Tuesday, 20 May 2014

SHOP: Space EC1

There are so many wonderful independent shops stocking up-and-coming designers that I've decided to spotlight some of my favourites. When you're in a rush it can be all too easy to fall back on that well-known online retail giant to buy last minute presents, but recently I decided to make a concerted effort to avoid doing that and buy from independent and local shops instead. After all, they will only survive if we support them. I'm planning on making this a regular feature so if you know of a great independent shop that deserves featuring just let me know.

I'm about to leave my day job to start with a new company in a different part of London and I've been making the most of my last few weeks in Farringdon and Clerkenwell (where my current office is based) to visit the local shops, cafes and pubs for the last time.

Space Shop front on Exmouth Market

Space is a really sweet little shop on Exmouth Market, an area that has been growing in popularity as a foodie destination in recent years but also has a handful of great independent retailers. If you do visit, the fabulous tapas bar Morito, sister to the more famous Moro, is definitely worth a visit as the food and wine is delicious. Anyway, back to Space, it stocks all manner of useful and unusual present ideas and lots of lovely things you'll be tempted to gift yourself as well. There is lots of luscious stationary including Sparrow & Wolf notebooks, some highly covetable jewellery, unique greeting cards as well as home ware, kids toys and books.

I bought some lovely children's books and I couldn't resist this retro Fisher-Price Classic Record Player for our little boy's 1st birthday. His dad remembers playing with this toy the first time round and is hoping it will distract the little one from touching the real vinyl records in the house - we'll see!

Fisher-Price Classic Music Box Record Player in packaging on Space shop shelf

And I've got my eye on these Mengsel Whale & Sea mugs and plates from the Abode collection:

Mengsel Whale & Sea mugs and plates from Abode collection on Space shop shelf

You can find Space at 25 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, London, EC1R 4QL. If you can't make it to the shop in person, you can buy lots of their stock online at the  I Found It In Space website.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The homemade cot bumper is finally complete

There will come a time when your small baby that once slept placidly starts moving around in their cot. Hitting their arms, legs and then probably their head on the bars - often at the same time. This can be a bit frightening so you'll want to rush out immediately and buy them a cot bumper. Then maybe, like me, you will stand in the shop looking at them thinking 'how much?' before spluttering 'but it's just a big rectangle of material'!!! I also didn't like most of the designs which were all pretty twee and certainly not worth over £40. Hopefully, you will then head home and run one up on your sewing machine. Sadly for my son, I bought the materials then moved house, dealt with Christmas, didn't unpack the sewing machine, <insert more excuses here> and so the poor boy continued to bump his head as he wriggled around at night.

Finley in cot with handmade cot bumper

But lucky boy, I have now finally made him a cot bumper. So when he wedges himself in horizontally to the end of the cot he should no longer have bar marks! He likes to hit it enthusiastically before he goes to sleep which I think must mean that he likes it. It is actually incredibly easy and just needs some large pieces of material and wadding. I'm sure there may be 'proper' patterns online but I couldn't be bothered to hunt one down and just decided to make my own based on the material I had. I will post a full tutorial on here soon.