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Cradle

Issue One


Cradle is published and printed monthly by ReproPoint, 15 Poole Road, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6BB, United Kingdom. Printed on FSC Certified, 100% post-consumer recycled, chlorine-free paper, manufactured in London, using vegetable based ink. All content produced in this magazine is Cradle , 2012. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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CONTACT US info@cradlemag.co.uk SUBMISSIONS submissions@cradlemag.co.uk ADVERTISE advertise@cradlemag.co.uk SUBSCRIBE subscribe@cradlemag.co.uk STOCK THE MAGAZINE orders@cradlemag.co.uk ISSN 1927-5676 (Print)


Welcome

to the launch issue of Cradle. We are excited to present you with a new magazine packed with inspired DIY idea’s and solutions for the home and lifestyle. Our aim is to educate you with traditional methods in DIY for your home, crafts that encourage you to recylce and upcycle old materials and give them a new lease of life and encourage you to be GREEN. The name Cradle comes from the theory Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C); considering a product’s lifespan from beginning to end, a way of being aware of consumer spending and embracing a sustainable way of living in regards to recycling, upcycling and the movement of make to and mend. We’ve been all over putting this issue together and have some great features for you to get your teeth into. Get the scissors our for our Cradle Make section which will show you step by step guidence of how to make your own candles from ones you’re thinking of throwing away. Make your own stencil’s, cover your books in recycled vintage fabrics and give your lamp shades a new lease of life. Get involved >> with the launch of our new website, we invite you to photograph your creations and upload them onto our community site, where we want you to share your ideas and creations. Visit us at cradlemag.co.uk We hope you enjoy our launch issue and look forward to hearing from you all. Warm regards, Rebecca Robyn Spence, Editor-in-Chief


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contents 8

Sew Over It

14 Green Garden 21 Nostalgia 22 Cut Out Girls 26 Shoestring Splendour 30 First time buyer 36 Ruth Singer 40 Remake it 44 Make it


Contributors Jane Bowman Charles White Laura Jones Michael Vines Jules Findley Mark Cecily Vessey Anthony & Margret Fox Irene Moy Hannah Robinson & Katie Johnson Ruth Singer Grace Butler Pure PR


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Five pounds & under

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1 Door stop, The Range £4.75. 2 Mug, Gifted Penguin, 4.50. 3 Jug, The Range, £3.75. 4 Door knob, set of 4, Home Sense, £4.95. 5 Cushion, Dunelm Mill, £5. 6 Ceramic bowl, dotcom giftshop, £5. 7 Metal hook, RGB Stone, £3.50. 8 Chalk peg, Sainsburys, £1.20 9 Glass bottle, dotcom giftshop, £3.75.


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Twenty pounds & under

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1 Key cabinet, Not Mass Produced, £18. 2 Glass container, Tesco, £12. 3 Cushion, H&M Home, £7. 4 Kitchen hook, Not on the Highstreet, £8.50. 5 Watering can, The Range, £6. 6 Large storage basket, H&M Home, £7. 7 Candle holder, Home Sense, £5.50. 8 Artwork, Penguin Giftshop, £15.


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Thirty pounds & under

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1 Chalkboard, dotcom giftshop, £25. 2 Apron, Anthropologie, £30. 3 Throw, H&M Home, £27. 4 Draws, Not on the Highstreet, £24. 5 Cake stand, Laura Ashley, £28. 6 Coat hook, Home Sense, £24. 7 Chalkboard bread bin, Retreat Home, £22.


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The Greenmaker WORDS by Rebecca Robyn Spence

The Greenmaker utilises the DIY movement and DIY skills to spread the message about a more sustainable, self-sufficient way of living. They grow, make and repair what they can. Their aim is to rework wastelands, recycle materials and produce an edible garden, because nothing tastes better than veg from your own garden. Green spaces can often be overlooked, but they are so important for both communities and sustainable living. Edible gardens are a great way to start; an allotment or even a window box. Cradle met with a couple who have been running their

own self-sufficient garden for the past 50 years. Anthony and Margret Fox live in a twobedroom bungalow in the small village of Verwood, Dorset. With just under an acre of land, they make sure they put every inch of it to good use. A large vegetable patch and three greenhouses enables the couple to produce their own fresh food all year round which not only feeds them, but their friends and family too. From leaks to carrots and potatoes to tomatoes, this couple are never short of their 5 a day. With fourteen water butts in the garden, water is constantly being


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recycled to feed the garden which cuts down the cost on water bill dramatically. The shed is a photographers paradise; with tools and materials that are constantly being recycled, that cover every inch of the shed from head to toe. Anthony is currently building bird houses made from wood chopped in the garden to sell outside the front of the house to the local community. The Greenmaker trend is on the rise; the desire for a sustainable garden is at high demand, both in the countryside and in the city. “Gardening seems to be the only remaining activity in which one see’s the fruits of one’s labour in a world in which our other activities seem ultimately purposeless.”


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“A bucket filled with earth is anonymous, but the stories of the farmer who works the earth lend it its identity� - Viewpoint ??


