Monday, 31 October 2011

two for tea

In the first of many planned freebie giveaway type thingys, I have had an excellent idea. FREE CAKE. Yep, FREE CAKE! If you'd like to come along to the next handmade at the Brudenell then why not invite a friend, and in return I'll give you 2for1 tea and cake at the cake stall. Due to ridiculously low prices of £1.50 for a cup of tea with a cake, that'll make it £1.50 for TWO CUPS OF TEA and TWO CAKES.

All you have to do is "attend" the event on facebook, along with making a friend "attend" too, and leave a comment on the event wall with both of your names and I'll pop you on the 2for1 cake list.

The event page is here

And don't forget to come along to the super sized uni event on Tuesday 8th November too (NEXT TUESDAY EEK!), although the cake offer is just for the Brudenell!

x x x x x x x x

Monday, 3 October 2011

flyers flyers flyers

let battle commence...

facebook event page is here

x x x

Mr Yen

Today's weekly look at a favourite etsy seller or trend is slightly different to past weeks as I've decided to focus on just one person. And that person is someone I've (and I'm sure many people have) admired for a long while. When I first started handmade craft fairs I used to "shop local" on etsy to see what was being made around Leeds, and stumbled across the amazing papercut artist MrYen. His papercut stationary is so romantic and beautiful. I don't think my words will do it justice so here are some photos to drool over this Monday morning...

If you'd like to buy any of these products then visit his etsy site here...

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Today I introduce JilMadeThis, a relatively new addition to the handmade family and a fellow lover of cats! Jil has quickly become a regular seller and a crafty friend. Her printed textiles embrace bright bold designs take me back to childhoods filled with My Little Pony's and Crayola Crayons! Oh and did I mention that she makes fabric button badges? I'm a sucker for anything with buttons!

How and why did you start making your wares?

I have always been interested in arts and crafts from a young age, whether it was designing the cover of a school news lettter or making cards for my family, art has always been my muse. After many years in education and a degree in printed Textiles under my belt, I started playing around with different print processes and creating different illustrations inspired by the things I love. I guess it all just went from there. It grew and many things arrived from my skills and experience, things that I felt personally attached to!

Do you have any successes and failures you'd like to talk about?

I think my most successful things have come from craft events like Craft Candy in Sheffield and Reet Sweet and Handmade fairs in Leeds. The connections you make, the people you meet and the feedback you receive are the things that contribute to success. In terms of crafts themselves, my most successful items are the designs which people can immediately associate with, e.g. tin robot plushes, pencil badges and horse totes. People immediately tell me they remind them of their childhood! This is fantastic as that's how they are derived, from my memories and collections. My failrures are perhaps the events where the customers themselves are not quite right for my items, or where the event has been unusually quiet.

Do you craft full time? If not tell us a little about your day job and how you manage to fit your craft into your day?

I like to think I craft full time, because in my 'real job' I am still creating printed items! I am the manageress of a successful T Shirt printing shop in the heart of Leeds. My job and my crafts work hand in hand. I print and sell and merchandise everyday, be it for myself or the company I work for!

What're your main creative influences and interests?

My main influences are the memories I have, the things I've collected (I'm a hoarder), the people I've met and the way that I think. I love illustration and interior decoration. It's hard to pick just a few influences as there are so many, but my favourite artists/ designers are Rob Ryan, Lauren Child, David Shrigley and Donna Wilson to name a few. I like old and I like modern and I love colour. There are also lots of local crafters who interest me too.

Apart from crafting, what're your hobbies? Do you have any favourite films/websites/books you'd like to share?

Aside from crafts, I like to collect things, charity shopping, car boot sales and general shopping. I love watching films and reading, though I don't do enough of either! Artists who inspire me are Rob Ryan and his amazingly introcate storytelling paper cuts and prints, David Shrigley and his comical illustrations and the mixed media of Lauren Child. I love the Print and Pattern Blog and my favourite films range from The Science of Sleep and The Wizard of Oz to Stand By Me and Amelie.

What're your plans/dreams for the future?

I would absolutely love to own my own successful craft shops selling not only my own wares, but those of other talented goodness. Since I was a young girl, I've always wanted to run my own shop. I am at the moment running a shop, but the ultimate goal is to run my own business they way I want to! I want a large house, lots of cats, surrounded by family and the usual ideals.

Where can we find your work (online or in the "real world")

You can see my work on my website -, follow my blog, buy my items on etsy and folksy and I have a an exclusive range of items on sale at The Bowery in Headingley, Leeds. You can always find me at craft fairs in and around Leeds too!

x x x x x x

Saturday, 1 October 2011

live it love it leeds

Leeds is a HUB of creative events this weekend! As well as ReetSweet Craft Fair (detailed above), Nation of Shopkeepers plays host to Leeds Alternative Comics Fair TODAY at 12pm - 5 pm. Browse the wares on offer while sipping on a nice refreshing cider...heaven!

And there is an exhibition called Mad Props, which opened last night but is open to view all weekend, taking place at new venue "Mexico" at Wharf Chambers. The facebook event page is here.

Or if you fancy catching a train over to Saltaire then you might want to visit Rose and Brown's Antiques and Collectables Fair, which'll be going on all day from 9.30 til 4pm at Victoria Hall.

If all this culture has left you hungry then wrap up an art filled day at TestSpace for Chili-con-carnival vs Picklefest! Described as an all you can eat BBQ extravaganza, this sounds like a perfect end to this Indian Summer we've been having. You can go down from 4pm, but BBQ starts at 7pm. For details including a full menu look at the facebook event here