People Who Make Stuff, you are awesome. You’ve let me into your amazing world and, for the last six years, you’ve let me poke around wherever and however I want.
Hundreds of you have answered my questions, from the profound (why do you really do this?) to the inane (what’s your worst craftastrophe?). You’ve invited me to your events, made me cups of tea and handed me much-needed pints of cider, even let me speak at a few.
You’ve helped me fill columns and features in almost every national newspaper, given me a reason to appear on TV and radio and helped me fulfil a lifetime dream to write a book. Many of you are proper friends too. You’re people who I fully expect to be hanging out with in 10 years time.
Not many people can say all that.
I started writing about you guys, the maker movement, as a bit of hobby. It was something I did after work (as a features and celebrity editor), for fun. This blog was a place to document the stuff I was doing, from features to interviews to events, plus a place to write about anything I couldn’t fit into commissioned articles.
These days, it’s harder to write this blog. I’m still following what you guys are doing (and it’s ACE – I’m especially excited about The Crafts Council’s new education manifesto) but I write about it a lot less. There’s less time to speak at events and accept commissions from newspapers and magazines because my 9-5 is suddenly my 24/7. 12 months ago I joined a start-up and, 12 months later, things are going exceptionally well. Mastered is an investor-backed online fashion school and I spend every waking minute thinking about how to make it better. I like to think I’m helping the designers and creatives among you more than I ever have before.
So this is the last post of Make and Do With Perri. I don’t do anything I can’t do well, and I’m really not doing this blog well. So let me end it with a big thank you. You guys have been awesome. Stay in touch.
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I’ve spent the last 18 months hiding three Pinterest boards, on wedding dresses, wedding decorations and wedding flowers. See them at Pinterest.com/perrilewis. If you’re looking for something a little different (but not too left field), they might give you a few ideas.
Stay tuned for snaps of the wedding.
The one thing I learnt: Use Pinterest wisely. Sure, it’s amazing for inspiration, but the minute you start to feel like your wedding will never be as picture-perfect as the shots you’ve pinned, remember that it’s not real life (the bestest shots are usually super-styled). It took one of my bridesmaids talking straight to me to realise I was becoming a Pinterest mental.
I finally wrote a style guide for Mastered.com, which I shared with producers, directors and editors this week. It’s amazing how doing something you’ve been putting off for so long is so revitalising.
What I learned: I should put aside a few minutes a day to do things I want to do for long term, rather than letting the daily tasks get in the way.
We hung out at Hand and Lock tonight, the 250-year-old embroidery house who work with everyone from Louis Vuitton to the royal family. It was a collaboration with Pinterest UK and Mastered and the studio was full of bloggers, journalists and super pinners (aka the Pinterati, apparently) learning how to do goldwork embroidery.
I tried: goldwork embroidery for the first time. I rather like it.
I met: Hand and Lock’s head of design, Scott Heron, who was wearing a fabulous oversized white shirt and beautiful eyeliner.
I learnt: There’s a reason why couture dresses like this are so expensive – it takes a bloody long time to do.
I’ve been away.
Four months of filming, fashion and frolics.
Here’s some behind-the-scenes snaps from our recent shoot with one of the most exciting milliners working today, Piers Atkinson.
For the last couple of months I’ve been working on a secret project which I can now unveil. Mastered is a place where creatives can get access to the world’s best teachers, take online courses and secure exclusive career opportunities to help grow their business. It’s pretty exciting stuff – there’s nothing out there like this. I really hope that you like it.
There’s a couple of things I’m particularly proud of:
• We’ve put Hatton Garden-quality teaching online for the first time, ever. Holts Academy have a strong heritage in London and people across the world can now learn how to cast, at home, without the need for expensive equipment. It means jewellers wanting to up their game can, in their own time, on any device.
• We’ve brought Diana Springall, the first lady of embroidery, online. As a tutor, lecturer and artist she is in-demand across the world and she’s a very, very special lady. And on this creative embroidery course, you can have direct access to her anytime of the day or night and learn her unique way of designing and stitching.
• We’ve partnered with Hand and Lock, one of the most incredible heritage brands in this country: the 250-year-old embroidery company work with everyone from Louis Vuitton and Kate Moss to the Queen. On this tambour beading course we teach milliners, fashion designs, embroiderers, jewellers and all manner of designer-makers to bead in the same way as Parisian couture houses do.
I’d love to hear what you think of it – if you have any thoughts, feedback and advice please do let me know on perri [at] mastered [dot] co. And, because you’ve all been so good to me over the last few years, I’m delighted to be able to give my blog readers a whopping 25% off all courses until the end of January. Just use the code THANX.
Available from February 15.
Mister Bob Brian, a dark tribute to the great paper cutter himself, is just absolutely wonderful.
Look how lovely is looks!