Monday, 28 February 2011

the alternative bar crawl

A couple of months ago, a lovely lady called Kate contacted me to let me know about a new creative event that she, alongside others, was pioneering in Leicester.  I was asked if I would like to hold a stall for part of the evening, and I immediately said yes!  I feel that Leicester really doesn't have enough creative and exciting things going on too often, and the whole concept of ABC (the alternative bar crawl) was refreshing, and basically, sounded like a great deal of fun!

The theme of the evening was based around 1930/40s and travel.  We started off at Curve (theatre), where we could sit, drink extremely reasonably priced drinks (including cocktails) and listen to a wonderful singer playing the ukulele. 
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
Metro Boulot Dodo, who are based in Leicester, were also there, offering people the chance to participate in an artwork involving a rickshaw, take a look here :)

photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
“METRO-BOULOT-DODO is one of the brightest of the new crop of theatre companies disregarding theatrical convention”The Guardian

A couple of hours passed, then it was onwards to The Phoenix, an arts cinema and digital media centre, where I set up my stall alongside a local vintage shop, a beautiful lady in a blue polka dot dress selling mix tape stories and zines, and a wonderful lady who does vintage hair and make up (and who herself, had the most incredible hair do!)  It was a great atmosphere, we all had our wares in old suitcases and the items for sale still tied in with the travel theme.  The Phoenix also had on offer some vintage style cocktails (I had maybe one too many gin based ones) and you could also purchase some vintage style food, including jam sponge and custard, mmm!  I couldn't resist getting my hair done, although my hairstyle became a bit more 1960s than 1940s, as my stupid layers restricted me from the much desired curls :(  Still, I cannot complain, my hair was done beautifully, and felt so nice!  I will have to share the contact details soon, when I can find her business card :)  

photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
Final port of call was Soundhouse, a homely little pub around the corner, who provided some fantastic live music, which again, most certainly suited the theme of the evening.  The night became wonderfully weird, when you entered a different room to find a squirrel DJ and people playing scrabble and testing each others trivia!
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
photograph courtesy of Sam Johnson
I really did have such a great evening, and cannot wait for the next one, which will be on March 25th, and the theme will be love.  Oh, and best of all, entry to every venue was FREE!  I thoroughly recommend that anyone based in or around Leicestershire attends next time :)

The Facebook event for the next ABC can be found here.

Thursday, 24 February 2011


goodbye Ireland...
flying above a rainbow :)

Foam cafe, Dublin

Have you ever been somewhere and thought "If this were my shop/cafe/record store/gallery/restaurant, this is exactly how it would look" ?
Well I had this thought during our trip to Dublin at the start of the week.  I was drawn towards Foam like a magpie because of it's shiny shop header, which was brightening up a rather dull and boring back street near to the river.  The shop is decorated with tons and tons of colourful, kitsch things, from gnome fairy lights to cut outs from vintage magazines.  I could have spent hours in there just looking at everything.  I settled for a pot of Earl Grey tea, and Steve had a coffee, and both were served in mismatched china tea cups and saucers.  The cakes also looked delicious, but having just eaten lunch and having had a cupcake, I managed to resist.

You can find out more about Foam cafe on their Facebook page, which you can find here.

I have more photographs of the rest of Dublin to share with you, but I have quite a big to do list that I feel I must get through first!
Until then, you should enter my giveaway for a chance to win a beautiful wooden brooch courtesy of a cuppa tea and cake :)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

cuppa tea and cake giveaway

whatkatiefound reached 200 followers over the weekend (ah-maze-ing!)  and to celebrate, I decided to hold another giveaway to say thank you to all of you who take the time to read my blog :)

To celebrate, the lovely Jess of cuppa tea and cake has generously donated not one, but two of her beautiful laser cut wooden brooches, hoorah!  Before I reveal these visual treats to you all, here is a bit more information about Jess and her wonderful creations :)

1. Describe your work in five words.
Tea, cake, vintage, bright, colourful

2. What three things could you not live without?
This is going to sound a bit soppy so maybe I'll do a personal one and an artistic one.
Personally - my boyfriend Chris, my cat Milly and tea
Artistically - pencils, my screen printing equipment and graphic markers

3. Who/what inspires you?
I'm inspired by lots of things actually, generally Englishness and domesticity but recently I have been going back to basics and working with shapes, I've always been really into circles, which have always turned up in my work somehow. I'm currently working on artwork and products based on crystal forms which i can't wait to reveal. I read a lot of blogs and also work in an art college so I'm constantly surrounded by inspiration and artistic energy. 

4. How long have you been making?
I've been making for 3 years this April, which is a shock to me actually!

5. What hopes do you have for cuppa tea and cake in the future?
I find this question really difficult actually. I love my day job but I think most artists and makers dream to be able to make money from their work. I have had to think about that a lot really because I wouldn't want to get bored of what I do and I wouldn't want to have to make the same thing over and over again because I would grow to hate my work. However there are ways to develop, send jobs out of my studio and still hold onto the creative side with both hands. That's what I would like, to still be making, have lots of stockists (kooky little independent shops) and make my living all under my own roof!

6. Describe your perfect day.
I'm a bit of a hermit really. I love being at home, listening to the radio and have nothing on the agenda so I can just be creative and wear my ink splattered pinny all day. So that's pretty perfect to me. However I do love going to see exhibitions in London and spending the day there, eating good food, wandering round the shops, soaking up the atmosphere and then coming back to slow Suffolk and calming down with a cuppa.

7. Do you have any tips for budding crafters?
I think I've got quite a few tips actually. My boyfriend and I organise street markets in our home town so we see a lot of crafters' work and I would say, based on that experience, make sure what you make is individual, well made and take good photos. That is what will sell your work. Also get an online presence. Get on folksy, etsy, facebook and most importantly twitter and make friends because that network will help promote your work and get it seen.

8. What is your favourite item that you have made?
My favourite item has to be the wooden teacup brooches I think. I really like laser cut wood and the perfect way they all look the same.

9. Could you please share with us some of your favourite blogs,websites,folksy/etsy shops?
This will be tricky to slim down! Okay.. - for pattern inspiration - for fantastic illustrators - for brilliant vintage finds - because i love looking at how people dress

10.The most difficult question of them all...Tea or cake?
That is ruddy hard! I guess tea because I drink it everyday, I could do without cake as could my waistline!
And now, for the moment that you have all been waiting for, feast your eyes on these splendid brooches!
You can take a look at more of Jess' makes in her Folksy shop which can be found here.

To enter:
Please be a follower of whatkatiefound and cuppateaandcake's blog.  For an extra entry, you can follow us both on Twitter: @kakesmakes and @cuppateaandcake.

Then just simply leave a comment below, and let me know which brooch you would like to be entered for (you can say both, I know I would!)  
Please include your e-mail address so I can contact you if you win - yippee!

This giveaway is open internationally and entry closes on Wednesday 9th March 2011 at 8pm.

Good luck, and one last BIG thank you to everyone that reads whatkatiefound :)


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