18 19 Interview

Cecily Vessey

INTERVIEW by Rebecca Robyn Spence PHOTOGRAPHY by Cecily Vessey Cecily Vessey is obsessed with all things architectural, monochrome and graphic. Since graduating in 2009 she has worked to build a successful retail and wholesale business as well as working on a variety of freelance projects such as illustrations, wedding invitations, orders of service, special edition cards and special edition mugs and tote bags. Cradle met with her to hear her story. Tell us about your background. I’m originally from a farm in Nottinghamshire and moved to London 6 years ago to come to uni to do a BA in Jewellery design and making. Straight away I feel in love with the city and have no plans to leave anytime soon, it is so vibrant and full of many of my favourite buildings. Last October at 24 I left my job working at Lisa Stickley London to take my own work on full time having had in bubbling in the background since uni. It is such and exciting time I just hope that I can keep in going! What made you want to start your own wholesale business? I fell into it in my final year of uni whilst trying to make some extra money and quickly grew to love the

idea of eventually becoming self employed. After graduating I slowly began building the brand in the evenings and on weekends getting together a range of cards and print to sell at Greenwich market. I then heard about all the great other markets and craft communities in London and got involved from every stall that I did I learnt so much and was able to put money back into the business. I have only recently taken the business on full time, it maybe hard work but it is so satisfying and with the Olympic and the Jubilee it has proven the perfect time to do so. What is the aesthetic of your label? Strangely i’ve never consciously thought of the aesthetic it has always been about my personal preferences. I love clean graphic elements as well of vibrant colours and i’m not a fan of frills and flowers, nothing can beat a crisp bit of black and white! I think that because I am a sole trader and all of the business has come out of me the aesthetic has and will evolve as I do over time. Already I look back on things that I made a few years ago and cringe a little inside! What projects have you been working on recently? Im currently in the middle of sorting out my


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ceramic production. Up until now I have done all the decorating and firing myself, but the time has come to get things done in Stoke-on-Trent. There are some new designs one the way too..

bags. I’m now also making an effort to shop locally, nothing beats British burgers! ‘Cecily Vessey’ is all about being British. I keep all production in the UK and re-use as much packaging as possible.

Where is your favourite place in London? My favourite place in London (apart from my home) is the embankment opposite the Houses of Parliament, it’s a short walk there from my house and I love having my lunch there in the summer, it helps that it’s one of the calmer spots by the river. Also at the moment I love looking at the Shard, i’m so excited to see it finished, I never thought such a modern building would become one of my favourites so quickly.

If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it? I would use it to read more - I haven’t read a novel in such a long time, I have a stack that i’m longing to delve into. I was given Virginia Woolf’s ‘To The Lighthouse’ for Valentines day and I still haven’t started it...

Where do you find your inspiration? Inspiration for me comes from architecture. I love all the different types and it’s why I love London so much, there is always a building to discover and the timeline is so wide here I love that you get a really old building right next to a cutting edge piece of design. What does being green mean to you? Green for me is making little changes that we can all do. It’s recycling and not using plastic shopping

www.cecilyvessey.com


20 21 22 23 Feature

Prince’s Arts & Craft House

RESEARCH & PHOTOGRAPHY by Rebecca Robyn Spence WORDS by Jane Bowman

The Prince’s Foundation operates an organisation that changes people’s lives by building a community that engages, educates and empowers individuals by teaching and demonstrating sustainable development, and an emphasis is placed on community interaction at the core of their work. Individuals who participate in building and maintaining a sustainable community can benefit from improvement to the quality of their lives. The objective is to help communities

have a better quality of life at a local level and to start addressing the far-reaching global challenges of urbanisation and climate change. The goal is to generate a future where everyone plays a part in ensuring our communities more sustainable. The foundation assembles the people needed to develop long-term, practical solutions and encourages people to desire greener places to live in and help them achieve their goal, including sustainable homes, edible gardens and interiors designed

to use recycled materials. The foundation utilizes the skills of professionals, graduates, students and the general public to educate communities to ensure they have the ability necessary to preserve a sustainable community. Kirstie Allsopp, George Clarke, Diarmuid Gavin and Jasper Conran are all involved, acting on behalf of the foundation and spreading the sustainability word. We visited Earls Court’s Ideal Home Show last month where


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the sustainable home was on display; this has now been viewed by hundreds of thousands at both London and Scotland’s Ideal Home Show, as well as the BRE. The house on display is a natural and traditional eco-home and 70% more energy efficient than current building regulations insist on. It’s made from resources such as clay, wood, lime and wool, which produces a super efficient construction, keeping it cosy and warm in cold weather and cool and airy in the warmer

months. The reduced amounts of hot water needed for heating and washing is generated by the utmost cost efficient condensing gas boiler. The design of the house was inspired by the 19th century Arts and Craft movement which valued quality, handmade design and furnishings. The palette of colours used throughout the house is inspired by the Art & Crafts Movement. William Morris was at heart of the Arts & Craft Movement at the turn of the 19th Century, which emphasized

simplicity, and drew upon nature for inspiration; the fabrics and wall coverings utilised in the house are reflective of his style. The colour scheme comprises of harmonious tones that reflect the subtlety of nature and they have stayed away from bright primary colours and concentrated on dusty hues and muted tones of blues, grays, stone and mustard. Hand painted wall murals were often incorporated in the Arts & Crafts style of home decoration and the Prince’s Trust House has included a mural as a


