As adults we often neglect creativity in our lives, instead focusing upon the efficient and effective achievement of a useful goal. To play, to create, to make, to be frivolous just for the sake of it – surely that’s kids’ stuff. Well no. studies have proven that the benefits of creativity include stress reduction, positive emotions, connections with inner ‘flow’ and a general feeling of well being. I know I like making things (including a mess), but the trouble is that I’m not a painter, a sculptor, a sewer, a butcher, a baker (well) or a candlestick maker. Thankfully, at Homemade London, the independent craft workshop in Seymour Place, London, you can be all, as my taster of their offerings proved.
Sustained by Earl Grey gin fizz cocktails, rose and thyme vodka mules, mini English sandwiches and Eton mess in china floral teacups, a group of London bloggers were given the chance to try out some of the classes on offer in the charming and colourful store.
We kicked things off with paper craft, embossing on card and making crepe paper flowers. Later on we tried printing on fabrics, by making our own block stencils and leaving our marks on small napkins. The highlight for me was definitely the perfume making session. Founder and owner of Homemade London, Nicola Barron is a perfumer, and her knowledge and dedication to the coordination and concoction of the perfect scent for each person stirring. Using only natural oils and aromatherapy techniques we all came away with a fragrance suited to our skin type and personality, as well as new knowledge.
Their motto is ‘create the things you love’, and I like to think that this is not just about having things in your home that you love, but creating them. In the days of convenient mail order, flat pack pieces and off the peg homogeneity, there’s something wonderful about putting your effort into making thing, your heart into your home. All around are inspiring examples of craft and art, with quaint pieces poking out of stylish décor, and the staff are helpful and reassuring.
So on offer, as well as the above, is sewing, candle making, knitting, paper cutting, chocolate truffles and lingerie making. If you can’t decide what you want to make from their dizzying array of options, there’s always the £10 mystery workshops. Each is an hour long and have included jewellery making, personalised mugs, drawstring bags and machine-stitched notebook covers. A feeling of contentment and a creative gift to take away with you, for a tenner in London. Bargain.