Happy baby

>> Thursday, October 26, 2006

Before I post about crafting in London I thought I'd take a break and catch up on current projects. Since we've come home I've gotten very busy again with the crafts. This one was a baby present.

My friends Sogut and Murat are having a baby girl who will undoubtedly be the cutest baby ever. Sogut asked for a handmade present so I made this blanket and matching lamb. They decided to paint the nursery pale blue so I made my present to match. It's made with a creamy white micro fleece which is nice and soft and also washable. The blanket is edged with pale blue satin trim. The trim wasn't quite evenly pressed so I had to hand stitch it on. It took some time but it really wasn't working trying to do it with my sewing machine.

The lamb is made from the same fabric with a ribbon collar and pale blue cloth with tiny daisies on it to line the ears. I used a pattern from here. There is also a Flickr group to post your lamb pictures!

I hope I can give it to them soon because this lamb is so sweet I'm not going to want to let her go!


Paris Flea Market

So it was getting towards our last couple of days in Paris and I found out about the Paris Flea Market - Marche Vernaison. It turns out it's the biggest Flea Market in Europe, and even better, it was a 20 minute bus ride from the bus stop half a block down from our hotel! We didn't have much time but decided we could go on our last day. Needless to say it was wonderful but heartbreaking to have to rush in a panic through everything with a growing realisation that there was no way I would be able to see everything.

It's really really huge. There are alleyways with garage size openings for shops lining them, large buildings filled with floors of shops, and streets and avenues lined with glass windowed shops. There are over 300 shops altogether. This is a typical corner:I took a few pictures, but the whole thing was quite rushed. I was also trying to be frugal and didn't buy very much. I was looking for one thing in particular, which you will see.

This was an example of one of the posh shops. There were lots of these. One had a stunningly lovely sewing box with little mother-of-pearl ornate spools, lined with velvet and with little pearl handled scissors, etc. and a beautifully inlaid box but I knew there was no way I could afford it and I didn't even ask for a price. Some of those things are more like museum pieces - nice to look at but you know you shouldn't touch!

Then we come to my favourite store. As soon as I saw these huge tables out front I got excited. This wall of buttons was also out front. Things like this tell me I have found my kind of store.
It was quite large, specializing of course in textiles, sewing things, and other related collectables:
Such as these antique umbrellas:

This was my favourite shelf and a glimpse of what I was looking for.
I really love little sewing kits, made from materials such as bakelite, that have little spools inside and a thimble for the lid. And this store had a whole box full of them!!! When I saw it a man was looking through it and I had to wait until he was finished. Which drove me nuts because he was obviously some sort of dealer and had made a stack of the ones that he was going to buy. I was worried there wouldn't be any left.

Sometimes these sewing kits are figural which is lovely, ie. they look like a little person, and in some cases they're shaped like things like walnuts and acorns. They had some shaped like acorns, which I really wanted but he took every single one of them! The worse part is he asked the woman at the counter what they were for and she had to tell him they were sewing kits, and show him how they have spools inside for thread.

I did end up buying this pretty red one, so I was happy after all. I added thread to the spool once I came home and as you can see you can put needles inside the spool which has its own lid too. Then the outer lid is a thimble which fits me perfectly. It's pictured next to the only other thing I bought, a nice little tin. It was originally for corn caps which is a bit icky but the inside is nice and bright and clean. I suspect I will put buttons inside.
So this was my favourite store, it's called Daniel et Lili (Marche Dauphine stand 128) and you can be sure I'll be visiting it again next time we go to Paris. Coming up next - craft shopping in London - and yes I did go to Liberty!


A crafter in Paris

>> Monday, October 23, 2006

Here are some of the pictures from the first part of our honeymoon, which was five days in Paris. Believe it or not we went the traditional route and left for the honeymoon on the same day as our wedding. It was tiring but I actually recommend it. If we'd stayed at home for a couple of days first we would have felt compelled to do chores and tidy up!

We stayed at a nice little hotel in Montmartre which was inexpensive but had everything we wanted. I haven't been to Paris before, so I was really excited and it turned out I loved the neighbourhood. It also turned out to be quite close to most of my favourite stores (and bakeries). We did spend hours walking around looking at all the museums and other attractions of course, but luckily Bradley doesn't mind humouring me while I looked at plenty of crafty type shops.

