Ten years ago, Norman Road in St. Leonards on Sea was one of the most un-salubrious roads in the area. Down at heel, shabby and unloved, it wasn't a place to linger. However, in recent years it has undergone a renaissance and has emerged as a butterfly, with quirky shops, eateries and galleries and is now a creative hub.
One relative newcomer to the road is Craft Box, a veritable Aladdin's cave of art and craft supplies, haberdashery and modelmaking. I only discovered it recently and whenever I'm in the area I can't resist popping in for a browse.
Well, I say browse, I haven't yet come out without a bag of goodies. Here's my haul from today.....
From the top, left to right......
- 5 spools of metallic craft wire in assorted colours. I'm not quite sure what I'll use these for but I'm absolutely convinced they'll come in very handy.
- Box of pins with pincushion. I have NO IDEA what happens to all my pins. Perhaps there is a pin fairy who steals them for her hoard. Although more likely they're all woven into the carpet.
- Reel of something amazing which I'll come to later.
- Inside the reel, two pots of enamel paint in lovely new colours
- Bottom row, air vanishing marker. This is made of magic and I've no idea how it works but you draw a bright purple line on fabric and a few hours later it's gone. Wizards may be involved.
- Fraycheck..... I should buy this in gallon containers. Aside from sealing the raw edges of silk and ribbons I also use it when I'm stringing microdolls.
- Pack of tiny silver bells.... I use these all over the show, menagerie pullalong toys, wicker sleighs, marottes. You can NEVER have too many silver bells.
- Pack of filigree findings in antique bronze finish. Loads of uses for these and since I'm a findings junkie I couldn't resist.
No I didn't know what it was either, but (and I'm so excited about this I can hardly breathe) it's a reel of double sided tape just 3mm WIDE! How amazing is that?!
OK, so if you're not a miniaturist that's maybe not so amazing, but trust me, this is going to prove indispensable. If you've never tried to cut down a piece of normal sized tape to just 3mm wide, without tearing the tape and rendering it useless you will have NO IDEA of just how amazing this is. It was all I could do not to fall to my knees to thank the Gods of Craft right there in the shop.
As well as being a treasure trove of all things crafty (you could spend hours in there and not discover everything) the owners are lovely and incredibly helpful.
So whether you're a crafty local, or from out of town and happen to find yourself in this neck of the woods, just one road back from the seafront you will find Craft Box.