19 December 2012

Christmas Market at the George Tavern

On Sunday 9th December 2012, me and my mum, Ellen, had a stand at a Christmas Market held at the George Tavern, East London. 

The George Tavern is a popular and legendary pub in the heart of London's east end that my friend, Philippa, told me about their market. It's a 700 year old tavern mentioned in the writing of Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and Geoffrey Chaucer. Now it has regular gigs and is popular amongst artists and musicians. In fact their busiest night for the whole year to date had been the evening before the market!

Me and my mum drove up to London with a car filled with handmade crafts and cards. We arrived at the pub at 1pm to set up our table near the bar and it opened its doors to the public at 2pm. The bar staff were really friendly and made us feel welcome with mince pies and mulled wine for sale.

Sadly the pub never got really busy and although people said they liked our stuff and our stand (the word 'lovely' was used a lot!), there weren't many people buying. I spoke to some of the other stall holders and they seemed to have the same problem.

Aside from the disappointing sales, we were really proud of how our stand looked and won't let it put us off taking part in markets in the future.

Here's how it turned out...

Me and my mum with our stand and goodies to sell!

I helped my mum make these angels (£5 each) by drawing on their lips.
The felt gingerbread couple sold for £5.

I had some Inspired: London books to sell (I am featured on page 82).
The Father Christmas bottle covers were £8 each)

My Art Deco inspired cards were also for sale (£2.50).
The knitted angels are £8 each and the conical angels with white fluffy hair are £5 each.

Along with a range of Christmas, New Year and other greeting cards for sale (£2 each).
In the background are some hand knitted scarves made by mum.
I think they were £20 each in a variety of colours.

Here are some of my brother's light painting photography prints (£10 each).

Ta da!

If anyone has any feedback and comments on how we can improve our stand, products and prices, I would love to hear from you. Just use the comment form below or send me an email to marie-louise@lovelydesigns.co.uk

14 December 2012

Gift Guide Christmas 2012

Those organised people will have all their presents ready, wrapped and under the tree ready for Christmas can sit smugly and ignore this post. 

However, you may be racking your brains for one or two last presents for your family and friends. It's not long now and the crowds of shoppers are making you lose interest and inspiration.

So I thought I would share some of the gifts I bought for my husband's family. They live over in Dubai and came back in November for a visit. We had a mini Christmas, complete with roast turkey and present giving. I didn't have the tree up though, I had to draw the line somewhere!

Here's what I bought...

1. Personalised Football Book

2. Personalised Glasses Case (similar); 3. Silver Engraved Golf Set;
4. The OCD Chef Chopping Board; 5. Love Hearts Tealights

6. Scratch World Map

Please note that the items were available to order at the time of publishing the post. Due to demand, some items may be low in stock. Most had delivery times of 3-5 working days but please doublecheck before ordering. Happy shopping!

1. Personalised Football Book - For Your Team

from £39.99

I have bought this book for my dad's 65th birthday at the beginning of the year. He supports Chelsea and loved his book and reading newspaper clippings about the team. My father-in-law is a massive Manchester United supporter and so it was a no-brainer to get him a book for Christmas. They were both impressed with them and makes a great keepsake to dip into read every now and then.

Each book has a detailed insight into their favourite team, everything from bank-breaking transfers to cup glory to last gasp winners. It's all here.

There's even a choice of three different covers and the option of embossing the recipient's name in silver or gold.

2. Personalised Glasses Case


We bought my mother-in-law a personalised handmade fabric glasses case. I chose the blue vintage floral pattern that's pictured above. Sadly the fabric is now out of stock but the makers have other patterns and fabric available so click on the link in the title above.

The case can be personalised by adding a name or short message for no extra charge. It's lovely gift for mums, sisters, aunts etc.

3. Silver Engraved Golf Set


Both my father-in-law and sister-in-law's husband are mad on golf and play all the time. Well, the weather is a bit better in Dubai, so you can't really blame them!

So we got them this set of three golf tees, a divot repairer and ball marker, with their initials engraved on the ball marker. Each set are hand-finished with silver rhodium.

4. The OCD Chef Chopping Board


I saw a picture of this chopping board and immediately thought of my mother-in-law. When we last visited her, she had just got an ipad and was a little bit too keen wiping the screen every five seconds. She had a bit of a mini fit when I stuck my hand print in the middle of the screen to take the piss! Oh dear, not very well behaved!

This chopping board is both a bit of fun and practical. It's etched with an array of angles for perfect paring and grid lines for truly precise dicing, the hard-wearing beechwood board will help impress guests with carrots crafted to a judicious julienne and scrupulously sculpted salads.

5. Love Hearts Tealights


These Love Hearts Tealights were for my sister-in-law who is mad about hearts and came packaged in a roll, just like the classic Swizzels sweeties.

6. Scratch World Map


This Scratch Map features a gold top foil layer that you can scratch to reveal a multicoloured world below. I thought it would be a perfect gift for Matthew's well travelled parents.

The idea is to use it to chart all the destinations you've been and create a personalised and unique map, one that's filled with vibrant colour and geographic detail.

12 December 2012

We were in Vogue!

I have some exciting news to write about! We were in the recent December 2012 issue of British Vogue! I have shared some pictures on my Facebook page, but life's been a bit hectic and thought it's better late than never to share the pictures.

I was approached by a lovely lady called Melissa, a sales executive from Vogue back in early October. They were running a "Planned to Perfection" wedding advertorial feature and thought Lovely Designs would be a good fit.

When I asked Melissa how she heard about me and Lovely Designs that made her get in contact, she wrote:
"I actually found you on Google, I was specifically searching for lovely stationery in the UK and you came up straight away! After having a look at your site, I thought you’d be a great fit for this."
I chose to feature Becci and Jon's rose heart invitation.

Here's how it turned out:

Check out number 4! Woo hoo!

This is what our text said:

No two brides are the same, so why would you want the same invite? They create gorgeous designs tailored to your preferred colours, themes and style. From invitations and table items, through to thank you cards, make your day memorable and unique. Visit www.lovelydesigns.co.uk and email marie-louise@lovelydesigns.co.uk for a quote.