Monday, 29 August 2011

White Stuff: National Wear a Tea Cosy on Your Head Day

White Stuff is getting ready for the second annual National Wear a Tea Cosy on Your Head Day (NWATCOYHD) on Thursday 22nd September. The event will be an exciting day of fundraising with White Stuff staff and customers sponsored to don tea cosies on their heads and much more! 

Last year White Stuff raised £26k for charity, lots of people got involved (even some famous faces) and we want to make the second NWATCOYHD bigger and even better than before. There are many ways customers can join in and raise money; including knitting their own tea cosy (with our downloadable Grannies Inc pattern), sponsoring their local shop, taking part in a ‘stitch and bitch’ session or hosting their very own ‘chari-tea’ party.

On the actual day there will be fun activities in our local shops and drinks and nibbles. If shoppers arrive wearing a tea cosy they will receive a free gift from our friends at Clipper. Followers on Twitter should look out for the #NWATCOYHD and Facebookers will be asked to tag themselves wearing their tea cosies on our Facebook page. Customers can also email us pictures of themselves wearing a tea cosy with the best entry winning a £200 White Stuff voucher.


Our local charities will be getting involved in fundraising too. Each of our 78 shops supports a local charity and all monies raised on the day will go directly to this cause. The charities are supported by The White Stuff Foundation, which was set up in 2010 and aims to make the world a little happier by helping disadvantaged children and young people in our local communities.
For more information look them up on Twitter @IvyandLil or Facebook

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Tutorial: Pretty Doily Bowl

When I first saw this being made, I remember thinking ‘surely it can’t be that easy to make’ but it is! The bowl makes for a great gift or for you to bring out on special occasion, as a centre piece or simply to just hold things, sweets, buttons, beads, money or like us fruit.

1 Doily, fabric stiffen and 1 balloon

Blow up the balloon and fix/ balance it onto something sturdy. Note – When blowing you balloon up, consider how large or small you’d like your doily bowl to be.

Soak the doily into a bowl of fabric stiffen, leave to soak to ensure its fully obscured.

Stretch the doily over the balloon and mould it into the shape, you’d like – I’ve never used fabric stiffener but I’m guessing once it’s stuck into place there’s no changing it.

Leave the doily to dry on the balloon over night and then the fun bit – pop the balloon
Voila a new bowl!

Pin It

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Calling All Artisans....

You are in for a treat!

We’ve been contacted by the craft retail chain, Hobby Craft . They’re looking for local artisans and crafters to give in-store demonstrations to customers over a 6 to 12 week period. This is a great opportunity for you to promote your products or crafts.

You may already have an online shop on Etsy or Folksy, but this is a unique opportunity to speak to and to promote to customers face to dace, you’re even allowed to sell your products whilst you are demonstrating. This is an agreement between you and Hobby Craft and currently they looking for all craft types as long as the store stocks at least 80% of the equipment/ products need to make the craft you are demonstrating.
Currently this is just open to stores near to London – Croydon, Orpington and Crayford.

If you are interest, and would like to apply email a short description and an image of your product or if you’d like come information, contact Zoe –

Thursday, 18 August 2011

I ♥ Pinterest

When I looked up the word 'Addiction' in the dictionary, I found the following definitions: 

  1. ‘Being abnormally tolerant to and dependant on something this is psychologically or physically habit-forming'   

And I can relate to the both... That's right I'm an addict and everyday I need my Pinterest fix!
The guys at Pinterest describe their website as "Pinterest lets you organise and share all of the beautiful things on the web. People use pin boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes and organise their favourite recipes" In essence, they sum up the function of the website nicely, but excitedly I know there is much more to it. The best way to describe it is as a digital mood board, we look at websites all day long and instead of printing off the shade of green which matches your latest colour scheme, or the shorts you just have to have, but have to wait until pay day, pin them and be inspired by other people's pins, like facebook you can follow people's boards and they can follow your boards.

Currently we're created 11 boards:

Crafts in South London - so we can share some of the great things which are happening local to you.
Things that make SW HQ smile - We're hoping if it makes up smile it will make you smile too
Inspiration - There are so many things in the world which inspire us and we're on a mission to pin them, whether it's the colour of a birds feather, an interesting use of a colander or amazing illustration, the list is endless.....
Crafts from everywhere else - finger on the pulse, we like to know what is going on, everywhere else and not miss a thing
Our home cooking - Okay this board will take a little longer to grow, not because we don't cook, far from it, it's more the fact that taking pictures whilst cooking, is really time consuming especially when we're hungry. ~But, we're on it and we be sure to show you our wares or you could email yours to us and we'll be happy to pin them
We'd love to be this organised - Ummmm it is what it says on the tin
Book Club - Did you know craft books are the fastest selling in 2011? We'll pinning lots of the latest books to inspire you.
Sweet tooth - We love cake!
Hunter gatherer - Just stuff, nik bits we've picked up along the way
East London – Oooh we do love east London too

Watch out for more - You'll find our images here, Pinterest

Anyhow don't just take our word for it, here are 10 of our pins

Follow Me on Pinterest

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Blog Give Away No. 4!

