Thursday, 24 December 2009

Seasons Greetings!

New Exhibition in the New Year!

Simon will also be hosting an exciting 24 hour drawing event which anyone can get involved with and a whole host of extra special things besides. More information in the Newsletter soon....

How to build the most perfect snowman......

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

New Christmas Stock!

SHOP has been treating itself to Christmas presents this week with all new kinds of wonderful.

Men's and women's jumpers and cardies; lovely homeware (including, no less: orginal 60s wallpaper, knitted tea cosies, tea sets, tins and other lovely gifts) and accessories (bags, brooches gloves for wimmin and hankies and hats and some other bits and pieces for blokes) have all made a little nest at shop - but not for long I'm sure!

See SHOP volunteers attempting to wear a bit of everything all at once ... here:

Wallpaper, cardie, hat and bag

Cardie, tea cosie, cup set, clutch bag and stripy cardie

Saturday, 12 December 2009

MotherSHOP: Christmas Cafe is here!

The Christmas cafe has snuggled in to the corner of SHOPs lounge for the day and is proving very popular with all our customers! Make sure you don't miss out on this MotherSHOP and all the cakes and treats.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Christmas Party Season!!

I was treated to a festive feast courtesy of local food and drink heroes last night when I played host to local foodies and their non-staff, staff Christmas party.

Those people who work for themselves don't get to have an office Christmas party, so Elly at Pear Cafe and Jess at Trethowan's Dairy organised some over drinking, over eating and snogging innapropriate people under the mistletoe at SHOP instead.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Christmas Artisan Market!

The third and final Artisan market of 2009 went down a Christmassy treat last Saturday the 5th December. The Christmas lights were twinkling, the smell of roast chestnuts was in the air and the wonderful buskers in attendance sang carols to thaw even the most anti-Christmas humbug-er, to make no mention of the beautiful artisan wares.

It was the final market of the three that had been given the initial go-ahead by Bristol City Council and everyone in the Christmas Steps Arts Quarter is keen for it to be given the permanent green light in 2010.

All in all, the markets have been deemed a massive success for the area. The market has grown consistently over the three months, showing that not only is its popularity growing already in just three short months, but also that there is demand from residents, traders and indeed shoppers for a market of its kind in the area. The area is so lucky to have the prefect location, as the steps are not only beautiful, charming and unique in a way which reflect and compliments the artisans at the market, but it is naturally pedestrianised.

Keep checking the blog for more news about the future of the market in 2010, or to submit ideas - for example, should the markets be seasonal, April to September with special occasion markets like Christmas and Easter? Should the association invest in gazebos to combat the British climate? We are keen to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

It's Chriiiiiiiiiistmas SHOP!

Now the date has ticked over to December that Jayne and that Brett got all overexcited - just like small children and have literally decked me out so that I am now the cosiest little Christmas wonderland. I suppose it's a shop's equivalent of a Christmas jumper...

Monday, 30 November 2009

James Davies: Home to Roost (Private View)

What a lovely launch to a lovely exhibition! Fresh vegan cakes lovingly baked by Sophie from Nimbus Promotions provided all who braved the cold wth a welcome treat. Plenty of postcards and badges were bought and the buzz created by the exhibtion should see it have avery succesful month at SHOP!

Christmas Newsletter!

SHOP love, love loves Christmas and that is a fact. From the 1st December SHOP will become a magical Christmas grotto and will be force feeding you overly sentimental Christmas cheer along with mince pies all month long! Lucky Shop Club! As well as the schmaltz, we are putting on some really lovely events. Look: told you:

New Board Member
SHOP, as a Community Interest Company has appointed its first Advisory Board Member! We are very excited to welcome Simon Moreton to the company and are looking forward to stealing all of his good ideas. Look out for events next year, led by Simon, which will from this point on be renamed 2000 and Simon.

Christmas Opening Hours

SHOP will be opening on Christmas Eve from 12pm until 4pm, just in case Santa decides to make an early visit to his adopted home on the Christmas Steps and in case you need any last minute goodies. Or, just come along and soak up some of SHOP’s excess excitement at this, SHOP’s favourite time of year. We will have mince pies aplenty all month too. SHOP will then be closed from Christmas Day until the 3rd January, reopening on the 4th at 11am.

