Monday, 25 April 2011

Make a Vintage Cake Stand Tutorial

Are you getting ready for the royal wedding celebrations? Holding a tea party? Or you just fancy getting your craft on to make something practical, inexpensive and very cute…

All you need is a spare 20 minutes, a hot glue gun or super glue and some plates and glasses of your choice. I got my plates and glasses from some local charity shops, (sherry glasses are the best as they can be so dainty)

There is only one step to make this cake stand, It really is as simple as it looks, it’s just a case of layering and gluing, layering and gluing and to add some stability to the weight turn the glasses upside down. 
Follow the images for your own unique cake stand.

Lesson learnt from making this cake stand is to measure to the middle, this stand is a little wonky!! But as I explain to people, it's obviously a design feature!

Turn the glass upside down, add glue and add the next layer of the stand

Three layers is the most weight it will take

Finished! One Cake Stand in 20 Minutes
I already had the glue, but the plates and glasses came to a grand total of £2.90. These vintage cake stands are perfect for cupcakes and sliced cakes, depending on the size of the cakes they hold around 10 cakes. 
Be imaginative, you can use odd plates, shot glasses, glass plates, saucers the list is endless.....

Monday, 18 April 2011

Tooting Bracelet Making Workshop

Learning a craft can sometimes be an expensive hobby or career to start and when looking into or researching workshops or courses, you may be considering the price, length of time, quality of the activity and maybe is it appealing enough for a friend to also join you…?

I think I may have cracked it, I believe I've found the perfect workshop, recently launched by an Arts collective called Handmade in Tooting  the ‘Crafty Pint Workshops’ also in Tooting are quickly becoming a monthly fixture on the SW Craft Club calendar, these workshops offer inexpensive introductory classes into different crafts each month. They tick all of our boxes for price (a mere £15!), quality, time and it’s been a huge appeal for friends to join in as it's a great way to spend an afternoon catching up, over craft, learning something new and feasting on homemade cupcakes. Having recently blogged about the ‘Mothers Day Treat in Tooting’ we thought it was only right we try out the local courses we talk about, obviously for research purposes!

First on the Crafty Pint calendar was the bracelet making workshop, a workshop offering simple demonstrations of how to use jewellery tools, apply beads to a bracelet and hopefully you'll end up with something which looks very fashionable and expensive.

With such a name as the Craft Pint it's rude not to have a pint or two throughout the workshop and whilst I’m not a beer or larger drinker, I’d recommend the strawberry cider, but be careful it tastes much like squash and goes down very quickly!
We started by selecting the beads
Slowly added the beads to the bracelet
Yummy cupcakes went down very quickly!
After 3 hours, 2 pints and 3 cupcakes later... the finished bracelet
Everyone's bracelets were every different...
...and very pretty
Each came with their own pouch and packet of Love Hearts!

This was a great way to send an afternoon and my bracelet hasn't been off my wrist since!

These classes are suitable for children from around 10 years (but check before you book a course) and adults and booking is highly recommended, a few people did just turn up on the day and they managed to join us, but I fear had the workshop been any busier they would have been turned away. 

The next class is the Textiles Brooch making class on Saturday 7th May 2pm-5pm, you can book at Tooting Crafty Pint or contact them via twitter @craftypint

Monday, 11 April 2011

West Norwood Feast - Part 2

It’s been 4 months since the very first Feast meeting, which saw the introduction of the high energy and enthusiastic team which are the Space Makers Agency and along with Lambeth council they talked through what they have planned for West Norwood to help to regenerate the area, to help give it a little bit of a cooler edge.

Over 13 weeks the local residents worked together week after week, creating and planning their local market, which many people had little or no experience of doing before, but what everyone had was a determination and common goal to make where they live more appealing, this was an amazing example of people power!

Over 91 days we saw more and more people join in on the Feast planning weekly meetings, volunteering their time over the weekendsgetting out onto the high street to talk to local people and shops owners, marketing the event and publicising the benefits it will bring to the area.

Finally after 2184 hours of preparation, on a very sunny Sunday 3rd April the Feast arrived to West Norwood. Many local residents got up early to prepare the market, setting up the stalls and assist the stall holders etc. and in short the market was a huge success. I’m not sure about everyone else but the market attracted more people than I had anticipated, local people were out in full force, supporting and shopping.  

This sort of project shows the importance of supporting and buying local but don’t take my word for it, check out all of the positive comments on the WN Feast Facebook Page

 The Artisan Market, attracted some amazing stall holders, all very diverse and made locally, cushions, candles, crochet, soaps, teddies, sunglasses, earrings, illustrations and many more...

Thankfully this isn't a one off event, the idea is that with the continued support of local people, this market has a long term future. The weekly meetings will still continue on Tuesdays from 6.30pm at the Railway Pub by Tulse Hill train station and anyone can get involved. 
Add a note to your dairy for Sunday 1st May for the next Feast. The plan is for the market to take place on the first Sunday of every month.

Contact details:

Monday, 4 April 2011

10 minutes on the couch with…. Fiona, the founder of Oh Sew Brixton

Never heard of Oh Sew Brixton? It’s a gem, in the heart of Brixton, across the road from the tube, it is a great place to learn to sew or even to scratch up on the experience you already have and learn something new from a variety of courses for all levels.

Tell us more about Oh Sew Brixton?

I started Oh Sew Brixton a couple of years ago now as I had had enough of corporate life.  I’ve always loved to sew (I learned at about the age of 12) and I could see that it was at last making a comeback.  I still might not have opened the school if it hadn’t seen the studio space in Piano House.  It was just perfect (light, spacious and a stone’s throw from the tube station) and I really didn’t have any excuse not to go for it!

What workshops do you have to offer for beginners?

Beginners are our speciality.  We have a one day Introduction to the Sewing Machine which gets people up and running on the sewing machine.  I really love teaching this class as, in the space of 5 hours, people go from slow and diffident to mowing up and down with the machine.  Everyone makes a bag, they are all different and all great.

Which classes are your most popular?

Beginner Dressmaking is probably our core course.  This runs as a 6 week evening or morning course and also occasionally as a 3 day Intensive.  Everyone makes a simple dress and we cover how to follow a pattern and some of the basic construction techniques.

What class would you recommend and why?

We’ve more recently started an Easy 50s dress course which is a follow in course to Beginners Dressmaking.  We’ve run this a couple of times and the dresses are just gorgeous.

Have you got any new courses coming launching this year?

I’ve got Rosie Martin of diy-couture coming back to do a workshop in May on her elasticated dress.  She is writing a series of books on how to make stuff without using patterns and the workshop is based on one of these.
The majority of your courses take place during evenings and weekends, we’ve received requests for daytime courses, in south London, Do you also run classes during the day?

I’d love to run more classes during the day, but I don’t seem to have the demand.  When I first set up, we put making children’s clothes on the schedule but didn’t get enough people for the class to run.  Maybe I should put it back on the schedule for after Easter?  I’m also thinking of running a patchwork club to use up all the lovely scraps I have left over from the dressmaking classes!

Your workshops are really on trend, giving people the opportunity to make a piece of clothing from the 1950’s, do you have any examples of what’s made in your class?

Latest on the schedule is a 50’s beachwear course.  This is a bikini top and shorts based on a 50s pattern, but using pattern software for made to measure shorts.

Describe Oh Sew Brixton in 3 words?

I can’t do this in three words!  Hopefully my students will vouch for the fact that I am very committed to teaching people to sew and have pledged to support those that continue their sewing journey.
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