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Friday, 1 June 2012

UK Artist challenge: What it feels to be British in 2012

Bite The Ballot have  launched a national creativity challenge for young people to change the face of Parliament. They are looking for artists between the ages of 14 and 24 to submit original artwork or photography expressing what it means to be British. Young creatives will have their work judged by Basia Hamilton famous portrait artist for the Royals together with the talented British photographer Rama Knight. The winners work will be displayed in the houses of parliament! This is an amazing opportunity for young creatives, events starting this weekend such as the Queens Jubliee celebrations across the UK will be a good time to generate ideas and gather unique content. To get involved see more information below and good luck from us here at Creative Happen.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Vauxhall Art Car Boot 2012

Artist Pam Hogg
Sunday May 27th 2012 Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair
Time: 12 – 6 PM
Brick Lane Yard, Corner of Brick Lane and Buxton Street, London E1
Tickets available on the door - £3
Handbag Disco £10

The Vauxhall Art Carboot returns to its home at the Old Truman Brewery for its 9th year. Thanks to event founder and curator Karen Ashton and organisers, we the public are able to acquire one-off pieces from over 70 British leading designers, including Gavin Turk, Carrie Reichardt, Sir Peter Blake, Polly Morgan, Bob & Roberta Smith, Pam Hogg, Jessica Albarn, Pure Evil, Turps Banana, Wildcat Will and more.

Artist: Gavin Turk

Last year we posted the Vauxhall Art Carboot on our blog in celebration of artist talent here in the UK. In the midst of up-coming British cultural events with the Olympics and the Queen‘s Jubilee; Design and Creativity here in the UK will be undoubtedly fierce. Our experience at the fair last year was amazing, last year’s event attracted around 5,000 visitors during the six hour event with queues forming the day before leading to a line-up of 1,000 people by the time doors opened! we went with little one in tow, although busy we were able to manoeuvre our buggy. We found each bootee offered something a little different to suit all pockets from the exclusive, unique to high end collectable art. What is great about the one day event it allows artists to let their hair down and for visitors to engage with art and the artists in an informal way, last year we bumped into Tracey Emin who was personable and happy to engage in an impromptu photo opportunity with our very own Michael Mapp view here

This year the organisers have introduced the Handbag disco, a small fee will provide you with varied entertainment and the chance to win a designer bag worth thousands of pounds, all profits raised will be donated to the award winning charity Just for Kids Law- raising money for disadvantaged children who find themselves in trouble with the law.

This a great event to add to your event calendar!
Look out for event updates at  on more famous artists who’ll be taking part along with details on activities and exclusive pieces to be on offer this year.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Shape Open: The winners 2012

Shape Open Exhibition 2012 closed its doors on the 6th May, and luckily enough we managed to get down at the final hour, I was intrigued to see featured works from disabled and non disabled and how the artists would interpret the word disability as defined in the Oxford dictionary. A job well done, over 30 artists who were selected produced works that were emotive, potent and most of all symbolic, transmitting political and social messages surrounding the perception of disability.

On entering the exhibition my eyes was drawn to Ilsum Maeng’s piece later to discover by the event organiser Ben Fredricks this piece won Joint first place award.
Blurred Portrait - Ingeun (2010), which depicts the portrait of her husband as seen by the visually impaired artist.

Lauren Nicholas won Joint first prize with her short film An Ageing Thing, a stop motion animation telling the story of her grandfather- Looking at the changes individuals make to deal with old age- find the artists work here

The People's Choice prize selected by gallery visitors was awarded to Luna Jung-eun Lee for her painting the Anonymous Cheol-Su, North, (2010).

One of our favourites Arthur and the Vandellas

Image: Performer Tonny A

A triple portrait of performer Tonny A, Tonny appears as Arthur and the Vandellas based on the famous girl group. This piece signifies that we can be whatever we chose regardless of race, gender or disability.

Shape Art executed a memorable event and we are looking forward to next years open event, find out more about this outstanding charity here

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Wandsworth Arts Festival 2012

The shimmy
Wandsworth's Art Team-The Shimmy
 Dancer Alexander Whitley-
Photographer:Renaud Wiser-
New Movement collective

The annual arts festival returns to the Wandsworth borough. This year the cultural mix of events and activities on the schedule offers a little something for everyone.

