Today I went to a watercolour and modern calligraphy class at the Etsy Local fair taught by the lovely Shoshy Cadoodle, here is her website if you want to learn more.

It took place in Hornsey Town Hall in Crouch End alongside the Etsy Local fair. It was quite strange having people stand and watch you try calligraphy and paint but Shoshy was a great teacher.

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We learned how modern calligraphy takes some elements from traditional calligraphy and we were encouraged to try our unique style. The main rule was to make a light stroke on the way up and a heavier stroke on the way down.

We practised some of our skills and how mark making works. Here is Shoshy showing us how to make the calligraphy marks.

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Then we had a go and tried making the marks.

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I forgot how to spell, but managed to join up some letters.

Then we moved on to learning how to watercolour. First how to blend the colours together, painting a circle, letting it dry and painting another circle.

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We then drew a circle and illustrated the outside, here is my effort. Just need to add the calligraphy to finish it off. If you want to try you need a Tonbow Fudenosuke Brush Pen. I am going to be decorating some of my Christmas cards. Watch out friends and family.

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It was a fun class but it was quite odd having people peering over your shoulder as you painted.

I will be practising and getting myself some watercolours. Shoshy recommended Kuretake Gansai Tambi Japanese Watercolour Paints or Windsor & Newton Cotman Paints.

 

 

 

As you saw in my previous film I had a lovely time at Renegade Craft Fair. I wanted to share details of some of the lovely people I met and things I bought. It has taken a while to write up, but I have wanted to write about it after being surrounded by all the beautiful things I bought.

First up is Suzie Lee Knitwear where I bought the pink scarf I have been wearing continuously all week. Suzie makes some really lovely things and you can catch her at the Crafty Fox Market in Brixton on Sunday 4th December.

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I bought her lovely scarf, which I am modelling here….

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Here are some of the stalls I really liked:

The lovely Anna Wiscombe who I met at the Craft Central pop up shop on Clerkenwell Green earlier this year. If you want to see her great pieces, she is back there from 5th December until 11th December 2016.

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Here are her lovely bird brooches. I plan to swing by Craft Central and pick up one of these very cute wooden mistletoe ornaments.

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One of the highlights of my visit to Renegade Craft Fair was meeting Dot & Cross and I bought a fantastic wooden candle holder which holds a single tealight and some beautiful handmade candles made in Cumbria. The candle holder gives me a lot of pleasure, it is such a beautifully made piece.

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I also loved Limehouse Ceramics and bought two of Elizabeth’s beautiful blue coasters and a green vase which looks great with holly. She is now selling these fantastic teacup necklaces which I really want, aren’t they great.


Another maker I spied was Miss Knit Nat who had a great stall.

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Another great thing that day was the coffee we got from Spitalfieds Market from Mr Coffee. All in all a really great day.

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After a stormy night in South London on Saturday night, so loud I was woken up in the middle of the night by the high winds.

In the morning I went out to explore the windswept garden.

Afterwards we went out searching for a really nice breakfast that our greasy spoon couldn’t supply.

We walked down the road to Brixton Village and along to Rosie’s Cafe, which is a long standing favourite, only to discover that it has shut down. We went further into the market and chose to have brunch at Wild Caper.

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We kicked off with some delicious cappucinos and moved on to the Wild Caper vegetarian breakfasts and delicious juices, I had one with strawberry, kiwi and apple and J’s was made with apple and ginger.

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Look at our delicious breakfast.

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Afterwards we went for a bit of an explore and made the most of final Autumn days.

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Wrapping up warm in my new Jigsaw ”Shona’ hat made in a Scottish mill and my lovely cosy coat.

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Today I met up with a really old friend for lunch at the Ivy Cafe in Marylebone.  I love that restaurant after visiting for the first time two weeks ago and I am going back for Christmas lunch with some friends in December. The service is really attentive and the restaurant is just so cosy and welcoming. They have also an interesting take on the Christmas wreath.

We started with a couple of delicious juices before moving on to the prosecco.

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We chose Zucchini chips to nibble on and I ate burrata followed by fish and chips, whilst Jo had Asian duck salad and fish cakes. All really delicious and left no room for dessert. Lots of exercise in order next week.

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If you want to know more about the rest of my day, here is a film of me exploring rain soaked London with some shopping in St Christopher’s Place as well.

I hope you have had a great Saturday as well.

LB

I love Christmas carols and there is nothing better in the run up to Christmas than going to a carol service in one of London’s beautiful churches, especially if it is candlelit.

It may feel a little early to be thinking about Christmas carol services, but the good carol concerts in London book up quickly.

Here are my top picks for the best places to sing Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly.

The Times and Sunday Times newspapers’ carol service at St Brides church on Fleet Street is on 28th November 2016 (6.15pm for 6.45pm start).

You can kick off the festive season at the famous, 300 year-old church of St Bride’s. The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, is steeped in history. It is set in the centre of London on Fleet Street it has a long association with journalists and newspapers.



The Marie Curie Carols in the City  is the perfect opportunity to start the Christmas season off in style.

It takes place on Tuesday 6th December 2016 at Southwark Cathedral and starts at 7.15pm. Tickets may be £40 but it is for an amazing charity.

It will feature carols by candlelight, performances by the  baritone and composer Roderick Williams and the chamber choir Canticum. There will also be seasonal readings by celebrity guests. It looks like a cracking festive night out.

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St Martin in the Fields is one of my favourite churches in London and there are lots of carol services taking place there over the festive season, here are a couple of carol services that look really good.

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Finally the festive season wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of London’s crowning glories, beautiful St Pauls cathedral. There are lots of  beautiful carol services in the run up and over the Christmas period. A great place to catch some Christmas carols in London in 2016.

You can find all of St Pauls’ Christmas carol services here. It is one of London’s most iconic buildings, another of Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpieces. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London.

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I hope you find somewhere to sing Deck the boughs or Little Town of Bethlehem.If you know of any carol services that should be in the list, please let me know.

Happy carol singing.

LB

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