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feature wall in a bedroom; they have added further detail and feature to the mural by adding hooks for hanging a single clothes or accessory item. HRH The Prince of Wales has been a staunch advocate of traditional crafts, including those involved with building for more than 25 years. The most successful homes relate directly to our inborn senses of needing to be comfortable and warm and it’s the expertly crafted components of the home that create the right atmosphere to meet these needs. The master craftsmen skills utilised range from decorative metalwork, stained glass windows, ceramics, textiles and traditional joinery, decorative stenciling to hand made tiles. The house demonstrates what a difference introducing just a few hand crafted pieces can make to a room, and the difference quality hand crafted elements in a home can make, whether large or small. The Prince’s House has been constructed from natural materials that have a low carbon footprint, is hard-wearing, easy to maintain and long-lasting. With natural ventilation, fresh air in the home through all seasons is fundamental to the wellbeing of those who live in it. Breathable materials, paints and floor coverings are utilised right through, preventing dust and moisture being trapped preventing damp or mould developing in the future; this is important with statistics showing asthma is on the increase. With a worldwide shortage in urban design expertise and ecofriendly architecture, The Prince’s Foundation helps to educate the specialists who will fill the gap. The Building Skills in Students program offers an MA course for

architects and designers, an MsC course for property professionals and a diploma plus a summer school for undergraduates; helping students resolve the sustainability challenges that confront us all. During the Building Skill in Craft Workers program, the foundation enables craftsmen to develop their skills and understand how they fit into the broader planning, design and building contexts. The finest professionals are continually learning and the foundation supports them to understand how lasting techniques can produce sustainable places and homes. The Building Skill in Professionals program provides RIBA-accredited planning and development training; their workshops bring architects, developers, builders plus crafts people together to learn from each other’s enthusiasm, knowledge and expertise. Building craft practices helps connect people to their traditions and cultural heritage; sympathetic placement and use of materials sign posts the way forward to a more holistic future.


Make Something Beautiful Patchwork Pictures Floral Prints Fabric Collage Ballgown Illustation Corset Craft Find out more at www.vam.ac.uk/workshops


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Feeling nostalgic? OLD KEYS Collect some old keys and tie them together with ribbon. When we went to visit Irene Moy in her house in Christchurch, Dorset, we got snapping away in her house. The keys looked great and it was only after we captured them she told us they were the keys of the first house she bought with her husbund and where her two children grew up. We were under the impression she’d bought them as they were. So have a rumage through your draws and you’re sure to find some old keys lying around that will make for a great feature in your home.

FIND YOUR WAY Maps are cheap to buy and can be put towards making presents that bring back great memories. If it’s a loved oned birthday coming up but you’re watching the pennies why not use old maps of a place where you had a memorable experience with that person to put in photoframes. Be creative and cut out shapes or keep it clean and simple. Maps also make for great wrapping paper. If you’ve got the present but forgotten wrapping paper why not run out to the car and get that old map that’s been sitting on the back seat for years. Rip out the pages that are memorable for the person and it’ll look like you’ve put a lot of though into it.

DINNER TIME Have a rumage through your loft or your Mum’s kitchen for old cookery books. They always hold great idea’s for proper traditional grub. Host a dinner party and remenise on some old classics, or if you’re pinching the pennies this month, give as a present with a nice message in the front saying ‘remember this?’. Cookery books are aways appreciated. Be advnturous and try cook something from that cookery book you bought on holiday all those years ago, or try a recipie from your grandmothers cookery bible and see if you can match her talent.


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Cut Out Girls

INTERVIEW by Rebecca Robyn Spence PHOTOGRAPHY by Cut Out Girls A textiles duo creating individually hand-made products, using natural unique materials & back to basic traditional skills. Keen to provide affordable goods with unique style, making it possible for everyone to own a one off piece, made with Cut Out Girl love. Being a textiles duo, what are both of your backgrounds and what made you come together to create the Cut Out Girls? We both studied Fine Art at University together and after graduating a few years ago doing different things, we both wanted to

start to make use of our creativity and having moved to London, wanted to join in the fantastic craft community here.

Our inspiration came from various other designer makers, and our own interest in fashion and style. We are keen followers of design and street style/blogs and this has a What is the idea behind the Cut strong presence in our ethos when Out Girls and where do you find combined with hand-made skill. your inspiration? Cut Out Girls aim to create How important is it to you individually hand-made textile that your consumers have an products, using natural and unique understsanding of the production materials combined with back to process of your products? basic traditional skills. We are keen Its incredibly important for our to provide affordable goods with consumers to realise how our unique style, making it possible for products are made and that each everyone to own a one off piece, one is individual due to the nature made with Cut Out Girl love. of the techniques we use. One


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of the key reasons we trade at a market is for customers to see the products first hand reinforcing their hand-made nature, and as we often knit whilst trading, this is also a big appeal for the public!

traditional skills you use when making your products? The process of knitting, hand sewing, weaving, crocheting, manipulating leather, and drawing/ designing. Where possible we also use traditional tools which How important is it to you to compliment our choice of create one off pieces that are materials. authentic and completely home made? I see that you use natural and Crucial as this is what our brand is unique materials. Is being an based upon. environmentally friendly business important to you? You say you like to use traditional Although this isn’t our defining be skills and get back to basics. Could all and end all, it most certainly you give us an insight into the lays a large role in our products.

