Gift ideas from local makers

Why not support local creativity by buying your presents from local makers this year? You’ll also have the pleasure of knowing that your gift is likely to be unique and won’t be found anywhere else on the high street! Here are a few ideas..

Jewellery and accessories

Zahara crystal earrings by Vintage Rose JewelleryZahara Crystal Earrings
These gorgeous earrings comprise two druzy crystals, electroplated in 24k gold and measure approximately 7cm in length. A druzy is made up of tiny crystals of minerals that form on the surface of a stone.

Available in blue, black and green, please note shape and size of crystals may vary.
Price £35

Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery

 

 

Zahara Long Necklace by Vintage Rose Jewellery

Zahara Long Necklace
This gorgeous long necklace comprises a druzy crystal with a ball chain.This necklace measures approximately 44cm in length. Available in pink, purple, green, blue and black. Please note shape and size of crystals may vary. Price £29
Available from Vintage Rose Jewellery

Emerald green necklace by Elena Hall

Emerald green necklace
Gorgeous emerald green hand knitted necklace in green enamelled copper and emerald embroidery thread. This statement piece adds colour to any outfit, looking great with muted shades and brights alike. It really is a one of a kind necklace
Price: £55

Available from www.elenahall.co.uk

 

Printed Geometric Leather Cuff Bangle Bracelet by Foxtrot Designs

 

Printed geometric leather cuff
Hand printed leather bangle – inspired by geometric fabric patterns. The bangle is light to wear and being leather is strong too. Will fit most common wrist sizes – between 6.5 to 7 inches. Toggle clasp.
Price: £30

Available from www.foxtrotdesigns.co.uk

'Umbags' and (up)cycle seat covers

 

Umbags
Umbags are created out of the fabric from discarded umbrellas. Stylish, strong, lightweight and water-resistant, they are designed to be kept with you at all times to avoid the need for a plastic bag.
Price: £10

(Up)cycle seat covers
Re-cycle seat covers are also made from discarded umbrella fabric. They are elasticated with waterproof-taped seams and will fit most bike saddles.
Price: £10

Both products can be bought from www.bluepatch.org or a wider selection is available at Diverse Gifts, 390 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9 8LF.

Indigo shibori scarves

Flextiles’ scarves are hand dyed with indigo using the Japanese shibori technique ( a kind of sophisticated tie dye). Because the scarves are upcycled, each one is unique and you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your bit for the environment!
Price: From £25

Available from Etsy

 

 

 

Home and children
Jewels / Keys Decorative Holder by dis Badeth!Jewels / Keys Decorative Holder
Wood covered in a colourful cotton fabric, with a contrasting ric rac braid at the front. Four cup hooks screwed at the bottom of the canvas offer enough space for your keys or necklaces.
Price: £22

Available from www.disbadeth.com

Bedding Set for Doll Bed by dis Badeth!Bedding set for doll’s bed
This pretty soft bedding with an all-over colourful design is made of cotton, and the pillow is stuffed with foam. The perfect gift for your little sweetheart and her dolly.
Price: £22

Available from www.disbadeth.com

 

 

 

 

The Sea A2 Screen Print by Kaylene Alder

 

The Sea A2 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration inspired by Byron. Of course dahhhlllinng – Byron!
Price: £40 plus postage

Available from www.kaylenealder.com

 

 

 

Cat Bowl Canoe - A4 Screen Print by Kaylene Alder

 

 

Cat Bowl Canoe – A4 screen print
This is a screen print of an original illustration from the ‘Ships in Small Water’ series.
Price: £25 plus postage

Available from www.kaylenealder.com

 

 

Art print 'considering mermaid' by Sarah O Sarah

Art print ‘considering mermaid’
Intellectual mermaid stops to have a think about what presents to buy her beloved. The Scoop frame is made from solid wood measuring 1.06″ wide x 1.06″ deep. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Includes wall hanging hardware. Paper size 10″ x 8″. Printed area 7″ x 6″.
Price: £22

Available from society6.com

Art print 'moondance' by Sarah O Sarah

Art print ‘moondance’
It’s a wonderful night for a moondance 😉 Original art hand cut paper collage on black heavyweight cartridge 14.8 cm x 21cm. Unframed. Packaged inside cellophane envelope with mount board & packaged well enough to reach you in impeccable condition.
Price: £95

Available from www.sarahosarah.com

London neighbourhood tea towels by Ray Stanbrook

London neighbourhood tea towels
These colourful and fun illustrated tea towels celebrate London locations from the Barbican and Brixton to Tooting and Walthamstow and make the perfect affordable gift for your London based friends and family.

