Today my Mum and I went to The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show 2014, and I was so glad I went. It was refreshing to do something different, and knitting and stitching has been an interest of mine. For one, I have a kit on both sewing and knitting that's stored in the cupboard, I never got round to using it =/ Second, I always wanted to try my hand at making my own clothes. It's rewarding, plus I can make the style I actually want. And third, when I was younger, I loved doing cross stitch and making creative little papercraft stuff. So even though I bought the ticket mainly for my Mum, I knew it wouldn't be bored there.
Guess what? I wore pink today! (Why are my socks so grubby? They just came out the wash.)
First thing's first. I couldn't go for 10am, when the doors opened, and we ended up getting there around 13:10. It was fairly busy in there, and by that I mean - when I went to the 2013 National Home Improvement show, it was pretty spacey. That was also in Hammersmith Olympia but on the ground floor. I think it was a Sunday, and it wasn't as busy as this show was on Thursday.
I liked the atmosphere, it was lively and intriguing, I was curious to go off and explore. Being a younger black girl, I didn't see a huge amount of teens or early-twenties (which I expected) and not many people of colour in general - though I can't say what the turnout will be like over the weekend, when a vast majority of people will be off school and work. It was spacious and just the right size for the amount of people that turned up. Sometimes we were shuffling along, and that had me a little exasperated, but it was nowhere NEAR as bad as MCM 2013!
There was absolutely TONS of stalls. Loads! You could buy:
- Yarn, wool, materials and fabrics
- Ribbons, buttons, beads, sequins - basically bits, bobs, and other embellishments =D
- Cross stitch
- Patterned paper
- Knitted garments and other clothing
- Beaded necklaces and a vast range of jewellery
- Gift box making
- Patterns for things to make, or the entire kit including materials
- Scarves, LOADS of scarf stalls!
- Japanese craft stall (you can be sure I darted straight over to that one!)
And so much more! Also;
- Craft, sewing, and lifestyle magazine subscriptions
- Food Stalls and places to sit down and eat or rest
I was eager to look at every single stall, even though when it hit 3 o'clock, my feet ached, I felt a little sick, and I was mentally exhausted (um... I'm not exactly healthy right now =s ) I took a decent amount of money with me, not expecting to spend much.
Normally I save up and take about £50 or a bit over; I do this because I am not really a 'shopper', I don't go on regular shopping sprees, but when events like this come up I like to try and 'treat' myself. I've made the rule that if I see something nice, I'll buy it, so I can go home with one happy memory. I've been told by counsellors that I should take care of myself more, I dunno why I find it such a hard thing to do. Maybe because I'm more of a Saver, but I know it's nice to treat yourself every once in a while. So without further ado, let's move on to what I bought. I surprised myself this time...
So, this is what I bought today.
1 - Purple Cord, £1
2 - Sky Blue Scarf with White Bunny Print, £8 (we got 2 for £10 so, technically £5)
3 - Natural Lavender and Frankincense Cream, £12
4 - Authentic Silk Powder Blue Italian-Style Blouse.... it still makes me feel wobbly to say this, but... £49
5 - Patterned Paper x2, £1 each
6 - Pretty Organza/Velvet red Ribbon, £1.
Let's break it down.
This purple cord I saw and had an impulsive reaction - well, the cord I actually saw was a black organza cord. The reason? Well, remember what I said about Infinity bracelets? My idea is to buy this charm (in the image below and you can buy that Here) and put it on the cord. I went with purple as it's less subtle than black but it's my fave colours. I bought that from Bead Spider, and their website is Here.
I bought this beautiful, adorable blue scarf as my Mum was buying this white one, but it seem better to get 2 for £10 than one for £8, and I felt like new scarf, a PRETTY scarf as all of my are winter-style thick and plain. I saw this one and thought awwwwwwwwww. My Mum thought the white one had splotches of colour on and didn't realise it was dragonflies and bugs until I said. She didn't mind though. That was amusing as I didn't see her as a 'bug' person. I'm sorry, I can't remember what the name of the stall was and we forgot to pick up a business card.
What my Mum bought
She also got another printed scarf from another exhibitor; you can find out more Here on the Knitting and Stitching Show site or her website is Here.
