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Craft, Cooking & Kitsch

HOT ideas for your bedroom

Have a glamorous cocktail party....




Get gallic chic... ON THE CHEAP!

How YOU can make art

WORTH £100s!!!

New craft crazes. Learn to crochet. Cute cupcakes.

All photo by Amy Davies except cupcake used with permission courtesy of stock.xchng, keyboard used with permission of Jake Von Slatt

Welcome to MADE MADE. Front section


The latest in the world of craft, cooking and kitsch.

Meet the people revamping Victoriana.




Get 1920s French Riviera glam.


Pump life into your flats.

How one girl turned her gap year into a business.

Welcome to MADE - your one-stop shop for craft, cooking and kitsch. Since the MADE dream was birthed not so long ago, much has happened: Paris Hilton started a craft range, Gwenyth Paltrow announced she‘s working on a cookbook and the recession finally arrived. All proof that craft is the new black. To kick off we’ve spoken to Jessica Rowles-Nicholson about how her gap year inspired her to start her own jewellery business. Then, in the MADE canvas challenge we created artwork worth a staggering £550. While we are all happy crafters at MADE towers, we know if you are new to crafting it can seem a bit tough at times. Why not turn to the back and see how Amy got on




Sarah Adie - Staff Writer & Illustrator Rosaria Sgueglia - Staff Writer


1 Hour. 3 Canvasses. See how the MADE team did.

Our glamourous take on spring cleaning.

Have a quicky in the bedroom with these fast, easy ideas.



ONLINE Vern Pitt - Online Editor Charlotte Clark - Online Design Editor



Hannah x

Esther Armstrong - Production Editor Hannah Flynn - Editor Si Truss - Creative Director Jenny Williams - Deputy Editor Amy Davies - News Editor & Photographer Oliver Smith - Design Assistant Kathrine Elliot - Interiors Editor Eva Caiden - Food Editor Ellie Hurley - Fashion Editor


with learning to crochet. She’s checked out the best of the idiot’s guides so you don’t have to. After all that you’re going to need a good drink! Cocktails ‘til Dawn saw the MADE team get squiffy and will ensure your cocktail parties are as colourful as possible. Our favourite drink was Blueberry Nights…since we figured it must count for at least one of your five-a-day. But if that’s a bit holier-than-thou, try flicking to p.23 where we’ve been speaking to the Primrose Bakery girls about their fabulous cakes. Happy crocheting, cocktail making and cupcake baking.



We speak to Martha Swift of Primrose Bakery.


The return of the cupcake.

Back section 26 MADE s 27 NEWLY MADE.

11 affordable, must have items for your kitchen.

MADE’s Amy Davies confronts her fear of crocheting.



All photos by Amy Davies

Get cutesey with Cubees

Paltrow cooks the books In a latest bid to leave behind her Shakespeare in Love image, actress Gwyneth Paltrow is making a foray into the world of celebrity cook books. Her book, entitled My Father’s Daughter is a tribute to Bruce Paltrow who died from throat cancer in 2002, and will mainly focus on family cooking. The book follows Gwyneth learning to love cooking after abandoning her strict

macrobiotic diet during her pregnancy with daughter Apple. Gwenyth, who is a strict vegetarian, filmed a documentary touring meat hungry Spain with Chef Mario Batali last year called Spain …on the road again. Paltrow has also launched GOOP, a bizarrely named lifestyle website, providing advice on diet, style and exercise.

Paris Hilton gets her scissors out Paris Hilton has cashed in on the craft trend by launching her own craft range. The range of kits includes designs inspired by Paris Hilton: she has even lent her own face to some of them. Containing fabric embellishments and

fashion sets with tools and materials to design your own jewellery and accessories, Paris is one of a barrage of celebrities to get crafty recently. Her range is aimed at “sophisticated, well informed and creative young ladies.

Events... International craft and hobby fair Glasgow The Creative Stitches and Hobbycraft show is coming to Glasgow’s SECC arena from the 35 March. Involving everything from découpage to jewellery making - and with two shows for the price of one - this is one unmissable crafting event. Look out for the Shaun the Sheep Picknit exhibit and Alison Smith’s dressmaking workshops. Date: 3-5 March Place: Glasgow SECC Time: 9:30am-17:00pm Price: £5.10

Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair Northern ladies frustrated at the London-centric fashion scene should be sure to mark the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair, in Newcastle, in their diaries. TV stylist, Judy Berger, will offer advice on how pull off everything from 1940s lingerie to a 1980s jumpsuit, and with over 35 stalls to choose from, fashionistas should be sure to attend. Date: 1 March Place: Northumbria Student’s Union, Time: 11am-5pm Newcastle

Frock Me At Home! For chic and cheap fabrics, textiles, soft furnishings and all domestic goodness, the vintage fashion show, “Frock Me” has recently introduced, “Frock Me At Home!” to help make your living space dapper. Date: 8 March Place: Chelsea Town Hall, London Time: 11am-5.30pm Price: £4(£2 students)

Best of the web...



Yarn & Yarn knitting group

It’s a chilly Tuesday evening, but steamed up windows hint at the warmth inside the Thé Pot café in central Cardiff. The air is full of the sound of clacking needles and laughter and, clustered around tables laden with teacups, the members of Yarn and Yarn knitting group discuss their latest crafting discoveries. We asked them about the projects they are most proud of. Louise Madden, 30, Canton “This shawl took about a year to make, but in actual hours it was a lot quicker to make than I thought it would be, it’s the first piece of clothing I made.” Melissa Mackay, 20, Cathays “Me and my brother made this when I was about six, and he was about 11. We made all the squares and then my mum joined them all together. Now I’ve forgotten how to knit!” Sarah Edwards, 22, Heath “I’m proud of this beret because it was the first thing I ever managed to crochet well!”

Amy Grain, 30, Canton “I made this shawl for a wedding and it seemed to take forever because I had to calculate how many rows I had to do each day to make it in time.”