Exhibition: ‘Home to Roost’ by James Davies
1st December – 24th December
11.00am – 7.00pm
James Davies is exhibiting his beautiful original drawings and prints, as well as handmade toys, postcards and badges in SHOP during December. The Private View will be on the 30th November at 7.30pm onwards and all Shop Club members are exclusively invited to get the first peek. Have a look at James’ other work here:

Christmas Artisan Market
5th December
10.00am – 3.00pm
The third Christmas Steps Arts Quarter Artisan Market takes place on the 5th, with a special Christmas theme this month. Many of the artisans taking part are selling special Christmas decorations and gifts alongside their usual lovely wares. Mulled wine will be dished out to all punters and mince pies and roast chestnuts are being sold on the stalls. Fingers crossed we will have arranged some carollers by then too (get in touch if you want to volunteer yourself!!)! Surely, surely, SURELY there cannot be a more Christmassy way to spend the day.

Private Hire
10th December
SHOP is hosting Hot SHOP Member and Pear Café Owner, Elly Curshen for an old school Christmas Party for local foodies. Sorry to titillate your taste buds, but none of you are invited! However, please don’t hesitate to ask about using SHOP for your own party.

MotherSHOP: Christmas Cafe
12th and 19th December
11.00am – 7.00pm
A Shop within SHOP returns with Lynda and her lovely Christmas Cafe. Lynda will be setting up a bakery and café within SHOP for two Saturdays this month. Come and take a load of your wearing pads by stopping off for a healthy, homemade, delicious snack. Or why not take some home?

Plus, Sally and Rob’s 100% natural, organic, fair trade, homemade health and beauty products return this year for the month of December. They make you feel beautiful inside and out. And they make great gifts!

Christmas Fillum Club and Present Wrapping Evening
16th December
7.30pm – 10.00pm
We at SHOP turn into big children during the holiday season and we like to maintain certain traditions, like watching the most saccharine, mushy American Christmas films possible, whilst wrapping gifts and eating far too many sugary seasonal goodies (used the words mince and pies way too much in this newsletter)

This years Christmas film is Scrooged! It's Christmas Eve in New York and Frank Cross is his usual ruthless self, which is how he got to be president of a TV company. Bill Murray is brilliant in this hilarious tale of a modern day scrooge who gets his comeuppance after being visited by some truly outlandish creatures!

Come and get in the Christmas spirit whilst wrapping some of those gifts that are piling up on top of your wardrobe. SHOP will provide cellotape and fingers, as well as some wrapping materials and …. mulled wine and mince pies! And popcorn for the film. They put popcorn on Christmas trees in the U. S of A, so you could also try your had at stringing some popcorn. Why the hell not?!
So, that’s that for 2009! Merry Christmas to all- and to all a good night!

Love, love, love from, SHOP

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Anne Wilson MotherSHOP 2...

Anne Wilson has popped back for her second shift on the MotherSHOP today.........

I'm going to miss her sitting and knitting in the corner of the lounge.....hopefully she will be back soon.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

SHOP is closed on Friday 27th to celebrate. Business as unusual from Saturday. Don't forget to remember to not buy anything.

Monday, 23 November 2009


The MotherSHOP has landed! Anne Wilson was beamed down into my lounge on Saturday and spent the day there with her own little shop within a SHOP. Annes knitted products proved very popular with everyone who had braved the weather to pop down the steps at the weekend and I'm looking forward to having her back next week (Saturday November 28th).

Christmas Lights Big Switch On!

The Christmas Steps had it's official lights switch on on Thursday 19th of November. The children from St. Michaels school made sure it was especially chrismassy with heart warming carols and everyones tummy was warmed by some lovely mulled wine and mince pies!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Artwork heading our way.......

What a Mother.......

Having already signed up Anne Wilson for MotherSHOP (shop within a SHOP), I am also incubating some more SHOP Cubs by providing a little bit of space for HOT SHOP MEMBERS Sally and Robs indie natural home-made Health and Beauty products! Lip Balms, Hair Masks, Facial Scrubs, Body Butter and Body Scrub are all in SHOP now. 100% Fair Trade, 100% Organic, 100% Natural!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

MotherSHOP has landed!

On Saturday the 21st and 28th of November Anne Wilson will be selling her lovely knitted and stitched pieces in SHOP! My lounge will be turned into Annes very own shop within a SHOP for both days.

If you would like to get involved in MotherSHOP then please go to the SHOP website and fill out a form at the bottom of the 'Community Arts' page.

Another event and a change of date....

My volunteers in their haste to get the November Newsletter out missed a whole event off and put the wrong date for another. You just can't get the voluntary staff these days!

