Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Common Goals launches at the next Handmade Arcade!

As if you need any other reason to stroll on down Fore Street this Saturday......

come see us in the treasure trove that is Handmade Arcade, we have yet another exciting venture to announce!

This Saturday will see the first ever appearance of Common Goals, No Guts No Glory’s sister project!
A not-for-profit charity venture created by Jack Hyde and Nathan Blaker right here in Exeter, Common Goals aims to raise awareness and funds for a range of charities by utilising the closeness and unity of the UK punk rock community. Through common love of music, art and a DIY ethos, the project works with bands in the UK that create an exclusive (and awesome) design for Common Goals which then gets screen-printed onto organic T-shirts, the tees will be available online and at selected shows around the UK as well as here – at Handmade Arcade this very Saturday!

Money made from the sale of these very special organic tees will be given to that band’s selected charitable cause!

Common Goals first batch of screen-printed tee’s have been designed by The Arteries whose chosen charity Mumbles Lifeboat Station is based in their home town of Swansea! 
Great Cynics provided Common Goals with this brilliant design and aims to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The Common Goals logo was too good to stay on paper... so they made it into a tee! All sales from the Common Goals logo tee will go towards working with new bands on new awesome common goals projects!

For more details of how Common Goals works see their blog here, or pop down to Handmade Arcade and grab yourself a tee – before they even go on sale online on the 9th June!
Common Goals will also be making an appearance at the Caverns Punk Rock all-dayer on Bank Holiday Monday 4th, we’ll be there too with the No Guts No Glory Zine Distro!

So excited for Saturday!

See you there



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Handmade Arcade gets a little Sheepish....

Outside it's a blindingly beautiful day...

Tucked away here in the cool oasis that is Mccoys Arcade with the rays falling onto the tables in the cafe, tucking into local Strawberries I had a thought ... a thought about colour and about making the Arcade feel warm and bright the whole year round!

First though, a story...

I lived for a while in Vancouver's West End, a pretty beautiful part of the city and a vibrant neighbourhood to boot. In this most beautiful of cityscapes, there was a fantastic Community Garden totally covered in colourful yarn.

As soon as I noticed this woven world the more I stumbled upon a knitted trail around the sprawling city. Unravelling these bright wooly threads led to me discover neighborhoods like Main Street and Commercial Drive - area's with so much diversity and a sense of community, areas supporting DIY and skill sharing projects like "Our Community Bikes", a project set up for the community by the community. Enabling people to learn how to fix their own bicycles in their friendly workshop. Using their tools and sharing their skills  in a collectively managed, non heirarchical organisation which has no owner, boss or supervisor. All staff being mechanics, teachers and students, improving all the time as individuals!

The whole project makes me think a lot about autonomy and a sense of where you are with the people who live and work around you. There are projects happening in The West Quarter of Exeter that echo this feeling - it feels like there is a real spirit of community growing in Fore Street and it's surrounds. It truly is  a street full of creative spirit and the good will of the characters that inhabit these parts!

Inpendent businesses thrive here, despite not having any investment from the city council, banding together to make this part of town as bright and colourful as the friendly people you'll meet as you step through their doorways. A stroll down Fore Street nowadays will possibly surprise you if it's been a while - you will find flowerpots and decorations of a different kind, this is a street full of people celebrating doing the things they love. People like Lorna the lady behind the best Milkshake bar in town - Shaker Maker and Willow from the fabulous box of vintage joy that is Relevant by Lady Lace. This is a colourful street with heaps of heart and good old fashioned neighbourly spirit!

Anyway!....Back to my main point about decorating McCoys Arcade...

