Caution - long post, no pictures, important bit at bottom.
Had a fun day in Melbourne yesterday. Caught up with S from The Blank Page
(who wasn't all shopped out despite a day out the day before with G from Patra's Place
First of all, we slipped up to Two Unicorns
, which S had told me about, and I had wanted to see. Only to find that she will be closing on Saturday, and was having a huge clearance sale - 50% off once you reached a total of $20 - but only until Saturday, for anyone living in Melbourne. She will, however, be trading in cross-stitch on the internet. Not a lot there, but some half price hand-painted Japanese silk thread, Steff Francis threads and some nice ribbon attacked me.
Then it was off to an art-supplies place (have you got any idea how difficult it is to find a mapping pen these days??). Success, so we hit the op shops. Without a lot of success. Which is strange. I don't think either of us bought anything to mention in two shops.
So we had to retire for lunch, and I had to rush off early, as my driver had an appointment down at Oakleigh. We parked, guess where? In front of a Salvation Army Op Shop.
I said "Ring my mobile when you finish" and I was gone. That shop yielded a fair-sized bag of good crochet cotton for $2 and a pair of tiny fan ear-rings - you know the ones where the vanes open and close? And, working really hard on the pictures - one side has peacocks. How's dat???? One for the Peacock wall hanging, one for the Fan block.
So, are you wondering where the new shop I found was??? Keep reading. :)
I asked if there were any other op shops around, and received some complicated directions for the Red Cross shop (they are never much, more upmarket, but what the heck, I had time to fill). I walked out, as directed, turned left and wandered and asked for half an hour, with no luck. And was working my way back (turning left all the time to get back to my starting point and the car), and found an embroidery shop two doors from where I started!!!!! Now why didn't I ask in the Op Shop if there were any sewing shops in town. Dingbat!!!!
Anyway, there were skid marks on the footpath as I cornered to go in, and I had a lovely time. The shop is Craftee Cottage
, run by Lynne, and is a joint needlework and wool shop. She has a good range of Colourstreams ribbons, Kacoonda ribbons, Cascade silk, Mokubra ribbons (no picot-edge, unfortunately, still cannot find). And a good range of cross-stitch books, including some interesting small ones. And she knew what I meant when I mentioned Chicken Scratch, and says she usually carries 18 count waste canvas!!!!! And was a very pleasant person - I passed time waiting for my driver very easily, and felt most welcome browsing.
Which is the whole point of this post. Takes me a while to get there. S and I started the day in a needlework shop that was closing (although she will have a net presence), and she could name a lot of others she knew that had closed. Which got S ad I thinking about others we knew, and I am thinking of my local three, which are going along okay (I hope). A major factor for my local ones is the warm and happy personality of the operators, who draw people in.
This one in Oakleigh felt the same. And we got talking about how the net is putting pressure on shops - and how she has to gently remind her customers that they also need to buy locally, or they will end up with no local shops. So when I got home I had a look at her site - and I have to say it does not yet reflect what I actually found on the ground - which was a really nice place, and I hope it continues to flourish.
Craftee Cottage is 52-54 Atherton Rd, Oakleigh, phone 03-9568 3606, closed Sunday and Monday. And I really liked her range of lace, too.