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Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Gabriela Szulman

Gabriela Szulman teaches brilliant decoupage workshops. We know they’re brilliant because the reviews for her sessions on Wonderush are overwhelmingly positive, and our members are a discerning bunch. So, given the fact that she’s so popular, we decided it was high time to catch up with Gabriela to find out more about her:

How did you get into decoupage?

My work is all about the reassembling and layering of images through a combination of media including collage, but I got into decoupage in a big way a couple of years ago when one of my sisters showed me how to upcycle an old pair of boots with just paper and glue. Soon I was hooked and started decoupaging trays, picture frames, chairs and even old suitcases which I use for display at craft fairs and other selling events. I recently finished decoupaging a wall with an old French dictionary, my biggest project so far.

How would you describe your teaching style?

I know what works and feel it’s important that people get the basics of decoupage right, so quite directive, at least initially. At the same time, I’m passionate about bringing out creativity in everyone that comes to one of my workshops which means I also encourage experimentation and play once participants get to grips with the technique.

Why would you recommend your activity?

Decoupage is a very affordable and easy way to upcycle and personalise anything from a pair of shoes to a wall: anybody can do this at home with just paper, brushes and glue. No special set-up or tools are required, which gives it a great advantage over other crafts: the two main things you need in order to succeed at decoupage are time and patience. There is a meditative quality to this kind of work, and the end result is often very satisfying.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Aged 11, I was almost expelled from primary school for writing an essay criticising the teachers. Not many people know that…

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I’m a film addict so I go to the cinema as often as I can – a couple of times a week and even a couple of times a day during the London Film Festival.

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there?

I love South London where I have lived for a long time. Brixi, Circus, and Diverse are fabulous independent shops in Brixton. My favourite local food haunts include The Camberwell Arms, Shrub & Shutter and Peckham Bazaar, and I can’t resist bread from The Hill Bakery.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’d love to visit Nek Chand’s Chandigarh Rock Garden in Northern India: Chand was a road inspector with no formal education who spent two decades creating a sculpture garden in secret, using rubble collected from the city’s building sites. A real pioneer who saw art and beauty where others saw junk, something which is very current now but not in in the 1950s when he started his amazing project!

We can’t wait to get down to another on of Gabriela’s sessions. Tickets can be found here. We’ll see you there!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

5 Ways that you can have fun with paper

Ah, paper. It’s super-plain, and it’s somehow made of trees (which is a fact you know, but you still don’t really understand exactly how it’s done). It’s possible that someone could find it a little bit boring, but that person would be wrong. There are all sorts of fun things you can do with paper, and we listed just a few of our favourites:

Bookbinding

There’s nothing quite like getting your hands on a brand new notebook. If you’re not a stationery fan, it might not be a high you’ve experienced before. But we’re absolutely sure that it’s one that gets even better when you’re holidng (oK, fine, sniffing) a book that you made yourself from scratch. We imagine this is how parents must feel about babies. Except there’s a lot less poo.

Paper Cut Workshop

Everyone can splash some paint around and call it a picture (Alright, fine. Some can do that more successfully than others). But for people looking to create something a little bit different, paper cutting might be the way to go. Working with negative space, pictures are created using blades. Plus you have a quick and easy way to look super-threatening if anybody interrupts you. (You did not hear this from us. Please do not threaten anyone.)

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People waving 'hello' on the York Hall stage
Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

Craftacular, Craftacular

This Sunday, Team Wonderush packed up our troubles (read: leaflets, banners, and super-cool merchandise) and made our way to York Hall for Bust magazine’s Craftacular. In our daily lives we spend a lot of time going from activity to activity, trying out the best that London has to offer. We decided, on this occasion, to bring super-cool activities to the craft-lovers of Bethnal Green.

The Bust Craftacular is a fantastic event. The stallholders are handpicked to provide the best variety and the largest amount of weird and wonderful things in one place. Let’s face it, we’re all about handpicked weird and wonderful things, so it felt a little bit like the mothership had called us home. Whether you were after a terrarium, a piece of jewellery made from a bike chain, or just a cup of something hot and a mooch around, there was stuff there for everyone. It was actually difficult to find time to start running activities, considering the large amount of brain space devoted to mentally spending disastrous levels of money, and wondering if it’s possible to get a mortgage for a shopping trip. (What? That’s basically what house hunting is, people.)