The festival will host main and fringe events not only to engage a wider audience but to support the works of local artists and groups as well as visiting artists from varying boroughs. This year the Wandsworth Arts Team have produced a schedule which will be new, unusual and experimental to say they least! Parts your local shopping districts in the heart of the borough will be transformed into a creative and exciting place to be for two weeks and three weekends, between the 11th -27th May, we have handpicked a few events from the main and fringe program:

Main program

Saturday 19th May 2012
World Heart Beat Music Academy
Cleveland Watkiss Jazz Vocal Concert
Venue: Testbed 1
Time 8pm (Doors 7.30pm)
Free entry
Britain’s lead jazz vocalist presents his acclaimed vocal suite in the stunning ex-dairy warehouse space. Expect to be carried on an amazing journey through musical cultures from Africa to Europe, and the sounds capes of a full orchestra, on the wings of the human voice alone.
Venue details: Testbed1, 33 Parkgate Road, Battersea, SW11 4NP

Sunday 20th May 2012
White Rabbit
Are you sitting comfortably? Secrets
Venue: The Secret Garden Pub
Time 8pm (Doors 7.00pm)
£8 Per ticket
A story telling variety night. A selection of short stories by London writers read aloud by the company. Accompanied by vintage visuals and live music.
Purchase tickets from
Venue details: The secret Garden pub, 231 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4LG

Sunday 27th May 2012
Wandsworth's Arts Team
The Shimmy
Free event
Shimmying through the nooks and crannies of the riverside stretch are the series of arts encounters like you've never had before.
Venue details
St Mary’s Church square, Putney Wharf, Deodar Road and Wandsworth Park,
For further information contact the arts team 020 871 8711

Fringe Programme

Saturday 12th May 2012 
Chocolate films
Out of the Ordinary
Venue: The Brick Box at Tooting Market
Time 6-8.30pm
Free entry 
Join chocolate films and the young people from the Refugee Home School Support Project on a journey from the unknown; through Tooting Market after hours. Chocolate films have laid on a series of horror films and interactive ‘experiments’…This has been tipped to be no ordinary film screening !
Venue details: Tooting Market, SW17 ORH

Wednesday 23rd May
Bigfoot Youth Theatre

London: Our city, my home
Venue: The Devas Club
Time: 5.30-6.15pm
Free entry
A culmination of dance, drama, music and art will be fused together into a one performance piece which explores how BYT members, their families and local residents feel about their home city being a diverse and vibrant host for the Olympics. This show has been devised entirely by performers who are aged between 7 an 12 and is an exciting plaftform highlighting young talent in Wandsworth.
For further information please call 020 7952 5553
Venue details The Devas Club, 2a Stormont Road, SW11 5EN
To obtain the full festival schedule please visit:  

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Creative Opportunity: Zizzi sign up artist Natasha Law to launch plate design competitio​n

Renowned artist Natasha Law  has teamed up with High Street Italian restaurant Zizzi to launch a nationwide initiative to find the best undiscovered art talent in the UK.

The winning artist will see their designs produced on Zizzi dining plates which will be used (and sold) in all of their restaurants and a royalty from every plate bought will go to the artist.

As well as this the winning talent will have the unique opportunity to be mentored by Natasha who will be able give them top advice on how to make it in the industry and a valuable insight into life as a successful artist.

Natasha herself will also be creating a limited edition, bespoke design for Zizzi which will be produced and sold in selected Zizzi's nationwide, along with the winner's design. Proceeds from Natasha's limited edition design will be going to The Prince's Trust.

The competition requires applicants from all over the UK to demonstrate a passion for art, as well as a flair and talent for the discipline. The finalists will submit their best work that meets the brief 'deliciously stylish' which will be judged by Natasha who will then advise the finalists on how to finesse their final designs.The competition,  is open to anyone who has a passion for, and is eager to build a career in art.  To enter, just log onto The deadline for applications is June 6th.

Shape Open Exhibition: Exploring Ideas of Disability

Exhibition runs until the 6th May 2012
Portobello Gallery-Notting Hill
Tuesday - Sunday 12-6pm

Prize giving event 3 May, 6:30pm
Free Entry.

A few months ago we featured Shape Arts Open Exhibition. As you may recall Shape required creative's to respond to the definition of disability (from the Oxford English Dictionary 1. A physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses or activities 2. A disadvantage or handicap, especially one imposed or recognised by the law).

Interpretations of the disability definition were widely welcomed, from abstract to figurative, from the personal to the political and from the poetic to the in-your-face. Now the time has swiftly arrived to view Shape sought submissions from disabled and non disabled artists at Portobello Gallery situated in West London. The resulting exhibition will highlight mixed ideas on how we view disability within our society. An exhibition worth visiting!!!

Prize announcement
The Shape Open Prize of £500 will be awarded to an artist selected by a panel. The People’s Choice Award of £250 will be voted for by visitors on the 3rd May at 6.30pm.

