Sunday, 29 December 2013

Columbia Road, London

On this beautiful winter's day I left the house at 9:30am and headed to Hoxton station. From there I walked to Columbia Road. The flower market on Columbia Road is one of the most famous flower markets in London. In fact, I would go as far as to say, the most famous in London. With this reputation in my head I expected a huge market, but it is just a short street. This does not mean that I found it disappointing, far from. The flowers there are much cheaper than from the supermarket and you can haggle. Being silly shy, I could not find it in me to haggle, but I should have done! Not only is there a flower market on Columbia Road (only Sundays 8am–2pm) but there are many independent shops. So independent, that I couldn't even find a website for most of them! If you go to Columbia Road, my two top tips are: 1. take lots of cash 2. take a camera.

Cabbage Roses

Cabbage Roses I bought for my living room!

Different sort of cabbage roses.

Tiny cakes!

Mini sweets.

Interior of one of the shops.

Gorgeous handmade cushions.

Something you don't see every day!

Handmade pot I resisted buying. Only £14.50 though.


Lots of pots!

Hogwarts School box!

Open house.

Keeping House.

More handmade cushions.


Tiny oranges, not sure what they are!
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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Lamb's Conduit Street, Bloomsbury, London

Today I visited Lamb's Conduit Street. I was advised that this is one of the coolest streets in London and I completely agree. I would probably buy 99% of things in the shops on this street. Therefore I decided it was a good idea to make another Pinterest board. I find making these boards helps me not to spend stupid amounts of money! Anyway, please take a look and re-pin if you like.

Follow Brown Paper Roses's board Lamb's Conduit Street, London on Pinterest.
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Saturday, 21 December 2013

The tradespeople in the Kettle Chips advert

I LOVE the Kettle Chips advert, it reminds me of programmes like Kirsties' Homemade Home and it really celebrates all the different crafts and tradespeople. I love watching people make things as I am terrible at making things myself, as you have probably guessed from my basic Christmas tree topper post! Anyway, the advert does its primary job and advertises Kettle Chips, but I wanted to know more about the tradespeople in the advert. 

First of all, here is the advert:

I then went to Kettle Chips website and they had a list of all the people in the advert! Yey!

So I went and googled every one of them! Here's what I found. If it is underlined and in quote marks, it is directly from the Kettle Chips website.
"Blacksmith, Owen Bush and Steve Capper"
On Owen's website it details a number of TV projects he has been involved in. It also shows he runs a school of Blacksmithing and Bladesmithing. I've never heard of Bladesmithing before, apparently it is knife making. You learn something new every day! Also, love his motto: 'Forging Soul into Steel'. He has even made steel from iron and poo! Definitely worth looking up.

Next, Steve Capper: I can't find anything on him! Help!

"Knife Maker, Ben Edmonds"
Ben Edmonds is the creator of Blok knives and it is a beautiful website. Whoever created this website deserves a round of applause, it is just lovely. There is even an amazing blog on this website as well. There is a good interview with Ben Edmonds on the Make it British website where he says what is so brilliant about all these crafts and trades: 'each one is unique'. In doing this research I found the Make it British website, which also has a blog, a really good blog. Wish I'd found it a bit earlier for Christmas presents!

"Embroidery by Lou Gardiner, Lydia Higginson and Ellen Randall"
The sub-title to her website is 'contemporary embroidery'. It is exquisite. I particularly like her fizzing floral prints. 'Because I love you' is my favourite, and at £85 it is a very reasonable price for a limited edition piece.

Lydia Higginson: I can't find anything on her! Help!

Ellen Randall
I could only find a Facebook page for Ellen Randall, so please do let me know if she has a website and I will link it here. She has even done a Kettle Chips bag, love it. I also found an interview with her on Crafty Magazine, where she says what a fan she is of Lou Gardiner! 

"Table by Joc Hare and Katia Giordinella"
Joc Hare: http://www.jochare.com/Jochare.com/Welcome.html
Joc Hare is a sculptor who works with wood, in particular forestry and tree surgery waste. He has done some fascinating commissions, such as 'Clovertree'.

I wonder if the Kettle Chips website have spelt her name wrong and it is Katia Giordanella (not sure though), help! If it is then this is the only website I found: http://www.thesee.co.uk/archive/07/student_pages/katia.html

Not sure how current this website is as it says she is looking for work, if she is, this is awful as she is so talented! Look at her origami! I mean, come on, it's incredible!