Price: £8
Available from etsy.com

Little Angel 1 by Aneta Sroden Little Angel 1 and Little Angel 2

Acrylic on canvas painting size:25x30cm.

Price: £85

Contact Aneta via email on anetart@ymail.com or send a message through www.anetart.com for more information or to buy a painting.

Little Angel 2 by Aneta Srodon

We go shopping!

Karen, Damian, Biba, Andy and I went to the lovely Crafty Fox Market at the Dogstar on Saturday. Fantastic! Great work from the organisers, three floors of lovely hand-made things and art, and great workshops. Artists and makers from all over London, and some from as far as Edinburgh and the Isle of White.

Among the sellers were James Ward (who created the lovely Crafty Fox logo) showing his amazing plates, Kanganarora with handmade textiles (absolutely loved the cow cushion!) and FabricNation making beautiful things from recycled fabrics. We also loved handmade puppets from Twisted Myth,  textile deer heads from Wooden Tree and cute creatures from Hope and Eden. And many many others.

Downstairs, there was a group of ladies totally consumed with learning to make brooches with Handmade in Tooting and Seaside Sisters – they came up with many beautiful pieces.  Ms Cupcake’s stall – from a new shop on Coldharbour lane– was constantly overcrowded. I’m personally not into cupcakes, but Damian had one and couldn’t stop talking about it. It was apparently delicious!

We brought some flyers and talked to people about Makerhood and the forthcoming local online marketplace. The makers we talked to were very positive; many said there should be one in their areas too – this was really encouraging.  Something to ponder for the future; meanwhile, I guess one option is to relocate to Brixton 🙂

Elle Revel’s Mexican Wrestler Mask Tutorial!!

Hi it’s Elle Revel again! I hope you’re all wearing your nipple covers from February’s tutorial?! Last month, between making my costume and performing my Booby Job performance at both Lord Muck’s Nasty Grind, at The Grosvenor Stockwell and Punkvert’s Subterfuge at The Inn on the Green Ladbroke Grove, I’ve taken the time to make a Mexican wrestling mask, want to see how I did it?

If you’re up for the challenge you will need:

♥ Approx ¾ a metre of fancy, shiny fabric
♥ Contrasting fabric for decoration
♥ Backing fabric
♥ Padding
♥ Approx 15cm of Velcro
♥ Ruler
♥ Paper for a pattern
♥ Tape measure
♥ Pins
♥ Scissors
♥ Sewing machine
♥ Co-ordinating thread
♥ A tight fitting hoody of your size
♥ A glamorous assistant (optional)

1) Using the tape measure take some measurements from your forehead to the back of your head. Then measure from left to right at the top of your head. Measure the circumference of your head around your eyes. Measure the top of your head down to your chin.

2) Taking the first measurements from the top of your head make a pattern.
Lay your backing fabric, then a layer of padding and next your chosen fabric on top now pin your paper pattern to the top of these three.

3) Divide the measurement from around your head in two, mine was 22 so I use 11 inches as my measurement, using this measurement and the measurement from the top of your head to below your chin, mark these out on a piece of paper. To create the shape of your mask place your hoody on top of the paper and draw around. Fold the hoody over to get the shape for the front section. Again sandwich the padding between the backing and top fabrics, pin paper pattern on top. You will need to cut two pieces from this pattern.

4) Cut around each pattern, remembering to leave a seam allowance. Remove the paper patterns then sew around the edges of each piece to secure all the fabrics together.

5) Measure from your cheek to above your eyebrow, then diagonally from the inside of your nose to the corner of your forehead. Take these measurements and use them to create an eye decoration pattern with the paper. I then measured across my forehead from between my eyebrows to the back of my head stopping after my ear and repeated the pattern process as before to create another decoration. You could add whatever decoration you like; beards, eyebrows and crucifixes seem to be typical on wrestling masks.

When cutting these decorations remember to cut two pieces from each pattern for each side of your mask, and also that they should be mirror images of each other.

6) Pin the sides of your mask to the top section, put it over your head then mark out your eyes, nose and mouth as best you can, this is where your glamorous assistant could come in handy!

7) Unpin the sides from the top section and pin your eye, nose, mouth and any other decorations to the side sections. I use a zigzag stitch, as I believe it’s the strongest and is the most flexible.

8) Once you have sewn the decorative eye, nose and mouthpieces on to both sides of your mask’s side sections carefully cut out the middle parts of each.

9) Turn your two side sections so the undersides are facing up then pin them together from the bottom to just above the eye decorations, securing the two side sections together.
You can now sew up the front of your mask.

10) Turn your mask right side out, try it on, now turn it inside out again and pin the top piece of your mask in between your two side sections. Turn it right side out again; try it on to check it fits. You can now sew the top section between the two side sections that are already joined. Turn the mask inside out again and trim off excess fabric and padding where necessary from around the top section.