I bought this... well, not quite sure, actually! I really liked the smell. If I'm going to treat myself, as I decided to do today, I quite like bodycare products because it looks after your skin and makes you feel soft and smooth =D I bought this gorgeous natural-ingredients cream from Attis when I went to Mind Body and Spirit 2013 (the post is Here if you're interested). When I came home and showed my Mum, she fell in love with it. I was gonna buy her something from here for Mother's Day (Shhhhhh!) but seeing as she bought a Geranium and Frankincense cream from here, I don't think I will. It's meant to be a years worth, even though it's such a small tub! In the image above, it's in my hand. It fits right into my palm.
When I saw it, I just gasped aloud and gravitated right to it. The first thing I thought of was how great it would be for summer, and how I'd love to wear it when I go on my first proper holiday to Cyprus. It was a beautiful style and design. My Mum saw what I was looking at and her eyes also went wide as she touched it. This blouse is made of pure silk and was made in Italy. It's got elasticated sleeves, a crossover back, and embroidery that hangs down so you can just see it under the outer layer. I don't normally get tops so baggy, but it was one size only!
The man at the stall was so friendly as he explained about the tops and his business, saying that the fashion styles in Italy were so transitory that every time he went to Italy to replenish the stock, often they couldn't get more of the same thing. I thought, it must be hard to try and sell things that you have no idea will do well or not. He also mentioned that his stall is also at Alexandra Palace when the show runs there, so I hope I can save up, and go back and buy something else! He was such a pleasant person and I like being around people who make you feel so welcome. =] Assistants at other stalls were nice, but I guess I remember him in particular because he didn't just talk about what he was selling like the others, he made jokes and asked if we were enjoying the show, and mentioned other shows we might like and just making conversation, which was really nice.
So fancy c:
He said that there was no website for the clothes side of the business yet, but the other products his business sells is at this website, Wowtrade. I saw the CUTEST permanent nail file, but as I'd just spent a fair bit, I wanted to be careful in case I wanted to buy something at another stall.
Oh yeah, the money! (I forgot) Well, I thought hard about it. I think the most expensive bit of clothing I ever got was my winter coat from next. It cost £70 and I saved for months, but it was a fantastic investment because it was SO WARM. This top by itself was £49, and that made me really think hard as I'm not used to spending that much at once. I mean, I did buy a Topshop jacket for about £50, but it's a jacket - it lasts, I wear it all the time and still do, and it looks great. But this item was much more delicate, and silk! Goodness! So I asked myself questions.
What was the last item of clothing I bought? Do I have anything in my wardrobe like this? Could I get this somewhere else for cheaper? And the answers were, the lace top I bought in December (I vlogged about it), no, and no. So I bought it, and I'm glad I did.
My Mum's one.
To some people £49 for one top is a fortune. To others it is nothing. To me it was... a lot, but like I said, because I save frequently instead of spending, I could afford it. Now I guess I will.... eat McDonalds for the next three months. LOL I'm joking!!! What I AM concerned about, though, it that I'm going to another show on Saturday, London Super Comic Con, and what my budget will be for THAT one...
When I went to MCM last year (link to the post here), I don't think I bought a single thing. I dunno what LSCC will be like, but I'm still gonna take my usual £50. ]
I saw these pretty papers and just knew I couldn't leave without one. (Website here, i think.) The one I immediately wanted was the yellow and blue (I have NO idea what I will do with it... yet), but I bought the other one for the handmade Mother's Day card I'm doing for my Mum! You're probably wondering what that's all about... I will tell all one my post on Monday, I promise!
I laughed at the way my Mum oohed and aahed over this ribbon, because I'd done EXACTLY the same thing ten minutes earlier, and then I came back to buy it. I forgot to get business cards for the last two, sorry!
I seriously considered buying:
- Cross stitch pack - www.annsorchard.co.uk
Reminded me of the cross stitches I used to do when I was little!
- Dress making pack - www.sewladidavintage.com
Those dresses were so gorgeous. I would have loved to try it, but, well you know. Budget.
Both were VERY tempting. We left at about 4, which surprised even me as that's about four hours; the longest I have even spent at a show or convention. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much c:
So there you have it! I hope you found my review interesting. There's something else coming up that I'm going to called the Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts show, which I wrote about in the Shows In London post on my other blog, Star: The Alter Ego Writer.
Also, watch out for my post on great ideas for Mother's Day presents! I expect that to be up around Monday.