Craft Jam Pubnights 2013

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Celebrating our 3rd Birthday with Embroidery and Cake


 Embroidery Night Craft Jam July 2013 saw 26 of us learning the gentle art of hand embroidery.  July 2010 is when Craft Jam all started by humble means with only a handful of people in attendance, now we are 3 and every month have between 25-30 people coming both new and regulars.  

Anne and Annie from the West Country Embroiderers Association came along to teach us this intricate craft.
Both ladies are self confessed serial stitchers and have been doing needlecraft in one form or another all their lives.  

We had the opportunity to make either a funky embroidered felt brooch or an embroidered card using fine embroidery techniques.


The delicate pre patterned embroidery card project contrasted well with the free and easy  felt brooch where your imagination could run riot. Both were engaging and show the spectrum of possibilities in embroidery.

The work produced at last night's Jam was awesome,  It never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully creative people are, no-one makes the same thing,  it is all different and all gorgeous.  I loved the little birds. 

More of our best bits.....................

I would live here !

Who new that a box of threads could be so photogenic?


Friday, 28 June 2013

Embroidery Inspiration

This month's Craft Jam being Embroidery, I thought it prudent to write a little blog about it.   The furthest I have come to embroidery is a cross stitch made when I was pregnant. It is a gentle art,  taking great concentration and skill to make things by hand.  Nowadays there are amazing (and expensive) machines which embroider intricate designs at the push of a button.  Craft Jam this month we will be learning how to do it the simple way,  using a number of simple stitches to create lovely keepsakes and to get a little taste of this fantastic craft.  I have been trawling the internet for inspiration and have found some really gorgeous embroidered pieces. 

This notebook I found on Folksy by Handmade by Edwina,  I love her use of colour and folk art appeal.  Applique,  embroidery stitches and beading have been used to give this real character.  

Frutejuce on Folksy have this fabulous pattern for a Mexican Day of the Dead style embroidered skull.  This is fantastic perfect gift done on an embroidery hoop to hang on the wall.  

This is a great idea and a great tutorial by Little Birdie Secrets blog.  It shows how to turn your kid's doodles and drawings into embroidered art.  A fabulous idea and a great keepsake.  There are loads of tutorials online for this and if you don't fancy doing it yourself there are a few craft businesses out there who specialise in creating gifts doing just this.  

One of my favourite embroidery artists, based here in Devon is Three Red Apples.  Annabelle Ozanne is the creative force behind Three Red Apples and as well as creating fantastic embroidery,  I love that she creates her pieces with no fancy sewing machines.  Just a simple machine,  drawing her embroidery straight onto the material.  She even has two old Singer sewing machines to keep it rustic and real.  Annabelle has a fabulous blog, do take a peek.  You can buy her goodies on Etsy  and her website.  

 Finally,  I cannot do a piece on embroidery without mentioning Dottie Angel.  The lady behind this Tif, is a british girl living in the US.  She has a huge online following through her blog and a perfect brand of eclectic charm selling embroidered pieces as well as hand sewing and crochet.  Is there any craft this dynamo cannot do.  Dottie's blog is fantastic and whimsical.  And with a seaview,  two airstream caravans in her garden, chickens and 8 kids,  she certainly lives the crafty life.  

'I do love all that you are'  Dottie Angel

Mosaic Craft Jam - June 2013

Mosaics Night 

Led by Anne and her team from Arts and Crafts in the Chapel, Moretonhampstead, this night was always going to be special.   Anne has been a mosaic artist for many many years,  Christine has done mosaics for over ten years and Emma a newer artist  came to help us all take the first steps to try and produce our own mini mosaic masterpiece. 

To whet our appetite for this craft they brought with them some magnificent work, my personal favourite being 'Dave' the mosaic'd Indian Elephant.  This piece is really special so much so that I took rather a lot of photos.  Anne had a picture with her showing an amazing transformed MG classic car from normal car to a mosaic'd car that I would give my right arm for.  She was commissioned to make something for Moretonhampstead festival and a friend donated his old MG classic car to the cause. 

