Welcome to the Ex-Official Blog of Writer, Presenter & Crafts Expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain which stopped being active on 31st August 2016.

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Momtaz's NEW BLOG is www.craftandtravel.com

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013

I've heard so many people say 'wow, this year's gone by so quickly'. 
But for me, 2012 has felt like the longest year ever. The never ending year that went on and on with increasing levels of work and deadlines to meet. It's had it's fair share of highs and lows, moments I would like to forget and ones that I will remember for the rest of my life. Cliched as it may sound, the London 2012 Olympics was one of the most exciting times I've ever lived through. I feel so lucky that I saw it all happen in my local area and made the most of it by experiencing as much as I could; from the arts and entertainment of the London 2012 Festival to witnessing Olympic history: being there for the 1st ever women's boxing match.
I don't have any expectations of 2013 and no 'resolution' has captured my mind (yet?).  
I'm starting the year, with an open mind, open to ideas, opportunities, new friends, unexpected experiences, visiting different places. Perhaps I'll fulfill one of my ambitions. Perhaps I won't. Fingers crossed I'll achieve more than one.

Happy New Year x

These images were taken at The Southbank Centre over the summer at an installation called Rainbow Park by Polish sculptor Adam Kalonowski and appeared as part of their Festival of the World season.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Bust Christmas Craftacular 2012

Blimey! What were so many cool and colourful people doing on a Sunday afternoon in an East London venue normally associated with boxing bouts? Shopping for crafts of course!
This year's Bust Christmas Craftacular was another festive market filled with gorgeous handmade goodies, sold by indie maker/designers offering a refreshing spread of fabulousness.
Bust? It is indeed an event associated with US magazine Bust - they hold one in New York which inspired the London event to start up a few years ago.
As well as filling up your Christmas stockings there were free workshops throughout the day where you could make stuff. Milliner extraordinaire Chloe from Hatastic! (she makes headwear from sweets and recycled things) ran a session on making mini fascinators ready to be worn on Christmas Day.
While Queen of Crafts Jazz Domino Holly added festival flair with her Handmade Hangout where you could make dream catchers (or snowflake catchers, whichever you preferred!)
Recognise this lovely trio? Yay! It's The Make Escape DJs Isabel, Alice and Dan who provided some of the soundtrack to the event.
It wasn't just visitors ears that were satisfied, sights were too thanks to the rather spectacular live entertainment courtesy of a hula girl...yes a girl who performs with a hula hoop. And not just any old girl; one of the happiest and most enthusiastic dancers I've ever come across!
 Like every good event there was a raffle. I do love a raffle. Especially one with such brilliant prizes...keeping my fingers, toes and current buns crossed for the giant Craft necklace donated by Tatty Devine. It would look so fabulous on me.
Last year I got over excited about meeting my hero Rob Ryan. He was back this year in his own Print Grotto where he was selling jawdroppingly amazing screenprinted wrapping paper.
Amongst the 75+ stalls was a lovely selection by my favourite haberdashery supplies shop All The Fun Of The Fair. You can normally find them in Kingly Court off Carnaby Street, pop by next time you're in that area.
 My fave stall was by Crafty Pint - really colourful and welcoming selling fun cushions and bunting made from vintage tea towels and character fabric. Crafty Pint also run regular craft workshops in South London, check out their site to find out more.
The youngest stall holder was Chloe from Hatastic's niece who managed the stall while Chloe ran her workshop. Take a good look at this face, she has her sights set on being Prime Minister..,and she loves craft which is a good thing, so expect lots of crafter-friendly policies!
 It was also great to see newcomers The Craft Closet selling their 'make it yourself' craft kits. The girls were so committed this was their second stall of the day. They also had one at We Make London where they served a certain Mr Gok Wan who bought one of their 'knit a purse' kits.
 This is why the Craftivists say to make three jigsaw pieces for their I Am A Piece project, one to give to them, one to gift to someone else and one to pop on your tree!
That Sarah Corbett, she never takes a break! She was even busy stitching on the Craftivist stand..while stylish sporting some fab jigsaw shaped earrings.
It wasn't just crafty goodness for sale, The Merry Bobbins sold homemade chutney and marmalade to raise funds for Age Concern and there were many tempting cakes for sale including Egg Nog cupcakes by Ms Vegan Cupcakes - yum!
I got chatting to the current president of Shoreditch Sisters WI who is about to embark on a new job in The Congo for three years...I'm sure she'll be inspiring them with her crafty presence, I loved this jumper she customised with a felt Christmas tree decked out with sequin baubles.
 I also bumped into the super lovely Rosie Martin aka DIY Couture...who was on the hunt for a Christmas gift for her mum.
I was searching for things I can send in the post and picked up this lovely typewriter brooch by Kayleigh Omara which I am still umming and aahing about keeping for myself...
 While these badges by Mary Kilvert are being sent to my friend Janine in Ecuador who collects sausage dog memorabilia.

Another year, another great event. There are so many Xmas craft fairs to choose from in London, all fabulous, but this one is especially a treat to visit. The standard of crafts on sale is really high and it's well priced. If you missed it then try and get along next year, and if you can't wait until Winter, they usually have a Spring fair too.

The Bust Christmas Craftacular took place at York Hall in Bethnal Green east London, on Sunday 16th December 2012.
Keep up to date with them about future events by visiting their Facebook page.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Is Nicki Minaj my twin?

Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t refer to me as Nicki Minaj. We have colourful hair and a multitude of shades in our wardrobe but surely that’s where the comparisons stop? I mean this Trinidadian beauty looks nothing like me. Then again, we do have a few other things in common, as I discovered when I decided to do some deep research into seeing whether or not we did perhaps did get separated at birth?

1. Think Pink

We have both sported long pink hair. (Check the attention to detail, I make that green eyeshadow and pink lips too!)

2. Blue Tones

Oh and we've tried blue mops as well.

3. Screen Queen

I once had a Marilyn Monroe makeover. Nicki did an ode to Marilyn.

 4. Feeling Fruity


My favourite fruit is mango….Nicki is a mango addict.

5.  Barbie Girls


Nicki has been made into a Barbie doll, I once took my niece to meet Barbie.

 7. Jay Sean

Nicki stars in a Jay Sean video. I do too

8. Booty-licious

I swear by my wellies, even if there’s just a drizzle. Nicki wears wellies on stage.

  8. Island Love

Nicki is from the Caribbean and was born in Trinidad. I once had a Caribbean themed birthday.  
9. Shaking our Pom poms

It’s fair to say that both our wardrobes are spectacular. I like her pom pom top, she would most likely mine too.

  1. Sexy Sagittarians
My birthday is December 6th. Nicki’s birthday is December 8th……
That pretty much seals it…….Nicki Minaj, clearly IS my twin!