We try where possible to upcycle, and re-use reclaimed materials, for example the leather straps on our bags are sourced from charity shops which also gives a more personal touch. As individuals outside of cutoutgirls, we also both strongly believe in a environmentally friendly way of life, and suppose this is reflected in our work

www.cutoutgirls.co.uk


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Tie a bow on it Pop along to your local habberdashery and explore the beautiful shades of ribbon for this quick, easy and cheap tip to put a personnal touch on your mirrors, photo frames or ornaments. Simply tie a bow to your preferred size and attach, done in less than a minute. We paid a visit to Irene Moy in Christchurch, Dorset to take a look around her home and discovered her bedroom and en-suit where covered in these beautifully tied bows that add her own personnal touch. Try tying ribbons round bottles, vases, lamp shades, be adventurous.


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STYLING & LOCATION by Irene Moy, Christchurch, Dorset PHOTOGRAPHY by Rebecca Robyn Spence


Shoestring Splendour Hannah Robinson & Katie Johnson

INTERVIEW by Rebecca Robyn Spence PHOTOGRAPHY by Hannah Robinson & Katie Johnson Shoestring Splendour is run by Hannah and Katie, two women living in London, where the streets are sadly not paved with gold. But a little can go a long way, and we have loads of ideas of how you can save money and create some amazing things. Tell us a little about your background. Hannah: I’m from Buckinghamshire via Yorkshire. My parents are both creative people and luckily some of it has rubbed off on me. My sister and I were always making things as children from shrinky crisp packet badges to papier mache bowls using balloons as moulds. My mum taught me to sew at an early age and I made my first dress for a school dance at age 15. I studied art at school and university and these days try to use my skills as regularly as possible around the ho me.

Katie: After moving around a bit as a child (I was born in Trinidad, then lived in Mexico and New York), I have settled in London, which I absolutely love. I work in publishing and live in Brixton How did you come together to create Shoestring Splendour? H: We worked together in reasonably creative jobs but discovered that we were both looking for a more practical outlet for our creative urges and interests. I’d been idly collecting vintage china but I was in need of a push to get back into making things. Working together and having a bit of pressure to keep up the blog was the kick I needed. K: We wanted to work on a project together, so we sat and brainstormed some ideas. We realised that we both loved crafty projects like home-made


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art and making our own cards, we also love design and home projects, and we also love exploring markets in London. So the website has evolved out of that. A big part of what we are writing about is how to make the most of what you already have and about not spending a huge amount to make your home look great. We also incorporate all the other things we love into the site so you’ll see a lot of crafty projects, things that inspire us, book reviews, market reviews, etc. What is the aesthetic of Shoestring Splendour? H: Have-a-go modern shabby chic. K: We are both very inspired by the vintage look, but I feel it is more a combination of vintage and modern bringing the old up to date. What projects have you been working on recently? H: Oh so many! I’m currently reupholstering and rennovating a foot stool that Katie gave to me as a gift. I’m going to attempt my first decoupage project starting with a small wooden box and moving on to a coffee table. I’m also in the middle of learning to knit a scarf, attempting to adapt a cute dress into something more wearable for me and I just bought a small blanket box that needs renovating. K: I bought a suitcase last year which I have been sanding, painting, and putting together into a table. It is almost finished, which is exciting, but I couldn’t find the legs I wanted so it’s not exactly what I had planned... What does being green mean to you? H: Keeping things for adapating and reusing rather than throwing things away. I have a fabric drawer of old curtains, bedding, clothing and towels that I keep for ‘just in case’. An old towel became the padding for a Kindle cover I made, the curtains may one day become cushion covers. If I only had more space I’d keep everything! K: It means a lot of different things to me, but I’ve been trying to be

really conscious of what I already have - do I need to buy something new or can I make or repurpose something to fulfil the same function. Can something broken be fixed? It’s surprising how easy I have found it to fix things that I previously would have chucked and replaced. What are a few of your ideas to save some pennies in the home? H: It’s surprisingly expensive to buy bunches of herbs from the supermarket and they can really can add up if you use them a lot. I love gardening and so I keep a herb garden outside but If you only have a window sill you can still keep a few plants. I find basil, thyme and rosemary are easiest to keep alive. K: Prepare food on a Sunday night to take to work during the week. People always tell me they can’t be bothered to prepare food for the week, but, for example, I make a great mixed bean salad with spring onions, olives and herbs with a lemony dressing on Sunday night. It takes around 10 minutes, costs less than £5 and saves me about £12-15 a week. It really adds up and tastes amazing. Why wouldn’t you do it? If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it? H: I’m a cupboard geek and love to organise and reorganise drawers and cupboards to save space and time in the future. An hour spent reorganising my sock drawer means time saved each morning from looking for a matching pair! K: I would love to paint or draw for an hour every day, but with all the DIY that needs doing right now, I am not sure when I’m next going to be able to do it!

shoestringsplendour.wordpress.com


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The Country Girl Laura Jones

PHOTOGRAHPHY & WORDS by Rebecca Robyn Spence

With an interest in interior design and at University where she studied Fashion Journalism, Laura Jones did everything she could to transfer her little student room into a pretty little paradise, a place to escape after a hard days work. But after three years she ran out of space and knew she was ready for her own home. After living with her mother for three months out of university, Laura landed her feet in retail; working as a supervisor

for Phase 8 in the quaint country village of Sherborne, Somerset. With a quick promotion to manage the store, it was time for Laura and her partner to find the house of their dreams. We met with Laura to hear her story >>


