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Have you discovered the Joy of……..Tidying?!

10 Feb
2015 WebSummit Day 2 - Society Stage

4 November 2015; Marie Kondo, on the Society Stage during Day 2 of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit

Up until very recently, ShoesieQ reckoned there were just 3 types of people in the world. Those who are good at maths, and those who aren’t………….

But it seems that there is now a new way of dividing the sheep from the lambs. Just ask your friends if they’ve come across Marie Kondo? You’ll either get:

  •  A very quizzical look, possibly accompanied by a question along the lines of “Isn’t she the latest big Shoe Designer/Supermodel/Member of the Sugababes?”

Or

  • He or she (though it’s usually the latter) will instantly develop a rather maniacal look in eyes, and start to babble on  the Magic of Tidying, Sparks of Joy and the absolute bliss of having a neatly folded drawer of knickers!

Those of you who know ShoesieQ at least a little bit would have put her very firmly in the quizzical-looking brigade (!). Well, they would have done until recently. For, dear reader, since then she has been well and truly K’O(ndo)’d!

Up until that point ShoesieQ was pretty much the opposite of a tidy person. And she’d been reading reports of this book that promised to transform people’s lives with the (so-called) “Art” of tidying with eyebrows raised so high that they could have disrupted the flightpath to Stansted airport. But then a friend with a similarly  lax attitude to all things domestic told  ShoesieQ that she really should give this little book a go. So she did. And my word, that really was one of her better decisions, it really was.

It boils down to a few simple principles. Go through everything you own, item by item, and just keep things that make you happy sums up a lot of it. Then find a place for the stuff you’re going to keep, somewhere easy to see, easy to access, and easy to put away again. She’s really keen on folding things and storing them vertically, so they rest against rather than on top each other: making drawers work like a filing cabinet! And it might sound odd,but that works ridiculously well. Here’s ShoesieQ’s trouser drawer just so you can see what she means!

Trouser drawer.jpg

And it has to be said that Ms Kondo is as mad as a box of frogs. For instance every day Marie thanks her handbag for the hard work of carrying her purse and lipstick about and her home for keeping her dry and warm. She also believes that her possessions have feelings of their own. Bonkers, yes. But even such madness isn’t completely without merit. Just re-frame it slightly as a desire to value your possessions and being grateful for them, and that’s really not such a bad lesson eh? And what better time of year to start?

Anyway, as a result of said tidy ShoesieQ chucked out at least 6 bin bags of clothes that did anything but “Inspire Joy”, when she’d thought about it (possibly because at good 50% of them were at least a size too small for her these days). And it really did feel good! Mind you ShoesieQ has not tackled her shoe collection yet………. 😉

 

 

 

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WARNING: Cambridge Art Fair is Upon us!

29 Sep

Sarah with The Lake

To the uninitiated it may seem slightly odd that this blog starts with a warning. But trust us – The Cambridge Art Fair has the potential to be life changing!

ShoesieQ came to last year’s Cambridge Art Fair she had NO IDEA that she was about to come face to face with the love of her life. A good friend invited her along thinking it would be interesting, plus that ShoesieQ might meet a couple of new people. So there she was, happily wandering around, large glass of wine in hand when it happened. ShoesieQ looked along one of the corridors, and right at the end taking pride of place on the stage was The One. A painting so beautiful she stopped dead in her tracks, mouth agape.

Now ShoesieQ had no intention of buying anything, and a discrete enquiry about the price confirmed that this work of art was somewhat out of her (paltry) budget. So, with many longing backwards glances she walked away.

But ShoesieQ spent the weekend thinking about little else, so on Monday morning she called the gallery to check if it had sold – and it hadn’t! And to cut a long story short ‘The Lake’ by Tess Recordon now has pride of place at the end of ShoesieQ’s bed, as you can see from this pic:

And if you want get a proper look at just what could inspire an old cynic like ShoesieQ fall in love at first sight, her shop Modish is devoting the window of her Cambridge store to the painting, which will take centre stage for the duration of the Fair ie Thursday October 1st until Sunday 4th. Plus prints and cards of the utterly gorgeous ‘The Lake’ will be available for sale too, as ShoesieQ has more than a sneaking suspicion that there are going to me more than a few other people who are about to fall in love with it too 😉

Modish-The_Lake_window_part_1Even more excitingly ShoesieQ is working with the wonderful Ruth Brown from 10:AM Design to make this window the best one Modish has ever seen – it really is going to be going to be more than a bit special.  Here’s a sneaky peak/little clue-ette to give you an idea as to how we (well, Ruth really!) is translating a gorgeous painting onto a gorgeous window………..

