Cardiff – I love that city!

Everytime I go to Cardiff I discover something / somewhere new. Cardiff is a convenient meeting place for me and two of my closest friends as we can all get there relatively easily and no one travels too far, despite living hundreds of miles apart from each other. We only meet there roughly once every eight months, but it is a time to enjoy when it’s just us girls – no men or kids are allowed!

I last visited Cardiff just after I
started blogging and then recommended to my very small readership that they should visit the arcades. This trip I allowed myself a little shopping time before the others arrived mid morning to explore more. Despite getting up early and leaving earlier than I do on a work day, once I got to Cardiff I was very glad I had this time.

As I was walking up St Mary’s Street towards one arcade I wanted to return to, I saw the entrance to Cardiff market. I decided to explore…

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The market has virtually everything you could need: butchers and bakers (but no candlestick makers), pet stalls, cafes and of course a few more stalls that I was interested in. The first one I stumbled across was a haberdashery stall.

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The photo shows roughly half of the stall. How a stall can stock so much I don’t know! I treated myself to webbing (for which I have a plan, but don’t know what colour I need!) and something pretty:

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Just down from the haberdashery there is a little wool stall. The woman behind it was very friendly despite still opening the stall up (it was roughly 10am). She had really cute teacosies and knitted bears for sale as well as needles and a fair selection of wool.

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The final stall I was interested in was a fabric stall. They sold other notions too, but compared to the stalls I’ve seen elsewhere (e.g. Ho Chi Minh) you could fit more in!

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I did give in and treat myself to some fabric:

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I don’t know if it’s suitable, but I thought the pattern would make a pretty top.

Where I live in Reading, we don’t really have much of a market. Probably about 10 stalls set up on a street for a few days each week, that’s all. I wish we had this (or even better!)

I then had roughly half an hour left. Where to go? I decided to head here:

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This is the only button shop I’ve come across, although I do know others exist. It’s been there for over 30 years. You can see buttons everywhere and they are squirreled away everywhere. There are every day buttons and buttons the like of which I’ve never seen before. The owner (or manager – I’m not sure which) actually goes to Thailand and Indonesia and not only sources buttons, but commissions her own too. Therefore you’ll find buttons here that you won’t find anywhere else. So, what did I get? Those on you who follow me on twitter or like me on Facebook already know…

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I have no idea what I’ll do with some of these, but I liked them! The scissors and tape measures caught my eye. You can also get thimbles and cotton reels to match, but these were my favourite. There were lots of pretty hand painted ceramic buttons, like the pink background one with blue flowers, in all sorts of different designs, but they were outside my usual price range so I only bought one. The relatively boring blue plain buttons match the fabric bought earlier and how could I not get a Welsh dragon, which was painted especially for this shop? When in Wales after all…

I have wondered how a button shop could survive, but whilst I was there I saw four customers come in and everyone bought something. One man came in with a suit jacket on which he’d broken a button. With a bit of help he choose new buttons for the front and smaller matching ones for the sleeves. As he left the shop assistant commented on him having a busy afternoon ahead sewing buttons, and his reply was that he was going to take it to the tailors! I dread to think how much that would cost!

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Cardiff with the girls after my little shopping spree. I know they’d not want to spend as long as I did in these places, but I’ll try to squeeze in more crafty shopping next time we’re there. Roll on September?!

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6 thoughts on “Cardiff – I love that city!

  1. What a great looking market place. I would have been in heaven there. So glad you went early and was able to do some shopping on your own ahead of time. Lovely stash of buttons.

  2. Oh what gorgeous buttons – they’re like craft candy! I like beads too. How about making a pincushion or some sort of tidy for your sewing tools, decorated with the scissors and tape measure buttons? Or you could keep a couple in the bottom of your handbag? I always have one very special button with me, in my handbag. It’s not much to look at, but it has sentimental value and it always makes me smile when I need it. Becky x

  3. Pingback: Quick and Easy Brooch | Mrs M Makes

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