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Whilst studying Fashion Journalism, how did you transfer your interest for interiors into your final major project? I created my own blog called The Country Girl, which explored fashion, lifestyle and interiors in the countryside. I love reading blogs, have a look at Cupcakes & Cashmere! It’s where I find a lot of my inspiration for interiors, I wanted to make a blog so I could carry it on after University as I’m passionate about creative writing. I chose to write a blog rather than a magazine because I’m interested in online media as it’s accessible to so many people and it was easy to promote myself and speak to others. Even though I was studying fashion, in my second year I really developed my interest for interiors and a certain lifestyle, so this made me realise that the lifestyle I wanted was in the countryside and I don’t think there’s enough said about the countryside. It is a certain lifestyle but it’s not very modern and isn’t discussed in a modern way. I felt a bit trapped in the city, I hated not seeing flowers and greenery, I missed the natural and organic way of living so wanted to express that in my work. When I was at University I didn’t appreciate my love for the country and I couldn’t wait to come back to the open space. I didn’t enjoy the fast paced life of the city, it made me feel trapped, I wanted to escape to the country where it feels more natural and pure and you can take your time and do things slowly. I feel more relaxed here and more able to be who I am. How did it feel when you first left University and you entered the world of work? It was scary financially but if you just think shot term rather than long term and get by once you

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have a job. It’s easier than you think to rent depending on your job. I was ready of it as I was fed up of living under other people’s roofs, I wanted my own life and space and I knew I had my own style, so day by day it was easy. I came back from university wanting any job and went from supervisor to assistant manager to manager in the space of eight months with a bit of a fluke really but I think I found myself naturally happy in retail and I’m enjoying the daily challenges. I still endeavour

to write and become a copywriter in the future but for now it means I can live a relaxed life. I crave the 9-5, be home in 10 minutes from work and not have to do the daily grind and the commute. I enjoy the community environment I’m in, its nice being a local member and actually know who’s coming in the shop and be a regular face to people. I’d much rather prefer to be a big fish in a small pond. How did you go about getting your first home? The barn belongs to a friends mum,

it was going to be a holiday let but they decided to rent it out to my partner and me. This used to be a farm shop but they renovated it all into a residential space. So we are the first people to live here and fell in love straight away as it was quirky and different. There are very open spaces and it’s all opened planned which is nice when there’s just the two of us. Luckily the fixtures and fittings were already here when we moved in so it was semi furnished which helped a lot as this is our first home.


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How did you go about collecting furniture and home ware to put together your first home? We made use of friends and family and listened out for people chucking stuff away and went to second hand shops, charity stores and looked on eBay and gumtree; we didn’t really want to buy anything new. I didn’t want to buy something that was mediocre from DFS so I kept my eye out for bargains. You can make something your own; I would rather get a plain sofa and dress it with cushions and throws. My mum is very good at making things so she made a few things for the house to hang on doors and I’ve made bunting to hang over the bed and around the beams. I used Ikea to get a lot of plain stuff and then I dressed it up to make my own. I took my time, I didn’t rush and purchase

the first thing I saw, it’s taken me a good 7 months of searching and saving and getting things bit by bit. There’s still more I want to do with the house but I’m taking my time with it, you can’t do it all at once. I only bought stuff I loved otherwise I knew I’d end up just chucking it out.

we get bored easily and we like the challenge of making a house a proper home. Future plans could involve travelling, living abroad depending on how we feel. But at my age I don’t think getting a mortgage is a good idea, I feel happy renting knowing I’ve got no ties on me.

Apart from blogs, where do you look for inspiration? Ideal Home massively, Country Living and even some fashion magazines like Grazia have some good idea’s. I also get inspired from the TV, watching Kristie’s Homemade Home.

Laura’s top tips 1. Find your own style, it’s your home so make sure everything you have you love. 2. Don’t shy away from clashing patterns, try not to be too ‘matchy matchy’. 3. Don’t pay full price for anything unless you have to. 4. Invest in throws to save on bills. 5. Experiment with craft, give yourself time to do it, don’t let it become a chore.

Plans for your future home? I think we’ll live here until we’ve done everything we can with it, until we’ve outgrown it. We don’t want to own our own home as


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40 41 Interview

Ruth Singer Textile designer, author and tutor Ruth Singer, has won the Haymarket Shopping Centre’s Big Idea competition to kick start her creative business. Her mission is to get Leicester sewing and making by opening a studio and running sewing and craft workshops. We met with her to hear her story. INTERVIEW by Rebecca Robyn Spence Tell us about your background. I have been working as a designer/maker since 2005. Before that I worked in Museum education, most recently at the V&A as adult education officer. I originally trained in museum Studies, with the intention of being a costume curator to indulge my love of historic clothing. I now combine my business with freelance teaching and writing. My first book Sew It Up, a modern manual of practical and decorative sewing techniques was published in the UK in 2008 and in the US in 2009 as The Sewing Bible. My next book, Sew Eco, was published in 2010 and I have contributed to several sewing and craft books internationally. In 2006, I was selected by the Crafts Council as one of the best new makers of the year for Springboard at Origin: The London Craft Fair, and was selected to show independently in 2007 and 2008. How was taking part in the empty shops competition? I had to submit a proposal, get past the Dragon’s Den style panel of experts and win the public vote via a video presentation. I won 60% of the vote and had over 1000 views of my YouTube video. I have won a month’s rent-free shop unit in Leicester’s Haymarket Shopping Centre and a cash prize of £1000 to spend on the business. It was an exciting & nervewracking process, particularly the last stage of making sure I got enough votes to win. The Dragon’s Den pitch was actually quite fun - I love talking about what I believe in and what I want to do. To make my presentation more memorable, I took in a small sewing project for each of the judges, along with a selection of samples of my work & books which demonstrate what I do. How was taking part in the empty shops competition? I had to submit a proposal, get past the Dragon’s Den style panel of experts and win the public vote via a video presentation. I won 60% of the vote and had over 1000 views of my YouTube video. I have won a month’s rent-free shop unit in Leicester’s Haymarket Shopping Centre and a cash prize of £1000 to spend on the business. It was an exciting & nervewracking process, particularly the last stage of making sure I got enough votes to win. The Dragon’s Den pitch was actually quite fun - I love talking about what I believe in and what I want to do. To make my presentation more memorable, I took in a small sewing project for each of the judges, along with a selection of samples of my work & books which demonstrate what I do.