Here's the correction......

Christmas Steps Christmas Lights Grand Switch On!
Thursday 19th November (not 20th) From 5:30pm (switch on 6pm)
The children from St Michael's school will be singing carols for a bit and then they will be turning on the christmassy is that? There will also be mince pies, mulled wine and some of the shops (including us, of course) in the area will be opening for a spot of late night shopping.

And the event they missed off......

Buy Nothing Day
Friday November 27th All day
As we have done for the past 3 years SHOP will be shutting it's doors in support of 'Buy Nothing Day' an Adbusters campaign that aims to raise awarness of the perils of our consumer culture.

Monday, 9 November 2009

New stock if you please.....

By the looks of my volunteers' mug shots some new stock has arrived! There's some new men's winter clothing (just in time, with the nip in the air) including some 70's Roller-neck jumpers. The ladies have not been forgotten either with the arrival of some lovely dresses and winter skirts. Oh and there's a little bit of homeware too.

Artisan Market

The Christmas Steps looked great on Saturday for the second Artisan Market. I was awoken early by the sight of the bunting going up and the clattering of gazebo poles. The sun even made a brief appearance as the traders arrived. There were a lot more tables than last time and the standard of arts and crafts looked just as impressive as those at the first Market in October!

Now I really can't wait for the Christmas one on December 5th, I heard a whisper that there will be mulled wine, mince pies and chestnuts roasting and of course the Christmas lights will be up and twinkling by then!

Friday, 30 October 2009

November Newsletter.

Wooooooooooo…wooooooooo…wooooooooo…hoooooooo! It’s November’s Shop Club Newsletter! What better way to start a new season of the year than by reading this newsletter and then tucking it under your pillow for good luck in the way of the ancient SHOP ancestors of yesteryear who lived in caves and made pillows out of mammoth bowels (as in the bowls of a mammoth) and newsletters out of leaves and news. Over to the newsdesk…

It’s finally happened we convinced some poor unsuspecting fool into making us a website. It is ACE – have a look here:

A really really MASSIVE thank you to all the new SHOP-pers and Hot SHOP Members who have invested not only their love, but their fivers and tenners too by becoming part of SHOP in it’s new status as a Community Interest Company. If you fancy a bit of that, find out more here on our fabulous website:

SHOP is ready to throw itself open to applications for exhibitions in the shop. If you have artwork, photography sculpture, or anything at all that is exhibitable, then SHOP is yours. You can even sell it and we promise to keep our greasy paws off your dollar - you keep 100%! Go to our lover-ly new website and download an application form there:

31st October All Day FREE
Scary SHOP
SHOP will be decked out in scary stuff in honour of Halloween, There will be sweets that look like eyeballs and eyeballs that look like sweets and even some dressing up materials if you feel like getting down and scary. And probably pretty dirty too, as some of these materials can be rather messy.

Get in the mood of sustained fear and an unameable anxiety by reading some terrifying Halloween stories on SHOPs blog.: Torch under chin not mandatory. But desirable.

2nd November 7.30pm FREE
Postponed Scary Fillum Club
As there is so much scaring going on on Halloween night, SHOP thought it would be better to string out those scares by moving Sssssccccccaaarrrrrry Fillum Club and the screening of Stephen Kings’s IT til Monday. Come down if you dare - one grown man told us that he cried with fear last time he watched IT.

7th November 10am – 3pm FREE
Christmas Steps Arts Quarter Artisan Market
It’s the second of what SHOP hopes will become a regular Artisan Market on the Christmas Steps. There are loads of lovely artisans with stalls of gorgeousness for you to peruse and cakes to eat and bunting and a saxophonist too!

20th November 7pm onwards FREE
Christmas Lights Switch On!
Disgracefully in an area called The CHRISTMAS Steps, which are situated within a wider area called The CHRISTMAS Steps Arts Quarter, there has never ever been an official Christmas Lights Switch On in the area! This is to be remedied this year though as the traders and residents club together organise a lovely evening of Christmassyness. Expect carols, mince pies and Christmas trees – oh and lights of course!

? November at ? o’clock
Pop Up Cafes
Mysterious, huh? Well, by way of explantion - MotherSHOP has landed. SHOP is offering itself to incubate your business ideas, (see Community Arts on the website again for more details). First to offer snuggle into the nest, SHOP has not one but two Pop up Cafes planned for November. Who are they? When will they strike? Who knows... Three-eyed people, keep one eye on the website, one on the blog and another on SHOPs Twitter to track it, demobilise it, then devour it.