"Benches by Daniel Roker and Ben Ambler"
I'm guessing this is Daniel Rokerhttp://www.rokertreeservices.co.uk/
There is not much on here about his sculpting skills but there are some photographs of benches he has crafted and he has even carved a piece of wood into an owl.

Ben Ambler: I can't find anything on him! Help!

"Stone mason Annet Stirling"
Annet Stirling has a company called 'Incisive Letterwork' that focuses on large scale architectural inscriptions and word sculpture. One of the most interesting things I read on her website was that in 1996 both her and her business partner were awarded a Churchill Fellowship and travelled around Italy studying marble and Roman and Renaissance inscriptions. Sounds lovely! She also has a video on her website, take a look.
 

"Wire Sculpting by Emma Stothard and Tom Durrant"
Emma Stothard: http://www.emmastothard.com/
Stothard is a willow sculptor. She also runs a restaurant with her husband called 'Green's of Whitby'. The best story that I read on her website was that she personally presented a large scale sculpture to Prince Charles of his Jack Russell dog 'Tigga'!! I also found an interview with her on York Press.

Tom Durrant: I can't find anything on him! Help!

"Glass Blowers KT Yun and Theo Brooks"
Theo Brooks: http://www.theobrooksdesigns.co.uk/gallery
He is a glass designer who is working with other glass designers in London. There are lots of photos of his beautifully blown glass on his website. There are also some good photos of the process of designing and blowing glass, very interesting.

KT Yun: http://glassgenie.wordpress.com/
Honestly, go to the gallery on this website and you will be blown away, this lady has unbelievable skill.


At the end of the day, always try and support this brilliant people and local crafts and trades in your area. There is so much skill and love involved in creating these fantastic items that will last you much longer than something produced in a huge lifeless factory.
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Monday, 16 December 2013

Ten cities I would consider living

I live in London, the city where the catch phrase is "tired of London, tired of life". I'm not tired of life, but I am getting a bit tired of London, well I say that, but what I really mean is the crowds and the commute. There are only so many times that you can say to someone "don't worry that you are crushing me and completely in my personal space". 

As my friends, family and work are all in London, there is very little chance of me moving out of London, but I thought I would just make a list of cities I see as real alternatives to London. These are cities that have a good amount of culture and cool factor. These are also cities that I have been to on holiday and have felt the buzz and would genuinely consider living in. I have added my highlights to each.

1. Brighton, UK

2. New York, USA

3. Stockholm, Sweden


4. Berlin, Germany


9. Amsterdam, the Netherlands


10. Manchester, UK
This is where I went to University, so I don't actually have any location photos of Manchester. This is probably the closest to a location photo I have.
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Monday, 9 December 2013

Koshari Street

Koshari Street opened at 56 St Martin's Lane in May of this year. Open from 11:30am to 11pm it makes it a fantastic place to get lunch and dinner. I have been twice now and it is one of the best places I have been for healthy vegetarian food. I couldn't believe how simple and quick it was and yet how tasty and wholesome it was. I have had the regular pot with mild sauce both times I have visited and it is more than enough to make you feel full. 

The main dish is a base of pasta, noodles and lentils, followed by a tomato sauce (mild, hot or very hot - your choice), then some chickpeas, some seeds and spices, finished off with a good helping of dried onion. The staff are really friendly and accommodating. I would highly recommend this place if you are in the Covent Garden area looking for a meal on a budget. 

This is the dish I had and as a takeaway it was £4.50. Deeeeelish!


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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Willard White and work ethic

Recently I attended my sister's graduation. I went to support her and be with my family. I was not particularly looking forward to the ceremony as I knew I would only see my sister for a split second on stage. 

However there was one particular speech, by the President of her college, that inspired me and really made me think. The President was Willard White, a Jamaican-born British operatic bass-baritone. His voice, tone and presence were incredible. Some of the audience even laughed when they first heard him say 'Good afternoon', as they couldn't believe how deep his voice was! 

One of the main things he spoke about was how even though he has become famous and is at the top of his profession, he still makes mistakes. He just said 'don't let them know'. It is so true, no matter what, many many people out there still feel like they aren't good enough or feel like a fraud in their jobs. Two mottoes always stick with me for work: 'Fail to prepare, prepare to fail' and 'Fake it to make it'.

Here is the best video I could find of Willard speaking, enjoy.
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