Archive for the 'cultural events' Category

easter eggs

love these eggs that talented artist Mary Mathieson,made for our ilovegorgeous shoot.

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Easter is a Christian festival and for Christians the custom of giving eggs at Easter celebrates new life. The first eggs given at Easter were birds eggs. These eggs were painted in bright colours to give them further meaning as a gift. We still paint bird eggs today but usually only chicken eggs.  my daughter loves to paint eggs, but you do have to be really gentle or they will easily break.    you need to pierce a hole at either end blow out all the liquid inside the egg, use for scrambled eggs, or bake a cake!  then perch your egg on a barbecue stick or on a chopstick and paint with acrylic paints.  you can always thread pretty ribbon through the holes and hang them – they look pretty cute.  i really like the tree that maude painted on this egg.

if you are in padstow, on easter sunday there is the annual easter egg rolling down the street – bring your own hard boiled egg – its fun to watch everyone dress up, roll their eggs and raise money for their favourite charity.

mothers day

did you know that we have been celebrating mothering sunday since the 16Century?  in the UK, mothers day always falls on the 4th sunday of Lent, which is why it never falls on the same day each year.

Mothering Sunday was also known as ‘Refreshment Sunday‘, Pudding Pie Sunday (in Surrey, England) or ‘Mid-Lent Sunday‘. It was a day in Lent when the fasting rules were relaxed, in honour of the ‘Feeding of the Five Thousand’, a story in the Christian Bible.

today, it feels like another form of commercialism and something that you ought to do because everybody else does it – i think that every day we should remember how special mothers are – their job at times is a thankless task that we all take for granted.  today alice is taking me and maude for a surprise lunch – not even sure where we are going, just got the address!

in chichicastanago, guatamala the flower girls strewn their flowers for sale on the famed church steps – the petals were used as part of the religious thanks.

whatever you are doing, have a lovely day!

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shrove tuesday

today is pancake tuesday!  pancake tuesday always falls the day before ash weds and is therefore the last day before the commencement of lent.  lent is a time of abstinence and penitence, when you give certain foods up, so pancakes are the last meal containing eggs, flour and butter, which were forbidden during lent.  nowadays few people fast, but the tradition of pancake tuesday does live on.  i have always used delia smiths classic recipe – foolproof, never goes into lumps and is delicious with lemon and sugar.

i have always tried in the past to give up wheat, sugar, red meat, but my willpower is not great – i now am a great believer that a little of everything is fine.

tango and salsa

after watching all that strictly come dancing over xmas again, i decided to have another go at some dance classes;  i tried a salsa and a tango class – completely opposite in movements, but both equally as interesting to learn.   they definitely need mental concentration as well as physical strength, so good for the mind and the body.   the salsa class has just started on my street at a gym, so there should be no excuse not to go – lots of fitness centres have salsa and zumba classes now and even if you are not a member, you can usually pay a small fee to participate;  the tango class is held upstairs in a pub near Kings Cross and starts from complete beginners up to advanced and is on 3 nights a week!   the teacher sasha, speaks very good english and explains everything clearly.

there are also classes at the Dome in Tufnell Park, followed by a weekly milonga, where you can try out everything that you have just learned.  Zero Hour is really fun to watch the experienced dancers too .  Carablanca is held on Fridays in Holborn, and again is a great place to learn to tango.  you can also learn tango at las estrellas in west london.

vintage inspired

i have just booked onto a one day course in vintage inspired fashion - its something new, and i have NO experience at all in this, but it looks interesting and one day is just enough time for me to explore new fields.   i finished my botanical drawing evening class, which i thoroughly enjoyed – though it was much harder than i anticipated –  i have decided to do it again later in the year, just to see whether it gets any easier second time round.

i am still continuing my piano classes at the city lit and one and half years later i can play a minuet in A minor - even i am amazed that i can read the music and actually play something that resembles a classic piece.  so whilst a year seems to have flown by, its shows how you can increase your skills simply with practice and determination – so come on, book yourself a course.

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12 days after xmas

tomorrow is the twelfth day after christmas and is traditionally the day that you take down your xmas decorations- so dont forget!    jan 6th is epiphany and is the day the three wise  men (magi) brought their gifts to the young Jesus;  so especially in Latin American countries, the 6th Jan is usually the day that presents are given rather than 25th december.   On the night of the 5th, instead of stockings, kids leave their shoes out, stuffed with straw. It’s not Santa who comes in the middle of the night leaving the children presents. Instead, it’s the three magi who come bringing gifts for the kids, just like they gave the baby Jesus presents in honor of his birth. The straw in the children’s shoes is for the Wise Men’s camels to eat.

To celebrate the Epiphany in Spain there are also often parades featuring the three magi…  it seems it doesnt take much excuse to put on a parade in spain, throughout the year there is always a festival, parade or street party to either celebrate a saints day, or notable date in the calendar!

