MCDC presents and a trip to Batman's house!

These past few weeks has been full of such prettiness! I have had lots of reasons to buy presents for family. August is always my most expensive month. I'll be living rather frugally now until Christmas! Perhaps unsurprisingly I have been buying items from the glorious residents of Manchester Craft and Design Centre, where my teeny tiny shop is based. ( )

Present buying is always a good excuse to buy beautiful things. Buying handmade makes such a difference to the quality of an item and it has been lovely to have a reason to order items from makers I admire so.

First stop was Ella at This Is Pewter, studio 20a (which is upstairs).
Because I'm awkward I asked her to make a special size of vase she doesn't usually stock, as I wanted a fairly tall vase for my sister and brother in law's wedding anniversary. Pewter marks ten years and since this is also their first year as parents (of twins) I asked Ella to personalise the vase. Ella stamped "Mummy Daddy Isabella Scarlett" along the seam of the vase just underneath the textured section.

It came wrapped in a fancy box and it is so very beautifully made. It was the perfect gift for the occasion and Ella did a cracking job.
If you fancy a peek at Ella's website:

Next on the list was a present for my sister. My shop buddy Sue makes beautiful leather bags which are so cleverly designed. I would want one (or five!) myself if I used leather (I am a vegetarian). One of her new designs is a two tone clutch which has really lovely details, including an ingenious cross over strap. Sue has recently incorporated more colours including this lovely petrol blue.
Here is a close up photograph of the bag, so you can see the detail:
For a nosey at Sue's full range, pop over here:

I love working at Manchester Craft and Design Centre because I am always surrounded by such beautiful things and clever makers. I bought a vessel from Lee in studio 4 this week for my mum's birthday. It is one of his newer designs and it is shaping up to be a stunning collection.
Isn't it lovely? It was very tempting not to give it as a present and keep it for myself.
The website of Mr Lee Page Hanson:

With all of this present giving I actually got some days off! Woohoo! Proper days off where I did no work at all! For my mother's birthday my brother organised a day out. The location was kept a secret from me as well as my mum, which a more nosey person may have questioned since we don't have so many common interests, but I didn't at all. I love surprises. So off we went, all the way to Wollaton Hall, a beautiful Elizabethan mansion in Nottingham. My mum is ever fond of a stately home and gardens and I am total geek and knew it on sight as Wayne Manor!

Unfortunately Alfred wasn't around for our visit, but another gentlemen gave us a tour of the building and shared a wealth of information about the place, including some lovely anecdotes about my beloved film franchise! We went up to the roof to see some spectacular details of the building.

We also got a tour of the underground cellars. We passed a few possible entries to the bat cave, but naturally they were out of bounds to tourists. The grounds had a lot of ravens. It was so lovely to see them dancing. I love the sheer size of them, bounding about!

Hiya fella!

We had a picnic amongst these big guys and had a lovely day out. The next morning in the garden I had a visitor which reminded me I have some stock to make:

Time to get making again!


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A selection of items that are available to purchase in Kaper's Etsy Shop: