Archive of ‘handmade’ category

In the Heart of Brixton

If you’ve been anywhere near Coldharbour Lane in Brixton over the past couple of weeks then you may have already spotted Turpentine, the new ‘creative retail hub’ which offers a whole host of goodies which have been handmade.
The store – formed by Amber Rogers, Alice Waters and Judith de Berker – originated as a pop-up, selling indie craft, art and giftware, and has now evolved into a shop with its very own permanent residence at 433 Coldharbour Lane. Their cute and quirky items have been created by almost 50 ‘indie-makers’ and range from £15 to £50 – so there’s something to suit every budget!
What’s even better, The Turpentine will run evening and weekend workshops on all sorts of arts & crafts, from jewellery-making and floristry to life-drawing and photography – all led by co-founder Judith de Berker, who attended Central St. Martins.
Pop on by to see it for yourself!

Look what Gertrude Made!

Unless you hadn’t noticed yet, we really like pretty things here at Cellardoor, so you can imagine how easily we have fallen in love with these beautiful dresses from Gertrude Made.     
These vintage-style dresses are beautifully handmade by Cathi, who hails from Australia. After learning to sew at a young age, she’s never lost her passion for it and that is clear just by looking at her lovely clothing.     
If you have something extra special in mind, she’ll even work with you to custom make the dress of your dreams – and the shipping doesn’t cost the earth either!  
Check out all of her products here.

When I Grow Up…

For the next instalment of When I Grow Up… we grill Jade from Ginger Pickle and find out what her average Monday is like and happened when she did the Can Can for Michael Barrymore…. 

Where did the name come from?  
I was at a Greg Davies gig and thought of it then, inspiration from the weirdest of places!   
How did the idea come about? 
 It was at my final year degree show at art school, I was sat there on my stool pondering what to do with my life after Uni. I love the creative industry and didn’t want to leave it for a more corporate job, which perhaps yes was the more suitable option with regards to a stable income and good career prospects, but I had to follow my heart. I wanted to make my own jewellery and homeware range as well as support other British designers.   

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?  
Inspiration is everywhere from loads of sources…anything can inspire you, that’s the beauty of life, the uninspiring can be inspiring to some.  I tend to draw random doodles in my sketchbook and come up with ideas, relax and have fun with it and you will think of something cool!   
Who would you most love to see wearing one of your designs?  
Anyone, honestly it’s such a great feeling knowing that people like to wear the jewellery I make.   
You work with some talented young designers, anyone we should look out for?  
The Grey Earl is one of my newest designers. He’s an illustrator living in Glasgow, Scotland and makes the funniest cards i’ve ever seen. His ‘Batboy‘ cards take Batman to a new level. (I have attached pictures of his cards for you to see for yourself!) The response has been amazing, I really do see big things for Jon of The Grey Earl. 
Describe your average day…  
I get up around 8am, (I go for a morning jog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays…this is my attempt to try and get fit!) I then get my breakfast of cereal and green tea, reply to emails and then work on my orders. Some of my own jewellery is made to order so I need to spend an hour or so in the workshop. Monday’s are the busiest days for me, the build up of orders over the weekend means that I have to play catch up! Everyday is different, it really depends I could have a new designer in the shop and will spend a good amount of time uploading their items to the shop, organising stock, doing my accounts and sorting out paperwork. I am looking for new stockists for my own jewellery so will email shops that I like, or spend time on Facebook and Twitter promoting new work and designers. I am also actively looking for new designers for the shop so will spend time looking for new talent, or sometimes I have stalls to attend so I will get all my stock ready for it and organise my ‘stall kit’.   

Any advice for our readers wanting to take the plunge for themselves?  
If you are a designer and want to sell your work my advice is to start on It’s a brilliant marketplace and has loads of fabulous sellers. Also get as much information and advice as possible, if you are inspired by other designers, give them an email. There is a lot of trial and error, you will make things which you think are good at the time but then look back and say ‘what was I thinking, no wonder nobody bought it’. You will make mistakes, but it’s all part of the journey and each mistake will make you a better designer because you will learn from it and get better each time. The only way you will do it is if you keep trying! 
Tell us something no one else knows about you…  
I was on TV when I was a kid (think I was about 4). I was on Michael Barrymore’s show called ‘My Kind Of People’ where he travelled around shopping centres and people performed on the stage unrehearsed. I did the Can-Can with my dancing group. I was cheeky to him and he retaliated by knocking the microphone on my head…I remember it hurting and tried to hold back the tears. CRINGE! 

