Monday 28 November 2011

Get your self into Ship Shape...

Shipshape Studio is a new creative venue and boutique in Northwood, NW London near Harrow, founded by Emily and her partner Adam.  They are also our Christmas fair sponsors so if you'd like to know a bit more about them read on!

 "Adam's a musician and I'm a writer and designer-maker so craft and creativity are things that have always been a part of our daily lives. We'd always dreamt of one day doing something in the creative world but didn't quite know what. Just over a year ago we were all set to leave the tiny, cute cottage that we were renting in Brighton and head to the big smoke but Adam, the tall and clumsy one, fell and fractured his head a week before we were set to move. Our plans were tossed out of the window however, over the months that it took him to properly recover, we talked and dreamt and had a brand new creative plan. After months of working and planning, we launched Shipshape Studio on 19th November 2011.
Shipshape Studio is an engaging and friendly space where new skills can be learnt and ideas swapped. We know that making things for yourself is very empowering and you can make things the way you like them rather than what's on offer in the shops. We've got some of the best designer-makers in London teaching creative and crafty workshops in a fun and friendly atmosphere, which we think is the perfect environment for learning new skills. Complimentary drinks from indie companies and homemade cakes are served in every class too because, well, everyone loves tea and cake, right?!
Our upcoming classes are available to book through our website and you can email us if you'd like to book a class starting in 2012. We're always open to new ideas so please don't be shy and get in touch if you have an idea for a class you'd like to take, or if you're a designer-maker and have an idea for a new class. We also host events like exhibitions, parties and film screenings so get in touch as we'd be happy to hear from you! As well as hosting art, craft and creative workshops, and events and parties with a difference, Shipshape Studio also has a quirky online and in-store shop full of vintage, handmade and design-led lifestyle products and craft supplies. We stock lots of wonderful talented folk, including Sandra Dieckmann, Abby Wright, Fritha Strickland and Hannah Latham, as well as my personal creations under the name of Handmade by Emily and our own-brand range of design-led homeware. Our online shop isn't up and running just yet but pop instore to shop our products, or take a look at our online shop when it's open in a couple of weeks.

Community is very important to us at Shipshape Studio and we run craft nights every 2nd and 4th Thursday evening of the month, 7pm - 9pm. Entry is free and you can bring along the latest project you are working on or purchase some supplies, have a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and meet other local crafty types. All ages (over 18s), abilities and disciplines are welcome – artists, illustrators, designers, knitters, sewers, crafters – come along! We look forward to meeting you!

You can find our bricks-and-mortar shop and venue in a little yard accessed between Ellie's Hair Salon and Just Sew on High Street, Northwood, Greater London, HA6 1BN. It is a 10 minute walk from Northwood Tube Station or you can catch the H11 or 282 bus from the tube station to us. There is free on-street parking nearby, and the area is easily accessible from London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. You can relax in our courtyard walled with plant-filled 1950s and 1960s apple crates and enjoy a coffee after your journey.

Our regular opening hours are 10am – 6pm Tuesday to Saturday but we're open at other times for classes and private hire. Just see our What's On page or email us at for more information! Drop us a line by post or email, or give us a call on 01923 828987 if you have any questions or queries. We're always happy to hear from you!

We're very pleased to be sponsoring the Craft Guerrilla Christmas Market this year. If you haven't visited one of their events yet, you're in for a treat! Head on down at 11am and be sure to come and visit us afterwards too!

Places you can find us
Shop and Venue ::
Unit A, Albert Yard,
Rear of 18 High Street,
01923 - 828987"

Website ::
Twitter ::
Facebook ::
Flickr ::

Friday 25 November 2011

Christmas Fair Designers. Lets take a sneaky peek....

I so wish I had a furry little mutt to lavish with gifts this Christmas but unfortunately my two cats wouldn't appreciate the edition to the house hold so for now...I'm content with buying gifts for my family and friends who are lucky enough to have a pooch!
Cute hand printed key chain!