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What are your plans for the space? The studio space will offer a range of beginner and advanced sewing workshops including my trademark fabric manipulation techniques. Learn to Sew workshops get beginners sewing confidently on a machine, and free taster workshops aim to get a new generation of stitchers addicted. In the long term , the Ruth Singer Studio will offer special events and activities for all ages, sewing machines to hire by the hour, oneto-one sewing classes, dressmaking masterclasses, textile history study days, guest artist workshops and much more. The space is also my personal studio, with a display of my work and my own creative workspace with work in progress and the things that inspire me; creating a visually-rich and exciting space for people to visit. I also have a small shop with vintage & organic fabrics, sewing supplies, vintage patterns and my own range of

sewing kits, patterns & textile jewellery What projects have you been working on recently? I have recently been working with a couple of local primary schools on projects inspired by local history and creating large-scale textile works for display. I am about to start work on a new book too. What are your plans for the space and your work in the future? The studio will be moving to a new venue in May where it will be for 6 months before our permanent home in the Cultural Quarter. A wide-range of workshops will continue including weekend, daytime & evening classe What does being green mean to you? In my own work, I try to use vintage, recycled and organic fabrics only as I passionately believe that we need to

reduce the amount of resources we consume. I think reuse is the best way to achieve this and advocate using old fabrics and restyling old garments as much as possible. I want to make it clear that sustainable sewing can be stylish. My book Sew Eco explores my philosophy of green sewing. If you had an extra hour in the day, what would you do with it? Make myself some new clothes; I never seem to get time to make things for myself.

www.ruthsinger.co.uk


For inspiration, patterns and tutorials visit our idea center at WWW.PURLBEE.COM


Cradle MAKE


Candle Making Recycle your old, partially burned candles to make a new one for either your home or to give as a gift. Step Three You will need: Several partially burned candles Old pan or dish Decorative container Sturdy, smooth string Long pencil Scissors

Step One

Cut a length of sturdy smooth string and tie one end to a pencil, which should be longer than the circumference of the container. Make several knots in the other end of the string to weight it down.

Step Four

Heat the candle remnants in an old pan or dish, either by placing it in a microwave for 1-2 minutes, or in a double saucepan on top of the stove. Be very careful not to burn yourself, either on the pan or with the resulting hot wax. The candles can be heated separately or together, depending on their colours and how many there are.

Step Two

Push the knotted end of he string into the wax with the pencil, and then lay the pencil across the receptacle. Move to a cool place to set.

Step Five

When all the wax is melted, remove any wicks that remain that may remain and pour the wax into your chosen receptacle.

When the wax has set hard, cut the string, leaving enough exposed to make a wick.


Book Covers Give your books a new lease of life by covering them in recyled vintage fabric. You will need: Vintage fabric Scissors Hardback book Fabric glue

Step Three

Step One

Fold in the fabric at each corner, then fold in the edges and glue them down.

Cut out the fabric to the size of the book plus an extra 2.5cm (1in) all round. Open the book, lay it face down and cover the outside with fabric glue. Turn it over and position it carefully on the fabric, allowing the 2.5cm (1in) border all round.

Step Four

Step Two

Glue the first page onto the cover to hide the glued edges.

If the book has a wide spine, cut the fabric on each side up on the spine, top and bottom. Cut off the resulting flap of fabric, leaving a small amount to tuck in down the spine.


Wall Stencil Design and create your own wall stencil inspired by the artwork in the Prince’s Arts & Crafts House (page 23).

You will need: Tracing paper Drawing or graph paper Pencil, drawing pen Ruler and Compass Acetate Cutting knife Cutting mat Masking tape Stencil brushes Stencil paint Varnish - if stenciling floor or furniture Cleaning rags, paper towels Old saucers or foil containers

Step One

Draw or trace your design. If using acetate, place the drawing under the film and secure with masking tape. If using card, turn the drawing over and transfer the design onto the card.


Step Two

Step Four

Cut out small areas before larger ones so that you do not find yourself trying to cut fiddly details out of an intolerably weakened stencil. Use a scalpel or craft knife and cut towards you. For curves turn the stencil not the knife. Mistakes can be repaired using transparent adhesive tape.

Step Three

Use paint sparingly to prevent seepage. Work most of the paint off onto a dry paper towel, the dab brush on scrap paper until no blotches appear and the brush is almost dry.

