Finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2016

I’m delighted to announce that I am officially an Arts & Culture Finalist in the UK Blog Awards 2016! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. The awards received 73,000+ votes in total!

Over the years, I’ve seen the awards recognise some exceptional UK blogging talent; when I wrote my blog post In it to win it, I never imagined that I’d end up as a finalist, and I’m thrilled.

finalist_instagram_Shelley Makes picIntroducing the 2016 Arts and Culture Finalists…

There are ten finalists in the Arts & Culture category, including Aditi’s Pen (personal, fictional, and travel tales), Blazing Minds (film, theatre and event reviews), Film Doctor (a script and film consultancy), HCMOVIEREVIEWS (film reviews), Hello Emma Kay (theatre reviews), Hookedblog (street art blog), Making A Scene (community arts project), SLM Pickings (cultural events and entertainment), Shelley Makes (me!), and Urban Kultur Blog (street art, underground dance music, and urban culture).

If anyone needed any more proof that the blogging community is the best, I found out that I was a finalist via some awesome blogger friends (and previous winners) on Twitter – what sweethearts!

Thank you once again to everyone who voted for me. I’m thrilled to be waving the flag for UK arts and crafts, designer-makers, and creators, and am honoured to be a finalist in this category.

Thank You Facebook

The overall winners will be selected by a panel of judges over the next few weeks, and announced at an awards ceremony on the 29th April. I can’t wait to attend, and meet the other finalists!

Until then, stay tuned for #BlogHour which runs on Tuesdays at 9pm. The next chat (2nd Feb) is co-hosted by Hills Balfour, and we’ll be discussing press trips, social media and periscope!

Autumn Craft Fairs, London 2014

I love this time of year, when mornings are crisp, and trees turn beautiful shades of orange. Something about Autumn makes me want to go outside and retire inside all at the same time, so what better way to spend my weekends than at autumn craft fairs. There are a few upcoming craft fairs in London that provide the perfect excuse to mooch around by day, and curl up crafting by night.

1) Crafty Fox Market – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th October

Crafty Fox Market caught my eye as they not only feature a selection of hand-picked designer makers, but they also feature creative workshops, tea & cakes, and DJs spinning an ‘eclectic’ mix of tunes. With regular seasonal markets in London – all guest curated – they are not to be missed!

Crafty Fox Market

This weekend, on 4th-5th October, you can visit the Crafty Fox Market Autumn Fair at the Dogstar, Brixton between 11am – 5pm. I’m going on Sunday, which has been guest curated (from over 400 applicants) by Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek. As well as featuring some very cool stalls, I’m hoping to take part in some fun creative workshops including a screen printing workshop by Mr Wingate (£5), and a bunting necklace workshop by Lucie Ellen (£15).

2) Renegade Craft Fair – Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd November

Keen DIY’ers will be pleased to hear that the Renegade Craft Fair London Market returns to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, on 22nd – 23rd November. Founded in 2003 to serve the neglected DIY craft community, RCF now has 14 annual events in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and London. In other words, the Renegade Craft Fair is kind of a big deal!

Renegade Craft Fair London

Visit the fair in November to kickstart your festivities. Market hours are 11am – 6pm, and you can expect to find over 100 of the best makers from the UK and beyond. Celebrating indie craft and design, you’ll find vendors from jewellery, ceramics, paper goods, artisanal food, art installations and more.

Are you heading to any autumn craft fairs this year?

Art Inspiration: Safari by Marcus Davies

On Thursday, I attended a private viewing of artist Marcus Davies’ latest paper-cut collection – Safari, at the Paul McPherson Gallery in Greenwich. Marcus’ signature style involves complex cut and torn paper collages, resulting in incredibly bold and colourful portraits, inspired by nature.

Marcus Davies

I’m a sucker for bright colours and bold designs, so I was immediately a fan of Marcus’ work – some of which is many metres tall and wide – a real masterpiece! Seeing the artwork in real-life is paramount, as you can really appreciate the pain-staking technique; the layers and textures of paper used give a real sense of depth and substance – you want to stroke the animals as though they’re real!

Collage work by the Art Hub artist Marcus Davies.

The exhibition is great inspiration if you love paper-cut art and designs; I’ve no doubt it takes a lot of patience and man hours to achieve. This awesome collection marks Marcus’ return to his first love of illustration and wildlife, after a successful career in the fashion industry. The work is a testimony to Marcus’ eye, patience and research preparation, which bring these works to life.

Collage work by the Art Hub artist Marcus Davies.

You can buy Marcus’ original works, or purchase prints and greetings cards on his website. Alternatively, visit the studio before 24th May 2014 to see the collection first-hand.