Happy Advent

My advent calendar is now opening daily throughout December… Mince pies and mulled wine all round!

(p.s They featured it on the Timeout blog this morning… which makes me feel uber-cultured – see below:)

http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2013/12/02/countdown-to-christmas-with-the-southbank-centres-giant-advent-calendar/#more-116413

Advertisements

Feeling Festive (again!)

I love Christmas!

And in preparation for my all time favourite season, I entered the Southbank Centre “Design a Christmas window” competition. There’s no where I prefer to be in the merry month of December than Southbank Christmas Market with a steaming cup of Gluvine and a piece of stollen bread… Yum

Image

Excitingly enough for me I have been shortlisted for the opportunity to make my window happen. So… in the words of the great Mariah Carey.

“Make my dreams come true… Baby all I want for Christmas is you! ooh, ooh, ooh”

See my entry here:

http://www.ideastap.com/Opportunities/BriefResponses/6b60bd0a-3e56-406e-a4af-a1e300b8e7d6#filter=Shortlist&controls=126

 

Deptford Market

It is a mission to go down to Deptford and trawl painstakingly through piles of tat which let’s face it are dead person’s bric a brac. 

However.

If you can’t find what you want anywhere else it will probably be at Deptford. It is a reliable resource in one’s little black book for sourcing anything weird from black and white holiday photos to birdbaths. And yesterday I went there to find a drill because a decent, new one would have cost a bomb. So, I thought I could find a good second hand option and I did- a good Dewalt cordless!

Image

 

Here is a list of all the things I have ever bought at Deptford Market.

A drill

A keepsakes book from 1930

A Satchel

A first aid handbook

Some ageing sheet music

A magnifying glass

A knickerbocker glory glass

1 pair of boots

A picnic basket

An old tennis racquet plus stretcher

A snow white snowglobe

A joblot of photoframes.

…I can’t recall anything else. But there’s definitely been some bigger things because I remember struggling back from there arms laden.

Biba beats big topshop hands down

Nia and I went to the Barbara Hulanicki exhibition in Brighton yesterday.It was somewhat of a pilgrimage because she is a complete goddess.Nia was more interested by the clothes and the flicky haired, doe-eyed sixties models. 

However I thought the interest lay in her revolutionary visual merchandising. She seems to have an absolutely obsessive attention to detail when it comes to fitting out her shops in hollistic 1930s deco style. For example: they got a man from Disney to make the fairyland props in the Children’s department and the maternity department was scaled up (rather patronisingly) to make expecting mothers feel daintier. 

Also, the super-cute retro packaging on the soap suds and baked beans is iconic and I can’t believe I haven’t seen it before now. They must have done everything in one shop- a lot like Topshop’s flagship except Biba knocks spots off it. 

Image

Image

Image

Coco De Mer

Today and tomorrow is the Coco De Mer sample sale at their Monmouth Street shop in Covent Garden. I love the smell of their shop, I often go in to oggle the things that I can’t afford. They make sex so beautiful! You can look at their range of whips, harnesses and crotchless panties for hours because they are so beautifully crafted- much more objets d’art than sex toys. Still the sample sale was carnage. 

I bought a loads of amazing retro underwear and there was a mass hysteria of woman snatching at the clothes and ducking behind the racks to try on bras and corsets, regardless of the fact they were flashing their neighbours. I can’t make it sounds any better! One pound entry, and you get your bags and coats checked into their make-shift cloakroom. 

ImageImage 

Vintage by the kilo.

Image

Firstly, I do not believe that because something’s old it’s vintage. Obviously, when I heard about buying vintage clothes by the weight, I wanted to go because it sounded too good to be true. And I think it was because I was tired and grumpy/ it was trying to snow but not succeeding and my phone was slowly giving up the ghost but I really couldn’t hack it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a rummage. But the huge vats of clothes that were dotted around this warehouse space really scared me. They were mostly dead people clothes from the 90s and a lot of crochet- when you pulled out a sleeve of a trouser leg it had always knotted itself around a pair of tights or a Tesco bag. I had the distinct guttural reaction against the idea of wearing the clothes because it made my skin crawl. But that’s ok, I only paid a pound to get in so I cut my losses and trotted off to work. 

Still, I would recommend it if you happened to be costume sourcing because it was cheap and to some extent eclectic. 

 

A Day trip to Bath

I went down to Bath to pick up the paper airplanes from a window display I did at “Meticulous Ink, Fine Stationery” in September.   In return for my window display, the fabulous shop owner, Athena, agreed to make me some business cards. Knowing that she is a talented lady I left it by and large up to her and she has made me the most beautiful, thick, embossed, colourful, covetable business cards in all existenceImage. I am in love. And they’re even better in 3D because you can feel the thickness of the card and the bruising on the back of the card from the embossing.

The shop prints the best stationery in England… so, if you require a decent calibre of  stationery for leisurely correspondance, occasions or business enterprises- then it is imperative that you go there. 

After visiting the shop, I went shopping, naturally… I like Bath for shops, particularly craft and vintage, it has some really nice pedestrianised lanes with little independent shops on them (Try The Makery, for trimmings and Scarlet Vintage for clothes) and there’s covered market bits too.  This being said my money ended up being spent in the charity shops. I like it when you leave London because the charity shops become more genuine as opposed to the price-hiked “vintage” charity shops that you get in London. I bought a red corset top so that I can dress up as a lobster and am pleased.

For repose, Athena recommended that I go to the Bertinet Cafe- for excellent cake and mini bottles of flavoured milk with paper straws. 

Image

I had to queue but it was charming and the tables had individual toasters for all of their homemade breads. 

Which concludes my day out. (I like my life.)