I had a lovely Sunday with my friend April last weekend, visiting Lustre and Handmade Nottingham, two excellent craft fairs in Nottingham. The world of craft fairs is varied, from small fairs held at church halls and community centres, through markets by local craft makers and artists to high end events featuring nationally recognised makers. I love the variation of work on display but most or all, I love the people. I really enjoy talking to other makers who are passionate and enthusiastic about their products and genuinely want to meet the people who buy them. As a maker myself, I love seeing people being drawn to my jewellery and asking me about it. Read more
Most people have heard of Leonardo da Vinci. Most will think of the Mona Lisa. But for me, its his drawings that capture the imagination. His sketches and technical drawings have a character and delicacy that just fascinates me. Da Vinci was one of the first artists whose work captured me, and it still does. Nottingham Castle is one of four venues across the UK and Ireland that is playing host to a touring exhibition of ten drawings from the Royal Collection. The drawings show the variety of da Vinci’s interests and curious nature, spanning anatomy, map making and engineering to botanicals.
To me, making and repair go hand in hand. When something is handmade, you know the object has been sculpted, painted, forged, painted or hammered into existence by someone. It creates a history for things before they even fall into my ownership. It also might not be perfect, without the cookie cutter duplication of mass production. It has personality, if you like. This same philosophy applies to repairing things. I suppose I come from a family of ‘fixers’, my Grandpa and Dad especially.
My sofa cover is in need of a repair, having suffered greatly at the claws of my cat Aston. Having finally persuaded him that the scratching post is a much better option, I now need to repair the damage. Read more
Bloggers by the nature of their work, tend to be insular souls, tapping away on laptops in their homes with only the cat to talk to. So gather a whole gaggle of creative bloggers in a venue in central London and the decibel levels rise.
Blogtacular! Is something I have wanted to attend for a couple of years now. At first I wasn’t sure I could justify the expense, then I was away on holiday, but the third time? I made a decision I was going.There is a Blogtacular Twitter chat every Wednesday night at 9pm GMT. As Twitter chats go, it’s pretty damn awesome:well organised, friendly and actually useful. I always come away from a chat feeling positive and like I belonged, so thought surely the conference would be the same, but on steroids. Read more
I moved to Nottingham for University in 2002 and I’m still here 14 years later! (eek! that makes me feel old!) I love it because it is small but busy, friendly and brilliantly located to get to other parts of the UK. But mostly, I love the creativity that goes on on in this city: a thriving art and craft scene, an annual fashion week and lots of creative businesses and companies. So this is my own personal guide to places to visit here in Nottingham, with heavy emphasis on the cultural and creative side of the city, but is by no means an exhaustive list. There may be a bias towards places with good cafes too. Read more
Fred Aldous has been a Manchester institution since 1886, but it took until last year for them to open another store, this time in Leeds. Visiting the Manchester store is like Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory but for art and craft supplies, and their website has so much, you won’t know where to start! So when I was visiting my parents last week, I just had to see how the new Leeds shop measured up, and I wasn’t disappointed. Read more
So this last weekend saw a huge craft trade show happen at the NEC in Birmingham, CHSI Stitches! This was the first time I would be going to a trade event like this, so I was pretty excited. After a minor issue with me not being able to find my registration email ( I really need to clear out my inbox…) and having to sign up again, we started wandering around the stands. Read more
Most city centres at night aren’t exactly family friendly, especially on a Friday. But city councils all over the UK are trying to produce events that encourage families to stay in the city after dark and to brighten up the dismal winter evenings. Nottingham has been putting on Light Night every February for the past 9 years, with the city attractions open late and buildings lit up, and special activities across the city.
Last week I spent a few days up at my parents place in Yorkshire. It was also a bit of a working holiday, as I was to booked to do a workshop at my Mums church and to sell some of my jewellery. But I did get out and about, eat some nice food and relax a little!
On Sunday, we visited the gorgeous village of Haworth, most famous for being the home to the Bronte sisters. The main street is long, steep and cobbled, full of tearooms, gift shops and restaurants. I can especially recommend a visit to Rose & Co apothecary; a wonderland of glass counters, tubs of bath salt and the most beautifully packaged goods you are every likely to see! The views across to the surrounding moorland is spectacular. You don’t have to be a Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre fan to appreciate the charms of Haworth. Read more
My visit to the gardens, shops and galleries at Logie Steading in the North of Scotland.
I’m still getting Scotland withdrawal symptoms, so to cheer myself up I am going to share another lovely place I visited, Logie Steading. Located east of Inverness and 6 miles south of the Moray coast, Logie Steading is a small complex of shops and galleries set in the Logie Estate and also offers a gorgeous garden and river walks. Read more