Friday, 17 October 2014

Crime Zine

As we have probably mentioned on this blog a number of times, we both love murder mysteries. Whether they're books, films or TV series, we lap them all up. To celebrate our passion for detectives and amateur sleuths, we decided to put together a zine full of our favourite TV characters. It's got 16 pages of biographies and illustrations and it's been bound by hand, like all your favourite Young Explorer zines.

It includes:
Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote
Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks (Very topical)
Sherlock Holmes
Miss Marple
Dr Mark Sloan from Diagnosis Murder.

You can buy it dead easily from our Big Cartel shop, which has been spruced up a little recently. You can have a look at our other zines while you're there too!

Who's your favourite TV detective? Have we missed out someone obvious? Let us know. It's too late to be included in Crime Zine now, but maybe we can make a Crime Zine Part Two at some point with the best of the rest!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Brussels Fun: Mini Europe

We've recently been to Brussels (by recently I mean well over a month ago now) for a weekend and had a great time. You can see another one of our little holiday videos here, if watching grainy footage of other people's fun is your kind of thing. One of the highlights of the trip was going to Mini Europe, which aims to represent every EU member state in model form.

I've been previously but this was Liz's first opportunity to go on a tour of Europe without having to walk more than half a mile. She was pretty bowled over by the whole thing, I think. The interactive exhibits (watch the video for some examples), the plethora of amazing photo opportunities, not to mention the very friendly EU turtle mascot guy all contributed to a super fun morning. Here's some photos!

We'd definitely recommend going if you happen to find yourselves in Brussels. It's a little bit pricey and you'll probably think 'surely a badly dated miniature representation of Europe isn't worth that much' but you'd be wrong. And when you do go, make sure you have your photo taken with the mascot and buy it in key ring form. And then send us a photo of it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Raccoon Brooch Custom Etsy Order

Last month we received a custom order request on Etsy from a lovely person in Canada. In case you can't tell, it's a raccoon! I enjoyed making something a bit different to the fox, badger, bear and mountain brooches that are part of the regular Young Explorer 'collection'.

Let me know if you have an idea for a brooch design that you'd like me to make! 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Chapess Zine Launch Party

As we may have mentioned loads of times on this blog, we also attempt to run Salford Zine Library when we're not doing other things. This past weekend we were fortunate enough to host the launch of the next issue of the super great Cherry Styles' super great zine The Chapess (buy yours now). 

As part of the launch do, we held a little zine making workshop and here's the scanned in pages for the terrible 8 page zine called 'Hiya' that we put together in about three hours.

Disclaimer: one of us was very tired and the other isn't very good at anything vaguely artistic.

We're going to Brussels for the weekend tomorrow so prepare yourselves for another grainy video type thing documenting the things we get up to while we're away.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Get Crafty #1: Pompom Hair Band

I have been finding it difficult to motivate myself to do crafty things recently, so thought I'd do a few simple tutorials for the blog. Here's the first one!

My motto in life is that everything can be improved if you put some pompoms on it and that’s why I thought I would share this super quick and easy tutorial for making your own pompom hair band, which will brighten up any outfit.

To make a pompom hair band you will need:

1. The first thing you need to do is decide on what order you would like your pom poms to go around your hair band. I decided to just go for a random order but if you are going for a pattern it’s best to check now that you have enough of each colour before you start.

2. Once you have worked out the order you then need to thread your needle with the cotton and tie a knot at the bottom. It is best to double up your cotton to make it stronger. For my cotton I picked black (the same colour as the hair band) to try and hide the stitches as much as possible.

3. You then need to start to sew the pompoms on to the hair band in your prearranged order. For my hair bands I have started by sewing my first pompom on to the hair band about 6cm away from the end to allow space for the hairband to go behind my ears.

4. Decide where you want your first pompom to go and then start by doing one or two stitches just into the hair band to make sure that the cotton is secured.

5. Then put the needle through the middle of your first pompom and secure it in place on to the hair band. To make sure that the pompom will stay in place repeat this process two or three times.

6. Once you are happy that your first pompom is attached to the hairband move on to your next pompom. With the cotton and needle stitch carefully along the hairband until you get to the place you want the next pompom to go. I have placed my pompoms right next to each other but you don’t have to.

7. When you are happy with the positioning of the needle add your next pompom and repeat stage 5.

8. Continue in the same way sewing on each of your pompoms.

9. Then, as you did at the start, stitch into the hairband only a few times to make it more secure and then neatly tie a small knot and cut the end of the thread off. I tried to hide the knot neatly behind.

Then that’s it! Your pompom hair band is ready to wear!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Valletta Shop Fronts

It's been about two months since we went on our holidays in Malta and I'm finally getting around to posting these photos of shop fronts, mainly in Valletta. There were loads more that haven't made the cut! Let us know which ones are your favourites, please. I like Azzopardi Bros, Video Wave and Sporting Clive the best.

Sunday, 22 June 2014


Hello! We've recently been on holiday to Malta and thought you might like to hear all about it. Malta is a bit weird in that it is full of British people, they drive on the left and the plugs are the same. It's like a hotter version of England. We did venture out and see some very nice things, though, and rather than have me try and describe all of them, here's a video we made.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Death By Knitting

The other weekend we went to London to visit our friends and, while we were there, we did loads of fun things. The best thing by a mile was going to see the new exhibition at Prick Your Finger, by the super incredible and talented Kandy Diamond.

The exhibition is called 'Death by Knitting' and is made up of knitted horror film movie posters, from films that have knitting needles used as weapons in them. Super exciting, right? But there is more! Not just are the pieces knitted but they are also 3D!!! You get given 3D glasses to view the pieces while you are there and it really works!

