Wishing you a warm and wonderful Christmas

I hope you all have a warm and wonderful Christmas. Filled with great food and loved ones. I hope you play board games and watch favourite films.

I hope you laugh and feel loved.

I hope you haven't stressed too much in the lead-up but if you have now you can have the chance to relax take it slow and switch off your phone.

Try not to check Instagram (I'll try my hardest too). 

If, like me, you love the big family dinners and all the social engagements but often find yourself a little overwhelmed and exhausted please make time for yourself. Carve out a little bit of me time and don't feel guilty about it... 

Take a long bath or a short walk. Drink your morning coffee by yourself. Whatever you need to do. You deserve it! And then, go back and enjoy all the madness.

If you've been stopping by on this little slice of the internet these past few weeks I couldn't be more thankful.

a warm and wonderful christmas

I've found this first two months of blogging exciting and nerve wracking. I'm not sure what I'm doing but every time someone sends me a lovely message to say they're enjoying it my heart feels happy and I am encouraged to carry on.

I'm still finding my feet, my voice, my image, my signature style and all the rest but I'm believing that sharing the journey is as important as the finished polished product (if not more important).

So a very heartfelt thank you for your support. I can't wait to see what the new year brings.

Go wildly & slow

N x

An Ethical Christmas List Part 3: Independent Ceramics

Is anyone else doing last minute Christmas present shopping?

I'm definitely not fully on top of the whole presents thing this year. I'm busy trying to buy presents for people I don't know too well or have very particular tastes all whilst trying to shop consciously and ethically. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not perfect, I have bought a few things off amazon recently (please forgive me). 

Last week I wrote about the amazing people & products over at The Future Kept and this week I've found some great ceramics that if you're quick you can still get your hands on before Christmas.

I went to the Independent Ceramics Market hosted by The Hackney Flea Market last week and found amongst the throngs of people some lovely independent ceramicists.

There were too many stalls to choose from, I could have spent all my monies on all the things.

But, here are the ones that stood out the most to me. Check them out if you're looking for some last minute present ideas.

Melisa Dora  

I purchased this beautiful hand poured fig and cassis candle from Melisa in an equally beautiful handmade ceramic vessel that can be used long after the candle is gone! I love it so much I decided it would be a Christmas present to myself (that's a thing right?).

www.melisadora.com/shop

aliyah hussain jewellery

Aliyah Hussain

Aliyah makes these really unique pieces of jewellery that I love and they are SO affordable. She has a few of her necklaces in stock online and you can see if any of her stockists are near you on her website.

She also has lovely, enviable branding!

www.ahussainjewellery.co.uk

www.aliyahhussain.tictail.com

Miyu Kurihara

Regretfully I didn't actually buy anything from Miyu but I love her pieces. These lovely painted plates and also adorable ceramic brooches. All very unique and individual. They would make really nice little presents.

www.miyukuirhara.com

 

I hope this helped give you some ideas for your last minute Christmas Shopping!

 

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Until next time, go wildly & slow

 

 

An Ethical Christmas List Part 2: Foraged Decorations

It's 11 days till Christmas and my tree is up! 

That is absolutely unheard of in my house. Growing up we'd always get the tree a few days before Christmas eve and put the decorations up together. I don't remember ever doing it before we broke up for Christmas holidays. But this year I've been enjoying slowly gathering lots of bits and pieces and decorating the house a little more mindfully.

On Saturday afternoon I dragged a pretty little tree home from Brixton, huffing and puffing all the way. Had I not also picked up three rather cumbersome branches that were being thrown away by the guys I bought it from I probably would have been fine but I arrived home rather sweaty and seriously questioning my sanity. 

It was worth it though because I managed to make my first ever wreath, all from things I foraged in my local area.

I have three really easy Christmas decorations you can make that are all ethical and don't have any crappy plastic!

Foraged Wreaths

I made this wreath without a frame, the base is made from ivy vines stripped and twisted into (almost) a circle.

I then clipped the pine branches the tree guys gave me. Using just the bendy ends not the main branch I wound them around the ivy vines. I had to use a little string to attach them at the top but nothing else. 

