Wednesday, 19 December 2012

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No. 6: Fair Fayre by the Pools, Saturday 15th December

Fair / Fayre - whatever! The one by the pools last weekend was the first Forest Hill Fair as part of the SEE3 Portas Pilot thingamajig.

I have to own up to Fayre ennui at this point. In part due to the fact that I NEED to find presents for the men in my life and also having taken up glass fusing and living with a wood lathe in my spare bedroom, I do not need any more trinkets. Which reminds me, I'm meant to be buying for others! So I wasn't really in the mood when I went fair Fayre shopping on Saturday. But despite the rather empty look from the photo above, there were a few good things of note.

South London Prints do some very cute prints of local sites, including the Horniman and one I especially like of Crystal Palace. If you missed them at the fair, they are sold in Bunka as well as 'Pen & Gravy', the Christmas pop up shop in Kirkdale.

Isa Marie Skincare I had heard of before via twitter. Abandoning my 'buying for men' quest (didn't take much), I bought myself a pot of Body Butter Souffle, which is superb. The girls on the stall (I think Isa Marie is actually Marianne and is on the left!) were also lovely, as were all the stallholders I chatted to, which made for a nice afternoon out and for me made this a pleasant addition to Forest Hill.

Finally, I bumped into a lady who I had met at the jewellery class a few weeks ago who owns a modern retro homewares shop in Stoke Newington but is local to SE23 (who I remembered as camera shy - she is off stage right). The shop is the rather fabulously named, 'Committee of Taste', and some of the smaller stock came to Forest Hill on Saturday. The owner said she had had a good day and was thinking about what to bring next time and was hoping to bring some children's pieces as she had had a good few customers with kids.

For a first run, I think the fair went well. We should expect these fairs to continue as part of the SEE3 project and hopefully the fun arts and crafts items will stay. For me, these were the most interesting to potter around and complement what we have on the High Street.

As for my Christmas shopping however, this wasn't to be. I have since had quite a bit of success on the presents buying front - but posts for these will need to wait till after the 25th if I want to maintain any element of surprise. Suffice to say though - I've done it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No. 5: Jumping Bean

For the last few years, Jumping Bean on Honor Oak Park has been the provider of all my Secret Santa gifts. An easy stop from when I get off the ELL at HOP, I often do go in for a mooch around on my way home - which is one of the things I especially like about this place - it is open at hours that are convenient for me.

With my SE23 shopping challenge hat on, I went in and had a good look round the other Monday after work (open, on a Monday, love it). There is a lot of stock, in a fairly small space, so it does to take your time. I noticed quite a few things for men, which makes some difference to a lot of other gift shops - think cuff links, scarves etc. as well as some nice picture frames. I know they also have a little den of kiddies stuff at the back (due to my allergy to children, I have never been in that bit).

As usual, I saw quite a bit I fancied for myself! Indeed, I wish I had seen this iPad case when I was looking for one a few months back. At £15.99, I think it is a lovely item. I ended up on etsy for mine, which is a shame, because I did look around Forest Hill first.

The other thing I thought was great were these porcelain measuring spoons - not terribly practical, but very cute.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 1 December 2012

@FHSoc Jewellery class (Saturday November 24th)

This time last week, I attended a jewellery class organised by the Forest Hill Society. Paul Ravn has been a lecturer and silversmith throughout his career and now owns a jewellery workshop along with his wife Tomoki.

In 3 hours, seven of us had twisted silver wire, soldered, sawn and bashed (probably not the technical term) our way to creating a ring each.

It was lovely to learn something new on a wet Saturday afternoon and meeting other locals. It turns out that the lady opposite me lives on my street! Best of all is taking home something real, so I am looking forward to going back in January to finish the pendant we started and maybe move onto a brooch. I haven't taken the ring off!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 30 November 2012

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No. 4: Doopo Doopo

Probably one of the more interesting gift/arts/crafts shop to open in Forest Hill recently is Doopo Doopo on Dartmouth Road. The owner has a good eye for fun and funky items that you want to live with and can afford.

There is quite a varied stock in and some new items for Christmas which makes it a good place to pop into regularly for a mooch around. The stock includes some lovely material embroidered bags, some housey items, lots of crafty bits and some really nice clothing with great t-shirts in the window at the moment.

There are plenty of smaller items for stocking fillers and I have found a few things here to get me going on my gift list, though my favourite things are probably the bags and some of the lighting and furniture. If I was buying lighting - I would buy one of these:

All the walls are adorned with art for sale. Most of this isn't really edgy enough for me, but probably fits better with most local tastes! The kid's stuff does however float my boat, though being child free, it doesn't really fit with my decor.

