Once again, I’ve stayed away too long and that guilty feeling from not blogging has finally forced my hands to get typing.
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I had high hopes of posting lots of festive baking and craft ideas this year but as usual, life tends to get in the way. I’m used to juggling lots of balls but there were a few too many family and work baubles to juggle over Christmas.
This year had an exciting beginning, as I started my new job as the Commissioning Editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine and attended CHA (Craft & Hobby Association) in LA last week. It was an amazing experience and great to be able to speak directly to the craft brands and their designers. There are lots of photos on the Papercraft inspirations blog if you want to check out some of the new releases for 2013.
This photo was taken of the stunning GCD Studios stand at CHA. Their was so much to see that I completely lost track of time on this stand. The attention to detail was unbelievable. They even had a faux grass floor to add to their garden tea party theme.
Now you may not believe this . . . actually, if you’re a woman then you probably will believe this . . . the dreaded question of ‘what shall I wear to the show?’ and the thought of a new year and a new me did in fact trigger a feeling of panic. This resulted in a complete overhaul of my entire wardrobe. It’s been something I’ve been meaning to address for a while. Anyone that saw my wardrobe would assume I’m in a state of mourning due to the number of black items of clothing I own. Frankly tragic and not at all representative of who I am.
So to revive my look, I decided a shopping spree was in order. I love the style of 1940′s and 1950′s women’s clothing and although the retro look is fashionable, the high street shops didn’t have what I was looking for. Instead, I visited the charity shops and independent boutiques on Gloucester Road and Stokes Croft in Bristol. I was unusually excited about this shopping trip. I had pictured finding the most amazing vintage clothing in the charity shops but the reality was quite the opposite. There were mostly outfits from the 1980′s that came complete with scary shoulder pads and pleated polyester skirts. Eeek.
I did however stumble upon a little gem of a shop called Cox & Baloney. It’s quite simply, vintage heaven. The interior is quirky and utterly wonderful. There’s a selection of authentic vintage clothing and accessories but it was their collection of retro style dresses that really caught my eye.
I actually purchased two gorgeous retro style dresses from this rail. I could challenge you to guess which ones but I would like to make it clear that the blue petticoat wasn’t on my shopping list.
The shop interior is so unique. It was wonderful just to spend time looking around. The changing rooms are sectioned off by two recycled wooden doors and the shelves are styled with a collection of beautiful vintage items.
Fancy pants on a washing line. I knew I liked this shop and now I love it. I think they hold knicker making classes as well.
The collection of vintage home furnishings on display gives the shop a lovely homely feel.
The tea room is a wonderful space and the log fire was burning during my visit.
The mismatched chairs and china tea cups add to the quirky edge of the tea room.
I was completely overwhelmed by the choice of tea. After debating for some time, I came to the conclusion that a classic tea named ‘Mr Darcy’ was clearly the tea for me.
After heading down a small, winding staircase, I found the studio where they hold various classes.
I’m sure I gasped when I first came down the stairs. It was like an Aladdin’s cave of floral print dresses, gorgeous bunting and little treasures like fabric birds and crochet hair clips, that you can make during the various classes.
As I turned to go back up the stairs, I noticed this fabulous mood board on the wall. It reminded me of my student days when I studied fashion and textiles/surface pattern design.
I definitely left Cox & Baloney feeling inspired to pick up a sewing needle again. Leaving the shop with a couple of new dresses felt pretty good too. Retail therapy at it’s best.