I have been really busy these past few months working as Handmade Nottingham with Hannah and Georgia from Bird in Borrowed Feathers on our first market which happened last weekend. I have been interested in getting in to organising events for a while now so when Hannah and Georgia approached me to work with them I was over the moon! It was such a great experience and the event had a great response despite us having to deal with extreme heat and rain!
All images by Hannah Stevens
We hosted our event at The Vintage Warehouse, Nottingham. It used to be a warehouse filled with vintage clothes but is now an events venue. It’s a great space with plenty of space and light.
We had a great selection of handmade and vintage exhibitors and we even had different stall holders each day to keep the market fresh and interesting for people revisiting
Handmade Nottingham and Bird in Borrowed Feathers
Jen Made This and Katie Abey
Morris Morris Glass
Spark and Sparrow
Velvet Blue Design
Jade and Rachels Handmade Homewares
Ink Roller Disco
Audrey and Illya
Mary’s House Design
We really wanted our event to be a weekend out for the whole family so as well as our great stalls we had a seleciton of fun workshops, some free and some with a small fee. We also had out own photobooth with props!
And here a few more photos just showing you all the pretty details
Spark and Sparrow
Roller Ink Disco
Audey and Illya
Rachel and Jade’s Handmade Homewares
Spark and Sparrow
Rachel and Jade’s Handmade Homewears
Mary’s House Design
Bird in Borrowed Feathers
Morris Morris Glass
Velvet Blue Design
Jen Made This
I had a great time organising this event with Hannah and Georgia and we are already talking about our next one! If you wanted to keep up to date make sure to sign up to out mailing lists.
If you would like to find to keep up todate and visit sign up here
And of you would like to find out about exhibiting sign up here
Last weekend I took part in The National Centre for Craft and Design‘s Keep Calm and Carry Yarn, their anual celebration of everything woolly!
I was invited to work on their yarn bomb bike. Each year they ask a designer to help them cover the bike in yarn and get the public helping too! I got the bike started and then we took it on tour to allow the public to add to it.
On the day of the event I was set up in the entrance inviting the public to add to the bike including making their own pom poms and loom flowers.
I couldn’t just leave the yarnbombing to the bike and I had to yarn bomb the centre too! So I brightened up the stairway with loom flowers!
I also really wanted to yarn bomb outside of the building and planned to put pom pom flowers in the grass and pom pom garlands about the place but the weather decided to pour with rain! So I nipped out last minute and got some planters so that I could put my flowers at the entrance to welcome people as they come in.
I really enjoyed being part of this event. I love to make people smile with my work and all day I was hearing how my pom poms and loom flowers had made people smile and brought colour to a wet and grey day.
I have just returned from 4 very wet days at Living Crafts at Hatfield House. I was given the opportunity to exhibit at this show through the Prince’s Trust alongside a selection of other Prince’s Trust funded business, some new and some 15 years on. Living Crafts is all about exhibiting makers and their crafts with lots doing demonstrations of their skills and workshops the public could get involved with.
“Living Crafts, the largest show of its kind in Europe, attracts thousands of visitors each day and is an event not to be missed. The range of crafts is enormous with literally hundreds of designer-makers from across the British Isles. With stunning jewellery, ceramics and art to beautiful fashions, glass and leather, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There will be a wide variety of lectures, hands-on workshops and spectacular demonstrations appealing to all ages. As a seasoned visitor or a brand new enthusiast, you can be ensured that your visit to Living Crafts will give you the best possible insight into the world of crafts.” Living Crafts
Here are some images of my display. As usual I had to create a flat pack display so that I can carry it all on the train but I did get help bringing down some of my display pieces to this show which was great!
The grounds were beautiful even if we did have to walk through wet muddy fields each day! But we did get bits of sunshine in between the rain which made the place look that much prettier
In the Prince’s Trust marque I was alongside some great talent including this lovely bunch
Miss Nova Designs
I even got to bring home very own Miss Nova Designs goodies. I got myself a peg bag and tea towel both pretty and practical! It is not a big surprise that I was drawn to the bright fresh colours.
I also got a free mug! It is Living Crafts 40th anniversary so each exhibitor was given their very own mug. I was so pleased, it is such a beautiful free gift for them to give away.
And lastly because I am a crazy cat lady I have to show you all Bunk! We house sat while at the show and looked after my brother in laws little kitten. He is so cute but also a massive ball of energy! It was lovely coming home each night after being damp and cold all day to have cuddles with Bunk. He is so hard to take photos of because he is black and never stays still!
