London Art & Craft Events in March

Wow, can you believe it? Another *pinch and punch* – it’s March already! Last month I shared a round-up of some of the craft and design events coming up in London. I thought I’d continue the tradition, and give a little heads up of some of the cool events coming up this month, so you don’t miss out!

The Spring Knitting & Stitching Show – 3-6 March, London Olympia


Now, I’ve never been to the Knitting & Stitching Show before but I was lucky enough to win tickets to this year’s Spring Show at London Olympia in the @CraftBlogClub #CBCGiveaway.

Established over 20 years ago, the show runs from 3rd – 6th March 2016, and is one of the most highly regarded knitting and craft shows in London. Featuring over 200 crafty exhibitors, and over 200 interactive workshops, the fair is the definitive event for anyone with a love of stitch and crafts.

Knitting & Stitching Show 2016 Shelley Makes.JPG

I’ll be going on the Sunday with my sister (never fear, we’re celebrating Mother’s Day on the Saturday). I’ve left it too late to pre-book the workshops, but you can book on the day. Adults tickets cost £13 p/day, plus extra for workshops ranging from learning to knit, crochet, sew or quilt.

The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, London – 10-13 March

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Blogtacular 2016 (& embracing my blogging fears)

Blogtacular 2016 logoIn case you missed it, tickets to Blogtacular 2016 are now on sale! Blogtacular is an amazing event for creative bloggers to meet, share and inspire one another. The event, hosted in London in June, features a range of keynote speakers and workshops to help you become a better blogger.

I’ve been looking forward to Blogtacular since January, when I set my 2016 blogging resolutions, and have been joining the weekly #blogtacular Twitter chats in anticipation ever since. Blogtacular chats are a little different to other chats in that they are geared towards sharing expertise and best practice.

Learning from Blogtacular 2015

This morning I came across a blog post by XOMISSE who attended last year’s conference, and discovered the 2015 keynote speech by Grace Bonney from Design Sponge, one of the most famous interiors and lifestyle blogs on the web. I started watching, and was immediately enthralled.

Grace’s talk was all about ’embracing fear’ – as the online landscape endlessly evolves, we have to constantly face our fears to learn or try new things, to help us stay on top of the wave. The talk really struck a cord, especially as, not long ago, I joined a Blogtacular chat on the topic of bravery.

In her talk, Grace describes her 5-step process to overcoming fears. The first step is to ‘Acknowledge’ the fear, which she calls the ‘private therapy moment’. The key is to identify the things that scare you (for example that you don’t think your content on Instagram is good enough), and air them.

5 step process.png

All fears are valid, and by acknowledging them, you can start to do something about them. During her talk, Grace encourages the audience to write down three things that they’re afraid of. As I continue on my blogging journey, I thought it was about time that I started to air some of my fears, as I’m sure that I’m not alone, and by talking about them, hopefully I can start to better forge my blog’s future.

So, here goes…

Fear #1: Content: What is my blog’s USP, and what do readers want?

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DIY Paper Marbling with Pup Tart Handmade

Happy Sunday all! As it’s #SundayBlogShare day, I thought I’d tell you about a fun DIY paper marbling workshop I went to this week hosted by Pup Tart Handmade at Drink, Shop & Do (my favourite craft café near King’s Cross in London) – you might have seen it in my February event round-up!

This was Hannah’s first ever marbling workshop, but she was such a pro, you would never know, and we had so much fun. Marbling is actually really simple, and very therapeutic – I recommend it!

All you need to marble is:

  • Some plain paper, card or fabric that you want to ‘marble’ – you can even use gift tags!
  • A tray with deep sides (like a paint tray), or a foil roasting tin
  • A selection of marbling paint or inks in different colours (available from craft stores)
  • Bucket of cold water and a jug, or even better, a bath and a shower head
  • A size such as methocel (a very thin wall paper paste – the paint floats on top of this)
  • Skewers, toothpicks or forks (whatever is available) to make patterns
  • Newspaper (to save you ‘goo’ing everywhere)

Marbling involves transferring floating paint or ink from a ‘size’ to a material, creating a marbled effect. Hannah had pre-prepped our ‘size’ (thin wallpaper paste), so all we had to do was pick our coloured paints and one-by-one drip them into the tray, using skewers or forks to make patterns.

