I have a total love affair with London, I’ve lived here all my life and adore all the history it has to offer. One of the most iconic buildings in London would have to be St Paul’s Cathedral and it is also my favourite place to visit. To me it is the most beautiful and interesting building in the city.

My favourite image of the cathedral would have to be the iconic photo ‘St Paul’s Survives’, taken after ‘The Second Great Fire of London’. This was the most ferocious night of the blitz in December 1940 in which the Germans dropped more than 24,000 high explosive bombs and 100,000 incendiary bombs on London in one night. More than 160 Londoners died that night and over 1500 fires were started, however despite all the buildings around it being destroyed amazingly the most iconic building in London survived. Over 200 volunteers fought to extinguish small fires on the roof and a bomb even lodged in the dome. Winston Churchill had ordered that the cathedral be saved at all costs. The survival of St Paul’s during the blitz is an iconic moment of the war and the photo has gone on to become one of the most famous images of The Second World War.

St Pauls Survives

St Paul’s Survives by Herbert Mason 30th December 1940

“I focussed at intervals as the great dome loomed up through the smoke. Glares of many fires and sweeping clouds of smoke kept hiding the shape. Then a wind sprang up. Suddenly the shining cross, dome and towers stood out like a symbol in the inferno. The scene was unbelievable. In that moment or two I released my shutter” – Herbert Mason, Daily Mail 31st December 1940

Daily Mail 31st December 1940

The cover of the Daily Mail – 31st December 1940

 

The current cathedral was built between 1675 and 1720 after the previous cathedral was destroyed during the first Great Fire of London in 1666. It is designed by Sir Christopher Wren who is well known for designing many of London’s buildings and churches after the fire as well as The Royal Naval College in Greenwich and the South Front at Hampton Court.

St Pauls Cathedral

Wrens final design for St Paul’s Cathedral

 

The Cathedral was the tallest building in London until 1962 and it still has one of the highest domes in the world. It is the second largest church in Britain second only to Liverpool Cathedral which was completed during the 1970s.

Many iconic London events have taken place there including the funerals of British heroes such as Nelson, The Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill. The wedding of Charles and Diana took place there as well as jubilee celebrations for both Queen Victoria and Elizabeth.

The church still holds daily services and I would definitely recommend attending one. I recently went to a sung service and the choir was absolutely amazing. It is the most beautiful place to sit for a while and have a rest from the hustle and bustle of the city. In non service times it can be quite busy with tourists however during services it is free to enter and you get a real feel that this is still a working church.

There is also a small garden around the cathedral known as St Paul’s Churchyard and it’s a lovely place to sit a while and enjoy a quiet moment.

Whether you’re a born and bred Londoner or just a visitor to the city this would definitely be a visit not to miss, and if you’re not as terrified of heights as I am I hear the view are amazing from the top of the dome.

I wouldn’t be right to talk about St Paul’s without including this clip from Mary Poppins one of my all time favourite films…

Links:

To find out more about The Second Great Fire of London and the way St Paul’s was saved I’d really recommend watching Blitz: London’s Fire Storm on 4od it’s an absolutely brilliant documentary with lot’s of brilliant re-enactment of the nights events.

St Paul’s Cathedral Website

As I’ve said many times on here, I love supporting small businesses and independent makers. I also like one of a kind and unique products, so when I was contacted recently by Etsy seller Sarah of Mizpah Designs about writing a review I was more than happy to oblige!

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Mizpah Designs is a lovely little Etsy shop selling pretty digitally printed head scarves. Sarah had bought her first headscarf at the age of 14 and this marked the start of an interest in 60’s fashion and styles. Sarah loves the bold happy prints and infusion of fun which mark the era and this is something which really inspires her designs.

Mizpah Designs

She decided to start Mizpah Designs because she wanted to have a go at something she was really passionate about, being a wearer of head scarves herself she felt bored wearing the same old designs and wanted to wear her own. Her passion of her products really shines though and her enthusiasm for what she does is inspiring. Sarah sees her design as art, and this case it certainly is as she designs all the prints herself.

Hippy Silk Headscarf style

Sarah aims to make products that feel beautiful and unique to the wearer, and this is something I particularly like about buying from designers like Sarah, I know that the piece I have bought won’t be worn by thousands of people and that makes it all the more special.

Her scarves are all made from cotton silk and hand stitched. All scarves feature either original artwork or designs she has created myself, they are digitally printed which means the colours and details stand out and don’t get ruined when they get wet.
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Sarah was kind enough to send me one of her beautiful scarves to try, and I absolutely love it. I had spotted this design on Etsy and was delighted when I saw she’s sent me the button print scarf. I love the quirky button print and the material is lovely quality. I was really impressed with the lovely packaging and this would definitely encourage me to buy her products as gifts.
I love the beautiful bright colours on this scarf, and as I’ll be using it as a headscarf I’m glad it can be easily washed. I tried a couple of hairstyles using the scarf and found it to be just the right length for wearing on the head without leaving long tails.
I used Sarah’s 60’s inspiration and wore the scarf with a bee-hive hairstyle and one of my favourite 60’s dresses.
This time I wore the scarf tied on top with another 60s dress and plastic beads.