Here's a picture of the magic worked on it.  If you look close enough you'll see an entire tea service on the bonnet!

Can you imagine doing the school run in this?   Now there's a thought :)

I am soo impressed with the finished work that we all managed to achieve in the course of 2 hours. It helped immensely that Anne was such an expert in the field.  She inspired us to use objects that we had found at home in our craft cupboards.  Buttons,  old pieces of jewellery plastic,  mosaics is a craft where you can really let your imagination fly.  I am certainly hooked and even managed to grout my piece a few days after.  The grouting is messy but woah does it really finish the look of your work,  well worth it!

Here is some of our best bits.................................................

Photo mosaics of our Mosaics.  Lots of different materials have been used to create these fantastic pieces.  I love the little green pendant heart and the little aqua beads in the bottom right piece.  (top photo) and the sailing boat on the bottom picture (bottom left).  

One of the girls had just moved house,  I think this is a lovely addition to her new home 

My own finished and grouted piece (not quite perfect but its a start)

Flamboyant!  More pictures of Dave the mosaic elephant 



I love this jigsaw piece and the leaf,  they are large pieces which is not obvious from the photographs.  This is a craft that I could really fly with, the end result is so satisfying.

Anne runs courses in Mosaics up in mid Devon and is happy to come to venues to teach her art.  in addition to this she sells exquisite mosaic kits with everything included to help you make your first project.  

 Contact Anne Read at  and check out her website at

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Great Way to Get Noticed with the Magnetic Noticeboard Co

I have found a real treat for handmade enthusiasts,  based right here in sunny Devon is the Magnetic Noticeboard Co .  This cottage industry tucked away in a beautiful rural part of of East Devon, is the brainchild of Penny Silverthorne.  Penny makes everything from scratch, the frames,  the prints even down to the little hand-painted magnets for her pretty and chic boards.  As well as canvas framed boards,  you may also choose to have a board made with your choice of fabrics.  Banish corkboards forever!!

I was lucky enough to visit Penny in her studio,  she has a vast array of kit to help make her boards, and will make bespoke boards for families or children.  They make beautiful gifts and imagine a bespoke personalised board for your wedding day from which to display wedding photos,  gorgeous. Or personalised noticeboards with the names of each of your children to hang in the kitchen with specific to-dos, school letters or pictures.  (No more cluttered fridge doors).  Penny sells her gorgeous wares at 
follow the company on Facebook  
Some lovely piccies below.  Now where's my purse!

Pip x

A selection of gorgeous colours and pretty fonts used to create timeless noticeboards for the home

Pretty Union Jack noticeboard,  perfect for bedrooms,  office or, if you are lucky enough to have one, your craft room (oh how I wish, one day........)

Personalised boards for kids or adults alike

Personalised Family Noticeboard

Fabric Boards (double height)

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Lampshade Obsession Hits An All Time High!

Following hot on the trail of lampshades I have been trawling the internet and have found some stunning handmade beauties  for inspiration.

This gorgeous butterfly shade is available to buy through Unique Boutique online.  With its patchwork style and beautiful muted colours,  I think its so perfectly unique.  It sits perfectly in the mould of modern Victoriana with a certain essence of Victorian Entomology (butterfly collecting) scrummy.

Vintage Embroidery Fabric Shades by Kookolki

 These fabulous shades are handmade by Kookolki here in Devon.  Sister-in-Law team

Kirsty and Ksenia decided that making lampshades with old embroidered fabric was a fabulous way to display the gorgeous details of hand embroidered work.  They use Vintage Fabric and Frames found in Flea Markets and find pleasure in breathing new life into them with a modern twist.  These are also available to purchase via Etsy. 

Finally I found this little cutie on Ebay via Wild Strawberry Picking.  using patchwork of gorgeous fabric on Vintage style frames, they have created an eclectic shade with a gorgeous Gypsy bohemian feel.  I love it!!

