Tag Archives: crafts

Preston, Ontario – crafty supplies and things

I’ve dropped off the face of the earth a bit! Our move to Wales went well but it’s taking forever to get the internet in our house. A week after we moved to flew to Canada. I’ll be here about a month.

I’m staying with my parents in Preston which is part of Cambridge. I’ve visited a few crafty stores…from a quick google search there seem to be more but I haven’t seen them, and that isn’t exactly a good thing. Then again maybe I don’t know where to look! šŸ™‚

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I’m not at all into doll houses, but I can appreciate how much work goes into decorating(?) them. I’d have to say that if you’re in Preston and need some stuff for your doll house check out Out of the Ordinary on King St. E. This place was well stocked and seemed to have everything. The web shop seems to have loads as well.

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I also visited Stitcher’s Place. Now I feel I was a led up the wrong path here. I was looking for wool and the picture on the website (above) says “knitting” so I assumed I’d find wool. Unfortunately for me the sign no longer says knitting and they don’t have any knitting supplies, but they have stitching supplies galore! I’ve never seen so much cross stitch stuff in one place.

I also visited an art gallery that sold some painting supplies. I believe it was called Studio 1291, but I could be wrong. They had some canvases, paints and brushes but mostly sold art.

I wound up buying some things at Michael’s. Most people from North America will know about Michael’s. They seem to have everything under one gigantic overwhelming roof. It felt pricey, even with the exchange rate, but I managed to pick up a few cool bits & bobs on sale. I do prefer independent shops.

I’ll be keeping my eye open for other places in the area because I’m certain I missed some places. If anyone knows of any please let me know.

In other news I made a super cute wooly hat for my mom and will soon be starting a matching scarf. The wool is fab, so I’ll post it soon. šŸ™‚

Crafty Shopping in Kirkwall, Orkney

Well we’re almost packed up and ready to leave these beautiful islands, so I figured I’d give a little breakdown on where to find craft and art supplies in Kirkwall.


This photo is from the blog Furman Study Away

The Tree Shop is located on Albert Street in the centre of town. It has a pretty big tree in front of it, and truth be told it’s probably one the of the biggest up here. Trees are few and far between because of the wind.

The shop is packed full of almost anything you might need. I have to ask for whatever I need as it’s tiny and so full it’s hard to focus on what’s available. They have a fairly good selection of items for a wide range of crafts and their prices aren’t too bad. They don’t have everything, but it is a tiny shop. I don’t think they carry fabric, but do have wool. I’ve spent money there so they must be doing something right šŸ™‚


Next we have The Joke Shop & Fabric Grotto. Why have a put a photo of Rendall Furnishings? Well The Joke Shop is inside the furniture store. There is a hairdressers and a couple of other shops in there as well.

Alright so it sells most things a joke shop would sell on one side of the store and fabrics and such on the other. They have buttons, zippers, and other fastenings. They carry many things related to sewing. They have a nice selection of fabrics and are quite helpful. I’ve been in there a number of times and I have found something on every visit.


Orcadian Crafts has a crazy selection of wool. You buy it by weight and they loads of colours. A lot of it is thinner wool, but there is a ton of it! They are located on Bridge Street very close to The Joke Shop.


This photo came from the Orkney communities website.

Last but not least we have For Art’s Sake. It’s right next door to Orcadian Crafts on the first floor of Voluntary Action. They have a great selection of pens, pencils, paints and everything you would need to draw or paint. They also have sketch books and canvases. They offer workshops and taster sessions on a variety of things. They also hold exhibitions and are very helpful.

I am not at all saying these are the only places to browse or buy crafty supplies in Kirkwall, but they are my favourites.

So the big move is Friday! Orkney to Merthyr Tydfil. We’re looking at roughly 15hrs travel time. I’m not sure if that includes the hour on the ferry. Well wish us luck! šŸ™‚

Knitting update – My knitting is improving slowly but surely. The rectangle I’m making for the 2nd mitt is going much better

Wool Clutch Bag – I loved making this!

I’m currently taking a design and textiles program at Orkney College and we’ve just started learning to use knitting machines. I think I’ve fallen in love with knitting machines, but I’ll get into that later.

I hadĀ knit a fairly large piece of turquoise lambs wool and hadn’t fully decided what I was going to do with it. I decided to felt it, so I popped it in the washing machine on 40Ā with a towel. I knew I wanted to make a bag and started searching online for inspiration.

I came across a great tutorial by The Renegade Seamstress for a wool clutch bag and decided to give it a go.Ā I decided I wanted to line my bag and also do some machine embroidery. I also decided to cover it with a few Swarovski crystals I had kicking around.

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Now my first piece of advice on felted wool isĀ make sure it’s properly felted before you cut intoĀ it. Just snip a corner and if it doesn’t fray you’re good to go, otherwise pop it back in the machine. I had to rewash mine. Don’t forget you lose about 30% of the sizeĀ with each wash.
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I always make a pattern out of a tracing paper before I set off. I’ve had too many issues when I’veĀ decided to eyeball it! I created two pattern pieces, once for the felt and one for the fabric as it was going to see a seam allowance.

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Next I cut the fabric and marked out where I wanted the corner on the front to the cut. Ok, obviously I needed to cut a corner out of the lining as well and this is where I messed up…twice. First go I cut the wrong corner…so make sure you line your fabric up properly. So I cut a new piece of fabric, cut the correct corner but totally forgot about the seam allowance! Ah well, I made it work in the end.

After cutting out the wool I covered it with various machine embroidery stitches. I didn’t follow any guide or anything, just went with it. I then tied each row of stitching off and sewed on the crystals using a clear thread. After I was finished with the wool, I sewed up the edges of the lining and pinned it to the wool.

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Ok so my blanket stitch leaves a lot to be desired, but I got through it and finished it.

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Over all I’m really happy with my first attemptĀ at this bag and thought the tutorial was great. I feel my bag is a bit big, and next time I think I might use some interfacingĀ so it’s not as floppy.

If you have an old wool sweater kicking around, give it try! Thanks Renegade Seamstress, that was fun!