Draw or trace your design. If using acetate, place the drawing under the film and secure with masking tape. If using card, turn the drawing over and transfer the design onto the card.

Step Five Apply paint gradually, working inward from the outer edges. Use the brush lightly in circular movements. To check progress, gently lift the stencil. Complete one colour at a time and allow to dry before proceeding.


Upcycle your Maxi Skirt Recycle your old maxi skirt and transform it into shorts for your street party this summer.

You will need: Maxi skirt Needle Thread Scissrs Quick unpick Paper for your pattern Pencil

Step One

Unpick the waistband on your maxi skirt using either scissors or a quick unpick

Step Two

Trace the front and back leg shape of some of your jeans/ trousers.


Step Three

Step Six

Decide how long you want your shorts and draw that onto your tracing.

Step Four Sew front and back together.

Step Seven

(If you want pleats) Fold the pleats you want in your shorts into a piece of paper and then trace your pattern piece onto the folded paper. When you unfold it you’ll have your new pattern piece. Sew left and right leg together.

Step Five

Step Eight

Cut out all of the pieces from the fabric of the skirt.

Sew waistband back onto the shorts.


51 Review

Method The Cradle team are passionate about how you care for your home and take it upon ourselves to test and report to you the best eco-friendly products available on the high street. This month we have been testing Method; a San Francisco based company with a niche market for household cleaning products that are 100% sustainable. Method was established in 2000 introducing a unique delivery to household cleaning. Using 100% recycled plastic for their bottles and a patented technology called Powergreen the brains at Method use naturally derived surfactants to absorb dirt rather than the usual chemical substances to degrade it. The ingredients are both non-toxic and biodegradable which, when using the products, we found much more pleasing to use

without worrying about contact and inhalation of the substances. Our team tested three different products and were pleasantly surprised with the ease in which they dealt with the soils and daily grime around the house. The French Lavender All Purpose spray lifted stains from the electric hob that my previous standard cleaning product couldn’t lift. The Ylang Ylang Daily Shower Spray cleaned the shower without residue and streaks being left behind as some sprays do. And we deliberately left our dirty crockery for days to really give the Clementine Washing Up Liquid a challenge which it easily rose to and left the plates looking as good as new.

range of household cleaning products which are made from natural ingredients and sustainable sources friendly to the environment. The unusual quirky packaging definitely makes the product stand out on the shelf and wont be an eye saw in your home. Method products are available at over 4000 retail locations throughout the UK including Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, B&Q, Homebase, as well as other independent retailers. It is also endorsed by many celebrities including Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Brad Pitt, Donna Air, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirsty Gallagher who are all fans of the method products.

So it seems the brains at Method have developed and produced an For more information on Method innovative and highly effective visit www.methodproducts.co.uk.


53 Review

Remake it - - Home This is the indispensible, inspirational and practical guide to being resourceful by design in your home. Save money, save the planet and stay ahead in the style stakes. If theres something going spare, theres a use for it somewhere. With a wealth of tricks and tips, design examples from leading luminaries such as Jasper Morrison and Marcel Waanders, and step-by-step projects you can try around the

house, Remake It: Home provides design inspiration and practical know how in equal measure. Smart, savvy, entertaining and fully illustrated throughout, this book will show you how to make the most of the things you already have in style, leaving nothing to waste. If you’re looking to give those old wellington boots a new lease of life, or that old suitcase that’s

been sitting in your loft for years a new purpose, then this book will tell you exactly what you can do with it. With inspired idea’s that are both practicle and bonkers, this book will leave you throwing nothing away.


54 55 What’s on

Out & About World Wide Knitting in Public Day 9 - 17 June Check website for communities near you www.wwkipday.com

Bloom Garden Festival 2 - 6 June Pheonix Park, Dublin Check website for details www.bloominthepark.com

So Sligo Food Festival 18 - 20 May Sligo, Ireland Check website for details www.sosligo.com

Iniscealtra Festival of Arts 26 May - 4 June Mountshannon, Co. Clare Check website for details www.iniscealtra-artsfestival.org

Chelsea Flower Show

22 - 26 May Chelsea, London Check website for details www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events

Craft Marque within Royal Bath & West Show 1 - 2 June Shepton Mallet Check website for details www.edencrafts.co.uk

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

3 - 8 July Hampton Court, London Check website for details www.rhs.org.uk/Shows-Events

Sew Over It Classes & Workshops

Clapham, London Check website for dates and details www.sewoverit.com/lessons

Tradition & Modernity, Subversion, Innovation and Creativity Exhibition Victoria & Albert museum 31 March - 12 Aug Check wbsite for details www.vam.ac.uk

Ruth Singer Craft Workshops

Haymarket Shopping Centre, Leicester. Check website for dates www.ruthsinger.com

Block Party; Contemporary Craft Tour

New Walk Museum & Gallery, Leicester 16th June - 2nd Sep Check website for details www.blockparty.org.uk

Festival of Quilts

The NEC, Birmingham 16th - 19th August Check website for datails

Arts and Craft Fair

The Crown Hotel, Staffordshire 2 June, 7 July, 4 Aug Check website for datails

Swap n’ Shop

Derby Silk Mill Museum, Derby 9 June Check website for datails www.redcross.org.uk/swopnshop


54 55


56 57 Contact

Contact Book Energy

Food

Home

www.clearviewstores.com Manufacturer of clean wood and multi-fuel burning stoves.

