Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Jubilee Jubilation

Well with only a week to go the whole of the UK seems to have gone all Red, White and Blue
Our talented creative types here at Made in Newcastle have also been busy making and designing some beautiful Jubilee inspired items just for you. 

First up for your delectation is this truly stunning range of products from The Spotted Sparrow, which includes a whole host of wonderful greetings cards, invitations and my personal favorite, the gorgeous framed birth announcement, a perfect christening gift.

If you have a summer wedding why not dress to impress with this wonderful hat from Ashleigh.Pip.

Now you have the hat your going to need some fabulous footwear and a simply stunning bag. These fantastic up-cycled, one of a kind items from BoBu Couture will certainly turn heads. 

Time to add those finishing touches with some Jubilee inspired necklaces from G's Bazaar. The delicate key and crown pendant adds just a hint of royal flair and I'm sure there is going to be more than one or two tea parties over this long weekend, so how about this little porcelain teapot.

To finish off your outfit just add this chunky bracelet from Nancy Pants. Nancy Pants has also been adding the royal touch to some of her fantastic homewears.

If your looking for a Union Jack inspired gift then look no further then the brilliant cosmetic bags and phone cases from Boho Raspberry.  

If you would prefer something for your home then why not check out our good friend from Made in Newcastle, now Made in the Highlands

Hope you all have a joyous jubilee long weekend, why not drop us a line and let us know what crafty things you have made to celebrate, we really love to see what you have been creating. 

Much Love from MiN   

Monday, 14 May 2012

Works Well with Others

You've had the daily conversation with the cat, tidied up the house and now you're catching up on your blog reading. If you fancy a change in pace how about swapping your cat chat for a coffee break, your house tidy for a quick inspiration session with fresh minds on the topic and your daily blog read for a sneaky peak over a co-workers shoulder at their latest project. Maybe you'll even find someone to collaborate with on your own latest project.

Made In Newcastle
Setting up the shop way back when, it's teamwork! - photo by Paul Thompson

Newcastle, as I pointed out last post, is full of social things to do if you're a creative type. So what about actually getting some work done? That can be done in good company too and what better way to meet a strong and supportive group of friends, with their own connections, resources and skills. It'll only be a matter of time before you're sharing skills, organising to swap resources and getting to know your brand new connections.

Co-working days? I don't know, they sound corporate and expensive...
Rest assured, they're not, a good selection of them are completely free. Some happen in a pub or cafe, no office cubicles for you.

Here are a few of the co-working days that I've learned about recently. I'm sure there are many more, so feel free to add your own by commenting on this post.

Space 2 Create
Space 2 Create meets weekly at the Settle Down Cafe, Wednesdays 6pm-8pm. All creative types are welcome and encouraged to take part in skill shares, participate in creative events and happenings and indeed organise their own using the combined support and skills of the group.
Space 2 Create is taking a small break for the summer, as most of it's members are involved in festival season workshops, however the Facebook group stays open all year round and is a great platform for sharing ideas and plans on.

Maker Space Newcastle
Described as a "communal garden shed full of mad inventors", the Maker Space is based in The Cottage, located round the back of the Star and Shadow Cinema. Maker Space is the ideal place for you if you've ever taken apart your old console or wondered how to get that Commodore64 in the loft working again. You can come along to one of their drop in sessions between 6pm and 8pm every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month for free to find out what it's all about. There is a small monthly membership fee of £10 which pays for all the things you might use at Maker Space (wifi, consumables, buying new equipment etc.), which is explained fully on on their Join Us page.

Newcastle Jelly
"A casual co-working event for freelancers, homeworkers, small/micro business owners or anyone who wants to work somewhere different alongside others". I had a chat on Twitter with @NewcastleJelly and it sounds like the kind of event where you could get a great mixture of creatives and makers. I imagine Bar Loco (their venue) being filled with designers, knitters, illustrators, writers and more. Jelly is a relatively new event so there's no expectations and the group is very welcoming to new people. I'll be at the next one myself, you can book tickets (free, it's just so they have the right amount of spaces) on their Eventbrite page. Newcastle Jelly is every other Tuesday, from 10.30 until 5.30, you don't have to stay all day and it's free.

Okay, maybe you want something a bit more office based? How about these then?

Toffee Factory Sunset

The Toffee Factory
One of the newest additions to the Ouseburn area, the Toffee Factory is full of offices, communal spaces and meeting rooms that can be accessed as part of the shared office space for only £10 a day. So if you're not ready for a permanent space yet but might fancy one in the future "these high quality workstations allow you to get a foothold at the heart of the North East’s newest creative industries community". You'll be sharing the building with some fantastic creative businesses and agencies, small and big. You can contact their team for more info on the shared office space, they're lovely people.

