Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London IslingtonYvette Streeter and The Crafty Gentleman Mike Aspinall at Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018

Earlier this week, I attended the annual Mollie Makes Handmade Awards. My mind is STILL buzzing from all the energy, creativity and fun! It’s events like this that make me fall in love with the craft community all over again. 🙂 I thought I’d share a few photos from the day, so you can see what we got up to.

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018

As you guys know, I was nominated for the Handmade Champion Award. Sadly, I didn’t win the prize (sob!), but to have made it to the last three finalists was amazing! Like, actually incredible. Just to be recognised as someone who is significantly impacting and championing the handmade arts is so, so, so gratifying!

As well as the actual awards, we were also treated to a day full of crafty goodness. I kicked off the day with a guided colour walk, with Toni and Zabby from In Colourful Company. We explored some of the coolest and most colourful murals in the Islington borough of London. My fave? It’s gotta be this deep royal blue wall… I have a weak spot for the colour blue!

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Colour Walk with In Colourful Company Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Colour Walk with In Colourful Company Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Colour Walk with In Colourful CompanyMollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Colour Walk with In Colourful Company

Swallow your… frog?

After a fancy pants lunch and a lot of sweating in the British heatwave (seriously, it was so freaking hot), the afternoon sessions commenced. I was spoilt rotten. As well as a macramé workshop from Peas and Needles, I also got to attend few talks about the creative biz. The super cool Sas Petherick talked to us about managing self-doubt as a creative business owner – and trust me, there’s a lot of self-doubt that happens behind the scenes! I also sat in on a panel discussion about working smarter, not harder. The panelists were great; really knowledgeable, with heaps of tips and advice to share. My favourite snippet? Swallow your frog. Basically – do the boring, unpleasant task first (i.e. swallow the frog), and save the fun stuff for later in the day.

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Macrame workshop with Peas and Needles Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Macrame workshop with Peas and Needles

The keynote talk

The day was rounded off with a talk from keynote speaker, Keith Brymer-Jones. Now, I wanna talk a bit about Keith for a second. I crossed paths with him back at the Handmade Fair… but it felt a bit weird to randomly strike up a conversation with him at the time. However, I had a few really good chats with him during the Mollie Makes Handmade Awards. I’m SO GLAD I did – he’s an absolute dude! He’s clearly got a genuine passion for encouraging the arts, which (as a fellow male maker) is incredibly inspiring to me. He’s also just a really nice guy!

Keith closed the day with a talk about his path in the craft industry. He rightfully credited shows like The Great British Sewing Bee and The Pottery Throw Down for catalysing a resurgence in the creative arts. I was hooked on every word – it was so refreshing to see someone like Keith talking so passionately about crafts!

All good things must come to an end

All too soon, the day came to a close. Before hopping on my train back to Nottingham, I grabbed some food with Cotton Clara and Oh Sew. We chatted all things craft, comparing insider tips and project ideas. It’s so great to get to spend decent time with fellow creatives – we’re all in this industry together, after all!

Mollie Makes Handmade Awards 2018 Behind the Scenes London Islington Colour Walk with In Colourful Company

With our food finished, we said our goodbyes. Overall, I’d had the most stimulating, creative and inspiring day! I left with heaps of new ideas, new contacts and new projects on the horizon. I wanna say a HUGE thanks to Mollie Makes for making this day happen. It’s certainly given me a creative boost, and reignited my love for this crazy, wonderful industry I’m a part of. 🙂 The craft world really is the best.

– Mike.