Monday, 13 October 2014

Love London Awards... and we're in the finals!!!

It's been a long time... well we've been going unofficially since 2006 so we're absolutely delighted that we're finally getting some recognition in our part of making the local economy diverse and vibrant!
Walthamstow has an amazing an diverse indie business community and competition is fierce... it's an absolute honour to be listed alongside the others! I had a hard time choosing my faves so... I know it's not going to be easy!!!

So if you'd like to help us then visit the website, press E (for East London) and you'll see "Walthamstow" our lovely neighbourhood. Our shop "Craft Guerrilla" is listed in the Best local shop category.
Voting's open for three weeks from October 7... so if you love what we do then please VOTE for us.

Finally... we'd like to thank all our lovely patrons who voted for us in the first place and it's because of you that we've made it to the final!!!
Your support has been what's kept us going and as you know sometimes it's been difficult to keep ourselves in business though as hard as things seem to get we're reminded of why we're here doing this... it's because of you lot and the love you've shown us! Also a huge thank you to all the designer makers and collaborators that have worked with us, past and present. We salute each and everyone of you... you guys rock!!!

Thank you!
The Craft Guerrilla team

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Craft Guerrilla does... Faro!

As some of you may know I spent a chunk of my youth in Faro, a tourist town in the south of Portugal. OK... so maybe you didn't and if that's the case then you've just learnt something new about me! Also it's no longer a Town but a full on city with a university and everything... But tourist town sounds better so I think I can just about get away with that one!
Growing up in a predominately "airport" city wasn't easy.  Life in general was based around the tourism industry and finding ways to pass your time in a sleepy sea side city was a chore especially for creative kids like me and many of my counterparts. If you weren't a surfer or a sporty type then you had to make your own entertainment.
I guess in a way I have a lot to thank Faro for... because of living there it made me resourceful and creative so not a bad thing at all. But we're not here to talk about me...
Because I've moved away 23 years ago with every visit I notice the subtle changes which might escape residents but there have been numerous tiny ones and awesome changes too.
On this last one I noticed that some places and not just shops but bars, restaurants, cafés too were opening with a distinctive modern flavour.  Back when I lived in Faro there was a serious lack of creative entrepreneurship but luckily that's no longer the case!!!

In my brief past life in Faro I found most of the city's hand made offerings were mainly tourist fodder and not much else. Shelves filled with painted plates depicting ladies in traditional dress riding a donkey amongst the almond trees, colourful Portuguese roosters and mass produced lace covered doilies seemed to be the norm in every Artisanato (craft) shop. It was all pretty safe and not very exciting!
Now thankfully a few interesting places have cropped up... I get a sense that people are changing their tastes and are finally getting into the philosophy that hand made items are not just a great way to buy original goods but also to help create a sustainable, vibrant and viable local economy.
I so wish Faro had been ready for me all those years ago but alas the next generation have grasped the concept by the horns and are no longer afraid of taking a risk though these new crafty people are smart, talented and actually just doing what they love. They are following their hearts... so hopefully not as risky as you'd expect as it's done out of pure passion!

Rosa Chock:



You can find Rosa Chock on Rua Horta Machado a hop and a skip from the historical centre.
It's a friendly, modern space housed in an old cobblers' shop ("Sapataria Limpinho") which now sells hand made items ranging from mostly children's clothing, toys, home wares and up-cycled vintage furniture. 
We give Ines and her pretty boutique a huge crafty thumbs up and we wish her all the success in the world!!! 
You can look here for further info, address and shop opening times:  

(all photos in this segment are used with kind permission by ©RosaChock)

Sardinha de Papel:

Part of Faro's historical commercial center regeneration scheme this amazing shop is set up to function as a cooperative and event space. Selling hand made items from local designer makers to the general public as well as to craft loving tourists.
The shop I visited in Rua Conselheiro Bívar is situated in a vibrant part of town in a formerly unused commercial space. This area  houses mostly pubs and clubs which cater for night owls but because they also do things a bit differently at Sardinha de Papel it sits harmoniously alongside the hustle and bustle as they offer DJ sets, live music and other interactive activities.