Venue details.
Portobello Gallery
6 Thorpe Close, Notting Hill
London W10 5XL
For more information please visit Shape Arts

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Marley in Cinema

Marley is currently showing Nationwide and can be viewed at the Tricycle Theatre one of London's leading arts organisations who are best known for being representative of diverse Arts and Creative projects until the 3rd May. This intimate Bob Marley film features rare footage of the Iconic singers life, made with the support of his family and directed by Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald (one day in September, The Last King of Scotland). This film is coupled with incredible performances and revelatory interviews with people who knew him best, So not only should this be a powerful portrayal of the musicians life, it may allow us to find out more about the man behind the music which has influenced generations.

To find out more about Marley view the Offical Trailer below:

The Tricycle Theatre 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR
Box office 020 7328 1000

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Alternative Fashion Week and Record Day Highlights

Alternative Fashion Week & Record Day

Saturday 21st April 2012

East London was buzzing this weekend with key events Alternative Fashion Week and Record day adding to the bustling atmospheric Shoreditch area. Alternative Fashion week-Spitalfields Trader’s Market is were we started our afternoon, arriving slightly later than planned meant we had to position strategically to get a good view of the catwalk.

Their were 15 designers showing from across the UK including Market designers who regularly trade in Spitalfields graced the catwalk. Designers included Honey Malaolu, Pamela Kikumu Rebecca Mears, Angela Gbemisola, Janet Law, Kharise Francis, Ros Hathorn and Nina Davies, to name a few. The pieces on show varied from sheer latex evening wear, Crocheted neck pieces, historically inspired clothing,1920s styled hats to intriguing knitwear.

Admitted I was eager to see Market designer and regular Friday trader Angela Gbemisola’s Str(angela)nd collection when God was a women Inspired by pre-history,Angela and I first met last November before her Spitalfields trading days, and familiar with the French designers one size fit’s all concept but keen to see it actualised on the Catwalk. The extraordinary thing is that it worked, two models walked alongside one another wore a size 8 and size 16, her unique design, detail and clever draping which translated through the sizes.
 It was a great event, lovely atmosphere and to not not all to my taste but some key pieces. I must say I will schedule in next year with friends, hopefully the event is warmer to enjoy the complementary Haagen-Dazs.

Record Day was well received!! Record Day at the
Idea Generation Gallery.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

East London: Secret 7” Exhibition

18th-22nd April 2012
Idea Generaton Gallery
You may remember at the beginning of the year we hosted Secret 7” a unique and exciting challenge for creative’s to design original artworked 7” Vinyl sleeves for one of seven bands and recording artists, inspired by the following tracks The Cure‘s Friday I‘m in Love, Florence and the Machine‘s Only For A Night, Bombay Bicycle Club‘s Lights Out, Words gone (Special Dub mix) Ben Howard‘s Black Flies, CSS‘s City Grrrl, Noah and the Whale’s Old Joy and DJ Shadow‘s Come On Riding (Through the Cosmos).

This innovative design challenge was set in 2011 by a team from Universal Music UK, Design Agency Music and Teenage Cancer Trust in association with Record Store Day which revived excitement for vinyl sleeve art in the digital era by aspiring artists and designers. Creative’s from around the world submitted through hosts such as ourselves directly to Talenthouse earlier this year.  Renowned artists working today such as Andy Vella, Toby Mott and Michael Spencer Jones to name a few, Including teenagers who receive support from the Teenage Cancer Trust have also designed 7" sleeves.

Each of the seven musicians who provided the tracks handpicked their 45 favourite Talenthouse Sleeves to be exhibited. All the artworks are available to view at the Idea Generation Gallery for a limited time 18th -22nd April. The 21st April marks Record Store Day, on this day through to the close of the exhibition, each 7” single will be available to purchase, all monies raised  from the sale of these exclusive vinyl records will be donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust.

We were able to make the launch night, and must say the art work is gripping you will be tempted to purchase a 7” single. The exhibition has an air of mystery In that no-one knows who designed each sleeve, or which of the seven tracks are housed inside. All is revealed when you have purchased your sleeve. Below is a sneek preview, the exhibition will not disappoint!

Exhibition Details

For Secret 7" the gallery is open:
Wednesday 10 - 6pm
Thursday 10 - 6pm
Friday 10 - 6pm
Saturday (Record Store Day) 10 - 6pm
Free Entry
Idea Generation Gallery
11 Chance Street
E2 7JB


16 – 21 APRIL
Spitalfields Traders Market
Free Admission
Fashion shows are open to the public from 1.15pm

Alternative Arts presents East London’s major fashion event – Alternative Fashion Week. From April 16 to 21. Spitalfields will play host to the most original and creative collections by a fresh crop of new designers with truly innovative ideas. Over 80 designers have been selected to show their work with 14 different designers showcasing their work each day, this show will set the path for emerging talent from the UK and from around the world.

