Craft supplies shopping in London

This post has been overdue for nearly a month, if not longer. I wanted to share with you’ll some of the goodies that I bought while in London for our summer holidays.

One of the biggest confusions, we always have, travelling as a family overseas, is the time for my craft goodies ! Being in a foreign land, we are as it is, torn between filling out days with visiting scores of museums, parks, historical sites etc and to add to the stress, I generally drop a bomb or two, for shopping for my craft goodies 🙂

Generally there is a vote and of course, its not fun when mama is upset so I get away with squeezing atleast a couple of hours for hunting my beloved goods. One thing, I noticed about London is, that being a first world country, people like to shop online and realty is far too expensive hence very few stores have established outlets unless they are eateries or mobile phone stores !!

One of the best stores (or rather ONLY store) that I visited for craft goods was “Hobby Crafts”  A timely tip from a cousin, made it possible for me to search for it on the Sat Nav and ofcourse, then persuade samie  !!

You know that feeling that you had as a kid, when you entered a toy store full of toys that were free for you ??? No ? Well, that’s exactly, how I felt when I entered the store ! It felt like I was in the happiest place in the world for me !! The choices were vast ~ variety was amazing and whats great is that they have two stories full of arts and crafts ! No matter how much I write, nothing can explain, just how much fun that entire experience was. Hence I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

Oh AND BTW, Hobbycraft has not paid me to write about them but I wouldn’t mind, if they did pay me 😉  ♣

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Oh yes ! Doesn’t it look like the place you could easily get lost in ??? I know I did !

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Here are some of my valuable goods from that shopping spree !

And ofcourse I bought a mother load of sharpies too of various nibs !

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Couldn’t have enough of these Spectrum color markers !! These are like copic markers ~ alcohol based markers.

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CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY OF THE ACRYLIC STAMPS !! Love the steam punk one and the keys one too.

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Cant wait to start with these babies !!

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Its incredibly difficult to choose 10 of the best designs from a good 50+ ! This is a relatively newer brand and much less expensive than spellbinders.

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I just have to admit, that the rectangle die cut on the right has to be my favorite so far ! Oh and another diecut set which was absolutely phenomenal is this one in the center ~ it has a lot to offer for the person good with sewing like scissors, spool, needle, yarn, model ~ and all these are diecuts !!! Endless possibilities !  Its absolutely expensive but so worth it !! 🙂

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Sizzix diecuts, a punch and a border punch. 2 sets of wood mounted alphabet rubberstamps. This orange punch is kinda new coz you can actually use it as a border punch or you can get individual coin punches too. Very innovative.

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Don’t you just love the fall colors !!

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Cant have enough of these ! This bag was at a discounted price.

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Unusual bookmarks, clipboard key chain and miniature size safety pins !

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These rubberstamp sets were actually a part of the magazines that I bought. Can you believe it !! I bought so many craft/scrapbooking/hobby magazines and they are all came with these gifts !! Yuppee !!

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I picked this lovely collection of design paper in blue and pink, from Hobby crafts. Its a large pack of 12″ x 12″ with beautiful pastel designs.

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Paints, paints and more paints ~ modge podge, crackle medium and a load of acrylic paints.

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Small size clamps

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I have this huge “thing” for designed wooden pieces ~ be it heart or stars ! One day I hope I am able to make these myself ~ till then, I think, I can indulge in these 😉

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For when I finally start working with carving wood !

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I am a huge sucker for fridge magnets !! Both my fridges are stormed with magnets 😦    I love these magnets. Each with such intricate artwork and lovely quotes. We picked these from Lake district in Windermere.

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This 3 tier cupcake tray was to die for !! I just fell in love with it ~ and fell out of that love, once told how much it cost ! But this was a gift nevertheless from the boys for me 🙂  Aren’t my boys, the “bestest” !! We bought this from a beautiful little store in the lake district.

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Isnt this a beauty or what !!! Its a book holder ~ more for recipe books in the kitchen. It weighs enormously ! Its solid wrought iron.

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Nail guns are such a handy tool however, I couldn’t find any in Dubai inspite of  looking high and low for them ! For whatever reason, even Ace hardware did not have them ~ luckily, I found these in London. And bought a bunch of extra pins and nails. They come in batches of thousands.

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So that’s it !

Some women, like to buy sandals, some bags, some diamonds and I love to buy tools that will help me create things ! I cant thank my husband enough for being as patient as he was and my wonderful, boys managed to keep their dad engaged in the store next door ( Sports direct ) while mama could have her fill, peacefully.

Oh, in case, your wondering, the last 7 pictures are not items we bought at Hobby crafts.

So that’s it !! I’m feeling so relieved having shared my priced shopping goods with you’ll.

Oh and BTW, I painstakingly kept all the receipts and the VAT reimbursement form for the VAT claim at the airport  ( ♥ thankfully we don’t have this tax business in Dubai ) ~ and guess what ??? Turns out, the airport VAT counter travelex opens at 7:00 in the morning and closes at 10:00 pm. Our  flight was to depart at 9:15 !!!!  Which meant, that with roughly 50 passengers ahead of us, our chances of making it to the counter were so dim.