One Hour Craft

Crafts and Hobbies for Dummies


If you’re looking for a crafting project to provide instant gratification, then head to this nifty little website. It will teach you how to knock up an array of cool items with minimum time and effort, and maximum results.

This website, a spin off of the famous 1990s book, Windows for Dummies, has brilliant sections on how to do various crafts; ranging from crocheting to cooking, from knitting to quilting. What more can you ask for?

Like eBay for crafters, this website has taken off in the USA but also has regional sellers around the UK. Useful for both selling and buying handmade products, crafting supplies and vintage items.


Check out these little babies, hot off the press of your own colour printer. Origami without all the stress and uber-palaver. The second ‘e’ is for ‘easy’, apparently. creator, Chris Beaumont came up with the idea after blowing his top because he never had glue or tape to hand during his paper-craft endeavours. “Down with glue,” has certainly proved a successful motto for him and countless others. Cubeecraft is now paving the paper way worldwide. And the best part? It’s fantastically, fabulously, free!


Follow in the footsteps of craftsters in Australia and Thailand and jump on the Cubeecraft bandwagon. Both these countries have gone Cubeecraft crazy and who can blame them? They’re adorable and make the best desk buddies. Just be careful when you cut them out. Chris suggests you use a craft knife: “It’s a lot faster but it’s not a race, so be careful.” No chopped off fingers, please!

Jen Geddes, 22, from Cardiff, has been ‘crafting’ since she was a teen. We asked her a few questions. When did you start? When I was a teenager, I used to chop up old jeans, t-shirts and dresses to make them different. Making clothes was the next logical step. I’ve always been creative, I was the little kid covered in felt tip pen and glitter.

Originally used in medicine, this vegetable represents a great base for pies, ice-cream, and chutneys. But make sure you add sugar before eating it or you’ll be pursing your lips from its tart taste.

Where do you take your inspiration from? It can be anything from magazines, films, bands, art, childhood memories.

What do you reckon your skill level is? Somewhere in the middle I guess. What sort of things do you make? I make dresses, skirts and jewellery. Where do you get your material from? Markets and shops. Sometimes if there’s something made of great material in a charity shop, I’ll buy it and change it into something else. Have you ever sold your creations? I haven’t yet but I keep meaning to sell my jewellery at Northcote Lane Market, a local market in Cardiff.

The world of crafting is filled with all kinds of alien lexicon

Here are five words to get you started.

Seasonal foods are en vogue at the moment, but sometimes it’s hard to know what’s in season. So we’ve made a list to help you get started:


Why did you start? Because I had no money.

What was your best work so far? I really like my watch pendent necklace. It wasn’t difficult to make, I just really like it.

What’s in season?


To add some crunch to salads, use radishes. They taste great with a bit of salt and vinaigrette. Jen at work. How much do you spend on each project? As little as possible. Is there any celebrity crafter you admire? I guess with regards to ‘crafting’ (I’m not actually particularly fond of the term) I’d have to say I admire the people who started because they had an idea that spread beyond just them into helping other people. Do you have any tips for aspiring crafters? The only thing I can think of is probably pretty obvious, but when you’re learning, buy cheap material. That way, if it goes wrong you haven’t wasted that much. money, and trust me, it will go wrong! Slip-knot A knot which can be loosed or tightened according to the tension of the loose end. Used to start off crocheting or knitting. Casting On The technique of adding stitches to a knitting needle to start off a pattern.


Did you know that a medium carrot only has 35 calories? Packed with vitamin A, its nutritious properties can help protect your vision. Cook with garlic and potatoes as the perfect


Named after the island of Sardinia, these underwater delicacies are not hard to spice up. Grill them with lemon and pepper to enjoy one of the Mediterranean’s favourite dishes. Appliqué To sew pieces of one material to the surface of another. Decoupage Paper cut-outs stuck on to the surface of an object and sealed using varnish. Skillet A frying pan with flared sides and no lid; often used to cook fish.


trends Phots used with permission courtesy of Jake Von Slatt except lamp/phone used courtesy of Clive Batkin

Vive la revolution!

Choo choo! All aboard the Steampunk railway engine! Destination? The Victorian era, circa 1901. Yes, that’s right, you heard correctly. A revolution’s upon us and things are going to get a little bit steamy. First things first, though. Just what the blooming, bleeding hell is Steampunk? Sounds a little weird, don’t you think? Well, it is weird. It’s really quite strange. But it’s also uber-cool and once we’re done here, you’ll be itching to get your mitts on some welding tools. But before you do, close your eyes and dream of a world of romance, of adventure, of time travelling down paths less chosen. Close your eyes and dream of a world filled with clocks and cogs, wood and steam, brass and copper. Close your eyes and dream of a world where technology can be what you choose to make it, where anything goes, where – most importantly – there are goggles. Rooted in the Victorian age, but really impossible to pin down to any one definition, Steampunk is retro-futurism, technology and romance, and, thanks be to the God of cogs, it’s here to stay. Art, fashion, music…Steampunk all the way. The art really is where it’s at and this stuff takes Queen Victoria’s cake. Have a gander at Jake von Slatt’s renovations. Lacklustre modern technology such as computer monitors, headphones, televisions and guitars are all transformed into the most enchanting, beautiful, shiny,


new-wave old-school reinventions. Who’d have thought you could fall in love with a memory stick? Well, you can. Hertfordshire-based artist, Clive Batkin, works comparable wonders from his St Albans garden shed (Very Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Caractacus Potts is the most Steampunk character you will ever encounter in film). He says his shed is apparently in danger of bursting, as full as it is with things awaiting steam and punk renovation. Stepping into Batkin’s home

And the better news? It’s cheap. Thanks to modern mankind’s propensity to chuck anything and everything out, you can find your materials pretty much anywhere. Batkin is a skip diver, “I have always been collecting stuff and have always got it from skips. I really like seeing something quite modern and thinking, ‘with a little bit of screwing and drilling, I could turn that into something else.’” The UK’s a bit behind the times where all this is concerned. America’s got the

“Who’d have thought you could fall in love with a memory stick?” is like stepping back in time. Fans, desk lamps, fridges – taking the ‘mod’ out of ‘mod con’ nothing is safe from the hands of this pioneering inventor. Here’s some good news for all you budding Steampunks - Batkin sees this art as something anyone can achieve, with a little bit of perseverance and a bigger bit of elbow grease, “To do some stuff, a relative amount of expertise is good but you could really get involved at any level. Using things in innovative ways without any craftsmanship is still Steampunk.”

