Daily Archives: March 2, 2009

Bead and Fabric Shopping on the West-End

I had quite a fun crafty weekend. After spending 45 minutes spinning at the gym (my workout for the weekend), I met up with my friend Rebecca and we headed to the West End for some bead and fabric shopping. We had a map to The Bead Shop which was recommended to me. However, on the way there we took a few detours. We first detoured to Bead Aura. I’d been there a few times hoping that they sold crafty things other than beads and each time I realized, nope, beads only (visits were few and far between and I kept forgetting that they really only sold beads).

Actually going to Bead Aura for beads was a treat! The place is packed in with beads and I’d have to say my favorite bead shop in London. We first browsed Bead Aura as we didn’t want to purchase anything as cooler wares may still have been in the offing. Anyhow, every shop was a disappointment after Bead Aura. The London Bead Shop was overly pretentious, had few supplies and had lousy music. We pretty much ran out. The Bead Shop was ok and would have been great had we not first experienced Bead Aura. It was your bog standard bead shop but it was more expensive, had less variety and did not seem to make good use of space.

So we decided that we’d return to Bead Aura at the end of our shopping trip. I’d also mentioned to Rebecca that Bead Aura was only a stone’s throw away from Rock and Sole Plaice, the best fish and chipper in London (based on my limited experience) and so we decided we’d end our afternoon with beads and fish and chips – yumtastic!!!

So we headed off to Regent’s Street/Oxford Circus to hit Liberty’s and John Lewis for fabric and other sundries. I ended up purchasing the most beautiful Liberty fabric to line a crocheted clutch that I had just finished. Also, Rebecca with her artist’s eye did not like the button I had chosen for the clutch and so we did some button shopping (pictures below). I think the purse turned out very glam.

At Liberty’s, this one guy helped me and little did I know that he was famous for his inefficiency. He insisted that I get a Liberty loyalty card and then badgered me for my age as for some reason I looked about 16 or 17 to him. You must be at least 18 to get the loyalty card. I assured him that I was indeed of age and that I would be turning 30 in about 8 months. I’m getting to that age now where it’s pretty cool when people think you’re younger than you are :-).

I kid you not though, this guy took like half an hour to try to get me this loyalty card and ring up my sale. In the end, there was something wrong with his computer and so I wasted all this time not getting a loyalty card that I hadn’t even wanted. I was just being polite to the guy since he was so convinced that I needed to have one. Luckily I was in a relaxed mood and so the long wait and complete inefficiency didn’t drive me up the wall.

From Liberty’s we headed to John Lewis. There I needed to purchase thread and some fabric stiffener for my clutch as it was a bit floppy. In the end, we purchased some foam that children use for cutting out shapes and that worked a treat (again thanks to Rebecca’s ingenuity).

By the time we finished at Liberty’s and had to fight our way through Oxford Circus on a Saturday, we were pooped! So instead of heading to Berwick St and other great fabric shops – especially The Cloth House, we headed back to Covent Garden to eat Fish and Chips. Yum Yum!!!

Then to Bead Aura where we purchased beads then back to John Lewis to buy the foam to line the clutch (we thought the foam might be good but wanted to see if we could find something better and in the end went back to John Lewis to get the foam as we found nothing better). The only advice I’d give on Bead Aura is go early because by the afternoon it’s overrun with young teenagers and others and it’s just not as peaceful a browse.

Recent Finished Objects (FOs):

Pattern: Crocheted Clutch by Datura547

Yarn: Igea Merino (purchased in Estonia)

Needles: 5 mm/H crochet hook

This is my first crochet project and I’m very happy with the result. Thank you so much Tahra for your crochet lessons and guidance.

Pattern: Textured Shawl by Orlane

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino (Camote) 2 skeins

Needles: 5 mm / US 8 circular

I seem to be going through an orange period. I’m just absolutely in love with orange these days and that’s been reflected in my yarn purchases.

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