Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Brixton calling!

Good morning, good morning,

As I don't have any more news on the crochet side of things for now, I thought I'll treat to you to a few pictures of the neighbourhood I live in, Brixton and its wonderful market.  

I live in Brixton Hill, 15 minutes walk from the amazing market and the centre of Brixton. I go there 3-4 times a week, and if I am free at the weekend, I'll most probably spend a few hours there. I meet my two friends there, quite regularly. Coffee and a stroll amongst the stall holders and new pop-up shops are my favourite things to do. You can find everything in there. You can buy great and cheap vegetables and fruit (London's supermarkets are quite expensive for that kind of thing, so if you buy at the market you don't spend a fortune and you also contribute to the local community and small businesses), you can buy great second hand clothes and trinkets, talk to the locals, eat great food, and immerse yourself in different cultures. You'll find food from all over the world in there: Japanese, Chinese, Caribbean, Nigerian, Thai, gluten free cupcakes, hemp products, cheap spices from all over the world, fresh fish and good quality meat... you name it, they have it. And you'll get a great and personable service there too.

So here are a few pictures of my favourite places in the market. I published these pictures some time ago on my facebook page, but never put them in a context, so here they are again.

This is one of my favourite second hand shops. The woman who works in there is really lovely and even if I am not buying anything, I'll at least pop in to say hello. Her mother finds the goods from other markets and other places, and she sells them. In it, you'll find interesting clothes and also vintage objects like clocks, jewelry, suitcases,...

This is a small stall selling goodies like Caribbean patties (akee fish is very good), and healthy, but not so delicious goodness tonics for cleansing your body and that kind of stuff. They are award winning and they are good, although a friend claims there is a better place with better patties around the corner. I'll check that one out too, just for you :-)

So, that's all for now. I need to buy fresh vegetables (not a lover of fruit, it has to be said) so I'll take some new pictures this week and post them very soon. 

And, before I go, just wanted to let you know that I always reply to your lovely messages, so go back if you haven't already and see what I said.
I love it when you wirte on the wall, I really appreciate it, and I love reading your impressions.
And one last thing,... where do you buy your food? What's your favourite shop?

Have a lovely and delicious day.

Lilly xx

Sunday, 27 March 2011

One of these days, I swear I'll sit on a needle!!

Hello my dears,

It's been a while since I last posted. I haven't had time to work on my bags and then when I did, everything I made I had to undo again. I am so inexperienced and so slow, I wonder if I bit off more than I can chew. Also, I want it to be perfect, so if I don't like how it fits, even if I spent hours working on it, I won't have it. Have to start again. This is my first bag, so I am bound to make mistakes and be slow. I am sure the next one will be easier. And faster. Here is hoping!

And, as I said in the title, I swear I will sit on a needle (or two) one of these days. I keep misplacing them and then spend forever looking for them. I usually find them exactly where I am sitting. Just can't remember to put them on the table once I've finished. My little corner on the sofa is somewhat unsafe these days.That sounds exciting, no? It's just dangerous though.

So, I did the lining for the bag today. It is a little wonky (I just can't seem to do straight!) and I might re do it, but for now it will do, at least as a mock up lining. Here is the picture (click to enlarge if you'd like):

I also spent hours upon hours crocheting the strap and guess what? I hated it. So my lovely mama showed me how to do it today, over skype. I think I remember what she taught me, although everything is muddled in my shrinking brain at the moment, it has to be said.

I started a new bag too. I don't think I can do one thing at a time, so I have this one on the go whilst I am finishing the green one. 
Here is how it looks at the moment:

Good colour, don't you think?

And, one last thing. Look at this little beauty! I bought a really cute tape measure. She looks exactly how I feel these days. Sleepy.

I am sorry everyone, this post is not the most exciting I've done, but I still wanted to check in with you all. I guess it is hard to post fun things when work goes so slowly and you make mistakes all the time. I am a little disappointed with myself, so let's hope the work picks up. Then the posts will be more interesting too.

