Saturday, 22 December 2012

Highlights from our Christmas Craft-A-Thon!

Santa without a beard, but the owner of a hairy chest? It's all possible when you make your own Christmas cards which is exactly what we go up to at this month's Make Escape Craft Night at The Hackney Attic.

The great thing about making your own cards is that they can be as experimental as you like. This crafty fan made a four-page mini-book-turned-card with a printed velvet lining. It's amazing what treasures uncover in our scrap fabric box!
Elsewhere we were delighted to be joined by needle felter Susanne Wallis (whose new book The Beginner's Guide to Needle Felting is out now!)
She led a session on needle felting your own Christmas pudding...yum!
In the Maker's Market we were thrilled to be joined by the gorgeous Sheree A Robinson who makes beautiful hand-knitted accessories. She also ran a workshop on how to make the biggest, fluffiest pom poms ever! Now, we would love a Christmas Tree covered in those!
Two other fabulous ladies that joined us were Marcia (aka Got Big Hoop) from SE London craft collective The Funky Fibres (they meet Mondays at the Lord Northbrook pub) and the lovely Jemma from Le Shit Chic Boutique who sells fun, quirky jewellery using wire and kitschy things like dolls shoes. Check out her fabulous on-line store to browse and buy!

Sisters Zoe and Teanne got down to some serious wire work making tree decorations.
Teanne curled up some spectacular wire holly berries.
While these bells made by Jemma are going straight onto Zoe's tree!
The boys were back! In the Man's Craft Corner they got sticking and stitching.
Pat whipped up a rather fabulous ginger bread decoration.
 While Alice one third of our resident DJs The Spinning Yarns proved a girl can crochet while changing tracks.
At The Make Escape you can join in our activities or bring along your own. It's the perfect place to have a cuppa and catch up on your knit as these ladies did. And if you don't know how to knit fear not, from January we're going to have a regular Knit & Knatter spot where they'll always be someone to show you how!
For those who wanted a hand with crafting we provided all the materials and sparkles you needed to make your own stocking.
  Like this masterpiece.
And gave you shimmering papers to make your own gift bows.
Always great to see crafters dressed for the occasion. We couldn't take our eyes off this sweet santa sweater.
If we were giving our prizes, the best-dressed would of gone to Purple Claire... her bejewelled dress was spectacular while her necklace was one she made earlier!

Here are some of the spectacular creations that were sold at The Funky Fibres stall.
 And for anyone who had caught the craft bug so much they wanted to spread the love, The Craft Closet were on stand by selling their 'as bought by Gok Wan' craft kits.
And here are The Craft Closet ladies - you may recognise The Make Escape's Becky who is one half of the Closet.
 Well it wouldn't be Christmas without a mince pie! Momtaz having a break from taking the snaps!
Thank you to everyone who came down to our Christmas Craft-A-Thon!
We're back next year with more fantastic craft nights, starting with our Nifty New Year 'money-saving craft special' on January 29th.
We'd like to leave you with one of the choice cuts from The Spinning Yarns.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Join our Christmas Craft-A-Thon on Dec 18th!

At The Make Escape we love to craft! Especially when it involves shimmery, sparkly collage materials, spending the evening with lovely people and listening to the coolest DJs in London Town without breaking the bank. 
Yep we're back...for the last craft night of the year and we're seeing 2012 off in style with a fun filled night of Xmas Crafting.
 Whether you want to make Xmas stockings:
 Have fun with gift wrapping techniques & cardmaking:
Fancy felting a Christmas pudding:
With felt expert and author Susanne Wallis who will also be selling & signing copies of her new book:

Or just want to hang out, colour stuff in, have a chin wag, relax, do nothing or do your Xmas shopping in our Makers Market, the only place you need to be on Tuesday Dec 18th 7.30-10.30pm is The Hackney Attic.

Joining us at this month's Maker's Market are:

Le Shit-Chic Boutique

Le Shit-Chic Boutique is the home of bold, brave and outlandish jewellery and accessories (and more...). Each idea is fertilised by a slightly overactive brain, that of founder Jemma! LSCB's products are based on the love of all things beautiful, that are a little 'rough around the edges'. Because nobody is perfect, but everyone can be gorgeous. Jemma will also be running a surprise mini workshop, to make your tree sparkle!

Funky Fibres 
A group of keen crafters who meet every Monday evening at The Lord Northbrook pub in Lee, SE12.  They will be running a stall selling some of their creations which include knitting, beading, crochet and weaving. Group members will also be crafting on the night and would love you to come along and join them - they may even share some of their secrets!

