Bain and Murran’s World Famous Emporium.

I could moan on about the state of the world, or get all droopy about the greyness of the sky – but I’m not going to.  It’s all got a bit much lately, so instead I’m going to write about something that cheers me up, another post about a friend’s fantastic shop in Hay..

I heard about Becky before I met her.  A woman came in to my work wearing a beautiful embroidered, felted wool bracelet, and I was like – Oooo! where did you get that?Information gained, I soon enough made it up to Hay Castle where Becky had her shop.

Since then Becky and her partner Tom have moved down to Castle Street and the shop there is an absolute wonder.  Like Simon in my previous post, Becky is enormously creative, knowledgable and has the magpie eye for finding interesting and unusual objects, clothes, shoes, jewellery and all manner of fascinating things.  I wander around her shop with my mouth open and you could easily spend an hour or two fossicking for treasure.

She is also one of the best friends you could have, kind, wise and a hoot, with a London background in magazine and T.V. work, she is an interesting person who is interested in other people – how lucky I am to have been able to come to the other side of the world to meet her.

Oh and Tom is lovely too!

Some photos folks…

p1050361

Here is the woman herself under a waterfall of vintage scarves..

These are some of Becky’s own creations, beaded and embroidered brooches and bracelets, which you can’t buy on the net, so you’ll just have to come to town and visit..

p1050375

 

p1050377

p1050379

p1050398

Two floors of Amazing Emporium!

p1050369p1050363p1050372p1050369p1050378p1050380p1050383p1050387

p1050385
Something for the boys..

p1050397

p1050365

p1050364

 

p1050381p1050390p1050388p1050392p1050394

It was fun taking the photos but once again I don’t think I’ve done it justice.  So if you are in town and have had your fill of books, you can always take a wander into Tom and Becky’s shop and you might just find some lovely thing that you  can’t do without 🙂

Advertisements

Sunday morning blessings..

Once you start counting blessings it’s easy to keep going…

Yesterday we walked the dogs in the rain around Henley Lake and on returning to the car found a damp business card under the wiper. “Please ring me.  I have your purse” in pen, on the back.  Yes I had dropped my purse out of my pocket while letting the dogs out of the car and this kind man had spotted it by the car wheel and returned it (and all of my eight dollars in change, plus debit card and library card, how tempting it must have been for him)  How’s that for blessings?  Two lovely people in as many days, doing something for others that they didn’t need to.

Mr T is going back to work tomorrow (not that his flu is completely better, but I can’t dissuade him), so the dogs and I are going back down with him and staying with my Mum for a few days.  I will sort her bills out and do any other jobs that need doing and I can cook dinner for us all so Mr T doesn’t have to.

For any of you reading who do not know our situation,  Mr T works down in Wellington (about an hour and a half away from where we live in Masterton) and stays down there during the week with my Mum in her home.  Mum is elderly now and likes the company and he cooks for her in the evenings and they watch silly British comedies together.

Then he comes home and sees me and the fur children for the weekend.  This is not ideal but it’s the way it has to be for now.  I feel happier now I am within walking distance to town and my friends.  My mental health seems to be better when I am not so isolated..

Talking of mental health – I have finished reading Matt Haig’s wonderful book Reasons to Stay Alive and cannot recommend it highly enough – especially if you are looking for reasons to stay alive.  I particularly like the chapter ‘How to live (forty pieces of advice I feel to be helpful but which I don’t always follow)’ and number 27 “Listen to what Hamlet – literature’s most famous depressive – told Rosencrantz and Guildensten. ‘There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.'”

Matt talks about his book and depression here

Other blessings from this morning – rainbows, tuis warbling in the garden, the BBC’s The Now Show which Mr T has put on and which is preventing me from continuing this blog post because I can’t concentrate and I would rather listen to that than write, be thankful people 🙂

wot i got…

I am a charity shopper. I’ve always been a charity shopper since I was old enough to shop.  It’s in the genes, my birth mother is a charity shopper as is my birth sister.  My adoptive mother has never set foot in one and never will, and that’s ok – all the more for the rest of us 🙂

To me, charity shopping is more like an adventure, you never know what you will find and sometimes you can find something fabulous – for a few bucks, how cool is that?

I thought I would show you my latest treasures so here goes..

