Wednesday, 22 September 2010

SAUCY STREET POETRY, FAKE BLUE PLAQUES,THE CHEMISTS DAUGHTER AND AN UNDERLYING WHIIF OF LAVENDER .

I really must tell you all about Saturday, it seems to have taken me all week to get the words flowing in soup that was once, a very long time ago, my brain.
It was such a fantastic day, warm and sunny, so I packed my suitcase full of interesting things and hopped on a train to London Bridge.
It was the day of the Bermondsey St Festival.
There were stalls crammed all along the street and in the park, selling loads of interesting crafts and delicious food.
The best for me was the Creamer and Lloyd stall, it was all about words, words, words.
I couldn't get enough of it.
Giant Fridge magnet poetry,

and fake blue plaques you could write your own inscription on.
Let me tell you, there was no holding Nora back!
You can see the results of the project here.
Traveling further south down the street is a little shop, once a chemists, then an antique shop, now an emporium full of hand crafted beauty.
Bermondsey Fayre is run by my, now sadly ex, neighbour, Liz daughter of the afore said chemist.

Liz has stocked Flaming Nora's goods since she opened nearly a year ago,yes,so when she told me she was turning the back storage room in to a workshop space old Nora's ears pricked right up.
Using Saturday's festival as an excuse for a launch we set to organising an autumn schedule.
You can see the full Bermondsey fayre schedule by clicking the link at the top right of the page.
Saturday was a taster session to introduce people to what we are going to be up to.
We were making Lavender bags, I had such a mix of people come along, from mum's with young children in tow

to families

local residents

and young women having a fun day out.


I made lots of new little friends.

I always have an age limit in my kids sewing classes, but as this was a drop in session and all the children were well supervised by their families, I decided to be lax about my rules. Well thats what rules are for isn't it? Whats a rule for if not to be broken.
One of the joys of the whole day for me were the little pre school age kids, strangely but pleasingly mainly boys.
I was amazed at what they could achieve with the right amount of help and encouragement.

It got Liz and I thinking , soon when we can work out a date we are going to try and do a Mum's and under 5's sewing and craft morning.
Should be an interesting experiment!
As ever the creative talent people brought to the workshop was inspiring.

I wish I had had more time to explore the whole festival, but by the time we had finished most stalls were packing up.
However next year I shall be more organised, take the whole family and plan my time properly.
Love Nora xx

Friday, 17 September 2010



Man alive!
so much to say so little time!
I started this week running and I'm not sure I've stopped.
This past week has seen the ginger ninja go from this

to this.

Something I am still coming to terms with.
Thankfully the blonde one still has a full head of flowing locks.
This past week has also seen not one but two workshops
as well as a return to the day job after a well earned week off,
and staying up way way too late catching up with a very special friend.
Oh and I also signed up for this baby


should be fun, hopefully I will get the time to do what the kids are demanding of me, a shirt with flaming skull for one and something pirate for the other.
We'll see.

So any hoo
back to those workshops.
The first was at our local pub, my regular venue, another evening of
sewing for the greater good.

We were making lavender bags.

The money raised, £110, is going to the Red Cross Pakistan flood appeal.
Every one who came, braving torrential downpours, had a great time, meeting new people, learning something new and having a few drinks at the same time.

Some people were very good sewers, and some hadn't picked up a needle since school, but all made beautiful pieces.

Even Jakob the bar man had a go!

Here is a selection of the acheivements of the evening. (You can see the rest on my flikr account girls, just click the link on the right)



The second workshop was on Saturday as a part of the Bermondsey St festival, the whiff of lavender again was under our nose.
They were held at Bermondsey Fayre, a fantastic emporium run by
one of my neighbours Liz.
She has recently had the back of the shop done up and is starting to run workshops and yoga classes from it.
Needless to say Nora is heavily involved!
In fact we have a full Autumn programme planned.
The whole day was so much fun and so interesting that I'm going to have to save it for another day.
However in the meantime here are some pics of what we were up to and some of my new little maties.



