I’m very excited to share with you the festive craft fair events I’ll be attending this year. It’s a super busy time for most makers, so I’ve started planning early!
I’m looking forward to showcasing some great new pieces of jewellery along with my usual favourite designs. I really enjoy meeting my customers face to face, so I’d love it if you’re able to visit any of my Christmas Fairs!
Here’s a list of my upcoming Christmas craft fairs:
13th November – 20th November: Kentish Made, Aysgarth, High Street, Staplehurst, Kent TN12 0AU opening times to be confirmed
Saturday 25th November: Dandelion Time Festive Gift Fair, Branden Farm, Staplehurst Road, Marden, Kent, TN12 9BT 10am-2pm
Earlier this Spring I was thrilled to be invited to showcase my handmade jewellery with an exciting new website Handmade in Kent. This is an online shop devoted to sharing the very best of handmade products made in the lovely county of Kent! Of course I was delighted to be accepted, alongside many other talented Kent-based designers and makers, many who are personal friends.
Handmade in Kent are also planning to organise regular events so people can meet the makers and see their products in the flesh. I really love the idea of a fresh new online shop where you can find the best of Kentish made products, with networking; so important when you work by yourself!
Why not take a look for yourself? Enjoy having a browse and let me know what you think of my collection of handmade jewellery at Handmade in Kent.
If you are a Kent based creative, you can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Last November, I was lucky enough to be involved in an exciting pop- up shop held in the village where I live. Katie, the owner of luxury handmade accessories brand Marmaduke Scarlet lives in a beautiful beamed house situated right at the top of the hill. This lovely old house used to be a grocery shop decades ago ( I still remember it from my childhood!) So once again, for a few weeks in November, Katie’s front room was converted back into a shop, albeit this time the groceries were exchanged for gorgeous handmade goodies!
I was excited to be showcasing my handmade jewellery, alongside a selection of talented local makers, including Polly had a Dolly; Ginkgo Floristry; tatty tess and Ddesignmakebake. The shop and Starlight shopping evening event were a runaway success and lots of fun was had and friendships made as a result.
the little red hen jewellery
Ginko Floristry Christmas door wreath
Even the doll’s house has a Christmas wreath!
Gorgeous collar from Marmaduke Scarlet
Ginko Floristry’s Festive Wreath
Gingerbread house by Dippybake
Lots of Christmas floral goodies!
When I heard that Katie was opening Kentish Made this winter for a special Starlight Shopping event, I was thrilled to be invited along! I will be selling a lovely selection of handmade silver and copper jewellery which will make perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.
This year the Starlight Shopping event will feature some familiar faces and new people too, including local home-roasted coffee company StApple Hurst Roast and gorgeous handmade candle company The Hazel Tree. I’m really looking forward to buying some Christmas gifts myself!
If you’re local to Staplehurst, please do pop in and enjoy Kentish Made’s Starlight Shopping event, this Thursday 1st December, 7pm-10pm or if you can’t make the evening, why not drop into our open morning the following day Friday 9.30am -2.30pm
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Why not check out the Kentish Made Facebook page for updates on the event and lots of information about the makers, and their lovely products!
Last Saturday I attended a Wedding Fayre in my home village of Staplehurst. The fayre was organised by Donna from Bombalicious who makes gorgeous bath bombs and soaps that make perfect wedding favours!
Staplehurst has a beautiful Norman church and it was a lovely idea for the wedding fayre to be held there.
It was really inspiring to be in such a beautiful setting (which also happens to be the church we got married in!)
I make a range of freshwater pearl, Swarovski crystal and Sterling silver jewellery, all of which are suitable for bridal wear. I made sure to have available images of my previous commissions, as many of these pieces were personalised bridesmaid pendants. Please take a look at the commissions photo album on my Facebook page for ideas.
As well as my handmade silver and copper jewellery, there were a good variety of stalls, all selling different items and services essential to prospective brides (and grooms!) Most were local business too.
A fortnight ago, I paid a visit to the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair. This annual summer fair showcases lots of lovely businesses, many of them local. All exhibitors are hand-picked for their high quality, craftmanship and design.