Set up in 2013 to explore and promote the city's new talent and to provide a space where people can shop for original hand made gifts and discover a breathtaking variety of hand made goods ranging from home wares, clothing, jewellery, toys, ceramics and more which are manufactured by small independent creatives and makers. This venture has now opened its second space in the old town centre in Rua de Santo Antonio which is great news! We love to see craft getting onto the High Streets and offering fresh alternatives to shoppers.

I know lots of people already love this shop -most of my friends talk highly of Sardinha de Papel and they all recommended I visited- and they all tell me how much they like having a shop like this available to them in the city centre. With two sites in Faro I can't see how they can go wrong, in fact I hope they continue to grow!
Best of luck to Vera, her team and their awesome shops!!!

To find out more including address and opening times visit:

(All photos in this segment used are with kind permission from ©SardinhaDePapel)

So that's our pick of the Faro Hand Made crop -I'm sure there will be more in future as the creative spirit is alive and well!- and if you ever find yourself in Faro, don't be shy... tell them we sent you... I'm sure you'll get a very warm welcome and you'll definitely leave with a bag filled with amazing goodies!

Next visit I'll be reviewing a few antique and vintage fairs which are dotted around the Algarve... can't wait to go back in summer and find some more gems!!!


Friday, 26 September 2014

A world of quilts by Cassandra Ellis...

"A World of quilts" by Cassandra Ellis is an amazing book, pages packed with inspiration and tips as well as perfectly clear instructions on a huge variety of quilting styles. Here she offers updated versions of classic designs using traditional techniques and patterns in order to make quilts more fitting to today's modern home decorating tastes.

If you've never tried quilting then I'd honestly recommend this book. It doesn't look scary or complicated, nor does it make you feel like this is some secret dark art that only a few can partake in... everything is neatly explained and set out for you to start making!
Cassandra explains the basics from how to cut your fabric to how to sew on your backing which some might think is obvious but I found really helpful.
It's also really accessible as this book is divided into sections explaining and describing numerous types of quilts like the Housetop, the Star, the String Quilt, the Welsh bars and numerous others as well as exploring the use of tools and techniques in the "Quilting Masterclass" chapter. Again it might seem obvious but is perfect for the novice quilter but also great for the seasoned quilter as it serves as a great refresher and resource.

I must confess that quilting was one of those things that though I do love I've never really delved into too much. Growing up in the States you see so much of it that it kind of becomes an everyday thing. Pretty much every household had one handed down from grandma or great aunt Mildred. Though after reading this I truly am more interested in the history and the techniques used in quilt making. Heck, I might even try making my own which I can pass down to my nieces and nephews!

Cassandra Ellis is a designer maker with a flare for colour and composition. Her designs are warm and beautifully modern!
Originally from New Zealand she now runs her very own London studio and sells her work to private clients and in numerous retailers including Liberty of London.

Her home-wares and interiors are designed to be thoughtful and beautiful, using traditional techniques and materials. She also teaches workshops and works closely with the charity Habitat for Humanity helping to create living spaces tailored to the lives of the intended residents. To say that Cassandra is solely a sewing superstar wouldn't be enough... personally I see her as an artist too. A very accomplished, thoughtful and engaging artist!
If you'd like to know more about Cassandra and her work visit: 

A world of Quilts by Jacqui Small publishing is available at a special discounted price for our blog readers only so if you'd like to get your hands on a copy of A World of Quilts at the special offer price of £20 including UK P&P*, telephone 01903 828503 or email, quoting the offer code APG228 and the book ISBN 9781909342149.
*Overseas buyers please email before ordering via the email link above as P&P might be higher as this is a UK reader offer. 

Monday, 15 September 2014

We want YOU!

Do you have the Craft Factor and are a talented designer maker or illustrator who designs heart stopping beautiful hand made products?
AND would you like to stock your wears in our shop in Walthamstow?

If the answer is NO then look away... but if it's YES then read on...

We're on the hunt for exciting new designer makers who are looking to stock our shelves! As the area grows in popularity and with a serious lack of gift shops -yes we are now the only one!- it's time we stepped up a gear and opened up our shop to some new talent!!! "Awesomestow" is on the way up!!!

