if you are like me and love the beauty of simple domestic objects, then here is another idea to pretty up a table top. buy lots of old spools of threads and throw in a wooden bowl. you can buy spools like this from the cloth shop in Portobello road, or at the cloth house in berwick street. they are different companies, but both have stock of lovely fabrics, including old linens , ribbons and buttons. www.theclothshop and www.clothhouse.com.
our patterned hand – a fabric and haberdashery shop on broadway market, sells some vintage fabrics, patterns and buttons – i love the way that all these fashionable essential shops are appearing with all the basics of simple crafts, such as sewing, knitting and haberdashery. in my youth, these shops were run by grannies in the back of a post office selling mainly nylon wool – today they are beautifully presented and the choices are more selective and modern and definitely more inspiring (or is it i am getting more like the grannies in the back of the old post office? I reassure myself that the girls who commission me to photograph all these crafts books are young and enthusiastic!).
on a friday, just outside the portobello shop there is a great stall selling wooden spools of gold and silver thread – these will certainly make your bowl glisten and are much cheaper.