 

And finally, if you think your financial resolve is strong enough, or even better, that your bank acoount is healthy enough, you can find out more info and get tickets for this wonderful Fair from http://www.cambridgeartfair.com

Discover Green Street launches tomorrow!

6 Jan

Cambridge Food Sandwich Sandwich136ShoesieQ was wandering round Cambridge one Sunday last month when she was struck by the fact that although the city was mobbed with shoppers, relatively few seemed to make it to Green Street, where (one of) her ladies shoe shop can be found.

 Now to be honest this wasn’t the first time she’d spotted this. Nor indeed was it the first time that she asked herself why on earth more people didn’t pop down and have a mooch at Green Street. Cos it’s certainly not cos it’s lacking in great place to eat and shop.  In fact, and if she says so herself, Green Street is blessed with some of the best stores in town. For example, in the last 6 months, we’ve gained not one but two brilliant Interiors shops in Susie Watson Designs and Catesby’s. Open Air Outdoor shop is a Cambridge institution, not to mention the multi award winning Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery. We have 4 shoe shops in the Street, 2 Hairdressers and great clothes shops in the form of Oska, White Stuff and Jigsaw.

 There’s even an amazing hat and cap shop in Lairds – a year ago they opened their first store outside London here.

 And once you’ve finished shopping we have some great places to eat and snack in Bill’s, Harriets Café and Tearooms, Bangkok City and  the delicious Chill Frozen Yogurt.

Cambridge Food Sandwich Sandwich131But this is where the story takes a twist. Cos rather than just shake her head in bewilderment, this time ShoesieQ decided that Something Must Be Done.

So the very next day she visited all 18 businesses in the street to see if they were up for working together to promote Green Street. And, dear reader, Every Single One of Them was indeed Up For It 🙂

To cut a long story short  we decided to kick things off  by holding a day long event on January 7th called “Discover Green Street”. There’ll be things to do from breakfast to bedtime as many of the shops and restaurants will be open late.

So in case you’re in or about Cambridge tomorrow here’s a list of what’s on offer:

Bills: 20% off retail food sales

Harriet Kelsall Jewellery: 10% off all SALE items,spend over £100 & get free silver earrings

Harriets Café: 25% off afternoon teas, all accompanied by pianist

Sundaes Bedtime Wonderland: Enjoy a cup of jasmine tea while trying on their wonderful felt and sheepskin slippers. And if you’re a size 7 you’ll get a special gift on the day

Buy a waffle special and get a free hot drink at Chill

25% off for all new clients at Directors

10% off plus free fizz after 5 at ShoesieQ’s shop Modish

Susie Watson Designs: 10% off non-sale items (excluding fabrics and throws) plus free consulations on creating your own mood board

Free glass of wine with a la carte meals at Bangkok City

Free refreshments at Jigsaw

Oska will be serving drinks and a free goodie bag with purchases (they have a half price sale at the mo)

 

But if you can’t make it we’ve also launched a twitter account @DiscoverGreenSt, so why not follow us to be first to know what we’re all getting up to?

NEWSFLASH – October 10-11th – Pop ups come to Cambridge!

8 Oct

ShoesieQ brings exciting news! Cambridge has been chosen to host the final of Test Town: a competition for  young entrepreneurs from across the UK to test out their business venture by giving them a pop up shop.  Entrants are given free trading space, development funding, mentoring support and intensive skills training and in return have to use all this help to come up with imaginative uses for our high street spaces.

And it’s all happening this weekend – the 5 shops will be open for just 2 days on Friday and Saturday!

Cool huh?!

And ShoesieQ is thrilled that Green Street (where she has her shop Modish) is the only location in Cambridge to be granted not one, but two pop ups. And even better we get not two, but THREE  young entrepreneurs!

So if you’re anywhere near Cambridge on the 11th or 12th please please pay them a visit to support this fantastic initiative.

You’ll be able to find the pop ups on Green Street at No.14 which will host Violet Lilly Vintage Clothing and Zymurgorium and next door but one to Modish at No.5 TigerPrint Tees.

In case you’re wondering, TigerPrint Tees will be doing a pop-up jungle coffee shop for kids is trying to save the high street and encourage creative kids. Kids can design t-shirts, badges, mugs, bags, bowls & more. Sounds good eh?!