Spitalfields Traders Market
Crispin Place, Brushfield St, London E1 6AA
(Liverpool St Station)

The Book Club
8pm - 1am
£6 in advance

"Get a whiff of that. Nothing more irresistible than the smell of a mature woman's macaroon." Bo Beaumont (Acorn Antiques) Amy Grimehouse is an alternative from the traditional cinema experience. They screen films for the lovers of filth, gore, camp and transgressive, cult films. Taking inspiration from the movie theatres of the 1920's and combining feature films with a stage show, Amy Grimehouse have decided to add their own blend of miscreant performance, dress-up, as well as photo booths, a great bar and rousing music to entertain London’s grime seekers. Keen to screen the sorts of films that allow for some audience participation, the Grimehouse team are never short of a few props to add to the enjoyment of the cult classics featured.
100-106 Leonard Street

London EC2A 4RH0
20 7684 8618Nearest tube: Old Street/Liverpool Street

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Creative Invite: Dave White 'Natural Selection' animation competition with TalentHouse, in association with The Hospital Club and artrepublic

Talent house are looking for talented animators to work with one of the UK's foremost painters on an animation project that will be showcased at the Private View of Natural Selection exhibition on Thursday 21st June. The submission deadline is pretty tight, with all submissions needing to be in by the 24th April, details below. GOOD LUCK!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Talenthouse: Design Art Work for LadyHawke

Voting has now finished, the winner will be announced today at 6pm GMT. Good luck to all the entrants!
We are always happy to host creative initiatives by Talenthouse, an organisation which connects creative individuals to unique Music, Film and Fashion projects.  

Singer-songwriter  Ladyhawke is inviting all artists including photographers, sculptors and painters to collaborate with her to celebrate the release of her new album Anxiety, out on the 28th May 2012. Ladyhawke, together with Sarah Larnach, the art director behind Ladyhawke’s acclaimed album covers are calling out to creatives to submit a portrait of themselves, friends or public figureheads that tell a story of inner feelings for the chance to have their artwork reproduced on a 12” vinyl sleeve. Artists should take inspiration from the Anxiety album cover and from Ladyhawke’s and Sarah’s quotations when they are creating their artwork.

Vintage Balham

Balham is an area which is close to my heart, my family settled there in the 60s and I spent my childhood and early twenties living in the area. Balham has gone through vast changes and has now become a hugely popular suburban area with good schools, amenities and transportation links to Central London which has been a pulling factor for young professionals and young families. Balham has become the young trendy place to be in Wandsworth with highly acclaimed music venues such as The Bedford and the Balham Bowls Club which has become home to Craft workshops and Creative events. My visit to the area has been to seek out to the best of Vintage, here are the independents I found.

 Quirky Dovetail
24 Ritherdon Road, SW17 8QD 
Quirky Dovetail is Lovely little shop best known for their eclectic range of Vintage and Antique Furniture and Gifts. Situated on the vibrant Ritherdon Road, it couldn’t be better placed. On visiting the shop you get a wonderful sense of community combined with a welcoming atmosphere, shop owners Gill and Andy have clearly built up a good rapport with local and new customers, they seem to know what their customers want! Quality furniture with excellent finishes and of course good customer service. Quirky Dovetail is an independent worth visiting.

Spring events at Quirky Dovetail
Wednesday 28th March-Easter Shopping event
Drop in for complementary wines and nibbles while you browse and receive 15% discount off purchases made on the night.
Free event
Time 6-9pm

Wednesday 25th April-Colours for Home and interiors
These popular interior workshops provide you with the opportunity to discover how to use colour to create different interior styles-with essential tips if you are decorating this spring. Understand and appreciate Farrow and Ball’s fantastic range of neutral colours- and how to use them in your home. Enjoy wine and nibbles whilst taking the opportunity to browse the shop and receive 15% discount on the night.
Tickets £25 per person (limited spaces available)
Booking number 020 8682 2522

Annie In The Attic
71a Balham High Road, London. SW12 9AP
Annie In the Attic Vintage Boutique is the best thing to have reached Balham, and a long time over due, a new vintage boutique with a difference. The mother and daughter duo have brought a slice of East End retro chic and pure indulgence to South London. The boutique is stocked to the rafters with 60s, 70s and 80s items, with some rare finds.

