This month I have read two books alongside my copious amounts of magazines! The first was Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce, a tale about a family member who disappears and returns 20 years later. She has been living with the fairies but they aren’t quite who we mythologise them to be, behave in quite a naughty fashion and aren’t particularly happy when someone leaves. The writer is very clever in changing your ideas about fairies and this creates a jarring effect that reflects what the characters in the book are experiencing. I found this book to be very strange and uncomfortable at times so not sure if I would recommend it.
Apologies this post has been delayed as I have been in the deepest, darkest Wales and there was limited to no signal on phones or wi-fi (which was really relaxing). Everything is back to normal tomorrow!
Last weekend I attended Kirstie’s Handmade Fair to engage my inner crafty and see all the lovely modern craft that can be done.
Like last year it was held at the beautiful Hampton Court Palace. I have a red brick addiction and wondering the grounds of this palace is like my catnip!
I had bought an entry ticket which included two workshops and a talk so my first port of call was calligraphy learning with Claire Gould who was a patient and enthusiastic teacher. I’s always thought this craft was hard and very technical and this couldn’t be further from the truth. With our fresh nib in hand, which we prepped by stabbing it into a potato (!), we were away making lines and shapes. Once you used the pen as a tool rather then a pen (trust me!) the process was quite easy and all of a sudden I was a calligrapher! We were encouraged to do letters and I jumped ahead writing lines from nursery rhymes! I really enjoyed this craft and hope to keep practicing in the future.
My second session was a speedy one to learn how to make a ric rack rose with Jane Means. A lovely simple ribbon rose that punches it weight and has many uses as a decoration.
Lastly I attended a talk by Poppys Papercuts where Poppy was joined by Kirstie. So exciting!!! As Poppy and Kirstie cut out masks for a Halloween party they told us some lovely stories about themselves, papercutting and some tidbits from behind the scenes of the Kirsties craft show. The best bit is Poppy has put all the templates online including an awesome horoscopes one she did in hands on workshops.
If you missed out on the fair this year sign up so you get a newsletter about it next year. They don’t send many emails so you won’t get spammed! As well as workshops they have two large tents full of pretty bits to buy and lots of food vans to keep you tummy full.
Pictures are on my Instagram feed!
PS There is going to be a Christmas Fair in Manchester check it out!
After my trip to NY I have been a little poorly with a mean little bug who hovers in my tummy and likes to kick me in the stomach when I eat or drink anything. He is not a nice guy and I have been resting over the weekend.
I was going to post a short message to say I was unwell and because I had cancelled my weekend had nothing to post about. Sad times! BUT I was going through my photos last night, deleting all sorts of shenanigans captured on film in preparation for a week in Wales when I saw my photos from building a Terrarium at Heals. This was one of the most fun and satisfying courses I have done so whilst I did it a few months ago I thought ‘what the heck’ I will talk about that!
The great thing is that Heals still do these workshops that are run by London Terrariums, Emma and Tom, a lovely pair who take everyone through the history of these magical jars. Essentially without taking away their thunder the Terrarium was a discovery that allowed horticulturists to transport plants from one side of the world to the other which was revolutionary at the time.
Over time Terrariums have come in and out of fashion and at their height the Victorians (who always seem to take things to extremes I have noticed) even made ones that were as big as people! There are two kinds, closed and open, but to be honest I think the closed versions are the best as they live by themselves without help and create a little ecosystem.
The session itself went for an hour and we learnt very quickly how to make the little world of our dreams. It is really key to use the correct ingredients and not skip any steps otherwise the ecosystem can collapse and your plants pass away.
At the time when I did the course they offered to reduce the price if you bought your own vessel. Given I have an entire cupboard of jars (don’t ask!) this was perfect and it was lovely to see all the different jars on display.
I’ve booked into an advanced glass now with the intention of giving the Terrarium as a gift to some friends who I know will love it.
Happy weekend everyone
PS I just remembered as I added the photos that the feeling of playing with dirt and charcoal in the pristine Heals made me giddy like a naughty child!
So this week or so in NY has been absolutely awesome and between the long work days I am trying to be a New Yorker!!
Here are a few of the things I have been doing and where you can go in London to live the same life.
Blow Dry Bars
These are AWESOME! I booked in online to drybar before a meeting and opted for the curliest style in the look book. They keep the whole process simple; a quick wash, rough dry off and then the styling. I was in and out in about 40minutes for $US45 plus a tip of $US10.
Slowly there are London versions of this popping up. The one I love is DryBy which is near Oxford Circus and also makes nail appointments. Perfect for the on the go Londoner and prices start from £28.
I am not a fan of this type of class as ones I had take previously were boring, all about sitting down and I walked out not sweating. My NY friends were insistent I book into SoulCycle and guaranteed I would change my tune. Well…I came out so sweaty I really needed to change outfits asap and I felt the burn all the way through as it was more then sitting for 45minutes and we even used weights.
Psycle London is the equivalent and I can’t wait to go. I have already booked in for when I return and am prepared to get my sweat on!
Clean Eating and Juices
I’m a paleo eater after a few months last year where I go really ill so my biggest fear of being in NY was being able to eat well. Previous trips hadn’t been very successful and anyone who has digestive issues knows that this can ruin a trip. I found some great places to eat well and the three I would recommend is Australian Bluestone Lane, Hu Kitchen and The Butchers Daughter. Butchers Daughter can be a bit busy as it is a current hot spot but you can order their menu take away and get it a lot faster and sit on a stoop on a brownstone nearby!
Want to eat Aussie in London. Check out Bill Grangers locations around town. The best bit is the avocado smash!
Finally my most favorite NY experience was when my friend S invited me to her place after a class at BodyBySimone. We weren’t going to make it to her flat until post 7.30pm so she organised for a personal chef to come and cook for us. It was really awesome as the chef came with the food, cooked and cleaned up in half an hour!
We have similar services just starting now in London but they aren’t as cheap. Still worth a google if you have a group of people and want to host you friends rather then slave over the stove.
I hope this has inspired you to try something new in your life
My fab blow out from drybar 27th street
Juices from The Butchers Daughter and chocolate from Hu Kitchen