Sunday, July 20, 2014

Eat, Shop, Craft

My Weekend.....

The shopping part came first, as I set my alarm much earlier than usual for a Saturday in order to check out the Old East Village Community Yard Sale, an annual yard sale extravaganza in my neighbourhood.  This year, the weather forecast called for rain, so I thought I'd better go early rather than later, and sure enough, by the time my friend Linda and I had finished our browsing at 10 am, it started to rain.

That's Linda on the left, yours truly on the right.  I explained to her that when one accompanies me on a Saturday outing, there is a mandatory photo session that happens first.  It was a bit chilly so pants were the order of the day.  Linda was chic in black, and I was a splash of green and purple.  I found the top at Jackpot Vintage, and the purple/pink jeans were a recent thrifted find at Talize.

Linda is a fellow vintage aficionado and her lobster brooch was an ode to Elsa Schiaparelli

Between 8:30 and 9:00 am, most of the available street parking was taken

The sale is a real mish-mash of stuff.  There are a lot of families with children in the neighbourhood so there are a lot of used toys up for grabs.   There were also lots of knickknacks, books, dvds and even a singing fish.

There were a number of young entrepreneurs, such as these young ladies, who set up stands along the sale route selling lemonade, cupcakes, muffins, etc.  Everyone knows that yard sale shopping requires frequent snacks.

A woman had turned old cups and saucers into the coolest garden tea light holders and was selling them - what a brilliant idea! 

I had set myself a limit of $10, and that was all the money I had in my wallet.  I purchased a handful of fun stickers and a bag of buttons from a Serious Crafter, and then a couple of ornate wood frames from a guy who had the contents of an estate sale covering his front lawn, which consisted of all the pretty lady/flower/angel/ decor accessories you could ever want (bottom right photo).  I can't imagine there was an inch of unclaimed wall or shelf space in the original owner's house.  Linda and I had very good luck at the house with the tea cup tea light holders.  Linda scored a poodle bracelet and a pair of dead sexy heels that will look amazing with all her 50's dresses.   I thought the brooch on the left was too cute to pass up, and as I had run out of money, the lovely woman who owned the jewellery gave me the beaded 1960's earrings in the upper left photo.

This weekend was also the annual Home County Music and Art Festival, which features free performances by some of Canada's greatest folk/pop/bluegrass/roots/traditional musicians, along with yummy food, and arts and crafts.  On Friday night, I was introduced to the amazing talent that is the duo of Luke Doucet and Melissa McLelland, aka Whitehorse.  Both are former Londoners, and they received a very warm reception from the audience.  They have tremendous onstage chemistry (and offstage too, as the couple is expecting their first baby any day now), and their voices harmonize beautifully.  There is something sexy and powerful about a very pregnant woman in a clingy dress rocking out with her bass guitar on stage.  If you want to see their smoldering chemistry first hand, check out their video for the song Achilles' Desire. 

And now the food...

Part of the appeal of an outdoor summer festival is the opportunity to choose from a variety of foodstuffs all within a few steps of each other.  Home County has always had more traditional festival fare than Sunfest, held earlier in July, but I noticed that this year, there were healthier, and more interesting options available in addition to the ever popular souvlaki and fries.

The Beet Cafe had both vegetarian and meat items on the menu

A new addition this year was Deava's Feed Your Soul, offering a tasty mix of Asian, Thai and Cuban flavours using locally sourced ingredients.

I snapped a quick shot of Deava's owner when she stuck her head out to speak to one of her staff - I love her retro pinup girl vibe!

For those folks who preferred to stick to the tried and true festival treats, there was lemonade, ice cream, and the ever popular Funnel Cake (which I have never tried, and have no desire to)

London City Council has been involved in a heated debate over whether food trucks should be allowed in the downtown core for the past several months (yes, these are the big issues we struggle with here).   I'm all for having more quick and tasty food options downtown, especially if they are like the The Goodah Gastro Truck.  I had been wanting to try one of their "gourmet" grilled cheese sandwiches since I first heard of their existence.  Grilled cheese sandwiches have been one of my favourites since I was a kid, and nothing says "comfort food" to me more than a grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup.

I had the Soho Melt, and it was one of the most delicious sandwiches I've had in ages

This year, Home County showcased a series of "Green Vendors", whose products and services demonstrated innovation and environmental sustainability.
Top:  N + 1 Cycle is an owner-operated business that does bicycle tune-ups and repairs, and builds custom bikes.  They carry a range of new and vintage parts,  so you can make your older brother's long-abandoned bike road-worthy again.  Bottom:  Alchemy Operation is an independent junk removal business with the mantra of "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle".

Alchemy Operation's owner, Justin Bardawill, flashes a smile. 

And then there was the Crafting...

I had delusions of crafting grandeur as a child, and would throw myself into projects involving beads, sparkles, uncooked macaroni, and lots of glue, only to dissolve into tears of disappointment when the end result didn't look anything like the picture I had in my head.  My perfectionist tendencies eventually led me to abandon further attempts to "make things" (this included knitting, sewing, pottery and cooking).  I have the utmost admiration for people like Vix, who can magically turn a tea-towel into a fab summer top, or Krista, who creates colourful dioramas and jewellery.