What I loved most about this shop is their customer friendly prices typically vintage clothing prices forces you to raise and eyebrow. You will find investment pieces from vintage icons such as Biba and early Manolo Blahnik. In the newly opened space you will find day dresses and separates alongside amazing accessories. With vintage weddings becoming a popular affair Annie In the Attic have a good range of vintage wedding dresses, plus a range of veils, headdresses and other accessories. Men are not excluded at the Attic there are a range of pieces to tempt. Vintage furniture is also available to purchase so a little something for everyone. Look no further for a shop with a living room feel with the hottest vintage trends.

Events 13th April 2012- Find Annie In The Attic: at The Vintage Event: The Balham Bowls Club. Free Entry 12-6pm
Annie in the Attic will have a stall at the Vintage Event at the Balham Bowls Club. This Monthly Vintage Fashion and Lifestyle Fair provides you with the best selection of best trend led Vintage Fashion Accessories and Homeware.
The Balham Bowls Club, 7-9 Ramsden Road, Balham, London, SW12 8QX
Every second Sunday of the Month.

Lavish Habit
75 Bedford Hill, Balham, London, SW12 9HA
I have regularly driven passed this coffee shop  with the intention of popping in to what seemed to be an interesting coffee shop/ clothing boutique in Balham and hugely popular with mums. So finally I got my opportunity, On what seemed to be a fairly quiet trading period you were able to browse the shop freely. Although the crafted cakes and coffee was extremely tempting, I was simply visiting for the retail experience. To my surprise not only did Lavish Habit stock interesting clothing brands such as Eucalyptus, Fever and Yuki they also produce and sell up-cycled furniture which customers are able to sit on and purchase after slurping on a coffee. I was keen to talk to the owner Nicola, who informed me of their relative new arrival to Bedford hill and their growing popularity with not only locals but bloggers such as myself. This family business has brought a unique slant to coffee culture in Balham.

Events at Lavish Habit
Easter Egg Cosy Workshop
30th March 4-7pm
Make Easter egg cosies choose from different designs, pick and mix fabrics, buttons and trims. Cost £15 includes all materials, tutor and lavish cakes and coffee. Bookings at Lavish Habit 020 8355 1270 or

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother’s Day Special: Creative Mums in Business

Sunday 18th March, marks Mother’s day here in the UK. In celebratory style of motherhood, this year we have featured three London mums who run creative on-line businesses. Like most women such as myself juggling motherhood whilst pursuing our own personal goals can be a challenge. With this in mind the questions in this feature provides an insight into a mumpreneurs life, there is good advice for mums wanting to take the plunge into business, I ask the all important question how do these women achieve work life balance? And of course how will they be spending there special day?

In this article we are shining a spotlight on the mums behind the following creative businesses:

Business: Polka dot plates
Personalised kids tableware
Owners: Jessica and Louise
Mum of three and two.
Jessica and Louise started their business in 2010 when looking to make plastic melamine plates with their children's drawings and found that they couldn't do it in the UK. They couldn't believe that the only way of doing this was through an New Zealand company, so we decided to set up Polka Dot Plates to bring this fab product to the UK market.

Business: Hope and Eden
Children’s soft toys and Decorations
Owner: Yvette
Mum of two daughters

Yvette’s background is in printed textile design and for many years worked as a freelance fashion textile designer. Yvette’s two children inspired her to start producing cuddly toys to keep them company at nights. Since 2009 Hope and Eden is expanding rapidly and now includes silk screened textiles, badges, decorated ceramics and greetings cards.

Business: Lunamano
Girl’s clothing and Accessories
Owner: Carolina
Mum of one
Lunamano was established in 2008 after Carolina gave birth to her daughter. Carolina found when looking in regular shops she could never find lovely ethically made dresses. The influences of her country and culture combined with her skill in hand techniques, such as hand stitching, knitting and embroidery, supported her decision to make dresses for her daughter and now Lunamano has grown to become an ethically sought after brand with material rescue and redesign as it's main philosophy.

The Business…….

What were the ages of your children when you decided to take the plunge to set up your creative business?
Jessica: 4yrs old , 2 years old and 0 months.
Yvette: The girls are now 5 and 6 years old so they were 2 and 3 years old at the time.
Carolina: 2 years old.

What has been your biggest challenge since setting up?
Yvette: Time, I could have expanded it a lot bigger, and I haven’t it was a conscious decision not to, as my children are still young.
Carolina: The biggest challenge is time really. I wish I had more time to focus to give it all my attention, when you are a mum you have to divide things and being a wife, so there is a lot of things on your plate.
Jessica: Time really, We have great ideas but not enough time. Louise has a full-time job so I run Polka dot plate full-time. Louise is the creative side of the business and does a lot of work in the evening. I deal with the clients, the website, PR, gaining business and dealing with enquiries. I commit two days a week to it in the evening.

