Archive for the ‘Handmade’ Category


Makers at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair





Images taken from GNCCF website. From top left to bottom right [ Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Lina Peterson, Bea Jareno]

At the weekend Neil and I visited the GNCCF (Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair), Granada Studios, Manchester. It was very busy, even though it was the last day of the exhibition. The exhibition ran from the 8th to the 11th October and as I hadn’t been to a craft event in Manchester for a while, so I decided to not miss it. You are probably by now aware that I take great interest in all types of art specialisms; fashion, interiors, illustration, textiles, photography, graphics and craft. Whenever I am able, I love going to exhibitions, especially those where you can see actual handmade products. There were plenty of beautiful items on display at the GNCCF, certainly enough to keep me happy! We’ve actually been to this particular exhibition for the last consecutive three years.

The GNCCF showcases the UK’s most talented craft designers, ranging from new graduates and makers who specialise in jewellery, ceramics and weave, to those whose forté is glass or furniture. GNCCF provides an excellent conduit for high quality and cutting edge crafters to promote and sell their work to buyers and collectors. To read more about the event, go to

I’d like to share with you just some of my favourite craft makers at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair. There were quite a few to choose from, and the list would be far too long for the blog, so I’ve selected just a few. They specialise in clothing, jewellery, textile embroidery and ceramics. The lighting wasn’t very bright and I was a bit disappointed with how my photographs turned out, so besides my own pics, I’ve sourced some from the GNCCF website. I just want to show off the maker’s work in the best light!

Makers at the Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair

Louise Gardiner

Louise Gardiner

Louise Gardiner2

I’m loving all of the colours and detailing! Look at the superb composition in the top image.

Check out Louise’s website

Marina Bauguil

Marina Bauguil


Look how super cute Marina’s little ceramic sculptures are! They’re so adorable. Marina had won ‘Best Ceramicist’ on the preview night. I thought it would be lovely to show you her certificate.

Check out Marina’s website

Sophie Alice Hirsch

Sophie Alice Hirsch


I love the contrast of soft feathers and hard metal. These pieces are edgy and modern, with a subversive aspect to them.

Check out Sophie’s website

Nicola Sutcliffe

nicola sutcliffe


Such beautiful fashion designs! Both are vintage inspired and I love the delicate fabric in the top, pale blue dress. The bottom dress reminds me of the 1940’s because of the shape – enhances the female figure, especially the waist!

Check out where you can find Nicola’s work by visiting

Katherine Lees

Katherine Lees


Pretty and delicate looking vases. I love the text transfer print patterns (top image) and also the peach glaze (bottom image).

Check out Katherine’s website

Anna Collette Hunt

Anna Collette Hunt


Look how stunning Anna’s ceramic work is. I love her beetle wall ornaments and actually bought one for myself! It will look fabulous in one of the newly decorated rooms, however, which one though!! Her figurines and candle stick holders are divine too.

Check out Anna’s website

Lisa Slinn

Lisa Slinn


I instantly fell in love with Lisa’s kitchenware ceramics. The colours and surface designs are so pretty. They have a contemporary and liquid feel. Just stunning!!

Check out Lisa’s website 

Besides established makers, the GNCCF showcases a graduate section, which is a fantastic platform for each year’s foremost, up and coming craft, design and applied, art graduates. They come not only from northern universities, but from universities across the country. These artists were chosen for their strong aesthetic flair, concepts and excellent craftsmanship within their particular discipline.

Harriet Lawton is a graduate and I met up with this wonderful, ceramic artist whilst she was producing prints derived from her current project, ‘The Object Factory’. For this, people had to pick up an invention pack, and document it by drawing the details which caught their eye. I didn’t actually have a go at this, mainly because I was so busy chatting to the makers and taking photographs for you to see here on my blog!

Here are some pieces by Harriet Lawton

Harriet Lawton

Harriet Lawton




Look how beautiful Harriet’s ceramic pieces are. I love all of the detailing and the different patterns within each piece. As you can see, Harriet is preparing one of her prints. The piece at the bottom is for her ‘The Object Factory’ project.  Do you notice the yellowish tint in the photograph?  This was caused by the lighting at the venue and was the issue I had all day!

Do check out Harriet’s website


Emma Jayne x



White chocolate apples with marshmallow and nuts recipe





Autumn is definitely here! The weather has become slightly cooler and the nights are drawing in. The leaves are changing to such beautiful, bright red, orange and yellow shades and although my back lawn was cut only a few days ago, it already has more than a scattering of fallen leaves!!

One of my favourite memories from when I was much younger, is of eating black licorice and toffee apples. In fact, only today, I decided to make some toffee apples for Yasmin, Neil and myself, but using a different recipe than the standard. Instead of the red, crispy, caramelised sugar coating, I decided to use ingredients that are much sweeter and in my opinion, much yummier! I think this white chocolate apples with marshmallow and nuts recipe is so delicious. They really are tasty and I heartily recommend that you give them a try. The marshmallow and white chocolate add a different kind of sweetness to the apples (actually very complimentary), whereas the nuts stop the apples from being too sickly-sweet.


White chocolate apples with marshmallow and nuts recipe


  • six pink lady apples
  • lolly sticks
  • 200 grams of marshmallows (cut into small chunks)
  • three bars of white chocolate
  • mixed chopped nuts
  • Oil spray


Step_1 Rinse your apples and remove the stalks. Then insert a stick into each apple and leave in the fridge for approximately twenty minutes.



Step_2 Spray a non-stick frying pan with some oil, and add four dessert spoons of water. Then add the marshmallows. At this stage, keep stirring to make sure that the marshmallow pieces don’t stick to the pan. The mixture will be ready when the marshmallows have a smooth constituency.  Now take the apples out from the fridge.



Step_3 When the marshmallows are fully melted, take off the heat and dip each apple in. Then place them on a piece of grease proof paper, which has also had a lightly sprayed layer of oil. Again, place the dipped apples back in the fridge for about twenty minutes.




Step_4 Pour in a little water into a pan, and put on the heat.  Then break the white chocolate into small chunks and place in the glass bowl, placed over the pan (making sure that there is enough water but isn’t touching the bowl). Take the chilled apples from the fridge. Let the chocolate melt slowly and stir with a wooden spoon. When you have melted chocolate, dip the marshmallow coated apples in to it, then again into the chopped nuts, so that they get coated with those. Place each apple on a piece of oiled, grease-proof paper and again, chill in the fridge.



Violá, your white chocolate apples with marshmallow and nuts are done. Enjoy!




If you fancy having a go at baking a different variety, then check out these three alternatives.

Chocolate chip cookie dough caramel apples 7

Chocolate chip cookie dough caramel apples by

Toffee apples by



S’Mores apples by


Have you got any tasty apple recipes you’d like to share?


Emma Jayne x