Have you done anything interesting since we last chatted? Maybe you sat on something dangerous? Or exciting? :-)

Love to you all

Red xx

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Italian Sailors Are In Town!!!

Bon jour everyone!!! 

Don't get too excited boys and girls, not real sailors (I wish) just my vintage buttons. Still, I am excited, even if they are not real. Have a look, they are gorgeous:

Don't you think they are cute?

Before I go on, did you know that if you click on the picture, you get a bigger size picture  and you can see everything properly. You probably knew that, but just in case. 
So, I was at home the whole day, working on my creations. Firstly, I did the seams on the bag. It took a while as it goes very slowly and I accidentally started a wonky pattern that was tricky to follow. But follow I did. I went around once, and then realised that it might not be strong enough so I did another round. It took some time, let me just say. Here is the result:

Then I decided to spend some time on my sewing machine. Oh man, was I a little loser?! I haven't touched a sewing macine in 15 years and guess what? I didn'know how to thread the yarn on the machine. First obstacle - fail. Usually my first reaction to a problem is to cry. This time I spent a whole hour trying and trying and failing and failing. And laughing at myself. Here is the picture of how my working station looked today. Messy and you'd think productive. Nope, just messy:

So, I gave up on "sewing" and went back the bag and crocheting. Something I know. Well, it turns out that the strap for the bag is too big and I had to undo the whole thing. I spent three days crocheting it. Gone in three minutes. You are thinking, not my day? Nope, I loved every moment of it, it made me think and re design and think harder. It was actually a lot of fun.
So I talked to my friend Murray who gave me the machine and it turns out I knew how to thread the yarn all along, I just didn't turn the right knob on the machine and that's why the thread didn't want to pick up and sew properly. I looked at my diagram and realised what a loser I was the whole time. Turn the knob two centimeters to the right and it works. Here is the "sophisticated" diagram that I used to unravel the mystery, something Murray and I drew for me to follow when working.

As I said sophisticated. No? :-) 

So, that was my day. Sorry this blog is really long, but,...lots to tell. I probably won't be this talkative tomorrow. I'm seeing a dance performance tomorrow night by Javier de Frutos (choreographer) and Pet Shop Boys (music specifically made for this performance) and celebrating my very good friend's birthday. So, there won't be any creations tomorrow on the blog, but I'll post the pictures of the evening and dinner we'll have afterwards.

And before I go,... did you have a fun day? Or are you going to do anything fun today? And is there a sailor in your life?

Love to you all

Millicent xx

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Spring is here! Hooray!!!

Happy Spring everyone! This is what's on my table to brighten up the room. Carnations (my favourite flower) and daffodils - real sign of spring bought to me as a present. 

This weekend (like every other) has been super busy. On Saturday morning I gave a drama workshop, then spent the day buying bits and pieces for my bags, then went out.
However, I spent the whole Sunday spring cleaning. The whole day!! At least Radio 4 and backlog of Desert Island Discs kept me company. 
So, 9pm and I finally sat down. I am faced with a few design questions. The bag I am crocheting at the moment is almost done, but I can't decide what buttons to use and what colour crochet to use to do the seams. Here is my quandary in pictures (sorry one picture isn't the best):

So, the questions are: do I use orange or brown yarn for the seams? Do I use one or two buttons? Orange or green? Or both?
Now that I've finally sat down I'll experiment and see what works. My hunch is to go with two buttons and brown yarn. And I haven't even began sewing and I have to start with a new bag in the next few days. If only days were longer. Or better, if weekends were!

Happy Spring everyone and join me to see what colourful decisions I made for the new bag.

Red xx

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Something different today

Hello dear friends,

today, the blog looks a little different. I am posting a link about the protest taking place tomorrow in London. Stonewall has published its Top 100 employers and Home Office features as one of them. Apparently it is a good and safe place for LGBT to work in. And to add insult to injury, they have Theresa May opening their Workplace Employers Conference!
Unfortunately, I can't attend the protest as I am working, but would have been there in two shakes of a lamb's tail if I could.


