Monday, 28 March 2011

A Mother’s Day Treat in Tooting

Seven days to go until mother’s day and instead of ordering flowers or taking your mom out for an over priced meal, we’ve got something crafty on the menu, which is inexpensive, good fun and gives you both quality time, over a pint or two!

This Saturday and every first Saturday of the month at the Tooting Tram & Social are the Crafty Pint workshops. The next is the charm bracelet workshop, part of a collection of amazing little workshop, which until now has been a secret… So, Ssssshhhhhh keep it until yourselves.
Louise from LouLou Workshop will show you how to make a beautiful, sparkley charm bracelet. All tools and materials are provided, including a silver plated bracelet chain.  Louise will show you step by step how to make a bracelet from her collection of very lovely beads and charms.  Handmade cakes are included in the price and drinks are available from the bar

Organised and run by local people, this local workshop will mean you only have to walk down the street, hop on the bus, jump on the tube or pop along in the car to spend time with your nearest and dearest over drink & cakes, we'll be going along, hope to see you there!

To find out more information or to book online go to: 
Tooting Crafty Pint

Monday, 21 March 2011


Last week I travelled to Cobham (not strictly south London) only 20 minutes on the train from Clapham Junction and it was well worth the trip. Having never been to Cobham before I was greeted with pretty houses, a helpful taxi driver and a stunning place called the Medicine Garden which is hard to describe as we don’t have anything like it in London, but words which spring to mind are, relaxing and nurtured, as It’s still being landscaped and restored. I can’t wait to go back in the summer to see how it has grown and to enjoy the gardens.

Nestled in the Medicine Garden is MakeMe Workshops in what resembles a cute stable conversion, which I totally had craft envy over when I arrived. MakeMe workshops has not one button, thread or felt out of place.  Everything has a place and every work station has its own sewing machine, iron and ironing board. Too perfect is not a phrase which can be associated with MakeMe, just right is how I’d describe it.

Knowing that many craft courses require a weekly commitment or a whole day, MakeMe Workshops are different, usually taking place on a morning or afternoon. They’re great courses which last a few hours and you leave with something gorgeous (and a few extra lbs from the delicious chocolate brownies and tasty cherry and ginger sponge) to go home with.
Melissa set up MakeMe Workshops last summer and I decided to pop down because they offer a great selection of courses, some of which I can’t always find in south London, i.e. felting, silver bracelet making, furniture stencilling, photography for parents, Spring flower arranging and many more. 
This picture doesn't do the felt flowers justice.
Best to see them in the flesh or felt!

From one of the many jewellery making workshops
The course I attended was the union jack cushion making course, there was only 4 of us, but the smaller groups make it much easier to get one to one help from the tutor and also having individual work stations makes it easier to achieve your finished article in the short time.
Between drinking tea, eating cake and sewing together a cushion the time flew by. The tutor was very patient and was able to accommodate people of all levels but especially beginners and at the end we had created some amazing cushions!
Beginners sewing workshop
I would whole hearted recommend MakeMe workshops, not just because the surrounds are amazing, but because I believe that they have a great selection of courses, for all levels of people, which are reasonably priced.

Cupcake Workshop
Decopatch workshop
MakeMe also run children’s workshops  - Sticky Fingers Cupcakes, Decopatch, Mini-MakeMe Junior Jewells and Creative Creatures (sew a monster)

Children's Creative Creatures

Contact details – MakeMe Workshops, The Medicine Garden, Downside Road, Cobham, Surrey KT11 3LU,,

Monday, 14 March 2011

10 Minutes on the Couch with Lydia the founder of a very cute little tea shop, Earl Gray & Rose in Streatham

Before going to interview Lydia I happen to think about what Streatham meant to me, I use to live in Streatham and I suppose before I mentioned that I had lived there people would be quick to put it down. But and this is a very big BUT! It’s not so bad, I frequently venture back to Streatham because there are simply some shops I can’t do without, for instance…
Krystal Drycleaners – on Streatham High raod (next door to Perfect Blend) half price dry cleaning on the first Wednesday of the month
The abundance of charity shops, for my 10p films and fabrics
Perfect Blend for their fry-up breakfast and freshly squeezed orange juice

And now to add to my “can’t do without” list is Earl Gray & Rose, a tea shop just opposite Streatham Hill train station, it’s a little 1950’s oasis. Coming from a design background, my eyes were wondering all around the room, this little shop is guaranteed to put a smile on your face as soon as you walk in. You do have to pay close attention to the detail, there is so much it’s easily missed, it’s very kitsch from the bunting to the vintage buttons and the handmade jewellery (made by Lydia).. I even had a huge appreciation for the wallpaper!! And Lydia was lovely, here are her 10 minutes….

Why the name Earl Gray & Rose?
I’m a trained florist, which is where the flower element came from and Earl Gray tea is my take on coffee shop.
You are slightly tucked away here on Leigham Court road, how long have you been open?
We opened 4 months ago and the time has flown by.

What made you pick Streatham?
I’m originally from London, but moved away a few years back and when my husband and I decided to move back, Streatham was a good choice for our tea shop, for location and price.

For the past few months we’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Earl Gray & Rose, tell us about yourself?
We are little different and we’ve tried to create a homely feeling, where people can come to feel comfortable, I bake all of the cakes we serve. We want to be part of the community, anyone is welcome.

And you offer craft classes?
Yes, we currently have a regular weekly knitting class on Wednesday 5-7pm, it’s only £5 and includes a cup of tea and cake. We are going to be offering mother & children beading classes and make a tote bag classes. We’ve just ordered 6 sewing machines, which will be great for the classes and they’ll be available for people to drop in and do their sewing by the hour.

Where else makes you unique?
People have committed on the great atmosphere and the food (we aren’t mean with the portions) there is always something going on.

What next?
Now the shop is up and running, we are now focusing on getting the workshops, up and running. We have some great workshops planned.

Check Earl, Gray & Rose out, it’s guaranteed to make you smile, there isn’t a website yet, but they are on twitter if you have any questions @EarlgrayandRose

Monday, 7 March 2011

Guest Blogger - Liberty Stitch

Liberty Stitch has a whole host of workshops on offer, and whether you're a beginner or experienced seamstress we want you to come down and get involved! From basic classes aimed at building confidence to professional finishing, millinery, and customisation we're covering all bases this Spring at Liberty Stitch.

Specialist workshops include fair isle and intarsia with Margaret Rowan, summer bunting with Erica Pask, lavender heart making with Jan Constantine and button jewellery with Charlotte Liddle.

 The Liberty Stitch workshops are run by top industry professionals, allowing you to receive expert advice and guidance. Each takes place in the historical setting of our Heritage Suite, an intimate space with stunning mahogany clad walls. Should you wish to go shopping after class, the suite sits alongside our world renowned haberdashery which has recently been expanded. Choose from high quality Rowan Yarn wool, V.V. Rouleaux ribbons, a wide selection of buttons, needles and tools plus not forgetting reams upon reams of iconic Liberty Print fabric!

Click here for further details:

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