Studio build day 3 & 4

Studio build day 3 & 4

Tuesday night the lads didn’t finish pouring concrete for the posts (for the whole studio to sit on) until almost midnight. Thanks HSS for turning up with the mixer at 7.30pm! Grrr.IMG_6488.JPG
Sean and I went to Bethnal Green to collect a HUGE sash window which had been donated to the studio by the lovely Juliet. It is big enough to function as a passage out to the back garden behind the studio which is great. There’s been so much goodwill towards this project. it’s been brilliant. Obviously a lot of the capital has been raised through crowd funding but there’s been materials donated too as well as time by friends who want to come and help me paint the studio next week.

Anyway. Wednesday morning broke with 6 lovely concrete pillars for the studio to sit on. First thing in the morning a big truck with wood turned up. Cannot believe this will all fit into my garden!! It took the lads three hours at least to carry it all in. Not even one tiny plant was bent and they somehow squeezed it all in!The whole day was spent building the base platform. Once that was in situ it was easy to see just exactly how big this studio was going to be!IMG_6489.JPG

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Look at those cats being curious. Especially Theo (the Siamese looking one), I’m surprised he didn’t turn up stuck in a concrete post or nailed to the subfloor as he is SO curious!IMG_6513.JPG

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Today was a momentous day. The base structure was covered with insulation, OSB plates and suddenly I had a dance floor! IMG_6525.JPG

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I have been busy planning how it will all look, storage, lights and what to do with the floor. I LOVE this part! I am making blinds for all 3 windows and probably curtains for the door too to keep out the cold. The outside will be painted a blue-grey shade called Misty Lake and the floor will be stained a dark oak.And then just before the lads left they pulled up the first wall structure they had built. We cracked open a bottle of rose and toasted the build. Seb and Joe are the nicest people you could have on site, like mates I could met in the 80s but somehow didn’t. It is a joy having morning coffee and a singalong to Radio 6 and regular chats during the day. I will miss them when they’ve gone home again! Suddenly it is looking very exciting (even more exciting!!) and HUGE! It will be about 2.5m at the front with a  slightly sloping roof, and 5.5m by 4m floor space.IMG_6535.JPG

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Day two of the studio build

Day two of the studio build

Today was a frustrating one for the lads. The hired concrete mixer is STILL “on it’s way”, it’s now 6.30pm, and they had to drink tea and eat biccies for a bit as they had run out of things to do. Strangely they didn’t like that as they like being busy!
They are going make concrete posts for the studio to sit on so they have built the moulds for these and some of the materials arrived making the garden a very full place. The kids are still able to use the trampoline but maybe not when the wood turns up tomorrow!

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IMG_6485.JPGBuilder’s necessities: cake, fags, radio 6, tea and biscuits. I just found out that Joe lives in what used to be my office when I worked for Rough Trade Distribution. Weird huh?!IMG_6481.JPG

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Day one of the studio build

Day one of the studio build

Day one was actually just half a day as Seb and Joe, my amazing builders, arrived at 1 ish. However they achieved millions in the four hours or so they were at work. First they set about demolishing a whole shed, scaring away many spiders in the process (including some fearsome and large False Widow spiders)

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I may re-use the shed panels as fence panels as they are in good condition. As my back neighbours have an impressive collection of dead fridges and lawnmower a in their garden it may be nice to put up a proper fence!

Then collectively we cleared the ground, I was pulling up the remaining sticks an roots of the Kerria Japonica that had spread like crazy whilst poor Joe was hacking away at the stump of the Mahonia that until last week had been a good 2.5 high and about 3m wide! More spiders were relocated in the process 😉

Materials were ordered, tea was drunk, funny stories exchanged and all of that in gorgeous sunshine. By 5ish the boundary of the studio was roughly marked out and cleared and I watched the sun set over a garden filled with rubble sacks full of ivy, brambles and bits of shrub. I pulled up some more nasty bindweed roots and finally stopped for the day.

Here’s some pictures of what it looked like last night:

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Cheekyhandmades Bloganniversary!

Cheekyhandmades Bloganniversary!

Ok ok I’m a month late but all the same, let’s celebrate.

Cheekyhandmades has been around for 4 years. In these four years it’s gone from a tiny spark of a dream to a grown up company. From trailing my makes around local craft fairs in the beginning to where I am now has been a long but interesting and fun journey.

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Cheekyhandmades now is much much more than I ever could have hoped for. I teach a lot of sewing classes, both in small groups and private classes. I make bespoke quilts for people (they are in my etsy.com/shop/handmadebycheeky shop). I service and repair a lot of sewing machines and make people smile when I put their trusty steed back on the road ;-). I even still sometimes to fairs. I am about to build a studio in the back garden as I’ve outgrown my current workspace.

It’s been a great four years. I’ve met hundreds of fantastic people and some of them have become great friends. I’ve taught a lot and learnt even more. I’ve loved every minute of it.

Here’s to many many more years!

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Studio for cheekyhandmades, update

Studio for cheekyhandmades, update

All the crowdfunding campaigns are over. All the money is safely in a savings account. I’ve met with a local designer and plans are advanced. Work will start at the end of June and it will take around 6 weeks to complete. The studio will incorporate lots of found, reclaimed, donated and freecycled materials, and will be completed by a cute log burner to keep me (and my students) toasty in the winter months.

I am very excited and also very very chuffed and grateful for all the help and tweets and donations and kind words that everyone has shown me and cheekyhandmades.

You’re all invited to the opening party!!

In the meantime I’m still teaching in my current space, small intimate classes as per usual. The full schedule is here: http://bookwhen.com/cheekyhandmades

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New quilt commission

New quilt commission

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It has been ages since I’ve been commissioned to make a new quilt and I’ve missed it. A lovely local woman who’s got 6 month old twins (as well as two older children) donated money to my crowdfunding campaign in exchange for two quilts for the babies.

We had a meeting and she showed me some lovely things she had collected for their room including the playmat above. I then went away and came up with a design and bought some fabric and now I’m working on them.

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I’m making a central panel for each with their name on it, and their twins name worked into it too, and I’m using scrappy log cabin blocks around the outside. They are big blocks, about 10″ square. So much fun to make!

I have lots of other work I should be getting on with but I’m addicted to these blocks and the yummy colours

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Watch this space for more and don’t forget there’s still time to get your own heavily discounted quilt, or sewing classes, by donating to the crowd funding cause for a new sewing studio here.

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cheeky handmades