I have been to the dark side…

And they do, indeed, have cupcakes, but I did not imbibe.

My mum had a meeting in Manchester, so I hitched a lift across the Pennines. Manchester proved to be a treasure trove of delights and rain, and I came back with a small but sparkly collection of scrapbooking and card making things.

Stop 1 – Paperchase.
No one told me that Manchester has a three storey Paperchase, and for that I am grateful. FAO anyone in the area, they’re starting a redecoration project this week, so the upper levels will be out of commission for a while. Fortunately for me, they were well and truly open when I popped in. Unfortunately, they were reorganising during the day, so when I went back in to pick up the things I’d decided on I couldn’t find a couple of them. They were very helpful, but I took it as a Sign that I did not need that much Washi tape.

This paper is just amazing. I don't know what I'll use it for, but I had to have it.

This paper is just amazing. I don’t know what I’ll use it for, but I had to have it.

I had to go back for it, but I came out with three gorgeous sheets of paper, a set of notecards and one Washi tape roll instead of all the Washi tape and a rainforest’s worth of paper. The paper is in the art department right up on the top floor, and there are racks upon racks of A1 sheets, some in drawers that you have to pull out to discover fabulous colours and textures.

There was so much I wanted, but in the end I picked a brocade-y sheet that was reduced, a blue and gold sheet for my Bingo story pages, and this sheet.

If there is a heaven on that side of the Pennines, it is Paperchase in Manchester.

Stop 2 – Blott
Blott is another of my favourite places in the world. I love the Leeds store, and didn’t even think to check if there was a Manchester one. So when I walked into the Arndale Centre to get out of the rain and it was sitting there, I dove in. I had a look at some of the V Pens, which I had a play with a while back, and even though it came in lovely turquoise and pink I left it behind. It’s a very watery ink, and too variable between different papers.

Instead I bought some decoupage papers and glittery glue, because it was half price and psychedelic.

Stop 3 – BHS
It rained, and I was cold and miserable, so I bought a jumper and a traditional afternoon tea gift voucher, because both were reduced. The jumper is purple and very soft, and I am looking forwards to the tea with my mother.

Stop 4 – TK Maxx & Homesense

Disappointing, really. They’re next to each other in the Arndale, so I was surprised by the range of notebooks in TK Maxx. Homesense were having a reorganisation, so their craft range was very limited, and for some reason the notebooks were by the tills instead of with the storage, books and crafts. They did have an Eccolo in bright orange and gold, but it had bright white paper and I don’t love them enough. TK Maxx had an interesting selection, but nothing that grabbed me and made me buy it.

Stop 5 – Fred Aldous

Spread over three floors, this is simply wonderful. The ground floor is stationery, with a truly ridiculous selection of Moleskine-style notebooks and crafting gifts, the lower-basement has a laser cutting workroom, and in between is arts and crafts heaven. From calligraphy sets to acrylic paints, every type of glue to every type of paper, if you want it it’s probably in there. And I forgot to pick up the glue, of course.

At some point I will have a day off to get stuck into it all.

One thought on “I have been to the dark side…

  1. I live in Manchester and while I can attest to the brilliance of our Paperchase, I have never been to Fred Aldous! I’ve walked past it so many times and never gone in because it looks too expensive, I may have to risk it one day.
    Great post!

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