Down the Rabbit Hole

When I was growing up, my local shop for crafting supplies was a fabric factory shop. It was, and still is, an Aladdin’s cave of all things fabric-y, with a supply of wools and yarns for good measure. I grew up in sheep-country, where the local economy in years gone by was built on wool. I loved going to this factory shop, and I’ve built quite a stash from my trips over the years.

BUT. As might be deduced, it caters to a select handful of crafts: to quilters and dressmakers, to embroiderers and cross-stitchers, to knitters and crocheters. All things fabric and yarn, in fact.

Now, I’m generally fine with this; I am primarily a cross-stitcher, with occasional crocheting and dress-making thrown in.

Leaving home, though, meant that I had to find a new supplier for my crafting needs. And so I found Hobbycraft.

 

Hobbycraft, if you don’t know it, is less an Aladdin’s cave, more a rabbit-warren of crafts. Chances are, you will find what you need, and then, getting lost on your way to pay, you will find other things. Things which glitter and sparkle, which call to your crafter’s heart, sing out a siren’s song, and you will find yourself walking out with a whole new craft to start.

Me, I have started dabbling with papercrafts; with scrapbooking, in particular. I’ve cross-stitched a few cards in the past (it’s a nice way to use up small kits and patterns), but otherwise stayed out of the paper aisles. I mean, I’ve always like notebooks (love Paperchase!), but otherwise paper doesn’t inspire me like fabrics and threads.

Until earlier this year, when I got myself a scrapbook to do something with those small cross-stitch kits which come free with the magazines. I wasn’t turning them into whatever they were suppose to be; I was just stitching them and tucking them, out of sight, into a Projects Drawer. Which is a bit of a waste, when you think about it.

And now, when I go into Hobbycraft, I find myself wandering the papercraft aisles, looking at the pretty papers and the stickers and the sparkly pens. I’ve even started looking at scrapbook kits on eBay.

I can resist, sometimes. I mean, I have other projects, and not enough time to spend on another craft, but oh the paper’s so pretty, and it wouldn’t take all that long, would it? It’s just arranging things artfully and sticking them down, right? And it’s not like I’ll be worrying about Proper Layouts – mine’s just for my cross-stitching.

 

The Crafter’s Holiday

I had a week off this week. Nothing special, just a week at home with plans to crack on with various projects and to catch up with TV series and generally to have a lovely, lazy time.

The projects took a hit though.

One new magazine….

FestivalBracelet.jpg

…and a trip to Hobbycraft….

Kingfisher.jpg

…and my other projects lie forgotten in my project bag. Oops.

On the other hand, I’ve found these few cross-stitches to be very meditative and I remember why I took up stitching in the first place. I also think I might have completed the festival cuff in the time the pattern suggested. For the first time ever.

Scrapbooking Cross-Stitch

I collect notebooks. I like paper and the idea that this new notebook will have a purpose. It will be home to my next Big Idea.

Whenever I go into Hobbycraft, I look at the scrapbooks and I think about getting one. Only, I don’t really understand what scrapbooking is all about. It looks like making a book of collages, or gathering pictures and things for inspiration. I’m not much of a one for collage and if I found my bits and bobs for inspiration and stuck them down, my brain would probably think the job was done and move onto something else. So I’ve looked at the pretty scrapbooks and moved on, unable to justify getting one.

And then, while packing up for a move, I realised how many little cross-stitch projects I had. Doing nothing. Like the Mouseloft kits. Once complete, I don’t always know what to do with them, so they get put away and forgotten about.

So I joined a couple of dots.

craftscrapbook

From the beginning

The first page of my cross-stitch scrapbook, with the hedgehog which started my cross-stitch habit. The swallow was supposed to become a brooch but since it’s been a couple of years and I still haven’t stuck the pin on, it’s probably safe to say that won’t happen…

This year, my cross-stitch plans involve filling my scrapbook.