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the gift of something PERSONAL this Christmas…

Christmas is always there, at the end of the calendar but we forget about it as soon as the Spring flowers pop up to say hello, or if like me, when the decorations come down and the cards are all folded away. The house looks empty and somewhat different, except for the clusters of gifts, half eaten chocolates and piles of presents either end of the sofa after what was a truly wonderful Christmas… and so they say, till next year!

Then, suddenly it’s back again and Christmas is coming, it’s a very glittery, sparkly affair here in London, as it always is, with lights in every shopping high street and music that you can’t bear most of the time playing from all the shops… For me and for most, it’s a time to be with family, to celebrate togetherness and love. To be grateful for what we’ve got and to make a mark at the year just gone. Glasses are raised throughout the festive season and we all gorge on delicious homemade treats from mince pies to sausage rolls..

This year I have been creating stunning stationery sets that stand out above the rest – they are unique, personal and evoke memories in both the sender and the one lucky enough to receive the card whether by the form of a thank you or simply a message to say… Unique Storytelling Cards, what’s not to love?

Cellandia stationery sets start at £12.50 or for your personal set whether for yourself or as a gift – these start at £25.00. Please get in touch at info@cellandia.com

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Thirty First October Twenty Fourteen… for you MUM x

So every year, on the 31st October people from all over the world celebrate Halloween. All the little mights, ghouls and goblins gather, the witches, devils and vampires unite and everyone lights a pumpkin and eats a few treats, well to put it bluntly thats sort of what happens…

Halloween or Hallowe’en (/ˌhæləˈwn, ˈn, ˌhɑːl/; a contraction of “All Hallows‘ Evening“), also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve, is a yearly celebration.

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Little O at 3 months, Cleaver Sq 2013

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a happy little cat and some happy looking pumpkins 2013

For me and for my family, it is just that, a celebration… My darling mum passed away on October 31st 2003 and being everything that she was and continues to be to us all, she was unbelievably inspiring and creative too. So with every year that passes, I have so much more to celebrate and so much more of a reason why. However you think of Halloween or All Hallows Eve, it’s history and story are dedicated to remembering the dead, those that have left us and for me this ignites even more passion in making each Halloween that much more special. The true meaning of Halloween and its origins have been lost over the years and of course influenced by todays society, also various religions and faiths have formed their own and slightly different traditions. What I find most poignant is that although the idea of lighting a gourd, turnip, suede or pumpkin to so many might seem ridiculous but its origin and purpose was to create a symbol of life that had passed, to welcome the spirits back, as All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day “is when our world is closer to theirs” …. It is the candle inside the pumpkin that is magical and people would display their lit pumpkins or Jack-o-Lanterns in windows and doorways to welcome back the sprits, and to me, I find that rather special…

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Pumpkins for tonights celebration!

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This year we are celebrating with all our local Kennington friends in Cleaver Square… There will be Chilli for the grown ups and sausages and buns for the kids… A gathering where the kids can eat in between their trick-or-treat rounds and haribo feasts but also a chance for us grown ups to enjoy a glass or two of wine and celebrate! Little O is dressing up as a little pumpkin and I cannot wait to see her staggering about  with her other little buddies later tonight! Being another special day on All Saints Day (my birthday!), I made cake too, I mean why not? There is always an excuse to eat cake and today an even bigger one!

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My halloween special, for you Mum (& Me!)

 

I was totally inspired by Jamie’s roasted pumpkin seeds too, so I’ve done mine with smoked paprika and chilli flakes and you will be surprised – they are damn good and very moreish! I actually carved another pumpkin just to get more seeds to roast…! See here for the recipe…

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So here’s a little Halloween wish to all of you and to everyone that has loved and lost, to all those that have left, may you enjoy the spectacular glow that tonights display of lit pumpkins, all over the world create. Happy Halloween.

 

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we are in for warm halloween this year!

 

 

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CHRISTMAS is coming…

Believe it or not, but yes Christmas is coming and as the design studio has been filling up with orders since September, Cellandia gets things started early!

Beautiful, personal Christmas cards that will mark this year with something so special are just the beginnings of what we aim to create and produce. There is nothing more important than feeling happy about your cards and getting them started early. If it’s one more thing off your list then why not?

I used to be a firm believer of not treading into Christmas, whether by tip toe or with a big heavy thud until at least Halloween and my birthday were well out of the way, but the thing is as a stationery supplier based in London you can imagine that even in the heat of the summer we are thinking Christmas. Also, to be fair, I’m now a mum and so that means we get organised early and there’s a jolly good reason why.

Cellandia has been creating corporate cards for various companies across the nation but also personal cards that are catered to each individual, using Cellandia’s trademark designs. Whether using a simple design together with a photo, your cards will reach friends and family with a message from the heart and what better time than Christmas to make them smile even more. You know that Granny will have placed your card in the front on the mantle piece too!Christmas is coming...