However, run activities we did. We teamed up with our lovely friends at  London Craft Club to bring three free, drop-in workshops to Craftacular. Throughout the day visitors got the chance to try their hands at paper bauble-making, bandana stamping, and felt keyring making, and we were kept busy all day. Some of the stuff our visitors produced was amazing, with a particular shout-out to the bandana stampers, who came up with designs that most of the delegates from Team Wonderush (who are not very artistically-inclined) couldn’t even have dreamed of. We saw words, turkeys, and gemstones, to name a few.

Craftacular materials

Craftacular materials

People doing craft at craftacular

A handstamped bandana from craftacular

Needless to say we had a great time meeting loads of cool people, demonstrating the kind of cool stuff Wonderush members can get up to, and picking up some cheeky crafting skills for ourselves, too.

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

8 Multitasking Activities to Try In London

We’re all busy people. Life in London is hectic. There aren’t enough hours in the day. These are all factors that have contributed to the rise of multitasking. It’s not exactly a new concept, but until fairly recently multitasking was reserved for work-related situations where getting stuff done in the shortest space of time possible was paramount. Now, however, multitasking is finding it’s way into our hobbies. If you’re a person of the overachieving kind we can thoroughly recommend the following activities to make sure you fill your free time with maximum efficiency:

1. Chessboxing

Do you ever find yourself playing chess and wishing you could punch your opponent? Or do you ever find yourself boxing and thinking ‘this is all very well, but I wish I could also show how much faster my brain works’? Either way, chess boxing gives you the opportunity to prove yourself in both ways at once.

Chess Boxing

2. Capoeira

A martial art that also involves a heavy element of dance, this is a perfect opportunity to show off not only your ability to take on an attacker, but also your grace and ability to move. Is it a bit like a dance off where you also beat up your opposition? In our heads, when we’re doing it? Yes. Capoeira teachers may disagree.

capoeira

 

3. Drink Shop Do

Basically Community Manager Nicola’s idea of heaven, Drink Shop Do combines three of the best things in the world. You can sip cocktails and make ill-advised (but unquesionably necessary) purchases, and all while also doing something like, say, hanging out with friend-of-Wonderush Mr Stitch, and doing some awesome embroidery.

drink shop do

4. PiYo

Pilates or yoga? Yoga or pilates? It’s a question that haunts most of us at one point or another. The pilates/yoga amalgamation promised to us by The OC never really materialised, but this has recently come along to take its place, promising toning and strength exercises with low impact. Maybe Sandy Cohen will love us now?

piyo

5. City Dash

Running is a fine exercise. It really is. But sometimes, doesn’t it just feel a little bit, well, boring? Luckily our pals at Fire Hazard have solved this problem with City Dash. At their immersive adventures you can not only raise your pulse through running, but also through an awareness of the need to stop bad guys within a time limit. It’s kind of like you’re James Bond, except we do not advise that you rock up in a tux.

City Dash

6. Walking Tour

A walking tour seems like a sedate enough activity, but that’s kind of a ruse. Which is obviously not to say that Undiscovered London are running their customers ragged, but all that walking definitely adds up. When she tried out an East End tour, Community Manager Nicola clocked over 15,000 steps and got a very approving notification  from her phone’s busybody pedometer. Plus she knows loads about street art now. Show off.

East end tour

7. Yoga Dating

Sometimes in life we might find ourselves torn. Should we be doing yoga, or should we be at a singles event? How will we ever find love if we’re not out and about, and actively looking? But how will we stay flexible if we’re not keeping up with our yoga practice? Our friends at Creative Yoga have basically eliminated this problem with their yoga dating nights where you can mix and mingle while you chill out.

Yoga Dating large

8. Samba Reggae

Should I do samba or should I do reggae tonight? It’s an age-old question, and one that thousands of people across the city are, no doubt, wrestling with even now. Fortunately for us all, Antidote London have come up with a session to make all of our lives easier because we no longer have to make a difficult choice. You simply have to head over to them and do both in one 90-minute slot.

Samba Reggae

Whether you like to multitask in your free time, or whether you like to take it slow and concentrate on one thing at a time, you can check out our main site to find all kinds of things to do. We can’t wait to see what you get up to.