The times have been crazy I tell ya. The last month or so has just disappeared but left many a bizarre artifact and document so that in the new year I'll be able to look back and have prof it really did happen. So, the evidence. I got a wee mention on So Super Awesome. I thought that was really lovely. When I hear people mention or tell me they've read my blog my first thought is "Oh God, they know I'm mental now" but I'm really touched for the thought. They are great folk who do very nice work too. I'm hoping to have a wee chat with them asap and getting the low down on how it is for them so I'll give ya the gossip when I get it. Annnnnnnd Handmade Arcade posted some lovely words about the last event. It's all going on in the south!
Exeter is an interesting lil town. We have the mall and various dirty corporate bunkers shooting subliminal messages from their store fronts in the centre of town. Fortunately like so many other cities if your willing to machete through the vines of Christmas shoppers and find yourself in one of the ally ways or even better on Fore St the rewards are endless. Handmade Arcade is on Fore. It's held in McCoys Arcade. The Arcade itself appears as if it's been there forever and houses a few really amazing small businesses but few know. Like every other city with a place like McCoys the businesses in there fight tooth and nail to market themselves on budgets of nothing and no prime time screaming. What the good folk at No Guts, No Glory have done is develop a monthly hand crafted goods market (weekly during December) as a vehicle. The crafters put much work into their goods and go to inspiring lengths to market and display them and build interest. Hayley and Nathan from No Guts, No Glory go to extraordinary lengths to promote the event and get the public down there. I see the surprised faces of the Exeterites as the walk in and all too often I hear them say "I didn't even know this place was here". My first visit to McCoys Arcade was two weeks after I arrived here.
The point is Hayley and Nathan use Handmade Arcade as a way to promote their vision of Exeter. Actually scratch that. They do it because that is the right thing to do. It's a good thing and a way I aspire to. They do it to bring people into the arcade, for us as crafters and stall holders as well as for the other businesses in there and for all of Exeter. They do not because it is easy (hahaha see what I did there?). I know the grief they put up with to put this event on. This kinda thing is never easy for countless reasons but they do it anyway. They'll do it where ever they are. We need to ensure we don't loose places like McCoys arcade to St&%B@*ks or any other homogenized rubbish but more importantly we need to ensure we don't loose people like Hayley and Nathan. We need to ensure people who think outside the box and do what they think about. If your town or city has folk like them tell em before you wish you had.
EDIT: Here is a selection of pic's I've stolen from the Handmade Arcade blogspot for old times sake. Thank you both for the good times.:-)