Sunday Snaps

From hot coffee to a great big neon jelly fish in the sky, it’s our week in pics…

 


Clockwise, from top left…

1.Alice: “This giant light-up sculpture (London by Janet Echelman) greeted me last week as I left my job at Top Shop at 7am, after a busy night shift. It reminded me of a huge jelly fish and looked eerily beautiful floating over a very dark and quiet Oxford Street. It was part of the Lumiere London light festival, which ran for four days last week. The artist’s inspiration was the 2011 Japanese Tsunami and this piece is actually a 3D representation of the effects of the quake, which momentarily sped up the earth’s rotation and shortened the day.”

2.Sarah: “I was taking Jasmine for an afternoon walk through our local park in Crouch End and it was icily cold but the colour of the sky was beautiful and hopeful. I’d also just been reading that this year’s official Pantone colour is Rose Quartz and Serenity – pale pink and blue – and here it ruddy was, out in the natural world.”

3. Sarah: “My ballet shoes on the church hall’s parquet flooring. First Saturday of term and I was more than a little rusty.”

4.Maria: “Sometimes all it takes is a flat white and a good croissant to feel that all’s right with the world. This was at one of my favourite London coffee shops, Coffee Circus in Crouch End.”

5.Maria: “This is a snapshot of some baby name-bunting I made for one of Sarah’s friend’s nieces. I haven’t take a pic of the whole thing as the baby in question hasn’t received it yet and we want it to be a surprise! I used red and white strawberry-print fabric and crocheted some little red flowers to sit on the white cord.”

 

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Dealing with… January

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Author Sarah-Louise James

Hello, how’s your January going?

Yup, and ours…

But we’re attempting to combat the blues with the following: gallons of coffee, walks in the park when it’s not raining, wine, good TV – Spin on More 4 is on record and Netflix’s Making a Murderer is on the to-do list – concocting recipes that are both healthy and tasty (watch this space), making billions of yards of baby-name bunting and coming up with new products for our shop.

One of which is Doughnut the Cat. Please see pic of the prototype Doughnut, below – made by Alice for bebe Jasmine for Christmas. Doughnut was so named by Jasmine the other day. “What’s your cat called, Jasmine?” I asked. *15 seconds’ frowny face* “Doughnut,” came the reply. Well it sounded like doughnut, anyway. So doughnut it is. (Jasmine also has a toy dinosaur called Kevin, a fluffy white bear named Bacon and a rag doll called Hedgehog.)

DOUGHNUT

Doughnut will be a bespoke item when she arrives in the shop and we’re currently working out ways to make her very, very personal to the person who buys her. So they love her just as much as Jasmine does. Even though Jasmine chucked her out of her cot and trod on her yesterday. That’s tough love. Or maybe it’s just because it’s January.

Oh, and while we’ve got you, we wanted to draw your attention to the main image in this post. Yup, it’s a small request to follow our blog! All you need to do, if you’re not doing so already (thank you, lovelies, who are doing so already) is pop your email address in the box at the top right of the screen and you’ll get an email pop up in your inbox whenever we post a new recipe, craft how-to or style tip. Go on, follow us, you might like us!

In the meantime, stay strong. We’re almost half-way through January already…

 

Merry Christmas from WMBL

Wow, how did that happen?

It’s Christmaaaas!

And we must apologise for being so quiet this month. We’ve been beavering away on our Christmas orders.

We were also busy working on another commission for our favourite boozer, The Famous Royal Oak in norf London. Eight metres of Christmas tree bunting this time – complete with fashion accessory du jour, the pom-pom.


     

We also made some less-trad neon Christmas flower deco’s for another client. Voila…

 
And while we were at it, we were mostly drinking our own seasonal take on the Mimosa, adding blitzed-up satsumas to our bubbles for a fizzy take on our 5-a-day. Give it a go. Its perfect for Christmas morning. But, importantly, it’s not just for Christmas morning.

 

All that’s left to say now is: have a fabulous Christmas and thanks for following us in 2015. We’ll be back with more of the same, and more that’s different too, in the New Year 🎉 

This December, we love…

WMBL WINTER

It’s the meteorological start of winter, if you live in the northern hemisphere that is. But this is not a weather report. Nor is it a hint of any sort about what we might want for Christmas…

This is just a round up of stuff we’re loving as the temperatures plummet, day light fades and the twinkly lights come out to play. Here goes…

1.This cuddly faux fur throw is perfect for snuggling under while watching The Bridge on BBC4 on Saturday nights. £39.99, Dunelm

2. Coffee shop Christmas coffee. We’d never normally order a black forest gateaux mocha but something just compels us…

3. Marks & Spencer’s Christmas food to order. In particular, its cheese boards. Serve with port. Or Prosecco. And repeat until 3rd Jan.

