Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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Simple A line skirt

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Before I came back to London for work, I whipped up a simple A line skirt out of some remnant fabric I got from a favourite fabric shop of mine in Wales. This is the result.

I always knew I wanted to make a skirt out of this fabric. It’s a lovely, quite thin, tweedish material, which wasn’t the greatest to work with to be honest. However, I persevered and it just so happened that I had some grey lining material in my stash and I, who literally HATES to line anything, actually lined this one.

As I didn’t follow a pattern it isn’t the greatest skirt in the world. There’s a bit of bunching in one corner and I want to redo the hem, but overall it’s ok and I’m not a perfectionist, so I’ll happily wear it until I fix those niggles. I also wish I put pockets in it. I did cut them out but plain forgot to put them in until I’d sewn the sides. Oh, the trouble with self-drafting.

Things may be a bit quiet here for a few more weeks but I’m hoping to schedule some posts soon. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely weather we’re having at the moment. I certainly will be.


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The green gables dress

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Can I firstly just say I love everything about this dress? The style is perfect for me, it fits really well and I love the fabric. Since making the birthday dress last year, I’ve wanted to use the Vogue V8723 again and, although I mixed it with By Hand London’s Elisalex here, it’s not quite the same as making the full version.

I think the skirt in this version is slightly less gathered than in the birthday dress, but I think I almost prefer this version as it feels more wearable. It actually looks quite weird in the below photos (and I promise I have hemmed it properly), but in reality it looks ok.

Since I made it before Christmas, I don’t actually remember what it was like to sew up but I’m sure I’d remember if it was a nightmare. Plus, I always think that sewing something the second time around is easier, as you’ve made the notes/adjustments you needed to the first time.

The fabric I used is from one of my favourite fabric stores on Ebay, but I’ve seen it in other places too. Here‘s the link. I love its colour and it really suits the pattern. I’m so happy with the way this dress turned out and I know I’ll wear it again and again!

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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part two

IMG_1900If you haven’t caught up with yesterday’s Made by Hand post, please click here.

As I mentioned yesterday, there were some great designers and products at the Made by Hand craft fair. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided that the fair warrants two posts.

I’m often drawn to colours and quirky designs, so I was glad to see plenty of products that fitted the bill at the fair. This time I’ve featured my favourite jewellery, ceramics, prints and embroidery. Have a read about each artist and click onto their sites if you’d like to know more.

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Ellymental lives and works in Cardiff where she sells jewellery pieces inspired by animals and collage. Her work is stocked in shops and galleries across the UK and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is lovingly made and whimsical. You can buy her work on her website or her Folksy shop and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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Bryony Stanford is based in Shropshire and graduated from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Her work, such as the animal pins featured above, often features the relationship between construction and deconstruction and she uses different textures and finishes to make each piece unique. You can find her on Twitter or Facebook and she also sells on Not on the High Street.IMG_1865

What I particularly loved about Esther Connon’s work is that she creates children’s books from her beautiful drawings. Esther works from a studio on the north coast of Cornwall which actually happens to be her old grammar school. She has always had a passion for storytelling but uses minimal or no text, instead using her drawings to tell the story. You can find out more here.

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I’ve encountered Alice Shields’s work before, last year. The ceramicist’s products are inspired by the outside as well as the eccentricities of British style and she creates beautiful pieces for the house, the garden or for adorning clothes. Each piece is handmade and you can follow her adventures here or here.

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Becky Crow’s wonderful silver jewellery is definitely something to put on the Christmas wishlist. Becky uses sheet silver and copper to create her unique pieces and works from a studio in Brighton. Her work features images of nature and people and you can find out more about the pieces on her website.

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I just loved the colours of Megan Alice England’s hand printed textiles. Megan creates each piece from scratch, designing, printing and sewing from her studio in Cheltenham. You can buy her work on Etsy and Not on the High Street and follow her on Twitter here.

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Creator of Boop Design, Laura Pearcey, uses stories from her childhood to inspire her ceramics and jewellery. I particularly loved Laura’s bottles, like the ones shown in the above photo, for their individuality and sweet floral and button designs. You can find more of Laura’s work via her Facebook or Twitter.

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And finally, I somehow managed to miss By Kirsty on my first trip around, but I’m so glad I went back for a second look as I ended up buying one of the wooden alphabet brooches from here. Designer Kirsty Patrick specialises in wood and acrylic and also has a shop based in the Cardiff arcades (one of my favourite places) selling homeware by British designers. You can find out more here or here.


