Thursday, 27 July 2017

Paddington, Pomfest, and Paint

Hello, my Lovelies! It's been a few weeks since my last post, so I thought I'd take a quick half hour and clear out my camera. 
A couple of weeks ago, I jumped on the train to London to visit Pomfest, a yarn festival celebrating 5 years of the delicious, yarny magazine 'Pom Pom Quarterly'. My train arrived in Paddington Station and, at R's recommendation, I went along to platform 1 to pay homage to author Michael Bond who passed away recently. Now, Mr. Bond, author of the well known Paddington books, was actually born in our little market town. Not that you'd know it from the lack of fuss made about him. You'd think they could stretch to a plaque in the library or something, but no. So it was rather lovely to see the bronze statue of Paddington on platform 1, suitably adorned with thank you notes, flowers, jars of marmalade etc. It brought a lump to the eye to read the cards and I, and another lady there, heaved a sentimental sigh and gave Paddington's nose a rub for luck. We weren't the first - if you look carefully at the photo, you'll see that his nose is shiny from such attentions!
Pomfest took a bit of finding. The nearest tube was Tower Hill and, with my usual lack of direction, I initially turned right instead of left which caused me much confusion. When I eventually realised my mistake, a closed road confused me further. The walk was nice though, taking me by The Tower of London and Tower Bridge.

I eventually found the venue and was rather surprised to see an enormous queue outside. Wondering that there were so many yarn enthusiasts, I joined the end and waited patiently. Half an hour later, the queue started to move and we shuffled slowly forwards. My first clue that something was amiss was when we filed straight past the opening to the venue and headed across the road. My second was when I glanced down at my neighbour's ticket and realised that it looked nothing like mine. It turned out that I was queueing for a concert! In my defence, they could well have been yarny types: there was some very nice summer knitwear; it was an easy mistake to make! Once I'd excused myself and returned to the correct entrance, there was no queue at all and I was able to walk straight in.
It turned out to be a lovely event. There were talks, a market place and a cafe and seating area for when you were overcome by the yarn fumes and needed refreshment.

Surprisingly for me, I was organized for once and actually went with a couple of projects in mind. I bought some yarn from the lovely Amy of the Stranded Dyeworks podcast. It's her 'Shiner' colourway and I want to make the Soiree Sweater by Emily Foden.
I also bought some yarn with the Campside Shawl in mind:
Usually when I have a trip to London, I meet up with R when he finishes work and we go out for dinner. That particular day, he happened to be working from home and so I was able to make an early return. It actually made a nice change from rushing to catch the last train.

A while back I bought a small sewing table from a local car boot sale. It belonged to somebody's grandmother and they didn't have a use for it, so, for the princely sum of £2, it was mine. I actually bought it to try out painting furniture. We have a lot of wooden furniture in our house and I've been itching to try my hand with a bit of Annie Sloan for a while now. The trouble is, I'm constantly vetoed by the rest of the family who like a nice bit of wood. They could hardly complain though if I tried it out on my cheap, water-stained table. So, on my recent visit to Oxford, I popped into the Annie Sloan shop in Cowley and bought 2 tester pots of chalk paint: duck egg blue and old white. I also bought a small brush and a pot of clear wax.
Here's the before shot:
.......  a few merry hours with a paintbrush, a soft cloth, and Classic FM to keep me company and Ta-Dah!
What do you think? I'm rather pleased with it. The whole process was brilliant fun. There is no prep required, just 2 coats of paint (it dries really quickly), then a quick wax, a moderate sanding to acquire a slightly distressed look and a bit more wax. I was worried how distressed R was going to be when he came home and discovered that I'd covered some lovely oak with chalk paint, but he didn't even notice - or if he did, he declined to comment! I'm now eyeing an old mirror with intent!

One final happy this week. This one doesn't begin with a 'P', unless I call it a Particularly Nice Day! I had a quick trip to Bristol to fetch E home and we had a lovely lunch out at Soukitchen, then a walk up Cabot Tower.
Our delicious drinks: Cranberry and orange blossom and Elderflower and rose.
Courgette fritters:
A mezze platter:
Garlic flat bread:
The tower from a distance:
A friendly squirrel:
.... and the view from the top:
I think I've mentioned before that heights aren't my thing, so I was rather relieved to get down again! I feel it's important to do these things - 'feel the fear and do it anyway' and all that. R thinks I'm a big wimp but I think I'm actually very brave!

Anyway, that's all for this week.
Toodle pip for now. x


  1. I would have been by your side rubbing Paddington nose. One of my favourite children's books. Loved to read the books to my year 2 class. I laughed at your antics to find the wool fest, another place I'd love to visit. That campsite shawl looks fab, will have to find the pattern. As for your sewing table, brilliant. Haven't got round to using chalk paint but would like to. Lots of lovely p's. B x

  2. you go re feeling the fear and doing it anyway! I'm not fond of heights either but always go for it! You have me laughing here, queuing for a concert!!!! Priceless! That lunch has me yummy and those drinks....sighs...Love that

  3. Oh that tickled me - spending half an hour queuing for the wrong thing! How very British of you, to patiently join the queue ;-). Don't think I would have been so honest as to admit that one though x

  4. I went and looked at that statue the last time I was passing through Paddington too (before Michael Bond's death) and it really does make you smile. Looks like you had a fabulous time at Pomfest and I am impressed with your organisation going to buy yarn with actual patterns in mind. Enjoy the holidays xx

  5. I giggled at the wrong queuing and also at the lump in your eye 😆 The Paddington statue is lovely, I felt a bit teary too looking at the marmalade pots. Hope mr bond knew how loved he was for his creation. I'm always in awe of your knitting abilities and you've inspired me with the chalk paint. We've an old bookcase that needs some tlc and now I know what to do with it. Your table looks lovely xx

  6. I like your queuing story! Could happen to us all. Enjoyed seeing the Paddington statue. I am a big Paddington fan and we loved the film too! Your table looks fabulous. I also wait for my hubbie to react to things and he often doesn't even notice ;-)

  7. Well, you're having a fun summer. And my second favorite bear.

  8. Lovely photos, my friend. It seems you had a great time!!! Kisses!

  9. I love the look of that sweater! And your story of queuing for the wrong event. Your lunch looks delicious! Have a beautiful week ahead!