Bring Your Holiday Home with James Villas

james villas holidays

Last week I was asked along to a special Mallorcan themed event in London with James Villas Holidays, for a day of Mediterranean crafting! It was to celebrate the real essence of holidays and what makes them so memorable… be it the weather, the food, the culture, the simply getting away from it all…. and how you can capture some of that special magic and bring it home!

Held in the back room of lively cafe Drink Shop Do in the heart of bustling King’s Cross, it was the perfect location for an intimate gathering of some wonderful Bloggers, all ready to get their craft on! I couldn’t have been happier to see the lovely faces of what I consider to be some of the ‘original’ bloggers that I remember from when I started… especially Marianne from Maris World who I haven’t seen in such a long time.. absolutely wonderful to see her! There was also Penny who writes Parentshaped, Joy from Pink Oddy, Penny from Being Mrs C, super craft blogger extraordinaire Maggie from Red Ted Art and last but not least, my lovely friend Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby!

I couldn’t make the first session of the day which was weaving, as I was working, but that looked fab and everyone made some gorgeous creations! You can’t help but think of rustic little Mediterranean streets and local people sat spending hazy days making these very same products! Beautiful!

I manged to get there for the second session.. taking my daughter with me after the school run because she absolutely loves coming to events and I knew she would like this one a LOT! I arrived just at the right moment because everyone was tucking into some wonderful Mediterranean food, which was delicious…. and let’s not forget, food is a major part of being on holiday and can even influence where we go. It’s also one of the best ways to bring that holiday feeling back home! We all like to hunt out that special little eatery while we’re away, a place to return to time and time again that cooks up the most amazing dishes… then recreate those same dishes back home…. instantly taking you back there. The smell, the tastes…. you could even buy some traditional cookware and serving dishes to make it even more authentic!

For OUR crafting session, we were making Espadrilles! I was actually very excited about this! I’m not a crafter in any way so this was something completely out of my comfort zone but hello? Making a pair of actual SHOES that I could wear? How cool is that? I couldn’t wait to get started!

james villas crafting espidrilles

All the vibrantly coloured fabrics were laid out on the table and we rummaged around for our correct shoe sizes, hoping they came with our preferred fabric choice! But really, I wouldn’t have cared which pattern I had as they were all equally fabulous! I chose the yellow and blue ones (below), picked out my thread, then it was time to get started!

Making espadrilles is a lot harder than it looks… Getting the fabric in the right place around the toe section was tricky and had to be pinned first. The needle and thread was quite stiff to push in and pull through the sole of the espadrille, making way for very sore fingers! Luckily we had a teacher on hand… we definitely needed one let me tell you, and she came in the form of Ota, from sewing and craft shop Luchi & Ota in EdgwareShe was great fun! Full of encouragement as she swept around the room like a bubbly whirlwind, sharing entertaining stories and helping us get our stitching right! She was such a jolly character and great company, I hope to take my daughter and twins along to her shop at some point in the future as it isn’t that far from me!

james villas espadrilles making craft

red ted art

As well as us bloggers, a few members of the James Villas team joined in with the crafting and they were super lovely! The atmosphere was relaxed and easy, we laughed and talked and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We sniggered at some of the sewing skills around the table, especially mine… although they weren’t as bad as Gary’s from James Villas… his were terrible ;) For the most part, everyone did a grand job. It’s a pity we ran out of time…. it really did fly by… so we didn’t manage to finish our creations but we vowed to complete them at home, which I will, just haven’t got round to it yet! My daughter’s espadrilles, meanwhile, were beautiful! I couldn’t believe how lovely and neat they were, considering she’s only just turned 12, she certainly put mine to shame!

james villas espadrilles summer holidays

James Villas were the perfect hosts and this event was perfectly timed… the end of the summer when everyone is trying to come to terms with Autumn drawing in but at the same time, not willing to put away that holiday feeling just yet. With that in mind, making the effort to do things like our Mallorcan crafting is another way we can really bring the holiday home… reminding us of those special times. As can things like souvenirs. I don’t know if it’s just me but people don’t seem to buy souvenirs as much anymore do they? I remember when it was the done thing to visit the local shops when on holiday, even if it was in the UK, to buy little gifts for family and friends… but now I think we just buy the occasional thing for our own homes. Something authentic is best, like a hand sewn cushion or some beautifully painted ceramics. James Villas has a lovely post on their blog with some great ideas… They also suggest making a Smash Book to keep all those awesome holiday memories alive. A cross between a travel journal and a scrapbook, making one of these is an activity the whole family can get involved in.

Lastly, I think talking about our holidays, reminiscing with family and looking through photo’s, is probably the nicest way to remember holidays. I love to do this and it always puts a huge smile on my face. Or brings a tear to my eye, depending on how I’m feeling… a reminder of how much the kids have grown. We haven’t had a proper holiday for a few years now so I’m a bit fed up of looking at old photo’s, however wonderful they are. I want some new ones. Some new memories. I’m craving some sunshine, some fun and some relaxation. I want to hear my children squealing with delight as they jump in and splash around in a swimming pool all day. I want to explore somewhere brand new and lay on a beach feeling the hot sun on my skin… without a care in the world.

I NEED a holiday!

Ever since the event I’ve been browsing the James Villas website and flicking through their free magazine, wishing I could jump into the pages. I’ve always imagined they were expensive, don’t know why because I’ve haven’t looked but there are so many options for every taste and budget. It’s impossible not to find something you love. I’m wondering why we haven’t considered them before. We usually stay in hotels… with the all inclusive option, believing that to be best so we don’t need to worry about food and cooking and constantly buying drinks for the kids. But actually, staying in a hotel like that can be incredibly restricting and can become quite tedious. I haven’t stayed in a villa before, EVER… But I’m coming round the idea. I rather fancy the idea now of the seclusion that only a villa can give. Having my own little kitchen to prepare food and eat when we feel like it. Not having to worry about other people or timings. Enjoying that outdoor space and pool! Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?

I need to book something now, for next Summer so I have something to look forward to! If it’s booked, we’re going. No way I’m leaving it to the last minute like we did this year, then end up not going anywhere!

We need to create some brand new holiday memories to bring back home!

A big thank you to James Villas for a wonderful, inspiring day.

 photo name_zpscd74d280.jpg

Please leave a comment... I try to reply to each and every one :)

%d bloggers like this: