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Meet the Maker #5

Number five is the fantastic Caz Beatty of Niyama Designs!

Some of Caz’s beautiful furniture will be available to view and buy at the Christmas fair tomorrow!


How has the winter been so far for you?

The winter so far has been lovely as I have just moved into a cosy new house with friends and i’ve been making the most of seasonal foods and new recipes! Love getting creative with food in the winter.


When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for?

I’ve been making things for as long as I can remember! I adore everything colourful and have always been attracted to colour, so anything I can grab and make colourful, i will do it.


Whats your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

Probably my most favourite piece is my first ever, fully covered sun and moon ukulele.



Do you have any New Year’s resolutions?

Yes: To constantly be making resolutions throughout the year. My goal is to keep moving forward, emotionally, physically and creatively!



What do you do/tell yourself at times when you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t have enough time to do anything creative’?

If I’m ever freaking out creatively, I make it my aim to put myself first, gain peace of mind and I know the rest will follow in due time. If I’m ever in a rush, I will clear my mind as quickly as possible and focus on the task at hand: usually through meditation.


Any advice to your fellow local creative?

Local creatives, focus on what will help people and make people happy. Believe in your idea and have no doubts in yourself even in times of struggle. Follow one idea through and make it the best it can be rather than starting lots of projects half way.

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Meet the Maker #4



Soooooo Becky, how are you finding the winter so far?

The winter is my favourite time of year! It allows me to have an excuse to stay inside and make lots of things.


What’s your favourite material to work with?

My favourite medium is embroidery as ive got the most experience but I’m really enjoying using fimo clay cos there’s so much you can do with it! (Fave being making miniature vaginas ?)

When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for?

I’ve been creative all my life, but have really honed in on my specialism in the past year or so. I created my embroidery account as a bit of a boredom thing around a year and a half ago and didn’t realise people would actually like my stuff. Also if you scroll down my feed it shows that practice really helps you to become better at something ?


What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

My favourite piece has to be my Mia Wallace portrait which I’ve recently sold! It was hard to part with as it was my first portrait but I’m so glad she has a home now.



What do you do/tell yourself at times when you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t have enough time to do anything creative’?

When I don’t have time to be creative! Which seems all the time now I’ve started a new job, is just give yourself 5 minutes of the day – even if it’s just a quick sketch on the tram or thinking of things you could create while you’re walking home from work.


Any advice to other local creatives?

My advice is just make stuff ! Do stuff ! And put it out there, you never know who will fall in love with it ?????

Thank you for your wise words of encouragement Becky!!


Becky’s jewellery will be available to buy on Sunday at the CH Plus + Dulcimer Christmas Market !

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Meet the Maker #3

Maker number 3 is the fabulous Suzy Schwenk! As well as making beautiful jewellery and being one of our first artists to get involved, Suzy has been CH+’s number one volunteer since the beginning. She’s volunteered at all our sales and most of our F-Art club groups (including earlier in the morning than anyone would want!).

Thank you so much Suzy <3

How are you finding the winter so far?

It’s a bit cold and dark but a good excuse to do lots of knitting.

What’s your favourite material to work with?

At the moment I’ve mostly been working with beads and stones but I love doing anything crafty where I can work with my hands.

When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for? I’ve always loved making things but have only started making jewellery (which is currently my main focus) in the last few months.

What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

I made a panda on a stick once that I was very proud of.

Any new years resolutions?

To be more tolerant and spend less time in my pyjamas.

Any advice to other local creatives?

You don’t have to be amazingly talented to be creative and enjoy making things.

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Meet the Maker #2

This time we meet…. Kelly Quinzel who has some important words of wisdom from her great wealth of experience as an artist.


How are you finding the winter so far?

I am a morning person, usually I get out of bed at 7.30am. However, due to winter and the coldness, I find it difficult to get out of bed, but once I am out, I enjoy the walk in the park, as the weather been good, what I dislike would be winter plus bad weather.


What’s your favourite material to work with?

My favourite material to work with would be watercolour as it is lightweight and easy to take anywhere with me as I enjoy taking the time to do something for myself and it is necessary for the mind. Mark making on paper and using watercolour makes it easy to do so anywhere.


When did you start making things and how long have you been making things for?

Both of my parents have a background in art. My parents divorced when I was 3 years old and my mother raised me as a single parent and was very encouraging with my interest in art.


What’s your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

Home (less) In The City.

This piece of work illustrates the recognisable landmarks in Manchester’s public spaces. As my project is about raising awareness of homelessness and addressing Manchester’s homeless problem, I organised a month-long hand embroidery workshop with Cornerstone Day Centre in the hope of gathering inspiration for my project. Exchanging my skill sets combines my specialist area in embroidery alongside working with vulnerable adults. It was important to gain the participants’ trust and I did not want to appear to be ‘taking’ from them. I proposed a workshop to teach them hand embroidery in exchange for their input on my project, which seemed fair. As it was my objective to gather different options addressing Manchester’s homeless problem.

In the start of the project I illustrated the visual images of the homeless on the street and it lost the sense of narrative within my work after working with vulnerable adults at Cornerstone Day Centre, then I realised they used art workshops to create light-hearted artworks and it gives them a more positive attitude throughout. What is special about this work is that it also illustrates the lively side of Manchester’s homeless community. This acts as a reminder to all of us that we all share the same city.