Once again I am guilty of abandoning my blog so here is a catch up with what I have been doing. After having a quick re-coop from the Christmas I was back to you it straight away preparing to exhibit with Prince’s Trust at the Spring Fair, The UK’s largest trade exhibition at NEC. I had never done a trade show before and so to start with the Spring Fair was pretty daunting! But I managed to keep level headed and sort out my products, display, catalogue and price list.
It was a great experience especially for engaging with customers. I am known for being shy but when at a trade show you have no choice but to talk to buyers, and I had a great time doing it. I met some lovely people and made useful contacts. As the Spring Fair caters for everyone it is not the best place to exhibit with handmade as there are halls and halls of mass produced imported products who’s prices handmade can never compete with. But at the same time because it is such a big show, filling the whole of the NEC, you have buyers from everywhere attending including owners and buyers for independent boutiques who were always so pleased to come across stands with UK handcraft products.
It was a lovely exhibiting with Prince’s Trust along side other young designer makers. Here are some of the exhibitors I had the pleasure of standing with
Nanuuk, Lousie Wright Design, Rosie Olivia Norman, Zalisander, Miss Nova Designs and Holdall & Co
Rosie Olivia Norman
Miss Nova Designs
Holdall & Co
I have also been busy working on new designs. Here is a little preview with more info to come soon
Yarn Bomb Pendants
Crochet Wood Necklace
Knitted Bag – Spots
And lastly I have been working hard putting together the Handmade Nottingham website and soon to launch online shop. More about info about Handmade Nottingham also coming soon but you can also get updates about over on the blog
Last week I visited The National Centre for Craft and Design and got a chance to visit their current exhibition Growing: Celebrating our past, exploring our future. This exhibition has been hosted to celebrate the centre’s 10th Birthday!
‘Growing ‘takes its lead from the very first exhibition we held in 2003, called ‘What is Craft?’ Ten years on, we’ve invited leading figures in the sphere of contemporary craft and design, artists, curators, writers and influencers, to nominate work by emerging and established artists who will be the innovators of the future. Over thirty artists have been proposed by our nominators to create an exhibition demonstrating a wide range of craft media and forms: textiles, ceramics, glass, jewellery, basketry, furniture and millinery.”
I only had my phone but managed to get a few photo’s of some of my favourite pieces. There is an amazing range of work on display so make sure you get a chance to visit.
For a list of all the artist and for more info visit here
Study O Portable
I was also able to visit Anna Krystyna Casey solo exhibition in the roof gallery. Definitely worth a visit!
‘A combination of two or more entities that together form something new’ or ‘The creating of something by artificial means’
I have spent the last week updating my website. I wanted to create a simple, easy to use, colourful website and went about doing this by using white with flashes of colour to help you navigate. You can also now buy through the website and as always I offer free postage and packaging. Feel free to comment below and let me know what you think of the new site.
I also have a few new products which have now been added to the site including
Split Colour Scarf
I also had the pleasure of exhibiting at The Art Market for the first time last month. It was a lovely event with amazing talent and great organisation. It was just a shame that our British weather had to be so miserable. Here is my stand, hopefully all the colour made people smile and forget the grey outside 🙂
I have been very busy for the last month getting ready to exhibit at The Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey. And I have spent the last week recovering from doing the show! It is quite a journey from Nottingham to Devon on the train with suitcases full of stock and display! It was a lovely show with amazing talent and fun workshops. We were lucky to have beautiful weather for the whole weekend!
I had to think a lot about my display and how I could make it as light and easy to carry as possible while still trying to get as professional display as I can. As this is the furthest I have travelled for a show this show really made me think about light weight solutions. My first solution was rather then carry my bulky polystyrene heads I used coat hangers to hang my scarves on the back wall which I feel worked quite well.
Another light weight solution I came up with was to change my packaging. I was unable to bring lots of jewellery boxes as they took up too much room in my suitcase so I looked at using card envelopes which I branded with my logo. I think this works well as the clean simple design matches well with my jewellery.
While preparing for The Contemporary Craft Festival I was also designing new products which had their first outing at the show. This included brand new clutch bags and coin purses. I have more that I am working in within this bag range so watch this space to see the whole new range!
While looking around the show I was pleased to stumble upon Grafitti Grannys who I follow on facebook. They were there celebrating World Wide Knit in Public Day by knitting in public!
And I also loved the mosaic sheep which was in the children’s craft tent. Kids were able to help decorate Anto the sheep in Gaudi style Mosaic. Doesn’t he look great!
Another highlight which everyone stopped to take photos of when entering the show was The Jolly Roger who create amazing life size models.