Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Selvedge Winter Fair 2013

Chelsea Old Town Hall. Photo courtesy of Selvedge Magazine.

The Selvedge Winter Fair was a very grand affair and the highlight of any textile lovers calendar. I've been a visitor in the past (checking out a event before exhibiting is a must!) and for the first time I was seller. Over a hundred exhibitors, individuals and companies were selling antique textiles, haberdashery supplies and all manner of handcrafted goods, scarfs, bags, cushions and pictures. Not just textiles, there was ceramics, leather bags and my neighbour stall holder, The Printed Peanut, was selling pass the parcel party games! Not everything also was made by the sellers, there were fair trade scarves and hand stitched quilts (which would cost a fortune if made in the UK!) so not exactly a designer/makers market. But my word! there were enough individual makers there with their own unique style and personality to satisfy.

Jess Quinn Small Art. Photo from Selvedge Magazine.
A Threadbare Production.
Photo from Selvedge Magazine. 


It's a amazing event to be at if you make textiles as the people who go there are already the converted. They are either followers of the Selvedge Magazine (exclusive publication for textiles), sewing enthusiasts or just love beautiful unique items. It is though, expensive to exhibit at and the chances of making a profit are a bit slim unless you're already established with a loyal customer base. Some of the items on sale are quite high end but there is enough to suit all budgets. It's one of the best shows to meet your niche market so would recommend new sellers to go for it, but think of it as more about meeting new potential followers and marketing your products. 

Will I be back for the Spring Fair? No, but maybe for the Winter one! 

For even more beautiful photographs visit  The Selvedge Winter Fair 2013 Facebook album

My stall at Selvedge.
Photo by Selvedge Magazine.
Photo by Selvedge Magazine.

Photo by Selvedge Magazine.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sparkle Contemporary Craft Fair - Teddington 22-24 November

 For the past month, I've been non stop making for three Christmas Fairs booked in November and December. Though I've taken photos of what I've been up to, didn't get around to editing them yet to post! Never enough hours in the day especially trying to fit it around a full time job.

So finally, the fruits of my labour went on display, ready to sell at the Sparkle Christmas Fair last weekend. Set in a former church, the Landmark Arts Centre is a truly wonderful venue with it's grand arches and stained glass. Beats freezing at an outdoor market hands down!

Even though most people don't feel "Christmassy" yet, thought I should decorate the stall with some fairy lights and snowflake decorations to get in the swing of it. Thankfully there wasn't any Christmas carols on endless loop in the venue but strangely "Copacabana" played on the panpipes!

I can't tell you how lovely it was to meet such friendly and enthusiastic people who were so interested to chat and not at all shy to have a look. Having exhibited at a lot of markets, I'm sometimes disheartened by the apathy of the public who are well fed by the over saturated craft/ vintage markets that seem everywhere now. It's clearly a big notable event in the Teddington area so the locals look forward to something different on offer when it's that gift buying season again.

Obviously I want people to buy, but honestly it's nice to speak to people about what you do. It's funny when someone recognises a piece of vintage fabric from their childhood, a pair of curtains their parents had. A lot of ladies have crochet doilies stuffed somewhere in a drawer they had inherited and hadn't a clue what to do with them so loved my xmas decorations made from doilies! Everyone seemed to agree with the issue of wastage and loved the idea of vintage textiles being repurposed.

I tried out a few new products as well as some trusted sellers. The new barkcloth make up bags were very popular so going to make some smaller purses from 1950s fabrics. Sold also a lot of my bigger cushions, which is a relief as I really don't have space to store them!  After three days of selling, I have a lot of stock to make for the next one, the Selvedge Winter Fair at Chelsea Old Town Hall on 29/30th. Better get on with it!

In the meantime, have a look at some of photos I managed to take of the venue and my stall. Enjoy! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Stitched Pictures

 Thought I'd share my latest project, thinking ahead to showing at the Selvedge Winter Fair next month. If you don't know already, Selvedge is a wonderful bi-monthly magazine all about textiles. From the artisan to fashion, contemporary and historical, if you love all things fabric, this is the magazine for you!

