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Craft General Knitting Notebooks Paper Stationery

Weekly inspiration- A Handmade Christmas

Right about now is the time you may want to think about panicking if you haven’t yet bought all your Christmas presents. It’s 2 weeks to Christmas! Just 2 weeks! Quick! Get the things! Order the stuff!

Whatever stress you may or may not be feeling about finishing your Christmas shopping, rest assured there’s still some time. And if you don’t relish the thought of fighting your way through crowded high streets and shops, but you still want to feel like you’ve taken the time to seek out a unique gift, then have no fear: the internet will save you.

While under normal circumstances I don’t condone buying gifts online instead of supporting wonderful local and independent shops, there are several fantastic and well-established websites that specialise in peddling the homemade, hand crafted wares of creative individuals. Here are my favourites:

  • Etsy was where it all started for me. The realization that you could buy things that had been made by other people from around the world – and indeed sell your own things – was a very exciting prospect. They’ve been going for a good while now and their online shop of “all things handmade, vintage, and supplies” is chock full of unique gifts to browse- like these mini kaleidoscopes:

Mini Kaleidoscope - Etsy

  • Folksy is similar to Etsy; it hasn’t been going as long, but is really making a name for itself now as the online home of modern British craft. You can buy some really amazing crafted products on here!

Laser cut night light - Folksy

  • Not On The High Street is basically what it says on the tin. It was founded in 2006, their ideal being “to hunt out the most original items from the best creative small businesses, and bring them together in one place, making it easy for people to browse and buy.” Huzzah!
  • Hannah Zakari is a beautiful boutique full of the cute, the quirky and the unusual from independent designers. If you’re after something a bit different then head here for pretty jewellery, bags, accessories and more.
  • Bottle Green Homes. This London-based company sells only things made 100% in Britain. Well done chaps! This should be your first port of call for great homeware gifts.

Throw - Bottle Green Home

So there you go- now you’ve no excuse! Handmade gifts all round! Happy shopping 🙂

 

Categories
Art General Inspiration

Weekly inspiration – The Big Draw!

It’s officially drawing time, as the 2013 Big Draw – The Campaign for Drawing – kicks off. Well, technically it’s already kicked off, as the official start was October 1st – but panic not, most of the events and key dates have yet to happen. Phew. And relax.

The Campaign for Drawing’s Big Draw is taking place in 15 different countries, from 1st October to 3rd November. They’re an independent charity and the basic aim is to encourage everyone to draw – as they state, drawing is a tool for “thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement.”

Want more info about them? There’s plenty to be had here.

 Country-wide events

You can go on their site and search for events near you but here are some of the ones that caught my eye:

  • Golden Images at the British Museum, London, October 26th. It’s free and it’s for all ages, so there’s no excuse for not joining in!
  • Imagined Cities at the National Gallery, London, October 4th. In this free workshop you get to help create a futuristic paper city!!
  • Autumn Glory: Half Term Family Fun at Harewood House, Leeds- various events from October 26th to November 3rd, including Children’s Crafts, a Literature Trail and a Carved Pumpkin Display.
  • Sandal C’ART’stle at Wakefield Museum, Wakefield, October 30th. This event is for ages up to 11 and they get to create their own shield designs on cotton fabric, using examples from the history of Sandal Castle as inspiration. Awesome.
  • Frankenstein’s Workshop at York House Centre, Milton Keynes, October 5th. An all day workshop for all ages – help transform York House into Frankenstein’s Workshop!
  • Draw Like A Fashion Designer at the Fashion Museum, Bath, 28th, 29th and 3oth October. “Draw your favourite fashions.” ‘Nuff said.
  • Hopscotched at Cambridge University Sidgwick Site, Cambridge, from October 17th.

Signage populates our urban spaces, guiding us, affecting our movements around the city. We are told to ‘push’, ‘pull’, ‘return’, ‘access’ or ‘stop’ as though the city choreographs us in a dance. Claire Weetman, an artist based in the North West, will select verbs and symbols from signage around Cambridge, then jet-wash them into the pavement of the University’s Sidgwick Campus. There, you’re invited to be led through the public spaces in a playful way as though you’ve stepped into a board game, or found a new way of playing hopscotch. 

  • Your Park, Your Big Draw at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, October 12th. One of the main events, this fun-filled day for all ages is packed with DIY and art activities!

ypybdw1

 

If you’re unable to get to an event, you can always take part online.

Here are some key dates for your diaries – join in if you can and don’t forget you can donate anytime:

1st October:        Big Draw Starts

5th October:        Big Draw Day!

18th October:      Family Arts Festival Starts

3rd November: Big Draw Ends- last day of Family Arts Festival

6th December:   Drawing Inspiration Awards: submission deadline

Happy drawing everyone!