I wish that i was there in spain to celebrate – have never made it at this time of year – i have however just booked to go out there next month to check on the new roof terrace that we have just added to our house in vejer – cant wait !




heritage homes

wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful christmas day! dont you love mary’s tree of lampshades?

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if you are really stuck for something to do on xmas day and boxing day, then a visit to the charles dickens museum is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are fascinated by the writer.  there are lots of events on at xmas, but usually  there are portraits of the family, the writing desk that dickens used to create his famous novels,  his personal book collection -  and even personal artefacts such as jewellery.   at this time, the house will look very festive.  after reading his biography by Claire Tomalin my interest in dickens was born.

nearby is the  john soane museum – another architectural gem.   not only is it a great educational eye opener, but an opportunity to see the inside of these wonderful london historic houses.

one of my musts this xmas holiday is to go to the geffrye museum - i havent been for ages, but its on my list.   its a lovely time to visit, there is an exhibition of christmas past, 400 years of seasonal traditions in english homes!  its a lovely day out, combine it with a visit to the flower market on sunday, pick up your flowers and beigels form brick lane.

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another  interesting and fascinating house to visit this xmas  - dennis severs house in spitalfields.   the 17C silkweavers house ,which was lovingly restored as a working house but in its original time, is an insight into life of that period and it certainly keeps your mind wondering.  since severs has passed away the house has been beautifully maintained  and continues to show in all its glory what life would have been like. – the grandeur of the wealthy, the darkness of the poor.  its a museum, cum drama, cum personal collection – its just breathtaking – your eyes dart from corner to corner of each of the rooms on the 5 floors – absorbing the different scenarios, the different smells, the crackling of the open fires , the flickering of the candles- it really is a must visit.  why not buy a visit for a friend – they would just love it.    think of art crossed with drama.


florence is putting on a xmas evening this thursday 5 dec at TART , her wonderful bakery at Portobello Dock;  there will be lots of goodies for sale, as well as delicious mince pies all baked by florence and her team.  i shall be selling my xmas and flower cards, so come along 5 – 8pm  - it will get you in the xmas spirit.   i shall also be taking part in another sale tomorrow weds 4th dec,  in Belsize Park, suite no 7, 7 lambolle place from 2 – 8pm – this is more fashion based, but there should be lots of lovely things to buy as gifts.

i normally see myself as pretty organised, but this year i haven’t even started to write my cards or think what to get the family – i tend to buy a few of the same thing for friends and collect them all in a bag in the corner of the room all through the year, but i have had to dig into this bag for birthdays, so its looking pretty empty.   increasingly the kids all seem to prefer the money to get what they want, but i feel that this is not very christmassy – i feel sad that they have grown up and miss those times of secretly filling their stockings and wrapping their presents from santa – maude genuinely thought that they were from santa until she reached secondary school age.  anyhow, i shall still be doing the stockings even if they know its from me.

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learning to dance

watching all this strictly come dancing makes me want to learn again.  if you feel inspired to dance, then why not  vow to start the new year learning to tango?  they hold beginners classes at the Dome in Tufnell Park, followed by a weekly milonga, where you can try out everything that you have just learned.  Zero Hour is really fun to watch the experienced dancers too.  Carablanca is held on Fridays in Holborn, and again is a great place to learn to tango.  you can also learn tango at las estrellas in west london.  robert and i did learn for a year, but sadly we have forgotten everything and although we keep meaning to start again, haven’t managed to do it.  may be this can be our new years resolution.

if you want to learn salsa then try camden salsa - seems much freer  and maybe more fun to learn than tango.

julia’s jewels

after launching a successful design company Tyrell Katz, Julia has now moved onto making beautiful ceramics.  Her inspiration and inflluences are colour and her jewel like palettes are rich and earthy – her plates are both practical and art pieces. i love the long strips, they can be hung in groups or used for sushi plates.

now that we have lost the Victoria as our venue, Julia has kindly offered her home in Primrose Hill for our annual xmas sale.   there will be lots of interesting gifts and mulled wine and nibbles, plus 10% of all sales will go towards our favourite children’s charity, Kids Company.  its always sad to hear that there are lots of children who will not be enjoying xmas at home, due to unforeseen circumstances – so lets all help as much as we can – it may not seem much to us, but it means everything to those children.


so apart from ceramics by Julia Landes and Fliff Carr, we will be showing a selection of jewellery by pearl and queenie, Rachel Eardley and Nicola Hart – all very different in style, but all so covetable.   pearl and queenie have also created some organic natural candles for sale;   there will be homemade chutneys and jams by Alex –  queen of chutneys, an array of unusual sourced gifts by nonesuchthings and of course prints and cards by myself.  we also have a limited number of homespun alpaca socks and beautiful knitwear by kids wear ilovegorgeous at special prices;   spread the love will be offering tasty bites to eat, along with mulled wine and mince pies, so come along tomorrow, from 12.30 to 7pm at 77 King Henry’s Road, London NW3 – we are a short walk from regents park road shops.  it would be lovely to meet you.   for more info and directions see our lovely merchants blog. 

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