Saturday, 10 December 2011

We Make London Christmas Fair 2011

I try really hard to buy most of my Christmas presents from independent sellers, so spend most of my December weekends at the wonderful fairs London has to offer-yesterday I went to Battersea Arts Centre to the We Make London fair.There were some familiar faces like Kat of Creme Nouveau, but also lots of new makers who I hadn't come across before. I guess this can partly be explained by the fact that I'm starting to shop for a different demographic-many of my friends have started having families of their own so I'm now in the market for presents for little ones,which I haven't been since my siblings were toddlers.
Retropoodle upcycles vintage fabric into cushions which could easily double as dolls, and these gorgeous pillows are made from vintage scarves.

Forgotten Stitches' stall was like an Aladdin's cave of wonders-especially for someone like me who loves embroidery and beading above all else!The fawns and dogs would look gorgeous in a child's nursery.

I was desperate to buy one of these dolls from Tobyboo for my friend's son, but apparently they are meant for adults only-I can only imagine it's because they have small parts like buttons that could come off and be swallowed,but I still feel they would be a bit wasted on grown-ups who'd put them on a shelf somewhere to look nice but not be played with!The embroidered picnic blanket below is also from Tobyboo and has moved to the top of my Christmas wishlist!

I love this set of birdy pillowcases from Karin Akesson

And these Samantha Morris screen-printed dinner menus and invitations are perfect for a hostess who likes to be very friend Dana from Mien magazine would love them!
There were lots of other gems too-I know Gabby Young bought a little neckerchief for her dog Hobbes from a wonderful doggy stall-you can see all the stallholders' details here (in the column on the right).
I'd recommend popping to the Duckie Christmas market at the Barbican today for really out of the ordinary presents-perfect for anyone who's tricky to buy for!
P.S still the most successful of any gifts I've got for kids are Merrimaking hoods-seen here on all my siblings last Christmas-as good for teens going to festivals as they are for pre-teens dressing up!

Stationery Gift Guide

I know many of you are as fond of stationery as I am, so I thought I'd point you in the direction of my latest gift guide for Run-Riot, including gems from Nancy and Betty (above) and Present&Correct (below).Enjoy!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Other Art Fair

Yesterday I popped in on my friends Tinsel and Twinkle who were selling their artwork at The Other Art Fair-a brilliant new anti-art fair where you buy straight from the artist rather than dealing with gallery owners/dealers etc.The piece below is a festive painting by Twinkle-you can read about the inspiration behind it here. The 'Risk is good for the Soul' painting is by Tinsel and I just found out she's giving me a print of it for Christmas, so I'm thrilled!.

The Robin Collective were there with their indoor Cafe du Pique Nique

I discovered some lovely new artists too- I love Jennifer Louise Martin's portraits.

And Harry and Jasper's 99p store-affordable art for everyone!

It was great to finally meet artist Rosie Emerson as I've heard so much about her-I worked on a shoot recently with make-up artist Monica Storrs who's also done the make-up for some of Rosie's projects.

Alma Haser's photographs are really magical.
Lyndsay Martin's work has a lovely vintage feel.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Skating around the Christmas Tree

Earlier this year I did some work for the marketing agency for Tiffany and Co's Skate at Somerset House, so I got to go to the pre-opening skating day on Sunday and invited some bloggers along too. We understandably weren't allowed to take our cameras on the ice, so here are some very amateur shots I took on my phone!

Carrie and Lucy did a great little photoshoot off the ice which you can see on Carie's blog here. 

Lucy's fantastic Minnie mouse shorts!

As an unexpected treat, I also got invited to the Tiffany VIP launch party last night-there were fantastic performances by skaters on the ice, brilliant live music from Emeli Sande, gorgeous food and drink and plenty of celebs.I took along one of my most glamorous friends who got stopped by the team as soon as we arrived; we had our outfits photographed and talked through what we were wearing so I'll let you know if it gets featured on the site-that would make my year!

Here I am in the Tiffany tuck shop about to scoff down a cupcake.

