Craft, Design and Maker Events in February

*Pinch, punch!* Can you believe that it’s already February? Here’s my pick of some of the fun, crafty things that you can see and do in London this month – get involved, and book your tickets now!


Just Got Made Weekender – 27-28 February, South London

Weekend-Banner

Technically a trade show, the Just Got Made Weekender is a two-day celebration of the UK Maker Revolution. Join craftspeople, micro-manufacturers and material specialists from around the UK as they show off their skills, and sell their unique wares. From heritage leather working to digital fabric printing, jewellery design to letterpress printing, the Weekender is a chance to meet like-minded maker enthusiasts, and explore areas of contemporary making you may not have encountered before.

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Alongside a line-up of exhibitors including Sugru and I Make Knots, the event promises fun and creative drop-in workshops, demonstrations and talks. Professional makers can join free business advice sessions taught by experts from The Design Trust, the Crafty Fox Market, and the Crafts Council.

Cost: Tickets cost £5 for one day (11am – 5pm), or £7.50 for the full weekend. I’m going for the full weekend. You can buy tickets here, and follow Just Got Made on Twitter and Facebook.


Letterform Live – 24 February, London EC2A

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Letterform Live is a series of informal talks organised by Grafik (a graphic design magazine), inspired by their hugely popular Letterform column. The next Letterform Live, hosted in partnership with Monotype, looks at typography used in fashion, and how this has helped shape visual culture.

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Speakers include graphic designers and type experts Sean Murphy, Camille Walala (check out her Twitter) and Romilly Winter, talking about the letters that fascinate and inspire them.

Cost: It promises to be a fun and very informative evening – tickets are just £10 per session and can be purchased here. UPDATE: Unfortunately SOLD OUT, but stay tuned for the next one!


Paper Marbling with Pup Tart – 15th February (7-9pm) at Drink, Shop & Do

I’m a regular at Drink, Shop & Do – a quirky craft café near King’s Cross St. Pancras, which hosts daily events to entertain your evenings. I’ve been to many a ‘Drink, Shop’ Do, including ‘Play with Clay’ (Arnold Schwarzenegger styley), and their annual pumpkin carving for Halloween.

Pup Tart

I’m really excited to have tickets to their paper marbling workshop with Hannah Frew from Pup Tart, which promises to guide us through the basics of how to marble onto paper and fabric, and experiment with patterns and colour, so that we can create our own marbled greeting cards and gift wrap.

Cost: Tickets cost £15 each, and you can buy them via eventbrite here. Come join!


This is only a fraction of the events on offer in Feb, so do keep an eye out. If you know of any others, or go to any of the above, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Happy making, typing and crafting this Feb!

London Craft Dates For Your Diary

Over the next few months there are some fantastic crafty events taking place in London. Below are my top three spanning October and November. I’ll be going – hope to see you there!


The Crafternoon Cabaret Club

When: 24 October 2015 (2-4pm)

Where: The Book Club, 100 – 106 Leonard Street, London

What: The Crafternoon Cabaret Club host a different craft workshop every month. Next weekend, we’ll be making Macrame Hanging Planters to display indoor succulents. As well as taking part in the workshop, each event introduces a cabaret artist, in this case Ukulele songstress Jo Stephenson.

Price: £15 with all materials included. Click here to book.


The BUST London Christmas Craftacular

When: 22 November 2015 (11am – 5pm)

Where: York Hall, Bethnal Green, London

What: The BUST Christmas Craftacular features over 70 vendors, as well as a Drink Shop & Do pop-up cafe, DJs and your choice of DIY workshops. I’ve signed up to weave a Mini Wall Hanging with peas and needles and Amy Ilic (£5),  but you can also make a geometric Christmas decoration with bobbin & bow (free), arm-knit a snood with Wool and the Gang (£20), create a sweater bobble hat with Traid (£5), customise a Christmas jumper with Fabrications (Free), and stitch your signature on Craftivist Collective’s Giant Petition (Free). Check out the website for the full schedule.

Price: £3 entrance, plus workshop costs.


The Holiday Renegade Craft Fair

When: 7-8 November 2015 (11am – 6pm)

Where: Old Truman Brewery, 81 Brick Lane, London

What: The Renegade Craft Fair is a curated marketplace of indie-craft goods which showcases the best and brightest talent from the modern Maker community. I attended the fair last year, and had a great time browsing the stalls, and being inspired by an array of makers. Not only will this event provide great inspiration for festive gift-giving, you can also participate in DIY workshops at a small cost.

Price: Free to attend, plus workshop costs.


Stay tuned to see how I get on at the weaving and macrame workshops!

