Buying British & Handmade

Support Handmade! Copyright Kate Brazier (KateCreates).

I love taking advantage of worldwide social media to encourage and publicise the success of artists & craftspeople. I also feel that if you want to support British industry the best way you can do that nowadays is to buy locally and/or from small business. There are lots of awesome people who are stepping out to live their dreams of producing their own work to sell – without your support they can only continue for so long. It is wonderful to see such great examples whilst our country seems to fill full of managers and bankers (even if there are some very good/nice managers and bankers)… Recently, however, I have had the opportunity to buy gifts from a number of exciting sources and thought I’d share them with you all. Enjoy!

(Clicking on photographs will take you to the attached pages.)

Ali Read’s Cakes

Ali is someone I knew in Birmingham but sadly I’ve got to admit never having had the chance to taste her lovely cakes in all the time I was there. However, when it came to missing a friend’s wedding (also in Birmingham) it seemed like an excellent idea to deliver freshly made, custom designed cupcakes as a sorry/congratulations treat. I asked for them to be somewhat related to a Wendy House (inside joke/phrase of sorts) but also wedding related. Ali managed to design a lovely selection of six cakes for a remarkably reasonable price.

If you are in the area and need a lip-licking cakes decorated to your satisfaction, why not look up Ali Read’s Cakes on Facebook and send her a request. In the past there have also been awesome Mother’s Day and other holiday-related options… personally I’d be tempted just to eat them all but giving gifts are nice too!

Although not what we ordered, who wouldn't want a tasty marshmallow sheep?
Although not what we ordered, who wouldn’t want a tasty marshmallow sheep? Copyright Ali Read.

Iain Challis Photography

I have talked about Iain’s work before but this time round I sent one of my favourites to a wonderful ginger friend of mine as a birthday present. I love buying prints from awesome photographers and artists because it captures a little bit of their creativity to put forever in your home. It’s such a simple thing but it beats those boring flower canvas prints you can buy in every supermarket home decor aisle.

Nature is remarkably beautiful! Copyright Iain Challis.
Nature is remarkably beautiful! Copyright Iain Challis.


Gillian Gamble

This wonderful woman in another artist I’ve mentioned before but recently I’ve loved all her map prints. They are so simple and yet so delicate I couldn’t help getting a specific one for a friend’s birthday. I would highly recommend checking out her Facebook page for her latest works and her webpage for her uploaded options to buy from her shop.

Got to have love for St Andrews Alumni! Copyright Gillian Gamble.
Got to have love for St Andrews Alumni! Copyright Gillian Gamble.


This was a find on Etsy and I love the recycled and colourful nature of the products available. Bear & I chose a particularly lovely necklace but one of the lovely things about it (or not-so-lovely depending on your control levels) is that although we pick a design, each actual gift will be slightly different – it is the wonder of handmade! This piece is something that no-one else can ever own and is perfect for someone who is as individual and great as a good friend.

If I could do this with all my leftover art supplies I'd be a happy woman!
If I could do this with all my leftover art supplies I’d be a happy woman! Copyright UpcycledByZincWhite.

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