This is really long and photo-heavy. To save on your downloads I have tried to keep the photos small, but you can click on any of them for the full-sized versions.
Day 1: Galaries Lafayette
We were staying quite near the “Grands Magasins” (big department stores) so on our first day we went to our quasi-favourite*, Galaries Layfayette. The craft department is a respectable size but I didn’t like any of their yarn. I did, however, find a delightful set of stamps from a French company:
I didn’t take photos of the store as we’ve been there a dozen times but t has loads of photos, although you may have to search a while as he has sooo many photos from this trip! I also bought socks and leggings there but I’m only showing the crafty stuff in this blog.
* our actual favourite is Samaritaine but it’s closed for remodelling
Day 2: Flea Markets (Les Puces)
Because it’s not very wheelchair-friendly, I walked this day — with many rest stops of course! We saw so many wonderful things, but alas our budget was limited. I do somewhat regret not buying the wooden hat block that was only 40 Euros, but it was so old that I think I would have to baby it and I’d rather a sturdy new one, even if that means a plastic one.
Again, a lot more pictures in t’s Flickr (see above)
Unfortunately, it was Sunday and these shops were closed. We never did get a chance to come back to them, but they looked interesting.
Day 4: Shop-a-rama!
We made it a point on this day to hit as many craft stores as we could.
L’Art du Papier: a paper goods store with stamps, scrapbooking supplies and lots of journals. This was my favourite craft store from the trip!
I bought a Fleur-de-Lys seal, an Eiffel Tower stamp and a nice “J” stamp
La Drougerie: Famous for its knitting patterns, I found the yarn selection pretty poor, the beads plain but the trims were mind-blowing! I didn’t buy anything as I don’t have any sewing projects at the moment and I couldn’t get the attention of any of the shop assistants as it was packed in there.
Bazaar du Hotel de Ville (BHV): I’d heard great things about this store (a department store with a very large arts and crafts department) but was disappointed as a lot of the material seemed to be American imports. Which is fine, if you’re not able to shop in the US, but as I’m spending most of the summer abroad I only bought a few things (erasable disposable fountain pens by my favourite brand). Their hardware section rocks though and we spent a huge amount of time there, I bought some washers for beading projects and a wooden wheel to make a spindle out of once I find a decent dowel for the stick.
Day 5: Montmartre, at the base of Sacre Coeur
This is fabric store heaven, with several very large establishments to choose from. Unfortunately, many are too crowded to get the wheelchair into so we chose Tissus Reine (Fabric Queen) and got some lovely stuff: upholstery fabric to make a bag, iron-on crystals and pirate patches. They had fantastic wool very suitable for re-enactment gear but it started at 17Euro a meter so was out of my price range.
Diagonally opposite Tissus Reine was a knitting shop that seems to be named “Laines” (“Wool”) that carries a lot of lovely Spanish yarn. I indulged just a wee bit 😉
We saw a really cool shop in lower Montmartre, near the Place de Clichy, called Tombees du Cambion. It sells all kinds of antique bric-a-brac and ephemera. We didn’t buy anything as it was a little bit overpriced but man, they had great taste! (Creepiness of the photos aside, t was just playing when taking them.)
Last but certainly not least, I finally found some craft magazines at the train station on the way home. The Marie Claire Idees is pretty beaten up as it was the last copy and I found it was nice but I’m not gushing over it. It’s sort of a very girly/romantic version of Martha Stewart and that’s not my thing. The Idees Magazine, on the other hand, is exactly my sort of thing, especially as this is the black and white issue — my favourite! There were several other mags to choose from but as my French is still pretty limited I decided not to buy any more.