Jewellery Making at The Turpentine, Brixton

On Wednesday night I was lucky enough to attend an intimate jewellery-making workshop for bloggers at the Turpentine in Brixton, a brand new creative hub on Coldharbour Lane.

Turpentine

Launched by three friends (Amber Rogers, Alice Waters and Jude de Berker), the Turpentine sells gorgeous hand-crafted wares from independent aritsts, designers and makers, as well as offering a range of evening workshops from jewellery making, life-drawing and Christmas wreath making.

DIY Geometric necklace

Our class was led by qualified art teacher and Central St Martins Alumnus, Jude de Berker, who showed us how to cut, shape and finish our own necklace pendant from silver. I’ve only ever strung beads together to make a necklace in the past, so I was excited to learn how to cut my own.

Equipment: You will need – a piercing saw with spare blades, bench peg, drill, metal file, sheet of silver or brass, necklace chain, jump rings, nail and hammer, pliers and sandpaper (400 / 600 grit).

How to make your own necklace pendant:

Our first task was to sketch out potential pendant designs. With pencil and paper, we sought inspiration by doodling and Googling, until we settled on the shape that we wanted. This took a little longer than anticipated, as we were all distracted by the beautiful wares around us!

Whilst at first I was embarrased by my lack of drawing skills (being in the presence of graphic designers and all), I decided to stick to a simple yet striking geometric design. Once we were happy with our shapes, we cut them out and stuck them onto our sheet of silver / brass with tape.

Whilst jewellery designers usually try out a new design in brass, and then move to silver once they’re happy (as it’s cheaper), I really liked the colour of the brass, so I stuck to this. Apparently I just have to be careful that it doesn’t rest against bare skin, as otherwise I might turn a bit green.

Once taped on, Jude showed us how to thread and use our piercing saw to cut around the template on the bench press. The secret was to make sure the blade was nice and tight, and to use an upright sawing motion, trying not to apply too much pressure (so as not to break the blade).

To change sawing direction, Jude showed us how to maintain the sawing action whilst slowly turning the saw to create a small ‘hole’, so that you can continue in a new direction without getting stuck.

Once cut, we used metal files to neaten and straighten the edges, keeping the file at an angle, so that it travelled up the whole length of the edge (so as not to create unwanted indents).

Once smooth, we were shown how to drill holes, so that we could connect our pendant to our necklace chain. We used a nail and hammer to make a small indent where we wanted our holes to be. This was a tricky business, as the jump rings were quite small, so we had to stay close to the edge.

Making jewellery

For the finish, we had two choices – either we could use sandpaper to create a brushed finish, or we could leave our pendant for a few hours in the polishing machine to give it a high shine. I decided to go for a brushed finish; Jude showed us how to drag our pendant along the sandpaper using either a straight or ‘figure of eight’ method, transforming it instantly.

Next, we grabbed our pliers, and split our jump rings so that we could connect them to our pendant. As my design was quite long, I used a jump ring at each end, and connected these to a gold chain.

Although it is a simple design, I am chuffed with my necklace, and amazed that I have made it myself. As well having my necklace to take away with me, it was also a wonderful evening in itself. I loved the mood lighting and Christmas songs, and Jude was a fantastic teacher.

Jewellery Making

Given that Turpentine is just 7 months old, I can’t wait to see where Jude, Alice and Amber take it. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, and would definitely go again.

Turpentine

If you’re heading to this weekend’s Crafty Fox Market at The Dogstar in Brixton (6-7 December), do pop in to the Turpentine which is just a few doors down. You can also check out the Turpentine’s upcoming workshops here, and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Well done!

I also had the privilege of meeting four other creative bloggers whose brilliant write-ups you can read here: Emilia Buggins (Graphic designer / illustrator) made a brilliant dog pendant. Shoshana of Shoshy Caboodle made a fancy bow-tie style pendant. Watch her YouTube video of the experience here.

All in all a fantastic evening, with fantastic company! See you next time, Turpentine. Thanks to StreetHub for organising the event. Check out their website to find more independent boutiques.

Renegade Craft Fair London 2014

You might remember back in September, I told you about the upcoming Renegade Craft Fair at London’s Old Truman Brewery, just a stone’s throw from Old Spitalfields Market.

After waiting patiently, I was excited to attend the fair today. Packed full of talented stall holders, the Old Truman Brewery was the perfect venue to showcase an array of festive crafts.

From jewellery to cards, there was the opportunity to buy a range of wares in different styles. My favourite stalls were Mister Peebles, Peggy & Kate, Hello Harriet, and Blank Inside.

