Thought Foundation


The People's Street Art Gallery

17th March 2020 | Charlotte

After the announcement of our temporary closure, our community have come up trumps with innovative ways to bring happiness. Our lush artist friend Megan Randall has suggested a street gallery, which we love the idea of!

So here is what we suggest… you or a family member make a drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, then pop it in your window, stick it onto the glass or hang it from the fixings. Give your piece of art pride of place in the People Street Art Gallery.

Here are some inspirational ideas to start your art.

- Create a collage self-portrait in the style of Picasso, use old magazines and scrap paper… imperfect is perfect and cutting out is really therapeutic.

- Do a line drawing of a tree, maybe include the roots, take your time and capture the detail. It’s always best to look at the thing you are drawing for inspo, so if you can’t see a tree, a houseplant is a great place to start. All you need is paper and pencil (make sure it is sharp).

- Have a look at the work of Yayoi Kusama and get busy with repetitive dots and vivid, clashing colours, felt tips are great to use for this (a great stress reliever)

Remember nobody is judging you, it’s just a bit a fun, something else to focus on in these strange times. And it might really brighten someone else’s day when they walk passed your window, if people don’t pass-by then think of your post human who will love it… we are sure of it!

Share photos of your contribute here.






Toy swap

21st January 2020 | Gareth

Leanne Here…

Is it just me or is anyone struggle with consumerism?

The way I see it is that we have been brought up on consumerism, having stuff (and lots of it) has meant that you are a better person - or so we have been told! Significantly in my teens it was owning a pair of £75 Kickers (I NEEDED them!), but even from as young as five I was sold the need to have a Cabbage Patch Doll or Tiny Tears and it was Lego and Scaletrix for my brother (yes our household was very gendered). Now in my late 30’s adult life I am actively trying to shrug the need for stuff… I absolutely, 100% don’t need any more belongings! And nor do my kids for that matter… so how come then do I have find myself (only occasionally these days) buying more stuff? It’s like an addiction, a dirty one, that I desperately don’t want!

I am actively trying to talk to my kids about not needing any more stuff, being happy with what we have, etc, etc… In an ideal world they would say “Mummy can we climb trees, walk in the park or on the beach as a to opposed please can I have Heelies, a Fit Bit, this bit of plastic tat or that nonsense toy that they have seen on YouTube, etc. Some of what I am saying to them is filtering through though, my youngest daughter of 6, was having a minor meltdown in Hobbycraft yesterday pleading with me to buy her another slime kit. I refused, we had a heated discussion and we left the shop. On the way home, through her tears she said something on the lines of “I know plastic is bad for animals, but I just want more plastic toys”. This to me is deep routed and really sad but I know I am not 100% to blame. Big business has a lot to answer for, filling our hearts and minds with the thoughts that we need more things! Basically it has to stop! That is if we want to protect our planet! Consumerism is contributing to the devastation of natural resources, habitats for our wildlife and so on.

As a family we haven’t been too bad over the Christmas period, there was a little bingeing on new things, but we tried to buy second hand, shop thoughtfully and local were possible whilst overall actively buying less. It’s a big shift in my programming and not necessarily my natural state… I do love treating my kids and after all we are sold stuff = love.

So why am I banging on about this?… Well instead of going cold turkey we, at Thought Foundation are hosting swapping events. This weekend we have Kids Toy, Book and Clothes Swap. You and the fam bring along any old kids stuff and for every item you receive a token, which you can exchange for other peoples stuff. The kids get something new-to-them, you don’t have to take as much home as you brought (we send the rest to charity). Nothing new have been bought… kids are happy and it’s kinder to the environment. I know it's not massive but it’s one way we can contribution to tackling mass consumerism, great for the purse strings too.

So join us this Saturday SWAP - DON'T SHOP! And as a bonus we are screening Toy Story 4 whilst you swap. You can just watch the movie if you don’t want to swap and if you want to buy anything extra it’s £1 per item.

£3 per family
Sat 25th Jan 2020
2-4 PM
No need to book


This post is linked to the event Kids Clothes, Toys & Book swap & Toy story 4 screening

THoughtful Night Market... 16th Nov

22nd October 2019 | Gareth

Our Thought Foundation shop aims to reflect the quality of northeast designer/makers. We give these small independent businesses a platform to reach our customers, who are considered and thoughtful in their purchases.

We carefully curate our shop to offer diverse and creative stock; you will always find something quirky, ethical and beautifully executed, made and sourced by people with a passion for what they do.

Take for example Olive and Clay- a one women creative factory producing stylish home ware from her studio in Chester-Le-Street, we love her paired down simplicity and muted tones. We also sell jewellery from multiple makers, unique pieces for gifts for friends, family and you!

We also offer products from Durham based duo, The Crafthood. Their refillable candles are our best sellers, we often have one burning in our office at TF to revive our spirits! In fact we got on so well with The Crafthood ladies that together we devised The Thoughtful Night Market, a curated gathering of quality stalls from the very best independent creative businesses across the North East (and a little further!), which we host at Thought Foundation twice a year. The next one is 16th Nov starting at 5pm.

We have a great selection of talent meaning each stall will offer something different. We have some of your favourite makers returning and new faces joining in too! The evening also offers a marvellous mix of live music, live illustration, demos & tasters, festive tipples, food and wonderful workshops to boot.

It will be our 5th Night Market, previous events have been well attended and well received! So if you are after an alternative Saturday night, in a quirky, chilled atmosphere, you could purchase all you chrsitmas gifts at once... Then Thoughtful Night Market is for you. No Need to book, pay on the door, £3.50 (a percentage will be donated to St Oswalds).

This post is linked to the event The Thoughtful Night Market