Steampunk thang down to a fine art and we’re only just beginning to discover its potential. According to Batkin, the number of American Maker Faires – conventions where people get together to construct, destroy, concoct – is impressive and dear old Blighty’s yet to have its first one. But fear not, it is on the way. Get yourself to Newcastle over the weekend of March 14-15 if you want to see Steampunk in real time. It promises to be a great, goggleopening couple of days. For a revolution, this has admittedly

punk version

steam Desktop PC - the

been a little slow in coming, since it has been a fantasy fiction genre since the ‘80s but thanks to the internet more and more people are discovering the sex appeal of Steampunk through a variety of different media. Steampunk fashion is on the up. But we’re having none of this Russell-Brand neo-dandyism malarkey. It’s far more interesting than that. Map-patterned corsets, cogs on basically anything and a myriad of other items from waistcoats to pilot hats. Think Jules Vern and mix it up with a healthy smattering of modern sartorialism and you’ll make anyone look twice, and for all the right reasons. It’s readily available for purchase but it’s also incredibly easy to achieve. Find whatever you want to steamify; break a mechanical watch or two and stick the parts on it. Job done. As for Steampunk music, the American ‘air pirates’, Abney Park industrialise it the best but we’re not talking Nine Inch Nails here. There’s elegance and refinement in their songs, as well as more mechanised intonations. Listening to them is like time travel in itself, whether you’re going backwards or forwards is difficult to tell. Their instruments are Steampunk pimped

so it’s all a bit mesmerising, really. Luckily, for us in the know, they’re zipping over from Seattle in their zeppelin at the end of April for gigs in London and at the Whitby Gothic Weekend. They have the MADE stamp of approval. So - any prospective Caractacus Potts out there, now that you’ve finished reading? We certainly hope so. Just remember our golden rule and goggle it up right nice. Happy Steampunking, people. Sarah Adie

unk For more Steamp e visit MADE Onlin


Nut Squash What Roseanna Eastoe can do with a button is simply amazing. Roseanna started customising and making funky items and accessories when she was 12. She recently set up business ButtonNut Squash to sell her creations at an event in a Cardiff bar called Buffalo Boutique. “My favourite things are buttons, baking, biking, books and birds,” says Roseanna. What more could you ask for? Truly inspired by her creative designs, we decided to fashion some utterly delicious and delectable pieces of our own to inspire you to recreate Roseanna’s work.

We talk baking, biking, books and birds with jewellery maker Roseanna Eastoe.

Material based bow hairgrip Needle Clear thread Variety of picture buttons e.g. boats

of the 1920s French Riviera which was frequented by the glamazons of the era. Artists and writers including Picasso and F. Scott Fitgerald all retired to the dazzling coast for inspiration. While we aren’t able to fashion you a holiday here at MADE we can help inspire you to fashion a petit frisson of old-school Biarritz style. Elle Hurley

Customised Breton Top

Earring hooks Needle Clear thread Pearl bead Shell buttons

Earring hooks Needle Clear thread An old necklace or bracelet chain Different fruit shaped buttons

Equipment: A stripy top, beads, clear thread, a needle, buttons of your choice.



1: Thread the clear thread through the hook on the pearl and then through the base of the earring hook. Ensure the charm is secured.

1: Thread the fruity buttons with the clear thread. Attach securely onto a small gold chain.

1: Use pearl beads from bead or craft shops, or if you are feeling cheap, recycle an old pearl bracelet. These can also be found by raiding a charity shop. Sew these around the collar using a clear or pale thread.

2: Pearls were then sewn around the neck of the collar in a haphazard style. You can adopt a pattern but we prefer a more casual Gallic look.

3: Next choose your buttons. You will be better off if you theme them. A Nautical look is good. Ensure the buttons are sewn tightly on to hold them in place.

Gallic Charm Bracelet

2: Thread the cotton through one of the chain links. Secure with at least four knots.

Parisians hate it but those Eiffel Tower trinkets do have a certain charm. If a sailor girl Breton top doesn’t tickle your French fancy, why not raid your holiday souvenir drawer and add some Parisian chic to your charm jewellery?

3: Ensure the charm is fastened securely.

3: Cut apart an old necklace. We used one with butterfly adornments.

Equipment: Earring hooks, charms, clear thread and a needle.

4: Alter the length of the thread according to how long you want the earring to be.

4: Attach the buttons to the chain using the thread. 5: Tie a firm knot at the base of the earring hooks. Raid local fabric shops and charity shops for buttons and old accessories to customise in Roseanna-style; be inspired by your childhood and see what button-tastic creations you can whip up.

1: Sew the small picture button on the bow hairgrip. 2: Repeat this step with a star button, another boat and a small pencil button.


The 1920s French Riviera look is being championed by Dior and Chanel this season. French seaside scenes, prints and pearls will be inspiring your wardrobe in the coming months. Stripy Breton tops are making a cheeky comeback. Pearls are dominating the runway, and lacy tea-dresses have floated down the catwalk. Think gamine, flapper girl’s week-end off to get the look yourself. Simple sophistication was the mainstay

The quickest and easiest way to insert some Francophile fabulousness into your wardrobe is to shy away from lace, folds and frills and settle instead for the oh-so- en-vogue Breton top. Brigitte Bardot championed this iconic Gallic look in the 1960s, to be forever acquainted with the glamorous French seaside. Try out this timeless look for yourself.


3: Ensure the buttons are securely fastened.

