Posts by simon

2018 Mugs for Newtown

We’re very proud of our relationship with Newtown Primary School in Exeter; we’ve been providing their leavers mugs every year for a decade!

These hand made mugs with the school logo are given to every student who leaves school at the end of the Summer term.

Our custom ceramics are great for schools like Newtown, clubs, or your office – or maybe even just for your family.

We can paint any logo and message, or even transfer a photograph or other artwork.

Drop us a line to find out more about our custom ceramics!

June 16th, 2018

Posted In: Product Focus

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Tips for a Flippin’ Great Pancake Day

Everybody loves a pancake, whether you’re getting ready to observe Lent or just looking for an excuse to enjoy something sweet and unhealthy after your January diet. The thing is though, for some people, making pancakes can be a bit of a worry when you only do it once a year. We don’t want to cheat and buy a bottle of batter, or even worse (gasp!) buy ready-made pancakes. So I’ve put some tips together to help you make the best Pancake Day you can.

Plan ahead. Start to get things ready an hour before you want to eat. Make sure everyone knows what time you’ll be serving up, because they get cold so quickly! Put all the toppings out on the table with a big pile of spoons, and squeeze your lemons before you turn the hob on.

Tidy up. You’re going to be working fast and you don’t need anything in the way to trip you up. Keep a clear path between the kitchen and the dining table, and have a stack of plates ready to go. Put your batter ingredients away once the batter’s made. Keep your batter bowl or jug to the left of the hob and a stack of serving plates on the right.

Be patient. Let that pan heat up before you put anything in it.

Be brave. Pancakes that haven’t been tossed just don’t taste as good. For the perfect toss, imagine you’re bouncing a tennis ball on a racket. Just before you flick your wrist up, move your elbow forward about 2-3 inches. Keep your eye on the pancake while it’s in the air. Toss each pancake once, when the edges are curling and the surface is set. (Alright, do it a few times, show-off…)

Have reinforcements. If you can, when you get to frying, have another adult on hand, ready to step in. You’re going to want to eat too, and in the time it takes you to scoff a pancake, you’ll have burned the next one!

Put the first pancake in the bin. Nobody wants that stodgy mess.

Turn the extractor on. Because everybody burns at least one!

February 7th, 2016

Posted In: Food

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Thanks for a Wonderful 2015 at MakeArt!

Artie at St John's School, Sidmouth

We have had a very exciting year at MakeArt! It has been the first full year of our new company, which began with the closure of the Exeter shop in September 2014. We’ve really found our feet as a business now, and are looking forward to great things in 2016! What’s more, we have made something even more special… there’s a MakeArt baby on the way too!

The best thing about running the business has been getting out and about for events, because it means we get to meet lots of new people face-to-face, which is something we really miss since we’ve been online. 2015 saw us trying lots of new events, as well as visiting some old favourites from 2014. We’ve picked a few highlights to share with you.

Did we meet you at one of these events? Let us know in the comments!

MakeArt at the Beehive

MakeArt at the Beehive

April: Honiton Beehive

In April we returned to the Beehive, a fab, brand new Community Centre in Honiton. Honiton is our home town since leaving Exeter, so it’s always a pleasure to exhibit here, and see some of our regular home crowd. Thanks as always go to Lynn, David, Sylvia and the whole team for putting on a wonderful event which gets better every time.

A Giraffe, at the Donkey Sanctuary

A Giraffe, at the Donkey Sanctuary

May: Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary

One of East Devon’s most visited attractions is the Donkey Sanctuary at Sidmouth. The team there do a lot of great work rescuing donkeys from all over the world and and caring for them at their lovely base amongst the rolling pastures above the coast. This was our second time at the Donkey Sanctuary and it was a pleasure to return.

Artie, Michael Eavis & the Lawrence Centre Team

Artie, Michael Eavis & the Lawrence Centre Team. Photo by Philip Welch

May: The Lawrence Centre, Wells

Based in Wells, the Lawrence Centre is a respite care establishment for people suffering from Dementia. We attended a fundraising fair and met some of the locals who use these facility, and it was a very touching experience for us. Simon wrote a blog post about the day back in May. We hope we can help the Lawrence Centre more in the future.