Craft Closet

Co-run by The Make Escape's Beccy The Craft Closet sell make-your-won kits so you have everything you need to get crafting - whether it's making a knitted snood or cross stitching some bunting - the perfect gift for a crafter or to convert someone!
Sheree Robinson Knitwear

Sheree is a recent graduate from Central Saint Martins and a Knitwear Designer who loves colourful shiny yarn. She specialises in making knitted accessories and sparkly, vibrant dresses. Sheree will be running a stall featuring her glitzy hand knitted winter range and a class on how to create small textile pieces to accessories your knitwear.

As ever, the night is free, we lay on the materials, you just need to turn up! It's drop in so come by any time, get yourself a drink at the Attic bar then pull up a seat and get making.

Hope to see you there xxxx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Highlights: Winter Wonderland Craft Night

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! It was cold outside! But that didn't stop fans of glitter & glue braving it to our Winter Wonderland Craft Night; together we made it the snuggliest place in town.* 
(*Don't be fooled by DJs Dan and Isabel....they may look like they are wrapped in a scarf, but this is merely for effect!)
To help us stay defrosted, we invited Stitch London to come along and teach newbie knitters the skills they need to whip up a scarf so they can keep warm for the rest of the frosty season.
Also thawing us out was Purple Claire from Purple Claire Textiles who brought along peg-looms and showed us how to create woven masterpieces.
A record number of participants joined in our collage corner the point we nearly ran out of glue. But fear not, we'll be stocked up again in time for our Christmas-Craft-A-Thon on Dec 18th!
At The Make Escape - we are very inclusive, everyone is welcome but sometimes there are divisions...this Man Group for example insisted on having their own table.
Did it help their creativity? Keep reading to find out...
Ooh & very excitingly we were joined by the film crew from a Japanese TV company!
So, onto the workshops. Peg-loom weaving is one of the most satisfying crafts ever. It's easy, you get instant results and it's a fab way ever to use up spare yarn scraps.
Community artist and freeform weaver/knitter Claire runs peg-loom sessions all over London and has been involved in creating several large scale textile pieces with school children. She brought along a stash of looms for people to create their own piece of weaving, or have a go at a larger group piece.
Here's a close up of a loom...
And here are some finished masterpieces! Love the triangular designs on this one.
And this little rug would be perfect for a pet!
Ooh, wonderful wintery shades. Esp loved the white bobbly yarn, this one felt sooooo snug!
Of course you didn't need to keep your weaving flat. Nasrin turned hers into a woven butterfly to accompany the knitted butterfly she made with Stitch London.
Speaking of which...
Stitch London's founder Lauren O'Farrell, stunned the room with her incredible talk about how knitting helped her beat cancer, revealed some secrets about her Guerilla Knitting past and encouraged us all to take part in the next big craze...guerilla crafting.
From sticking button mosaics on walls of public places using blu tak to using bleach to clean and create patterns in walls, or growing your own moss, Lauren's scrapbook of ideas and examples was so exciting some people got to work straight away.
(She didn't end up with the above fortune cookie for no reason!)
Knitting & it should be!
Pippa from the Hackney Citizen, also popped down and tried her hand at the knitting needles for the first time ever!
Julie knitted a sheep soon to be released into the wild...
Question is, will this blue one survive out in the wilderness? Look out Londoners, these sheep are knitted and they are ready to surprise you somewhere in the city when you least expect it.
Yes it's TRUE! We made Star Wars snowflakes!
Don't be sad if you missed can download the free templates here and make some at home too!
This flock of feathered friends were also soon to be released into the wild by these lovely ladies.
Check out that fur's beautiful!
Guests also tried their hand at Advent boxes. Make 24, fill them with yummy things, hang and untie each day until Christmas!
That Man Table we showed you earlier on? It was Delwar's first ever trip to The Make Escape and he expertly whipped up enough greeting cards to open up a stall!
While Matt went for the paper-cutting theme.....if only it did rain strawberries...then rivers would be made of Strawberry Ribena....and that would just be amazing!
Over in the Makers Market, we welcomed Halima Begum from Tacky Tart whose utterly gorgeous goodies looked good enough to eat!
Our fave pieces were the shimp earring and Barbie shoe bracelets.

Phew! What an evening!
The Make Escape was six months old today and we're so excited that it's getting better every month!
We run the night on a voluntary basis for the sheer pleasure of seeing people making stuff and being happy!

If you've not yet been make sure you come and join us soon - seriously....will you find more friendlier looking hosts than Momtaz and Becky anywhere in London?
We think not!

See you on TUESDAY DEC 18TH, HACKNEY ATTIC, from 7.30pm onwards for our
Christmas Craft-A-Thon

It's one week earlier than usual this month to ensure you have a chance to make your Xmas cards, gift tags, stockings and other last minute essentials in good time!
(p.s The Attic bar also serve amazing hot chocolate at the perfect temperature! Defo recommend this to everyone!)