Say “Allo sailor” with some Francophile fashion for your wardrobe.

Five-a-day fruit salad earrings Equipment:

Your face is your oyster Equipment:

2: Thread the shell button onto the base of the earring.

Rock your boat hair accessory Equipment:

Ooh la la!

Photos by Elle Hurley. Illustrations by Sarah Adie.

All photos by Si Truss


A few of Roseanna’s creations

For the full interview and more tips visit MADE. Online.

1: Chose the charms and buttons you wish to use. 2:Lay the chain out flat and plan your design first. 3: To secure each charm or button, thread cotton through the available hole. Then thread the cotton carefully though a link in the chain. Make sure the knots are pulled tightly. 4: Finally, thread the cotton through your Eiffel Tower charm and attach. Minimal expense and maximum kitsch!



Ways to Pump Life into Your

It’s green, it’s simple and it’s cheap. It’s eco, pink, ballet-pump chic.

We all have a pair of battered old ballet pumps lying at the bottom of our wardrobe and while,the high street has loads of new designs, it seems wasteful to splash out on a new pair. Using just a needle and thread, some accessories and a bit of glue, we came up with four inspirational examples to brighten up your old flats. Polka dots and sparkle, measuring tapes and gems; they all come into these fantastic designs. The best bit? You have an individual pair of pumps to spruce up your spring look..

Measure Up

1. Fold over the end of inch loop.

the tape into a 2

creating a small 2. Sew this loop in place before sewing. fold. Pin the fold firmly but turn it 3. Construct another fold before sewing s ree deg 15 approximately again at the base. bow can be made to 4. We used five but the the size of your choice. measuring tape 5. Cut a small section of the shoe. and sew to the heel of


ttons to the 6. Attach some funky bu fix on to the shoe. d an bow e measuring tap

Flats Equipment:

Ballet pumps Ribbons Clear thread Old necklaces Stick-on gems Old hair clip Super-glue Buttons

Flutter into spring!

1. Sew or glue ribbon ne

ar the toe.

2. Glue gems onto the


3. Then use charms, pen dants or beads from an old necklace to invent your final design. 4. Fiddle around until you are satisfied with the arrangement before sewing

Polka dots for your tootsies 1. Remove any decorations or ribbons already on your shoe. 2. If you’re in a hurry, glue a small section of ribbon near the toe. For a more durable option sew on using cotton and clear thread. Be warned, cheap shoes can be hard, you may end up with sore fingers by the end. Use a thimble. 3. Attach a couple of charms from a necklace to the ribbon. Tie with several knots.

Sparkle savvy

1. You can use ribbon alr eady attached to the shoe. If your sho e does not have a ribbon, attach one in the colour of your choice. 2. Sew the crystals onto the ribbon. Individual size and patte rn is up to you. 3. Take a small gem an d glue it to the centre of the bow.



Jessica Rowles-Nicholson, 20, has taken her inspiration from Mexico to craft a career out of beading. But it’s not all been plain sailing as MADE found out... Gap years are not traditionally regarded as a time to set up a business. Most people use them as a way of getting the travel-bug out their system before moving on to further education or into the working world. Jessica Rowles-Nicholson is not one of those people. While she did go travelling, she used it as a way to inspire her jewellery-making and then took it a step further: buying the materials needed to start up JessicaMary Design upon her return to Britain.

Jessica back home in Lincolnshire.

After getting ill in lower sixth form, Jessica, now 20, missed a lot of course work and was unable to go on to Art College or University. She first got into jewellery-making when she was 11. She says, “I started by making really simple, elastic and pretty rubbish bracelets. It evolved from there and I began to work out and teach myself more and more.” When she was just 14 Jessica sold her first pieces to a boutique in Lincoln near her home. From there her reputation grew and she took on private commissions, mainly through word of mouth, for friends and her parent’s friends. After leaving school in 2007, Jessica began to build up work experience with a jewellery shop in London. This took her on to London Fashion Week and the Designer Wedding Show and made her think more seriously about broadening her skills base.


To do this she worked for a while with a hat-maker and also did a short course in learning the techniques of a goldsmith. “This was fantastic as it opened so many doors for me,” says Jessica, “I learned a huge amount. I had never worked with metals or soldering before, and the style of the school was very contemporary so it broadened my horizons a lot.” But the real breakthrough didn’t occur until Jessica flew to Mexico in what she describes as a, “last minute adventure.” In her first few days in Mexico City Jessica came across a bead shop. Her thoughts continued to return to the shop as she travelled around the country for the next three months. “I knew this was an

Three blank canvases. Three people. One hour.

“I knew this was an opportunity not to be missed and decided that I was going to buy as many beads as possible when I got back to Mexico City...” opportunity not to be missed and decided that I was going to buy as many beads as possible when I got back to Mexico City,” says Jessica. Throwing out the majority of her clothes, she headed home with a bag full of materials to begin her business. Jessica is lucky enough have her business based at home, which means she can go to her workshop whenever she likes. This also allows her the freedom to continue to build upon her skills by going on courses. Recently, she went to Edinburgh to learn etching. So what’s next in store for the jewellerymaker-come-traveller? “I am hoping to get some materials from Sri Lanka. They are a big producer of gem stones and I want

See how the MADE team got on with creating their own artworks...

All photos by Amy Davies and Kathrine Elliot

All photos used with permission courtesy of Jessica Rowles-Nicholson



to do a bit of work experience with some gem dealers while I’m out there. I’d love to learn about gemology.” And it seems travelling will have a big role to play in keeping Jessica’s ideas fresh, “I draw my inspiration from absolutely anything, but often it will be from colours in a landscape, a city or a building.” Building upon her initial success may be tough but Jessica is determined to give it a go and her young and savvy mind should keep her a step ahead. Advertising on Facebook led to a surge of clients over Christmas and created a new appetite for her designs. Indeed, the future is bright, the future is beaded.