Simon meeting the Owls at Dartmoor Zoo

Simon meeting the Owls at Dartmoor Zoo

May: Dartmoor Zoo

May was a busy month for us! We attended our first two-day event at Dartmoor Zoo, where our Decopatch animals met some of their real-life counterparts. Dartmoor Zoo is a wonderful place to visit, and we managed to find the time to meet lots of the animals too. We definitely hope to return!

Artie on the Beach at Lyme Regis

Artie on the Beach at Lyme Regis

June: Lyme Regis Shopping Fair

Venturing over the border into Dorset, we spent a day at the seaside in Lyme Regis. Some of the early morning joggers were surprised to see a giraffe at the beach!

St. John's School Chapel, Sidmouth

St. John’s School Chapel, Sidmouth

November: St. John’s International School, Sidmouth

November saw us set up shop for the Christmas Fair at St. John’s School, in the rather grand setting of the chapel. Artie made himself at home on the stage, while we were serenaded by the choir. It was a pleasure to work with all of the staff, and special mention has to go to the very polite and friendly pupils.

MakeArt at Ruby Country Market

MakeArt at Ruby Country Market

December: Ruby Country Market

In Early December, we revisited a great market in Hatherleigh, near Okehampton, called the Ruby country market. It takes place at a huge livestock market and there are what feels like hundreds of different stalls, selling just about anything you could think of. If you’ve never been, we thoroughly recommend you do next year!

Happy New Year!

Well, that’s been our year in summary! We hope you have had as exciting a year as us, and wish you all very well for 2016 and beyond!

December 29th, 2015

Posted In: News

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MakeArt’s Bank Holiday Trip to Dartmoor Zoo

We were down at Dartmoor Zoo on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th of May, for their Food & Craft Fair. We had a wonderful time introducing our Decopatch animals to the real animals, even if some of the real animals were a little shy!

Dartmoor Zoo is a great day out for all the family. As well as some of the bigger, more exotic animals, there is a walkthorugh petting zoo where kids can get up close with goats, deer, peacocks, chickens and more.

We hope to be back at Dartmoor very soon, but in the meantime, here’s our photo gallery from the day – we hope you enjoy it!

May 28th, 2015

Posted In: Events

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The Lawrence Centre and Dementia Care in Wells

On Saturday 16th May, we took our craft stall to the city of Wells in Somerset. Wells, if you don’t know, is famous for its beautiful Cathedral, and for being the setting of Sandford in Hot Fuzz. Fame aside, it’s a beautiful place, and we signed up for the event at the Lawrence centre for that reason.

We knew the event was a charity fundraiser but didn’t know an awful lot about the work that went on at the Lawrence Centre until we arrived.


MakeArt's stall at the Lawrence Centre,  Wells

MakeArt’s stall at the Lawrence Centre, Wells


It turns out that the Lawrence centre is a kind of day centre for people suffering from dementia, with the aim of allowing their carers, be they friends or family members, some valuable rest time.

Dementia has touched both of our families here at MakeArt, as I’m sure it must have done yours. Medicine is slowly learning how to keep our bodies around for longer, but for many, the awful conditions that affect the mind with age are becoming more and more common.

Sian’s grandmother sadly passed away a few years ago after being afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. I have two grandparents suffering with different kinds of dementia.

We all care for our loved ones when they’re ill, and when they get older, of course we do. But we don’t always realise the toll it takes on our own lives. Here at MakeArt, we know what it means to work all day every day, but add to that the emotional turmoil of watching someone you love suffer and erode, and there’s no comparison.

What the Lawrence Centre provides is valuable rest time for carers, along with the peace of mind that their loved ones are safe, in the capable hands of Maggie and her team.

Dementia Care in Wells

Wells, like much of the West Country, has a large older population, which means that the effects of Dementia are more widespread. There is a campaign under way to make Wells a Dementia Friendly City, which will mean training for shop owners, bus drivers and other professionals who deal with the public, to help them spot the signs of someone in distress, and to know what to do to help.

However, the campaign is facing an uphill struggle because the local council is cutting funding for dementia care as a result of continued austerity measures passed down by central government. Members of the community are working to petition local government and raise funds to help keep care going. Political statements aside (don’t get me started!) it’s simply not fair that the ill should suffer more just to balance the books. That good people are willing to give their time and love to help with what is a terribly difficult job is inspiring.

As Britain’s population ages, initiatives like this will no-doubt begin to happen everywhere. We were touched though, to see the dedication of the people we met in Wells, and I wanted to write this blog to help in what little way we can.


May 26th, 2015

Posted In: News

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