Sunday, 11 September 2011

Make, Do, And Mend

One of my favourite magazines is Handmade Living. I like it because it has a nice mix of crafts and cooking, and usually has several projects or pages that make my heart beat a little faster. My heart did the little skip when I read about Make, Do, And Mend; a place that has opened that runs craft workshops and also sit-and-knit nights. My heart did a double skip when I realised that it is located in the very town where I live! So I made a date with a lovely lady I used to work with to go to their sit-and-knit night on Friday.

But before I got there, I spent the day with another dear friend. We met in history class at sixth form and have been friends ever since. We both love everything vintage, and like me, she can identify Ruby Woo red lipstick at 100 paces. Whenever we see each other we just fall to chatting like we had seen each other only the day before, even if it has been a few months, and we are usually still chatting when we say goodbye. We met in a village between mine and hers to visit a vintage shop I discovered but was new to her called A Little Bazaar. It is a glorious shop, not at all trendy or modern or styled. Down the centre of the shop are rails and rails of clothes, and round the outside are shelves filled with knickknacks and trinkets, tea pots to pearl necklaces. You really need to go round twice, once to look and the second to decide what you want to take home with you. I got the most utterly fabulous bargain! A cashemere wrap-over jumper in soft pink for £4! And when I looked up the label at home on the internet, the very same thing was retailing for £140! So I consider myself very lucky and look forward to some crisp days ahead so I can enjoy wearing it!

From there we went into town for some lunch, and worked our way through several charity shops and also a beauty wholesalers. I got some velcro rollers and setting lotion for under £3 so it was a very thrifty day! Now my hair is longer I really feel that it needs attention to look its best. It looks good freshly washed and dried, but I really do feel that it needs to be 'done'. In October I am going to be doing a workshop on Victory Rolls and the like at the aforementioned Make Do And Mend, but until then I plan to experiment with my rollers. I have set my hair with hotsticks several times (using the tutorial on Fleur de Guerre's Diary of a Vintage Girl blog) but want some variety. My look is definitely taking a more vintage direction, and vintage hair is just the thing I need, I think. I will report back with progress!

After that, she dropped me the other side of town so I could explore Farm Foods and Lidl. As you all know, I am now working to a stricter budget, so I thought these could be good options for stretching my housekeeping. Lidl I did not get on so well with. I don't think you can really go in with a list, it is more a case of get what you can see that you need. Not everything was cheaper than in the 'normal' shops, and some things were actually dearer. I did get some things in there, such as rye bread and red onions, and a few other bits and bobs as well, but on the whole I did not really enjoy it. I wasn't expecting luxury but I did find that many of the customers left a bit to be desired, and while there were some good bargains to be had, there are some things that I just can't bring myself to buy. Now I know that I am lucky to have enough in my budget to have that kind of principle, and I don't judge people who are not in the same situation, but really, if they are selling a lasagne for two people for £1 what does that tell you about the quality of life the cow led? But anyway...I am glad I went, but I don't think it will be part of my regular shopping life. Farm Foods though, I had more success with. Lots of frozen veg, and some big packs of frozen fish to stash in the freezer. It seemed better value for money to me, and a nicer shopping experience too. To be honest though, I think with the menu planning and shopping online, using leftovers etc I am stretching the budget well.

So, after all of that, home for a quick dinner with Carl, then off to Make, Do, And Mend. What a lovely place, and what a wonderful evening! I had a quick wander around the shop, as they sell work by local artists and craftspeople, as well as a few things like jars of buttons, jumbles of ribbon and balls of wool. There was a lovely choice of chairs to settle in, including a pair of rocking chairs. Tea came out of a pot into lovely cups and saucers, and we sat and crocheted and sipped the night away. Hannah who owns the shop, and her husband Joe were just lovely. We talked crafts, weddings, all sorts of things, and even planned a companion club to sit-and-knit for our lovely husbands. I don't know where the time went, but before I knew it, it was time to go home.

I am pleased to report that on that evening I was crocheting flowers to go on the tea cosy I am making for a birthday gift, and hurrah, it is finally finished! It has been only a week and three days in the making, but 31 little flowers are a bit repetitive to crochet! I am really pleased with how it looks though, and as soon as I persuade my lovely husband to download the photos from his phone I will share with you what it looks like!

Time to go now. I can't believe another week has gone already and a new one beckons. It is my Mum's birthday tomorrow, so I am spending the day with her. On Tuesday a man is coming to finally fix our shower. Tuesday evening I am going back to Make Do And Mend for a vintage paper doll workshop. Can't wait!

Hope you have a lovely week


Ps if you want to look at the lovely workshops on offer, just visit

1 comment:

Dinahsoar said...

Oh Mimi, I can't wait to see the tea cozy...31 flowers, that is a lot of repetition. It sounds like you are having a whirlwind wonderful time!! I am thrilled for you because not so long ago you were having to adjust to being made redundant. Your lemonade sweet, not bitter at all.

Make Do and Mend sounds awesome ...wish I lived there so I could go too.