Paper Marbling with Pup Tart Handmade on Shelley Makes (27)

Once we were happy with the colours and pattern, we simply laid our piece of card, paper of fabric on top of the goo, starting at one corner and lowering towards the other to avoid air bubbles, and left it on the surface of the goo for a short while, allowing the paint to transfer to the paper.

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Beginner’s Knitting at Tea and Crafting

As you may remember, one of my new year’s resolutions was to try my hand at new crafts, so I was really excited to attend a beginner’s knitting workshop with Tea and Crafting in Camden last month.

Beginner's Knitting with Tea and Crafting

On the morning of the workshop I felt excited, but also quite nervous. What if I was all fingers and thumbs, and it was like using chopsticks? I’m shamefully bad at using chopsticks…

Tea & Crafting Knitting I Workshop

I was the last to arrive, and took my seat around the table with six other ladies. My session was run by Natalie, whose hands you may have seen in many of Wool & The Gang’s online video tutorials, and whom I met for the first time at The New Craft House kit launch party last year.

Tea & Crafting knitting Workshop III

Natalie gave us a cup of tea and a biscuit alongside a reassuring introduction to knitting and what we’d be covering in the session. Over the course of two and a half hours, Natalie taught us how to cast-on, cast-off, and how to knit three basic stitches – knit stitch, purl stitch and rib stitch.

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Craft, Design and Maker Events in February

*Pinch, punch!* Can you believe that it’s already February? Here’s my pick of some of the fun, crafty things that you can see and do in London this month – get involved, and book your tickets now!

Just Got Made Weekender – 27-28 February, South London


Technically a trade show, the Just Got Made Weekender is a two-day celebration of the UK Maker Revolution. Join craftspeople, micro-manufacturers and material specialists from around the UK as they show off their skills, and sell their unique wares. From heritage leather working to digital fabric printing, jewellery design to letterpress printing, the Weekender is a chance to meet like-minded maker enthusiasts, and explore areas of contemporary making you may not have encountered before.


Alongside a line-up of exhibitors including Sugru and I Make Knots, the event promises fun and creative drop-in workshops, demonstrations and talks. Professional makers can join free business advice sessions taught by experts from The Design Trust, the Crafty Fox Market, and the Crafts Council.

Cost: Tickets cost £5 for one day (11am – 5pm), or £7.50 for the full weekend. I’m going for the full weekend. You can buy tickets here, and follow Just Got Made on Twitter and Facebook.

Letterform Live – 24 February, London EC2A


Letterform Live is a series of informal talks organised by Grafik (a graphic design magazine), inspired by their hugely popular Letterform column. The next Letterform Live, hosted in partnership with Monotype, looks at typography used in fashion, and how this has helped shape visual culture.


Speakers include graphic designers and type experts Sean Murphy, Camille Walala (check out her Twitter) and Romilly Winter, talking about the letters that fascinate and inspire them.

Cost: It promises to be a fun and very informative evening – tickets are just £10 per session and can be purchased here. UPDATE: Unfortunately SOLD OUT, but stay tuned for the next one!

Paper Marbling with Pup Tart – 15th February (7-9pm) at Drink, Shop & Do

I’m a regular at Drink, Shop & Do – a quirky craft café near King’s Cross St. Pancras, which hosts daily events to entertain your evenings. I’ve been to many a ‘Drink, Shop’ Do, including ‘Play with Clay’ (Arnold Schwarzenegger styley), and their annual pumpkin carving for Halloween.

Pup Tart

I’m really excited to have tickets to their paper marbling workshop with Hannah Frew from Pup Tart, which promises to guide us through the basics of how to marble onto paper and fabric, and experiment with patterns and colour, so that we can create our own marbled greeting cards and gift wrap.

Cost: Tickets cost £15 each, and you can buy them via eventbrite here. Come join!

This is only a fraction of the events on offer in Feb, so do keep an eye out. If you know of any others, or go to any of the above, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

Happy making, typing and crafting this Feb!

