Thursday 28 February 2013

Brooklyn Flea & Other Brooklyn Gems

1 Hanson Place, Brooklyn
I have just had the great good fortune of taking a trip to New York which was totally cool!  My first port of call was Brooklyn Flea.  

Take the subway from Manhattan to Layfayette Ave (line A or C)


and proceed to 1 Hanson Place where the fleamarket is housed in winter.  This is in the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower building which just happens to be the second tallest building in Brooklyn - so it's quite easy to spot!  It was built in 1927 and is 34 storeys high (512 feet or 156 m) but best of all it has one of the biggest 4 sided clocks in the world on the tower.  Each face is 27 feet (8.2 m) in diameter.  You can see it best from a distance.

Inside Brooklyn Flea

The fleamarket is on the ground, first floor and basement.  Needless to say it was packed and was host to both vintiques and modern prints and crafts.  

Here's just a flavour ...

Catskill Coydog Vintage

The Gifted Putterer

I was compelled to make a few purchases (fab hab & prints) but overall exerted supreme self control!

 Claudia Pearson Illustration

After the Flea head over to the local bookshop on Fulton Street


which is just across from Cafe Layfayette - good for lunch

And don't forget you get some really good views of Manhattan from Brooklyn and you can walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge ...

watch out for the fish though ...

So here's the links:

Friday 22 February 2013

Rosemary Milner - Textile Artist & York Gallery - According to McGee

Embroidered Bird - Rosemary Milner
I have recently acquired a Rosemary Milner piece.  It's a bird embroidered onto a vintage doily and I love it!  It is currently hanging in my kitchen which is also the vantage point from where I can watch the birds in my garden! 

Rosemary is a textile designer, a recent graduate from Leeds College of Art, who designs fabrics and wallpapers based on natural imagery but it is her birds, plants and animal embroideries that I have had the good fortune to come across in the flesh (so to speak).  They seem to me to be very "of the moment" with both a vintage & modern appeal.

To find out more about Rosemary Milner here's her website:

I stumbled upon Rosemary's embroideries in York's According to McGee which is a great little gallery just opposite Clifford's Tower. Ails McGee was there the day I popped in and couldn't have been more helpful especially as I'd missed the exhibition and what was left was being packed for return to the artist. However it was all unwrapped so I could have a good look and make my selection.

If you can't get to York to visit According to McGee and their new exhibitions then check them out here:

Friday 15 February 2013

Recent Treasure - Buttons, Thread, Vintage Blanket & Coaster

Vintage coaster, blanket, thread & buttons
Anyone who knows me will know that I'm always searching for treasure.  I often find mine in charity or thrift shops. 

I thought I'd share some of my most recent finds with you.  If you're a regular to my blog the vintage wooden cotton reels will come as no surprise. I'm always hunting for those - they're so much more tactile than the plastic ones!  These fish buttons are particularly cute and the tiny mother of pearl buttons are just crying out for a project.  

You might be slightly confused by the blanket label - well I thought the blanket itself would be too big to show so I just included the label.  It represents fabric for my upcycling projects!  But now I have to confess - the lovely vintage coaster was a present - still treasure and still mine but searched out and found by another treasure hunter. Thank you!

Monday 11 February 2013

Blackboard Mugs for Valentine's Day

The Simple Things have got another fun make in February's issue.  You can see it at the bottom of their front cover.

Blackboard Mugs
I've made two for my loved ones and here they are.  I'm pleased with them though I'll offer an extra tip - choose completely cylindrical mugs because otherwise the paint seeps under your masking tape where it tapers and you'll have to remove lots of jaggy bits of paint!  You'll see what I mean when you have a go!  Go on - you've still got time before Valentine's Day ... although these would make good presents anytime.

It's an idea from Amanda Wright and you can find out more about her at  - lots of cool things and an interesting blog!

You may remember I've liked The Simple Things' makes before - see my blog on Champagne Cork Chairs

I've got a subscription to this mag at the moment and I'm really enjoying it.  I've even tried some of the recipes which have turned out great!  (Anyone who knows me and knows how much I hate cooking will realise what an amazing recommendation this is!)

Wednesday 6 February 2013

York Art Gallery - Yarnbombing, Contemporary Quilts, Wall Art & Other Fun Stuff

Public Wall Art - York Art Gallery
It was an absolutely fab day at York Art Gallery on Saturday 2 February.  York Art Gallery which closed at the end of December 2012 and is to undergo a large development programme reopening in 2015, was open for one day of free, fun-filled activity.

Yarnbomb Umbrella
Gaby Lees had organised a yarnbombing event in Exhibition Square outside the gallery to which I contributed a large flower but there was a bike, birds, an umbrella, bunting and all sorts.  Take a look...

Yarnbomb Flower, Birds etc

Yarnbomb Bike
Yarnbomb Pigeon

You can find more pictures at

Follow Your Dreams - Public Art

You could also draw on the walls inside, make clay models, see some of the Quilters' Guild Contemporary Quilts or the Bayers Tapestry, check out the development plans or chill out in the cafe.  

They cast a spell on me - Laura Kemshall - 2005

York 800 - A celebration - Linda Barlow - 2012

Here are just a couple of the amazing quilts that were on show.

The place was packed and there was a real buzz to it all - a great event that seemed to please everyone.  Thanks, York Art Gallery for a great day!

To find local press coverage of the event follow the links below

Friday 1 February 2013

Resin Rings with Buttons

Resin Button Rings
Well, I'm continuing on my journey with resin and am learning quite alot particularly about what not to do - like don't overfill your moulds, do make sure everything is clean, dry and grease free and carnauba wax (used to polish cars) is also good for polishing resin.  

I have more experiments to complete but my latest venture has been some colourful resin rings complete with, you guessed it, buttons!  Take a look.  

I have some more ideas for rings that might be quite fun.   Watch this space .....