Newcastle Business Village
Flexible desk space for freelancers, homeworkers and self-employed folks. With access to wifi, scanner, photocopier, fax and meeting spaces while you work. Newcastle Business Village also offers advice and support to help build your business, with options for a flexible membership scheme or £10 plus VAT per a day to use the space.

Other events that might be of interest to creative minded people:

The Late Shows - Happening on Friday the 18th and Saturday the 19th May. "The Late Shows is a free culture crawl around Newcastle and Gateshead with many popular venues normally closed in the evening opening their doors after hours on a Friday and Saturday night." Some of the highlights for me will be Northern Print, The Biscuit Factory and oh who am I kidding? I want to do it all. Two nights had better be enough.

Global Sustainability Jam - "One weekend in October, creative, passionate people will meet, form teams & get to work in an energetic, global, face-to-face event. They'll have fun creating brand-new real-world designs, projects and initiatives which might make a difference."

The Big Draw - I've heard there will be a Big Draw in Newcastle this year. The Big Draw is held in October in cities across the country,  with the aim to raise the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. "The Big Draw is now a month-long festival of over 1500 events organised by national and regional museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries, schools and community centres across the UK." Start sharpening your pencils now!

If you're organising a creative event or know of one we would be interested in, please pass on the details. MiN is always excited to know new people and get involved in new things. See you next update. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Getting Out!

I'm self employed and work from home (like many of the MiN gang), that means that I spend most of working day alone. There are certainly perks, I don't have to tailor my music to others tastes and only have to make one cup of tea when I go to the kitchen. In this situation it's easy to feel cut off from the creative community and as a result lose inspiration, motivation and patience with your work.

Made in Newcastle, 'History & that' launch
Made in Newcastle Art & That Launch - photo by Mike D

You are not the only creative person in town. There are many social events for the creative community in Newcastle, they cater for all sorts of creative folk, photographers, illustrators, designers, knitters, crafters and more. Here are a few of the groups, regular social events and creative hang-outs that happen in Newcastle:

Design Interest - If you're reading this there's a good chance that you appreciate good design. Every month or so Design Interest gets together to talk design with regulars and guests doing quick presentations on a design related topic. The group is a great place to share your latest project with friends and receive useful critique.


Newcastle Photo Walk - Regular meets organised either on the Flickr group or on Twitter using the #npwalk tag. A great chance to get the camera (or phone) out and take some good photos of absolutely anything you like. The walks usually begin and end in a cafe or pub so there's lots of socialising to be had.

Paper Jam Comics Collective - The stereotype of the comics fan is a 30-something year old basement dweller with bad bathing habits. The Paper Jam Comics Collective throw all of those stereotypes out of the window, proving once and for all that comics are for everyone. The collective meets in Travelling Man on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, talks, draws and generally has a laugh. We'll ignore the fact that the meets happen in the basement.

Dr Sketchy's Newcastle - Usually held on a Sunday afternoon in our fair city. Life drawing with a difference. Have a drink, get out your art supplies and get ready to be thoroughly entertained. Life drawing meets burlesque and cabaret, giving you a chance to draw people in the most wonderful costumes and out of them too.

Tyneside Knitting Club - Get yourself set up in the Tyneside Cinema with a glass of wine, some knitting and great company, what more could you ask for?

Newcastle Improv - Meeting at the Mixer in Jesmond for relaxed improv classes on a regular basis. This is a great confidence boost for anybody who might be worried about public speaking but also a great way to meet some friends and have a laugh.

Tyne Twestival - It's been all quiet on the Tyne Twestival front recently. With Twitter being so mainstream now the last event was huge, the Twestival has gradually given way to more regular and small Tweet-Ups organised by groups of friends. If you're on Twitter why not give us a follow (we're @min_tweets) and we'll see about organising our own Tweet-Up.

The Geekest Drink - Spent the staring at a computer screen? Need a drink in an good pub with excellent company? In their own words "There's loads of brilliant networking events for us techies in the north-east ... That's not what we're about - we just want to get a bunch of geeks around a table. Think making friends, not contacts."

Maybe you haven't found what you're looking for? Arrange something, invite some people, let us know. I'd love to come along.
Have I missed off your favourite creative social event? I'm sorry, leave a comment letting us know the good times we're missing.

I'll be posting about co-working spaces and events next week. If you have any suggestions for what to include please get in touch.