I want to start a project. One that incorporates the idea that 'the community creates the community' as this is what happens in this crafty pocket of Exeter. My plan is to cover the insides of the wonderful McCoys Arcade with colourful knitted graffitti. As I only have one pair of (novice) knitters hands I'm calling out to anybody to take part....
so grab a pair of needles - not the really sharp kind please, and head down to the Arcade with your creations - once we've got enough to get started I'll get on the case and start adorning this beautiful space (any helpers would be appreciated by way of vegan cake!) Be as creative as you please and satisfy your desires to cover things in yarn! Whilst becoming part of this crafty lil' corner of the world! If you're up for the challenge - you can bring your woolies to No Guts No Glory or drop them off to me at Handmade Arcade - bring your needles!

New Stalls announced!
This Saturday the Arcade with also see a few more stalls with our wooly friends in mind..

Heather Sturdy-Sherwood will be joining us from a farm in Crediton where she spends her days dyeing and spinning the most beautiful soft yarn from real live sheep, her and her boyfriend also run a small recording studio in the Devon countryside! Wool AND music - I know where I'd like to be in the winter time! Anywho, the wonderfully enthusiastic Heather will be there with her unique and local balls of wool, spinning a yarn or two for us!

Ollies Mum will be returning with her absolutely amazing knitting prowess and needle skills. For the ultimate summer cover up - she also does knit commissions and will be on call to help with any knitting dilemmas you may have! She really is a one-stop knitting guru!

We also have music this month that will make you feel like the sun is shining (even if it's not) we are proud to announce that the wonderful Ukelele group of Exeter will be serenading us and tinkering our heart strings with their up lifting joyous sounds! Their have also been rumours of a countryesque washboard donning partnership - I'm already smiling at the prospect :)

On Wednesday I'll be spreading news about the launch of a very exciting and brilliant project that is being launched at the next Handmade Arcade this Saturday!!

See you there, 



Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Stalls Announced for Handmades Arcade's Third Visit to McCoys Arcade!

June 2nd will see many people celebrating the Queens Diamond Jubilee but here in the West Quarter we're excited for the 3rd Edition of the brilliant No Guts No Glory's Handmade Arcade!

We’ve been busy doing what us Devon types do best – rounding up this seasons finest produce and selecting a premium bunch of the greatest things handmade locally for your perusal and enjoyment!

This months successful Handmade Arcaders will come to the arcade brandishing a fine assortment of animals to rival those seen in neighboring fields– there will be a variety of Urban Foxes, a Badger or two, a few felt creatures and a fine selection of birds in capes. You may well be drawn to the extensive range of illustrated prints, tote bags, badges and local friendly people that have been doodling away on all sorts of objects!

Laura Jayne Weeks and her foxy friends will be taking an adventure from their home in Plymouth to join us once again. Laura's hand moulded, hand painted resin characters and badges will be sitting right alongside other works from the Plymouth bunch, including Kelly Walton, whose bird faced badges will be sure to make an appearance, and Lize Meddings who will be bringing a range of illustrated prints, comics, cards and tote bags. If you missed them at the First Ever Handmade Arcade - now is your chance to pick up some of brilliant work from these up and coming artists!

We look forward to welcoming them back for another Exeter adventure and seeing what they've been doodling and making!

Also hailing from Plymouth, Tom and Dan from the Alt Street Collective will be bringing along their range of screen-printed tees to the next Handmade Arcade! As well as their own brand tees, these guys also carry clothing from a range of lesser known brands and also run the "Give Up Your Day Job" fair which we were happy to be a part of last month at Plymouths Jack Chams - you can read more about this DIY fair on the No Guts No Glory page!

Heidi Blakesley from Felt Face makes characters from old woolen blankets painstakingly felting on their little fuzzy faces.. she's got a great selection featuring the Queen, Bowie and a few fairy-tale characters all handmade, up-cycled and wonderfully satirical.

Badgers can be choosers! Local chap Jon Franklyn of Badgers Choice takes pages of interest and transforms them into wearable collectable badges - limited edition and custom made treasures - some from the deep blue sea!

These beautiful cards and prints that feature amongst other things... super-birds in capes, autumn trees and scenes in glorious hues are all made by devon based Gemma of Autumn Jitters, Gemma has been busy creating a new range of prints and cards especially for Handmade Arcade! We can't wait to see them!