I went out that same evening at dusk and clipped some holy (the ivy vines) and some other branches and vines I found around in the park.

These I just pushed the pine branches through and made sure they were stuck into the base vines. 

Finally, I added some dried oranges (how-to below) and a piece of ribbon I already had at home. 

It's amazing the things you can find when you look around. I'm always surprised by how much nature the centre of London has to offer.

If you've never been out gathering and foraging don't be nervous. As long as you are respectful to both nature and people's front gardens you'll have no problems!

DIY Christmas wreath
I made this slightly less traditional, asymmetrical wreath for inside in very much the same way

I made this slightly less traditional, asymmetrical wreath for inside in very much the same way

Dried Orange Slices

Another first for me was drying orange slices.

They are incredibly easy and make for a stunning, easy way to decorate I tied some to my wreath with string and I've also hung some on my tree and all over the house. They smell amazing and look really lovely.

All you need to do is cut a few oranges (I also used a grapefruit) into slices about 1/2 an inch thick and pop them on wire oven racks. Put them in the oven for 2-3 hrs at about 70 degrees celsius. 

Check they aren't going too brown although I really like them a little bit brown around the edges.

Ethical Christmas decorations

Paper Snowflakes

I know paper snowflakes are a little bit tacky, so forgive me because I love them. 

I use brown packaging paper that is recyclable and you can always keep them for next year if you're careful with them.

There are plenty of guides and templates on Pinterest for how to cut them. If you head to my Pinterest and follow my Christmas Making board you can see some. Once you've got the idea with one or two that you like it's really easy to improvise a little.

A little tip, use a craft knife if you've got one to avoid bruising your thumb with the scissors!

Paper Snowflakes Dried Oranges

I hope this inspires you to get a little crafty this Christmas. It only takes a little extra effort and time.

I suggest getting a glass of mulled wine or a hot chocolate and settling down with Netflix on in the background for an evening of Christmas making.

Let me know how you get on in the comments or through the buttons below.

Until then, go wildly & slow

 

Go Wildly & Slow - December

Do you ever do that thing where you remember song lyrics completely wrong? I always just make up lyrics that don't make any sense. Today with The Staves album Dead & Born & Grown playing in the background as I work I realised that for years I've thought their song Go Wisely & Slow was 'Go Wildly and Slow'.

Well, it was a happy accident as it gave me the idea to do a monthly feature with the small ways I'm keeping a little bit of wild and a little bit of slow in my life. I hope it will help to spark some inspiration for you to go wildly & slow this month. 

Go wildly & Slow (1).png

I think December can be a pretty hectic month. All the Christmas madness and all the family. Trying to cram in social gatherings before everyone shuts down for the festive period. And the pressure to buy buy buy. If you're anything like me that can take its toll and cause you to go a little bit crazy. I've been trying to think of ways to ensure I don't forget to slow down and enjoy the month before it disappears. 

Here are some of the promises I'm making to myself this month to go slow and keep a touch of adventure in the air.

Go Slow

  • Get outside -  Each morning and take ten quiet minutes to yourself 
  • Have a long candlelit bath - I'm lucky to have a proper bath at home a luxury I don't take advantage of enough. That's changing this month
  • Light candles - I always forget how happy they make me. 
  • Write letters - Inspired by Simple & Season's post about writing letters I'll be writing some Christmas letters to friends far away.

Go Wildly 

With pretty much my whole family heading off to South Africa this month and leaving me to look after the cat there are no wild travelling plans in the pipeline for me. But I still want to keep the spirit of adventure alive. 

I'm planning a few weekend day trips into the wild to keep my travel urges at bay. I'll be posting about them in the coming weeks so if you're a Londoner look out for them.

I'll also be going out foraging for natural Christmas decorations. There are so many exciting things you can make with things found in your local park. This year, I definitely didn't get my act together in time to make one of those lovely natural advent calendars, there's always next year (tbh, advent calendars have never been a thing in my family, but new traditions are exciting).

If you've got any genius tips for natural/ethical Christmas decorations I'd love to hear about them in the comments or through the internets.

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