Edwyn UK is lovely pet oriented hand made company but it's not all for fashionable doggies or cute little kittens as Louise Brooker makes gorgeous home wares too! Sturdy, handsome and pet proof so in my book that's pretty good!!!

Dog shield cushion...what a great idea for a family crest!

Dog bone cushion...super cute!

So if you know any pet lovers who pine for a little furry friend then maybe this could be a perfect gift! Not every land lord welcomes animals so maybe a beautiful doggy inspired cushion could help fill that pet shaped void...

Dog collar neckerchief! Handsome and cool for any stylish dog about town!

Drought excluder...very useful for draft UK homes!

Wednesday 23 November 2011

Make your own wrapping paper...

It may seem like one of those mad ideas, especially when you have already so much to do but I promise you that it's well worth it. Furoshiki wrapping is a Japanese technique which is both easy and beautiful so no printing, painting,stamping, carving up potatoes or cutting out of any sort. You'll be using fabric and the best way to do this is with a neckerchief which can cost pence in any charity shop. You'll have quite a choice ranging from silk, cotton as well as pretty vintage ones too. My local PDSA has quite a few which will be perfect for this!

So make your gifts the best looking ones under the Christmas tree! Furoshiki wrap itself can be a gift too...once they've opened their lovely gift they can use it as a neckerchief or shawl...

For instructions and tutorials visit:

Saturday 19 November 2011

Christmas Fair Designers. Lets take a sneaky peek....

Ho ho ho...

Hand printed cards from Biba's Tea Party!
 Ho ho ho...we know just how much you craft loving people LOVE Chrimbo cheer so what better way is there of spreading some holiday joy then by sending some hand made greeting?!

London City Scape Chrimbo card...
Biba's Tea Party is an amazing little Hand made card company fronted by the talented Rebecca Moyster.

Deer paper chains...

I absolutely love her illustrations and clean modern she has some awesome paper chains... with deers!

Selection of Biba's beautiful Christmas cards!
OOOH, you know me, I love deer so  you know that these beauties will be hanging up in my flat. Fact! ACTUALLY I might just keep them up all year!

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Behind the red door...

it's not a new version of the Shakin' Stevens classic but a brand spanking new Art and Craft gallery in the bowels of East Ham!

( that I've added that tune to your brain like a rock n roll loving earwig here's Shakin' Stevens for you though clicking on the video is optional...)

Situated near Central Park on the South Side of the High Street this beautifully formed ex medical glass components factory is the home of a very special place fronted by the lovely Canadian born Dolores.
Once I got over the one hour bus journey ( from Walthamstow on the 58 bus) I approached a cute little side street. On there is a small brick fronted Victorian factory with peaked roof tops, first floor stable doors like the ones you get in Amsterdam houses lined with hanging baskets and a big double door which is painted the brightest RED... hence the name "RED Door Studios".
I stepped through and entered a narrow outdoor corridor come café come indoor walled garden. As you continue down the skinny corridor you arrive into the main entrance of the building where I was  greeted by an upright piano, a few comfy sofas, DJ decks and lots of space to sit and make.
I love the communal feel and I'm told many parties have just sporadically happened due to the nature of the space. I think it will keep happening because it is a very special place.  It's not just an "Arty" space but what Dolores hopes it to be is a space where things happen and where people meet to make things happen!
Dolores took me on the grand tour and though still in the "renovation" stage it looks like it has a lot of potential. She truly is a lady with vision and determination!
She took me through a few rooms one of them to be the Café, the small but perfect studio office then to where a ceramics and multi discipline studio will be set up. As a ceramicist I was very impressed as not many spaces apart from schools have pottery studios so I am very pleased indeed that she will be offering this facility.
Upstairs there are a couple of tidy bright rooms, one of them being an artists studio and a jewellery studio which is still in the planning stage. It will have benches and will be adaptable to other similar disciplines for people to rent out and/or drop in to use tools, benches and all other facilities.
It really is a fantastic space and we hope that you'll be able to visit one day... though the bus trip may have seemed long the moment I walked through the door and was met by the welcoming and warm Dolores...well, the journey just seemed to be worth the slog! I definitely will be going back again and again!

