Creating Things{we}make

by Claire Sutton16th May 2011

Things{we}make was started on a whim. I was reading a gardening blog that I love called My Tiny Plot and there was a tutorial on how to create a blog. I followed the instructions and Things{we}make was born. It has now become a diary of all our creations. One day it might be a new recipe for scones, the next it might be about building a raised vegetable bed or a piece of ‘art’ that our son has created. I would find it difficult to live without the blog now as it has brought me so many interesting opportunities, led me to meet some fascinating people, but as much as anything it is so useful as my own reference library. I use it almost daily to check quantities or timings in my own recipes and to see what and when I planted things in the garden in previous years. I love hearing from people who enjoy reading about what we have been up to, especially if we have inspired them to try something new.

 

Writing and Photography

 

Things{we}make is a great creative outlet and has allowed me to use skills from my graphics and photography training. I have been developing my photographic skills, initially to enable me to produce better images for the blog but I now know that researching, writing and photographing for food articles is where my future lies. I really look forward to every single part of the process, collecting the right ingredients and props, styling and lighting the shot, processing the images and writing the copy. I find it all exciting and enjoyable, and better still we get to eat it all afterwards.

 

Capturing some of our local makers and producers in their work environment and photographing the food and handmade items that they produce is a real pleasure and something I would love to do more of.

 

etc. Magazine

 

In early Spring 2010, whilst out walking our dogs, my friend Deb and I started to hatch an idea about creating a new magazine for Derbyshire. Deb runs a site called www.fabulousplaces.co.uk which promotes a network of independent producers and shops across the county. With my love of food and photography and Deb’s collection of great places to explore we decided we had the right recipe to make an interesting guide.

 

Much of the rest of last year was taken up with photo shoots, cooking, eating, writing and interviewing ‘makers’ to gather the content for our first edition of ‘etc.’ which launched in April. The strapline is "Live-Eat-Explore-Derbyshire" and we want everyone to do just that. It is being sold at local stores and events and is also available online. We produced the whole thing, from start to finish which was a very steep learning curve but it was a lot of fun too. It’s great to have the finished magazine in our hands as, although we both whole heartedly embrace the world of web based content, it is satisfying to have a traditional printed publication and we are really proud of the result.

 

Food of Derbyshire

 

Derbyshire has a wide selection of quality producers and suppliers, from windmills that supply stoneground flour and ‘fresh from the field’ fruit and vegetables to family butchers and artisan bakeries. It is very easy to eat seasonally and well. Most of my articles are led by the produce that I grow or come across in local shops. If I see some beautiful new season asparagus or a rib of beef, my first thought is ‘how can I photograph it?’ then ‘what is the most interesting way to cook it?’ and ‘what can I write about it that will inspire someone else to try it?’ I was asked to bake something ‘typically Derbyshire’ for the Derbyshire edition of Market Kitchen, so I took them a traditional Tea Loaf. It was great to be championing our county but I am just as happy eating a homemade jambalaya or chicken katsu.

 

Taste and Passions

 

I grow as many vegetables as I can and my first choice for produce is always to buy from as close to home as possible, so eggs come from the neighbours chickens and our beef is from the cattle that stick their heads over our fence. In an article in the magazine I even urge people to knock on the farmers door and ask if you can buy produce direct from them. I always aim to make meals from scratch rather than buying ready prepared food as I like to be involved in the whole process and know exactly what is going in to the food we eat. Quite often I will have my camera and tripod set up in the kitchen to capture the preparation process too.

 

Vision

I plan to write and photograph more articles as well as providing a photographic service for fabulous producers. We live by the maxim “It only gets done if you do it” so we are always busy, making, building, cooking and creating and would feel lost without our constantly evolving list of things to do. We hope that, just occasionally, our readers are inspired by the things we make.

Contact Details

Claire Sutton's websites: www.thingswemake.co.uk and www.thingsyoumake.co.uk

etc magazine: http://etc.fabulousplaces.co.uk/

 

About the Author

Claire Sutton lives with her husband and son in Amber Valley, Derbyshire. She left a successful job in IT Sales to focus on looking after her family and indulging in her love of food and photography. Claire now writes and photographs for her blog, guest writes for several publications and has recently produced the first edition of a new magazine for Derbyshire called ‘etc.’ Her website addresses are: www.thingswemake.co.uk and www.thingsyoumake.co.uk. You can follow Claire on Twitter. @clairetweet Her new magazine @etcguide can be purchased at http://etc.fabulousplaces.co.uk.

 
 
Ren Behan

Ren Behan - 16th May 2011 10:26 am

This is why I love The Foodie Bugle. A wonderful way of discovering new people/sites/blogs. These photos are beautiful and Claire is so inspirational!

Borlotti from Claire's garden.

Borlotti from Claire's garden.

Freshly picked cherries.

Freshly picked cherries.

Chocolate macarons.

Chocolate macarons.

Chocolate and orange cake.

Chocolate and orange cake.

Freshly picked vegetables.

Freshly picked vegetables.

More garden produce.

More garden produce.

Strawberry pick-your-own.

Strawberry pick-your-own.

Lemon and lime loaves.

Lemon and lime loaves.

Peach cake.

Peach cake.

Homemade layered bread buns with tomato, mozzarella and rucola.

Homemade layered bread buns with tomato, mozzarella and rucola.

Homemade granola.

Homemade granola.

Spring lamb.

Spring lamb.

A magazine photo shoot for summer living.

A magazine photo shoot for summer living.

Berry meringue pavlovas.

Berry meringue pavlovas.

Chocolate and peanut chip cookies.

Chocolate and peanut chip cookies.

Seeded loaf.

Seeded loaf.

A Tea Loaf photographed for the television show Market Kitchen.

A Tea Loaf photographed for the television show Market Kitchen.