Last week, the lovely folk at Houzz invited me and some other bloggers along to a Christmas crafting morning at Heal's new Westbourne Grove store. It was the first 'work' event I've been to since having Daphne and it was lovely (if a little strange - my small-talk skills certainly need brushing up again!) stepping back into my old shoes for a morning.
First up, we got to do some Christmas crafting. HA. I cannot craft. I don't have an artistic bone in my body - I still remember my Art teacher writing 'Charlotte needs to think beyond the glue and scissors stage' on my school report. I was about 15... (not really). I don't exactly know what she meant, but I guess I was more of a fan of the actual cutting things out and sticking them to other things bit without worrying what the finished product looked like. But you know, life's about the journey not the destination right? I'm sure Paulo Coelho said something like that anyway.
I digress. This time I was more confident as leading the crafting element of the morning was my good friend and all-round interiors expert Vicky Harrison, who also just so happens to be the editor of Houzz UK. She told us we were going to make honeycomb paper ball decorations and had a lot of faith in me.
Well, let's just say that I lived up to my Art teacher's critique. My ball was shamefully the only one there that was so wonky that it looked completely drunk. If honeycomb Christmas balls could get drunk. But it was still incredibly therapeutic sticking and cutting again after all these years. If you'd like to have a go at making them yourself, there's a nifty step-by-step on Vicky's blog.
Next up, we were challenged to style up some Christmas place settings - one super luxe and formal, the other more relaxed and rustic. Sadly, as I live in a tiny flat and never eat at the kitchen table (it's the size of a postage stamp), Christmas place settings aren't something I've given much thought to. But inspired by my fellow bloggers - who were all incredibly creative - I decided to watch what they were doing and, er, sort of copy them.
I'm no stylist but I REALLY enjoyed this bit - here are my two settings:
Not too shabby huh?! If you feel so inclined, you can even vote for mine here.
Finally, all the bloggers sat down and had a chat through some design dilemmas with the stylists from Heal's. It was a really lovely morning, with plenty of mince pies on offer, and I left feeling thoroughly Christmassy. And wishing I had a proper kitchen table - but fingers crossed for 2016 on that front!
NB: Heal's Westbourne Grove, in the iconic Queen's building, is fab but only sells lighting and a few accessories, so don't rock up expecting to be able to do your Christmas shopping there too like I did.