Feast your eyes on the lovely Nina Kleinzeller's colorful work, her hand painted wooden badges and collages are unique, beautiful and unusual AND she makes them all here in EXETER, possibly whilst sipping on a cup of tea!

That's just a sneaky peek of what's in store for the day... we will also have some jolly live music, a special guest surprise stall and launch of something rather exciting here at the no Guts No Glory  shop! 

We've filled the shop with even more treasure over the past few weeks more to be said about this soon...


No wellies necessary – the Arcade is fully covered and has ample facilities to keep you fed and watered – delicious food from McCoys CafĂ© or just across the way milkshakes from Shaker Maker, Either way a stroll around the Fore Street hood will satisfy your hunger and your curiosity! With entertainment provided by acoustic musicians from not too far away, to lively up the day!

Come and celebrate our quarter-of-a-year anniversary with us! - HMA's Leather Jubilee! Lesser anniversaries of this weekend include Queenie's Diamond jubilee, but the novelty kind of wears off after 59 years right...?

If you sing like a bird, play the fiddle or simply make great stuff – email us and we will consider you for our mighty selection!

Come along, bring a friend and a healthy appetite for all things a little out of the ordinary!

Hayley & Nath


Monday, 14 May 2012

Butterscotch Flavoured Sunday & The Making Of A Movie Night......

We're "Lazing on a sunny afternoon".... (well almost)

The sun is beaming down onto a secluded back garden on Fore Street, the aroma of freshly risen cakes mixes with the sound of The Kinks records fittingly cutting through the (almost) summery air. For some people this is just another Sunday.... for us this is no ordinary Sunday afternoon.. oh no no.... this little hive of activity is just the beginning of preparations for the first ever Butterscotch Sunday pop-up cinema event. A charity film night with a difference, showing not one - but two magnificent Wes Anderson films - "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums".

Two films which I could watch over and over finding yet more hues of bursting colour, symmetry and synchronicity between the lines...

Of course we had to make some things for the day..... it was almost impossible not to..

"I always wanted to be a Tenenbaum" 

The ideas and designs for the badges came from the marvelous mind of Guy Millon, with some great lines from the movies....

Badges had been cut by lazer and the help of Benjamin Wright, the Plymouth based creative and the maker of the very wonderful No Guts No Glory till. If you have been to the shop of late you will know what I mean, if you haven't then you should! It really is a glorious object and the shop isn't half bad either! The badges were then handpainted by Guy and his vision was complete with "perfect attendance", "Punctuality award", Tenenbaum flag and Greenline bus badges all in glorious colours.

Limited Edition Zines with detailed psychoanalysis of the movies and genius Ink Blot tests were stapled together on a trestle table in the sunshine. The zines also featured a pull out centrefold, with prints from Tim Doyle whose work on Wes Anderson movies satisfies and captures the saturated colours and humour of scenes within these epic movies.

If you missed your chance to get your hands on these items and feel you need these in your life please pop into the NGNG shop and pick one up!

"I should probably be trying harder to score chicks" ...

Made in the style of Max Fisher - our sandwich offerings couldn't really be anything other then Tuna Cucumber and Peanut Butter & Jelly - we threw in a home made Limey Guacamole & Tomato number for good measure and had a lot of fun wrapping them in individual brown paper and string packages... perfect for a journey on the Greenline Bus.

As alway's I couldn't resist the oppurtunity to whip up a fresh and tasty batch of vegan chocolate peanut butter cupcakes! I'm currently working on a recipe zine called "Cooking Approximately" which should (hopefully) be cooked up by the next Handmade Arcade on the 2nd June! featuring Guys "Barracuda Tuna Sandwiches" as well as his delicious "Ice Cream Sundae Cupcake which were both available on the night" mmmm hmmmm!