They have two fairs a year, spring and winter, and for the first time I'm going to be showing on 29-30th November at Chelsea Town Hall.  I'm giddy at the prospect as I've just been a visitor before.

So, in hope of gaining the interest of textile enthusiasts and finally using those vintage frames I've had for over a year, I've made some hand stitched pictures. They were a real labour of love as I enjoy combining hand stitching with vintage textiles to produce something really unique and one of a kind. Hunting through my boxes of vintage fabric scraps, out came some of my favourites I usually just look at, not wanting to cut them up. Vintage quilts, 1930s prints and some felt were used in the construction. 

My inspiration? Well, some drew from the elaborate frame itself, such as the 18th century lady. I also have a nerdy love of all things outer space related so of course the moon, stars and the sun came out to play! The printed bee fabric, a much loved piece of mine, naturally suggested a honeycomb background. Not much of a stretch there!

I love using Pinterest as a source of inspiration so I keep boards of images that inspire me and are drawn to for various reasons. Sometimes I look through them to spark an idea such as a vintage illustration and somewhere it comes out in a piece of work. Your work is always your own and captures your own personality and skill so are always original.

I will make some more in the future even if it's only for my own amusement as they were a joy to make. Hope they prove popular at Selvedge too!


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Crafty Fox Market at the Dogstar.

 Today I took part in the ever popular Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. I lived there during my 2nd year in London, back in the late 90s and though its changed a lot since then, it's always had a vibe of its own.

Crafty Fox has a loyal following beyond Brixton and especially amongst craft lovers and great promotion by the organisers Sinead and Stephan meant there was a queue even before the doors were opened! (They were rewarded with goodie bags for their dedication.) 

Live DJs, workshops and a pop up tea shop all contributed to the experience for shoppers and sellers. It was nice to see familiar fellow makers and some new ones and have a wee blether in between sales!

I managed to take a few photos quickly so not the best I'm afraid and also confess to a guilty purchase! 
Normally I follow a strict no buying restraint on myself but seen these cute little poodle brooches by "Love for Hetty and Dave" and well, they were meant to be!(pictured below)

I will be back at the Dogstar again for the Crafty Fox Christmas Market on Sunday 8th December. Maybe see you there?

Mock up of stall display at home.
Table display at the Dogstar.

Managed a few snapshots!
Guilty purchase but couldn't resist these brooches!

Stall banner.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

LOIS - a new indie shop in Peckham!

Good news for all South Londoners and lovers of nice things! A exciting new independent shop is opening on the 5th October at 42 Choumert Road, just off Peckham Rye. 

There are many, many fabulous designer makers stocked and I have pictured just a selection of them. Jewellery, bags, prints, ceramics, textiles and printed goodies are all there so you don't have to travel into the dreaded "West End" for a lovely gift or something special for yourself.

My soft toys, bunnies Timmy & Barnie and cats, Wayne & Vincent are available.
I Am Acrylic

Opening times:
Tuesday-Saturday 10-6
Sunday 10-5

For more info on who's stocked there, click LOIS 

Rachel Foxwell

Mister Peebles
Custom Made

Saturday, 21 September 2013

A visit to Flora + Fauna pop up shop.

Paid a visit to the fabulous Designers/Makers shop on Columbia Road, open from Wednesday-Sunday for the whole of September and during the London Design Festival. As you may know, if you follow my posts, my new collection of soft toys are on sale there. I went to have a wee look, take some photos as well as have a mooch around Spitalfields/ Brick Lane!

I was very impressed by the look of the shop and the amazing range of products from indie designers. Lots of beautiful prints, jewellery, textiles and ceramics on offer and much more personality than on offer in most shops!

Much credit goes to Sophie Rees, mastermind behind the Designers/Makers label for putting together such a unique shop and giving independent designers a opportunity to sell in a great location.

Ceramics by Catherine Hammerton (L) & Matilda Moreton (R)
Knitted animals by Sally Nencini

Cushions by Lulu & Luca, & Oywah
Cats by retropoodle

Fish soft toy by Jo Waterhouse