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A day trip to Hereford and Hay-on-Wye

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Last week, Mum and I went on a little adventure to one of my favourite towns, Hay-on-Wye, otherwise known as the town of books. If you’ve never been there, you really must. It’s a pretty town, tiny and right on the border of England and Wales (It’s technically in Wales, just so you know!).

But before then, we travelled a little bit further down the road to Hereford, a cathedral city half an for away from Hay. We didn’t have much time in Hereford, but we did manage a little look round a few of the shops and the cathedral. Plus we ate a really nice lunch from a sandwich shop in one of Hereford’s alleyways.

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Of course I had to visit a craft shop in Hereford!

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Some of the shops in Hereford are really sweet

The reason for our visit was that it was Mum’s birthday and we have a, kind of, family day trip tradition on birthdays. We’d also planned to visit a jewellery shop in the town for a little while and Mum’s birthday was the perfect excuse to go.

We arrived in Hay mid afternoon and we headed straight for the jewellery shop, with vague notions of buying a ring each as a memento for the day. Unfortunately, neither of us managed to find a ring we liked, but the Hay Festival is coming up at the end of this month and they promised to have more by then.

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This cute child’s chair was on sale outside one of Hay-on-Wye’s antique shops

After visiting every jewellery and antique shop in the town, we stopped for a coffee in Shepherds, our go to coffee shop. By then it was nearing half five and there were still a few shops left to visit so we quickly rushed around the rest of the shops, before heading back to the car.

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Every time I visit Hay there are noticeable changes. One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in the time I’ve been coming here is that there are now far fewer bookshops than when I was a child. If you know or have heard of Hay, you’ll know that it is known for its annual literary festival as well as its bookshops, so it’s weird to see another type of shop taking the place of a bookshop you used to go in every year.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy that Hay has more to offer than bookshops and, believe me, there are still plenty of those. I just love exploring the different, irregular, rooms of those shops and choosing a novel.

My next visit will hopefully be for the festival, which is always an exciting time for the town.

Have you ever been to Hay? Are you looking forward to the festival this year? Who are you going to see?


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Adventures on Llansteffan beach

IMG_4993The other day my sister and I went to one of our local beaches here in Wales, for a walk. I always find myself drawn to the coastline and, as a creative person, it inspires and energises me. Llansteffan is a place I have been to since I was quite young and it’s really in the middle of nowhere. People only drive along the road to it to get to the beach or the castle.

If you’re ever in West Wales, and you want an adventure, Llansteffan is a lovely place to visit. It’s really quiet and there are plenty of alcoves and walks on the beach and around it to keep you entertained.

The castle is a short walk away and it’s worth walking up to just to experience the breathtaking views over Carmarthen Bay. It’s also a great place to have a picnic and just sit for a while.

We didn’t walk up to the castle the other day, but stayed close to the beach instead. Maybe next time.

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Enjoy a luxury hen weekend at Y Stabl, Bethlehem

 

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If you’re looking for a relaxing hen weekend for you and your friends, then look no further than Y Stabl, Bethlehem. The holiday cottage, which is situated on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, is the perfect getaway location for hen dos or girly weekends and has recently teamed up with a local company to hire an eight-seater hot tub for that extra added luxury. Y Stabl, literally meaning The Stable, is rated five stars by Visit Wales and visitors can unwind by soaking in the hot tub, admiring the stunning hillside views, looking out for red kites on the front lawn or simply by spending time in the company of their friends.

Y Stabl has teamed up with a local company to hire the luxury hot tub

Y Stabl can easily accommodate up to 10 people, so there’s no need to choose between your friends as there is plenty of space for everyone. The location is peaceful and perfect for those of you looking for a relaxing hen weekend or holiday and want to go somewhere special.

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The pulpit leads up to a bedroom at Y Stabl

As well as the luxury hot tub, the cottage also has some unique features. The impressive pulpit above the dining room is perfect for guests to perform or watch over their dinner guests and there are three separate stairways leading up to the three upstairs bedrooms, so each room feels completely quiet. There are also another two bedrooms downstairs, including one designed specifically with disabled visitors in mind, en suite bathrooms in each sleeping area, a dining table which seats up to 12 people, a spacious kitchen and a living room with log burner and flatscreen TV and DVD player. Y Stabl was once a barn but it has been carefully renovated to retain its character and it really does boast the best of old and new, so there’s really no excuse not to have fun while staying there.