The scarf would look great tied round a bun as well, if your hair is a little longer. I was happy with how well the scarf stayed tied and it didn’t slip about either so the style stayed put really well.
All the scarves cost £22.99 which I feel is a really good price. I will be wearing my scarf all the time as I absolutely love it, so look out for it in future outfit posts!
Mizpah Designs Links…
Etsy Shop
Facebook

Every Monday I share what I’ve made this week as well as my favourite vintage baking or sewing ideas and the crafty bits I’ve bought this week.

Get again my making efforts have been somewhat thwarted this week by poorly children! I think it’s that time of years when there’s so much stuff going around that at least one of us will be ill at any one time! Luckily everyone is currently on the mend.

I did manage to sew Jessica a top using one of the patterns I bought a few weeks ago. I made the classic mistake of not measuring her first and just made it up in her normal size. The top came out huge! I don’t think it will fit her until she’s well into her teens. I also had loads of problems with the pattern despite it being a very simple and easy design so I will have to give this another go at a later date. There would be a picture here but I don’t know where I put it!

I also made a start on a new cushion cover using lot’s of colourful buttons. This took me absolutely ages, however my button sewing skills are now second to none!

The only other thing I made this week was these little hearts which I am going to add some string to and hang in a window.

I haven’t managed to bake anything except some cupcakes with the girls, my family have loads of birthdays in November and December so I’m sure I’ll have plenty to bake then!

I’m not sure what I’m going to get mad this week as we are off to Butlin’s for two days this week and then spending a night in Bristol which is really exciting, maybe I’ll bring my knitting needles along with me.

This weeks vintage make is an homage to the crappy British weather!

Sorry my last two Making Mondays have been a little sparse! I promise I will make some fabulous vintage style dresses very soon!

Has anyone else made anything nice this week I’d love to see so please link in the comments. Have a fabulous Monday. xxx

I heard about the Cheapside Hoard a few years ago, and a slight obsession was born. The Cheapside hoard is a huge stash of jewellery that was discovered by workmen demolishing a building in 1912. The hoard was found beneath the cellar of a building which had been constructed in 1667, a year after the great fire of London. The new building had been built on top of the cellar of the previous building which was destroyed in the fire and the hoard was hidden for 300 years.

When the workmen discovered the hoard they gathered it up and took it to Wandsworth pawnbroker “Stony Jack” who realised straight away that they had uncovered something incredible. Eventually the hoard was secured by The London Museum and was kept a guarded secret until in was displayed in 1914.

The collection of jewels all date from the Elizabethan and Stuart eras and was buried between 1640 and 1666. The collection is amazing because of it’s size – nearly 500 pieces, and because of the massive variety of pieces within it.

The circumstances behind the hoards burial and later discovery are shrouded in mystery and very little is known about who buried it or why.

The jewels have not been displayed in full for a hundred years until now, the museum of London opened their brand new exhibition showing the entire hoard last Friday.

I had been looking forward to the exhibition for so long that I went straight there on Friday afternoon and spent a good couple of hours looking at everything and reading all the information. The exhibition is absolutely brilliant and goes into so much detail about the jewellery traid during the era of the hoard. The jewellery is displayed beautifully and in a way that you can it from every angle. They also supply magnifying glasses so that you can see everything close up.

The exhibition features paintings of people from the era which put the jewels into context and there is also a reproduction of a goldsmith’s workshop from the time.

Entrance to the exhibition is £10 so it’s not a cheap one, however I think it is worth it, and I will be going back to see it a second time.

If your around London between now and April I would definitely recommend giving the museum a visit, as all the other displays there are really interesting too especially the fashion pieces.

I decided to pick up the book that accompanies the exhibition and again this is something I’d really recommend giving a read, it’s less of a catalogue than most exhibition books but more of a well researched book in it’s own right. It covers the information covered in the exhibition in a lot more detail, and gives The Cheapside Hoard more relevance. I have found a whole new interest in the history of jewellery which I hadn’t had before.

There was a documentary on The Cheapside Hoard on BBC 4 earlier this week and its well worth a watch – you can view it on iPlayer here

Find out more about the exhibition here

Buy the book on Amazon here

A few people have mentioned that they wanted to see more photos from The Classic Car Boot Sale, as there weren’t many in my last post. So I made a little photo album on Youtube. I hope you like it, and if you spot yourself, your stall or your car let me know!

I hope you like it. Find more of my videos on YouTube here.