Friday, 4 November 2011

Out of Touch

Hola amigos.  We're back from a week away in Spain.  And very nice it was too apart from a little more rain than I would like.  In fact, the week before we arrived, there was so much rain that just outside Benidorm at a beach that we visit regularly, flash floods gushed down from the mountains along a dry river bed and swept away into the sea everything in its wake, including market stalls and, tragically, two British tourists.

Days later, while we were there, items from the market stalls were still being washed up on the beach.


One thing I did before the flight to Spain was to treat myself to two "home/style" magazines.

Now, I very rarely buy mags.  I find that there's never anything particularly interesting to read in them but I do like a good ogle at decor and beautiful things that I don't need.

Flipping through the mags, I quickly realised that I'm completely out of touch with how much things in the "real" world of retail cost (it's buying from charity shops and jumble sales what does it).

I found myself  gasping with horror at the prices.

Take this rather glorious knitted pouffe (click on the pics to take you to the websites, if you so desire):

I love it.  But not the price - ranges from £470 for the small size to £1395 for the large.  Ouch!

Loving too this hand knitted cushion:

It's yours for £75.

More gorgeous knitted things in the shape of  lightshades:


These granny pendant light shades are to die for are they not?:

£305 for the small & £715 for the large

Boo hoo!  Sadly, they are all out of my price range.

Never fear, dear readers, blogs are at hand with patterns so that  you can knit or crochet your very own.  Yay!  Well, I'm talking about one blog in particular that I like to stalk on a regular basis. You crafty types may already be familiar with Pickles but, if not, check out their rather wonderful patterns, all for free.

Fancy being able to crochet your own pouffe?  Well now you can:

This gorgeous pouffe creation is knitted.  Both versions are stuffed with old duvets.

This crocheted light shade fits round one of those ubiquitous paper shades:

Crocheted lampshade:

While we're at it, you can even crochet your own knobs (get your minds out of the gutter right now).  Look at these cutesy coverings for boring old knobs:

Anyway, I digress.

I can't vouch for how easy any of these projects are but I'm sure some of you clever crafters out there could rustle up a pouffe or two.

I might just be able to muster a knitted cushion cover thanks to my "Wendy Odd Ounce Book" that I picked up from the charity shop recently:

Yummy square cushions and the rather lovely yellow round one:

Back to my magazines.  A stone doorstop anyone?  Yes, I did say stone.

Yes, it's literally a stone with some sort of  loop attachment.  £55.

Luckily, I've got my very own stone doorstop.  And it was totally  free from the beach at Lyme Regis many moons ago.

Complete with fossil too:

Finally, I've got more picture frames than you can shake a stick at but it still doesn't stop me from lusting after even more.

These swept frames can cost a pretty penny:

These frames I found in a nearby skip:

Woohoo, I do love a freebie, don't you?


  1. Freebies are the best kind of find! :-) Those frames are going to look brilliant on your wall!

    Glad you had a fab time in Spain, it's so sad about those two who lost their lives in the flooding though :-(

    Jem xXx

  2. the bit where i laughed out loud (at my desk, i'll have you know!) was when you told me i could crochet my own knob! i neeeed to learn to crochet :P

  3. I used to subscribe to Living Etc, I loved some of the homes they featured but the prices and their London-centric obsession got me in the end and I cancelled.
    I love the crochet pouffe (or as they call it round here, a puffy).
    Sorry about the rain, the washed up image is very grizzly! x

  4. Oh dear, sorry to hear about the floods in Spain.
    Great pics, crocheted pouffes and knobs, who'd have thought??!!
    I always wonder what poeple who live in the homes featured in those home decor mags do with their TVs... And music system, and computer, and all the kid's crappy toys? Such items never seem to feature, do they?
    Have a good weekend. xxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. Things to cost a lot don't they? its a good job we are a handy, crafty lot who can copy just about anything! ;) love your fossil stone door stop and your frames are so pretty :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

  6. oh my, horrible rain and accidents to those poor british tourists aside, I'm glad you're doing fine and safely back in england! i totally agree with you with the mags and their price ranges, that's why i tend not to bother to buy them as it only make me drool and daydream and wishing i won a lottery, but since now i know a lil bit on how to crochet though i'm not good yet but i would lovee to try to make the lamp shade and the door knobs! i dont have the patience sometimes and crocheting lil things that are fast and easy are my fave but oh those pouffe! i'll stick to charity shop for now and i lovee your stone doorstop complete with fossil and the frames! enjoy making the cushion cover! x susan

  7. I love magazines (although I avoid buying too many) but you're quite right about the prices. I like to look at them for ideas and creations, and gloat about how I can do something similar for so much less - so exactly like you, in fact!

    I found that a few years of avoiding the 'cheapy' shops (which would be Primark etc in the UK) has totally cured my desire to buy cheap new things. Now I just look at their products and shudder, like you with the sad market wash-outs. I can buy so much better quality things second hand, and also feel I have less of a desire to have 'more' anyway.