Love Nora xx

Monday, 13 September 2010

Last week the main past time in this quiet corner of south London was the obsessive checking of the weather forecasts.
All this because Saturday saw the fourth annual Ferrers Triangle street party.
During the week people kept asking what plan B was going to be, or just shrugging their shoulders and tutting whilst looking at the skys when asked if they were coming along on Saturday.
According to most weather reports there would be showers all day from about 1pm onwards.
Humph!
Well there was NO WAY we were allowing any of that kind carry on.
At 9 am when I set off to take delivery of the stage, P.A and bouncy castle is was very grey.
At 11 when I went back to string the 75m of bunting across the street it wasn't much better, and at 1 o'clock when I returned after a cheeky bacon and egg buttie to put up the photographic displays there was a fine drizzle in the air.
But by the time I reached the stalls it had stopped.
Then as if by order at 2 o'clock on the dot the sun came out, and out, and out. It was such a fantastic day, sunny and hot, in fact I got sunburnt.
What a wonderful day with the coming together of neighbours, friends and family,
children playing in the road all day and well in to the late evening, running around in complete safety.

The drumming workshop was fantastic,

the cakes delicious,

the atmosphere amazing and the beat the goalie competition completely above board and catering to all abilities. In the interests of fairness as far as I could see all you had to do was kick the ball and you got a prize. Hence the blonde bomb shell eating his own body weight in haribo.
Then there was the children's costume parade every year a winner

and what would I give to be able to show you some pictures of the
adult 3 legged race, oh well can't win em all!
Furniture was moved out from the pub on to the street,

an amazing focal point for people to sit and take the weight off, catch up and watch the day unfold.
We had all stayed up very late the night before getting displays of photos ready, organising the raffle and general last minute preparations.
But was it worth it?
To spend the day in the sun, eating home made cakes, watching people get to know each other, children with painted faces having unrestrained fun and to see Stan one of our oldest residents come up for the second year running to claim his prize in the sunflower growing competition?

Yes.
It was worth the year round planning, the late nights,the long long day and all the money we raised for Spires a local charity helping the homeless and disadvantaged.

Would I do it again?
Oh yes!
And the highlight of the day?
The drunken football match between the local ladies football team, The Streatham Strikers, and a handful of Dad's, 8 yr. old boys and random inebriated men.

Who knows who won, but watching it was very funny.
Nora xx

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Bride said, "Humm what I would really like to do is make a hat"
"Ooh" said Miss Bela one of the beautiful Bridesmaids, "Hold that thought"

And so began the train of thoughts that lead to Nora and a very heavy suitcase taking the short train ride from the tumble down end of terrace in
a sunny corner of south London to the hustle and bustle of London Bridge.
This Saturday just gone saw Nora going down a
sightly different path on the workshop front.

My first Hen Do.


What fun, The Bride Ellie, her mother, Daphnie, the two Bridesmaids, Bela and Marie and 6 other Hens came along to this brilliant venue I found,
and proceeded to spend the next two and a half hours creating things of
fascination and wonderment.
Such a great idea, and I wish I could say it was mine, but sadly no it was Bela's.
Bela and I have a long history and have spent many a long hour huddled over sewing machines together, so when she asked me if i would be able to run a Fascinator workshop for her friend Ellie's hen do, I was delighted.
The idea of making a thing of beauty to wear to the wedding in October
ticked all the boxes.
I had such fun, its always great meeting a bunch of new people.
I love setting them all loose on a table groaning with sparkly fabrics, feathers, flowers, buttons and beads.


I love listening to their protestations of sewing ineptitude whilst watching them create something amazing.


And then i love watching them all leave with a smile on their faces and a beautiful fascinator stowed carefully and lovingly in their bags.

From the floral


to the glamourous.


Via the over


and under stated.


From burlesque


to simplicity.


From glitzy


to ritzy.


From the sweet


to the sculptural.


Happy times.
Good Luck on the 10th October Ellie, I'm sure it will really be a day to remember.
Nora xx