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.

 

 

 

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 is never too early to think 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.

Barnadosare having a carol service at Westminster Cathedral, you can get tickets here.



The Marie Curie Carols in the City  is the perfect opportunity to start the Christmas season off in style, it is happening this week, Thursday 5th December.

It takes place on Thursday 5th December 2019 at Southwark Cathedral and starts at 7.15pm. Tickets are£45 for the concert and £65 for the concert and reception, but it is for an amazing charity. If you want a Christmas Star, it is a £25 donation per name.

Hosted by Janet Ellis, this special concert will feature performances by the renowned chamber choir Canticum   and saxophonist and BBC Young Musician of the Year 2018 Finalist Rob Burton. As well as seasonal readings by celebrity guests including Stephanie Cole, Barbara Flynn, Simon Thomas and Kevin McNally..

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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.

  • Festive Family Carols by Candlelight – Saturday 14 December 2019, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – Sunday 15 December 2019, 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. You don’t need a ticket for this Doors open 4.15pm. This is free and no tickets required but the church is often full and you are advised to arrive in plenty of time to be certain of a seat.

 

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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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