If you fancy going there for some Christmas crafty cheer then have a look at their Face Book Page...there are a few craft workshops to choose from so go and make merry! Otherwise contact them via email: or call: 07515378548

Monday 14 November 2011

Christmas Fair Designers. Lets take a sneaky peek...

This lady is a one woman fashion brand! Chloe is the brain child behind  "Dot your teas"  a fresh, sassy hand made label made for modern, eclectic gals with an ethical conscience.

Her accessories are not just fun but also classy...I so can see myself wearing this! Ha ha  ha...I'm not calling myself classy but I do like FUN beautiful accessories.
I really want to buy everything and I adore her fabulous pom pom head band.

If you're after a bit of East London design magic then come and peruse her stall...I promise that you won't be disappointed!

Please note that the images are from Dot Your Teas website and we can't promise these exact items will be on sale on the 3rd of December. If there's a particular item that you like please contact the designer:

Got Craft?

Be it a "yes" or a "no" answer to that question we think you really should go and get some of Got Craft's fabulous Christmas fair magic!
Andrea and Rob are fresh over from Canada where they run a very successful events company and highly regarded Craft Fairs. Given time and with your support I think that they will also achieve that over here. I'm so pleased that they've decided to bring their project to London and I welcome them with open arms!

Come on down on Sunday the 27th of November to the Tooting Tram & Social for their first offering and have a look at what all the fuss is will not be disappointed!
Support your local crafts people, designer makers and lets make this Christmas a hand made one!

P.S. And I'll be DJ-ing at the Got Craft fair too! My DJ alter ego Frida Black-Heart will be on the wheels of steel spinning some crafty vintage beats...lots of Deco Jazz, Rag time, 1950's Rock n Roll, Rock a billy, Blues, Latino, 1960's Psychedelia and some good old Chrimbo tunes! Ohhh don't forget to bring those dancing shoes!!!

Sunday 13 November 2011

10 minute project...

This cute pincushion ring can be made in about 10 minutes flat. It's sweet, quick and an easy project to make when you're felling crafty but are pressed for time.
Also you can make it entirely out of recycled materials!!!

You'll need: a scrap of fabric (outer circle)
a piece of felt or denim (inner circle)
a plastic top from a drinks bottle
drill or dibber
a needle and a pin
a glue gun

So come one...get your bits and bobs together and lets start making:

Before we start : plug in your glue gun (if you haven't one use a strong adhesive and leave to dry overnight)

Step 1: cut a circle out of some fabric and a smaller circle out of a stiffer material like denim or felt.

Step 2: centre and pin the inner circle into place. Sew a running stitch on the outer fabric just short of the inner circle. I've used red thread so you can see but I would have used white cotton thread otherwise.
Step 3: pull the stitches together to form a ruff and so your circle becomes a little pouch...

Step 4: fill with stuffing or roving (wool for needle felting), pull tight and stitch into place so it doesn't undo. You should have a tight little bundle.

Step 5: drill a hole with a craft drill or use a dibber to make two holes in your plastic bottle top.
Step 6: cut a piece of elastic and place through the holes to make the base of your pin cushion ring.

Step 7: once you pulled through your elastic, place on your finger and tie a knot on each end so it fits perfectly. Snip any surplus elastic.

Step 8: place a dab of glue under the knot so to keep it in place and a large dab over the elastic plus around the inner rim of the bottle cap. Place your stuffed pincushion top into the glued cap and press down firmly into place. Leave to dry for a minute.

Step 9: place a few dabs of glue and add the ribbon on the outside and tie both ends into a bow. Stitch a small tack stitch to keep the bow secure.