What’s more weird (but somewhat sensible) is that you have to keep the said items out for inspection  (which in some cases means an entire suitcase !!) ~ The queue for the counter was ridiculously huge with every passenger unpacking his suitcase just to display his goods  !!  My initial attempt to keep Sawaabi with the small trolley bag full of my items at the counter while I juggled between the check in counter and the travelex counter was turning out into a nightmare !!   In the end, we just let it go !! What a complete wasted effort !  Oh well, we learnt our lesson ! Which is ??????  Not sure what 😉

Anyways ~ What matters is that I may have had to pay a tax, but I am a happier person with so many toys to play with. Its been alittle over a month and I have still not unpacked the markers. The rest I have found some use for.

I trust you found my post informative and perhaps even inspirational 😉  Please share with me your experience of craft stores in London. Would love to know, what I missed 🙂

I’d like to share my shopping spree with the following linking parties.

Simply Creations Link Party at My Simple HomelifeFurniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard SeedInspire Me Please Link Party at
Liz Marie Blog
Frugal Friday at The Shabby NestFeathered Nest Friday at French Country CottageWhat Have You Redone at Redoux InteriorsHome Sweet Home at The Charm of HomeThrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty GrooveSimple and Sweet
Fridays at Rooted inThyme
Be Inspired at Common GroundFaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingFrugalicious Friday
at Finding Fabulous
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer RizzoShow and Tell Friday at Romantic HomeJunkin’ Joe Vintage and Thrifty Finds at The Cottage MarketWeekend Wrap-Up Party at Tatertots and JelloShabbilicious Friday Link Party at Shabby Art BoutiqueTickled Pink at 504 MainAnything Blue Friday at The Dedicated HouseRustic Restorations Weekend Link Party at Homespun Happenings,  Great IdeaThursdays at A Handful of Everything.

I am delighted you’ve visited me today. Please leave a line or two if you have enjoyed your stay here. You can also subscribe to my posts or add me to bloglovin.

Have a beautiful weekend !

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Stores and quirky names !!

One of things that really fascinates me whenever I visit any country are the names of their stores, shops or signs. Especially the translations if its in a foreign language. Here are some of the funny/weird/unusual/cute and even inspirational names I came across in various cities of England.

One thing is for sure ~ All these stores were successful with their naming strategy ! It sure caught my attention just like many others must have also noticed these somewhat odd names.
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This plaque was in Central London.

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This is an Ice Cream and fruit drink store so whats with the bubbles ??

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I wonder how lazy could Daisy be, if she actually opened her own store ??

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Oh my !!! what a lovely stone sign with an image of a cobweb but why would ANYONE keep a name after Cobwebs ???

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I love the name ~ I love the font used ~ I love the beautiful and colorful display and whats most important is that its a charity store !

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love the name “singing kettle” ~ sounds like the kettle from Beauty and the beast !

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This, I have no idea of ! whats the connection between car and kitchen ?? But I think, its a charity store.

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Ooops ~ army lost its Rrrrrrr !

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A REAL MAD HATTERS PARTY !!!! Can you believe that ? And just see how beautifully and creatively the notice board and the chair are decorated !

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Oh yeah, my husband and my dad, would agree to that ! Old Guys do rule !

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Isn’t that just so cute !! Melting Pot ! A little something of everything !

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Cottle’s cards !

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Too bad, the store was closed, or I would have loved to explore, Grandma’s attic !

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I mean, who in their rightful mind gets donkeys and pigs to compete ???? I guess they do  !

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This store had such a creative display of beautiful items ~ and the name suited it perfectly ~ seabreeze.

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That’s my son infront of Saxons which is a real estate company in Burnham on sea.

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I’m just over the moon, watching all these gorgeous plaques !

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And now, what drives a person to keep a hundred monkeys ?? or is that what becomes of them after they leave the bar ??

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Lovely earthlings ~ isn’t it /..

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Enlightened and PINK !!

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” Why LOOSE ??? ” is the question

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lovely display !

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and these two chefs are actually putting back the soul in the bread !

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what a cute name for a store that packs luncheons ! Lunch Box ! Simple and straightforward.

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No, they don’t wash tigers here ~ but they do give them a tiger bath or should I say, lick !!

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There is an over-use of that word for cats ~ PAM pURRED !

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This was the ultimately funny sign. We visited this tiny fishermens’ village on one of the main sea coast areas of Hastings and found a large sign saying “We don’t sell drugs ” !! Perhaps the residents were highly fed up of people harassing them for drugs.

London ~ street performers.

Hello friends ~ Like I promised in my previous post, I am continuing my “pictorial story” about our English holidays this past August.

We visited Central London only a couple of times, which still did not seem enough time to admire the amazing museums, parks, changing of guards etc. One thing that made the entire package even more enjoying was the amazing street performers which were present from Trafalgar square right upto the park adjacent the London Eye.

