London’s Best Christmas Makers Craft Markets…

November 21, 2018

I love a Makers Market where modern crafts of woven hangings, fine jewellery and hand poured candles reside.  It’s time to give back this year and purchase from our friends who toil each year making beautiful works of art.  Here is my selection of London markets recommended not only for the wares on sale but for the added entertainment provided.  Even if you don’t want to purchase anything these markets make great destinations for friend catch ups and date night antics!

Enjoy!  PF xo

Crafty Fox Market. This monthly modern craft market ramps up over the Christmas season with multiple locations across London.  I recommend attending the Brixton market so you can enjoy a drink inside without the impact of the weather.  A DJ will be playing tunes and different craft traders every day.  Make it your local base and gets friends to come visit you there everyday!

Columbia Road Market. Celebrating Christmas every Wednesday leading up to the big day the independent traders of Columbia Road will stay open late.  Sip on hot chocolate and fresh pastries from Cake Hole and purchase vintage homewares from my favourite store Vintage Heaven.  Margaret set up the store when her two garages and house overflowed with vintage china!

Urban Makers. Housed in Old Spitalfields markets over the Christmas period, Urban Makers is brining together the finest talent from East London.  Founded by makers for makers, you will be able to find scented candles, face clays to help combat the party season and local crafted jewellery.  Not sure if you can make it down to the market?  Urban Makers has recently launched their online marketplace here.

Renegade Craft Fair. A US craft fair that ventures across the pond, Renegade will be in London at the Old Truman Brewery mid December.  Designed as a day out, there are DJ’s, food trucks and cocktails, perfect for a shopping date!  Not only will they have markers selling their wares there will also be plenty of workshops for you to hand make presents for your loved ones.

Turning Earth and The Kiln Rooms. Wanting to purchase a special ceramic piece?  Both these markets are operating late November giving you plenty of time to seek out the perfect item.  Both studios are shared membership spaces encouraging their potters to produce one off pieces for the Christmas season.  I am biased and would encourage you to come south to The Kiln Rooms and then venture to Peckham Levels for a spot of indoor mini golf, food and drinks on top of carpark!

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My Must Have Footcare Beauty Products…

November 19, 2018

Looking after my feet was not really a priority or need until recently.  I’ve found that the water in London is quite harsh, sapping the moisture out of my skin and hair.  It is a constant battle to have nice skin and maintain some sort of good looks.  That is possibly a bit vain to talk about good looking feet but I’ve always really liked mine!  Coming from a country where bare feet and sandals are everyday attire, having a pedicure and getting all that skin scrubbed off your heels is normal.  I personally don’t like pedicures.  Having someone cut my nails and scrub the feet is not relaxing for me.  I am a do it at home kind of woman!

Two months ago I decided to take action seriously in regards to my feet.  I was no longer getting away with a little swipe of moisturiser when I remembered!  These are the four products that brought my feet back to life.

* Please note these are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission.  Read why I do it here.

Footner Exfoliating Socks.*  Kick start your foot care routine with these socks that perform magic and make your skin shed over a week!  I recommend soaking your feet in a warm bucket of water for an hour before using.  This helps to get any top layer skin off and allow the product to hit the tough areas.  The socks themselves are to be kept on for a further hour.  Adding your favourite movie into the mix makes sense!  Over the week bits of skin will come away.  I found it better to soak my feet every night to encourage the shedding, rather than wait for a sudden drop.  It is going to be a bit gross when this bit is happening so plan your diary.  Day 4-7 should be closed shoes and book in time to soak and shed!

Drink Up by Origins Overnight Mask.* I got this little sample that worked wonders overnight on my face.  Soaking in it left my skin fresh and not at all oily.  It then came to me that it would probably do the same for my feet!  It works well.    Slather this mask on your feet and pop on some cotton socks before you fall asleep.

Welsh Lavender Foot Cream.  I discovered this Welsh brand when I spent the weekend at The Goodlife Festival.  Every time I bring my small hand cream version out everyone wants to use it!  I am now using this nearly every night religiously to help keep the moisture levels up.  The lavender is perfect for bedtime and the smell helps me to sleep better too.

Flexitol Heel Balm.*  This heal balm is recommended by nearly every beauty blogger and it was on offer at Boots so I thought it couldn’t hurt.  Well it’s everything that is promised!  A thick cream that helps to clear up cracked heels.  When mine were really bad I used it every night.  Now that they are all good I pop this on every couple of days to keep on top of it.  Like with the mask, layer this on and pop on cotton socks to help it soak in overnight.

Pumice Stone. I know I said four things however I have just realised when writing this that I also use a pumice stone.  It’s great for getting that hard skin off your heels but for me it’s not a permanent solution.  I try to remember to use it when I shower but it isn’t unusual for me to forget and quickly doing it post dip!