11) Continue to modify your mask so it is tailor made to your head. You may need to trim the eye, nose and mouth decorations so the mask is a better fit.

12) Now its time to attach your Velcro to the back of your mask. Sew the ‘sticky’ side to the underside of the back seam of your mask on the left hand side; I used a small straight stitch to fit along the small edge Velcro has to enable it to be sewn on.
I then sewed the ‘fluffy’ side to the top of the right hand side (the patterned side) of the back seam of my mask, creating a fold over flap at the back of the mask.

13) Give your mask a good once over, checking that there aren’t any loose seams or padding hanging out that you may have overlooked.
And you should be good to go, happy wrestling!
Be careful when putting on your mask and removing it, that you don’t catch your hair in the velcro. This shouldn’t happen if you carefully hold the flaps back.

My next performance will be at Lord Muck’s Nasty Grind on Saturday 30th April at The Grosvenor, Sidney Rd. Stockwell, bring your confetti!! And I’ll be expecting a wrestling-mask-adorned audience, shaking their nipple covers at me naturally, until next time xxx

Making meets the web: the idea behind Makerhood

At this Wednesday’s Green Drinks, organised by Transition Town Brixton, Duncan Law and I got into a long conversation about community trading schemes. It was fascinating to find that we shared so many values and metaphors. It also made me realise that a longer post on the goals behind Makerhood is well overdue (if you’ve spent any time with us you’re likely to be very familiar with this!).

Karen wrote earlier about how the project came together last year. Many lovely, passionate and talented friends have since come on board to help. We are a diverse bunch – what unites us, I think, is the belief that buying things made locally can go a long way towards solving some of the biggest economic and social problems we face today.

We also share a paradoxical discovery: that the “new”, intangible, global medium of the web can help support “old” local cultures that deal in physical relationships and tangible things. Hyperlocal sites have demonstrated this time and time again (see a great map by OpenlyLocal here). Brixton’s very own Urban 75 – probably the oldest local web community in Britain – is a great example. If this works for our social habits, then why not also for our shopping habits?

d40_091203_002

The metaphor we often use when thinking about it is one of Traditional Village: a community where people rely on each other for their livelihoods. Where acquiring things is a meaningful social experience, not a purely economic transaction. Where our skills contribute to the community, and we derive a sense of identity and satisfaction from this. Where objects have a past and a future (as in, you know how they were made, and what happened to them once they were sold) – where stories of things are part of a broader web of local relationships. This is very different from how we often buy and sell today.

At Makerhood we are building a website to help people in Brixton, Herne Hill, Camberwell and Stockwell to buy things made in these areas. When designing it, we’ve been thinking of a Village Market – the ones you used to have on the main square. Local makers will have their own Stalls where people can shop, chat, and share stories. This is work in progress, so any ideas for features are very welcome!

We would love it if, once launched in a couple of months, the site brought benefits to people who live in our communities:

  • For customers, a fun and meaningful experience whereby they get unique local things
  • For makers, an easy way to sell online locally without having to set up a shop while benefiting from a greater pool of customers
  • For new entrepreneurs, a way to try out a new skill or set up a new business in a low risk environment.
  • For everyone, a great way to meet people locally, and to enjoy making things – one of the most fun and creative activities there are!

If this takes off, there could be great benefits:

  • economic, as our communities become mored40_101202_003resilient in the face of global recession
  • environmental, because no long-haul delivery is involved – we are hoping most will be by foot, bike or environmentally-friendly transport like Brixton’s forthcoming low carbon delivery scheme
  • digital inclusion, as those currently not doing e-commerce could benefit from local support networks to help them get online.  This could be particularly relevant for older people, many of whom have traditional crafts skills.

If the idea proves to work in South London it could be taken up elsewhere. In the long term it could help change our consumption habits all together.  This may seem a long way away, but if you have a plan, it might just happen 🙂

In working towards these goals, it’s been wonderful to be part of a long-standing community movement in Brixton. We are learning a lot from projects such as Remade in Brixton, the TTB Food and Growing Group, London Creative Labs, The Brixton Pound, and Spacemakers, among many others. It is also fantastic to see new initiatives springing up in South London, like the SW Crafts Club and the Crafty Fox market, doing great work promoting skill-sharing and handmade goods.

It is going to be a busy few months for us as we are starting to build and test the website. Next week we’ll talk about volunteering opportunities if you’d like to help. Meanwhile, keep in touch! We’re always happy to get feedback, suggestions and questions.

Images by Emily Wilkinson and Lostwithoutwords – thank you!