Ever stared at a modern art canvas and thought you could do better? Well the MADE team didn’t just think it, they did it. We challenged ourselves to create the most innovative and inspiring art canvases we could. The twist? We only had one hour to do so.


Sarah Adie Amen to a Veritable Legend Time Taken: 20 minutes plus drying time Equipment: White and black low viscosity paint, paintbrush “My canvas is a tribute to the immense artist Jackson Pollock. He would have been 97 in January had he not decided to go boozy-cruising one balmy August night in 1956. Amen to a Veritable Legend took the impressively short time of 20 minutes to complete.

Jenny Williams - Hunky Dory Wise Owl Time Taken: 1 hour and 15 minutes Equipment: Set of pillowcases, bottle of brown fabric paint, self adhesive roll, iron, scalpel, drawing pins, artist’s sponge “My canvas idea came about because I had been reading about all the clever things you can do with freezer paper to make stencils for customising. You can’t buy freezer paper in the UK but it turns out self-adhesive roll - the stuff you used to cover your textbooks with at school -works just as well, and is cheaper. When I came across the retro flower pillowcases in a charity shop I decided they were definitely art worthy and had to be used.

To begin the challenge I pinned the pillowcase to the canvas with drawing pins. I traced a design onto the matte side of the self-adhesive roll and used a scalpel to cut out the areas where the paint was to be applied. I created ‘islands’ for the middle of the flowers by cutting out separate shapes and putting them to one side. I ironed the pillowcases using a medium heat before ironing the self-adhesive roll stencils onto them. I had to make sure I ironed on the stencils with the plastic side down for no more than a couple of seconds. I ironed the ‘islands’ into place and made sure the stencil had stuck securely to the material.

Using the sponge, I evenly applied fabric paint over the stencil and left it to dry for half an hour. To avoid the paint bleeding onto the material I made sure it was applied lightly and built up slowly. Once the paint was dry I peeled the stencil off and used a pin to pick up the ‘islands’. I went slightly over the time limit - unlike the others who finished quickly and sat drinking tea. It was delicate work but well worth the result and very satisfying to pull off the stencil to reveal my hunky-dory owl. Now I’m concerned I may run out of pillowcases, by using the technique again and again…”

Esther Armstrong - Sun on the Straits Time Taken: 32 minutes Equipment: Tissue paper, scissors, PVA glue, water, paintbrush “Something simple was the order of the day. Not the most artistically minded, I thought back to the last time I was creative with a paintbrush…primary school. Back then my most successful projects were with tissue paper and watered down PVA glue. So I decided to stick with what I knew! In the winter there can be beautiful pink skies at sunset, I chose colours to reflect this. I cut strips of tissue paper in varying widths and sorted them into an order I liked. Using the watered down PVA - about


one third water and two thirds PVA - I painted a thin base coat onto the canvas. As I placed each strip on the canvas I pasted more glue mixture on top, being careful not to use too much and soak the tissue. I finished by folding the excess paper around the edges of the canvas and pasting it down. The final product was surprisingly effective. Once the glue dried it provided a shiny finish and deepened the colours of the tissue paper. This is definitely a technique I would experiment with again. I would improve on the challenge design by cutting more strips and layering them closer together to create greater colour variation.”

Constraints on space meant the Pollock trademark, ‘drip and splatter,’ had to become the more tentative, ‘drip and pour,’ but by sticking a load of newspaper on the floor it was possible to emulate the great one’s preference for approaching the canvas at any angle. And what a result! Recreate genius by getting a canvas, painting it white and then doing whatever you want. Just make sure it’s dry before you pick it up!”


. . . T C I D VER

And the winn

owner, ny art gallery a lb A y b d e id er - dec


Les Urbach - is

Sarah – Amen to a Veritable Legend

WINNER! Esther – Sun on the Straits – Valued at £195 - - “This is the image I

would pick to have on my wall at home so it has to be the winner. I like the irregularity of the lines - the purply, blue band in the centre looks almost like a river with rolling hills behind it. The canvas could maybe have done with more colour – but I do like those that have been used, the purple and orange are very warm.”

– Valued at £150 - “When I first saw this canvas I thought it could have looked much better with more colour. Having now seen the title I think the black is very suitable. Black gives it a more morbid, death-like feel which is apt as it is a piece to reflect the life of an artist who is no longer alive. We do debate in the gallery whether this type of art can indeed be described as art though. Is it merely pouring paint on a canvas?”

Jenny – Hunky-Dory Wise Owl – Valued at £150 - “A lot of work has gone into the production of this canvas and it shows. The placing of the owl on top of the flowers looks great and as though a lot of thought has gone into it. The colours and techniques blend together very well.”


All photos by Amy Davies. Illustrations by Sarah Shearman.

Cutify your


Add a touch of glamour to your spring cleaning... As the season of cleaning descends upon us once again, why not put down your duster and check out some of these funky tidying ideas? Organise loose papers with bright holders. Store essentials in gorgeously decorated storage boxes. Create your own bag holder and even customise plates to hold all those nick nacks usually left lying around. Look no further, the ultimate guide to kitsch decluttering is here.

4ays to

Pretty Plates


Time: 1 hour, plus drying time Equipment: Ceramic plates Acrylic paints suitable for ceramics Ceramic paint-pen Sponge Paintbrushes Cherry Blossom 1. Using the ceramic paint-pen draw a simple branch shape onto a plate. 2. Allow to dry for one hour. 3. Use a circular shaped sponge to dab pink acrylic paint around the branches . 4. Allow to dry overnight or bake in the oven on 200oC/GM 6 for 30 minu tes.

Paper Organising Chic

Sunflower 1. Trace a circle onto the centre of the plate and fill with dots using the ceramic paint pen. Leave to dry for one hour. 2. Use wide strokes to paint yellow acrylic petal shapes around the central circle. 3. Mix a dark brown and yellow acry lic paint. Use to outline the petal shap es with a thin paint brush. 4. Paint gaps between yellow petals with green acrylic paint. 5. Allow to dry overnight or bake in the oven on 200oC/GM 6 for 45 minu tes.