What are your favourite foot care products? I’d love to hear what you are using too.  PF xo

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Ideas to Buy Small This Christmas…

November 14, 2018

Everyone, including myself, is getting a bit tired of huge department stores and their offerings for Christmas.  It just isn’t sitting well hearing stories of stolen copyright of the small guys to fund million pound Christmas advertisements.  The thing is shopping with small business does require a little planning, as they are more likely to go out of stock or need extra time to send items.  To help you out I put together this list of people I have met this year and their gorgeous items that they sell.

Support local business and shop small.  You’ll feel good for supporting all these makers.

Happy shopping, PF xo

I’ve included my own pottery in the mix here.  This makes this post an advertisement.  My goal is to sell enough plates to be able to buy more pottery studio time.  I like to create and as a hobby these things aren’t cheap!  Plus I can’t store all the pots and plates in my house indefinitely!!

1. The Joy of Watercolour by Emma Block.  My friend Emma has been drawing with watercolours for years and doing workshops for this and brush lettering.  I first met her when she did a portrait of me at an event and then again this year when she did a picnic for creatives with Zeena.  Wanting to share her love of water colouring with more people Emma developed this book and approached a publisher.  The Joy of Watercolour takes you through step by step from basic techniques to more complex pictures.  Everyone I have seen use the book has been able to recreate the images quickly and notes how much fun they had.  Buy the book here from Emma.  You could go to Amazon, heck I could throw in my affiliate link, but this post is all about supporting the small business so buy direct so Emma makes a well-deserved profit!

2. Lauren Ashton Designs.  A keen knitter who studied knitwear Lauren has developed a business that creates super chunky designs and those fabulous chunky blankets.  Her range includes patterns and kits to make your own at home.  A perfect gift for someone to tackle during that Christmas and New Year hiatus!  Not sure if your gift receiver is into making?  No problems Lauren has you covered with pre made items that her knitters work up in 4-6 weeks.

3. Petalon Flowers. Started by Florence, who wanted to distribute flowers by bike, she recently was able to expand and offer her bouquets nationwide.  Each week two bouquets are offered based on what is seasonal and at the markets.  Select your bunch and send to a loved one.  You can order ahead and have flowers for the Christmas holiday period.  Florence also offers workshops for making bunches and comprehensive all day courses for those wanting to move into the floristry industry.

4. Grain and Knot.  I have been fortunate to attend workshops with Sophie who carves spoons and butter knives from reclaimed timbers.  Based in London her work can be bought online and at various markets.  Not sure if your loved one would like a spoon?  Gift them a voucher for a workshop with Sophie in 2019.  Trust me, they will get the bug and be buying spoon blanks from Grain and Knot to carve at home in no time!

5. Print Club.  This year I went to Print Club’s Blisters Exhibition and saw so many beautiful screen printing works. Lots of these can be found online and are only £50.  Working together as a collectible the artists buy time from the studio to print their works.  Based in London all the prints can be sent to you in time for Christmas.  You could also buy gift vouchers if you aren’t sure what to pick or purchase a workshop for your loved one.  This is my favourite one, Frozen Planet by Charlie Blanchard.

6. These Two Hands.  Run by my friend Naomi, this small business is a curated collection of nature inspired products.  Everything is made by British crafters and creators with hand printed tea towels, woven throws and leaf print coasters.  Often at markets around the Bristol area Naomi also operates her online store.  The most darling item sold are the baby moccasins that have local sheepskin to line them.

7. Farmers by Welsh Lavender Farm.  I stumbled on this product whilst attending The Good Life festival a couple of years ago and it’s my go to Foot Cream.  Deliciously thick with a gorgeous lavender scent everyone wants some when I bring it out.  I do not share! I’ve gifted it to family and friends and the hand cream is a perfect size for the handbag.  Next year I hope to go to the farm and run amongst the lavender fields when they are in bloom!

8. Gatha Betty Joy.  AD. My own ceramics brand where I slowly make bowls, weird vases and plates.  I’ve been making ceramics for two years now and it is one of the hardest things I have put my mind to.  Shaping clay, testing glazes and hoping that it makes it out in one piece are all things I am learning!  The pots are wonky and the plates have misshaped edges but everyone likes them that way.  Check out the Instagram and buy straight off the image you like.

9. Oliver Rose.  I met Charlotte at a creative conference this year and loved her small business of dollhouse furniture.  Her selection is contemporary modern which I love, and there are collaborations with well-known brands including Buddy & Bear.  Having just done a relaunch and sold out of most things, the store is being restocked.  Follow her on Instagram and be ready to pounce when items are back on sale.

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Buying Small This Christmas