5 Crafty Twitter Chats for #Creatives

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to join more crafty Twitter chats, and since then, I’ve noticed a lot of other people looking to do the same. As a result, I wanted to share details of some of the weekly chats that I join, so you can add them to your crafty calendar – I have diary alerts to remind me!

Twitter Chats Instagram

1. #CraftBlogClub – Tuesdays, 7pm – 8.30pm

#CraftBlogClub is a weekly chat for craft lovers and bloggers alike, devoted to all things crafty and creative. The brainchild of founders @KatieGetsCrafty and @Fizzijayne, it’s an extremely friendly and supportive community for crafters of all skill sets. As well as weekly chats, they host regular crafty challenges, such as the annual #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa. I started joining the chat late last year, and I genuinely enjoy joining in every week – they’re a lovely bunch!

To join the chat follow @CraftBlogClub and use the hashtag #CraftBlogClub.

2. #CraftHour – Sundays, 7pm – 8pm

#CraftHour hold a weekly Twitter chat dedicated to connecting crafters with customers. Hosted every Sunday at 7pm GMT, they also host daily ‘events’ from 8am, dedicated to promoting crafty makers, including #TreasuryTuesday, and even a 15 minute #CraftFlash – be quick!

To join the chat, follow @Craft_Hour and use hashtag #CraftHour.

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The New Craft House Kit Launch Party!

On Tuesday I was excited to kick off December with a craft kit launch party from one of my favourite blogging duos – Rosie and Hannah from The New Craft House (previously The New Craft Society).

NCH Rosie and Hannah

Photo by Chloe Mullaney

I stumbled across this pair a few years back when I was first venturing into the world of craft, and they were an instant source of inspiration. As young yet skilled seamstresses (check out their projects for Liberty), their aim is to promote old crafts for the new generation, and by golly they’re good!

NCH knicker making kits

Soon after launching their blog they won Cosmopolitan’s Best Craft Blog Award (an award category Cosmo don’t do any more, boo!), and can now be found running workshops for the likes of Converse and Cath Kidston. But now this talented twosome are onto even greater heights!


I was really excited to attend the launch party of their brand new making kits, which coincide with the launch of their shiny new online shop. I told you – it is literally all happening for them!

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#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa 2015

#CraftBlogClub is a Twitter chat which runs every Tuesday between 7 – 8.30pm for craft bloggers and lovers alike. It’s the brainchild of founders @KatieGetsCrafty, @Fizzijayne and @LivePeachy.


Last week I was really excited to learn about an awesome festive initiative they run called the #CraftBlogClub Secret Santa which is open to everyone, and now in its third year!

You can find details on how to sign up here, but make sure you do so before 8pm on Thursday 5th November. You’ll then be matched at random to another crafty secret santa. Cool, huh?

Inspiration from past #CraftBlogClub swaps: 

#CraftBlogClub Secret Santa Presents

Once you’ve emailed to take part, you’ll be emailed back by Tuesday 10th November with the name and address of the person you’re making a gift for, and the making begins!

There are no rules when it comes to gifting – you can make anything you like from any craft – past examples include mittens, baubles, Christmas stockings, and personalised Xmas bunting.

So that everyone can receive their gift by Christmas, they ask that gifts are sent (with a note, revealing your identity) by 21st December, and then the excitement of receiving and blogging begins!

I can’t wait to take part in this awesome initiative. There’s nothing nicer than a homemade gift, and what better way to spread the joy at Christmas than by sharing it with fellow craft-bods!

The makers of these Secret Santa presents are:

1. Handwarmers by Icy Sedgwick | 2. Owl Pllow by Zoflo | 3. by Fizzi Jayne Makes | 4. Christmas stocking and bunting by Katie Gets Crafty | 5. Red Stocking by Kay Gets Crafty | 6. Homemade Soap by The Little Soap Kitchen | 7. Crochet mug warmer with coasters by LoveTwoCraft

London Craft Dates For Your Diary 2015

Over the next few months there are some fantastic crafty events taking place in London. Below are my top three spanning October and November. I’ll be going – hope to see you there!

The Crafternoon Cabaret Club

When: 24 October 2015 (2-4pm)

Where: The Book Club, 100 – 106 Leonard Street, London

What: The Crafternoon Cabaret Club host a different craft workshop every month. Next weekend, we’ll be making Macrame Hanging Planters to display indoor succulents. As well as taking part in the workshop, each event introduces a cabaret artist, in this case Ukulele songstress Jo Stephenson.