P1030817Utterly gorgeous handmade pot with makers mark and made in NZ – $4.00

P1030816Beautiful handmade teapot by Wairarapa potter Dave Marden dated 1986. A blast from the past this one, in my wicked youth circa 1980 I had a student potter friend who lived out at Marden’s farm house learning from the master and I got to hang out too.  $6 – what a find.

P1030815Love this basket. $2

That’s all for now folks, I am being called to watch Wallender and strangely enough I can’t blog and read subtitles at the same time.

It’s going to be a good year..

P1030767

Hello there..

I’m back 😉  again..

Now where was I ?

Last time I posted it was freezing cold here, I had been suffering from some heavy weather and unfortunately, that internal dreary fog just got greyer and I ended up having to take hold of myself and find some help.  Enter two new people into my life – one to talk with and help me examine the workings of my mind; to find ways to beat back the life sucking fog, and the other to help me choose some suitable happy pills to ease this chronic, ten year depression.

And it’s helped..  I am not sure how long it will go on helping for but I have hope, and that is saying something.

I am starting this blog again because I want it to be part of my ongoing therapy, along with mindfulness practice and a gratitude diary which I will share a bit with you if you are interested.

Two things I am loving today and one of them is this..

Puroilo2_small2

Find this gorgeous cardigan on Ravelry     I absolutely loved it and even though there is no proper pattern for it apart from examining the photos on the makers blog I am having a go using wonderfully coloured Cleckheaton Artisan 12 ply.  So far I have made the large back motif and one of the smaller squares – very exciting.

The second thing I am loving is a fantastic magazine called Flow.  You can visit their website and check it out.  This is how they describe themselves –

MAGAZINE The best things happen when you dare to follow your heart. And that’s exactly what we did when we hatched this idea for a new Dutch magazine in an attic room several years ago. We dreamed of a magazine with which we could explore our love of paper. A magazine of unhurried time, all about doing things differently and making new choices. Small happiness, daily life and the beauty of not always managing to be perfect. That is how Flow began. Flow is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, creativity and the beauty of imperfection. We love illustrations and in each issue there is a gift made of our much-loved paper. We print the magazine itself on different types of paper.”

Although it is a pretty pricey mag, especially here in little old NZ, they are beautifully put together and weighty, packed full of loveliness.  Also there are only four international editions so I’ve plenty of time to save up!  I am particularly grateful to my friend and fellow Flow lover, Yvonne who found a copy in Pak and Save of all places, and then told me about it.

I love this magazine so much I have been buying back issues and isn’t it just a great feeling when you get that something good in the mail?  Just makes my day.

P1030763

a break in the weather..

All day we have been having Weather. Polar southerlies blowing in cold and wet.

In the break between the wet bits I managed to get myself out of the house to walk my friends and have a bit of bracing air. Round the block, an eye out for nasty dogs that slam themselves frothing against their garden walls promising to devour us if they could only leap a bit higher and an eye out for storm clouds. Home without being eaten or rained on and back into the blessed warmth.

Our new house is proving to be a haven, with a damn good fire that heats our huge lounge (still haven’t got over the novelty) and kitchen happily. I am sitting in front of it now, in full gratitude mode.

Over the last month or so I have been suffering some internal foul weather as well which has been driving me to distraction, anger, and despair..but today, like a southerly storm, I have experienced a lull, much needed, and some calm. This afternoon with our walk over we settled in front of the fire, me with old episodes of friends, tea and crochet, the dogs to steal each others chew bones, race about with sqeezy toys and finally collapse to twitch and dream.

P1030496

We adopted the newest addition to our family on the same weekend we moved in here. His name is Charlie and he is a four year old Pomeranian. He used to live just down the road from our old house but his owners had a baby and worked full time and as a consequence Charlie was spending most of the week locked in his crate. So his owners decided that life would be easier if Charlie was rehomed and I said yes as soon as I was asked, oh yes we would have Charlie and what a great idea that turned out to be.

P1030456

P1030477

Easter Saturday..

It’s been a lovely couple of days.

Mr T came home early on Thursday and has the whole Easter weekend off with a late start on Tuesday morning so he is pretty happy.  Even though his presence Thursday evening meant he had to join with my Stitch and Bitch group.  He seemed to enjoy himself anyway, just him and five women.

