Hello my lovely Fables,
I am sitting here, listening to the rain pattering outside, sipping my favourite Teapigs Liquorice and Peppermint tea and happily surrounded by the fresh scent of Green Tomato Leaf, the most delicious Jo Malone candle. I am thinking about my fabulous weekend, full of crafty delight, which I thought I would share with you here.
Intrigued by the tents popping up on Hampton Court Green, peaked and as enticing as a cooling batch of whipped meringues, I discovered to my delight that the Handmade Fair was coming to town. Not knowing anything about the fair, I decided to go along and take a peek on Friday, accompanied by my lovely and equally craft minded mother in law.
To our utter surprise, it was a tardis of a fair, full of delight around every corner. There were two enormous shopping ‘Villages’, an Artisan Market Place, high quality pop up food offerings, and three large tents in which to learn a variety of arts and crafts. Overwhelmed at first, we pored over the individual classes that were on offer, and chose Leather Jewellery in the Grand Makes tent, run by the cheerful Johnny Tidd, and Papercut Horoscopes in the Skills Workshop, by the gorgeous Poppy Chancellor.
Our feather earrings, made out of buttersoft suede, were surprisingly simple and easy to make. The suede was malleable and tactile, the metal attachments cool and smooth as contrast. It was tremendously satisfying. The paper cutting was therapeutic and intricate and Poppy a clear instructor. This is definitely a craft I would like to explore more. Any activity that requires full concentration yet monotonous and slow to bloom is clearly my thing!
The shopping villages were true meccas of loveliness. All the exhibitors were friendly and helpful, and there was so much to marvel and look at.
One of the first things I picked up were a couple of intricate hand carved wood blocks from Bazaar. Printing is another activity I would like to explore, but the blocks themselves were so lovely and tactile I had to have a couple. They are currently ornamenting my desk as I type and instilling joy every time I catch sight of them.
The next stall to catch my eye was a lovely area full of gorgeous crocheted bears and birds. It was a riot of colour and texture, teeming with fair goers cooing and cuddling the lovely little creatures. Of course I had to snap up the stunningly produced books, and also bagged myself a fat ball of Alpaca wool in Medium, a warm nutty brown. With this wool, I shall make a Bunny.
Rabbit Kit by Hawthorn Handmade
Further along, to my joy, another stall to catch my eye was in a tiny little alcove, bursting with dear little felted animals. Felting is also another craft that appeals to me greatly, (is there no end to my crafting greed?) but I was concerned about the level of skill required to make something that looks so wonderful and artisanal. The warm friendly lady reassured me greatly, and demystified the process with a quick demonstration.
I left beaming, clutching another Bunny kit under my arms, this is the one activity I cannot wait to get started on. My home will be overrun with woollen woodland creatures in no time, and all the better for it.
Hungry from all the shopping and crafting, we stopped at a gleaming silver pop up, offering Gluten Free pies. ‘NO G. Too Good to be Gluten Free’ was a true revelation! I chose a Steak and Ale pie, the filling was rich and delicious and the pastry was buttery and crumbly, the perfect pastry texture. My companion proclaimed her quiche to be equally satisfying, the perfect size for lunch and I think both a bargain at £2.50. I have become quite excited by this brand, and on further searches have discovered that Ocado stock them, and I will most definitely be purchasing some for freezable emergency lunches. http://www.toogoodtobeglutenfree.com
Everything was a feast for the eyes, but the jewellery on offer at the Handmade Fair was particularly stunning. I spent many happy minutes chatting and laughing with the lovely owners of Me Encanta Jewellery, http://www.meencanta.co.uk, and after trying on every sparkling gemstone on the stall, was lucky enough to be gifted an early christmas present of a teardrop shaped silver ring encircling the palest green amethyst stone by my fair companion. Precious it is indeed.
All in all, we had a wonderful day, despite not glimpsing the Queen of the Handmade Fair, Kirstie Allsop. There was so much to see and do, and really we could have spent longer there as there was so much to delight and entice. I will definitely be returning next year, to meet new crafty souls and arty artisans. I shall update you with my lovingly made creations inspired from visiting the fair as they emerge!
Have a wonderful week, lovely sage peeps. x