Artyard handmade is a welcomed addition on the craft block!
To celebrate the launch of Artyard handmade we have a £50 Artyard handmade gift voucher for you to win. All you have to do is answer this simple question:

Where in south London is Artyard handmade based?

Send your answer to us via twitter, facebook or post the answer onto the blog, but for blog entries make sure you leave contact details.
Deadline: Wednesday 24th August 12pm

Deadline Date: 12pm Wednesday 24th August
twitter @artyardhandmade

Monday, 15 August 2011

10 minutes on the Couch with Karen from London Property Makeover based in Balham.

With more people picking up the creative bug, there’s an ever growing interest in translating your creativity into the home and surroundings, but where do you start? We had 10 minutes on the couch with Karen founder of London property Makeover and she gave us some food for thought…

Tell us some interesting facts about London Property Makeover?
It began due to my love of makeovers.  I sat on the common having a picnic with friends one day and said “I’m going to get a blackboard and start to advertise Interior Design classes”.  So I found a website design kit and it cost me £25 to set up.  I contacted the local magazines and before long, I was running a class with 10 people. 

What made you start the business up?
I’ve always loved to create things.  I like to have a vision for how something can be improved and am constantly coming up with ideas for new projects.  It was just something that I love to do, and therefore it was easy to make the step to start the website up.  I am currently briefing web designers to take it to the next stage.  I’d like to include a retail shop on the site where people can buy Interior Design items from young, up and coming Designers.

I can only image that someone with such a huge passion for interiors, has amazing/ ever changing home, is that the case?
Yes- I like to change the colour of accessories in my home, according to the season!  My natural style  is fairly neutral with pops of strong colour.
My home is very small so I have had to be very clever with space.  The first thing I did when I moved in was to have built in storage.  It has made the world of difference.  I have used every inch of space...creating an office in a cupboard, using foldaway tables and chairs and utilising the space above doors for book shelves. 

What’s the strangest request you’ve had?
Nothing strange so far.  I have met a few hoarders who will convince me that they absolutely cannot have a clear-out.  I stick by the rule that if you haven’t used it in 6 months and it is not beautiful/ sentimental or functional....then it should go.  As my own home is so small, I need to have a “one in/ one out policy”!

Why did you start the Interior Design workshops?
I love meeting people and helping them to solve problems and inspire them on a project.  I see a general trend of people not wanting to move, but improve their property instead.  Some people do not want the expense of a 1:1 session with an Interior and would rather come along to a class.

What can people expect at your workshops?
It’s good fun and sociable.  It works best if you bring along a photo of the room that you want to work on.  We start off by identifying problems and writing a brief.  I share the challenges that I have faced in the past with case studies.  We cover colour theory/ how to mix fabrics/ spatial planning/ lighting and how to get the ‘wow’ factor.  Most people go away from the course excited and inspired to get planning the renovation of their home.

Do people come to you with the same issues or is every enquiry different?
It’s usually different challenges.  This week I have been working on a nursery (looking at lots of flowers and fairies) and then today I was working on a bachelor pad with masculine colours/ fabrics.
There is a general theme of people liking certain fabrics/ colours but not knowing exactly where to place them in the room.  People are also afraid of making expensive mistakes.

Who do you think has an amazing home?
I love Abigail Ahern’s sense of style.  She mixes rich, dark colours with pops of vivid colour.Abigail Ahern
I have always loved Tricia Guild’s designs.  The way she combines colour and pattern is amazing.  I have a lot of her books and she constantly re-invents her homes. Tricia Guild's Designs

If a career in Interior Design didn’t work out, what was your plan B career?
I always wanted to be a Shoe Designer.  From a very young age, I would make shoes out of paper and draw designs on my own feet in marker pens (I was only aged 5 at the time)!  As a teenager, I wanted to be a Make-up Artist.  I went onto study Design and later got a degree in Marketing.
See the attached image, what would you do to this room to make it more appealing/ desirable/ organised?

Describe London property make over in 3 words.
Stylish/ fun/attainable
Dates for the next Courses:- Sat 10th September- 1pm to 4.30pm at The BBC Bar in Balham
Sat 15th October- 1pm to 4.30pm at The BBC Bar in Balham

There is also a 2-part course in the evening:-
Weds 28th September- 6pm to 8pm at in Chelsea
Weds 5th October- 6pm to 8pm at in Chelsea

Twitter:- @londonmakeover

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Summer pop-up in Clapham

Following the success of our crafty pop-up in Tooting, Clapham was our last pop-up for the summer. The Make and take crafts concept is new to the UK and we’re happy to champion it, buying at craft markets is one thing, but taking part in lots of different craft activities (ideally for free) is much more fun.
The events are opportunities for companies to showcase themselves and the different types of craft courses they offer and we think it worked it out. Thank you to the companies who took part, we hoped everyone enjoyed themselves at both events.
Below are the pictures from our lovely (sunny, then rainy and then sunny) Clapham event and as they say pictures speak louder than words… Enjoy!


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