I love our Stitch and Bitch.  We are not good at having a bitch at all, mostly we laugh and talk about anything and every thing.  We always have supper, bikkies and cake and I so enjoy getting my old china cups and saucers and cake plates out to get used.  Mr T however was allowed to use a mug because my tea cups were too small for his giant man hands.

I felt very low energy on Friday so after walking Toastie we had a mammoth t.v. session – the latest series of Endeavour, Moone Boy (if you haven’t heard of this Google it – it’s brill), The Hairy Bikers in Asia and Blandings.

Today started with a trip to the New Rags Craft Market at the Town Hall. There were lots of local Wairarapa crafts people and I spent a lot of time talking with friends both stall holders and customers like myself.   I couldn’t leave without purchasing a few wonderful things, a old framed jigsaw and a china sugar bowl.  The camel pin cushion came from the previous Christmas New Rags Market.

P1030328

After the market we had a big walk around Henley Lake so Toastie could have a free run and a swim in the river.  She had been in disgrace because she had found the pastrami for our lunch, which we had foolishly left in the back of the car while we were shopping, and had hogged the lot.  I told her that she would be sick but all that happened was she drunk a hell of a lot of water – the Ratbag..

This evening is going to be another quiet one, with more T.V. time I think, and crochet on the side of course. So cozy now it’s getting dark much earlier..

making, making, making..

I have all three Alabama Chanin books.  I know that most of you won’t have heard of this Southern American clothing design house and if you are not of the sewing/making persuasion you might want to go off now and descale the kettle or sit about gazing blankly or what ever else you non-makers do in your sad, sad down time ;-).   That’s just me trying to justify my absurd need to always be doing something even whilst watching a movie.  If I could sew/draw/crochet/knit while reading a book my life would be perfect.

Natalie Chanin is a designer and maker who lives in Alabama and heads the company that sells utterly gorgeous, hand made clothes out of organic jersey cotton (t-shirt material), you might want to check out their website now and see just what I am talking about. The unusual thing about Alabama Chanin is that not only do they support their community by employing local people to make their clothes (and pay them a living wage), they actually encourage you to make their clothing yourself – it’s the whole handmade DIY aesthetic and to that end they have published three books with instructional how tos, and patterns.

I bought the books last year and got slightly obsessed about making her clothing – creating a set of fingerless mits out of a double layer of jersey and a sleeveless bolero out of an old t-shirt.  I learnt two important things from these experiment, firstly – I would need to scale up the patterns to fit me if I was ever going to get serious about making these garments, and secondly – don’t make handmade anything out of old or poor quality fabric, too much time and effort for a finished project that bobbles quickly or just looks plain crap.

In saying that, I was immensely pleased with myself for making these things and until the mitts started to bobble I just loved them to bits.  Sewing by hand is a whole different ball game from using a machine, the act can become a contemplation, it’s slow (although you do get faster, just like every thing) and  a lot more comfortable for me, possibly because it is so portable, you can sew watching telly or wherever you want really, and if you make a mistake, it’s ultra easy to unpick.  With this style of sewing the stitches can become part of the design, like drawing on cloth – not something to be hidden and I really like that.  Sewing for me has always been pretty scary, I was very bad at it in school and never really thought I could get good at it.  Plus I guess I never saw anything I really wanted that much to sew – until now..

I stumbled across the Craftsy website the other week,  I was aware of it but had not been attracted to any of the courses they offer, and then I saw a course to make this Alabama Chanin jacket run by Natalie Chanin herself – how cool is that! I had to sign up.

Alabam Chanin jacket

The pattern is free with the course and arrived last week, I have the two layers of jersey yardage, one of which I have yet to dye.  I have a shit hot pair of sewing scissors and am partway through cutting the surface design stencil into milar.  I have yet to get the textile paint (next week) and I will be ready to go soon.  I’m scared..

To help me conquer the fear I have already practised by cutting a stencil and negative reverse appliqueing my favourite t-shirt and I have made a long sleeved black bolero from the book Alabama Studio Sewing and Design, which I enlarged and it fits me, hurrah and amazing.  I am up to attaching the edging with cretan stitch and then I will take a photo and show you the finished product.

So that is me at the moment.  Or part of me anyway.  What are you lot up to?  Is there anything you are all excited about at the moment?