MAKEMORE Festival 2018

This August Bank Holiday weekend I was excited to go to the inaugural MAKEMORE festival 2018, held in the wonderfully leafy Victoria Park, London. MAKEMORE is a festival for makers and doers, or in other words, a ‘festival for the hands’. Held over five days, the festival featured a line-up of drop-in craft workshops, demos, maker markets, talks, live music, stand-up comedy, and street food.

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One of the highlights of the festival for me were the two beautifully curated makers markets – the first from Urban Makers, featuring everything from plant pots to jewellery, and the second from Turning Earth, featuring a host of beautifully handcrafted ceramics. I fell in love with the 3D printed plant pots from Nilli, the cement planters from heimdesign, and bought a vase from Puya Ceramics.

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I had read on the website that the ticket price included a whole host of creative experiences, making sessions and open workshops, with no need to fork out for extra add-ons once inside, but the reality is that you’ll most likely want to book onto some of the additional ‘specialist’ workshops in advance, as these make up most of the hands-on experiences available at the festival, and looked great fun!

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There were some free workshops and demos happening throughout the day, such as at the Obby UK tent, but many were either over-subscribed (with people being turned away), or a tad infrequent, and not all tents were proactive about inviting you in and getting you involved. We popped into The Bread Station tent, for example, to find that we’d missed their only bread-making demo of the day. “Dough!”

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That being said, if you were organised enough to get a seat on the workshops, they looked really well run, and the teachers were clearly very passionate. If I could do my time again, I’d definitely try to get hands-on with the Turning Earth pottery wheel sessions, the spoon carving with Barn the Spoon, and the terrarium making with The Botanical Boys. The family cooking sessions also looked to be popular.

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The tent where we had the warmest welcome was Jealous Gallery & Print Studio, where two friendly staff invited us to master the squeegee with screen-printing. We picked our colours, and they showed us how to drag the squeegee over a screen to print a tiny bird illustration onto a postcard. As the heavens had opened, we were fortunate to be joined in the tent by the Stamfold Hill Billies Street Band!

For those with children in tow, there were some kid-friendly maker workshops from Little Angle Theatre and Polka Theatre, as well as face-painting and a fun fair. You could also hang out with The Exploration Society and their giant fire to learn about bush-craft activities from carving to fire-lighting.

Elsewhere at the festival we came across artist in residence, Adébayo Bolaji, where you could sit and watch him work. There were also Paint Jam drop-ins and poster-making sessions for all ages, although the weather put an abrupt end to the latter unfortunately. Weather-wise, the woman in the yellow rain coat eating an ice-cream perfectly summed it up… and I think more marquees were summoned!

All in all, we had a fun day and enjoyed the relaxed vibe of the MAKEMORE Festival. Considering this was its first year, I can’t wait to see what the festival will bring next year. If I were to suggest one improvement, it would be MORE free workshops (+ clarity on timings of those workshops), plus the option to book your space on the ‘free’ sessions in advance (a bit like The Handmade Fair), so you don’t miss out.

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We explored the festival by day, but I’d love to hear from anyone who stayed on to enjoy the festival by night? Did you enjoy the comedy acts? Thank you to MAKEMORE Festival for inviting me to check-out the inaugural festival. Bring on MAKEMORE fest 2019!

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London Contemporary Art Fairs 2018

I don’t know if it’s something to do with having a home that is still fairly bare in the wall department (or empty in the frame department), or just generally because I have a love for art and colour, but I’ve been really excited to get tickets to some of this year’s contemporary Art Fairs in London.

One that I’ve been to for probably the last three years or so is the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea Park. But this year I’m branching out even further! As I was researching for myself anyway, I thought I’d share some of London’s most popular upcoming Art Fairs of 2018, so you can pop them in your diary!


Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, 8-11 March 2018

I feel like I talk about this one a lot, but I can’t emphasise enough what a fun day out this is. I bumped into an old colleague of mine there once (who was many rungs above me on the career ladder!). He sweetly asked if I had made any purchases, obviously oblivious to my wage packet at the time. But I do so aspire to one day buy my own piece of original art, and the choice at the Affordable Art Fair is fabulous.

Battersea Affordable Art Fair

I genuinely believe this makes a great day out, whether you’re looking to purchase art or just peruse it. There’s always a good variety of styles, and a welcoming prosecco bar in the middle – bliss!