We were staying quite near to Sacre Coeur, which is a basilica at the top of steps above a merry-go-round and featured in Amelie. That neighbourhood happens to be the site of tons of fabric stores. My favourite was called Tissus Reine. Oddly enough I ended up buying Liberty fabric - which I love - and which is actually from England. I was wondering if it would be cheaper in London but I wasn't sure if I would find it there so I took a chance. It turned it was actually cheaper than in London, but still expensive at 21.90 euros per metre.
Here's a picture of Tissus Reine. The cute thing is that every table of fabric had a miniature mannequin with a fancy outfit made from those fabrics.
The fabric on the left was actually featured in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine as a backdrop and I was wondering where it was from (and covetting it of course). Now I know it's Liberty - and I have some! The pink one on the right is one of their older patterns. My first Liberty thing was a little cosmetic case made with the pink fabric. I bought it a few years ago in a London airport on my way home. The pink patterned piece I bought in Paris is actually a pair of child's pants that I found in a discount store for 1 euro!

My other favourite shopping neighbourhood in Paris was the Marais district - near the Pompidou museum. I found a wonderful store filled with felted wool items. We passed by it in the evening and I took this picture of the window display: Then we came back the next day and I saw all the wonderful felted purses, small odds and ends and giant pieces of felt. The Marais neighbourhood also had my favourite boutique, called azag. I bought a few notebooks and loved these little rabbit dolls:I have a few more pictures to show but this post is getting long...I will save the Paris flea market pictures for my next post!


First month

>> Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It's been exactly one month since our wedding, so it's the perfect time to show some more of the pictures. Also Bradley requested a post today, so this one is for him.

As I mentioned everything was really lovely on our wedding day and we felt so lucky with how everything went. But before I go on I have to mention that these pictures are from our wonderful photographers, Heather and Lindsay from HRM Photography. I couldn't recommend them enough, we were so delighted with our pictures!

When we first met with Heather I was so impressed with how professional and talented she is - it inspired me as a freelancer. Later on, Bradley knew I was excited about the photographs and he secretly arranged to have Heather stay for an extra hour as a present for me. Lindsay came along too, and as you can see they take gorgeous pictures - plus they're both sweethearts and we loved having them with us all day. After lunch, we both changed into casual clothes and took some more pictures in the orchard. I'm so happy to have those pictures as well as the dressed up wedding pictures.

I think I've shared most of the other wedding crafts so far, but this picture shows the veil which I made myself to match the dress. I bought the tulle and comb at a Sussman's Bridal Supplies, a store on Queen West, then looked from fabric store to store to find the satin to trim the edges. I couldn't find satin bias tape in the right colour so I had to make my own. I wanted the trim to match the embroidered satin at the waist of my dress. Making my own veil took hours and hours but I was happy I did in the end! This picture also shows the pink floral vintage tablecloth (that I've shown in a previous post) that we had on the table with the wedding registry.And here's a picture of the favours I made - we found chocolates wrapped in the wedding colours and I used my watercolour of Spadina House for the tag. Each person's name was written on the back.And finally, here are two of my favourite pictures of Bradley. In the first he is whispering to me, and the second is one of the pictures from the orchard. Happy first month husband!


Back home

>> Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm back! I have so many pictures and so many things to talk about that I didn't know where to start. Plus for several days I was feeling really jet lagged and we were still busy sorting things out at home. Including fun things like using our wedding giftcards.

I've decided to just start at the beginning and show you a little bit at a time. First of all I was hinting about wedding crafts that I had to keep as a surprise. One of those was the beautiful knitty pattern for the best friend evening purse. I made it as a gift for my lovely bridesmaid Jaimie.

I started out with some pink merino yarn but it was too pink, I wanted a softer colour like the one in the original pattern. I found the perfect yarn at my favourite yarn store Knitomatic, Fable Pure Baby Alpaca. After knitting it up I had to find the purse frame for it which turned out to be quite difficult. I finally coaxed my friend staying in New York to buy it for me directly at mjtrim. It turned out this big craft supplies store is in a neighbourhood he described as the "ribbon district". I can't wait to visit myself!

Once I had the frame (and blocked the knitting) I just had to find clear beads to decorate the outside and line the inside. I added an extra little pocket inside and then it was finally finished. And of course I made two so I could keep one myself. I definitely recommend this pattern, it's one of those ones that turns out just the way you hope it will.

Which is how I would describe our wedding... I was nervous about all the little details but everything turned out perfectly. We even got the one sunny day in the middle of two chilly, rainy weeks. I'm still a little shy about posting pictures of myself, but I'll probably get around to it in my next post. In the meantime here are some more pictures of some little details like the table flowers (on top of polka dot paper mats) and cake. I made the bouquets using pink roses for Jaimie and white roses for myself. The beautiful cake was created by the brilliant Don from Dessert Trends. The inside was lemon strawberry - and like all their desserts absolutely delicious!


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