Here are a few of the amazing people we stock (and this is only a tiny selection of these amazing people!) :

Dan Darby
Mr. Peebles

Jimbob Art

Anna Wiscombe

Karoline Rerrie Illustrations
Ocular Designs

My Rosie Lee

Oh My Illustrations!
Craftivist Collective

If you'd like to apply then please get in touch... but please read the info below.

What we're looking for:
  • Home wares - ceramics, table ware (glass etc), decorative pieces, soft furnishings including kitchen textiles, lamp shades, cushions and so on...
  • Greeting cards and prints including wrapping paper and other paper goods (note books, stickers etc)
  • Lighting (not just shades, fittings IE lamps are welcome too)
  • "Man friendly" gifts including wallets, belts, T-shirts, note books, ties, grooming kits, satchels etc. Please note that though we love cuff links they are not really moving in our neighbourhood ...these kids are too cool for normal business gear!
  • Soap and candles (including linen sprays and so forth)
  • Zines and other small publications. 
  • Products made with recycled materials.
  • Other quirky gifts you make... we're open to selling other things which aren't listed like toys, craft kits etc just apply and we'll let you know!

*Please note that though we love jewellery we get so much of it but we are happy to take any which we think will work in our shop and if it's different enough to what we already stock or is sympathetic to our over all aesthetic! 
Unfortunately clothing is not accepted due to limited space. However illustrated T-shirts in both adults and kids sizes are!
If you're not sure then drop us a line and we'll let you know!

So here's what you need to do...
Please send us an email with photos of your stock or a website which showcases your work. Also an idea of price -retail- and tell us a little bit about yourself/your hand made company.

Here's the deal...
Because we are a self funded grass roots collective we are unable to buy stock upfront. We operate solely on a sale or return basis. We're happy to send you our T&C's upon request and will anyway once we've seen and accepted your work.
All items need to be hand made! We do not accept items which are from a third party (IE you are an agent for a designer) or any items which are not made in the UK. Because we represent the UK (London and the South East) and we believe in a more localised shopping economy we are unable to sell items which are made abroad. Preferably we'd also like to keep it within the South East but will consider goods from further afield but within the UK.

Still interested? E-mail us:

Monday, 1 September 2014

Paper Cut...

Hello! So excited to have been asked to be a guest blogger for East London Craft Guerrilla, and thrilled that my first assignment was to review the beautiful new book Paper Cut by Owen Gildersleeve!

Paper Cut - An Exploration into the Contemporary World of Papercraft Art and Illustration is written by the London-based award-winning* designer, papercraft illustrator and set maker.
It gives a fascinating history of paper and how it has been used over the centuries through various cultures right up to the present time and the current resurgence over the last few years....

The author goes behind-the-scenes of his peers - people working with paper as their medium to create spectacular visuals in fabulous 3D from a material so easily considered by many as flat and two-dimensional! Although working in similar fields, many crossing over between graphic design, typography, illustration and animation for music, film and advertising in general, the artworks and technical use of the materials varies greatly. Using different techniques including cutting, folding, layering, collage, quilling, to create fantastic pictures or sets. Some of the artists use bright vibrant colours, others more muted tones, and some none at all, using the construction of the pure white paper to add depth and texture using light and shadow. 

We get to visit and snoop inside 25 artists' studios - mainly within the UK and Europe, but also as far away as United States and Australia - and find out what inspires them creatively and how they came to fall in love with working with paper!
I recognised many of the pieces of work from seeing them in magazines, books, videos and some images I had pinned on pinterest without actually knowing or remembering who they were by, so it was great to finally put a name and face to the piece, as it were.

There are so many beautiful pages within the book, to include all my favourites, so below is just a few to whet your appetite.
Upside Down House by Kyle Bean
Babushka by Yulia Brodskaya
Paper Shredder by Chrissie Macdonald
Holland Herald by Helen Musselwhite
Forest by Eiko Ojala
Three-Course by Fideli Sundqvist
Back to Basics by Zim & Zou

And here is a short film by one of the featured artists Helen Friel, which I had watched as inspiration for a project I was working on with someone a while ago (that was put on hold when we realised just how long it probably would take us to make something anywhere near as good as this!)
Paper Cut is a stunning book visually, with very interesting interviews with the selected artists that really give you insights into their minds and their working lives. From their inspiration and motivations, through the developing of their techniques and skills, to the finished pieces and beyond.
To Celebrate the launch of the book there is also currently an exhibition of Paper Cut from now until 25th September at The Proud Archivist, Regents Canal, London (nearest tube is Haggerston Overground Station)

There are workshops, talks and Sunday Brunches over the next few weeks, so it sounds like it will be a fantastic opportunity to see the artwork in all its glory and a chance to meet some of the artists in person!

