On the eve of Imogen 9th birthday we took a trip down to Katie’s Garden in Sunderland with my friend (and fellow Brownie owl) Victoria and her daughter Elizabeth (7). It had been quite a crafty weekend as Imogen had celebrated with a little party with her classmates on Friday evening decorating mugs, canvas bags and creating Hama bead patterns. The latter I’ve vowed never again as tiny precariously placed beads and a hot iron equal stress!
Imogen just cannot get enough of craft at the moment, so I was sure she would love Katie’s Garden after reading a great post by Geordie Goth, it sounded like the perfect place for a birthday treat. It would be nice for someone else’s floor to be covered in evil glitter (which sticks EVERYWHERE) for a change too!
Located opposite the Sunniside cinema complex just on the edge of the shopping area we found the venue quite easily once we were in the right street. A little diversion due to the Remembrance Sunday parade gave the sat-nav much confusion at one point! The large car park just next to Katie’s Garden was free on a Sunday which was good too.
Victoria had phoned ahead and booked Imogen and Elizabeth onto the ‘North Pole Fairy garden workshop’, which was priced at £18 for each girl. Our table was all ready when we entered with the craft mats in place. It really is quite an entrance as the shop front is covered in foliage and flowers so gorgeous! I went a bit snap happy taking photos of the gorgeous crafts packs to do in store or take home, hidden details and lovely illuminated letters.
More is more when it comes to Katie’s Garden and the attention to details shows their passion for craft and homemade quirky decorations.
Time for cake and biscuits
The girls were each given some little wooden figures to be coloured in using gel pens and they set about the first part of the activity.
We were offered coffee and juice for the kids and picked a slab of carrot cake and a cute kids picnic (£6) for Elizabeth from the adorable cloth menu. All went down very well and the presentation was twee-tastic! As part of the session they were given a gingerbread biscuit with icing and sweeties to decorate. Unsurprisingly these went down a storm too and I had major food envy checking out the next tables afternoon tea.
The second part of the activity was to decorate their terracotta pot selecting colours from the case of tissue paper to create a decoupage patchwork effect. The plant was then ready to be potted and the girls went up to the counter to get their wooden door glue gunned onto the pot. The finished result was really effective-let’s hope we can keep the plant alive until Christmas!
The girls were encouraged to look around the shop spotting the fairy houses. The water house was above the sink in the toilets, and the bakery above the cake counter. It really was so cute and the shop is full of hidden details-check out the toilet which encourages you to leave a note for their pinboard. Some of the Christmas crafts were gorgeous too with stocking making, santa’s sleighs and bauble making. The shop isn’t just for children and they run adult crafting workshops too! Kirstie Allsopp eat your heart out!
Victoria and I started talking brownie holiday ideas having been inspired by their Under the Sea decor and mermaid blankets and the lady who owns the shop recommended some ideas and stockists which was much appreciated. If the shop was closer to Newcastle we would have loved to take the Brownies one night.
We left the shop after around 2 hours without feeling rushed. It was lovely to spend time with Victoria and Elizabeth outside of the chaos of the Brownies and we enjoyed just chatting and spending time with our girls. The bill for the craft workshop, coffee and cake was £24.50 and although not cheap it was a fantastic experience in a magical craft shop.