Step 10: Et Voila, C'est fini!!!!

Saturday 12 November 2011

Help us get the word out...

Post it on your Face Book page, on Twitter and where ever you can...yup people, I'm talking about our gorgeous poster which was designed by the talented illustrator Rebecca aka "One Sugar Please"!

A big thank you to our lovely sponsor Ship Shape Studio for being so awesome and generous plus we also need to say TA VERY MUCH to Sanna Panda for screen printing a cute limited edition tote which will be given to the first 25 people to visit the Craft Guerrilla table on the 3rd of December.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Christymas fair designers. Lets take a sneaky peek...


I love Miwa and her absolutely bonkers but totally wearable stylish creations. She'll be at the Craft Guerrilla Christmas Fair on December 3rd at Vestry House Museum so pop in and see what gorgeously fab, inspired by nana's attic creations she's ll be showcasing!

I love her 3D fabric tea cups and I'm hoping she'll be bringing a few. I know someone who'll be very pleased if she gets one of those for Christmas!!!!

BUT...If you can't wait...have a peep here:

Remember that it's free to get in... and the first 25 people get a special edition printed tote courtesy of Sanna Panda & Friends!!!

Monday 7 November 2011

Decorations a go go!

OK I'm maybe asking too much of myself but I really like the idea of making my own Christmas decorations...even though I realistically don't need the extra work this is something which I know would give me immense pleasure.

I'm fed up of shop bought, loud, glitter & tinsel overloaded decorations and as much as I love a bit of "bling" sometimes I crave a little bit of visual quiet.

So could paper/felt decorations be the answer? Personally I'd say yes.
Simple non fussy and pretty decorations that you can make and enjoy at the fraction of the price plus come the end of the season you can recycle as next year you'll be able to make some fresh ones out of scraps from your December recycling box or out of any pretty wrapping paper you've kept from the previous year.

I have so many Christmas baubles and decorations at the back of the cupboard that I fear one day that it'll come to life and will start giving out advice like "the trash heap" in Fraggle Rock!

There are so many types of on line paper decoration tutorials and by far this blog has been one of the favourite ones :

Not just one tutorial but a whole selection of really lovely
projects...which is rare.
Have a look at the gorgeous yet simple tutorials and get making!

These paper baubles are great and I've made some similar ones with recycled high quality paper magazines.
I'm definitely going to try making the paper trees...and the paper strip decoration...and the wreath...and...Oh darn...I think I'm going to try to make them all!

Saturday 5 November 2011

Sushi anyone?

Because this Christmas I will be surrounded by 6 children all under the age of 10 I think this will be the perfect gift for them. This way we can sit down, make and keep ourselves occupied for a while...

I love this tutorial and the best thing is that it's both perfect for little girls for dolly play time as for cookery obsessed little boys. I think I'll be making some for myself too as it's too cute to resist!!!

For full instruction and pattern please visit this awesome blog :

Christmas fair designers. Lets take a sneaky peek...

Its with great pleasure that we welcome back to our fair James Ward aka Jimbob Ceramics! I must confess that I simply love animals in clothing so...obviously Jim has struck a cord in my little animal lovers heart.

His beautiful and quirky ceramic home wares are adorned with hand drawn illustrations. Tea pots, cake plates, mugs and stacking coffee cup sets as well as some very lovely come on, treat the animal in you to some mighty fine shopping!!!

Friday 4 November 2011


After yesterday's inspirational talk by the knitting queen Debbie Bliss I threw my hand at a little bit of woolie crafting. I'm not a natural knitter or crocheter come to that...which is odd because as I child I loved sitting with my gran on the terrace crocheting dresses for my dollies. I seem to remember that I was quite good too but I think that when it comes to these types of crafts that the old saying "you never forget, it's like riding a bike" doesn't apply. Well not in my case anyway.
However I can do the basics so I picked up a crochet needle, a nice chunky size 12 hook and made a multi strand neck piece. It's actually quite cozy and soft so it also functions as a scarf thingy...not sure it would classify as a snood or scarf but "thingy" will do for now.