To accompany the exhibition there is also a zine (with a 3D cover!) about how knitting is used in each of the films featured in the exhibition.
The exhibition is on until June 12th and I highly recommend that, if you are around London before then, you take the time to go and see the exhibition. You won’t be disappointed!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sailing Through the Trees

Apparently we have mentioned Caroline Dowsett in passing twice on this blog, but this post is going to be completely about her and Alex T Frazer's joint illustration exhibition at Common in Manchester. It's called 'Sailing Through the Trees' and we have been meaning to pop by and see it since it opened at the start of April. The poster gives you a little of taste of how good the exhibition was!

The illustrations in the exhibition tell the story of a wife launching a rescue mission for her fisherman husband who has somehow ended up in the belly of a whale. The series of illustrations are available to buy as prints or as part of a comic (There are prices and things up on the wall!) from behind the bar. We're very tempted. We'll probably pop back and pick up a couple of prints before the exhibition finishes at the end of September. It'd be good if we could grab a copy of the comic for Salford Zine Library, too.

The exhibition is proper ace, with the two artists' work complimenting each other perfectly to tell the story. We'd definitely recommend making a trip to Common, sitting in the 'Club Room' (I think that's what they call the room at the side, anyway. EDIT- it is actually called the 'Kestrel Suite'!), ordering some chips and spending a bit of time enjoying the lovely exhibition. Here's a couple of photos we took while we were at the exhibition (Complete with that annoying reflection you get when you take photos of things behind glass):

The point to take home from this blog post is that you should definitely go and see 'Sailing Through the Trees' at your earliest possible convenience. Okay!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Wirral Tour

Ever since forever ago I've wanted to visit Port Sunlight, the model village built by the Lever Brothers in the Wirral. This weekend I finally made it there and it was every bit as amazing as I was hoping it would be. You can read more about the history of Port Sunlight here. If it wasn't dead inconveniently located for work and things, I'd move to Port Sunlight for sure. Every single house in the village is beautiful in its own way. Phwoar! Go and have a look if you get the chance.

While we were in the area, Liz's mum and dad took us on a tour of the Wirral, which was much more exciting than it sounds. I made a little video* of some of the things we saw as we were making our way along the coast. First we're in Port Sunlight, then Parkgate, West Kirby, and then a bit of Hoylake before we went back through the Birkenhead Tunnel and back to Liverpool and then eventually back home to Manchester. Here's the video! Tell us what your favourite bit of the Wirral is, please. We very much enjoyed our day out on the peninsula.

*video features the track 'Secret Forever' by Haiku Salut from their lovely EP 'How We Got Along After The Yarn Bomb'. Buy it!!!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Bird in Borrowed Feathers

Hi everyone, are you alright? I am off sick from work so I'm taking this opportunity, between coughing, sneezing and wiping my nose, to write a little blog post. Sorry it's been so long since the last one! A lot has happened since February 9th. The new issue of Young Explorer came back from the printers for a start (BUY A COPY NOW).

That's all very exciting and everything, but I want to talk to you about Nottingham today. Do you live in Nottingham? Do you live near Nottingham? Are you going to be popping to Nottingham for a day out any time soon? If so, we'd totally recommend visiting Bird in Borrowed Feathers. They've been stocking some of our stuff for a few months now and it looks like a lovely little shop. We wanted to get to know Hannah and Georgie from the shop a little bit better, so we asked if they could send us a little biography of themselves and the shop for us to put on the blog. And here's what they sent back!

Born from a shared love of vintage, handmade and craft, Bird In Borrowed Feathers was started in the summer of 2013 by Hannah and Georgie, two sisters from Wiltshire who now live and work in Nottingham.Bird In Borrowed Feathers is a brand new shop in the centre of Nottingham, showcasing a fantastic collection of local and national designers. We sell a beautiful selection of handmade products including cards, jewellery, prints and home accessories.We are proud to be able to support and promote a fantastic range of established and up and coming designers, both local and national.

Georgie recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Italian, French and Linguistics, she's since been putting her language skills to use translating our Bird In Borrowed Feathers Etsy shop! Georgie has always been passionate about buying handmade and vintage, this can be seen in the dedication she has for our new venture.

Hannah also graduated from Nottingham Trent University, in 2011 with a degree in Decorative Arts. She has since set up her own business, working from home, designing and illustrating a range of tote bags, greetings cards and jewellery. Her dream in life was to open a shop selling beautifully designed, handmade products, lucky for her this has now come true!

So pop in to Bird in Borrowed Feathers and let us know what you think! Or if you want to sell our stuff at your lovely craft shop in London/Newcastle/Sheffield/Paris/New York or wherever, get in touch. You can see our whole "range" on our Etsy page.

See ya!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Custom Made

Have you ever had a really good idea for something you would like to have made but then realised you probably couldn’t make it yourself? Then why not ask Young Explorer! Over the last year we have been making lots of custom made items, but for some reason we never got around to blogging about them. Here are some of our favourite examples of custom things we have made:

The first custom order we ever made was two embroidered brooches - one, a rasher of bacon and the other, a floret of broccoli. These brooches were made to give as wedding presents as the bride was a vegetarian and the groom a dedicated meat eater.

Another custom order/request we have made was for a brooch and an iron-on patch, based on the Khaki Scouts patch from the amazing Wes Anderson film Moonrise Kingdom, for a regular customer from America.

Then, lastly, we made this Oyster card holder with an embroidery of our favourite Positive Possum on.

So anyway, if you do have a nice idea and would like us to make it for you please get in touch and we will see what we can do. You can send us a Tweet, or an email or send us a message through our Etsy page.