Price: £15 with all materials included. Click here to book.

The BUST London Christmas Craftacular

When: 22 November 2015 (11am – 5pm)

Where: York Hall, Bethnal Green, London

What: The BUST Christmas Craftacular features over 70 vendors, as well as a Drink Shop & Do pop-up cafe, DJs and your choice of DIY workshops. I’ve signed up to weave a Mini Wall Hanging with peas and needles and Amy Ilic (£5),  but you can also make a geometric Christmas decoration with bobbin & bow (free), arm-knit a snood with Wool and the Gang (£20), create a sweater bobble hat with Traid (£5), customise a Christmas jumper with Fabrications (Free), and stitch your signature on Craftivist Collective’s Giant Petition (Free). Check out the website for the full schedule.

Price: £3 entrance, plus workshop costs.

The Holiday Renegade Craft Fair

When: 7-8 November 2015 (11am – 6pm)

Where: Old Truman Brewery, 81 Brick Lane, London

What: The Renegade Craft Fair is a curated marketplace of indie-craft goods which showcases the best and brightest talent from the modern Maker community. I attended the fair last year, and had a great time browsing the stalls, and being inspired by an array of makers. Not only will this event provide great inspiration for festive gift-giving, you can also participate in DIY workshops at a small cost.

Price: Free to attend, plus workshop costs.

Stay tuned to see how I get on at the weaving and macrame workshops!

B&Q Alphabet Blogger Event: DIY Wooden Letter

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a hands-on B&Q blogger event with Channel 4’s very own Salvage Sister, Charis Williams, at The Proud Archivist near Haggerston in London.

Whilst many people associate B&Q with blokes and builders, the aim of the event was to show crafts-people and interior stylists that B&Q is also a great place to go for one-off DIY projects.


With the help of Charis and B&Q’s resident handyman, Pete, we were shown how to make our own wooden letter using planks of wood and a jigsaw. Lucky for us, Charis had already pencilled our letters onto a backboard of MDF, so our first job was to use the jigsaw to cut out our letter.

Using jigsaw

I’m sure poor Pete must have taken one look at me in my smart work clothes and feared the worst, but he turned out to be a fantastic teacher, and I was soon jig-sawing away. The key is to use clamps to secure the wood to the work bench nice and securely, so that there are no reverberations.

Charis and Pete

Straight lines can be done with a hand-held circular saw, whilst corners and curves are best done with a jigsaw. For letters with a hole in the middle, such as ‘A’, you have to use a drill to create a hole in the centre, before using the jigsaw to remove the inner shape – a bit more fiddly, but do-able!


Once done, we took to our work stations and laid wooden planks over the MDF, marking with a pencil, ruler and protractor where we needed to cut the planks so that they would fit on top. Thankfully, Pete came to my rescue to help me keep up with the rest of the class, as my ‘S’ was proving a bit tricky!

Letter S

Whilst at the event, we had the opportunity to talk to Valspar UK and learn how they can create any paint colour without compromise – now available in B&Q stores. We were also able to take away a few tester pots including the official B&Q orange, and I selected You’re Blushing – a very pale pink.

I still need to finish my letter, but I’m loving how it looks so far, and it will be a great addition to my craft room. Once I’ve tidied up the edges, I’ll use my No More Nails wood adhesive to glue the planks to the MDF, before nailing them with my new Titan nail gun (thanks for that, Pete!) for good measure.

Letter S

All in all, I had a really fantastic time, and it was a pleasure to meet Charis and Pete, as well as some top bloggers in the craft and interior design spheres, namely Sian from Moregeous, Hester from Hester’s Handmade Home, and the fabulous girls from The New Craft Society.

To the awe of everyone on my train, I also came away with a B&Q bag bulging with goodies including hammers, grips, paint brushes, nail guns – you name it! It was quite a conversation starter…

B&Q goody bag

The one down side to the event? I couldn’t get the sawdust off my shoes for weeks!

Unofficial Disclaimer: To Charis’ relief, no bloggers were harmed in the making of these letters =D