This caused a change in my project: to focus on the positive side of Manchester. Another change was moving these illustrations from the canvas to a wall hanging style – then I created a series of embroidery illustrations of Manchester which were embellished onto shirts. As I experimented with different types of garments, I found this series of clothing illustrates my best works.

As well as beautiful images, using garments is also my way of suggesting that donating unwanted clothing to homeless charities is a way many people can help with this issue.


Any new years resolutions?

I don’t believe in new year’s resolutions, as I can always improve myself, the moment I thought of it, I act upon it.


What do you do or tell yourself at times when you think, ‘Oh no, I don’t have enough time to do anything creative’?

I have a to do list for experimenting ideas, a list for daily tasks, a list for long term goals.  My to do list, it never ends.

This way, I can manage my time throughout the week without feeling over whelming with tasks. As I am a freelancer, as well as spending time on my commissions, I also make time for creating.


Any advice to other local creatives?

Create only what interests you in the way you choose to create it. Don’t change your approach to gain sales, popularity or acceptance. You will never do your best work if you do.


You can buy Kelly’s prints on our shop here, and of course at the Christmas market on the 9th December.


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Meet the Maker #1

The first maker we are going to meet is…. Jayne Pennington, of Don’t Be A Sheep Etsy store.


“Hiya everyone, I’m Jayne, I’m a nearly – cough-splutter – 54yr old, basically redundant mum of 3 grown up kids that can now feed themselves. Only my disabled daughter to still really take care of.

I started knitting probably when I was 10 or 11 years old, making jumpers but I now make mostly toys, although if someone asks for something I usually do it.

I love to knit with today’s wools. I’ll try any out, I love to find a basic pattern and completely change it to something else, I am very, very picky… If something doesn’t look right to me it gets started again.

Knitting in winter is brilliant! It keeps you warm, makes you have more time to yourself and gives you every excuse not to go out in the crappy weather. I hate winter.

My favourite thing I’ve ever made is my huge top cat jumper. I love doing intarsia knits, and I have made over 30 jumpers with huge cartoon characters on the front, but Top Cat was my first at 19yrs old. It’s still going: it’s been painted in, been to festivals, been to America, and had 3 kids in it at once. I love it.

Jayne in her 34-yr old, hand-made, Top Cat jumper!


I probably have one new year resolution for the first time ever…be more prepared with Christmas makes, it’s not fun playing catch-up everyday.


What’s your advice to other local creatives who struggle to get round to making?

If you can, set aside a day or two a week with no distractions (hide the gin). Don’t stay up late to get things done, it usually ends up wrong. Start fresh the next day.

Above all, have fun and enjoy what you do ?

Thank you, Jayne!


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CH+ and Dulcimer Christmas Market

Excited to announce the CH+ & Dulcimer Christmas Market!

Come on down to Dulcimer between 12-7pm on Sunday 9th December to take part in a local, creative Christmas.

At CH+, we firmly support the #justacard movement, promoting the immense value of local and independent creativity. To you it may be ‘just a card’, but to the person who made it, it’s much more.

Help keep local creative ventures like CH+ sustainable by buying local this Christmas.

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The official launch of our weekly, pay-as-you-feel art-for-wellbeing drop-ins is this week!

This week we will be making collages, using a variety of paper materials, stamps and mark-making implements.

F-Art club will run every this week, and the following weeks, on Sundays at Dulcimer Bar, Chorlton, from 2-4pm.

The drop in is open for everyone, however as with our other work we are specifically looking to target those with long term health difficulties and/or disabilities.

The venue is wheelchair accessible and coffee is only £1.90!

Please don’t hesitate to message with any questions 🙂


Every week we will also have a variety of items from our online shop for sale – beautiful things made by local people!

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Come to our second SPOOOOOOKY sale!

Come along this Saturday 10-4.30pm to Coffee Cranks in Alexandra Park where will be hosting our second spooky sale of our fabulous artists’ wares, this time including new additions Becky Beighton and Jayne Pennington!

Come and suck up this beautiful view with us and purchase some lovely spooky seasonal gifts and support a local cooperative in the process.

“Remember, the big corporate shops don’t shout ‘Yay’ and do a jig when you buy one of their goods. We do. Make someone jig this Autumn!”

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Thank you to all our happy customers!

Phew, what a great day!

Thank you to everyone who came and purchased handmade goods and piece of art from our artists on Sunday at Dulcimer.


Artist Suzy Schwenk was a star all day and thank you to everyone else who came down to show your support.


Thank you also to superstar flamenco guitar player Tom Page for providing us with some gorgeous live music later in the afternoon.

We had some lovely work from the wonderful Becky Beighton @tit_ts which went down a storm.

Keep your eyes on this space, as more goodies will be uploaded onto our shop over the next few days.



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Launch Event // Art Sale // Family Activities // Live Music

It’s finally here!

Join us on the ground floor of kind Dulcimer in Chorlton this Sunday 14th October for our official CH+ launch event.

Everything on the website and many more exclusive items from our existing and new artists will be for sale on the day (cash only though, I’m afraid!)

There will be family-friendly art activities and live music from local Flamenco guitarist Tom Page from 3pm.

The event will last 12.30pm-5pm with £5 pizzas and non-booze + boozey drinks available.

If you want to sell your artwork please get in touch by Tuesday 5pm as we are running out of space on the stall already!