Violet Lilly, on the other hand, are all about handpicked original vintage clothing and accessories. ShoesieQ will definitely be paying them a visit! And last but not least Aaron from Zymurgorium makes his own alcoholic and soft drinks using locally sourced, foraged ingredients. He specialises in mead and unusual flavours of beers, but also makes oils and vinegars.

And if you can make it past the delights of Green St please pop in to the other pop ups at:

56A Mill Road: The Little Herbalista

4-5 Peas Hill: Bubble CreativiTea and Major London

Grand Arcade: Marsh a la Mode

Graton Centre: GoRookie.

To find out more about Test Town, including more info on the other pop ups, just click on this link http://bit.ly/10lbMtr

 And you can follow the Green St entrepreneurs on Twitter  at @VioletLillyx  @zymurgorium @tigerprinttees

Good luck everyone!

Susie Watson comes to Cambridge!

23 Sep

Shop Interior 5Now for those of you who have visited ShoesieQ’s Cambridge shop in the last few months, well, you might be thinking that, yet again, ShoesieQ is a bit behind on her blogging. Cos it is true that this very lovely shop has already been open for a couple of months now (well, almost 4, now she thinks about it).

But dear reader, you’d be wrong! Cos it was only last Thursday that Susie Watson herself came down to throw a bit of a bash to celebrate the opening of her latest store here on lil’ ol’ Green Street.

 

 

And hey, if the Queen can have have 2 birthdays, well ShoesieQ reckons that it’s more than fair enough that Susie Watson can have 2 launch days 😉

 

Anyway, Susie was joined by a whole throng of people during the day and into the evening, including our MP Julian Huppert, lots of local journalists and bloggers, and yours truly (once she’d shut up shop at 5.30pm). And we all had a lovely time in her lovely shop admiring all the very many, very lovely things, accompanied by a few glasses of fizz and some yummy canapes.

Susie Watson herself!

Susie Watson herself, with Nicky Shepard (well done Nicky – great night!)

But when all things are said and done, what is probably the most impressive thing about Susie Watson Designs is the fact that all of these very lovely things are handmade by people who are paid a living wage in parts of the world where this is not normally the case.

 

If you want to find out more, here’s a link to the relevant page of their website:

http://www.susiewatsondesigns.co.uk/how-we-make-it/

 

But really the best way to find out more is to come along to the shop! And if you do, please do pop in to say hi to ShoesieQ! 🙂

Le Tour de France est Arrive!

7 Jul

And Goodness me Cambridge knows about it! ShoesieQ has just spent a happy half hour wandering round the streets of our fair city and it’s already buzzing 2 hours before the start of the Race. The weather’s been kind and there’s a real party mood as you can see.

Btw special mention must go to those lovely people at Ark on St Mary’s Passage. Their window today features a podium that you can stand on and have your photo taken with a winners medal. ShoesieQ couldn’t resist as you can see below. Plus FatFace On Market St are handing out free flags – 4 of which are proudly on show in Modish’s TdF window

So –  if you’re nearby and umming and ahhing about coming to see it – stop dithering and get here! It’s busy but there’s still plenty of space for spectators, certainly near to Green Street where ShoesieQ has one of her shops. NB strongly suspect said shop will be closed from 12-1ish as the staff (ie ShoesieQ) are insisting on watching the race! And it’s times like this that ShoesieQ really appreciates being self employed as you get to make up the rules!

Hope to see you later!

Introducing the fabulous ‘Fab at Any Age’

16 May

Today’s post is just a quickie as ShoesieQ frantically re-arranges the shop to get all her most summery sandals out, to celebrate the fact that the big orange thing in the sky has finally made a re-appearance ;o)

Anyway, on her day off yesterday ShoesieQ caught a glance at the frankly rather shocking state of her tootsies, and decided that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE. Lacking the time for a full on beauticians trip she scoured the internet for a good DIY pedi.  And the fates were certainly smiling in her as she stumbled across the rather wonderful ‘Fab at Any Age’

This little gem of a blog is written by Sharron, a 40 something mum of 4 who, in her words, writes for those of us who “didn’t want to dress like their daughters or even worse, their mothers!” We like!

And she has also written the ultimate guide to a DIY pedi:

http://lookingfabinyourforties.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/beauty-on-budget-perfect-diy-pedi.html#comment-form_466411168874997364

And here are the results – featuring ShoesieQ’s feet (sorry,they’re the only ones I’ve got!) and the rather fabulous Charm Jelly Flat sandals by Holster (£29.95, in case you were wondering).  The is without doubt the best pedi I’ve ever given myself, so if you fancy pampering your feet or are looking for some great fashion tips you really do need to check out Fab at any Age.