 

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Visitors to Y Stabl will enjoy waking up to these views

The cottage is situated in west Wales, but there are plenty of things to see and do around the local area. Walkers can enjoy the views of Garn Goch or Llyn y Fan Fach, but there’s also plenty of historical sites and visitor attractions around, such as Carreg Cennen Castle, Dinefwr Park and Castle, Dryslwyn Castle, Aberglasney and The National Botanic Garden of Wales. The cottage is also near the town of Llandeilo (blogged about here), where there are plenty of shops and cafés to explore. The manager, Catrin Parish-Marks, actively encourages visitors to explore the local area on foot or by public transport. Although there is plenty of parking at the cottage, Y Stabl has teamed up with Towy Valley Cycles to provide a good deal for guests.

Alex Mills from The Apprentice visited the holiday cottage last November

Alex Mills from The Apprentice visited the holiday cottage last November

And if that’s not enough, the How I Live Now film crew stayed at the cottage while filming in the area and Alex Mills from The Apprentice visited last November. What better recommendations than those?

Y Stabl, Bethlehem sleeps 10. More information can be found on Y Stabl’s Facebook page.

All photos credited to Catrin Parish-Marks


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Just a quick post today. If any of you are around the area tomorrow (Saturday 5th), the Angel in Llandeilo is hosting a spring boutique sale. Cariad Glamour, a local business selling handbags, scarves and jewellery, is running the event and there should be some bargains to be had.

If you can’t make it tomorrow, don’t worry, because there’s another event on next month too. Caru Llandeilo, in partnership with the local college Coleg Sir Gar, will host a fashion show. And, best of all, there’s free cake there too.

Let me know if you manage to go along to either event.

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Last minute Mother’s Day shopping: Llandeilo

ImageThe town of Llandeilo, in South West Wales, can be typically described as a present buyer’s dream. With a range of unique shops, visitors can always find a special gift for a loved one. And what better excuse to visit than this Mother’s Day. With Sunday fast approaching, I thought I’d take a little walk around the area and show you the best places to buy presents in the town. If you are local to the area, or know the town, then let me know. I’d love to know which shops you love.

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Coffor Bach

Coffor Bach, literally meaning small chest, is a lovely shop with a huge selection of gifts for all Mums. It’s full of beautiful things to fill your home with and would make an excellent first stop in the town. If you’re looking for something particularly Welsh, then this shop will stock it. There’s a range of traditional Welsh blankets for something really special (I’d buy them all if I could), or, for those of you who don’t want to spend that much, there are also notebooks made from reclaimed blankets. This shop is also where I first discovered Sophie Allport and it’s worth a visit just to buy one of her mugs.

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Cuckoo’s Nest

Cuckoo’s Nest, or Nyth y Gwcw, is a cute shop specialising in work from Welsh designers. There’s a wide range of cards and gifts available and the Welsh mugs on sale would make perfect additions to anyone’s kitchen. The shop doesn’t only sell cards and mugs though, but jewellery and children’s toys too. One of the designers featured is Buddug, a Welsh artist hailing from Snowdonia. Her teapot necklace is one I’ve had my eye on for a while.

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Peppercorn

I can’t imagine shopping in Llandeilo without thinking of Peppercorn. A staple fixture in the town, anyone with an interest in baking or cooking will love it there. The shop, which has been going since 1987, has a large selection of mugs and plates, recipe books and even baking supplies, so if you have a Mum who loves baking, then you’ll find the perfect present here. If you’re feeling extra flush, then there’s also a few kitchenaids for sale. Peppercorn even sells wrapping paper, gift bags and cards, so there’s really no need to go anywhere else.

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Mari Thomas Jewellery

Mari Thomas Jewellery is a relatively new addition to the town, having only been in Llandeilo since September 2012. Jewellery designer Mari makes her beautiful pieces in the Llandeilo studio, so they’re as local as possible. The shop not only sells Mari’s work, but also the best of Welsh and international designer jewellers and artists and there’s also an online shop if you can’t get to the shop itself. The designer also makes jewellery to order, so if you’d like something extra special, treat your Mum this Mother’s Day with a piece from Mari Thomas Jewellery.