The main star of Butterscotch Sunday had to be the Butterscotch popcorn - which has recently become breakfast, lunch and dinner at our house. It's impossible to make too much of this. We whipped up a batch and watched as the buttery goodness melted into divine vanillary fragrances. Guy also found a very fitting frame to house his badges and we were almost set to leave, carting our old suitcases and frames to the wonderfully retro Bike Shed Theatre for a night of deliciousness and incomparable entertainment!

"Too many extracurricular activities Max, Not enough studying"...

Taking on the spirit of Max Fischer we endeavoured to create the "Hit Play" we had always dreamed of..

The scene was set, we had had times of laughter and times of silence, even some last minute swearing as we stumbled up the hill looking like we were migrating or set to take a trip to pastures new on the good old Greenline Bus with our treasured possessions - which consisted of mainly popcorn and cupcakes. As we arrived at the intimate Bike Shed Theatre we realised just how perfect a setting it is...  someone was bopping happily to the brilliantly composed soundtrack (made by Guy) and people were gathering. The stall looked pretty swell....

Some snaps of a very proud Guy and myself manning the Box Office for Butterscotch Sunday with the selection of hand-made, home-cooked and very affordable treats we put together that sunny afternoon! 

"Also, you'll find a pair of safety goggles and earplugs under your seats, please feel free to use them"...

People were flooding in to see not one but TWO.. that's right people TWO awesome movies -  with an adequate break in between of course to refuel and have a little stretch and some hearty discussion about the films over drinks and nibbles.

What better way to spend a Sunday evening then with the company of some good friends, great music, Max Fischer and co. and of course The Tenenbaums.

Well done to the magnanimous Mister Guy Millon for bringing a wonderful Butterscotch flavour to our sundays! Raising money for local charity "The Quiet Mind Centre" which offers a selection of holistic treatments for people on low income benefits. I'm looking forward to see what the next one will bring and in the true spirit of Rushmore I'm going for the "perfect attendance award"

Many thanks to the Bike Shed Theatre for letting us use their beautiful space and Nathan Blaker for being a dab hand when it comes to the technical side of things!

Also thanks to all the lovely people of the Fore Street Collective, Willow for selecting one of her fantastic vintage frocks for me at Relevant by Lady Lace .

I'll be announcing June's selection of brilliant Handmade Arcaders in my next post! Stay tuned...

Hayles xx

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Handmade Arcade - The May Edition!

Last Saturday marked the anniversary of the Exeter Blitz, another bank holiday weekend and if you made it through the time warp in the city centre and followed the chalky trails down to the West Quarter, you would have found the colourful corner that is McCoys Arcade, home to Handmade Arcade - Exeters celebration of independant creative culture. A monthly affair that always leaves us inspired and eager to see what the next one will bring!

This months edition saw the arcade packed full of characters - some of them held together by stitches or found within the pages of beautifully bound books. Friendly faces of local makers, flavours of a relaxed buzzy atmosphere - conversations interspersed with layers of music from Laura Dugmore and Paper Anchor.  There was a host of up-cycled jewels and a frock or two, zines, prints and cards each well seasoned with the spirit of DIY -  An extension of No Guts No Glory that is unique, everchanging, mindful and independent!

Thanks to all of you who came and perused the many stalls, sampled the delights of McCoys Cafe or just came to soak up the light, bustling feel that is Handmade Arcade! If you couldn't make it down there's always the next one on the 2nd June to get enthused about !

If you weren't able to join us here are some recorded memories of that wonderful day in May...

Laura Dugmore's strong and soaring voice filled the Arcade as it began to get busier and busier, I was secretly hoping that the brilliant Emma Cocker would accidentally leave the wooly craftydermy antlers behind.... they were even naturally striped, genius!


Guy Millon, the chap behind Exeter's Independent and Intimate pop-up cinema Butterscotch Sunday, came to share news of their next event that is be held at the marvelous Bike Shed Theatre this coming Sunday (13th May)! A spectacular  Wes Anderson charity film festival featuring Rushmore and The Royal Tenembaums alongside an unhealthy amount of Butterscotch Popcorn, as well as a selection of badges, zines and sinful sundae cupcakes! It's a Sunday sundae must!

