Thursday, 4 December 2014

Make a recycled Christmas wreath

I was invited to attend the Ideal Home Show Christmas to present how to make a Christmas wreath. I decided to make something very unique, a recycled wreath using egg cartons, silver painted leaves and vintage buttons. Result!

If you would like to learn how to make one like this, come along to our Christmas workshops, morning or evening. We will provide all the materials and you will be able to choose from a selection of Autentico Chalk Paint colours, including silver, gold and copper for the leaves.

See you soon!!


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Small Business Saturday - what are you going to do? #SmallBizSatUK #SmallBusinessSaturday

Small Business Saturday is taking place on Saturday, 6th of December and it is meant to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. The aim of Small Business Saturday is to promote the benefits of shopping locally and help small businesses build longer term trade by attracting new customers from the local community.

Shopping at a Small Business Saturday event means that you and the local community value what we do. Small businesses give innovation, creativity and jobs back to the community, but they need to make a profit, some of them just work to survive. It is very sad to see them go after years of trading, because they haven't been able to keep up with the rent or because nobody comes into their shops anymore.

If you would like to meet some of the talented local businesses I know and I work with, check this video. 

What are we, small businesses, doing for Small Business Saturday? 

Many of us have prepared great offers, prizes, competitions and events. The Wandsworth Council's page has a list of some of these businesses, their offers and when to buy. There is going to be a great buzz around the country, check out social media following the tags below or ask your favorite shops what they are going to do. 

If you would like to support The Old School Club during this event, I am offering a discount on all the following: 
- 15% discount on all classes and workshops
- 15% on the party venue hire 
- 15% on our Autentico chalk paint

You can buy any class online from the 6th of December, book a party by sending an email or buy the paint from the 8th of December at the club. All three offers are valid until the 15th December, 2014 and includes classes and parties taking place in 2015. 

Please enter the code SMS15 when you book a class, or just mention the offer if/when you send us an email next week.
Edit: Sorry! the voucher code is SBS15, but both codes will be valid just in case! 

Still don't know what to do? 

Here some ideas .. 
Rather than buying your sister a new bag from a large online retailer, buy her a class so she can learn how to make an on trend & unique bag, or a cushion cover with a reindeer applique, or her own style dress. 
Or rather than buying a piece of self-assembling furniture, upcycle your grandma's old solid piece, or change the upholstery fabric of your favorite chair ...  

#SmallBusinessSaturday or #SmallBizSatUK


I am a mother of two beautiful children who one day decided to create a place for other mums to enjoy, learn new skills, become queens of all things handmade and bring their children along. I work many many (many) hours a day and I try very hard to have some time at home with my family too, otherwise this would be pointless. I love what I do and I hope I can continue doing this for many years to come. 
Thank you for supporting Small Business Saturday!!!!!

Clear your diaries: Massive weekend for Christmas craft & handmade markets

The first craft fair I ever went to was in my 'manor' of SW London.  It was shortly after I became involved with The Old School Club & I was on a mission to discover the dark underworld of 'handmade craft'.

I walked through those doors full of expectation & excitement.  Half an hour later I trod despondently down the stairs having seen nothing to inspire me (bunting, dated jewellery, stuffed toys) and nothing that I loved enough to buy.  It was difficult to engage with the makers, prices were not displayed & their was little atmosphere.  The cake was good though.

The second craft fair I went to was Crafty Fox at the Dogstar in Brixton.  A pub I used to frequent in the 90's for entirely different reasons.  Every single stall I stopped at was packed with beautiful, unusual & 'must have' delights.  I spent my entire budget & had to visit the cashpoint twice more. The place was buzzing with Makers keen to share their stories & sell their creations; there was also a bar, great tunes & the essential tea & cake. As if that wasn't enough, some Makers were running hands-on demonstrations from letterpress with Prickle Press to tote bag printing with Mr Wingate.  The Crafty Fox peeps collaborate with different curators for each market, keeping the crop of talent fresh & varied each time. There are well established makers standing shoulder to shoulder with up & coming sellers.

These days we are so spoilt for choice that there is no excuse not to visit these emporiums, often held in spaces we wouldn't usually visit, to meet people who are both passionate about their craft & inspiring for us all.

Research done by A1 Retail Magazine, says the 7th December is the 5th busiest shopping day for retailers in the whole calendar year.  Quite right then that so many fantastic handmade maker events are happening locally this very weekend.

So clear your diary, arrange your overdraft & get your walking shoes on.  Here's our rundown of the markets & fairs we're hoping to get to this weekend.  Who will you visit?  Let us know if you are going to something that deserves a mention.

CRAFTY FOX The Dogstar, Brixton SW2
Still one of my favourites. Bring your hard earned cash because you'll want to buy everything you see.

Buy directly from more than 70 designer makers

This fantastic college is hosting a group of creative makers from London & Surrey selling gifts, knitwear, jewellery.

WHITE XMAS FAIR Testbed 1, Parkgate Road SW11
An well established fair with over 40 stalls,  pop up Blow Bar and @thedoodlebar providing refreshments.

To celebrate the 2nd publication of of Bodies That Matter 3 they are hosting a book fair. Books, photos prints plus music & refreshments.

In its 21st year, see product, design & jewellery designers (including our favourite @joojonnie from all over the UK.  Discover tomorrows talent today.

A day out to see discover handmade gifts, enjoy street food pop ups, live dance & music.