Monday, 30 May 2011

Wiil and Kate,Tatty Devine and Banksy imitations, all in one day

Hello friends,

hope your weekend was good. Mine was a lot of fun, and today I wondered outside of Brixton and headed to the funky Shoreditch in East London.

Oddly, there weren't that many people around and Columbia Street Flower Market was closed but we (Saf and I), had a good browse in vintage shops and took some pretty cool pictures too.
And we bought ourselves amazing Tatty Devine necklaces. Tatty Devine is one of my favourite shops in the whole wide world and I have a few amazing pieces of jewellery from there. They are pricey, but unique. Imagine our excitement, when we stumbled upon this:

Tatty Devine sample sale, up to 90% off all prices!!! We could have bought so, so much, but we restricted ourselves to these beautiful pieces. Each cost £10!! They are usually between £30-£40. What a bargain! Here are our new treasures:

Mine is the ice cream one and Saf bought the vinyl one. Pretty cool, don't you think?

Shoreditch is well known for its funky clothes shops, bars, restaurants and art galleries. Some 10 years ago, rents for warehouses and big spaces were pretty low, so artists moved in, opened their studios, a few galleries and made their own community there. The area is really vibrant and there is something exciting going on at every corner. We took a lot of pictures, but today, I am posting only street art we found. This one made me laugh:

I particularly like RAGE written underneath the picture. Will looks suspiciously like prince Charles.

Just around the corner from there, we found this. It almost made me puke, but here it is:


I don't want to end on such an ugly note, so here is a hairdressers' window that I really liked:

We've taken some really cool pictures of different doorways (I know, random, but trust me, they look fun), and I'll be posting them later this week.

So, what's your favourite street artist? Your favourite jewellery shop? 

Speak to you all very soon.

Red xx

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Tea for Three at Relay Tea Room

My Saturday has started brilliantly. I got up at 10am (I'm on half term from today, which means lying in for the next 10 days). Yippee!

I had breakfast in bed and then made my way to Brixton market for some Jamaican patties and tea and cakes with two lovely friends. 

I had coffee here before, but today I had my camera with me and took some pictures of the place. The tea place is called Relay Tea Room and is owned by two lovely girls. They make their own cakes (delicious) and have a huge range of teas on offer. As I am a coffee person, I had coffee instead. And can I just say, even though it was only a filter coffee, it is the best one you will find anywhere. Usually, if you order a filter coffee, you get weak, brown water. This one actually tastes of coffee and goes really well with cakes. 

So, we ordered one tea, two coffees, one scone and jam and one Victoria sponge. Absolutely divine. Here are pretty pictures of the goodies:

This is one of the tables in front of the shop, with lovely flowery tea pot. (click on the pictures to see the detail)

I strongly recommend this place when you are down in Brixton. At the moment it's my favourite place in the market. Go and visit their blog. It is fun and you'll get a better idea of the stuff they make. Maybe we can meet there one afternoon? 

There is lots to look at in the market. Right in front of the tea shop is this grocery seller. What a wonderful mixture of cultures and ideas:

Watermelons look good, don't they?
Two doors down, you can shop for some old vinyl records:

And to my right, a hard working man was eating his lunch:

I love the background of his shop. He is a butcher, but I didn't get his stall in the picture. Maybe next time.

And as a goodbye, here is a picture of what I bought today:

I am designing new bags made out of colourful fabric and need these little beauties to zip them. I am spending tomorrow working out how to do them, and I should be posting fruits of my labour very soon.

I am spending the rest of the day at home. I have so much to do: finish a very good book I am reading at the moment, The Secret River, read Saturday's papers (read The Guardian), finish two new big crochet bags I am working on at the moment,... and of course, I will potter around the house (my favourite hobby). I have an invitation to go out for drinks with friends but I feel like staying in tonight.

Have a fabulous weekend and don't forget to check out Relay Tea Room.

Red xx 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Eating healthy - fresh fruit salad!

Hello alI!

I try to have a healthy life style. I do a bit of exercise (jogging, yoga and hoola hooping are my choices of keeping fit) and I don't eat too many sweets (a biscuit or two a day). Quiona is on my menu very often and all sorts of vegetables. I love veggies. However, although I like lots of different fruit, I have to admit, I am not that good at eating them. Don't know why, but there it is. As I am terribly bored of my snacks like oat cakes and nuts, I decided to live on a wild side and actually venture into the world of fruit. And what a feast I made tonight. 
Look what I bought for only £4 in Brixton market today:

As you can see, a lot of delicious stuff. Pineapple (only 70p!!!), three Alfonso mangoes (so yummy), blackberries, strawberries and funny looking pears. The cheapest fruit basket ever. And the most delicious too.

And here is how it looks when prepared in a fruit salad:

Pineapple isn't exactly ripe, so, that's left for the next fruit salad.
What do you think? Beautiful colours? Trust me, it tastes even better than it looks.

What is your health regime? What's your favourite fruit?
I know it is already 10pm, but I am off fora hoola hoop session for about half an hour.

Have a happy and a healthy day.

Red xx

Thursday, 19 May 2011

A little bit of Brixton magic

Hello my dear friends,

I haven't posted about Brixton in a while and feel like I've been neglecting my duties :-)

I've been living in Brixton for over 15 years now and still find it fascinating and the most exciting part of London. The eclectic mix of people, cultures, food, shops, restaurants and  market stalls, make it a wonderfully thrilling place to be in. Lately, I have been going down almost every day after work for a coffeee and to read my book. I love Rosie's (will write about that place another time in more detail), but the best coffee you will have in London is at the Federation. It is worth making a trip down South just for a taste. Two young guys opened a small shop 2 x 4 meters big, and very soon they acquired such a following, they had people queuing for a cup of coffee. They moved next door into a much bigger place as the demand for their coffee was getting quite big. Here is their website to wet your appetite. 