Tickets are just £10! and available from the No Guts No Glory shop - all profits are going to the quiet mind centre, so there's even more reason to come along.. not like you need any.

We had some fruity glass jewels that looked like candy, all made by the skilled hand of Elise Ruffell the sweet trend spread through the arcade with Kimbows stall adding a colourful splash to the day - her affordable sweet inspired jewellery and bow shaped cushions were a welcome addition! 

It was great to have Bee Watson there on the day, sure to be a more regular fixture - the mighty re-maker of weary garments! Bee is an all round lifter of spirits... and her clothes are pretty rad too.. I can vouch for this as I am now the smug owner of a beautiful dusky pink number which was a snip at £10! Bee will be back again at a future date with a selection of remade frocks tops and smocks! In the meantime if you have anything you would like to save from the bin please get in touch with Bee and she'll be happy to intervene!

Elena and friends from Unearthed Gallery, near neighbours of Fore Street arrived with their fired pieces - cups, planters and pottery of different shapes and sizes. It was so nice to see products from their ever so affordable pottery workshops which happen frequently and great to meet the makers! Joe Sellman-Leava came with a selection of his prints and original paintings it was great to meet this friendly chap and talk to him about the upcoming show at the Bike Shed Theatre

I saw so many people leaving with ears poking out of bags, i'm pretty sure this was due to Scrappies popular up-cycled creations! Also with ears Benjamin Smith joined us with a suitcase full of recorded journeys. Zines and cards capturing the escape of rabbit and his adventures... keep an eye out for more of Ben's photographic stories.

Handmade Arcaders Patrick Cullum and Frances Matteson set up camp outside the No Guts No Glory Shop for the second round - here you can see Patricks colourful illustrations swaying in the breeze, Frances had a wonderful selection of black and white illustrated cards and prints!

It was great to meet Emma Cocker and her taxidermy inspired creations... she also does great things in the way of fabric illustration, and takes photos of the characters she creates turning them into fascinating subjects for cards and prints.
Penny Dreadful had a stall full of up-cycled bits and bobs all fashioned into interesting and affordable jewellery more of which can be seen on etsy!

The next market day is Saturday the 2nd June, mark it in your calendars and come join us!
It was fantastic to see everyone there and great to see new connections being made and people really embracing the project! Please continue to support us by spreading the word!

 for next month!! We're looking for makers of indie art and craft from the local region so please get in touch if this is you - now is also the time to nag that ever so creative they should really be selling their work kind of friend and give them even more reason to get making!

If you have any feedback about the event i'm all ears!  We would love to be able to make this corner of culture a permanent fixture in our town so if you have any ideas about how we can make it grow please don't hesitate to drop me a line!


Thursday, 3 May 2012

More Stalls and Musicians Announced for the 2nd Handmade Arcade!

It's now only two days until the second round of Handmade Arcade, and the excitement is growing in the No Guts No Glory Shop! After a bit of shuffling around we're ever so pleased to announce another fabulous maker for the day, as well as another musician to add to the atmosphere on the day!

First up, the wonderful organic and home-grown work of Emma Cocker...

Emma was a late entry to the mix of applications for this month, and we're so glad that she can be a part of this month's Handmade Arcade.

From her home in North Devon, Emma re-uses fabric scraps to make a range of fabric creations, including these awesome Cloth Characters and Fabric Illustrations!

Making the trip from Teignmouth, Andy McCaffley, aka Paper Anchor will be coming along to Handmade Arcade to play us a selection of his acoustic Folk Rock.

We reckon we could still squeeze one more musician into the day, pop us an email if you think you'd like to play us some tunes!

Be sure to check out our Facebook Event Page - help us to spread the word of these talented local creatives!

See You There!

Nath and Hayley