For details of all the exhibition event see the Facebook page:

Paper Cut by Owen Gildersleeve is published by Rockport an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group and is available from all good bookshops for £20 rrp
However, the very kind people at Quarto Books have given us a very special offer to share with our lovely readers (yes that's you!) and so you can get a copy sent to you for just £16 including p&p! (UK only - overseas need to add £2.50 extra)
You can place your order either by ringing 01903 828503 or email
and quote the offer code APG168

Thanks for reading, if you have any thoughts, feel free to comment below.
Sanna aka Sannapanda

* He won the ADC Young Guns award in 2011! How awesome to actually be able to be a Young Gun! I hope he has a soundtrack whenever he arrives at or leaves! I know I would, but unfortunately, I am probably too old to ever be a Young Gun... *sigh*

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

WOOD + BONE... a very special exhibition!

Join us on Thursday the 4th of September for a very special private view... Craft Guerrilla are proud to present WOOD + BONE: A selection of art works by artists Aimee Capstick and Amanda Wayne.
Working from Walthamstow these two talented artists create magical imagery and stunning craft pieces inspired by their love of folk, Mexico and printing!

You will be able to purchase most works on display and meet the artists. We'll also be serving drinks and chatting with patrons so please do join us for a fun evening!

We'll be open from 6 pm to 9pm. Free entry and all welcome but feel free to bring your own refreshments. Drinks will be served but if you fancy adding to the table please bring a bottle of your favourite tipple!

Craft Guerrilla// Black Duke & Cashman 83 Grove Road Walthamstow E17 9BU

Thursday 4th of September from 6pm to 9pm. 

*Show resumes through out September. 
Open Friday to Sunday only.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

The soft touch...

The Corner shop lives on a sweet, residential street between Brick Lane and Columbia road in Bethnal Green, East London. Sitting proudly on the corner between cute little London terraces this former dry cleaners has been transformed into a magical experience.


It's a cross between an art piece and my idea of heaven. Everything you find inside -and even outside as the sign welcoming you is also stitched though the shop fittings are original and in situ!- is made of felt.

Soft, bright and pretty much a true representation of the original items. It's pretty accurate.... so accurate then when I later visited a super market my mind was still believing it was looking at items made of felt!
You'll find everything from tins of Pilchards, baked beans, cans of special brew, Tampax, newspapers, packets of fags, bags of crisp, a selection of vegetables, milk and  all the rest you'd expect to find in a great British corner shop... even the cheap grey kitty litter!

This amazing project is by the artist Lucy Swallow who in all authenticity sits happily between her creations playing the part of a shop keeper behind a felt til! I think Lucy's secretly enjoying a bit of play time. By the size of her smile it's not so "secretly" as she looks like she is genuinely having fun! I mean who wouldn't be?

It's like a giant play shop... I remember fondly my plastic shopping trolley, bright yellow toy til and the huge amounts of plastic play food. It was after all the 1970's so plastic was the norm but this is so much more!
Though I wish I had the contents of Lucy's shop back then... that would had made me as a little girl the happiest child ever! Like the happiest 8 year old in the whole of History!


The corner shop is open until the end of August and honestly go... you won't regret it and remember everything is for sale though you'll have to wait until the end of the exhibition. I have to say I was very tempted but luckily -or unluckily. Depends how you look at it!- I didn't have my purse on me. But even though I didn't leave with a pack of felt Lucky Strike I left with a huge smile on my face and a feeling of pure child like joy... and that is pretty much priceless!

P.S. You can tell I was excited...look at the amount of exclamation marks I used in this post, but if you can't get there don't worry there is a Corner shop web shop though it really is a sight to be hold!

Thank you Lucy for making such a wonderful and happy piece of art!
I dare you blog reader to go in there and not come out feeling all warm and fuzzy!