once upon a time...

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keswick, cumbria, United Kingdom
Once upon a time when no one was looking because dark glasses were in that autumn, and no one was listening because the popular music of the time was loud and brassy, the key to life was stolen by two no good good for nothing partners in crime who passed it on with sly winks and too much blusher to the only cat they knew who was up with the jive talk and down with the kids. if all goes to plan she’ll sling it to the back of her knicker drawer and it won’t see the disco lights again, until one day in the winter when the clouds fall like rain and the word on the streets is bring on the black hole, because as everybody knew all along this was only ever just a temporary measure...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Faith Cake Phenomenon Strike Two...

dear sir who-has-entered-the-emporium-bearing-a-highly-suspect-looking-tupperware-box-and-a-glazed-expression, i will be not be buying one of your cakes for the following reasons:

Reason Number One. as i explained to your esteemed colleague some weeks ago (* see The Faith Cake Phenomenon below) you find yourself stood in a building which among other paraphernalia of wonder and delight houses a tearoom. if there is one thing we have to hand, it's cake. Now usually this would probably not affect your chances too much, i have a famously low threshold for general sofheadedtness. i would give money to a man in an orange jumpsuit with the words "don't give me money i'm a total con man" tattooed on his face. but then there are reasons number two and three.

Reason Number Two. you give a distinct impression of one who cherishes a belief that washing is for Special Occasions Only. That is entirely your prerogative and i will support your freedom, from a distance, to the bitter end. however the problem lies in that I have no way of knowing if you look upon the baking of cakes for sale as A Special Occasion.

Reason Number Three. when asked what charity you were raising money for you answered with the following; "...a er...a spiritual kind of a place...where you go...it's run by a Lovely Lady" now whoa there sir. whoa right there. i feel you should know, that being Lovely (and i could tell by your conviction that the lady was, undoubtedly, Very Lovely Indeed) does not entitle you to charitable status. maybe it should, maybe there just aren't enough Lovely Ladies in the world, Loveliness should of course be encouraged, i'm as Pro Lovely as the next person. all i would suggest is that we, as a species, have some other stuff to sort out first. i would just say that on our List Of Things To Fix 'not enough Lovely Ladies' is probably not in the priority top ten. maybe the top fifty.
and sir, dear pungent and chemically befuddled sir, don't even get me started on '...a er...a spiritual kind of a place'. because i KNOW you're just talking about incense here. and the need for incense would be entirely eradicated if you would maybe just reconsider your stance on Reason Number Two...

now in the words of holly golightly, a Lovely Lady if ever there was one, it should take you about four seconds to walk from here to the door. i'll give you two.

happy new year people. x

Thursday, 27 September 2012

so i would like to tell you a story that i shall call 'The Faith Cake Phenomenon'

and it goes like this...

once upon a time this morning, a lady came in with a box of cakes and we had this conversation right here (with some editing of sentence structure and bad grammar and made up words and huffing on my part):

lady: would you like to buy a cake for charity?
me: what charity is it for please?
lady: (mumbles a collection of initials that sounded like 'Piffles'. and then looks at me as if 'Piffles' pretty much explains absolutely everything that has ever needed explaining.)
me: (ever so patiently because i am ever so patient) and what does your charity raise money for?
lady: Faith.
me: well sorry, it's just my preference, but i only give money to secular charities.
lady: oh we are not a charity specific to any particular religion, we just encourage Faith in general.
me: Faith in what?
lady: anything. (looks at me with a gaze like a very clear puddle)
me: anything at all? ...(trying to be helpful) are you sure?
lady: yes anything. just Faith in general.
me: what like Faith In Yourself? or Faith In Democracy or Faith in The Existence Of Fairies?
lady: (getting a bit frustrated now) YES faith in anything, even atheists have faith in things.
me: (curious) like?
lady:like for example...faith in the fact that you are going to buy a cake today! (looks very pleased with herself for this dazzling piece of genius)
me: that's a little bit vague...i mean that's really quite a conceptual idea for a charity...i mean really, you may as well have a charity that raises money for 'Pathos' or 'Gladness' or 'Ennui'.

(at this point we stare at each other for quite some time.)

lady: Faith is important. Everyone needs Faith in something.
me: hmmmmm well it kind of depends. surely? not all faith can be good. for example Faith in The Effectiveness Of Poking People With a Big Stick wouldn't be the BEST kind of faith would it?
lady: (smiling) are you sure you wouldn't like to buy a cake?
me: (not sure as to whether i am still awake but very sure that i would like this conversation to be over and very much wishing i had a big stick) thank you but NO. i have quite a lot of cake as you can see... (pointing at the cake counter, full of cake, that stands between us like a barrier made of pure irony)

lady: (smiling harder) well you have a lovely day anyway!
me: you too!

and we both lived happily ever after (one of us slightly happier and more unburdened by rationality than the other.)

