This week, I’m wishing I was home in Buffalo where they’re being pummeled by snow! Living in mild London, I miss the big storms and everyone has been posting pictures of it, waist-deep, piled high. Thoughts going out to those who were negatively affected though as I know it hasn’t been such a magical experience for everyone.
London has sleek, wet, leaf-plastered pavements. It’s cooler now, Winter settling in, branches nearly bare. It’s almost time to dig out the hat and gloves. Since last weekend, we’ve been out to eat some tasty posh pub burgers. I’ve started chipping away at my list of Christmas presents to buy. I sold a couple prints. And I made some delicious pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I’ll share the recipe next week.
What’s everyone up to this weekend? Anything fun and exciting happening?
By the way, check out the new shop I put together with all the cool stuff I keep stumbling on in search of gifts!
Shopping for your mom, sister or best friend (okay, and maybe a tiny bit for yourself)? From cashmere socks (which are great for a cozy evening in or slipping into on a plane ride) to a pair of pink driving shoes and a London cocktail experience, here’s a few ideas at different price ranges for inspiration.
In the middle of a relentless downpour, I relaxed under an awning outside of a cafe biting into a goat’s cheese and carrot marmalade sandwich, sipping at a glass mug of tea with hot milk. Not a scene you’d expect in the land of sunshine and souvlaki. But then again, Athens was an adventure all about breaking stereotypes from the beginning.
Kicking off the TBEX event (the reason I was there) was the Mayor of Athens, Yorgos Kaminis who acknowledged the recent economic crisis and the riots that brought the city a bit of a negative reputation. Standing on the stage, he told us:
“It feels wonderful having more than 800 people going around the city, telling to the rest of the world how is Athens. We invited bloggers to see the city, see that it’s a vibrant city, a lovely city where they can have a good time.”
Kelly Stevens is an entrepreneur and an artist who has filled 4 etsy shops (and nearly a 5th) with an incredible collection of prints. Many of them revolve around the theme of animorphism and include a Victorian or Regency touch. When I first discovered her on Etsy, I spent far more time than I’m willing to admit scrolling through her work (and still haven’t decided which piece I want to call my own because I’d really like to create a whole book.) So I got in touch to find out more. Below, Kelly talks about her creative process and work space, shares the story of her most prized possession and offers some advice on what it takes to become an entrepreneur and run a successful Etsy shop.
LO: Tell us a bit about yourself. KS: I’m originally from London but ended up in Worthing in West Sussex about 12 years ago via Glasgow! Life in a small seaside town came as a bit of a shock at first after being a proper city girl, but nowadays I love it, especially being so near to the sea.
I’m a full-time artist and live with my husband and four dogs. I’m not formally trained, nor do I even consider myself self-taught – that would imply that I have a clue about what I’m doing. I have to be honest and say that between creating new pieces and running the business, there is not much time for anything else. Except cake; there’s always time for cake. But if I ever have spare time, I’m a film nut, whether that be at the cinema or catching up with the latest films at home. And I adore reading.
Last Sunday afternoon, Jorge and I ate lunch in Bumpkin looking out of the window at the bucketing rain and people hudling under the awning of the pub across the street. Before that, we spent an hour in the Royal Festival Hall looking at the incredible photography on display in the World Press Photo Exhibition. It’s one of my favourite photography events every year and I think I’ve only missed one in the eight years I’ve lived in London. We also had a steak night at El Gaucho and spent an evening cooking and eating Spanish tapas at home.
Fingers crossed for some clear skies this weekend! I’m hoping to do a bit of baking (something pumpkin-y), get out and about for some London photos which I haven’t done in a while, go for a run, work on some interviews for Little Observationist and relax! It’s been a very busy few months.
Can you believe it’s that time of year again? I love looking through other blogger’s gift guides when I’m shopping for the holidays, so I decided to put together a few of my own this year which I’ll post every Thursday for five weeks starting with the Under £50 list!
I walked up Anapafseos Street (Eternal Rest Street) and through the grand entrance. The scent of nature – of being surrounded by trees, moss and flowers – and burning incense hit me as I carried on into the depths of the First Cemetery in Athens. White stones among green growth, the noise of the bustling city completely muffled in the distance.
Whenever I travel, I enjoy visiting cemeteries. They are a stark contrast to the liveliness and the colours of the city streets with their street art, the half-torn posters still glued to walls, the sounds of sirens and roasted chestnut vendors and impatient drivers. They are peaceful, clean places full of history and stories and silence. They are otherworldly.
Brrr! This week has definitely been the turning point into Winter in London. The Winter coat has emerged, along with the scarf and gloves. There’s a crispness in the morning air, the sun harshly rising above the river. Chestnut vendors have set up their stalls and everyone walking around the city is bundled up against the chill. I’ve been working on some projects this week including a new shop section the blog where I’ll share some of my favourite things in case you’re looking for some ideas to help with the holiday shopping. I know there’s always one or two difficult ones on the list!
This weekend, I’m looking forward to a candlelit Spanish tapas night in, a walk across the Thames to visit to the World Press Photo exhibition on South Bank, maybe having a wander with my camera and digging my heels in to a few big projects I’m working on at the moment.
“People who come out to the Caribbean from the cities and the continents go through a process of being recultured. What they encounter here, if they surrender to their seeing, has a lot to teach them.” – Derek Walcott
We stood in the center of Castries near Derek Walcott Square, a place that back in the 18th Century, near the time of the French Revolution, was the site of public executions. The gates on all sides were padlocked on both of our visits to St. Lucia’s capital city so we never were able to go inside. There’s a photograph of the Nobel Prize winning writer (who was born and grew up in Castries) enlarged, framed and protected behind glass.