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Monthly Archives: January 2015

  • A gift to Cherish

    Happy Accidents

    Ever wondered where all the ideas for some of the beautiful things you see in craft shops, galleries and fairs?

    I hear customers in the shop saying to each other "you would never think of doing that would you?” or "where do people get their ideas from?" and that is what makes handmade special.

    It really is the contents of someone’s head and heart. Most people who create just have to do it,. It's like an itch that has to be scratched. I know I see a piece of paper and straight away I am thinking “ooh I could make.....” or “this would make a lovely.....”

    Don’t get me wrong sometimes I start off as making one thing and then it turns into something else, I like to call them happy accidents. Although some of my best work is happy accidents.

    So yesterday I bought little tiny tassels and can’t wait till tomorrow to get to work to make something to put them on.

    conwy 2

    Everyone is unique

    During workshops I could give ten people the same materials and everyone will make something different. As I say the contents of our heads and hearts.

    I can’t tell you how lovely it is when I finish making something, put it out in the shop and then see somebody picking it up and having a good look and then deciding to buy it.

    It’s not the money, though that is nice, it’s the thought that that person loves it as much as I do. Lots of times they tell me the story of where their purchase is going and another part of my work's story begins.

    I LOVE HANDMADE and I love making Handmade.

    A gift to cherish

    So here is the thing, Christmas IS COMING. If you’re like me it will have taken you by surprise AGAIN. So we are all starting to think about what we would like to give all the special people in our lives. We could give them some boxed toiletries from a large chain, nice. But what about something that shines?

    Something to keep and cherish. Handmade really is special. It has been lovingly made by a maker who has maybe spent months thinking and designing your gift before sitting and creating it out of all sorts of gorgeousness.

    So go to your local High street, to your local handmade shop and a whole new world will open up. Have a coffee or lunch in a local cafe. Bet you find there are shops you never noticed before. There will probably be Christmas events on. So now it’s a day out, a day to enjoy and remember.

    See where I’m going here? A lot nicer than trawling round some hot stuffy department store full of the usual tat.

    This year I am giving my Dad a Handmade memory album with a note in it asking him to give it me as my Christmas present next year. But filled with photos from his family tree, with notes telling me who they are and stories about them. Merry Christmas folks or should I say a Merry Handmade Christmas to you all.

    conwy

    This post was written by Michelle, Chief Mischief Maker and General Sorter Outer at Conwy Art and Craft, a truly magical little shop on the High Street in Conwy, as part of our 'Getting your Christmas on' series that you can catch up with here.

    Conwy Arts and Craft stocks all manner of beautifully crafted pieces from local artists and crafters.

    Be sure to pop along to 7a High Street, Conwy LL328DB. Open 10am til 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am till 4.30pm Sunday. You can find them on Facebook too, so go and say hi!

  • Week 3: Ethical gifts of kindness ideas

    We are on Week 3 of our weekly series on the run up to Christmas. We have been looking at all the wonderful Christmasy festive ideas out there, leaning away from the commercial aspect and hearing all your amazing ideas and thoughts. You can catch up on the series from the start here

    I found a few different options for these. I think my favourite has to be Oxfam as you also get a ecard and there were some options to buy something small and tangible to give alongside it. Oxfam call them unwrapped gifts and for example, this week they are giving away a free chocolate goat with any unwrapped gift purchased.

    My favourite 5 gifts cover most budgets: 

    1. £7 can feed a family;
    2. £12 investing in girl power
    3. £24 plant an allotment
    4. £25 buy a goat
    5. £50 safe water for 50 people

    Drawbacks? 

    We did speak to a few people to get their views about this and one person said whilst they think it’s a great idea they would be pretty annoyed to receive such a present as it would remind them that so much money being donated isn’t going where it is needed and is instead swallowed by admin costs. We tweeted Oxfam and emailed about this (unfortunately we couldn’t fit it in 140 characters), unfortunately they haven’t got back to us yet and I imagine they receive a high volume of correspondence. I did find this infographic on their website:

    oxfam 2

     

    More importantly I saw this, The impact of Oxfams work:

    This will be the first year that we have done anything like this and whilst we think it’s an amazing idea and would love to receive gifts like this we are also hesitant to completely do away with something tangible for people. To strike a balance I think we are going to buy something small to go along with them. I love that Oxfam and so many others give a wonderful platform for you to help other people who truly need the boost and share this with your special people buy gifting the donation in their name.

    As always, speak to us! Comment, join in on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ you can even find us on Instagram and Pinterest (we get about a bit ;) )

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