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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

‘Local Food’: Rob Hopkins returns

Written by Amy Hughes

Cat Morley

If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to be when I was older, prescription I wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight answer. Today, prescription I’m 24, no rx living in London (my favourite city in the whole wide world) and somehow I’ve ended up with my dream job.

While I was at university in Scotland, I started a blog called Cut Out + keep where I would post tutorials for the crafts I was making. After posting over 250 projects, the site had become really popular, so with the help of my web designer boyfriend Tom, we turned the site in to a community where everyone could make and share step-by-step tutorials.  By the time I graduated, CO+K had become a full-time job and today, the site hosts over 15,000 projects for making every imaginable type of craft – cooking, sewing, paper craft, jewelery, fashion… you name it! Every morning I wake up to discover all the amazing new projects that have been added over night and I’m still amazed by how unique and creative they are.

I have always love being crafty and creative. When I was young, I used to help my Mum sew my Halloween costumes and loved cooking up a storm in the kitchen and feeding my family. When I went to university, I studied computer art and got really in to film making. I also started working as a journalist and photographer for a couple of music magazines. When I started CO+K, I wanted to combine all of my passions, so with the help of a bunch of super creative writers I had found online, we started Snippets, an online entertainment magazine to accompany the site. Snippets has allowed me to meet some amazing people and interview my heros, including bands like Placebo, Chicks On Speed and Ladytron, comedians Adam & Joe, and even my favourite comic book character, Emily Strange.

Our members tend to be young, hip and love to show off their individual style. We get a lot of tutorials for revamping and customising clothes, making personalised gifts and recycling and re purposing junk and unwanted items. The most popular projects have been a recipe for baking rainbow coloured cupcakes , turning a jumper in to a skirt , a tutorial for sewing a guitar shaped bag and melting a vinyl record in to a bowl. The nice thing about the site is there is a project that everyone can make, from really complex sculpting to simply applying homemade designs to t-shirts, shoes and accessories to personalise their wardrobe. We also have a section called Crafty Superstars, where creative celebrities and the big names of craft share some of their expert projects.

I really love living in London, it’s so vibrant and exciting and there’s always something going on. I like to hunt through the event listings in Time Out and head to all the free events. I also love walking and seeing where I end up and what new places I discover. I live in Maida Vale, which is so pretty with the canal running through it and there’s lots of good brunch spots (check out Plan 9 – an American run cafe that does tasty pancakes on a Tuesday). I also love hanging out in Soho, the South Bank and shopping in Camden and Brick Lane.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring for the site – hopefully thousands of amazing projects, interviews with exciting celebrities and maybe a couple of adventures overseas. I have never been or wanted to be a businesswoman and never thought that I would end up working for myself. I would encourage anyone and everyone to peruse their dream job, because if I can do it anyone can!

What Cat likes:

Art: There’s an amazing Parisian artist called Nathalie Lecroc who is painting women handbags and their contents. She plans to paint 1001 and then publish a book of them all.

Music: Bright Eyes, Ben Kweller, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Martha Wainwright and the Manic Street Preachers.

Blog: 1000 Awesome Things

Website: Stumbleupon.com – it leads to so many wonderful finds (I have mine set to show crafts and recipes).

Shop: Muiji – it always has such awesome stuff and it has made me really organised.

Food: Sushi.

Drink: Absinthe, root beer or alcoholic hazelnut milkshakes.

Papers or printed magazines: Bust, Venus & Amelia’s Magazine of course.

What I would like for Christmas is: A Vivienne Westwood tiara, which is a pair of horns encrusted with crystals.
If you had asked me in high school what I wanted to be when I was older, side effects I wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight answer. Today, medicine I’m 24, more about living in London (my favourite city in the whole wide world) and somehow I’ve ended up with my dream job.

While I was at university in Scotland, I started a blog called Cut Out + keep where I would post tutorials for the crafts I was making. After posting over 250 projects, the site had become really popular, so with the help of my webdesigner boyfriend Tom, we turned the site in to a community where everyone could make and share step-by-step tutorials.  By the time I graduated, CO+K had become a full-time job and today, the site hosts over 15,000 projects for making every imaginable type of craft – cooking, sewing, papercraft, jewellery, fashion… you name it! Every morning I wake up to discover all the amazing new projects that have been added over night and I’m still amazed by how unique and creative they are.

I have always love being crafty and creative. When I was young, I used to help my Mum sew my Halloween costumes and loved cooking up a storm in the kitchen and feeding my family. When I went to university, I studied computer art and got really in to filmmaking. I also started working as a journalist and photographer for a couple of music magazines. When I started CO+K, I wanted to combine all of my passions, so with the help of a bunch of super creative writers I had found online, we started Snippets, an online entertainment magazine to accompany the site. Snippets has allowed me to meet some amazing people and interview my heros, including bands like Placebo, Chicks On Speed and Ladytron, comedians Adam & Joe, and even my favourite comic book character, Emily Strange.