Coincidentally, the lovely folk at Howkapow have just started stocking some fabulous ice skating jewellery- this is called the Katie necklace! Though sadly I don't look much like this when I'm skating-I like to keep both my feet firmly on the ice...
Book tickets to skate at Somerset House here.

STOP PRESS: I DID make it onto! Whoop!Check me out here. You can barely see what I'm wearing as its a black coat and the night is pretty black!Still beyond happy,which I know isn't cool.Will make effort to be more nonchalant now.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


My latest gift guide is live on Run-Riot- it's an ultimate guide to the boxsets you should own or buy for the loved ones in your life.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Christmas Gift Guides 2011 -Get Cozy.

It's that time of year- I've started my weekly series of Christmas Gift Guides over on Run-Riot; first up is your guide to getting cozy-blankets,PJs,chunky knit scarves(the one pictured is by Louise Dungate) and the obligatory Christmas Jumper-read my post here.

You can also read my interview with the iconic writer and mythographer Marina Warner CBE here. Her new book retells some of the stories from the Arabian Nights and examines the role magic plays in the collection of stories.A great Christmas present for any fans of fairytales, Angela Carter and the like.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Megabites: the iCake pop-up shop for Internet Week Europe

Today I popped into The Hospital club for Megabites; the latest brainwave from Miss Cakehead - a Steve Jobs Inspired ‘iCake’ Shop Pop Up for Internet Week Europe.

Curator of Cake & Chaos, and founder of the Stay Puft Creativity Corporation, Miss Cakehead opened a Steve Jobs Inspired Cake Shop for one day only to both unashamedly celebrate the joy of ‘geek cakes’ & raise money for UK charity Pancreatic Cancer UK in his name. 

All of the cakes were ‘geek’ or ‘mac’ inspired with contributions from a range of bakers & treats on sale including Angry Bird cupcakes, cookies featuring portraits of Steve Jobs, Twitter cake pops, cookie replica of iPhones (and their applications), ‘Mac’ logo shaped ‘apple’ pies & even 100% edible Mac computers. As usual Miss Cakehead's crew of cake makers really brought the goods-when I was there a  film crew from Yahoo were interviewing her about the project.Taking over the world, one cake at a time...

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Ms MarmiteLover's Bonfire Weekend Underground farmers & craft market

Ms Marmitelover aka Kerstin Rodgers lives in a gorgeous house in Kilburn where she's hosted her infamous underground restaurant and written her stunning book about the experience: Supperclub.(You can read my interview with her here.)The recipes and photographs in it are proper food porn-and her farmers' market on Saturday was like the live show. Phwoar. Here are some snaps of things I saw and ate...

Liqueurs on the mantlepiece and cocktails on the ironing board from Alchemist Dreams

Evidence of Ms MarmiteLover's previous life as a photographer

Crochet lessons in the bedroom

Some of the brilliant reviews Kerstin's received hang on her walls.

Niko B doing a demonstration on the aga in the kitchen

Cultivate had some brilliant hybrid herbs like chocolate mint.

Peck Peck Peck ice-creams- I went for toffee apple flavour; it was delicious.

What the Dickens - kedgeree and devilled kidneys

Wheat free Brownies- I had Treason which was butterscotch

I also ate amazing fried risotto balls in a wrap with salad and chilli sauce from the  Arancini Brothers, freshly made ginger beer from Foxy Cooks and even had my tarot cards read by Madame de la Cartomancer. It was the kind of event that realy reminds me why I love living in London-a real taste of community with people of all ages in attendance. It makes me really want to try and replace some of my Tesco shopping with local market sellers.The demonstrations also inspired me to experiment more with my cooking, learn some new skills- and more importantly, invest more time in making some of my own stuff; I went home and made Christmas cake with my mum and sisters a couple of weekends ago and it was one of the most relaxing, therapeutic things I've done in ages. The food at the fair reminded me how much greater the satisfaction is when you eat something thats has had actual time and care put into it,even more so when its your own.
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