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

okey dokey we got some things we need to talk to you about so listen up...

the first thing we need to talk about is a certain kazillion bazillion dollar corporation known as facebook  (in the temporary measure emporium it is customary to accompany all use of the word  facebook  with a shudder and an expression of mild horror

(we reserve our expressions of extreme horror for the times when people come in to the tearoom and ask for diet coke) so we would greatly appreciate it, if every time the word facebook  appears in this text, you wouldn't mind shuddering and expressing mild horror too. that would be super. even if you don't mind facebook . even if you love it, just do it for us, because we asked you nicely.  so the reasons why we are not their biggest fans include the following:

number one. 
they heavily endorse the concept of actually counting your friends.

here at the emporium we endorse the humble opinion that if you can count on the fingers of one hand some people you've been lucky enough to meet, that make you feel at least semi functional then yay for that. friends are not nectar points, or casino chips, it is surely not compulsory to pile 'em high. unless you really want to and it makes you super happy of course, in which case...carry on.

number two. 
they encourage a level of sharing among human beings that is frankly bewildering.

number four.  
we don't mean to sound all conspiracy theory but we hear on the anarchists grapevine (yes they have a grapevine) that they have weird links and sell terrifying amounts of information. but then so do google and every other major internet player. true. but they don't do it under such a smiley social arena while encouraging you to count your friends at the same time. 

number five. 
facebook  talks too much. it can easily be said that twitter is a forum for over sharing just as much as facebook  but twitter itself is reassuringly inanimate. (although give it time and they'll find a way of monkeying around with it) it presents the information and you can choose to read it or not read it- it lays it out for you to play it out. whereas facebook  is like an overbearing parent constantly suggesting new ways for you to make chums, and reminding you that someone you went to a dance class with in kindergarten is having their birthday today. if all the oh-no-machines-are-taking-over-the-world movies have taught us anything, it should be to prefer our technology less opinionated.

number six.
they are so damn pushy. and this is where it gets tricky for us. 

because...they set up a page for temporary measure that we neither asked them to or gave them permission to do, and they did this because people were tagging themselves in the shop (which was very nice of them and i'm grateful they liked us enough to think of doing that). and so there was a page on facebook  that was out there for anyone to claim. and so we had no choice but to claim it. and i don't really like that. choice is an important thing. even when you're a business and you obviously want as many people to hear about you as possible, there should still be a choice. just because you happen to be an gi-flipping-normous kazillion bazillion dollar corporation doesn't mean you should be cheeky.     

so...we now have a facebook  page. (don't forget the shudder) and like everything we do we're going to try and do it to the best of our ability and make it interesting and worth looking at. we're not really sure yet of how it all functions and the best way to go about it all - it took us long enough to work out blogger and twitter! and any suggestions would be gratefully received.
it's right here if you would like to have a look at it..


as always we really appreciate your support - without exceptionally marvellous people taking an interest in us we wouldn't be able to carry on making a strange living out of making stuff up, and we might have to go out and get proper jobs where we wouldn't be allowed to buy as many teapots. so thanks.

and now as an apology for getting all HEAVY here's some of our new fabric that we made. it's got beetle bugs and flowers on, which is about as un-heavy as it gets.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

you absolutely have to have the colours in the right order...

say if there was a job going that involved putting All Colours Everywhere in the right order, then i would like that job. it would have to be freelance obviously. and i would like a fancy job title. but other than that i'm pretty flexible, in fact i would probably do it for free. just for the glory.
as a kind of audition for this highly technical and important universal placement, i have made a start in our shop with all the beautiful new yarns that have just arrived. like this... 

i know. that's some pretty snazzy colour sorting going on there, i think we can all agree. if you have any links with The Powers That Be, feel free to pass on my details...  