    I have a stone door stopper with neither a handle (lol) or a fossil (boo).

    Thanks for your comment. I think French workmen probably do eat salads too. Where did we go wrong in the UK?

  8. Oh dear, now I have LOTS of things to add to my 'things to make' list! FAB post - loved it xx

  9. Yay, you're back, holiday girl!!

    I know what you mean about the price of some things. There are some products that I can kind of see why they cost what they do but others are just crazeeee.


  10. Far nicer to create your own than pay over the odds for some of those items.

    One doorstop is an old flat iron from my Great-Grandparents house and the other is - actually we're not sure - its a heavy metal, fashionably rusty squashed ball shape!

  11. woo hoo indeed for freebie frames - blooming brilliant! I do always recoil in horror over the prices of the items in home mags - crazy bananas! Scarlett x

  12. I love those knitted lampshades - but not at that price! And I'm wondering if I should crochet a pouffe with my t-shirt yarn.

  13. Welcome back! How poop all that rain in Spain, that washed up image sends shivers down my spine. I'm so fed up with magazines, I mean really, who on earth pays £750 for a lamp shade??? Your stone door stop is wonderful, if I was ever going to spend 50 quid or so on a stone door stop, I'd at least want a fossil in it!

    Have a lovely weekend!

  14. ooo I shudder at the prices of things in magazines...thats for sharing the links for the things to make, I'll have to add them to my list! :)

  15. Am VERY inspired to give crochet a go! I think it might be my thing to learn in 2012. I totally get where your coming from re the prices of things vs charity shopping. I always have a shopping list of things to look for in op-shops now, and I always seem to find what I need quite quickly and SO CHEAP! The frames, what a find!

  16. I love free things and your door stop. I need to learn to knit so I can make a lamp shade cover. x

  17. Wow, those prices are unbelievable! Who can afford to pay that sort of money? Makes you wonder if it's all a big laugh at the 'more-money-than-sense' brigade's expense!

    K xx

  18. Welcome home sorry to hear you had rain and that photo of the washed up market peices is very sad. I to am shocked by the prices of items in mainstream shops its so much cheaper and much fun i think to make your own. I have to say i love those knitted door knob covers. Have a lovely weekend, dee xx

  19. What were those prices again? No actually don't tell me! It's so good having the skills and just having a go at things yourself. Get knitting!
    Lisa x

  20. Freebies all the way here too! xxxxx

  21. If anyone can d.i.y. you can Loo, I so hope you try your hand at one of those very gorgeous lampshades, if I could crochet or knit (ha!) I know I would.
    And on the prices, they are even more expensive here in Australia.
    I see so many gorgeous things in mags and on design blogs, but unless we win lotto, that's where they'll be staying. Sniff. Might be time to put on my crafting L plates...

  22. How sad about the tourists, I am woefully behind on world news. Glad you were able to have a good holiday despite the weather.

    I bought living etc once or twice but found it was the interiors equivalent of Vogue - those prices are bonkers, even for those who don't spend every waking hour in the chazza shops. I adore the crocheted cover for the paper lampshade - it's lovely.

  23. Welcome back from your holidays.
    Wow, those things do cost a pretty penny in the magazine..gasp! I wish I could crochet..I think I would have a go at that crochet pouffe, or a lampshade. That mushroom knob is sure cute as well.
    Those frames were sure a find..for free in a skip..well spotted!
    Have a lovely weekend :)

  24. Goodness me, I can't believe the prices of those knitted items in the magazines - the price of the cushion cover is totally scandalous. Who would pay such prices? Thanks for the tip about Pickles - I'm certainly going to check them out.

  25. Haha this post made me laugh so much! Those magazines are crazy aren't they! There's one I've seen that have a cheap vs expensive page but even the "cheap" it out of my price range!

    Thanks for sharing all those tips on where to find patterns. I love your door stop, free fossil included! What a bargain :-D

  26. Can't believe knitted and crochet stuff is going for such prices, it must be 'in' at the moment...or whatever 'they' call it!

  27. £75 for that cushion cover..*cough, splutter*! I think I'm in the wrong job; if people are happy to pay that for a rather nondescript cushion then I can knit 'em!!! :-D

    Thanks for the link to the 'Pickles' site, Loo, I've never seen that before. Lots of inspiration!

  28. Free frames how cool, i love the crocheted puff and lampshade.
    That is crazy prices when you can. Just ask nana to do it for you.
    Lol@ your Door stpper, lmao at knobs, your too funny.
    That beach foto is creepy, poor souls.

  29. Oh I'm sharpening my crochet hook now and looking longingly at the pouf lovely!

  30. I stopped buying magazines a long time ago because they just became too expensive for me.
    A lot of great pieces however my favorite have to be the stone doorstop with the fossil.
    Have a great week,