How do you juggle your business with family life?
Jessica: It becomes part of your life, the kids know everything about Polka Dot Plates. My five year old is well versed in her sales shpeel. It’s a learning curve you have to compartmentalise your life a bit more.
Yvette: I basically work during school hours and evenings, I tend to work on weekends if I have a show.
Carolina: It’s tricky, I tend to do most of my work during the evenings and on weekends, I do markets on weekends. I do admire single mums, as I have the support of my husband I am able to put all my time and energy into my business.

What advice could you give to other mums wanting to venture into the creative sector ?
Jessica: If you have a great idea, then just do it. Try not to have to may overheads in terms of the cost of buying stock you will find you will be are sitting on it. You want an idea which won’t involve a huge cash outlay at first. Do as much of the setting up of the business on your own if you can, read up on setting up your website, don’t spend a lot of money on advertising use what you have available to you such as face book and email newsletters. GO FOR IT!
Yvette: Try not to over commit yourself, you never know when your children will be ill or need that extra attention
Carolina: Be realistic about what you want to achieve, set goals and create to do lists. I find them extremely helpful.

Mothering Sunday……

How will you be spending your Mother’s day?
Yvette: Hopefully my husband has a surprise planned or me with my little ones, I am hoping for breakfast in bed.
Jessica: I will be going to a local pub with my family and my own mum for tea. Hopefully my husband has something up his sleeve. I will be lying in, in the morning hopefully.
Carolina: I don’t know, It’s a surprise, my husband has asked me to keep the afternoon free.

What do you enjoy most about Motherhood?
Jessica: This is a difficult question to answer.There are lots of things, my children are all at different stages. I am getting a lot back from my five year old and developing a good relationship with my daughter. I have two girls and one boy, I guess I am developing a good mother/daughter relationship with her. She is a stage whereby she is learning a lot and I’m enjoying that. My 17 month old is at an amazing age he is starting to chatter. The middle child is just an angel.The children are all very different and I just love that, they all have different characters. I very much enjoy the fact I can do what I am doing and being with them. I’m always at school to pick them up. I’m part of their everyday life but I have something for me - the business.
Carolina: It’s a touching thing being a mum, you have to take care of another human being. When you are having a long day at work and are putting her to bed, I feel she kind of cares for me as well. I never thought that would be the case. She kind of hugs me like “its all okay tomorrow’s another day“. Although she never says these things she is there to take care of me as well. It’s a weird feeling she’s a little girl. She gives me the energy to keep on going again. I love interacting and communicating with her.
Yvette: Watching them change, watching the world through their eyes.It just makes you look at the world differently.

Me time…..

When you want to un-wind de-stress what are you most likely to do?
Yvette: If time allows I run after I drop the children off to school in the park for about half and hour, or I tend to go to exhibitions or visit friends

Creative London….

Favourite place to hang-out in London with the kids?
Jessica: South Bank


Do you find your children tend to help you on Creative Project or with creative ideas?
Carolina: Oh yes, she has a say in a lot and I really like it as an activity we share. Say like the dresses I have a collection of buttons which I have been collecting for years. My daughter helps to select what button goes on what dress. Sometimes you will see a quirky mix of buttons on a dress, she has chosen them. She will pick 5 or six buttons per dress. It’s great because of the joint interaction.

Choosing a business name can be difficult, the name of a business is something that defines any business so how did two of the selected business come up with their names?

How did you come up with your business name?
Yvette: Hope and Eden is named after my two daughters
Carolina: Lunamano means handmade moon in Spanish. Every thing we produce is handmade including the embroidery which is our signature.

Inspiration where do I find it …………..

What inspires you in your designs?
Yvette: I decided to work with the world in which I was immersed in at the time, which was children. I was inspired by nostalgic things that were around things that were bright and animal based and things that I would like to put on my children’s wall.
Carolina: The colours and designs used in dresses have been inspired from El Salvador and my culture. I grew up seeing colour as standard in the streets. As I am away from my country and culture the colour and imagery is brought to life in my dresses. You will find I use nature based imagery such as flowers,rabbits,ladybirds to armadillos.
Jessica: seasonal and cultural and seasonal events, this year has been great with the Olympics and the Golden Jubilee.

What part of London do find creatively inspiring?
Carolina: As I now live in west London it has to be this district. Shepherd’s bush market is inspiring, it was a great place to buy and learn about fabrics, it was a great benefit when I was doing my degree.I really like Chiswick, it’s a great place your just surrounded by childhood and energy.

Background ………….

