I have a real scoop here! My colleague, fellow journalist, crafter and maker, Mary Jane Baxter has a book coming out in Spring 2021 Sew On The Go and I have been lucky enough to secure an interview and share her amazing story with all of you – my lovely readers.
No – you are not seeing things – this is Mary Jane’s studio camper van decorated inside AND out for a trip round Europe that she undertook nearly five years ago now. ‘I could not afford a professional ‘wrap’ for the van so I just wallpapered the outside’ she helpfully explains for anyone else who feels their current vehicle is. bit dated! ‘It survived all weather, rain, sunshine, anything – it is smothered in PVA and exterior varnish to protect it.
Ending up in Scotland, where her mother was born and much of her family now lives. Her journey included the North Coast 500, the Edinburgh Festival and ended at her brothers home in Montrose where she stayed for a while and wrote her forthcoming book Sew On The Go about her adventures.
The Mobile Makery or the Bedford Bambi, as she sometimes likes to call it, currently sits outside her flat in London, now known sadly as the Stationery Makery, it still serves as her crafting studio and pop up shop. She has two folding tables stashed inside, so that if she ever wants to set up stall at a farmers market or a festival, she can be ready in seconds!
Mistaken occasionally for an ice cream van or a fortune teller, Mary Jane actually sells anything that can be upcycled from vintage fabric from bunting to turbans. She offers children’s parties where the younger guests make fun headdresses and fabulous crafting sessions for grown ups as well.
Mary Jane has worked for the BBC as a producer, she was a European correspondent for many years and trained as a Milliner, her designs were sold through Harvey Nichols.
A published author already of course, she now does the press and PR for a sustainable food charity in London and is extremely busy coping with the challenges of Lockdown, but as soon as this challenge is over, she is hoping to hit the road again and I am delighted to report, is hoping to head to Scotland again.
‘I love Edinburgh and feel it could be my next home’ she reveals. I can just see Mary Jane with a flat in Portobello. Once the Edinburgh Festival is over, she can take part in Art Walk Porty, before getting ready for the many Christmas Fairs we have up here; a quick rest, then she can get involved in the regular textile shows at the Dovecot, next thing you know it’s the Edinburgh Festival again! She will not look back – no pressure – but no rest for the wicked I am afraid!!