Sunday, 18 March 2012

and if you really must get married...

this here...

is our new wedding stationery display. and it serves exactly two purposes; one: it is very pretty and two: it shows our customers the kind of stationery we do in a way that doesn't just involve me making my very best 'OH THE HORROR' face when they mention glitter. or hearts. or shiny ribbon.
we have recently been taking on lots more wedding commissions, mainly because our Beautiful new printer is so very capable of printing all kinds of exciting shiz, like tags and place cards and cd covers (cd covers!) but also because ( whispers very quietly in a sheepish manner) i am getting better at talking to people who are getting married. ridiculous yes, but true. 
i'm just not a big fan of the old Formal Occasion. if you can't go to something in wellies or flip flops then i have a great deal of trouble attending at all without a paper bag to control the hyperventilating. it's not that i object to dressing up as an activity in general( but maybe say, just do it on an tuesday to cheer yourself up or because your jeans are in the wash) but i really prefer not having to do it on demand. my lovely big sister once made the mistake of making me be a bridesmaid ( i just juddered writing the word 'bridesmaid' that's how bad it is.) and i thought i did a pretty good job of smiling through it like a great big wedding faker, but i was foiled by the unfortunate fact that i have a face like a bill board. (oh i would pay much, much money for one of those calm, mysterious visages that you tend to find on icy blond women, instead of being a cartoon animation!) so as shameful as it is, all my sister's wedding photographs feature a scowling angst-ridden-rebel-without-a-cause. in a very pretty dress. 
don't get me wrong i am no cynic, i am the head cheerleader for Team Love, shaking my pom poms with all the pep available to someone born outside of the usa. but when it comes to Team Formal Occasion (particularly one that requires rehearsals!) i am likely to be found standing on my chair chanting something unpleasant. possibly swearing.
SO i may not be the world's biggest wedding fan, and my excessively expressive cartoon face means i may not be able to gush convincingly when customers talk about their plans for floral center pieces and matching fasinators. BUT what i can get excited about is stationery, yes indeed the temporary measure emporium is PRO STATIONERY. if it can be written about in a whimsical fashion and printed on card then we are fully on board.  

Saturday, 7 January 2012

a list of things that happened last night in the hour before closing time:

i took part in a heated debate about turkish ebay, 
i helped perform the first minor surgery that has ever been carried out in the workshop which involved the removal of a ladies nose ring from her nose cartilage where it had become stuck.(i helped from a distance with my eyes closed. i mainly shouted encouragement and boiled water)
i endured a conversation with a grown man on the properties of antique leather buttons, including but not confined to the quality of their fastening loops.
i served and chatted to for the second time that day, the old lady who i care about greatly, but who stretches the limits of my cordiality by coming in the shop TWICE A DAY EVERY DAY requiring undivided attention and access to close personal space, regardless of workloads, other customers, fire and/or flooding. 
i made hot chocolate with cream for the lovely little girl whose mum was upstairs performing surgery on her own nose, and we talked about dog towels,
i removed all our christmas displays,
i stretched replacement stock canvases,
i designed some new big bear bunting (see print layout below)
i locked the doors and flipped the signs and gave myself a stern lecture on the merits of online businesses run from home.


Friday, 4 November 2011

want to hear the story about the man who tried to take his pants off in the shop?

who doesn't like to hear a story about a man trying to take his pants off in a public place? no one i know. 

once upon a time in the temporary measure emporium on a tuesday, it being a quiet day out of season, @sycamoresykes was minding the shop by himself. and seeing as though it was near the end of the day and the only customers were an actress from the theatre and her mum, who were sat having a cup of tea, he decided to go upstairs to the workshop for a moment to 'make some frames' (go on the internet). he was disturbed from his 'frame making' by the dulcet tones of two well spoken ladies of southern origin shouting "sir! sir!" 
now this being the first time in his life that @sycamoresykes had ever been addressed as sir he speedily went to investigate. he was greeted by the sight of a middle aged man in walking attire in the process of pulling his pants down. the actress from the theatre being the lovely, well bred girl that she is and barely containing a high level state of panic was suggesting to the man that "if he needed the lavatory, it was just around the corner!" and this is the point where our hero steps in. with no thought for his personal safety or the innocence of his young eyes @sycamoresykes approached the scene demanding to know what possible reason this man had for taking his pants off in kewick's one and only temporary measure emporium. which is a fair question by anyone's standards.
the explanation provided by the potential trouser dropper was that he wasn't in fact looking for a cheap thrill but simply Needed A New Button...what a Plank.
now in the emporium these are the only kind of buttons we sell: 

pretty pretty, shiny shiny, antique ones with little to no practical purpose whatsoever, that's the kind we like. what this man required was something far more practical and preferably with a padlock. and so our hero sent him speedily on his way to the knitting shop two doors down with the following advice,
" go to the knitting shop two doors down but MAKE SURE YOU EXPLAIN TO JUNE THAT YOU NEED A BUTTON BEFORE YOU TAKE YOUR PANTS OFF!" which is good advice by anyone's standards. 

(just in case anyone is worried about june, she was fine we checked on her later...as well as being a knitter with the stature of a small child she is also a champion archer and an all round Badass. and she sold that plank a button.)