It was really easy to make. Crochet a few different lengths 2 row crochet strands, lay them out on a flat surface, place them in decreasing size order then attach ends with a piece of your yarn or stitch together so you're left with what could look like a multi chain open ended necklace. So you're attaching the strand onto the last strand then onto the next. You should still have two ends and not a continuous loop.
Form a small loop with the biggest strand on one end and sew a chunky bead on to the other to fasten shut. Et voila!

Now that I've reignited the passion for all things wool I'm pretty sure that my main problem is deciphering patterns. The actual process of knitting and crocheting is straight forward and simple and what I find scary are the abbreviations, terms, the variation of terms between US and UK patterns and so forth.It's like a language in itself!
I guess if explained and if my attention span wasn't so short then I would be able to master the knit!
Hum, maybe in the new year we can get a tutor in to run a knitting workshop for A.D.D. knitters.
I'm sure a lot of you would like to learn to read patterns...non?!

Thursday 3 November 2011

Christmas stress buster...

With almost two whole months to get through until the big day and I'm already starting to feel the stress!
Head pounding, palm sweating, back aching not to mention the gammy pirate leg aches and pains all due to STRESS and all that comes from trying to find those elusive bits & bobs we all crave for in order to host a splendorous and perfect Christmas. Why do we keep doing this to ourselves? Friends and family will love us regardless...even if you served a paper plate full of cheesy wotsits they'd still love you!
Seems that we're not just content with making the perfect presents, decoupaging beautiful decorations, baking scrumptious cakes, mixing gorgeous yule tide cocktails as well as printing our own gift wrap it also looks like we're ready to embark on the voyage of discovery where you WILL finding that perfect "It's a Wonderful Life" kissing under the mistletoe frock... no matter what!
So my little crafty chums let me help you a tiny are a few links to some pretty cool designer makers, fashion providers, tutorials and "gift ideas"that will surely make your life a little bit easier in the run up to the festive season.
The links feature a few of my favourite things...Some you'll be able to purchase and because I always find making relaxing I've added a few links to fab tutorials and workshops for you to MAKE your own too!
What about the " Family Guy" Clip? Ha, that's just because apart from a very large cocktail you'll also need a good pinch of humour to keep you going.... the Peter Griffith Christmas Album snippet always makes me laugh!

*Tattoo tights... all the fun of tattoos without the pain. Make your own:

*Gorgeous Vintage clothing by Frillseekers. Visit them in Portobello Market or at their pop up boutique at our monthly Make do & Mend D.I.Y. craft night...

*Hand made and totally lush accessories:
For more online hand made shopping visit:

*Take a little tea break or go get some tasty treats to adorn your festive table. Sometimes you just don't have the time so get some gorgeous cup cakes to treat yourself, friends and family:

*Making your own truffles can be the best stress buster around...mmmm...the smell of chocolate is quite soothing! Make some to give or book a spot in the workshop as a gift:

*Check for events close to where you live and buy hand made! Don't forget we're in Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow on the 3rd of December!

*A Classic but still a great read and a great companion to the modern household.

*Beautiful, understated Christmas decorations. A great step by step tutorial and a top blog too:

*Give your gifts a certain "Je nes sais quoi" with I Heart Zenna's gorgeous tape:

 *Inspirational this printed wrapping paper by Layla Amber:
Visit her on line shop for perfect little gifts:

*The ultimate pre Christmas relaxer...Drink, shop and do!  OOH I also hear they're opening a Club Night downstairs in the former "Sex Shop"... wowzer now it's Drink, Shop, Do & Dance!!!,_Shop_%26_Do/Drink,_Shop_%26_Do_%E2%80%94_Do.html