A few months back I was invited to a festive gift-wrapping workshop with IKEA in London. It was far too early to really think about Christmas back then (I think it was June!), but the event also offered a sneak peak at IKEA’s Autumn / Winter collection (in-store now), which I couldn’t refuse!
You might remember that last year IKEA put on a Christmas tablescaping workshop for a few crafty bloggers, where I obsessed over a gorgeous black bear ornament. This time we were treated to a gift-wrapping workshop with the lovely Janine, who has a completely different creative job by day, but is a widely acknowledged ‘awesome gift wrapper’ on the side – nice to be multi-talented!
It was lovely to see some friendly faces in the form of Gabrielle from Design Curator and Anna from The Smell of Roses (not to be confused with The Only Smell is Roses, which I nearly wrote – too much TOWIE), and to meet some new faces too – namely Lou from Little Green Shed, Jess from The Only Girl in the House and Georgia from Flowers in the Window. As well as making some gorgeous gift-wraps, Georgia also patiently put up with a mega coughing fit from me on the train back to Essex – sorry!
Last weekend the kind people at BUST Craftacular invited me along to their summer shindig at York Hall, Bethnal Green. I’m a huge fan of Craftacular (dubbed ‘London’s coolest craft fair’), which brings together over 70 unique designer-makers, DIY workshops, tea and cake, and fun-loving DJs.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Kinska
If you’re looking for quirky handmade gifts, or just presents for yourself, Craftacular is the place to go. Last year I bought a gorgeous white trinket dish with a tiny leaf imprint from madebymememe (a humble #ceramicsmum), and the time before I bought a moon pin-cushion from Oh No Rachio (onr).
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Tea Party at the Zoo
This year, my sister bought some beautiful trinket dishes stamped with gold bees from potter Elizabeth of Limehouse Ceramics (who was also super friendly and chatty). Another favourite stall was Sparkle Child, who made fun sparkly crowns, garlands and wands for children – perfect for play-time.
Photo credit: Shelley Makes®. Maker: Sparkle Child
Last week, I went along to Drink, Shop & Do near King’s Cross in London to preview Hobbycraft’s new Spring and Easter craft collections. Ever since I started blogging, it’s been an aim of mine to attend a Hobbycraft event, as I do buy a lot of my supplies from there, so I was thrilled to get an invitation.
I tagged along after work and was greeted at the door by the Hobbycraft team. They’d split the Drink, Shop & Do floor into various stations so that you could try your hand at different crafts, and learn more about their upcoming range expansions, from sewing supplies, knit craft, Easter craft, and baking.
My first stop was the sewing machine station where a helpful seamstress named Amy sat me down at a sewing machine for the first time, and showed me how to do some basic stitches. Some of you might recall that I was bought a sewing machine for Christmas a few years back, and am ashamedly yet to use it, as I wasn’t really sure where to begin, so I was really excited about this opportunity.
Can you believe that it’s just six more Sundays until Christmas? I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like the months fly by quicker and quicker every year! Still, at least it’s nearly the holidays!
Earlier this year I was invited to an IKEA tablescaping event with some fellow bloggers to preview IKEA’s Autumn / Winter range, as well as take a sneak-peak at some of IKEA’s scandi-inspired Christmas goodies. I’m a big fan of IKEA, and always try and fit in a visit before Christmas.
The event was held at 19 Greek Street – a modern white event space in Central London. I was thrilled to join some blogger friends – namely Hannah from Crafternoon Cabaret Club, Tasha from Graphique Fantastique, Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft House, and Emma from Emma Jane Palin.
After an introduction from the IKEA bods who talked us through the four new autumn / winter trends, we were invited to have a leisurely peruse, and get hands-on with our own DIY tablescapes. A credit to the IKEA wares, we soon felt at home, and were all prepared to move in within minutes.
One of things I love most about winter is the arrival of brand new seasonal maker markets. With Christmas around the corner, it’s the perfect time to buy presents before the panic sets in. Below you’ll find some of my favourite seasonal maker markets in London – pop the dates in your diaries!
BUST London Christmas Craftacular
When: Sunday 27 November, 11am-5pm
Where: York Hall, 5 Old Ford Road, Bethnal Green E2 9PJ
Why: The BUST London Craftacular is back, featuring talented, crafty vendors, pop-up cafes, DJs, and DIY workshops. Entrance is £3, and the first 100 shoppers get a goody bag.
I went to the BUST Summer Craftacular last year with my sister and loved it. As well as browsing the wares from independent makers, you can also take part in fun workshops – last year we did a weaving workshop with Peas & Needles – one of my all-time favourite craft workshops.
Christmas Crafty Fox Market
When: 3-4 December, 11am – 5pm
Where: Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LQ
If you know of any more maker markets not to be missed this winter, please pop them in the comments below. Personally, I can’t wait to start my festive shopping!
Three weeks ago I was delighted to attend my very first Paperchase event! This was actually one of my New Year blogging goals back in January. As a massive stationery fiend, I was chuffed to be invited to explore the brand new ‘Back to School’ range during the Paperchase BTS Press Bus Tour.
The event was hosted on board a shiny red vintage bus, parked outside Paperchase’s Head Office in London. The bus immediately brought back old school memories, particularly as it was raining outside, and steamed up on the inside! I immediately wanted to draw on the windows, for old times’ sake.
The Paperchase team had laid out their four new school collections on the seats of both decks for our perusal. This consisted of the adorable Monsterosity range, featuring pixelated dinosaur designs in blue camouflage colours. My favourite item is probably the wooden dinosaur pen pot (£6) in the centre.
As well as the usual notebooks and pens, the range features a tonne of different back-packs, flasks, lunch boxes, and pencil cases, so you really can send your kids to school with everything they could possibly need. I can’t pretend that I was this cool or organised when I was at school! I wish.
Today is the last day of this year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, and what a show it has been. I had the pleasure of visiting on Tuesday with my sister, Grandma, and our family friend Andy. You might recognise Kayleigh and Andy from previous flower show posts, as they usually let me tag along.
We explored Chelsea Flower Show earlier this year, and have been visiting the Hampton Court Flower Show together since 2014, but this was the first year that my Grandma (whose garden is divine) joined us on the venture. We hope she’ll now be a permanent fixture to the RHS Flower Show Gang!
There was one real stand-out garden for me – A Dog’s Life Garden by The Dog’s Trust, which was designed to mark the charity’s 125th anniversary. The garden featured a gorgeous colour palette of purples and yellows, with bright origami-style dog figurines dotted around the flower beds.
The garden also featured a long clear stretch of water, perfect for doggy paddling, as well as tunnels and sniffer tracks for dog’s to explore. The garden wasn’t the only thing that wowed me however, as The Dog’s Trust had also brought along some of their trusty four-legged friends.
This is Evie, the most adorable (and soft) greyhound that I’ve ever met. I quickly became besotted with Evie, and would have liked to take her home with me there and then. Alas, Evie is already reserved, and my current circumstances wouldn’t really allow me to have a dog, but maybe one day…!