Wednesday, September 14, 2011

things I bought in London

Of course I'm going to geek out about the fabric first. I experienced a reverent feeling as soon as we entered Liberty's fabric and craft floor. I think I heard angels singing, possibly. I wish I'd had the courage to snap a few pictures in the store, but I was afraid I'd get in trouble and I wanted to make sure I had a nice, long time to browse. They also have a fabulous yarn section that would make any knitter weep for joy. It made me misty and I don't have the first clue about knitting.

In the end, the entire wall of delicious Tana Lawn fabric on bolts were just overwhelming. I couldn't settle on one yardage that I wanted and the price makes it a big commitment (21 quid/meter, with translates into roughly $34/meter). So I ended up with this lovely bundle of lawns you see above, from which I plan to make...something.

Now I regret not purchasing some yardage, but that's what I get for being unable to focus at the time we were shopping. Blame it on the jet lag. I'm sure Robyn wanted to quietly slip about ten paces away from me as I kept up a constant litany of "Oooh, look at this one. I LOVE it. OOOH LOOK AT THIS ONE. Ooooooh..."

I commented to Robyn at the time that if you account for the unfavorable US/UK exchange rate, it might be about the same cost to just purchase some Tana Lawn online back in the states. That's not quite true in all cases, since you have to add in shipping and the online price varies by a few dollars. And of course, there's not nearly the selection as on the mothership.

So I was stingy with myself for nothing. But I award myself points for at least making an effort at restraint.

I do love the bundle I came home with, and I think it will be gorgeous together in a quilt or throw. If I ever make one. I'd throw in a bunch of creamy white or grey to complement it, possibly. The peacock and floral fabrics shown on their own above are my two favorites from the bundle. Makes me wish I had a few yards of that green/cream floral. Mm mm mmm. Wouldn't that be a stunning blouse or shift? Crud.

While I was at Liberty, I picked up some glass headed pins. I can't find them at my craft store. My pins are all in pitiful condition, hopefully these will last longer. (I can't type the word pins without thinking about Stanley in Going Postal. Book nerd moment.)

And here's the ubiquitous tourist magnet purchase, which will join the group of destination magnets on my refrigerator. I'm not much of a collector, but that is one thing I make sure to get from each place I go. And on the right some cute purse sized notebooks as souvenirs.

I wanted to get a Christmas ornament from Harrods, which I did after getting lost in the store (despite being given a map as I entered the door. Be quiet, Robyn). I had envisioned something really classic and British looking, like a blown glass union jack or double decker bus, but I was disappointed with the selection. They were mostly kind of cheap looking, plastic, gaudy and HUGE. So I just went with this frosted glass one I liked for it's design and I'll write "London" on the back myself.

Ok. If you've never seen a Pylones shop, you won't understand the brightly colored and powerful tractor beam that draws you in off the streets of Oxford and pries open your wallet and makes you want to buy every blasted adorable thing in the store. I was very proud that I came away with only this pepper grinder. It could have gotten very ugly for my bank account in there.

And lastly, this very wrinkly shot of the coolest tea towel ever. I super love it. I bought it from a great shop we both loved called pod. I will not be using it to wipe up milk spills. I think it would look great mounted in a frame, but not sure yet if that is its final destination. I love how each of the sights of London are so cleverly represented. 

And that sums up the retail therapy portion of the trip! If you missed the stuff I learned or the stuff I did, you can jump to those.


  1. Oh, I love the Christmas ornament I bought from London. I got an embroidered Royal Guard from Buckingham Palace.

  2. I love Pylones too! I have a bicycle bell from there and it took me a year before I was brave enough to put it on my bike because I am so scared someone will steal it!

  3. Jess, no fair. that would have been perfect! Wah! Hm. Perhaps I have an ornament craft project in my future. Besides the 10,000 other ones I mean.

    Stephanie, don't blame you a bit.

  4. Ok American girl, what the heck is a lawn apart from the green stuff in your garden that you have to mow! Love the T.towel, very funky. I am impressed how controlled your were with your shopping, mind you the price of the fabric nearly gave me a heart attack. Thanks for the tour! Come again soon!

  5. Oh my gosh your post was so much fun and I can feel your happy through your words. I too would have to frame your tea towel... how unique! Love love love the ornies! The fabric, wow - how unique. I would've been like you.. oh wow look at this piece honey.. oo oo oh wait look at this one.. yep.. been there!

  6. fun !!! really like the little notebooks they have :)

  7. Wow, you showed great restraint! Quite admirable! ;)

  8. drool. drool. drool. love the christmas ornaments so much

  9. My favorite item...the Christmas ornaments. My parents gave us ornaments each year for Christmas, a tradition I have continued with my brood. :)

  10. I went to London for the last week of July, and I also bought that tea towel, but in red and black. It actually started my trend in souvenir buying - most of my souvenirs were tea towels. I think I'm going to frame a few. I envy your fabric - I didn't end up making it to Liberty - part of the downside of traveling with my dad and two brothers.

  11. Pretty, pretty fabric. I am crazy for that green/cream floral! Never seen that one before.

    Let me know if you want to hear about my trip to Shaukat.

  12. Y'all, that's actually one Christmas ornament, front and back. Didn't make that clear did I?

    whyducks, lawn: "a fine linen or cotton fabric used for making clothes." Grass, indeed. Yes, the price - heart stopping, isn't it? Especially when you consider how unlikely it is, with my history, that it will be made into a wearable garment.

    Jennifer O, I'm dangerously close to having a tea towel obsession, so I can relate.

    Robyn, um YEAH, duh. I already asked you to tell me about the rest of your trip, which includes any fabric stores, so spill it, sister! :-)

  13. That owl ornament is too cute! And I love the fabrics too. Great finds!

  14. Ooooooh Liberty!! Love love love their fabric!! I visited London last November. We celebrated my 40th there (although I still maintain I am 25 and holding!) and had a great time!! Your purchases are really nice and make me want to go back soon.

    Dawn xx

  15. LOVE that last liberty lawn print. That green is amazing. Gorgeous. Love the tea towel too! One of these years I'm going to make it out to Europe! My husband has promised me a trip. We're going to go, just have no idea when :).

  16. Well...I don't see that print, but has liberty lawn for $33/yd (with free shipping after $35) and is just $35/yd (no idea about shipping).

  17. Love that teatowel too - and of course the Liberty Lawn. I was so excited to find an unused Liberty patchwork kit at a car boot sale this summer for only 50p! Enough hexagons to make something but I haven't been brave enough to use them yet. And PYLONES! Love that shop - there's one in Chester which is quite close to me - I just go in to soak up the colour! Have to admit I hadn't even registered the name - just recognised the pepper mill!


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