Posts Tagged ‘devon

I really want to bring your attention to these because they are so beautiful and tactile. Map lampshades. You choose the map and I make the lampshade. Such perfect gifts, especially for those pesky men if your life who are difficult to buy for. These shades are made from genuine vintage OS maps so they feature their creases, but that just makes them all the lovelier. And the light they create is so warm and welcoming. Here’s one I made from a 1954 map of Exeter and the surrounding area, including the Exe estuary and north Devon. I loved making this – spotting all the places I know, well-travelled routes and villages I never knew existed. Available now from Malby Maps.


The next Lampshade Making Workshop at the Bristol Folk House is on Saturday 13 Oct. We had such a great time at the last one… Louise from Sew Scrumptious blogged all about it.

This week I travelled to a darling Methodist Chapel in Oldbury-on-Severn to teach five lovely ladies how to make handmade lampshades. Organised by Elly for herself and her friends, this was an opportunity to spend a quiet Monday night doing something really sociable and crafty, with the brilliant bonus of learning a new skill and going away with a lampshade made by their own fair hand with which to decorate their homes. All that was needed was me and my materials, some pushed-together tables, a plug (for that all-important iron) and for the ladies to each bring general purpose scissors, a tape measure, a pencil and half a metre of their favourite fabric. There was lots of laughter and gentle teasing over who was Teacher’s Pet…

If you are interested in organising a lampshade making party for you and your friends please contact me.

Live Local, Love Local, Buy Local – should we endeavour to embrace this concept? Can it be done?

It’s difficult. I know. Our village has a monthly market selling local produce and crafts. Aside from selling at it, I rarely visit. Why? I am lured into the convenient world of online grocery shopping offered by the big supermarkets and I loll there. I can shop on my phone from the comfort of my bed for goodness sake! But, it is possible to get the best of both worlds. Popping along to the village market, picking up a few bits and bobs for dinner, buying the freshest of bread and chatting to friends really can’t be beaten. It might be a tad more expensive and a bit bothersome, but as your shopping bag bumps against your leg on the walk home you feel a connection to your community that can’t be had from an app on your phone.

This Christmas past I attempted to buy gifts from small companies or direct from designer-makers in the UK. It was a challenge. Amazon won out, especially when it came to compiling wish lists for the children. But, if you know where to look (and therein lies the challenge) you can find the most marvellous things. I am proud to say that I sell my lampshades with Love-Local – an online retailer specialising in gifts made in Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire. Here’s some of the best from the sunny South West –

Sherrington Baker Boy Cap

Leather Mini Satchel

Ice cream colours, duck-egg blue birdies, white cherry blossom, cherry-lipped Russian dolls and rose-laden romantic postcards all peek out of the wide window of Exeter’s Insideout store, catching the bright eyes of passers-by. (D’you know? If I didn’t make them, I’d buy them.)


In my head I am singing ’99 Red Balloons’… do you remember that song? For a while now I have beavering away making this awesome clutch of shades for Insideout – an award winning gift retailer with shops in Exeter, Dartmouth and Tavistock. Having crunched some very crunchy numbers in February, I was more than ready to supply Nicky with wholesale unit prices and was dead excited when she placed an order for 49 of my most marvellous shades. The order includes the new Fly A Kite Ice Cream by Riley Blake, Vintage Yellow Aviary by Joel Dewberry, Trefle Matroyshkas Cream, French Post by Michael Miller and the favourite, June Song Tea by Alexander Henry. The car is packed and I’m ready to deliver tomorrow. I simply cannot wait to see them in the window of the Exeter store, which can be  found in the swanky Princesshay area of the city. It’s not often you can buy handmade lampshades like this in a high-street store, and at a very reasonable price. So support Handmade and British and let your friends know!



















Last November I had the most spiffing time at Crikey! It’s Vintage in Exeter. The Thistle Hotel is a sublime venue, with huge picture windows, high ornate ceilings and golden chandeliers that make all the marvellous stalls glitter and glint. It’s an Aladdin’s Cave – bursting with treasures and treats. Fabulously organised and supporting a brilliant charity – The Women’s Land Army Tribute. Check out the extensive list of things you can do during the day. And don’t forget to come and say hi – I’ll be there with a beautiful array of specially made shades.

  • 30 Vintage traders selling everything from vintage home-wares, kitchenalia items, china, decorative items and collectables.
  • 15 Handmade crafters selling vintage inspired hair accessories, jewellery, fabric items, brooches, crochet pieces, origami mobiles, retro/vintage style paintings and lots lots more!
  • Two vintage fashion shows, with vintage and vintage inspired clothes sellers.
  • The vintage wedding emporium.
  • A retro style photo-shoot, from Jennie Hill Photography.
  • A pop up beauty parlour complete with hair stylist Lucy Milton, vintage nail artist Vanessa, and Vintage make over from Jane.
  • A pop up tattoo parlour from the lovely ladies of INK, Exeter.
  • A bookable burlesque ‘stocking removal’ workshop, hosted by Lady Lace.
  • Jive dance performances.
  • A pop up cinema, showing popular retro TV shows. Complete with retro popcorn cart!
  • A mini Tupperware party, hosted by The Vintage Cream.
  • Super cakes from Kiss and Bake up.
  • The Sewing Sanctuary will be providing make and take sessions, whereby you can make a pair of frilly knickers or a vintage style corsage, what fun!
  • J W Bardgett Guitars, performances, and a bookable workshop to ‘make yourself an upright bass’.
  • Make and take sessions; Make your own frilly knickers (priced at £5) and make your own vintage insipred rosette (priced at £3) These sessions will be running all day throughout the day, on a turn up and start basis.   Suitable for beginners with a small amount of sewing knowledge, all materials will be provided

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