Our unique storytelling cards are designed, printed and finished and London, all using luxury textured card stock and no detail is left out from the start of design process to packing up your order.

Say hello, place your order or enquire at info@cellandia.com

 

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nothing quite like LAMB…

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Slow roast shoulder of lamb

This is so simple and yet so mouth-wateringly tasty. All you need is a shoulder of lamb, sea salt and a hot oven which has been pre-heated to 200 degrees, you put your lamb in for 30 minutes, then after that you leave your shoulder in the oven at a lower temperature of 160 degrees for 4 hours.. In a baking tray with nothing but salt, you let the lamb do its thing… I love lamb with couscous and home made tsatziki but traditional roast veg always works well too.

 

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we all need ART in our lives…

It all started with a bumpy ride called pregnancy… a few months later and a few of Caroline Flint’s NCT classes wiser, I had made lots of new friends with other mums & dads-to-be. In those early days and in the lead up to your first birth this was just pure gold – having that wonderful support was not only amazing but really strengthened you with knowledge, which is so vital as a new mum. Caroline was also just brilliant, I will never forget our very first session… She has the confidence of years and years of experience and she really sets you up, gets you to believe that childbirth doesn’t have to be painful if you don’t let it but mostly guides you and teaches you to understand you and your body… You can read more on the wonderful Caroline here.

Moving on and moving into this blurry, tiring yet incredible time that was pregnancy –  I met Chloe (& her then bump) and over the course of a few months we became really good friends… Finding someone with that same zest for life was so good for me… Someone who makes life as colourful, fun, vibrant and creative as possible was brilliant, not forgetting that Chloe and her family live up the road, was fab too. It meant that I had a partner in crime, through those early motherhood months we sleepily embarked on our new adventure, taking our bubbas to every class we could manage to get us and them up and out, but I had someone to share my confusion or worry with. Not saying every day was hard, but finding someone in exactly the same position as you meant so much.

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picassos in the park team – Laura & chloe

… A few more months and well into early motherhood later, both Chloe and I got to thinking… together after many a latte at the wonderful Sally White’s or curled up sleepily at the Durning Library with her now Little D and my Little O decided that we would like to do some creative work together. Both having artistic backgrounds and an urge to do something more we set up Picassos in the Park. Our very own and very exciting Art Course for children here in Kennington!

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Our set up for Matisse Week… taking inspiration from leaves for the children to do their own Matisse Cut-Outs.

 

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Picasso week

 

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Classroom set up for Van Gogh week

 

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A sunflower in the making

 

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Using watercolour, tissue, sand, glue and pencil

 

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This is Naima’s sunflower… Naima is 6 years old

Classes run on Saturday mornings over a four week period and take place in the annex tent round the back of the Kennington Park Café. After the success of our first course in July we are now running another course that starts this Saturday 13th September, only a few days away! Which, when looking back, I actually can’t quite believe… How did all that just happen?

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Monet week. This is Maddy’s Monet inspired piece, she is 5 years old. I especially love her water lillies.

 

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Monet inspired waterlillies

Using the Masters of Art as our basis to inspire the children and find their own inner Picasso, we have successfully brought Matisse, Picasso, Van Gogh and more to the course using bright colours, an array of exciting artists materials and the fun imagination from the children and of course ideas from life all around.

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a happy georgina, age 8, with her Matisse inspired cut-out!

 

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taking inspiration from the park

For us mums it has proved to be not only popular but everything we anticipated it being and more. Holding the classes in the café has been great and we are very pleased with how the first course has been received, we are now working hard on ideas as to how we evolve the course and reach a wider audience. The children and parents alike have given only highly positive feedback and more than 50% of our students re-booked for the new course (starting 13th Sept) straight away. We are thrilled and what actually makes our Saturday’s even more special is watching the children take their very own Matisse collage or their Picasso portrait or Van Gogh sunflower away, it’s the realisation that with two minds that think alike we have managed to bring such an exciting new venture to life and have made each and everyone of these kids go away wanting more. Wanting to be more creative is just the starting point. Beautiful artwork has been created and we have had students come back. We cannot be happier with the outcome.

We would love to hear your thoughts, or if you would like more information or are interested in enrolling your child, then please get in touch by sending us an email at picassosinthepark@gmail.com.

I would like to thank Chloe (of course!) her little D, my little O for all the inspiration and to the Dads involved too, Merlin and Jon – who have both really supported us in this, and for all their help in clearing up after class too!

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The Kennington Park Café

A very special Thank You to Chris Michael at Kennington Park Café for letting us host our Art courses in the annex part and for helping us get our show on the road, not to mention the fab coffees and toasties too. Kennington Park has also recently been voted as Best Historic Park amongst 6 of the best Parks in Lambeth – read more here. The Park has also just been awarded another Green Flag – a nationally recognised standard of excellence for parks for the fourth successive year too!  We are pretty lucky here in Kennington.

Another special Thanks to all the parents and children for helping us make Picassos in the Park the success that it is!