4. We May Be Little’s coffee cosy for an even Christmassier Christmas coffee. Coffee cup sleeve, £5, Etsy.com/shop/WeMayBeLittle

5. Why buy sequins now when wearing them in January will make you look like a Christmas tree who’s been put out for collection. Save pennies and buy beautiful sparkly earrings instead. Junk Jewels, Not On The Highstreet

6. Man knitwear. Casz but chic. Cosy but cool. And we’re liking the classy offerings over at Boden

7. Old-school Santa duvet to snuggle under? Why wouldn’t you. Prices from £19.50, M&S again

8. Now, this is an advent calendar. £29.50, Not On The High Street

9. How can a jumper look stylish? This answers the question. Plaited cable knit, £115, Karen Millen

10. These claret – or let’s say, port – skinnies are the perfect match for the above jumper. Darla trousers, £110, Reiss

11. The forever coat. A classic cosy parka. Women’s Charlie Fishtail Parka, £285, Parka London

12. And for men: £285, Parka London

13. Love you, steel grey Nikes. Nike Air Max Thea Premium, £95, Nike.com

14. What’s as cosy as snuggling up at home in an Aran jumper with candles flickering away in the background? Ah! Jumper candles and more from, Dibor,  Not On The High Street

15. White lights are nice an’ all, but didn’t the candy-coloured fairy lights of the 80s and 90s just feel more like Christmas? Go retro with these beauties. Fairy lights, £25, Ellie Ellie, Not On The High Street

16. And to finish? Why, a tangerine of course. Available at a supermarket/green grocers/farmers market near you.

Boozy hot chocolate

BOOZYCHOCFINISHED

Here’s something warm, soothing and boozy to sip on while you stick up your Christmas deco’s or start writing your cards. After all, we’re almost in December, peeps, and now is the time to put on two stone.

We like this boozy hot chocolate a lot. It’s like the sort of hot chocolate you’d get on a ski holiday: rich, thick, indulgent and guaranteed to leave you feeling a little rosy-cheeked and squiffy.

BOOZYCHOCMAIN

Here’s what you need for four people: 1 pint of milk; 50g of good dark chocolate – grated; 2 tbsp of quality hot chocolate; 1 tbsp of cornflour; 2tbsp of icing sugar; a bottle of chocolate cream liqueur or Irish cream/Baileys.

Here’s what you do:

1.Grate your chocolate into fine flakes – keep a few flakes back for decoration

2.Pour milk into pan on medium heat

3.Tip your grated chocolate, hot chocolate, cornflour and icing sugar into a jar and shake to mix

4.When milk is starting to bubble gently, spoon in your dry ingredients mixture

5.Turn down the heat a bit and keep stirring until your chocolatey milk becomes smooth

6.Pour a good glug of your creamy liqueur into glass mugs – or hefty tumblers with stems. We went for M&S’s Chocolate Yule Log Cream because it seemed rude not to

7.Carefully pour in your hot choc

8.Sprinkle on your leftover chocolate flakes

9.Drink while doing Christmas errands/watching Christmas 24

10.Pour some more when finished and get gently sozzled because it’s nearly Christmaaaaaaas!

 

 

Make a Pawsome Christmas Card

Christmas is on its way, John Lewis said so. And with it, the impulse to get creative. Or drunk. We’ll do both.

First, however, we decided to get creative and make our own Christmas cards. With a dog theme, because why not.

So if you’re feeling festively crafty and craftily festive and want a bit of Scotty Dog Christmas card-making action of your own, here’s a nice how-to – courtesy of Alice. Who came up with this cute dog design in her very own brain.

Want to make this bugger now? Here’s how…

You’ll need: Plain white card/s and envelope/s; a piece of festive material; thin ribbon for the dog collar; cotton wool for stuffing; tracing paper; needle; thread; pins; scissors; nice pen; chopstick, and glue or a fancy glue gun – Alice does creative things for Topshop so if she didn’t have one she should probably be sacked but don’t feel bad if you only have a tube of Super Glue

  1. Create a dog template. If you’re a great artist, freestyle. If you can’t draw for toffee it’s time to go dogging. The best tip is to Google-image ‘Scotty dog silhouette’. If you’re not into Scotties, search for the dog of your choice

2. When you’ve found a dog you like, that’s the right size for your card, print it off and trace it. Then add 5mm around the edge for your seam allowance. Cut neatly along your line

3. Now fold your fabric in half and pin on your tracing paper dog. Next, cut around your template

4. You’ll be left with two little flat dogs (Sheila and Sandra). Put them right side together so the inside of your fabric is facing out

5. Start stitching anti-clockwise from the top of your dog’s right paw. Don’t worry if you’re no Vivienne Westwood, or even one of the workers from Underworld in Coronation Street.

The stitches don’t need to be ultra neat; they just need to be very, very close together – because you’ll be stuffing this bad boy and you don’t want its innards spilling out

6. Stitch all the way around until you reach Scotty’s belly. Then stop abruptly, tie a neat little knot and cut your cotton. Now turn your fabric right side out

7. It’s time to get stuffed. Rip your cotton wool into teeny pieces and start stuffing your mutt with the help of your chopstick, which will get into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies

8. All nice and stuffed? 

9. It’s time to stitch up your Scotty’s tum

10. Let get this pooch dressed up. Tie the ribbon around her neck in a fancy festive bow

11. Cute, huh?

12. Now add blobs of superglue to your Scotty and whack it on your card. FYI, we bought a pack of 25 ready-made cards and envelopes from John Lewis’s craft department (hey, JL, fancy sponsoring us? That’s your second mention today)

13. Woo hoo, it’s pun time. “Have a Woof-ly Christmas”, perhaps. “A Winter’s Tail”? “Have a Pawfect Christmas”? “The Most Woof-derful Time of the Year”, “Dog Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”? “Bone Noël”? Let’s stop there. Time to proffer this thing to someone special.

14. Et, voila. A handmade original for Christmas, which your nearest and dearest will go ruddy barking mad for.

Will anyone else be crafting anything unique for Christmas? We’d love to hear from you…