If you can't join the protest either, maybe you can share the link on your facebook page so at least more people read it.

I hope you all have a good weekend. I am giving a drama workshop on Saturday, then hunting for bits and pieces, buttons and fabric, to finish my bag and then,... spending time with friends. And I'll have a drink. Or two.

Have a fab break.

Red xx

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A bag in progress


I've been working on this bag for a while now. It is going very slowly, but I hope to have it finished by the end of the week. I've got to stich up the edges, crochet the handle, make lining,... lots to do. I'll post the finished product soon (hopefully). In the mean time, this is where I am at.

Have a lovely day.

Lilly xx

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Catch of the day in Brixton market

Bon jour everyone,

Even though the weather was not the best in the world today, Brixton was still buzzing with activity and people. There is something interesting at every corner. You can buy pretty much everything in there and the prices are not too dear either. Brixton market is known for great fishmongers and this one caught my eye today.

However, I didn't buy anything from him today. I had yummy soup for dinner. What delicious meal did you have?

See you all soon.

Lilly xx

Monday, 14 March 2011

"What's in my shopping basket?" episode 1

Hello friends,

as I said yesterday, lately I have been addicted to ebay and I found some amazing stuff on it. I am 10 years late as I only just discovered it, but I made up for it by spending a few pennies on some funky fabrics for the lining of the bags I am making.
So here is a small collection of my favourite ones so far:

I've got some more, but they will feature in the next "What's in my shopping basket" episode. I think the birds fabric is my favourite at the moment. I will be sad to part with it and line a bag that is made for soemone else, but I know that it will make the bag that much more special and unique.
I am like a kid in a candy shop when it comes to these things. When I wait to get them in the post, I get all excited. I am waiting for gorgeous vintage Italian soldiers buttons at the moment. Can't wait to see them and use them on my new creation.

So, that's all for now. I have a suspicous feeling tomorrow's post will be about Brixton and its amazing market as I am going there after work. You never know what you'll see in there. I've got my camera with me at all times, so there will be some lovely snaps, I am sure.

See you all very soon, and thank you for stopping by.
Oh yes,... what is in your shopping basket?

Red xx

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Hello, hello, hello

So, this is my first post. 

I am embarking on a new adventure and I am excited.
I am a theatre practitioner and a performer with 20 years of experience working in the field. For the last 3 years I have been making theatre performances with a company called PanicLab http://www.paniclab.co.uk/PanicLab.html and this is my biggest passion. Come and visit us on our colourful and funky website and sign up for a newsletter too! 

However, I am also creative in other ways. I crochet and knit and make all sorts of things. I will be posting all sorts of different stuff: bags I am making at the moment, things I buy (I have recently become addicted to ebay and found some amazing vintage and designer pieces for my new crochet creations), places I go to (I live in a funky part of London, Brixton), and I will be posting pictures from the fabulous Brixton market, people I see there, sellers in the market, owners of the little shops, etc...). Here is one to wet your appetite.

As ever, when recession hits, people get creative and so, I am doing the same. 
I learnt to knit and crochet when I was only 6 years old. I used to do a thing here and there from time to time, but I have finally decided to focus all my creative energy and start crocheting, knitting, sewing and making something new every day.That's what I have been doing for the last month and I'll be posting my new creations with instructions on how I make things for those who want to give it a go themselves. 
I also got a lovely and very helpful present from a friend and a great seamstress, Murray Healy. My first ever sewing machine. Yeay!

 And finally, here is a picture of the kind of bags I am making:

 I already have two boutiques who want to sell them, so there will be many, many more to come. Good times :-)
Please come by, browse, leave comments, share your ideas. I will be posting something every day.

See you all tomorrow.

Red xx (also known as Zlata, Lilly, Maude and Miliscent)

Oh, yes, one more thing - why is my blog called Boye By Red? Well, boye (or boje as it is spelt in my language, Bosnian) means colours and some of my friends (and kids I teach) call me Red, so it all makes perfect sense.