Time: 2 hours

Sassy Storage

Equipment: Cereal boxes Plain white paper Crepe paper Ribbon Fabric flowers Scissors Glue Stick Double sided tape Brad clips

Time: 2 hours Equipment: Ribbon Plain storage boxes Scissors Pencil Double sided tape

1: Cut diagonally down each side of the cereal box and across the centre panel. Cover in two sheets of A4 paper by cutting paper to fit and fixing with double sided tape. 2: Cover entire box in chosen crepe paper and attach using glue stick. 3: Using double sided tape attach the ribbon to the bottom and inside of the holder. Pin fabric flowers through the box using brad clips. 4: To neaten untidy inside edges add panels of white paper using double sided tape.

Patterned paper: recycle old vinyl covers and old posters and clear selfadhesive roll Or patterned self-adhesive roll. 1: Flatten your storage box and choose a design. Fit and arrange the images to the box and stick down with double sided tape.

2: Cover with clear self-adhesive roll to provide a sturdy finish. This can be done using the grid on the back of the self adhesive roll to create templates which fit the box’s sections. Leave a border of 2 centimetres to fold around the edges. Or if you are using patterned selfadhesive roll: Trace the shape of the box onto the patterned self-adhesive roll using the grid on the back. When sticking the roll down try to attach the template to one edge and use the roll of the paper to detach the paper from the plastic coating. Finally, assemble the boxes. Decorate with ribbon and accessories.

Summer Daisy Bag Holder Time: 1 hour Equipment: 1 x 0.5 metres of fabric Needle and thread 2 metres of ribbon Scissors 1: Fold down each end of the fabric and press with an iron Place one metre of ribb on inside the fold of the fabric. Sew along the join being careful not to sew the ribbon onto the fabric. 2: Turn the material inside out and sew along the lengths. 3: Turn the bag the right way out and pull ribbon at either end to gather, tie in a bow . 4: Use the remaining ribbon to sew a loop on one end of the holder: this can be used for hanging.






QBedroom uicky in the

Liven up your room with these cheap and easy ideas... Flower power earring holders

Display your earrings in the style they deserve Time: 15 minutes Equipment: Fabric flowers Brad clip Cotton Nails Hammer Method: 1: Pin fabric flowers together with brad clip.

Funky photo clip

A simple wire clip is a great way to display memories in a bright and fun fashion. Time: 30 minutes Equipment: 22-24 gauge wire Wire cutters Pliers Card Ribbon Drawing pin Blue-Tack

2: Tie cotton in a knot around the first brad clip. Loop around the second and fasten with a knot.


3: Hammer nails into position and loop the thread of the earring holders around the nail.

1. Cut a 10 centermetre piece of wire and curl one end into two small circles.

Deco-plant pots

Use the art of decoupage to give your home. houseplants a brand, spanking new Time: 30 minutes Equipment: Plastic plant pots PVA glue Water Paintbrush Old magazines Method: a 1. Mix together glue and water to form runny paste. 2. Rip up some newspaper and old zines.

2. Make a cube shape out of green card and pierce the wire through the card. Secure the bottom of the wire on to the base of the card with Blue-Tack. 3. Cut ribbon into a number of 4centimetre long strips. Loop and pin them together in the centre using a drawing pin.

Cocktails ‘til Dawn

4. Poke the drawing pin through the point where the wire circles meet and place Blue-Tack over the sharp end. 5. Insert photograph between the wire circles.

Glam up and get the girls round for a swish cocktail night…minus the tab. Staying in doesn’t have to involve tracksuit bottoms, pizza and a movie. Nor does it have to be a full-blown dinner party. With our simple plan you can transform your home into a private members club, complete with seductive drinks and snacks to rival any cocktail bar. We’ve given you a variety of cocktails, all based on vodka, which are easy on your purse strings. And our impressive no-fuss canapés mean you’ll be the hostess-withthe-mostest in no time at all. Eva Caiden


the plant 3. Paste the ripped up paper onto ure mixt pots using the glue and water



All photos by Amy Davies


Pink Pussy Serves: 6 Ingredients 6 shots vodka (all shots 25ml) 500ml pink lemonade 2 handfuls ice cubes Method Blend all ingredients in an electric blender until slushy.

Blueberry Night Serves: 4

Ingredients 6 tablespoons lime juice 3 cups frozen or fresh blueberries 4 shots light rum 4 shots vodka 3 cups crushed ice

Fruity Bombshell Method Place lime juice, blueberries, rum and vodka into an electric blender and blend until smooth. Add ice and blend until slushy. Garnish with blueberries.

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 10 minutes Makes: 16

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Makes: 12

Ingredients 500g lamb mince 1 red chilli, deseeded and ďŹ nely chopped Handful parsley, chopped Good splash Worcestershire sauce 1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork 100g feta cheese, cut into 16 cubes 1 tablespoon sunower oil

Ingredients 6 thick slices wholemeal bread 2 tablespoons olive oil 150g French brie 3 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Serves: 3 Ingredients 4 shots vodka 2 shots peach schnapps 1 shot lime juice 450ml apple juice Red food colouring

Method Put lamb into a bowl with the chilli, Worcestershire sauce and egg. Mix well.

Method Chuck it in a glass, give it stir and serve it up!

Heat oven to 200oC/GM 6 and heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the burgers for a couple of minutes until brown on each side, then, transfer to a baking tray. Put in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cooked through.

Add some red food colouring to funk up the colour.


Lamb and Feta Bites Crostini

Method Preheat the oven to 200oC/GM 6. Using a 5 centimetre cutter, stamp out 2 circles from each slice of bread and brush lightly with olive oil. Place onto a baking tray. Cook for about 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Slice the brie and divide between the round toasts. Top with a little cranberry sauce and place under a preheated grill for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese begins to bubble. Serve hot.

Divide the mixture into 16. Shape into burgers, pushing a cube of feta into the centre of each.



