Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Spend Free Window Shopping!

For the majority of shopaholics out there I have a solution!  Okay this will not work for the most profligate and irresponsible out there - and indeed is strongly contraindicated.  But if, like me, you can reluctantly put the brakes on your spending, go and look around places where you really, really cannot afford to impulse purchase at whim.

That's what I did yesterday - my only piece of retail therapy over the holiday break. With the kids and Mr Lovelygrey, testing his new handbuilt bike  in tow, I cycled the couple of miles to the Devon Guild of Crafts at Bovey Tracey for a session of covetousness .   Total spend: £8.50 because Abi needed a drink when we arrived so we visited the coffee shop.  I really must remember to bring those water bottles in future.

Let's start with a picture in the cafe that caught my eye 'Living Aloft', a woodcut by Susan Deakin  The radiant glow above the tree house is a reflection of the spotlight above this woodcut picture.   A few of the items for sale had used printmaking techniques and it brought on an urgent desire to try some out, perhaps at one of the courses at the Double Elephant Print Workshop  in Exeter which one of the other exhibitors mentioned in the blurb beside her work. It looks like this is another to add to my list which threatens to clutter up a minimalist 2012!

To allow myself some peaceful browsing time I shoved the kids in craft corner and they were happy to beaver away there with bits and bobs, paper, glue and scissors making their own creation to suspend from  the rather lovely 'mobile in progress' you can see here.

This lovely mirror surrounded by a metalwork rose trellis is by Charis Jones a blacksmith who, after looking up the unusual name,  I am excited to confirm is a girl!     Go and have a lot at her website and be inspired by her beautiful work.  What's more buy from her if you like what you see and can afford it! If you're strapped for cash  but feeling creative yourself many of her designs would  lend themselves to being interpreted in all sorts of materials included those from nature and found objects.  Me - I'm thinking polymer clay flowers mounted on a frame of sprayed silver twigs - when I get round to it that is.

How about this gorgeous, gorgeous wall cabinet by Matthew Burt.  Now normally I'd think that £395 is pretty pricey for somewhere to put your keys.   Ours hang on the coat hooks in the hall which came gratis with the house when we bought it.   Maybe nigh on four hundred smackaroonies doesn't sound half so bad if you say it quickly and of course, in return you'd get a piece of skilled crafted heirloom for roughly the same price as an I-Pod which, as a device for key storage, would be absolutely useless.  And of course, you might actually remember to hang your keys where they're supposed to go.

I could go on and on all day but a fish and chip supper with a friend is calling.  There were pots that were good enough to kiss, a stunning mosaic with clever tessellation and of course, jewellery that  could cause Mr T's silver loving counterpart, if he exists, neck strain if he bought all the lovely pieces to wear.  But to end with I was especially pleased to find this embroidered wallhanging made from a humble hankie by Jacqui Frost, whose work I so admired in Bristol Cathedral a couple of weeks ago!

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