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Friend: Homemade London...We up all night to get crafty

Sometimes I like to compare London to a very expensive gym. London is like the Virgin Active Classic Collection or David Lloyd of places to live. And, in my opinion, if you just go to your super duper expensive and exclusive gym and just go on the treadmill once in a while, it probs isn't worth you paying £100+ monthly membership when you could just be going to the council gym down the road. You want to be going regularly and having fun in the steam rooms, and going to the gravity free yoga classes and using that weird vibrating plate thingy. (You might be able to tell I don't personally have an expensive gym membership). Similarly with London if you are not using the facilities - you aren't trying out the new pop up restaurant, or drinking cocktails in bars accessed by walking through a fridge, or aren't setting foot in the museums and galleries which are some of the most amazing in the world and yet free - heck if you don't walk over Millennium Bridge and become overwhelmed with the feeling you live in the most fabulous place in the world - you probably shouldn't bother paying hundreds of pounds a month above the average cost of living to live here specifically. 

Having said that, one of the best things about London is when it get's too much and you just want to pretend for a moment that you live in maybe a tiny village in Yorkshire and you spend your evening relaxing on gingham print cushions, drinking raspberry lemonade and doing crafts you flippin can. 

Which is in part how I ended up at Homemade London making my own stamped notebook. As I've mentioned before, I bloomin love an "experience" birthday present (because then the giver and receiver both get a treat), and my friend Lynsey bloomin loves crafts (well quite likes them) so for her birthday present I booked us on to one of Homemade London's "Mystery Craft Workshops". Lynsey and I first became friends when she joined my school in year 3 as the new girl. And cos she was the cool new girl I obviously wanted her to be my new best friend. Which she became, and now 19 years later, we spent yet another weeknight evening together drinking lemonade and making stuff, which hasn't been a very regular occurence since we turned 11 really. We then went and had Arancini and £8 glasses of red wine afterwards at Vinoteca next door, which we definitely wouldn't have done aged 7, but that is all part of the fun of being 26.

I was a bit annoying on the day Lynsey and I went to Homemade London, as I had woken up in a bit of an anxious mood which only got worse as the day went on, so poor Lynsey had to swap her birthday present for a 2 hour counselling session. Having said that, as anxious as I was feeling, sitting in Homemade London's gorgeous and quaint white interior making my own notebook, it was hard to feel stressed. 

I chose the Mystery Craft Workshop, mainly because I am cheap and it was a lot less than the other craft workshops. Also, having not tried Homemade before, I didn't want to sink £100+ into an evening for Lynsey and I not knowing how good it would be. Having done the Mystery Craft Workshop, I think I was right to go for it first and it is excellent value for money - £12 per person for an hour of craft class, where you are making something you can use or keep and all equipment provided. With unlimited raspberry lemonade too to further sweeten the deal. (Get it? Sweeten the deal! Sorry).

However, I was really convinced by Homemade London and I would like to try another class - very tempted to drink prosecco and make my own Bauble (£30+ per person, 2 hours long) or go for afternoon tea and make my own perfume (£60 per person, 2 hours). They've also got more classic craft options - a complete guide to sewing machines (£125, 7 hours) or paper cutting (£30+, 2.5 hours).

Our notebook making class involved folding paper, sewing it to make it into a notebook and then making our own stamp out of a craft knife, sticky back foam and cardboard. Lynsey made a lovely vintage plane looking stamp and placed it on her neatly sewn notebook, to give to her boyfriend Harvey to take with him on his travels, and took the full hour making it perfect. I, not the natural crafty person, as you might have been able to tell by my Victorian butterfly collection post, took 20 minutes to complete my slightly shabby notebook, which I offered up to Will but he declined, sort of politely. I didn't really think about where to place the stamp, and as such I've had to make my notebook a bit of a funny shape, but in my opinion there are just not enough squarish notebooks in the world so hey.

Book mystery craft workshops, Baubles and Bubbles, Perfume making and lots of other classes here.

Do you like crafts and things? Then you might enjoy "Loner: Craftiness - Make a little twist on Victorian Butterfly Collections you can hang in your home"

I was too weird and anxious to take many good photos that day, woopsy daisy, so I nicked the one that wasn't of my hands and that notebook from homemade.com

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