The haberdashery department in a local store has signs up saying ‘50% off everything’. I should be rushing in with glee, but instead, I’m sad. It’s closing down. I even had a vague feeling of panic – how ridiculous! But those last minute (or I-can-finish-this-today) haberdashery bits and bobs may be harder to find now, and I may reduced to waiting until something ordered online appears through the letterbox, or driving out of town.

Buttons, ribbons, zips, Dylon dye, needles, reels of thread, bias binding, crochet hooks, knitting needles: you name it; the haberdashery department is an emporium of useful stuff. A treasure trove for crafters with magpie-like tendencies. I’m lucky – I live close to the shops and have been able to take the spontaneous approach for so long, but the small and larger boltholes for haberdashery, fabrics and yarns have been whittled away. This winter, the sizeable furnishing fabric shop, where I bought piles of very useful curtain remnants, closed down. Sigh. There goes another one.

It’s a sign of the times. Businesses need turnover and perhaps there aren’t enough of us out there making, or make-do-and mending ‘stuff’. Internet shopping too comes into play here.

Even I might seem as if I’ve been idle as my blog has been sorely neglected, but though blog post thoughts accumulate, I have been busy and somewhat distracted. I have been making my own wedding outfit, and because there’s a deadline (fast approaching) I’ve been tightly focused on this one project. But the trot into town for buttons, and the ‘50% OFF EVERYTHING’ sign stopped me in my tracks.

So what can we do? Get out there and buy from our local shops. Encourage our non-crafting friends to join us. I’m part of a group of friends called Crafty Creatures who get together once a month at each other’s houses to craft the evening away, sup wine and munch on nibbles. Friends have said ‘It sounds fun, but I’m not very crafty’, but we say to come along anyway. We have a small contingent who aren’t very crafty but come along, absorb the atmosphere and occasionally join in when someone runs a tutorial session. Little by little they’re dipping their toes in the water., They’re the future visitors to the haberdashery shop or store (as are their children). An environmental centre near to me is running Make Do and Mend sessions. You never know, the tide might turn!