The publisher, the baker and the cupcake maker

Ingredients 500g ripe, full-flavoured tomatoes 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium shallot, finely chopped Salt and black pepper 1 ciabatta 1 peeled garlic clove Basil leaves Method Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and remove them after 30 seconds. Peel with a sharp knife and cut into quarters. Scoop out the seeds. Finely chop the tomato flesh and mix in the shallot and seasoning. Toast slices of ciabatta bread under the grill. Rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Mix the tomato salsa with a few torn fresh basil leaves. Pile on to the bread and serve.

Balsamic Shallot and Goats’ Cheese Tart Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 30-35 minutes Makes: 16 squares

Ingredients 3 tablespoons butter 8 small shallots, quartered lengthwise 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 sheet frozen puff pastry 1 egg yolk 2 teaspoons water 120g goats’ cheese, crumbled Fresh parsley to garnish Method Preheat oven to 200oC/GM 6. Melt the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the shallots and honey. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the shallots start to brown. Combine with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until shallots are tender. Remove from oven, and set aside. Unfold the puff pastry on a large baking sheet. Trim a 1.5 centimetre wide strip from each side of the pastry. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk and water. Brush the edges of the pastry sheet and attach the strips to the edges to form a ridge. Lightly brush ridge with egg yolk mixture. Using a fork, generously prick the pastry base. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Spread the shallot mixture over the pastry base and add the goats’ cheese. Bake until the cheese is softened.


Transfer to a wire rack. Sprinkle with parsley. Stand for 5 minutes before serving.

We explore the world of cupcakes with some help from Martha Swift, the owner of Primrose Bakery. Walking through the doors of Primrose Bakery, your senses are bombarded by a veritable treasure-trove of goodies. Cupcakes of all colours line the counter, enticing customers from all over the country to come and have a bite. The comforting smells of fresh baking assault your tummy, and it’s very, very hard to remember what you were talking about before you came in. Without trying to sound like an advert for Marks&Sparks, these are not just any cupcakes…these are Primrose Bakery cupcakes. And boy, are they beautiful. Owned by Martha Swift and her business partner, Lisa Thomas, Primrose Bakery is the pair’s first venture into the world of food. Martha, 39, says, “I’ve never had any formal training in cookery. Before we started the business, I was in publishing and worked for The Spectator.” Having started catering for children’s parties, the duo noticed their cupcakes were also going down a storm with grownups. Spurred on by the über-chic status cupcakes were gaining - and no doubt to the delight of their nearest and dearest - they decided to go into business in 2004. Working from Lisa’s kitchen, the business had few overheads. As wholesale and private orders piled up, so did the money for a deposit on a shop. With its 50s décor and irresistible smells wafting from the kitchen, the business has flourished. It moved from the kitchen of its founders, to premises in Primrose Hill, in 2006 and to Covent Garden, in 2008. Primrose Bakery produce also lines the shelves of up-market food retailers Selfridges, Libertys and Fortnum and Mason. The bakery has a choice of around 10 cupcake flavours, with the most popular, vanilla buttercream, selling up to 500 a day. This is also Martha’s personal favourite.

The trick, she says, is to keep things simple, “We have lots of flavours: lemon, carrot, coconut, mocha, peanut butter and rose and ginger to name just a few. But we try to keep things very simple. Nothing is hugely complicated.” Every cupcake is baked to exacting standards: handmade each day of the week using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Customers can choose the colour of many

and glamour. Martha is quick to point out, “When you start your own business, you have to work seven days a week. It’s hard because you always have work to do. If you want it to be successful, you have to put some effort into it.” Contrary to popular belief and common cliché, forming a career in cupcakes isn’t a piece of…well, cake. “You have to be prepared to cook fresh things every day and spend a lot of hours doing it. If it’s something you really want to do, you should keep going and not give up,” adds Martha. However, there are some plus points to being a cake connoisseur, Martha continues, “It’s fantastic to create

All photos used with permission courtesy of Primrose Bakery

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 2 minutes Makes : 4 small portions

“It’s fantastic to create something people want to buy and enjoy.” of the cupcakes as well as the toppings, which range from flowers and sprinkles to sugar letters. Cupcakes can even be adorned with personal messages. This attention to detail has led to a cult following, which is not short of a celeb or two, including David Walliams, Kate Moss and U2. The Evening Standard has proclaimed the bakery to be top of their tea-break list, saying, “There is no better place in London to get cupcakes.” But the road to success isn’t all glitz

something people want to buy and enjoy. You also get to meet loads of people.” The pair regularly jet-set to New York to check out the cupcake competition. But surely the best thing about owning your own bakery is the fact that after a hard slog in the “office” you can put your feet up with a steaming hot cup of tea and a cupcake. Then again, maybe that’s the last thing you’d want. Rosaria Sgueglia

Martha & Lisa take tea in the bakery


tea time


All photos by Amy Davies

Let them eat


Glacé Icing Ingredients 500g Icing sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Food colouring Hundreds and thousands or similar topping of choice Method To make the icing, put 300g icing sugar into a bowl and add a small amount of water whilst stirring, until the desired consistency is achieved.

Individual, pretty and simple. It’s perfection in a (muffin) case. Once the darling of children’s birthday parties, cupcakes have recently experienced a revival in the grown-up world. With appearances in Sex and the City and the rise of en vogue bakeries (see our interview with London’s Primrose Bakery) the humble cupcake has rocketed to iconic status. Feted by the likes of Pearl Lowe, Madonna and Kate Moss, you can now pay up to £3 for a shop-bought moment of bliss. But by following our recipe below, you can have your cake and eat it...for a whole lot less. Eva Caiden

Cupcake Recipe

Add vanilla extract to taste and two or three drops of food colouring.

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 20 minutes Makes: 24 cupcakes

Spread onto the cupcakes using a knife. Decorate with hundreds and thousands.