Tell us about your Fundraising projects?
Jessica: We are involved in fundraising activities through schools, we offer art on a plate projects the schools get the plates at a value rate and this is sold onto parents to make money for their PTA this has also been extended to art on water bottles. We are meeting our targets for this year. Its is all going well. Art on the plate in schools is what we are focusing on.
We have a lot of people signing up to our jubilee plates in schools to be used for Jubilee tea parties in schools. So at the moment I am in the process of sending off templates to schools.On our website we have a free downloadable party kit which you can use if people are planning a Golden Jubilee party.

Would you say your business is ethically driven?
Carolina: Yes I started using left over old fabric within my textile design course at university instead of buying first. This is a practice I have continued within my work. I source my fabric in El Salvador this was accidental when I was doing my thesis at university in 2008 my research investigated, can El Salvador sustain and develop home grown design through this I found factories that produce lots of left over rag etc. The left over fabric was not used for proper use I thought. I started collecting the fabric and producing dresses in El Salvador using untreated cotton with no pesticides which is not bleached, these dresses using this type of fabric content became the classic dresses now our best selling range. The off-lines are made of a mix of polyester and cotton from left over fabric became the economical range. The luxury range has more embroidery and again left over fabric the fabric is dyed in colours such as red and sky blue. I find the untreated fabric looks so natural and much better than cotton. People really like it. As my business is growing I knew I couldn’t’do the work by myself so I went back to my country to remote areas of El Salvador to the west of the country to find a workshop and women who could work with me. I was interested in providing them with a decent wage and good working conditions, In El Salvador achieving this can be difficult sometimes. I now work with three women, my mum and my grandfather.

Any plans……

Do you have any up-coming events?

Yvette: Crafty fox Market is coming up on the 25th March that’s it for now. I am trying to keep it all manageable. I tend to do Commissions works which tides me over.

Jessica: We are promoting our plates for the Golden Jubilee and the London Olympics. We have a lot of themed templates of the Golden Jubilee and London Olympics. We have 2 for the Jubilee and 4 for the Olympics. Leeds Castle are doing craft weekends, people can make a plate and receive 20% off through Leeds castle. This is happening during the Easter Weekend and the Golden Jubilee Bank holiday weekend. We have a few charity events on the horizon.
Carolina: Crafty Fox Market, Dogstar Brixton-24th March
Pulse Trade Show 10th -12th June
Vintage Festival 13th -15th July
Thames Festival 8th -9th September

A big thank you goes out to Carolina, Jess and Yvette you all were a pleasure to interview, I hope you all have a fab Mother's day 2012. Thank you to Sinead Crafty Fox Market organiser for leading me to your regular crafty foxers.

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

March 2012: Collaborative Exhibitions

Image Cleo Mussi Sushi

Image Matthew Harris Textiles 

2nd MARCH – 14th APRIL 2012

A Joint Exhibition by Matthew Harris and Cleo Mussi
At Contemporary Applied Arts (CAA)
Renowned textile artist, Matthew Harris widely known for his abstract pieces that explore repetition, pattern and the disrupted journey of line and image across and through the surface of cloth. Collaborates with Internationally recognised Mosaic artist, Cleo Mussi best known for her humorous twists and attention to detail collaborate in their very first Joint exhibition, at the Contemporary Applied Arts.

Inspired by a recent trip to Japan, the show explores ideas and imagery gleaned whilst exploring the temples and gardens of Kyoto, the art galleries and architecture of Tokyo and the Naoshima Inland sea.

The content of the show is in two halves; whilst Harris's cloth works are abstract compositions, leaving the viewer time for contemplation. Mussi's figurative mosaic wall panels represent the mad chaos, moderproduction and contemporary imagery that is the flip side of Japanese culture. The works by Harris and Mussi reveals a shared language that involves the repetitiveconstruction of whole complex images from pieces of cloth, paper and reclaimed ceramic. The process of fragmenting materials, its reconstruction and echoed imagery is the artists’ common ground.

With inspiration ranging from tea bowl fragments, traditional Noren room dividers and calligraphic fly stickers (Harris) to Japanese Kokeshi dolls, 50/50 at CAA promises to be a highly original, colourful and fascinating exhibition. Everything in the exhibition will be available for sale with prices for both artists’ work starting at around £260

CAA- Contemporary Applied Arts-
2 Percy Street, London, W1T 1DD
 Admission free.
Mon-Sat 10-6pm Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Image: Kapil Jariwala Gallery

8th March-11th March 2012
The Library Space
The inaugural of Joze London at the Edwardian School Library proved successful in 2011, Joze London curator’s Jose Waldie, Georgina Mascolo and Emma de Clercq return with a whole host of new collaborations. The fair will feature works from seven galleries from all over the UK, showcasing diverse range of artists such as Irving Penn, Gary Hume and Sophie Smallhorn in the unique surroundings of The Library Space.

