Urban Makers East spring market in Mile End Ecology Pavilion (what a cool place to be!). There'll be loads of handmade goodies, a really nice little food market, great activities for the kids and loads of space to run around in outside. Plus, architectural practice Five Line Projects are showing their exciting Pinwheel Pavilion project (below). If you're local, come down and say hi!
I'm excited to be showing for the first time a new collection of prints that I've been working on on-and-off (very much mostly off) for nearly a year (!)... more to come when I've photographed them properly but here's a sneaky peek:
Friday, 15 January 2016
Sometimes in the depths of January you need to be reminded of sunnier times that will come! While digging around in my laptop (an ongoing tidy-up project that never seems complete) I came across these pieces from a hand-made zine that I contributed to in my first year of university - oh! 8 years ago now?! It was all about trips to the Norfolk coast in the middle of winter. On a day like today a well-wrapped up trip to the wintery coast seems like rather a good proposition, but since I can't go in reality I thought I'd post these here so we can all go in spirit.
A perfect project for the kids, or the grown-up kids: click on the cut-out beach hut picture and right click to save the image (at least on a mac! It might be different on a PC.) Print it out on A4 paper, colour it in to your hearts content and then follow the instructions to assemble. Why not make a whole row, get some fish and chips in, play seagull noises and pretend you're there while reflecting that perhaps after all its better to have warm feet and the kettle in reaching distance...
Enjoy your weekends, my dears!
'Making Winter' bloghop:
Saturday, 2 January 2016
It's that time when everyone is asking 'any news years resolutions this year?' It's unavoidable! Usually I don't really make any, but this year I seem to have a huge stack of personal wishes/changes that pretty much could all be put under the umbrella of 'be a better person' - you know, be kinder, do more exercise, feel more content and less dissatisfied with what I do, not envy the success of others and make myself feel down, take better care of my plants, eat less salt (oh, and sugar!)... Stay in touch with old friends properly, have much less clutter, get back on the yoga, throw myself into my study properly, be patient, do something good with the hoards of fabric in the cupboard... The list is almost endless!
They do say it's best to have one or two achievable goals but I'm just gonna throw all of these into the new year and see what sticks. And if nothing does, I'll go back and read this article to make myself feel better.
Oh, and just one more: ease up on myself! :D And meanwhile, there are lots of exciting ideas in the pipeline for Super Duper Things.
Well. Thanks for reading my ramble. How about you? Do you go in for new years resolutions?
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
Some pictures from our Christmas trip to stay in Buxton (in the Peak District) with my boyfriend's parents. Fresh air, misty muddy dog walks, great food, great company, many drinks and adorable old hotel furnishings. It was exactly what was needed! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas too, if you celebrate it. And now, on to the New Year!
Friday, 25 December 2015
Wednesday, 23 December 2015
When I saw the wonderful Sarah of Me and Orla announce an instagram Christmas gift-giving exchange, I pounced on it and signed up right away. I love love love the putting together, sending and receiving of packages purely for the reason of brightening up someone's day, or sending a little bit of pretty happiness (prappiness?!). And just look what turned up at my place yesterday! A great big box of total joy from talented German photographer Rona Keller, who got me 'to a T' - seeds for topping loaves, a load of fantastic herbal teas, homemade sugared almonds (my favourite) plus chocolates (already long gone), lots of Rona's lovely photographs and all fantastically wrapped and decorated. I also really appreciated the dried orange rings because I didn't have time to make my own this year.
All in all, a total win. Thanks Rona!
PS she has a totally beautiful instagram feed, if that's your bag. It so is mine. :D
Friday, 18 December 2015
Ginger and cinnamon are, however much you use them all year round, undoubtedly the flavours of Christmas. And Christmassy baking is the one thing that really gets me in the festive mood! I was heading to a friend's this week for a bit of festive making, and as she can't eat dairy I thought I'd have a go at dairy-free gingerbread biscuits. Now most of the recipes I found online called for non-dairy spreads to just replace the butter, but I didn't want to buy a whole tub that we probably wouldn't finish. So I experimented with olive oil, and the results were pretty good, so I thought I'd share what I did.
Olive oil gingerbread and honey biscuits
Adapted from BBC Food
Makes: really quite a lot!
350g/12oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling out
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
175g/4oz light soft brown sugar
1 free-range egg
4 tbsp honey
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon and pour into the bowl of a food processor. Add olive oil a little at a time and blend until the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
Lightly beat the egg and honey together, add to the food processor and pulse until the mixture clumps together. Tip the dough out, knead briefly until smooth, wrap in clingfim and leave to chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line three baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Roll the dough out to a 0.5cm/¼in thickness on a lightly floured surface. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread men shapes and place on the baking tray, leaving a gap between them.
