pastries and rather a lot of gossipy goodness over coffee. :)

  30. Sounds like a great day! My ideal day would be attending a crafty workshop demo type of day at a fabric store. What could be better, get inspired and be surrounded by lots of delicious fabrics. Good food available nearby and I'd be in absolute heaven.

  31. Oh what fun.... I think my ideal crafters day out would have to be much like yours. A lot of chocolate, a lot of shopping (with of course unlimited money to spend) cute little shops, Liberty's, the Cloth Shop, All the Fun at the Fair... and maybe some crafty exploring too. Of course with fantastic crafty company to share it all with. Then off home to see what can be made from our loot!!
    Ems. xx

  32. Hi Helen

    Your bag looks fab! I love the colours.

    Also day in london sounds like the perfect way to spend some time.


  33. Your day sounds great - as I'm fairly new to crafting, my perfect day would also include a course showing me some the techniques I struggle with. There'd be lovely fabrics to choose from, some simple but beautiful things to make.
    Later there'd be a delicious lunch included with lots of people to chat to about projects. Maybe the tea breaks would also include chocolates or cake - just about perfect!


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