After months of accumulating a small pile of jewellery bits that I was determined to do something with, I scheduled some crafting time with my friend Sylvie this weekend, and while she worked on a   a proposal for a client, I took advantage of the uncluttered work space available at her house to finally make the Mexican heart milagros I purchased at The Sentimentalist into earrings.  Once I sat down and got to it, it took no time at all.  Buoyed by my earring success, I moved on to gluing small pom poms onto an eye mask, which hopefully will be part of a costume for an event later this summer.  It wasn't much, but at least there were no tears.

Whew, that was a long post.....So how was your weekend?


  1. What a fun weekend! I am a big fan of Luke Doucet - I saw him opening for Blue Rodeo years ago, and I believe his wife was with him.

  2. Gorgeous shades of plum, perfect summer top on you, and the touches of red light Linda's retro look beautifully. Excellent haul (gifted earrings!), and I always enjoy your coverage of community events!

  3. Shelley this is a kick ass day! I think you have more interesting people in your neighborhood, our community yard sale was overpriced boring junk for reals! The ear rings are divine same with the brooch. You and Linda just had my favorite kind of day!
    The festival looks fun too and I would have gobbled up that sandwich! I have no idea what a funnel cake is I'd have to try just once come on let's share!
    You made ear rings! Those are pretty sweet and you made them! It just feels good doesn't it! Keep making shot honey:). We gotta Skype again.

  4. Whee! What a great time, and you've captured it for us. Love the lobster. xox

  5. What a perfect day! Secondhand shopping with a good friend (Linda is very stylish, isn't she?) and then a fabulous festival. All the food sounds delicious, although I have no idea what funnel cake might be!
    Well done you for getting your craft on - it takes me forever to get round to anything (well, IO only sew, can't do anything else!) but I always enjoy it when I finally crack on.
    Nearly forgot to mention how cool you look, Shelley - gorgeous colours! xxx

  6. I miss neighborhood sales! Haven't been to one since having no job. The earrings you got will look great on you - hope we see them soon.
    I, too, have never had a funnel cake but I'd love some lemonade from that adorable stand. How cute!
    The earrings you made are so cool. Good job! Making things gets easier the more you do it so don't stop!
    You always look great in purple.

  7. What a brilliant day! That looks like the perfect day, hanging out with a mate, rummaging for bargains, good food and people watching. Sorry to seem thick but is a grilled cheese sandwich, is that a toasted sandwich?
    Love your top, you look fabulous! xxx

    1. Yes, a Grilled Cheese sandwich is a toasted sandwich, usually made on a grill, or in a frying pan.

    2. You forgot the bit that it is slathered in butter on the outside : ) cause that is what makes it so damn good when it is fried up.

  8. What fun. They always seem to have something going on in London.

    I can't wait to see the earrings.


  9. London is a happening city! I'm sure the two of you turned heads in your green/purple and black. Wish I had the $10 discipline that you describe (something to try the next time I'm at an estate sale).

    Great earrings Shelley. Hoping that we will get to see the pom pom eye mask, which has peaked my interest. Looks like a fun weekend from beginning to end.

  10. YES! Food trucks are a welcome change from the dreadful chain stores slinging unidentifiable sludge! Artisanal food is a big step in the right direction. One would just like to see them get the equivalent of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for low energy consumption. It's not clear whether they're good for us in that sense. Also, YES! to delusions of crafting grandeur! Some of us just naturally have it, and some of us, through disappointing experience, discover that we do not. More power to those who can; more workshops (or more TV) for those of us who can't!

  11. You really captured the spirit of the day here, Shelley. Wonderful post. I especially love the photo of the girls at their stand followed by the tea cups in the garden, so much whimsy and storybook fun. (Do you still have Storybook Gardens in London?) Great job on the earrings. I love the sense of accomplishment. And you and Linda look fabulous - of course!
    Food trucks, they are great! They are expensive and there is no where to sit, but the food is usually extra yummy and they add a sense of picnic-in-the-city, which is priceless.

  12. This whole day looks so fun!!!

  13. First, you 2 girls look pretty awesome! 2 very different styles nonetheless fabulous!
    We have our festivals as well in Montreal, we went to the Just for Laugh Festival downtown - First real outing for me since my concussion, it was a lot of fun !
    We have the same problems with the food trucks, i love them they should be permitted all over town but for now they allow them to be at festivals and special events, they are immensly popular and with reason, the food they serve is simply amazing!
    Cool festival you got there in your town, great post! You should be writting for a living, your quite good Shelley!

    Take care
    Big hugs


  14. wouuu, so many lovely things to enjoy!, and both of you were looking really gorgeous, love your friend's attitude and your fabulous shirt and sneakers, and also fabulous hairstyle!
    And those tea light holders would look magical on a garden at night!, and love all those food trucks, such an assorted offer to eat a snack! (there's nothing like food trucks in my neck of the woods, so it's really exotic and cool for me!!)
    Glad you're enjoying some crafts too, sometimes you need some fails to finally hit the jackpot!

  15. The tea shop missed yerba mate tea. It is one of the best teas in the world.