Handcrafted Gifts for the Young at Heart
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Thanks for visiting.
This is a just a selection of my work which started as a way of relaxing after the day job and kind of took over. I have a little workshop (shed!) at the back of my house in Cheshire where I can often be found drilling, cutting, trimming and framing! If there's anything you fancy or if you'd like something bespoke just drop me a line.
Lots of love
© 2017 by Michelle Daniel
SHINING A LIGHT ON ARTISAN UPCYCLING
FLYING HIGH WITH UPCYCLED GIFTS
I grew up on the island of Guernsey in the Channel Islands, spending most of my spare time on the beach and swimming in the sea. When I was old enough I couldn’t get off the island quick enough as found the 8 miles by 5 miles a little restrictive! I was working for the BBC on the island so transferred to the ‘mainland’ and ended up in cold and snowy Lancashire (Blackburn to be precise).
I Worked for BBC Radio Lancashire for a few years before heading to the city lights of Manchester. Living in the city didn’t appeal to me, so I then moved to Cheshire to raise my family. Still with the BBC and back where it all began in Guernsey.
BESPOKE MINIFIGURES WITH A BIG PRESENCE
I always had a creative side but between work and raising 2 sons, I never seemed to be able to get time to make much more than the occasional card! The job was getting increasingly stressful – being a news editor in a city like Manchester wasn’t all sunshine and oranges, so needed to find a way to relax. There was a shed in the garden which had been a playhouse, so I converted it into a workshop and sat on a stool waiting for inspiration.
This was when I spotted a box of minifigures left over from the playhouse days and made my first handmade picture as a gift for a family member who wanted to be a chef. And that was it! My life as an artisan producer was born! Thousands of figures later the workshop now resembles Frankenstein’s laboratory with trays of body parts!
UPCYCLED GIFTS THAT LIGHT UP ANY ROOM
BRINGING VINTAGE TO THE TABLE
My other great love is teapots, coffee pots and ‘proper’ teacups. I love them! So much nicer than what you get today. But cupboards couldn’t take the strain with all the rescued pottery coming home so I needed to find something to do with them. After a fair bit of trial and error using plates to get used to drilling the ceramic (resulting in lots of broken dishes!) the upcycled tea and coffee pot lamps were born. No two of my artisan product designs are the same. Each piece is unique as they are created using vintage pots and cups.
I started to sell my artisan products at markets which was thanks to the growth in popularity in artisan events. My first artisan market was in Sandbach just once a month and now I sell my handmade goods all over Cheshire, the North West and Staffordshire. I try to make sure I get at least 2 days a month to produce my handmade goods, but this doesn’t always happen! I’m still working full time so often ‘making’ has to be done when I get home at night.
I’ll certainly keep doing markets as they are my shop window and I love meeting people and seeing them laugh and smile at the pictures. I have a website which I’d like to develop but I’ll stay small and select. I love what I do and I wouldn’t want that to change by getting too big. My favourite orders are where I’m asked to recreate someone as a minifigure. I love the reaction when the finished picture is sent for final approval.
When I’m not with the little people in their Lego minifigure display cases (!) I love poking around finding pots and cups to turn into lamps. To be able to give a new lease of life and purpose to a beautiful piece of ceramic is hugely satisfying. The stories they could tell!