Monday, 10 December 2012


Hurrah! We are two weeks into the MAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS four week special at the small but mighty celebration of makers that is the festive Handmade Arcade!

This week saw an almighty selection of brilliant makers, quirky ideas and a plethora of talent from illustrators, designers Indie Shops and makers in the area! Some seriously good shopping was done in preparation for the festive Christmas celebrations! Thanks to all of you who made it down to sample the D.I.Y spirit this Christmas!

It's always great to see such a diverse crowd of people all interested in perusing and buying unique gifts that don't cost the earth, for unique people who are worth more than the world. Everything on other was affordable - upcycled or handmade, everything was sold by the hands that made it, trade as it should be...

The friendly bunch who joined us this week had such an abundance of wonderful handmade, unique and creative work that it was impossible not to pick up a few wonderful gifts for people! - personally I don't really do the whole gifting thing at Christmas and usually wait until the last minute before making raw chocolate reindeer poo treats or making random creatures from felt scraps. But this year from the minds and hands of makers I managed to pick up some truly personal gifts for people - a little bit of seasonal synchronicity!

There were quite a few Christmas trees in the Arcade and some truly genius ideas for decorations! These playing cards and scrabble tiles made by Exeter Cards Anthony. As a riverside dweller Anthony captures the feel of Exeter's landmarks - he obviously knows all of the best vistas, and has even thrown in a few swans and a Robin - gorgeously wintery!

New friend of Handmade Arcade - Kezia made these awesome Reindeer tree dec's as well as some fantastic perky accessories from Barbie's discarded wardrobe or kitchen for that matter - makes me think of giants without any awareness of the things we wear!

 I snapped up a fantastic plastic turtle ring! Let's hope Kezia comes back soon here's a snap of some of her Handmade Bangles and earrings and a picture of a Christmas Cat - Kezia also made some sparkly Fur Cone decorations that I used to make as a kid - hello glitter!

 Handmade Arcade regulars The Spirit Forge made these really awesome tree decorations out of wood, fruit, wool and sticks - pop down to Handmade Arcade this Saturday and have a browse through their truly wonderful selection of Wiccan handmade crafts! Definitely stop and say hi -  this friendly and knowledgeable couple are always brimming with energy and smiles!

W also saw some amazing work from Barry Peryman- his painted Skulls are truly amazing! He'll be back with us next week as well :) ..... and hopefully we'll pick one up for our house too!

These comic inspired tree decorations by Tracey Andrews are so beautiful;  the perfect alternative Christmas Decoration! - Tracey also makes some amazing decoupage boxes mirrors and trinkets, as well as Christmas light necklaces all super affordable and handmade by her!

Tracey also makes heaps of interesting badges made from vintage printed fabric - which feature mainly farmhouses and animals and the odd Brownie badge necklace (total childhood recall!) which she backs and sews to make gorgeous badges. Here's a few of Traceys hand-stenciled cards as well!

There was an amazing amount of brilliant little bits and pieces to pick up like these transfers which are from the past! Luckily you can still get them at Magdalen Roads crafty shop Arrietty - the perfect place to pick up some quirky pieces!

Arrietty sells an array of work from local makers - as well as running great workshops!

Laurel spent the afternoon at Handmade Arcade making these little booties!

Laurel and her partner in crime Dan sell gorgeous hand screen-printed cushions, baby grow's and tote bags too - as well as a great range of jewellery. Go check out their shop if you haven't already! :)

Claire Holland writer of the brilliant tumblr based blog SoSuperAwesome a constant flurry of inspiration! Claire also makes the perfect gift tags and cards from Dutch comics, each is supplied with a blank speech bubble so you can personalise every one with a fitting message, you could spend hours sifting through as every one is completely unique. Claire will be back next week too! Pop down and find the perfect card :)

We were real happy to see Heather Sturdy Sherwood from Little Owl Crafts and her colourful hand dyed and spun yarns! Such a great selection of bright and beautiful wool - which is hard to find now in Exeter :( Heather will be back with us again this Saturday so you can be sure to find her there and pick up some of her gorgeous wool to make beautiful hats and scarves for people this Christmas!

Madeline Bunyan is a regular at Handmade Arcade and for the festive season has been experimenting with her glass making practices - making these brilliant Polar Bear earrings! 

A little bit of a skill-swap! Madeline getting crafty with a box of Heathers yarn :)

Lucy Patrick makes these beautiful boxes from old maps, clay, magazines and music! she is also setting up a homeopathy clinic in Exeter which will hopefully offer courses, introducing people to a way of treating the cause not the symptom! Look out for Isca Homeopathy Clinic in the very near future - they are simply lovely ladies! :)

We were joined on Saturday by some wonderful people from Plymouth - Josie Maskell and friends, a collective of Plymouth Art Students with some really fantastic work! as they're not all that local you can now find a few cards from them in the NGNG shop! Thanks so much for joining us at the fair and making the trip up here on a cold December morning guys! 

The cards were splendid!

They also had a selection of printed tees, and some really great mini zines and purses!

Josie Bowler and her friend Alice came to join us at the fair - with decoupage pegs and a whole host of cards and crafty things :) Perfect for pegging things like to do lists or Christmas Cards or to keep photos standing upright around the house! Sooo many uses! :) Hopefully we'll see you guys soon!

GingerFace - was such a colorful creature I've asked her to move into the Arcade permanently - she makes a lot of great jewellery and felted creatures! as well as some brilliantly coloured cupcakes!

Emily Jonstone played us some mellow and velvetty notes from her stall :) She also brought along her Gingerbread friend who was adorned with her flowery Daisy Chain Headbands.

There was a really festive buzz in the air!

The shop was packed all day! And we just want to say a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came down to support the project or just to pick up something truly unique and special at what can be sometimes a sickly time of year in Town! Thanks to all the crafters - your happy and warm smiles lifted the Arcade! See you next week for  more of the same great stuff :) as well as more music, cake and good festive times! MMMmmmm vegan cake! 

Thanks for reading if you got this far! Such a mammoth post! Right! it's definitely time for some Ginger Wine!

Happy Making!

Hayles and Nath xxx


  1. Looks great! Can't wait for Sat so I can join the festivities (better get my thermals on) x

  2. Oh my words - so much variety! I'm not sure what I'm most excited about for the coming Saturday - having a stall with my woolly hats or getting lots of lovely handmade goodies! Well done, onwards and upwards! x