www.abel-cole.co.uk A long-established organic food delivery service.

www.dunsterwoodfuels.co.uk Suppliers of biomass boilders and accumulator tanks for storing large volumes of cheap hot water.

www.agoldshop.com An old-fashioned grocery shop selling traditional foods, situated at Spitalfields in the east end of London.

www.cabbagesandroses.com For natural cleaning products, beautifully packaged and fully sustainable; antiques and vintage items and hand-printed vintage linens; clothing and fabrics.

www.electrisave.co.uk Providers of devices to put over your electricity meter, allowing you to work out how much energy is being used by individual devices. www.energy-crops.com A co-operative of wood pellet fuel producers who provide a local supply of high quality fuel. www.genersys.com Information on supplying up to 70 per cent of your hot water requirements in an enviromentally friendly way. www.genvex.co.uk Heat-recovery ventilation and airsource heat pumps. www.good-energy.co.uk Renewable sources of electricity.

www.boroughmarket.org.uk A beautiful covered market, open on Friday and Saturdays in the heart of London. Make sure you visit Turnips, a stall selling produce from a collective of farmers and growers.

www.eco-age.com Fulfils all ecolically sound needs in the home.

www.enjoyfrance.com Farmer’s markets in France.

www.wwf.org.uk Information on the campaign to reduce the use of toxic chemicals.

www.farmaround.co.uk Supplying food from small organic farms in the UK and cooperative farms in Sicily, France and Spain. None of the food is airfreighted.

www.methodproducts.co.uk Sustainable cleaning products in biodegradable plastic packaging.

www.farmersmarkets.net Farmer’s markets in the UK.

www.greenfuels.co.uk Bio energy consultancy.

www.foodupfront.org Check the website for local food suppliers.

www.nef.co.uk The National Energy Foundation, giving advice on reducing carbon emmissions through using energyefficiency measures and renewale energy sources.

www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk A magnificent emporium of cheeses, dairy produce and freshly baked bread.

www.solartwin.com A reliable and easy-to-install solar panel water-heating system.

www.dutchtub.com Lightweight hot tubs which do not require a pump or electricity.

www.riverford.co.uk Organic vegetable delivery service.

www.greenshop.co.uk Sustainable, eco friendly products for the home.

www.thelinenworks.com Homeware for the natural home. www.hm.com/gb/department/ HOME Affordable homeware with great style. www.therange.co.uk Affordable homeware, fabrics and linens www.dunelm-mill.com Affordable fabrics and linens www.homesense.com A collection of affordable home and gardenware.


56 57

Farms & Gardens

Craft

www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk Suppliers of bracken-based compost.

www.sewoverit.co.uk Sewing cafe running craft workshops and tutorials.

www.greenfix.co.uk Specialists in installing rooftop gardens.

www.cutoutgirls.bigcartel.com Textile duo selling hand made bags from recylced materials.

www.soilassociation.org An independant non-profit body that sets organic standards, supports and advises organic farmers and work to change the way the UK farms.

www.ruthsinger.com Textile artist, author and educator. Running craft workshops to inspire and educate.

www.aqualogic-wc.com Supplier or WaterGreen syphon pump, for suphoning bathwater into the garden.

Websites www.cradlemag.co.uk Sustainable DIY home and lifestyle magazine. www.futurefriendly.co.uk Website giving ideas on creating a more planet-friendly lifestyle. www.globalcool.org Eco news on lifestyle, fashion, travel and entertainment. www.ecothriftyliving.com A thrifty DIY blog that explores different ways of recycling old materials and food. www.idodiy.co.uk DIY advice, tips, supplies and reviews. www.vam.ac.uk Victoria & Albert museum updates and workshops.

www.shoestringsplendour. wordpress.com Craft duo, making from old materials, up-cycling and recycling. www.thepaperedparlour.co.uk Independant craft venue for London. www.raystitch.co.uk London baded haberdashery. www.themakeryonline.co.uk Craft and sewing workshops and parties.


58 Worksheet

The Green Room Worksheet We recently celebrated Earth Day - what better day to learn about the planet we call home. We see Earth Day like Valentines Day; it’s nice and all, but you really should be showing your love each and every day.

“We have to move away from a dumb economy that chews up, spits out and destroys

Did you know: H&M is looking to reposition as a leader in sustainable fashion ahead of the launch of its eco-concious collection.

nature and people,

towards a smart one that operates with need to

natural cycles: we

learn to live with our limits.”

-Dame Anita Roddick

But we use 20% of its resources

Human beings account for .00018% of the earths biomas

Did you know: Air polution prematurely kills

Every 00:00:01

13,000

people a year in Britain

5 people enter the world 2 leave it

“There are no passengers on spaceship Earth.

A single Spam message produces the equivalent of 0.3 grams of CO 2

We are all crew.”

62 TRILLION SPAM EMAILS

- Marshall McLuhan

ARE SENT EACH YEAR

Producing the equivalent CO 2 emissions as 1.6 Million cars driving around the earth.

7 Billion

shove

“You can nature out with a pitchfork but she’ll

6 Billion

World Population

250 Million

500 Million

keep coming back.” -Taditional proverb

Year 2012

Year 2000 World Population Mobile Subscriptions Internet Users

Mobile Subscriptions

5 Billion

Internet Users

2 Billion


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Cradle