Ingredients 225g soft tub margarine or butter 225g caster sugar 4 eggs 225g self-raising flour

Buttercream frosting Ingredients 170g butter, softened 350g icing sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Food colouring Hundreds and thousands or similar topping of choice Method Beat butter until fluffy. Add icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat well. Put icing into a piping bag, and pipe around the edge of the cupcakes moving inwards. Decorate with hundreds and thousands.

Method Preheat oven to 180oC/GM 4. Put 24 paper baking cases on a baking tray. Put margarine, sugar, eggs and flour in a large bowl and beat together until smooth, using an electric hand whisk. Spoon mixture evenly into the cases. Bake cupcakes in the oven for 20 minutes or until risen, golden brown and firm to the touch. Finally transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

American cupcakes traditionally have a higher ratio of topping to cake than their English cousins – in some cases 2/3 icing to 1/3 cake.


Use butter icing to get the stiff peaks of an American cupcake. If English restraint is more your thing, then stick to icing sugar and add water for your desired consistency.

Check out MADE. Online for alternatives to this recipe




The must have access ories for the vixen in the kitche n...

MADE’s Amy Davies is a self-confessed rubbish crafter. Not poised with the most dextrous of hands or the ability to do basic things like sew, she sets herself a challenge to learn a new crafting skill each week. Here are the results.

Cherry-decorated food protector …Ward off pesky flies with this divine food cover. A cherry-tastic snap at just £8.95. £8.95,, 0208 746 2473

Smiley spatulas.

Clock & timer

…A giggle guaranteed at every mealtime – smiley spatulas all the way. £19.56,, 0845 365 1765

…Some say time can be oppressive but you need never burn your biscuits again with this clock and timer, all rolled conveniently into one. We salute you, Captain Procook! £9.95, 08700 7071 72

Dotty coasters

…Spots in your vision, not on your table top – this retro set of coasters will save any hostess’s day! £2.95,, 0208 746 2473

First Aid tin

…Your stylish emergency stash tin for bad days and sad days – perfect for biscuits, chocolate, whisky. £12,, 0845 026 2440

Cake tins

…A tower of tins to look after all your cakey-bakechocolatey-goodness needs. £24.95,, 02087462473

Kitsch N Glam apron.

…Cooking need never be a drab affair again. Transform into an utterly fabulous domestic goddess with Kitsch N Glam’s groovy number. £19.95,, 0160 372 2120

We’d DIE for...

We’d jump out of bed in the morning if this espresso and cappuccino maker was waiting for us in the kitchen. FrancisFrancis! X1 Coffee Maker, Almond, £365, John Lewis, 08456 049 049


All photos by Amy Davies




Finding myself working on a crafting magazine, and feeling woefully inadequate about my skills, I’ve decided it’s about time I attempted to address the matter. Wanting to throw myself in at the deep end, but too scared to try knitting, I’ve gone for its slightly easier cousin: crocheting. I set myself the challenge of crocheting a scarf in a week, and the results have been mixed. On my first day I found I couldn’t even find wool, so that was a complete bust. On my second day, armed with a fresh supply of lurid pink wool I was determined I’d get at least half of my scarf done: this will be easy, I naively thought. Half an hour later I was still struggling to understand what the hell a slipknot was, let alone tie one, but I soldiered on, read about six websites and eventually the penny dropped. The knot slipped and I was away. Next, I had to create a foundation chain (a what now?) which is basically a row of

I checked out the hundreds of instructional videos on YouTube, only to be befuddled by the speed at which the instructors seemed to be going. It was then that I had an epiphany, I tried one last search in Google, which I thought would probably be fruitless and came across, “How to do a double crochet for dummies.” This explained things much easier and included helpful diagrams. Having then completed four whole rows of double crochet, my scarf was beginning to take shape and I was feeling strangely elated. Who knew crochet could do this to you? But then a crisis of confidence struck. I’d made about 20 rows when it dawned on me that this scarf was never going to be

“this scarf was never going to be completed in a week, and realistically speaking I was getting bored...” stitches attached to the slip knot. Again, after searching around on the internet I stumbled across one that explained it simply enough for an idiot like to me to understand. At this point it felt like a revelation, like I’d finally got it and my scarf would be complete within the hour. Oh the folly of a beginner. Yes, I had cracked the foundation chain, but unless I wanted an extremely long, ridiculously thin scarf I needed to build on the chain upwards, something which seemed impossible. Cue a rather strange phone call to my mother, who, between snorts of laughter and questions such as, “Is this the trendy thing now?”, managed to explain to me in no useful detail whatsoever, “You sort of put the needle in the previous stitch then pull another loop through and that’s about it.” Baffled, I headed back to the web where

completed in a week, and that realistically speaking I was getting bored. I started day dreaming about my last encounter with wool, aged 10, making pom-poms to throw at my brother. They seemed so easy, they looked so colourful and best of all required very little skill. That’s it, I thought, I need some instant gratification, and I’ve got all this wool lying around, why not make a pom-pom? I’d forgotten how to do it, but a quick glance online brought it all flooding back to me and I was off. The excitement led to me creating three pom-poms and forgetting all about my failings as a crocheter. Suddenly, I remembered my mother, she’d been so pleased when I sent her a picture message of those first four rows. I thought I better get back to my crochet. So here we are, at the end of my week of crocheting, I

haven’t completed my scarf, I’m not even close. But I’m going to keep going, whip it out every opportunity I get until at least it’s long enough for my teddy bear to wear. Next week I’m attempting calligraphy – I just hope I have more luck. Dummies Easily the most useful site for idiots, diagrams make this stand head and shoulders above the rest. YouTube I found the Expert Village channel where a delightful American grandma talks you through the stitches with brightly coloured yarn particularly helpful. Teresa’s Art of Crochet also proves useful as the stitches have been slowed down and repeated several times to make them easy to follow – but beware American measurements.



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Made cautionary tale #1


here once was a cake in a cup, That was made to get all munched up. It fell on the floor And was sadly no more And landed with a noise that went ‘schlup’.

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Craft, cooking and kitsch