In the new year, the owner's husband is hoping to extend the business downstairs into what apparently is an enormous basement - cinema, theatre space and tattoo parlour have all been mentioned (if you can think of a name for the tattoo parlour, contact them on @doopodoopo). In the meantime, in the run up to Christmas, look out for the forest hill fiverfest totally locally offers as well as some specific events for the kids - I'm tempted to borrow a child!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No.3: SEE 3 Christmas brochure

The local Portas Pilot scheme has created a brochure of Festive Events for Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill. Obviously, only one of these is in SE23, so I can only take advantage of this for my Christmas shopping, though I may pop along to a couple of things if I'm free. It isn't all about shopping, as the brochure includes information about carol singing, christmas light events etc too.

The one thing I hadn't so far realised is that the Forest Hill shops look like they will be open late night on the 13th and 20th December - the two Thursdays before Christmas (there is a typo as states Wed 20th, but I'm assuming they meant the Thu). This could come in useful.

In the main though, it probably doesn't help me too much in my quest. There seem to be a plethora of craft and food markets in the area, not least being instigated/ supported by the Portas Pilot money. These look like they could be fun for a potter around, but I need some convincing that they are actually going to sell things that I want - let alone need. Don't get me wrong, I can fritter money as well as the next girl, and I do enjoy and support the leisure element of local shopping. I suspect that I will actually see things I want to buy for myself - but I could probably do with that not being in December.


Monday, 19 November 2012

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No.2: Best of Both Boutique

Come on. How cool are these Willy Wonka sunglasses?

The 'downside' of the SE23 Christmas shopping decision is that I need to do some research... I have to be honest, Best of Both Boutique on Dartmouth Road opposite the pools is unlikely to be where I'm going to find the perfect present for my Dad. In fact, I've never actually been in the shop until this weekend, assuming that the clothes are all for nubile nineteen year olds (I'm more of a chubby forty year old) and the clothes really aren't for me - very young and also very glam - I'm more a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl. 

The accessories on the other hand, I really like. As well as the glasses (which get a mixed reaction), there is some nice jewelry and absolutely fabulous clutch bags. If you are young at heart and like some funky accessories, it is worth going in for a mooch around.

If my husband is reading this......

#SE23 Christmas Shopping No.1: 'Decided. This year, I will only buy Christmas presents in #SE23. Who's with me?'

Last week on twitter I posted: 'Decided. This year, I will only buy Christmas presents in . Who's with me?' 

So now I need to follow through.

The idea came to me whilst in Luton airport waiting for a flight. I had done a quick scan of the shops there, with half a thought to Christmas, but was uninspired. Over a glass of wine, I thought harder about who I was buying for and where I might shop. As I am increasingly keen to shop locally, I mentally thought through local stores and then decided to commit to just SE23 as my shopping limit for presents this year. Living on the SE6 border, I was tempted to add this in, but felt that I would end up buying everything in Argos and that would take the fun out.

My initial thoughts are that this could be difficult - especially for the men. (I suspect that Dad will get what I want to buy him rather than what he would like.) To be fair, I don't have a huge number of people to buy for: husband, Mum and Dad, Grandpa and lets assume the Secret Santa present for work - so I think that this becomes quite achievable. The more I have thought about it, the more optimistic I am. My aim is to get good value gifts that suit the person I am buying for. I am not precious about small independents - they just need to be in SE23. The one concession I will allow is that I can make something outside of SE23 - but that's not buying (well, you know what I mean).

So far, my list of likely places to procure fall into two categories - local fairs and then shops: 

Havelock Walk artist community on 1st/2nd December; Horniman Museum has a Craft Fayre on  8/9th; Forest Hill Food Fair on Sunday 9th; SEE3's craft fair on Saturday 15th.

Bunka; Shannons; Sugar Mountain; Doopo Doopo; Maplins; Neroli; Aga's Little Deli; Finches;  Dapper; Hills & ParkesJumping Bean and the pound shop that isn't a pound shop on London Road.

Others: (currently discounted due to who I am buying for but still in the frame):
Travis Perkins (bet I change my mind on that one); HOP framer; Best of Both Boutique; Marie's bags (or whatever it's called); Stag and Bow; florists; Topps Tiles; Sainsbury's; Boots.

Of course, the other difficulty is keeping the presents secret. So Mum, if you don't want to know what you are getting for Christmas - stop reading!