The Other Art Fair, Victoria House, 22-25 March 2018

I came across this one recently via a Habitat email; as the official partner of The Other Art Fair, Habitat were offering customers the chance to nab one of 300 pairs of tickets for free! It’s first come first served, so check out their blog here to see if you can secure some in time. I’m excited to go later this month.

According to their website, The Other Art Fair, which is presented by Saatachi Art, gives you the opportunity to discover and buy art direct from 120 of the best emerging and undiscovered artists, who have been handpicked by a committee of art industry experts – let’s hope they know a thing or two! It’s a bi-annual event, and offers fun immersive art installations, interactive theatre performances, art tours led by Saatchi Art curators, live music from Soho Radio DJs, plus good food and a bar – bingo!


London Original Print Fair, Royal Academy of Arts, 3-6 May 2018

You know those times when you wonder where you’ve been all these years? Well, the London Original Print Fair is apparently London’s longest-running art fair. This year is the 33rd edition, and it’s held at the RA. I only needed to glance at the fair’s Instagram page to know that it’s for me. You can visit the fair to get your hands on a rare old master, or snap up contemporary prints that have only just launched.


Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead Heath, 11-14 May 2018

Don’t worry, it’s not deja vu! If you can’t make the Affordable Art Fair at Battersea in March, try and head to the Affordable Art Fair at Hampstead Heath in May. I’ve not been to this one (yet), but it promises thousands of original, contemporary artworks from UK and international galleries. Sweet!

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Etsy Made Local Christmas Markets 2017

A few weeks back I received an exciting mystery package from the Etsy Made Local London Team. To celebrate their upcoming Christmas market in South London, the team sent me a box of specially curated goodies from selected Etsy sellers who’ll be showcasing their handmade wares in December.

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I went to my first Etsy Made Local Xmas market in 2015, and I loved it. I went looking for Christmas presents for friends and family but went home with lots of lovely goodies for me! Back then I bought a set of tiny concrete diamond ‘baubles’ from PASiNGA, whose stall I loved, and they come out every year.

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I was so excited to receive my package – the team told me that they’d tailored the contents to suit my style and audience, and I don’t think I could have picked better for myself if I tried. The first item I saw was this gorgeous hand-formed blue and white mini rope bowl by Zuzana of Rope Works. The bowls are naturally dyed with Indigo and make perfect trinket bowls for jewellery by your bedside.

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Next up I spotted a brown leather key chain from Suede & Co who make handmade leather and suede accessories from coin purses to laptop sleeves. My second leather goody came in the form of a leather cord holder / cable organiser from By Law London. These are perfect for keeping your headphones together in your bag. Janet sells sets of two for £9, alongside other leather accessories.

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BUST Summer Craftacular 2017

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.

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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).

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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.

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Christmas Maker Markets, London 2017

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 two of my favourite seasonal maker markets in London – pop the dates in your diaries!


BUST London Christmas Craftacular 

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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

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When: 3-4 December, 11am – 5pm

Where: Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London, SW9 8LQ

Why: The Crafty Fox Market is putting on a host of Christmas markets – this one is in Brixton, and promises the opportunity to support independent designer-makers for a festive shopping experience – with DJs, drinks, food, and an exciting array of craft workshops – more details coming soon.


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!

Hampton Court Flower Show: 2016 Highlights

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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…!

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Highlights from the Chelsea Flower Show 2016

The Chelsea Flower Show is one of my favourite annual events – what better excuse to abandon your desk, and head into the sunshine with your pals? This year I went along with my sister and one of her ex-colleagues, Andy. Not only are these guys great ‘bants’ (and they like Pimms), but they also know a thing or two about gardens (being garden designers), so they’re the perfect Chelsea buddies!

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I loved a lot of the gardens this year, but there were two clear winners for me. The first, a small Artisan Garden called ‘Together We Can’, was a Silver Gilt medal winner, and was designed for the disability charity Papworth Trust. I really should have filmed this garden because its beauty, aside from its bold use of purple and running water, was in its peaceful and playful water percussion.

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My second favourite garden was called The Garden of Potential and it featured huge rugged boulders balanced on top of clean oak beams. I liked the juxtaposition between the ancient weathered boulders, and the ordered composition of the garden. There was also a fun water feature in the form of a level-changing gutter which zig-zagged through the garden, and a fence that tipped over to form a path.

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