A sense of normalcy is returning to Pink Towers... that is, we are getting on with the regular old business of living again. I think this is the first weekend in, oh, four months or so where I can say on Sunday evening that I really "had a weekend". We gave it every opportunity by starting with having the day off workon Friday. Canny that.
By the time Sunday rolled around we were well up for the Bust Christmas Craftacular in Bethnal Green. It seems that the new wave of crafting has well and truly landed in the UK, or at least in London, as the December calendar is packed with events. Held at York Hall, the BCC was host to about 70 stalls and a sideshow including craft classes and a craft book "library" offering the chance to check out some recently published titles and meet the authors.
Once inside, the first thing we were confronted with was a huge queue! We couldn't imagine what crafty bit of witchery could command an orderly queue 50 people deep. Eventually we worked out it was the gift wrapping stall. So there's a tip for budding craft fair traders. The hall was rammed and it was often necessary to politely assert oneself to part the sea of loiterers and prams to actually get belly-up to stallholder's wares. As is to be expected at craft fairs these days, it's as much about networking and catching up with friends as it is about serious shopping, so a degree of patience and/or determination is required.
The quality of work was truly wonderful and I found it quite difficult to keep my wallet closed. My first purchase was this adorable cushion by Caroline Dulko.
Next I splurged on a beautiful silk scarf by Cleo Ferin Mercury. Their collection is quirky and charming -- all hand-drawn prints touching on classic elements from classics like Hermes, but humorous and joyfully messed with. I had such a difficult time choosing - I nearly went for the Grace Jones design, but I had to concede that the bright yellow would do nothing for my complexion. And they were as charming and as passionate as their designs, so I could not fail to buy something. I opted for this pink and blue Brigitte Bardot print in the end. The photo hardly does it justice - check out their web site now!
I also bought a beautiful print from General Pattern, but I can't show you as it's a Christmas gift. And I lusted after the porcelain wolf's head necklace by MeMeMe, and the prints of London street shopfronts by Vic Lee, the ethical taxidermy of Jazmine Miles-Long, the queenie candle teacups of Alice Gabb (and Alice herself, she's gorgeous) and.. too many things for my budget.
I picked up a copy of The Busy Girl's Guide To Sewing from the author herself, Carrie Maclennan, who was a double sweetheart, and literally cute as a button. Her book seems a perfect way to help ease myself into sewing, which I haven't done since high school. I can't wait to get my sew on.
Though we didn't get involved on this occasion, we spent some time watching a cross stitch mini-class hosted by Mr. X Stitch himself (who we heard introduce himself as "the most famous male cross-stitcher in the world", giggle) and Prescott & Mackay teaching people to make what we thought were tiny belts, but turned out to be dog collars! Don't tell Billie...
Special mention goes to the Craftivist Collective who were super friendly - we really enjoyed chatting to founder Sarah, and are already plotting our own mini protest banners. So many injustices, so little stitching time!
Totally a great day out, and something that shouldn't happen just at Christmas.