Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A stitch back in time

At the weekend I discovered an Aladdin's Cave of treasures on the other side of Ramsgate (my hometown), known as the Petticoat Lane Emporium.  It had only been open for a week and there were 170 traders in a 15,000 sq ft building, selling antique and vintage crafts, homewares, clothing or furniture.
It's open 7 days a week and I spent a couple of hours there wandering the aisles and seeking out little jems of gifts and ideas.  Each trader has a small section of the room in which they set up a lovely scene to show off their wares and you can tell each one has put a lot of thought into it.  I could just picture several of my mini cushions nestling into each one as I went around as there were styles ranging from the '20s to '80s.
Here's a taste of how my mind was working as I walked around the Emporium:

'Oh, look at that rude tapestry! But isn't it gorgeous with all those other bits and pieces though.  My Sixties Style mini cushion would love to sit next to that tea service in the bottom left of the photo'

'I know this is a vintage display but with that bodice and solid jewellery I think it has a Steampunky vibe. There are plenty of old watches around and about to add to the theme too. Where's my Steampunk mini cushion!'

'Now, this trader has items that I guess we shouldn't really like, but they are just drawing me in.  I'm talking of stuffed animals.  OK, I know it isn't 'right' and they were 'made' decades ago, but these are just so fascinating to look at.  I'm tempted by a stuffed rook, and although I'm telling myself he died of old age, I can't bring myself to buy it!  There are trays of pinned butterflies too.  So wrong nowadays, and yet so beautiful.  It was trays like these in a museum that inspired by Butterfly Study mini cushion.' 

'Champagne? Suitcases? And that hat.  Travelling first class are we?  But with those blue slat tables I can't help thinking of a vintage family setting off on their journey by train to the beach, with steam floating all around.  Just right for my 'Beside the Seaside' mini cushion kit I think.  And there was a trader with some model sailing boats on their stall somewhere around here to pick up as a souvenir of the holiday too.'

'So much to look at.  There's a tea room upstairs, so I'm on the last of the aisles now and then it's time for tea and cake.  But look at this sweet stall first.  I can just picture a vintage-style Wedding with bridesmaids wearing these pretty little dresses and the tables adorned with favours and those coloured bottles filled with posies of flowers.  And then to have stitched my Wedding mini cushion kit to have as a ring pillow for the ceremony. How romantic.'

Well, that was a quick snapshot of my visit to the Petticoat Lane Emporium and I'm sure there'll be many more visits to come.  I've picked up lots of ideas for new mini cushion designs and I'll probably have to venture back there to pick up some bits and pieces to act as props in the photos of my finished mini cushions. If you want to step back in time, pay the Emporium a visit. There'll be things to trigger memories and things to tempt you into buying them - you know you want to!
Back at home, I'm multi-tasking again!  Now that I've completed the last of my Flowers of the Month pincushions for Cross Stitch Collection magazine I'm putting all my efforts into creating mini cushions based on themes that have been sitting on my to-do list for some time.  'Touring the Netherlands' was one of those that had been requested by many people over the past couple of years so I finally produced it and combined the traditional with the modern.  The mini cushion kit is available here: Touring The Netherlands Cross Stitch Kit.  (The little clogs in the photo were actually picked up on my trip to France many years ago! Not quite a souvenir of France but they've come in handy none-the-less!)
I have two mini cushion designs in the stitching phase. One is a '70s style design and the other is.....a secret for now!  I've finished designing an Owl themed mini cushion (again, this one has been requested several times), and also an Easter hanging decoration.  I have an Aztec-themed mini cushion waiting to be stitched too.  I'd better get on with it all now so I shall sign off until next time.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the Petticoat Lane Emporium looks awesome, I'm so jealous! And your new cushion is really cute. I'm looking forward to seeing the owl one, and the Easter deco too :)