What does the future hold for Ginger Pickle?  
The plan is to expand and have more designers, We currently have 34 and would like to increase it to 50 within 5 years. I would also like to have my large studio space and have a little assistant to help me with orders. I would also love to go to more markets outside of Aberdeen where I currently live. Renegade market looks amazing!   
Oh and as we’ve just released our music issue, what’s on your ipod at the moment?  
I’m one of those people who has an iPod but can’t be bothered updating it! However, I do listen to youtube a lot and have been loving Bastille. Their mix tape ‘Other people’s heartache’ is amazing.  

Animal Farm

We’ve fallen pretty hard for Nach‘s animal rings,  we love the idea of having a whole zoo displayed on our knuckles! 
Each piece is handmade from porcelain by the sister duo, and we think you’ll agree – pretty darn cute! 

Wayward Daughter

We’re been huge fans of Cait’s blog and of course her new venture into her latest range of gorgeous handmade dresses, Wayward Daughter.  We have been waiting with baited breath for the launch of  the second collection, and boy we were not disappointed. 

We think you’ll agree with us that the whole collection is stunning, we’re completely in love with all the vintage shapes and pattern – not to mention those cute collars! 

And if that wasn’t enough, Cait is offering a 20% discount using the code ‘WDTWENTY’ running until November 5th… what are you waiting for!

When I Grow Up…

Khara Ledonne, miniature painter for her eponymous etsy shop, creates beautiful canvasses fit for a borrower. The Brooklyn-based artist’s necklaces are ideal for those who want to keep their hopes and dreams hidden away and close to their heart, it’s clear the oil paintings are given all of Khara’s time, love and attention. The perfect gift for your friends and family or if you are like us, for yourself, if you want a stegosaurus hanging from your neck.
When did you know that you wanted to take your creativity and work in fashion? 
You know how little kids will sometimes dress themselves in all the things they love most, without any regard for how it looks together? I still have the urge to do that. Painting lockets became this fantastic outlet where I can squeeze in all the color and imagery I dream up, yet keep it contained in a more presentable capsule. One can wear black from head-to-toe, but still have a hot pink mermaid dangling in their v-neck. It was a very slow and organic transition – I made things that I loved for myself until some of those ideas were noticed and gained momentum in an outside market. 
Where did you find the inspiration for your latest collection and what were your influences?
Though I live in Brooklyn, I grew up in a rather small and earthy town on the Pacific Ocean. Many of my designs are simply my daydreams, where I want to go when I close my eyes. When I’m riding the subway underground, I long for green trees, roaring campfires, and stormy oceans. Often there are elements of escape and fantasy – full moons, mermaids, and pirate ships. I find the locket is the perfect format for these tiny worlds because it can be exposed or kept secret. 
 How would you describe your creative process and what part of it do you most enjoy? 
Mixing new colors totally floats my boat. It’s just silly how much I love creating fresh colors to paint with – the oil enamel I use is intoxicatingly vibrant, and sometimes color alone is enough to give me an idea. Also, the requests of people for whom I paint custom orders open so many doors into new territories. They take me where I might be uncomfortable or unskilled and force me to adapt. 
What do you find best helps you get out of creative ruts? 
Usually when I’m in a rut it means I need to take a break, and remind myself that I am not a 24-hour creativity robot. After a few days away I am almost always refreshed. 
 What keeps you motivated? 
My studiomate – she’s a gem! Re-reading positive feedback from customers also gives me a lovely boost. 

