Maybe I should call this artsy bits. Or artsy craftsy bits. Or mommy bits. Or random bits. Or crafty inspiration bits. Whatever I call it, it’s a little collection of stuff I saw in London and liked. I love that digital cameras function like a superfast sketchbook/scrapbook. Especially when traveling on a busy Valentine’s Day weekend with two kids and having the response time and turn radius of an armored tank. Bear with me. These are in chronological-ish order. (I looked all over for what would be my milkmaid skirt inspiration. Alas, none for me.)
Riding into town on the tube, I saw this ad for Moonpig. And snapped a photo so that I would remember the website. Because I like cards that say “mum” on them. And visiting the site, I saw that Mother’s Day in the UK is March 14. I guess since it’s a made-up holiday it can be whenever someone decides it will be! (Ummm… dear UK/other crafterhours reader, of which I’m sure there are thousands…. Mum’s Day in the US is in May.) They have Supermum cards. I love that.
It was really windy the first day of our trip, so I ducked into a souvenir stand while my husband stood in the ticket queue. Rows and rows of bling-y cute keychains and magnets. And a three-year-old who wanted every single one.
I wanted to ride the London Eye just because I thought K would love it, and we all thought it was pretty cool. I thought it was (just) a ferris wheel…
But each car is huge. Enough room for dozens of people to walk around or sit or hang on the handrails like monkeys and look at the car below.
And when you get to the top, instead of hanging all dangly and swingly like a ferris wheel, you’re poking up for an unobstructed view. (I can’t even begin to estimate the number of times my husband said “Look kids, Big Ben.”)
I knew that we had to go to Harrod’s, but didn’t know why, exactly, other than that my Mom talked for yeeeears about going. And now I know why I went. To see the giantest chocolate Easter egg ever. 795 pounds sterling. Or about $1200 currently. I’ll take two, please. And a giant bowl of fiber cereal. And a barrel of water.
And the other reason I went? That I didn’t know about? There was a Krispy Kreme inside the store. My husband didn’t believe me when I said I saw a sign for it. And they have an exclusive “Harrods Dreamcake”. Yeah, it was pretty good. But if you want a coffee to go with it, you can’t have it in a to go cup in the store. It must be in a proper coffee mug. No paper cups allowed in the store. Just so you know.
I really wish I had some photos from the food halls, but I don’t. I was too distracted. I’m going back. Someday.
Grandpa’s Sunday lunch? Shephard’s Pie? Available in jars for your baby.
And porridge, available at Starbucks. And everywhere else that’s open during breakfast hours. I realized while I was there that in all of the kid books and stories where they talk about porridge… somehow I never realized that it wasn’t just a story. People actually eat it. Why is this shocking to me? I have no idea.
This guy, who I snapped while waiting for the bus, was cleaning the fourth floor windows… from his standing spot on the sidewalk! Holy moly! I wonder whether the fourth floor workers look out and think “wow, look at all these spots the window guy missed!”?
I liked this tube poster from afar, and when I got up close… saw that the stripes are RIBBONS!
And the plain ole tube map is beautiful. To me.
I was taking the above photos while my husband and M were buying tickets. See her here? Well, if you look closely, you can see her foot sticking out of the bottom of his jacket. She’s sleeping in there in the Ergo. I just love a dad with a sleeping baby. Most especially the ones in my family. And I would barely leave the house without that baby carrier.
K was pretty patient with the tube riding. I liked watching her watch.
There were lots of beautiful red phone booths. Also lots of gross, dirty ones with porn line ads littering the floor. And then there were these black ones. I did not know that they made black ones. I thought they were beautiful too. I do wonder, though, how long they’ll be around. Seems as though everyone has cell phones now. Well, unless they’re going to turn into exclusive little porn hotline booths. Which appears could already be happening. (Ummm…. I’m not a big porn hotliner myself, but a public phone booth with windows on three sides doesn’t sound like a good idea to me?) Aaanyway, the booths themselves are lovely.
I think the mail boxes feel neglected. And have a bit of a Napoleon complex. They want the world to know that they’re beautiful too and are willing to consider piggy bank, pencil sharpener, keychain and plushy licensing offers.
On our way to the original Hard Rock, we passed the Athenaeum Hotel with its living wall. How cooool. And drippy. Lots of water dripping down. Which led to an extended conversation about mold. (I’m sure they handle that somehow.)
And since it was Valentine’s Day weekend, I was looking around at flowers and balloons and folks doing their Valentine’s Day stuff. Nothing too unusual there. Except this post-it sized note stuck to an ad in a tube station. I thought it was funny enough, but now that I look at it again, I wonder if this is supposed to look like gonads? And why it took me so long to notice? Or am I the only one to think that? Or am I ridiculous to think that I might be the only one to think that? This is why I generally avoid “guy” humor. It makes me think way harder than I should about these things.
Uhhh… moving on… we learned that pubs do not allow kids after 4 pm. Like, not at 4:30, no matter how tired and cold and hungry you all are. But at lunch time, no problem. Just bring your own baby food, of course. Except at the one place we went to that had it for free!
There really wasn’t that much retailing on this trip (errr…. thankyouverymuch to the Baby Gap that had a nursing room! I promise I’ll shop another time!) but I did get to run through Selfridges. Ooooh, I’ve never been before but I’d really like to go again. There was pen porn in the Muji section. (Apparently porn is my word of the day?)
And there was a Cath Kidston section. I had never seen her stuff. So adorable. I saw the bags on arms all around town (um, can you stand still, please, so that I can read that label?) and the mystery was revealed at el department store.
Two last little randoms. First, these fabric-covered letters. Yummm.
And THIS! I need something like this in my new house. It’s a coat/hat rack! But in the summer, when there’s little on it, it’s just so lovely. I think I would like it to be wall-mounted, though.
More crafty bits to come from other exotic destinations. And other random inclusions. Inclusions: not good for diamonds, but I like ’em in a blog. (Next one not likely to refer to porn or gonads, I promise.)