Just around the corner from Federation is this Afro Caribbean shop that sells such random things, I always have a chuckle and a good browse (although I never buy anything as I wouldn't know how to cook the food). Last time I passed by, they were selling huge snails. They looked dry, but I also think I saw them moving, I can't decide. Here is one of the many pictures I took:

And just to illustrate my point of how mixed this place is, here are the posters on their wall:

And on the other side of the shop, a little bit of street art:


And to finish, here is one of my favourite shops in the world. It is a second hand book shop, owned by a cool American guy, who usually plays country music (not my taste, but I strangely enjoy it while I am browsing for books) and has a dog sleeping in front of a counter. A LOT of the books on my book shlef come from that shop. In fact, I was addicted to this place some years ago. I'd go in at least once a week and buy at least one book from him. This went on for months and months. I was broke at the end of this adventure, may I just say.

The other day, I remembered that I still haven't read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, and went to Brixton for grocery shopping and to go to the library. But before that, I made a stop at the Book Mongers, just to see what's in. And what do you know, In Cold Blood was staring at me from the shelf. Although I love libraries and use them all the time, I just had to buy the book. Only £3 and a new copy too. Win win.
You can find all sorts of stuff in there. Some books are old and used and some are perfectly new. I guess he gets them from the publishing houses or bookshops that can't sell them anymore. More often than not, you will find a newest Booker Prize List book sitting next to an old classic. And there is a great variety too. From philosophy and poetry, to comics, science fiction, travel, novels, LGBT writing,... Come and see it for yourself. But until then, here is the picture of how it looks from the outside:

So that's it for today's tour of Brixton. Come and visit this wonderful place when you get some spare time. The best day is Saturday. It is full of people, and the place is buzzing with activity.

Let me know what your favourite shops are. Where do you buy your books? Where do you go for a coffee and a quiet read?

See you all soon.

Lilly xx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

"What's in my shopping basket?" episode 2

Hello, hello!!

I've been working hard lately and have almost finished another bag. All I need to do is connect the seams, crochet the strap and do the lining. As I've now done 5 bags, I am becoming much faster at crocheting although, sawing the lining is still the trickiest bit.

I have ordered lots of new, good quality yarn, lovely, bright colours and can't wait to start thinking up new designs. I am getting some of it tomorrow, so pictures to come very soon.
And as I was running out of thread and buttons, I had a little shopping spree today and spent £30 on goods!!! That's too much, I know, but I bought this beautiful fabric for lining and John Lewis where I bought it is quite dear with prices. Never mind, I love it and it's worth it.
Here is a picture of it. See what you think:

And here is a picture of other purchases from John Lewis. That shop is dangerous. It has everything you need and I can spend hours and hours and lots of money in there.

The orange and green bags you see - well, that's my new obsession. Beads!!! I am starting my own range of jewelry. Just for me, not to sell. I haven't found anything that I like in a while now, so decided to make my own ornaments as I know what I want, just can't find it in the shops. There are a few amazing bead shops in London and like John Lewis, they are very dangerous. Your imagination goes wild once you step inside. As the beads are quite expensive, I limited myself to just these two colours today.

That's all for today. Have you done any shopping lately? What's in your basket?

Lilly xx

Friday, 6 May 2011

Another bag,... in the bag!!!

Hello all,

I have been pretty productive lately and have done another beauty bag. This one is, again, a birthday present for a friend. I didn't have a design in mind, it just kind of happened, and I think it is now in the running for being my favourite. See what you think:

This bag is called Spring Beauty Bag. I know, not particularly imaginative, but couldn't think of anything more exciting, and let's face it,it is spring, so why not a spring beauty bag??

Hope you're all good and your beauty bag is as happy as this one. Mine needs more make up to be perfectly happy :-)

See you all very soon and thank you for stopping by.

Zlata xx

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Bags for sale! Come and browse!!!

Hello friends!!!

So the bags are here!!! I've finally finished them. Crocheting is not difficult, it's the finishing touches that are proving hard. I've ripped them out so many times, I think I could have crocheted another bag in that time. So here they are. First one is called Happy Bag, and although I am selling it, my aunt has done it for me. I think it is beautiful and the colours are happy, so I called it a Happy Bag.

Then comes the first bag I have ever done (that excludes the little beauty bag I made for Saff's birthday). This one is called Satchel Bag as it reminds me of school satchels I used to have when I was a kid. I think this is my favourite, I love the design, even if I say so myself. I am putting it up for sale, but so want to keep it for myself. Here are the pictures of how it looks from the front, back and the inside.

And the third and last bag of this collection is called Summery Red. I have to admit, this bag gave me a lot of grief. I crocheted it fast enough, but the lining was particularly tough to do. Well, it was tough for me, because I am a novice at sewing. I just couldn't sew a straight line to save my life, so finally after 5 hours of trying straight lines (till 3 o'clock in the morning!!), the penny dropped and I decided to do a zig-zag pattern instead. So, if the lines are not straight, it doesn't really matter. And in fact, I now prefer the zig-zag finish anyway, so I suppose it was worth all that effort and time. See what you think:

So, there you are. If you like what you see here, please forward the blog to your friends and family.
And I need some feedback from you. I want to put in a little flyer in each bag of how to take care of it and a little bit about the bags themselves. How does it look to you? Is the font ok? Do you like what it says, and do you think I should change any of it?
Here is a picture of how it looks now:

Thank you all for visiting and let me know what you think. Hope your weekend has been good. I've been busy doing drama workshops, partying and cleaning up my messy crochet/ sewing station, so all in all, it's been a lot of fun. See you all soon.
Oh yes, and click on the pictures to enlrage them.

Lilly xx