We love you and we're here for you X

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Sssssccccaaaarrrryyyyyy SHOP

I'm a real scardy SHOP, maybe because I've grown up on the Christmas Steps which is so olde - about 340 years - and have seen many bloody and brutal battles, murders and mutilations over the years. In fact, I saw old Colonal Lansford himself stabbed right through the heart (but I wasn't to blame) with my own shoppy eyes. Despite this, or maybe because of it, as a SHOP I am really rather keen on Halloween.

Here's some of my favourite stories that I've overheard throughout the years...

A boy took his girfriend out for a Halloween night drive (fool!) to some nearby woods (fool! fool!). He parked the car deep within the trees so no one could see them. After a few minutes, however this boy needed a wee and got out of the car to relieve himself. The girl waited for what seemed like ages before tentatively getting out as well, to look for him. She suddenly spotted a large figure in the shadows near a tree. Terrified, she fled back to the relative safety of the car and locked all the doors. Her first thought was to get out of there fast, but her hands were trembling and she struggled to get the car keys into the ignition. Then she heard a faint squeak ... squeak ... squeak. The noise continued until the girl by now scared half to death managed to get the car started and hit the acellorator hard. The wheels spun round and round impotently, the car, useless, didn't move - a rope had been tied from the bumper onto a nearby tree. She tried the acellorator again, and this time the car lurched forward, immediately she heard a blood-freezing, terrible scream. Petrified, she got out of the car to be greeted by the horrific sight of her boyfriend hanging from a tree a above the car ... the squeaking noise was his shoes slightly scraping across the roof of the car- before the acceleration of the car had hung him.

Late one night a girl went back to her university room to get some books and things before heading to her boyfriend's room to celebrate Halloween. She went into the room but didn't turn on the light, so as not to wake her sleeping roommate. She stumbled around in the dark for a few minutes bumping into things and gathering books, clothes and a toothbrush before leaving. The next day, she came back to her room to find it surrounded by police. They asked if she lived there and broke the news that her roommate had been murdered the night before. Then, gently, they led her back to the room. There, written in gigantic bloody letters on the wall, were the words: "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light."

Many years ago, a young woman on her way to town decided to break her journey and stay with friends at an old manor house. They gave her a room overlooking the drive which swept up to the front door. The brightness of the moon made it difficult for her to sleep so she was still awake when the grandfather clock in the hall struck midnight. Immediately she heard horses' hooves and the sound of carriage wheels clattering up the drive. She looked out to see who on earth could be arriving at that time of night. In the moonlight she saw a hearse. But there was no coffin; instead it was crowded with people. The coachman sat high-up on the box and as he drew up below her window, he turned and looked up at her, and said: "there's room for one more." She drew the curtain, terrified and cowered under the bedclothes. She was glad to leave the old house behind her the next morning and when she reached town that afternoon, she went happily about, stopping to go shopping in a big new store that had a lift - a new fangled device back then. She finished gathering up purchases on the top floor and called this lift to take her down to the street level. It was almost full, but her bags were heavy so the attendent ushered her in: "Don't worry Miss, there's room for one more." Her blood ran cold as she heard this phrase and she tried hysterically to get out again, but the doors clanged shut. Almost immediately the lift plummeted down, its passengers screaming and crying. The clamour ended with a sickening thud. There were no survivors.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Protect the Human Party!

Thank you to everyone who came to the Protect The Human Party last night. I really enjoyed hosting what was a lovely evening. If I had hands and a mouth I would happily have tucked into the platter that my volunteers and Hari from Bristol Amnesty Group had provided for everyone. The apple dunking though was a bit wet for me and I never seem to win the Tombola, although I noticed a few people were very pleased with their booty (prizes not posterior).

The Song for Amnesty was a good mix of self penned 'dittys', Bob Dylan (from when people thought he was good), William Shatner, and a few more besides. There was no 'winner' for best track this it o.k to say that everyone was a winner? Benesensus then took to the stage and treated us to a super acoustic set including a cover of Billy Jean!

The auction was next but the Bristol Amnesty group were so impressed with the art auction pieces that they decided it was best to frame the work and take it to the bigger Amnesty Auction at the Watershed in December! People who had put bids on the books or who were interested were still encouraged to make an offer and 5 pieces were sold to add to the fund raising.