Each one of them were dressed in cartoonish or period costumes with face makeup et all, had some form talent (except the Halloween mask guy ) and would enact the role to the T.  They did not ask for money and were very civilized. I just kept admiring the bloke who  was sitting and looked like he just came out of coal mine. What brilliant make up !! Also the  guy in the silver costume ! And the other silver military guy would perform a slow-motion break dance !

Naturally this is all to unusual for us here in the Middle-East or in other parts of Asia  as well.  The only armies of performers one witnesses in the Asian countries, sadly are the, beggars, who line up in masses right from the airport terminal to the traffic lights to any of the tourist spots. That does leave a sour taste in the mouths of the average traveler what like having to constantly hush them away and if you pay one then a dozen of them reach for your purse.  But its all a part of the Asian itenary !

I am sharing a few of the images with you ~ I am certain you will find them fascinating.

 

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Sharing these pictures for some Halloween inspirations with the following blogs :-
Simply Creations Link Party at My Simple Homelife, Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed, Inspire Me Please Link Party at Liz Marie Blog, Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest, Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage, What Have You Redone at Redoux Interiors.

Well thats it for now friends ! Thank you for visiting me today and I hope to see you again. Kindly use the “Follow” icon on the top left side of the page to subsrcibe to my latest posts or you could also join me on bloglovin.

Best regards

Holiday in England.

Hi friends !   I’m back from an absolutely refreshing and strangely enough, exhausting trip to England.  Not only was the month long holiday full of adventure but it was the first time I visited London along with the boys.

We stayed in London for a week or so, to attend my nieces’ wedding followed by a couple of days at Windermere at Lake district in the North of England and later hired a car and drove all over the south !! LITERALLY ALL OVER !!!  My intimate friend Judy had arranged one of her homes for us to stay in Midsomer Norton in Somerset. So we’d pop over at Bristol and Bath for a day trip and pop back to our temporary home. Again a day at Longleat safari park which houses the absolutely amazing Longleat palace. Wookey holes, wells and Cheddar Gorge (home of cheddar cheese !) was a full day tour. Ofcourse one of the best trips was to the Haynes International Motor museum followed by the Fleet Air Arm Museum.   Another day, we visited the home of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth. And how beautiful the beaches are in Portsmouth, Wayworth, and Western supermare !!  A lot of interesting and unusual caves were on the itinery in Hastings as well as Ingelstone.  Naturally how do you visit the south-east of England and not pop on over StoneHedge !!!

I cannot describe in as many adjectives just how fantastic the country side and the sea-side in the south of England is.  It is virtually one large water-color canvas with colors and hues of grey one morning to bright shining tones in the afternoon. We basked in the sun, the rains thrilled us and the chill  in the north was something that was what every family from the middle-east loves and misses the most about UK.

It was such a perfect trip. I really have a gazillion photos of our trip, which I am hoping to share in the coming posts ! We saw it all,  waterfalls from mist soaked mountains, cows, goats, sheep, lush green meadows, cows, goats, sheep, deep serene lakes of the north, cows, goats, sheep, the “real” villages of England with tiny bylanes and narrow streets, awesome beaches,  cows, goats, sheep and unusual caves with mysterious stories around them, historical churches, museums and lavish castles.

We travelled by almost all means of transport including  bus, metro, train, and finally by car too !!   Infact, we wished to take a balloon ride but the day, we wished to book the ride, we were recommended not to, since the wind conditions were expected to turn bad.  Yes, I could easily fill a couple of books with this trip.

A few mishaps are a part and parcel of every trip. Thank fully, nothing major except my phone fell to the ground and got a large crack which rendered it non-functional, disabling all my phone numbers since they were fed into the phone memory and not the chip 😦

We missed Keiki and Pepper dearly. The gardener was given the responsibility of feeding them in the kitchen but somehow they both played on mind virtually everyday 😦 Only after we returned, did I realize, why I had felt so bothered about them both. Yes, it a ESP thing !!

One of the conveniences we take for granted in Dubai are the Halal food in supermarkets  and Halal meals in every restaurant.. Hand showers with water in every toilet. Dubai spoils us for choices and we tend to not realize how precious it is to find a masjid in every second street. Alhamduallah.

Tom Tom, the GPS devise emerged as a new huge hero for us, during our long hours of driving. We completely fell in love with it. The comfort of knowing where a speed radar, a fuel station or even the nearest Tesco is, was such immense relief.

I have returned with heaps of beautiful memories and the best being that of spending all this time exploring with my family, friends and relatives. It was such amazing joy, meeting cousins and relatives whom we had only seen photos of, especially thru facebook !!

I am briefly sharing just a very few pictures of some of the beautiful sites I found especially beautiful in UK.

These pictures are of one of our trips to Central London at Picadilly Circus and the adjoining tourist areas. I was blown away by the architecture of the buildings ! Absolutely breath-taking !!

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I mean, can you just imagine the pain-staking intricate stone carving ! Absolutely brilliant !!  I have only just shared a tiny portion of one afternoon spend in the city ~ so u can imagine just how much is in store for you 🙂

Thank you visiting me today ~ Kindly follow my posts by subscribing to my blog on the top left side or add me on bloglovin.

Regards