The National Wool Museum

Wool, it's great stuff, as the National Wool Museum in Wales shows. I visited it on the way to the Do Lectures (with thanks to Russell for the lift). What a lovely place. Set up in one of the few remaining Welsh woollen mills in the Teifi valley it's a nice mixture of the historical and technical with the modern and the beautiful.

The photo at the top shows a temporary exhibition of contemporary woollen designs, including Donna Wilson's lovely little creatures. There's a lot of great stuff around, particularly as it's National Wool Week.

The National Wool Museum

There are some great displays of vintage woollen fashions (the 60s stuff is particularly fine) and great cabinets full of Welsh tapestry blankets from the National Flat Textile Collection - how grand.

The National Wool Museum

In a building across the way the looms still clatter away with an enormous racket, weaving the most fantastic geometric fabrics.

Highly recommended if you're down that way.

Ingrid by Rose Lullaby Dolls

The Folksy/Sue Ryder Upcycle Xmas competition has come to a close, with lots of amazing entries. Congrats to all the winners and runners-up who will have their items in the Sue Ryder store. Now the auction is underway with all proceeds going to Sue Ryder Care.

Winter Girl by Through The Round Window

The lovely creature at the top is Ingrid by Rose Lullaby Dolls, winner of the People's Choice Award. Can you believe that she was once a Barbie doll? She looks so much better after her makeover. Above is Winter Girl by Through The Round Window which is made from recycled bottles.

The auction ends on Saturday night, so if you want to buy a unique handmade gift and help charity at the same time bid now!


Folksy is running a fab competition with Sue Ryder Care. The aim of Upcycle Christmas is to take second hand / charity stuff and make it into something ‘new’ and desirable. All items will be auctioned with the proceeds going to the Sue Ryder charity.

There are five different categories and entries will be judged by Wayne Hemingway, Louise Roe and India Knight, who all know what they're talking about when it comes to this sort of thing.

Winners get to showcase their portfolio in the Sue Ryder Care Camden store for one month from the middle of Jan to the middle of Feb in a specially constructed Folksy set. There has been a great response to the competition already and it would be great to get as many entries as possible. If you're interested, full details are on the Folksy blog, so get your making caps on.


If I had my own office I would buy a set of Treaclezoo's crocheted biscuits for meetings. Everyone is on a diet anyway so it would be doing them all a favour. I love the detail on the custard cream and the inclusion of the controversial pink wafer. They come in a very pretty presentation box, available from Folksy or Etsy, where there is also some neat plush sushi and amazing tartlets for sale too.

Needlepoint Polaroid camera by Nicole Gastonguay

Needlepoint Polaroid camera, from Nicole Gastonguay.

Credit crunch cross stitch

I like this. Credit crunch cross stitch by Lupin for Folksy's Make the News competition. More of this sort of thing in Flickr pools Make the News and Credit Crunch Graphics.

Floppy disk tags

From Feel Fuzzy (again), floppy disk gift tags. I bet Maurice Moss uses these for his Christmas presents.

Feel Fuzzy map tags

I was at Made in the Shade again yesterday and have a new favourite stall, Feel Fuzzy. They sell delightful things made from old children's books and games, plus some other bits and pieces (like very handy gift tags) made from vintage paper products. It reminded me of Lark and all their lovely things.

I also got a button bag from Asking for Trouble (for my niece, to keep her crafting things in), a notebook covered in vintage embroidery from Leah Halliday and some more of Clare Nicolson's lavender birdies because I can't resist them. Overall, I was a bit disappointed because some of the stalls I liked last time weren't there. Still, it's a grand day out and it's on again today from 12-5 at The Lighthouse.

Cassette purses by Librarian Barbarian

More from Made in the Shade. First up, this fantastic purse made from an old cassette tape by the stellar Librarian Barbarian. The tapes are split down the middle and turned into a sturdy purse. In the spirit of recycling, the tape is turned into brooches that are also for sale, as were some bags made from records. Lovely stuff.


Next, the wonderful work of Clare Nicolson who makes a number of delightful things, like cards, cushions and lavender birdies. I was going to buy one of these but got it free in my lucky bag. Result! It looks great and smells superb.

Knitted R2-D2

I went to Made in the Shade on Saturday, which is a showcase for local crafty types at The Lighthouse. I was hoping to do a bit of Christmas shopping but ending up buying more for myself. First up, little R2-D2 here, made by Ding Dong Designs. They specialise in knitted finger puppets and have a great selection of Muppets, Beatles, and cartoon characters. The Star Wars ones were the most popular and had sold out in around half and hour.

Barney the Owl

I also got this little fella, now called Barney but can't remember the name of the people who made it. Anyone? I'll blog the rest later in the week when hopefully my computer is behaving itself better than it is tonight.

I love you more than mixtapes

Some of you might know Folksy already as the lovely chaps behind it have been appearing here and there for a while. It's now up and at 'em online, selling wonderful hand-made goods, like a Great British Etsy. There's some lovely stuff in there and it's in beta so they're looking for new buyers/sellers to test everything out. Might I recommend these fab 'I love you more than mix tapes' greetings cards from Lucy Player, Lupin's tea and cake-related felt wondrousness and Miso Funky's Emobroidery.

Christmas Olga card

Clare Nicholson is a Glasgow-based designer specialising in vintage patterns and textiles. I like her matryoshka Christmas cards. She also does cushions, tea towels and lavender birdies. Available from her online shop, Miso Funky markets around Glasgow (there's one on Sunday in Sloan's) and soon, from Paperchase's Tottenham Court Road store.

Bugs and fishes handmade cake and tea brooches

There's a bit of a tea/cake theme emerging with the Christmas shopping list. Bugs and fishes from Gloucerstershire makes wonderful felt brooches. Many are cake/biscuit-related but there are others like acorns and conkers for autumn and a fine array of felt moustaches. She also makes recycled stationery from old magazines and maps. All available on Etsy.

Glasgow Craft Mafia

Glasgow Craft Mafia, a collective of groovy crafty types is getting off the ground this week with a launch party at Home in Albion Street, followed by some markets over the next couple of months. Check out the members to see what's in store. It's an ideal place to start your Christmas shopping.

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