For anyone thinking about taking their creativity and turning it into a business, what is the biggest piece of advice you would give them?
 For me, it has always been to work with your clientele. I’ve been painting murals, signs and miniatures for 13 years, and I think the reason it has proved so sustainable is because I try to meet others’ visions with my skills. I can get a blissful kick out of painting what I love for myself, but I can’t necessarily expect to pay rent that way. It is both a struggle and a delight to adapt to what others want. Being an artist or designer can also be a solitary pursuit, and I find interacting with buyers and clients keeps me grounded and open. 
What inspires you as an individual and who has influenced you the most? 
Nature and the love of my close friends. There is just nothing compared to the rejuvenation of laying under a leafy tree and the affirmation of someone I respect. In a more official realm, though, I would say the immensely talented painters that I worked with at a mural studio in Manhattan a few years ago. From China, Russia, Korea and Tibet – they were all bizarre characters who had much more experience than I. They put me through painter’s bootcamp (I literally cried over the shape of oak leaves, facial features and faux plaster), and I am much better off for it.
If you had the chance to take a sneaky peek inside the studio of another creative (dead or alive) who would it be? 
William Morris – that man was a force to be reckoned with. The way in which he applied strict function to lush and wild beauty is astonishing. That and the variety of his skills and workshops – wallpaper, weaving, woodwork… what I wouldn’t give to lay my paws on those tools! 
When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing? 
My work and play are so thoroughly integrated that it’s hard to say. If I’m not painting then I’m building, sewing, cooking or writing. Having tea with friends. And, you know, that occasional bloody mary or nap under a tree in the park.
 Where would you like to be in ten years time?
Building a house. With my own hands and lots of raw, organic materials. Foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical wiring, roofing – everything! With as many nooks and cubbies as a house can hold. Essentially I just want to make an enormous locket.
By Holly Taylor

When I grow up…

We’ve not one of these for a while so it was high time we grilled another creative to find out more about their covetable career. 
 With beautiful handmade vintage-inspired designs, Katie-Louise Ford’s shop on Etsy offers a selection of one-off dresses made by Katie herself. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, she’s currently travelling across the USA (of which we are extremely jealous), but it hasn’t stopped her from searching for inspiration towards new designs on her return next year. In an interview with Katie, she explains more about her creative streak and turning a pleasure into a business…

When did you know that you wanted to take your creativity and work in fashion? I’ve been making clothes for as long as I can remember. When I was a girl I would spend hours hand sewing dresses for my dolls and started sewing my own clothes at 14. I moved to the city at 18 took a course in fashion design, from day one I knew that I’d found my dream career. I started my own label at the beginning of 2010 and could not imagine doing anything else!
How would you describe your creative process and what part of it do you most enjoy?
I start by making a few rough sketches, drafting a basic pattern and sewing a sample that I then fit to a mannequin and make any necessary changes. Sometimes this process takes a few hours, other times it takes days. When I’m happy with the sample I’ll adjust the pattern, cut the fabric and sew the final garment. My favourite part of the process is seeing the end product, its such a great feeling of accomplishment and makes all the frustration and late nights worthwhile.

Where do you find your inspiration? 
I draw inspiration from so many different sources; currently I’m pretty smitten by 1950s children’s clothing and 1960s party frocks. Recently I was coveting Joan Holloway’s wardrobe so made a batch of 60s style wiggle dresses; they sure were hard to let go of.

What keeps you motivated?
Endless cups of coffee and podcasts! Also knowing that if I keep my head down and tail up I’ll have a beautiful finished frock before I know it.
For anyone thinking about taking their creativity and turning it into a business, what is the biggest piece of advice you would give them?
Don’t be afraid to take a chance. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support of the handmade community and have received so many wonderful opportunities just by putting myself out there. Take advantage of online marketing, blogging is a great idea as you can share your creative endeavours with the world and let customers get to know you as an individual and not just the product you make.
What inspires you as an individual and who has influenced you the most?
My Mum has always been a great inspiration and influence, as an artist she raised my brother and I in a very creative household where our projects were always nurtured. Seeing the satisfaction she gained by working from a home studio encouraged me to do the same. The idea of a regular job always seemed foreign to me; I knew I’d only be happy if I was working creatively on my own pet projects. 

If you had the chance to take a sneaky peek inside the studio of another creative (dead or alive) who would it be?
I’m a pretty big fan of Paul Poiret, he revolutionised fashion in the 1910s/20s and created some pretty whacky fantasy pieces. I’d love to take a look into his creative process to see where on earth his inspiration came from! 
When you aren’t working, what do you enjoy doing?
I’m currently taking a little break from the sewing machine to travel across the USA with my other half. 
I’m finding great pleasure in long hikes in the countryside, learning the art of film photography, thrifting up a storm and sipping frosty beers in the fading afternoon sunlight.  This trip has filled me with fresh inspiration and I have some exciting new creations planned for when I get back to the studio.
Where would you like to be in ten years time?
I’d love to continue running my own label with a few more helping hands. I’m really interested in expanding my knowledge of couture and tailoring and applying old-fashioned techniques to modern clothing. Also my Mum and I are working on some collaborations with original hand painted silk designs, the future’s looking very bright!
To keep up with Katie-Louise Ford, you can find her at the following places:
By Holly Taylor