Okay after something a bit more modern, here is some of the lovelies I've found

A Not on the High Street by Blue Zoo,  I think this can be used for anywhere in the home, not just a kids room. I love the animals and the colours, just gorgeous and will add a bold splash of colour to your otherwise bare white ceiling, doncha think?

A personal favourite,  this really is a bold statement.  Loving the Owl too.  This shade is by Quincy Lampshades a very notable and established company set up by Ruth McAllister and based in the lovely city of Bristol.

Hope you enjoy these stunning examples and do have a trawl of images on google or pinterest,  there are alot of gorgeous shades out there.  Perfect and unique design and much much nicer than buying the usual commercial tat on the market.  Ta ta for now

Pip xx

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Podgy Pigeon - Lampshade Jam 12th & 13th March

I am very excited to introduce Podgy Pigeon the brainchild of Harriet Walsh.  Harriet started her business after moving into her first home in Devon.  Tired of the dull and commercial lampshades on the market, she decided to have a go at making her own lampshades to perk up her ceilings.  She admits to having an obsession with ceilings which she considers a very under utilised space in peoples homes. 

Harriet sells her lampshades via Etsy and has just set up her own website at
She is coming to the City Gate on the 12th and 13th of March to teach a very eager bunch of Craft Jammers to make their own lampshades.  I am so excited about this particular Craft Jam, as lampshades are incredibly expensive and I never seem to like anything I see in the shops.  I consider the correct lighting very important, adding warmth and ambience to the home.  I don't like stark lighting and usually use lamp lighting rather than ceiling lighting. The opportunity to learn how to make my own shade is just too tempting for words!! I already have the perfect place in our house for my shade when its finished.  I posted Lampshade Jam on The Craft Hub Facebook page in late January, for the 13th of March, it booked out within 1 hour!  There was such a crowd on the waiting list that I contacted Harriet who was more than happy to do the night before also.  This too was posted and sold out within half an hour!  Phew.  It's not just me then :)

You can follow Podgy on Facebook and Twitter or buy her gorgeous shades via EtsyRoll on the 12th and 13th of March!!

Gorgeous Japanese  Echino Fabric Lampshade by Podgy Pigeon

Monday, 25 February 2013

Kiss and Bake Up - Deliciously Edible Works of Art

Alice in Wonderland themed Pocket Watch and Cameo  Cake Pops by KABU

I am really keen to feature this dynamic crafter, who over the course of a couple of years has been a highlight at our Craft Fairs. This is what The Craft Hub wrote about her work, which is perfect for weddings. Sarah has a quirky sense of style and will create perfect romantic cakes or 'geek' cakes for weddings complete with Dr Who, Star Wars and Harry Potter paraphenalia. x

"Kiss and Bake Up is a bakery with a difference. The brainchild of Sarah, a local 'rock chic' baker of cupcakes, cake pops, whoopie pies and more. Sarah is a cake artist rather than a basic cake maker. Her originality and flair know no bounds. " - The Craft Hub

Kiss & Bake Up is run by Sarah, known as 'The Blue Haired Baker' and assisted by her husband Darren in Exeter, Devon.
KABU was launched early 2010 and has since grown into the bakery it is known for today. Full of original ideas and concepts, top notch decorating and baking with flair, and a firm grasp on todays tastes in culture and style.
Favouring the beautiful but quirky flow of geek, burlesque, vintage, steampunk, caberet, victoriana, pin up, carnival and circus, Sarah "The Blue Haired Baker" Downham designs detailed and imaginative edible works of art for your bookings.
Sarah works full time in the bakery, and has modified her house to support the ever growing and evolving demand of KABU.

Sarah is just about to have her first baby, wishing her all the best for the birth, we look forward to seeing her work again when she has had precious time with her new baby.
Beach Huts and Lighthouse Cake Pops, delicious!

Hula (Hawaiin inspired cupcakes) by KABU

Christmas Bauble Cake Pops

Sarah with her lovely cakes at Twinkling Firs 2011

Steampunk Cakes by KABU