Our members tend to be young, hip and love to show off their individual style. We get a lot of tutorials for revamping and customising clothes, making personalised gifts and recycling and repurposing junk and unwanted items. The most popular projects have been a recipe for baking rainbow coloured cupcakes (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/rainbow_cupcakes), turning a jumper in to a skirt (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/jumper_skirt_out_of_a_tshirt), a tutorial for sewing a guitar shaped bag (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/guitar_shaped_bag_2) and melting a vinyl record in to a bowl (http://www.cutoutandkeep.net/projects/vinyl_record_bowl). The nice thing about the site is there is a project that everyone can make, from really complex sculpting to simply applying homemade designs to t-shirts, shoes and accessories to personalise their wardrobe. We also have a section called Crafty Superstars, where creative celebrities and the big names of craft share some of their expert projects.

I really love living in London, it’s so vibrant and exciting and there’s always something going on. I like to hunt through the event listings in Time Out and head to all the free events. I also love walking and seeing where I end up and what new places I discover. I live in Maida Vale, which is so pretty with the canal running through it and there’s lots of good brunch spots (check out Plan 9 – an American run cafe that does tasty pancakes on a Tuesday). I also love hanging out in Soho, the South Bank and shopping in Camden and Brick Lane.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring for the site – hopefully thousands of amazing projects, interviews with exciting celebrities and maybe a couple of adventures overseas. I have never been or wanted to be a businesswoman and never thought that I would end up working for myself. I would encourage anyone and everyone to peruse their dream job, because if I can do it anyone can!

Art: There’s an amazing Parisian artist called Nathalie Lecroc who is painting women’s handbags and their contents. She plans to paint 1001 and then publish a book of them all.

Music: Bright Eyes, Ben Kweller, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Martha Wainwright and the Manic Street Preachers.

Blog: 1000 Awesome Things - http://1000awesomethings.com

Website: Stumbleupon.com – it leads to so many wonderful finds (I have mine set to show crafts and recipes).

Shop: Muiji – it always has such awesome stuff and it has made me really organised.

Food: Sushi.

Drink: Absinthe, root beer or alcoholic hazelnut milkshakes.

Papers or printed magazines: Bust, Venus & Amelia’s Magazine of course.

What I would like for Christmas is: A Vivienne Westwood tiara, which is a pair of horns encrusted with crystals.
Rob-Hopkins
Illustration courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Nothing satiates a foodie quite like the first forkful of their best-loved grub, treat but reading about it comes close. For those gastronomes who believe that food’s role reaches far beyond basically fuelling our existence – that it’s integral to community bonds, economies of every scale and our relationships with our environment, as well as our physical wellbeing – the new book from Tamzin Pinkerton and Rob Hopkins (yes, he of Transition Culture fame) will have you salivating over the nosh-related possibilities that a little ambition, curiosity and organisation can create close to home.‘Local Food: How to Make it Happen in Your Community’ (Transition Books) shadows Hopkins’ inspiring ‘Transition Handbook’, training the spotlight on the integral subject of our food and what we can do to go back to the literal roots of the good life – and stay there. While written against the unnerving but inescapable global backdrop of peak oil, food security and climate change crises, ‘Local Food’ incites excitement about the potential of a carefully considered future, both long and short term, rather than fear of a hopeless one. With the onus on the ‘local’ part of its title, the book encourages a proactive, fun approach to sustainability by profiling a huge and diverse range of CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) initiatives based all over the world.

 

LOCAL_FOOD_cover 
Image courtesy of Transition Culture

“The kind of community engagement facilitated by CSAs generates and harnesses passionate enthusiasm among the people who participate in it,” write Pinkerton and Hopkins, “and this is due, in no small part, to the sheer thrill that comes from being able to shape and engage with the food system that feeds us.” From legitimate legume growers to dig-by-night guerrilla gardeners, the teams and organisations featured in ‘Local Food’ not only explain their motivations for picking up tools, but reveal the thrills, difficulties, surprises and benefits that they have faced since they did.

 Hopkinspic
Image courtesy of Stephen Prior

Unsurprisingly, the majority of these people are driven by a passion for good food, and a respect for and desire to greater understand the environment that provides it. However deeply they’re involved in the food production within their community – be it founding community gardens or filling their fridges with farmers’ market fodder – the individuals highlighted in ‘Local Food’ prove how attainable a sustainable lifestyle is, whether you want to get muddy or not. And, if you do want to have direct involvement in and influence over what ends up on your plate, there’s even a contacts section to introduce you to your nearest initiatives. As the authors put so succinctly, “We can have our affordable, local, organic cake, and eat it too”.

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