Tis the season to be jolly, to decorate our homes with random pieces of delight and get ready for the biggest celebration of the year. So what makes the most non-crafty of us get the urge to pull out some glue and glitter and join the surge of creativity at this time of year?
#1 BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
Image by Erica Hoida
Burrr, yes it is a little chilly. Those long walks in the park and being outside in the warm weather have passed. It’s time to keep warm and cosy inside, but what to do? Yes there is the TV, but actually there are things you can make too, the decorations for the tree, the wreath for the front door or even Christmas cards for your friends. With more time on our hands inside, it’s no wonder we are more tempted to get making.
Nestled amongst the pretty independent eateries and retro shops on Dartmouth Road in South-London’s Forrest Hill, the beautiful Stag and Bow haberdashery is a gem to be admired.
Inside the vintage styled store are a carefully curated collection of must have modern crafting materials and equipment: from Debbie Bliss Wool, to Tilly and The Buttons & Sew Over It dress making patterns and DMC thread to Jennie Maizels Iron Patches. Then there are pretty little bits that all us crafters adore, in delicate bowls, vintage clothes and great craft books.
When I arrived on a Wednesday morning, I was greeted by a table of ladies who were all sat centrally around a large table making their personal projects, over a cup of tea in an Art Deco cup and saucer ( of course). Some were sewing, some knitting, all gossiping. Which makes me love the heart of this store, there is a huge sense of community which brings a warm and welcoming feel.
This year has seen the rise of the Light Box, the fun little light that can make you laugh with its adjustable slogan. With so many brands producing them for around £20 its a brilliant thing to have in your home, literally marking in words your current mood, favourite saying or party names.
Here are my favourite slogans from Pinterest. You can buy your own here.
#10 REMBER WHY YOU STARTED.
With my husband working on his start-up RangeRoom.com this year and a cousin who has been there at the beginning of Uber, this really resinates in my house!
This is the third year in a row we have hosted a baby & toddler halloween get together, so I conclude this may be becoming a tradition! As a kid I do remember going trick or treating, but costumes were most defiantly hand made and not readily available in supermarkets. Sweets were most defiantly not Halloween branded, you’d be lucky to get a Quality Street. One of our neighbours used to actually give away his 1p & 2p collection in little brown bags! But this year the shops have grown their ranges massively and there are some fantastic things you can get. Needless to say, I do love Halloween and luckily so does my son!
I have a bag of props in the attic that are mainly bought from the pound shops. Much like Christmas, I buy a few new bits every year and chuck out the ones that are a bit passed it. This year I bought a giant glitter skull from Sainsbury’s and my Fred and Friends cookie cutters, which I am obsessed with ( see above and below). You can see them here on Amazon, they are amazing!
Flora Forager aka Bridget Beth Collins has had the kind of success story I love to see on Instagram. I started following her feed around a year ago, she makes the most intricately exquisite masterpieces from flowers, twigs, leaves… Anything natural. The designs are sometimes homages to artistic masters but often totally original ideas. Through her original art she has developed a mass social media following and become a social influencer leading to artwork commissions for magazines such as Country Living and House and Garden.
She says “I love to adventure into the wildflower woodlands, mossy waterfalls, and grey sand starry expanses of the Pacific Northwest. I forage almost all of my creations from foliage and flowers plucked from our sidewalks, meadows, and woods in our neighbourhood. I have a small garden in the city, and my mother has a big rambling secret garden filled with old english roses in the sea town of Edmonds where I grew up.
I graduated with honours from Seattle Pacific University, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. I grew up in the wings so to speak, and am a product of all its dark, magical, sparkly world. Though the only stage I current now is the constant one I live in. I spend my days painting, writing, and playing with my boys. (There’s a great deal of mundane thrown in, but that’s a bore to add to a bio).”
Maybe I noticed her magical work because of my own passion for fairytale, she like me studied the theatre, has a boy and LOVES flowers!
I would urge you to buy a copy of her glorious journal, to be inspired every day of the year Flora Forager: A Seasonal Journal Collected from Nature
Notecards, birthday cards, new baby cards, wedding cards, thank you cards, even hi how are you cards, the list is endless. I have a little corner of my house dedicated to cards, as every month there is bound to be an event I’ve forgotten about. If I see something I like in a shop I will just buy it and hoard it for when I need it. I haven’t quite got to the stage of a present draw yet, but I know it’s coming.
Cards and props: feature window people card, Alexander Girard at Lagomdesign.co.uk. Hi & lightbulb cards, FSC.org. Doughnut card, M&S. Mini fake succulent, Paperchase. Party Blower, Talking Tables. Nail varnish, Nails Inc.