Sunday, 19 August 2012

Homemaker Pop-Up Sale

Isn't it great when a local arts venue opens up right on your doorstep? The East End of London is a thriving place with plenty of crafty retro festiveness in the likes of Walthamstow, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Spitalfields et al but not a lot happens in .... East Ham, which is where I live.

It was great last winter to be able to walk 5 minutes to a local Christmas craft market being held at Red Door Studios. The creative entrepreneurial spirit is fostered by Dolores and Gordon who have taken the lease of a small run down workshop space formerly a glass factory, and turned its use over to creative community events. So far we've seen a craft market, craft workshops, R&B night, Sunday jamming sessions and most recently an Art Exhibition featuring local artists.

There's always coffee, cake and a great deal of goodwill and ideas sloshing about at Red Door events. When Dolores mentioned she wanted to hold a pop-up retro sale, I was more than happy to get involved (especially once I realised Dolores is a bit of a hoarder collector and has a stash of vintage bits and pieces including a shipping container full of old buttons that would make your eyes water).

Behold the first Retro@RedDoor event will be born in September - The Homemaker Pop-Up Sale.

We will transform the studio space at Red Door using furniture and Bric-a-Brac against a backdrop of atomic 50's loveliness designed by myself and built by our local chippie Jason. Here's a scale model of the Sanderson inspired mobiles backdrop I put together so Jason the carpenter knew what to build.

From the model stage to the finished flats utilising my wallpaper hanging skills.

The backdrop is almost finished and we are continuing to source furniture, collectibles and craft items from sellers with a retro edge to put on sale. Along with one off vintage furniture finds, haberdashery and collectibles there will be a stash of 'architectural salvage' and pre-loved 'up-cycling supplies' if sanding down, nailing together and adding your own paint is your thing.

We are drawing on local artisans and volunteers to organise the Homemaker Sale, but we want punters from far and wide to visit the event, buy our wares, drink tea, eat cake and have a good time with us.

We will have a few craft demos and 50's hair and make-over sessions over the two days along with music and general 50's ambiance - there may even be spontaneous dance break outs if I have my way.

So in view of all this crafty retro loveliness bubbling away in East Ham I will continue to post news about the preparations here on the blog and you can follow Homemaker Sale tidbits on Twitter here.

Local blog readers in the area please spread the word and come and visit us in East Ham on September 15th & 16th. My lovely blog readers from further afield - if you've staged similar events please share your tips with me on what makes a successful day and send us your good vibes!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Olympics

It was such a long time coming - and sadly over in a flash.

The Olympic fortnight (not forgetting the Paralympics yet to happen) was a like a holiday romance. Two weeks when London felt extraordinary, people smiled more, talked more. There was somehow less traffic, less bustle and more chilling about in parks and gardens.
Watching athletes win filled me with awe and we all rushed to share the unabashed joy we felt.

But holiday romances never last and it has been painful to say goodbye to lazy days of TV viewing, late night TV viewing and strolls through deserted high streets usually choked with shoppers.

I'd like to think I could pick up the romance again in 4 years time, but it'll be a different place and I'll be a different person and I know it just won't be the same.

London is left with a 'Park' and 'Shopping Mall' neither of which I would rush to visit again. I hope the government sort out a lasting legacy regarding the venues for us mortals to use in the future.

I am left with mixed feelings about the Orbit which I photographed often - I think it could have been an elegant beacon for the games this off kilter knot of giant red liquorice, but someone welded a bloody observation deck to the top, rammed a circular staircase up its middle and it lost its grace.

So bye bye and thanks Olympics 2012 - it's been great!

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