Bunting Workshop at Tatty Devine

I couldn’t think of a nicer, more perfect pair of people than me and Ruth to win this recent competition run by Little Nan’s Bar.

*I don’t mean we’re perfect, I mean we were just so appropriate*

Ruth and I are both big Tatty Devine fans and were quick to enter the recent Little Nan’s competition for a place on a Tatty Devine workshop. To enter you had to like, share, retweet posts and tag a friend who you would like to go with. It obviously helped that we kept tagging each other too. How exciting when, many posts and likes later, we were announced as winners. If possible, this makes me love Little Nan’s even more than I already did.

The Bunting Necklace Workshop is one of a series of workshops, where you get to go into the Tatty Devine store to learn how to make your own bespoke piece of jewellery. You learn from the expertise of the team, you get to ‘design’ (choose the colours) and actually produce your own piece of jewellery, and then you get to take it home and have it for keeps and basically wear it any time you like. Considering that the price of a bunting necklace in the current range is £40, and that the workshop usually costs £40, well you do the maths.  Which doesn’t even take into account when you win a workshop place as a prize.

We arrived at the Brick Lane store on a dark wet Wednesday in November and walked into a parallel universe of bright colour, rainbows, perspex and jewellery bits. Being the first to arrive, we had the chance to look around at current products, but it wasn’t long before we drifted towards the alluring rear of the store where the workshop was set up ready for us. The focal part of the table was the storage containers holding little bits of perspex bunting in all colours. Choosing the colours of the necklace was obviously a key element of the workshop and I immediately settled at a place so that I could start to investigate the whole range. I so didn’t want to make a necklace that I would never wear again (I had secretly chosen Ruth as my accomplice from the beginning as I knew she was not just arty and crafty and good with her hands, but also great with colour).

The glass of rosé and the jars of flying saucers and jelly beans helped to give inspiration and, as the other workshop guests joined us, I started to choose the colours I liked and thought would go well together. I didn’t just have to make colour choices, but also some were mirrored, some were transparent, some were glittery (I kept picking those up), ooh it was fun but it was hard not to get too distracted with the sparkles (that’s happened to me before!).

In front of us we had a guide with a picture of a necklace that we could use to make our colour designs. We also had pliers.  When the lovely workshop leader Charlotte talked us through the different stages and I didn’t understand straight away, she was always happy to come over and show me patiently, give me encouragement or basically do it for me when I got sick of my own ineptitude (unlike Ruth, I am all fingers and thumbs when it comes to handiwork).

In the end I actually surprised myself by choosing my design fairly confidently, asking for just a bit of reassurance here and there, and not going for too many sparkly pieces and not too many hues. I got the hang of the pliers, kinda, and just needed a bit of assistance finishing off the chain. More goes into these pieces than you think when buying off the website or from the store.

The whole experience was an absolute delight. We were never hurried, and the workshop hosts never showed annoyance by our gushing over-excitement (they must get that all the time from their superfans) but it’s so hard not to ooh over things and chat a bit too much and eat all the sweets and generally really enjoy oneself – then again, I guess that is the main reason to go to one of these workshops.

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

What do you think of our finished products?

The biggest thanks for the evening go to Charlotte and Megan and all at team Tatty for the brilliant event, and Grandson Tristan of Little Nan’s for picking Ruth and me as the most perfect prizewinners.  If you like perspex, colour, jewellery, bunting or indeed dolly mixtures, I highly recommend this workshop. More details are on the website; there are different ones to choose from if a parakeet or a jingle bells necklace is more your thing. And what a great Christmas present for a loved one!

Little Nan is currently running her tropical den at the Golden Anchor in Nunhead, where you can purchase cocktails in teapots for a weekend afternoon tea or night out.  Apologies in advance but I gather that tickets to New Year’s Eve at Little Nan’s is already sold out!

Disclosure: We were given free tickets to the Bunting Workshop thanks to a prize draw held by Little Nan’s. All opinions and photos my own (except for the few taken by Ruth and Megan).

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