Blank Inside Design:

Blank Inside was the first stall I fell in love with – feat. gorgeous wrapping paper, gift tags and cards.

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Mister Peebles:

Mister Peebles had some truly gorgeous illustrations which he’d adorned on a range of stationery.

Mister Peebles

Peggy & Kate:

I was constantly drawn back to Peggy & Kate’s stall, as they use such a beautiful deep blue pallet.

Peggy & Kate

To conclude, Renegade Craft Fair was a blast. As well as browsing stalls, there was the opportunity to take part in some workshops such as pom pom making and letterpress printing, for a small fee.

I was also pleased to receive a complimentary ‘geometric neon mug cosy’ kit from Mollie Makes. The fair is open tomorrow (Sunday 23rd Nov) for the final day, so do check it out if you can!

Crafty Fox Market, Autumn 2014

On Sunday, Jack and I visited the unique Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. Held at The Dogstar, this quirky pub became a craft showroom for the weekend, packed on all three floors with crafty stall-holders.

Crafty Fox Market

My favourite three stall-holders were Takae Mizutani and Sons – who had cute ‘snail’ plant saucers and tiny horse & fort egg cups; Oh My Gee – who sold cards consisting of colourful animal prints and unexpected slogans such as ‘Twat’, and ‘Piss off’; and Floss & Mischief – who is leading the ‘trendy needlework’ scene with a range of taxidermy themed sewing kits and thread art.

Takae Mizutani and Sons

As well as the stalls, there were also a few pay-as-you-go craft workshops, including tote bag screen-printing (£5) with Mr. Wingate, bunting necklace making with Lucie Ellen (£15), or you could sit down with a cup of tea and a casual skull badge cross-stitch with The Sewcial Circle (£3).

For our tote bag, we designed a butterfly screen-print. I’m not gonna lie – it didn’t come out quite as expected; Lesson #1 of screen-printing – remember the Inverse Rule. That said, it did make me realise how easy it is to design and make your own gifts for people, with a little practice!

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I also made a bunting necklace with the lovely Lucie Ellen. It’s fair to say that Lucie did all the hard work in prepping the wooden bunting, however I used my new-found plier skills to connect them.

All in all, we had a great day! I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere quirky to go to catch up with crafty friends in London. It’s a very laid back atmosphere, plus cake galore!

For better pictures (it was very dark inside), visit the Crafty Fox Market Facebook page.

Autumn Craft Fairs, London 2014

I love this time of year, when mornings are crisp, and trees turn beautiful shades of orange. Something about Autumn makes me want to go outside and retire inside all at the same time, so what better way to spend my weekends than at autumn craft fairs. There are a few upcoming craft fairs in London that provide the perfect excuse to mooch around by day, and curl up crafting by night.

1) Crafty Fox Market – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th October

Crafty Fox Market caught my eye as they not only feature a selection of hand-picked designer makers, but they also feature creative workshops, tea & cakes, and DJs spinning an ‘eclectic’ mix of tunes. With regular seasonal markets in London – all guest curated – they are not to be missed!

Crafty Fox Market

This weekend, on 4th-5th October, you can visit the Crafty Fox Market Autumn Fair at the Dogstar, Brixton between 11am – 5pm. I’m going on Sunday, which has been guest curated (from over 400 applicants) by Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek. As well as featuring some very cool stalls, I’m hoping to take part in some fun creative workshops including a screen printing workshop by Mr Wingate (£5), and a bunting necklace workshop by Lucie Ellen (£15).

2) Renegade Craft Fair – Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd November

Keen DIY’ers will be pleased to hear that the Renegade Craft Fair London Market returns to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, on 22nd – 23rd November. Founded in 2003 to serve the neglected DIY craft community, RCF now has 14 annual events in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and London. In other words, the Renegade Craft Fair is kind of a big deal!

Renegade Craft Fair London

Visit the fair in November to kickstart your festivities. Market hours are 11am – 6pm, and you can expect to find over 100 of the best makers from the UK and beyond. Celebrating indie craft and design, you’ll find vendors from jewellery, ceramics, paper goods, artisanal food, art installations and more.

Are you heading to any autumn craft fairs this year?

Pretty Posh Photoshoot in the Park

We take about a million pictures of Lauren at every Style It photo-shoot – a) to make sure that we’ve got every single accessory covered, and b) to account for operator error on my part!

Once we’ve whittled down the results, my favourite photos are always the ones of Lauren smiling. Check out a few of our pics from the latest photo-shoot in sunny Russell Square, London:

Read Lauren’s full Style post on Pretty Posh Oh My Gosh – this whole outfit cost under £30!

#ProductiveLunchBreak