Bake for 8-10* minutes, or until lightly golden-brown. Leave on the tray for a bit to cool and then move to a wire rack until completely cold. Make icing by adding way less water than you think you'll need to icing sugar, pop it in a bag and snip a small hole in the corner. Ice away!
You could always use half the dough, and keep the rest in the fridge wrapped well in clingfilm for a couple of days - I tried this and it came out fine.*I left one batch of mine in longer, and they weren't as good. Live and learn!
We're off to my parents' for Christmas Part 1 this weekend, I'm really looking forward to getting away, seeing everyone and getting the festivities started early! Have a lovely weekend, wherever you are. And let me know if you try these!
Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Late last week, the to-do list was mounting, the weather was grizzly and the seasonal cheer was rather lacking in the house. So what to do? Take a break and faff around with lovely evergreen foliage, that's what!
It turns out that you do get some funny looks picking up sticks in the drizzle, umbrella in one hand, on a grey street in South-east London, but we urban foragers must find our nature wherever we can! Plus some beautiful trails of ivy from a neglected (no complaint) railway bridge and I was all set for a bit of wreath-making and a bit of decorating.
Now that I'm working from home a lot I do find the mess and all the STUFF in our flat (which I love, there are certainly worse places to be all day!) a bit overwhelming. So it was definitely a good thing mental-happiness-wise to have a bit of a clear up and add a little wintery prettiness. As we ramp up to Christmas I think I'll add more, there isn't quite the lavish abundance that I'd really yet... More is always more, amiright?
This is a Making Winter blog hop, go and see all the lovely stuff at Silver Pebble's wonderful cheering blog for more.
Thursday, 10 December 2015
Above photo credit: Yeshen Venema
It's been a very exciting week here in Super Duper land. I had an amazing few days at Etsy Made Local: London, met loads of lovely people, experienced Soho early on a Sunday morning for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed myself! I also particularly enjoyed wrapping up people's presents on the free gift-wrapping station run by the talented Shoshana - which surprised me a little as I thought I might crumble under the pressure!
So now, back at home, catching up on work and trying to stop my thoughts from straying to how much I'd like to start doing nice Christmassy things, decorating my teeny weeny tree and making mince pies :D Maybe at the weekend, eh? ...
Sunday, 29 November 2015
Etsy Made Local's London event. It's going to be so good - loads of really talented sellers, beautiful displays, great food and drink, and free to get in. Plus a free gift-wrapping station manned by all the lovely makers, so its very possible that you could get all your Christmas gifts found and wrapped this weekend, leaving the rest of the month free for mulled wine, mince pies and relaxation!
Of course I would say this, but I think it's so much nicer to support small, independent creative businesses and give beautiful, thoughtful handmade things in this season of (sometimes) crazy commercialisation. Plus I would so love to see you if you can come and say hi!
PS. You can still get 15% off everything in the shop until the end of Monday by entering discount code SDTBF15 at the checkout :D
Friday, 27 November 2015
I've decided to get the festive feeling flowing with a little Black Friday sale - you can get 15% off anything in the shop with code SDTBF15 so it's a good time for a little handmade shopping - be they gifts for friends or for yourself!
Hope you have wonderful weekend, friends
Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Brrrrr! Dunno about you but that cold snap came out of nowhere here in the south of England... So I have spent a couple of days working from home dressed in ALL of my jumpers and a hat. Time to get cosy! I'm thinking mulled wine, pub fires, Tuscan bean stew and apple cakes. Yeeeaaahhh.
What's your cosy ideal?
Saturday, 14 November 2015
Maybe, like me, you have lots of crafty friends and family members who you'll be thinking of giving gifts to this festive season? There are a million beautiful gift ideas out there, but I sometimes wonder about the value of giving someone a 'thing' that they may or may not ultimately use very much. Well, what if instead you gave them a new skill, and the equipment to make themselves something that they can then decorate to their own taste, enjoy the process, and develop from there?
That's why I developed these DIY bookbinding kits. They contain everything you need to get started on a really easy-peasy bookbinding stitch that anyone can do in an hour or so, and once mastered opens up infinite possibilities for making books and notebooks. Paper, card, thread (more than required for the starter project) and a good, sharp quality bookbinding needle.
The kits are currently available in two versions, to make a blank pocket notebook/sketchbook and a 2016 journal - and I'm also thinking of creating a recipe book for the maker to note down their own favourite recipes in. What do you think? Would this be a gift that would interest anyone you know? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks everyone, and enjoy your Sundays - even if the cold wet winter weather has finally arrived where you are, like it has here!
DIY kits from Super Duper Things