Admission Free
Opening times 12-7pm
The Library Space,
108 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 44Y.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

March Events: Love Crafts and Vintage?

We love all things Crafty and Vintage here at CreativeHappen London, having attended a few events generally I walk away thinking we have such immense talent here on the UK Craft scene. Now I tend to find myself considering Crafts fairs as a place to go shopping during seasonal periods as opposed to the High street, I feel nothing beats buying direct from the artist-maker, I’m sure you agree with me?

Spring has arrived and so has the start of pop-up Craft and Vintage events in London Crafty Fox‘s Spring Market to Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair return back to their eagerly waiting public. We have found craft fairs are now proving popular with many Craft Fair’s popping up in and around London, sometimes it feels a tad difficult to keep up with them all. The plus side is local talent are given the opportunity to showcase their crafts and wears further boosting the craft economy.

For those of you who love more regular Artist-Maker events Spitalfields Traders Market in Crispin place, is highly recommended. Stalls at Spitalfields range from Contemporary and Vintage Fashion, Home Interiors to Bespoke Children’s Toys. If you happen to be down there on a Friday stop by and visit the lovely Angela designer/owner at Str(angela)nd this independent brand provides progressive fashion for women, from reclaimed, organic or ethically produced fabrics. Something a little different is the Battersea Carboot Fair, you will find Vintage, Furniture to Instruments all may appeal to a budding Stylist, Interior Designer or budding Musicians. Let us know what gems you found!

Vintage Fair at The Doodle Bar
Saturday 3rd March, 1-7pm
The Doodle Bar will be having our first ever Vintage Fair on Saturday 3rd of March between 1pm-7pm.
Located in the heart of Battersea, the Doodle Bar is a hidden gem! This burgeoning creative hotspot in the South of Battersea, is a lovely place to have a drink and also seek out Beautiful clothes, jewellery and quirky old bits ‘n’ bobs at their first ever Vintage Fair.
Location: 33 Parkgate Road, London SW11 4NP

Pop-Up Polka Fair!
First Sunday of each month, beginning Sunday 4th March
11am – 4pm, Free
All ages
Pop into Polka on the first Sunday of each month for a free pop-up fair featuring handmade crafts, gifts and delicious treats! Young people can enjoy Polka’s playground and the cafĂ© will be open as usual.
Location: 240 The Broadway, London, SW19 1SB

Image courtesy of Anita's Vintage Fashion Fair
Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair - Mother’s Day Special
Sunday 18th March
Entry £2-£1 Concessions and Students with ID (children under 16 go free)
The mother of vintage fairs celebrates their 8th Spring fair at the idyllic 20th Century Theatre set in the heart of vibrant Notting Hill. Anita’s Vintage Fashion Fair is renowned for showcasing the very best in Vintage clothing, Accessories, Jewellery and Textiles dating from 1800 to 1980s. The fair has been referred to as an Aladdin’s cave of real treasures by Time Out. Anita offers a unique experience to all appreciators of Vintage fashions whilst paying homage to Mothering Sunday, 28 exhibitors have been carefully selected for the event, there will be on hand alterations by Recycle and Sew. A dedicated personal vintage fashion sylist by KatsEye style will be at hand for styling advice on the day. As it Mothering Sunday, mums collect a free flower on entry!
Location 20th Century Theatre, 291 Westbourne Grove, London, W11 2QA

Crafty Fox Spring Market
Illustration by Jimbobart
Crafy Fox Spring Market  24th & 25th March
11am - 5pm, Dogstar - Brixton
Free Entry - Children Welcome
Brixton’s favourite Crafty Fox Market is back!! at the Dogstar on 24th & 25th March with a weekend event full of handmade treats. Each day will see an eclectic mix of over 40 different designer-makers transforming the Dogstar into an exciting showcase of local creativity.

Visitors can take part in a range of workshops, relax in the tearoom or visit the nail art booth by Boom Nails. You can even make your own Crafty Fox with the Seaside Sisters, screen print a shopping bag with Mr Wingate, write letters with Letter Lounge, or settle in a cosy corner for a knit and a natter. There’s a busy programme of activities over the weekend with local DJ’s providing the soundtrack.
Location: 389 Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9 8LQ

31st March 2012 then every last Saturday of each month
Wonder Hill Market
11-5pm, The  Miller, London Bridge.
Free Entry
Wonder Hill's handmade and vintage shopping event returns to The Miller. This end of month event provides a platform for local designer makers and vintage collectors to showcase and sell their wares. Wonder Hill is a fun alternative to high street shopping!
Location: The Miller, 96 Snowsfields Road, London Bridge, London. SE1 3SS
Transport: London Bridge and Borough tube