The Midsummer fair was held at the beautiful Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden, Kent. This rural Kent village is just a stone’s throw from where I live, so it’s an ideal trip out for me while The Little Chick is at playgroup.
I arrived fairly early and before it got busy, enjoyed a stroll around the beautiful gardens, which were open during the fair to ticket holders.
Then it was time for tea…
Of course I couldn’t resist a cake from Cocolicious‘ beautiful cake stall. Luckily, they always have a range of delicious gluten-free cakes on offer!
Then it was time for a look around the marquees.
Here’s a selection of my favourite stalls.
Tatty Tess unique, handmade, lovely clothes for little girls. It’s always lovely to see Tessa and her gorgeous vintage inspired creations. As usual, her stall looked lovely! I’m particularly fond of her miniature sewing machine and till (which she always explains are definitely not for sale!)
I really love the colourful, original jewellery of Victorious Bee Their stall looked really striking to compliment their bold jewellery. (I’m a big fan of the bee logo too!)
Champions of British made goodies Happy and Glorious had some lovely new products for sale. Ceramic button earrings and brooches in shades of blue were one of my favourite items.
Other stalls which caught my eye were The Indoor Botanist with their original mini-terrariums and bottle gardens.
Salt and Pamper’s stall looked good too, with modern styling and simple packaging.
The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair is truly a feast for the eyes! I can definitely recommend visiting next year; I’m looking forward to it already.
May bank holiday weekend, we decided to make the most of the sunshine and visit our favourite bluebell woods. During late April and early May, the woods on the National Trust Sissinghurst Castle estate are carpeted with bluebells. We’ve been eagerly awaiting their arrival all through this dismal Spring and when we finally saw them, we weren’t disappointed.
One of my daughter’s favourite outdoor games is Pooh Sticks and hidden in the woods is the perfect Pooh Sticks bridge. There’s even a handy box provided for the purpose!
We followed the path around the estate, spotting some fairy doors along the way…
The Little Chick found a big stick, which of course she insisted on carrying the rest of the way! We discovered the jetty on the lake and watched the ducks and moorhens. We even got a glimpse of some fish, swimming in the depths.
All too soon it was time to return home, with the beauty of the bluebells still fresh in our minds.
Where’s your favourite bluebell wood? Have you been able to visit this Spring? I do hope so! I can’t wait to visit the bluebell woods at Sissinghurst again next year.
April has been a very strange month this year. As well as the customary April showers, here in Kent we’ve been treated to hailstorms and even a flurry of snow! However, when the sun did shine, I was ready with my camera to snap some of April’s floral magic. Below is a grid of my favourite photos I posted on Instagram in April.
Last Friday I attended a Kent bloggers’ day event at Park Mall in Ashford. The event was organised by the lovely Kate from Happy & Glorious one of the new independent gift shops in Park Mall.
It’s been several weeks since I’ve finished showcasing my jewellery with Made in Ashford and I was interested to catch up with my fellow creatives and see what’s new!
As a designer maker myself, it’s so encouraging to see a town regeneration project that encourages small, independent businesses. I’m also a fan of unique, handmade gifts, so I was really looking forward to discovering what Ashford’s newest indie shops had to offer.
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Happy & Glorious -British Made Gifts
The bloggers’ goody bags!
The first stop was Kate’s shop Happy & Glorious a gorgeous, beautifully displayed space, packed full of British made goodies. Happy & Glorious are a small, family-run company,which prides itself on supporting British home-grown talent, design and manufacturing. They’ve been trading online since their beginning in 2012 and have found a bricks and mortar home at Park Mall since late last year!
The always-fab window displays
Gorgeous UK produced ceramics
Some of the product lines Kate designs and creates herself, including some very pretty gift cards and mirrors. There are lots of yummy scented, handmade soaps and candles on offer, but my favourite gifts are the cute succulents!
The best of UK made gifts
I love these cute succulents!
Quirky and Gorgeous
As a special treat, I’m able to share with you some discount vouchers, to be spent in store or online at www.happyglorious.co.uk
£5 off £25 with code BLOG25
15% off with code BD2016
Valid until 31st May 2016
Just around the corner is Fabric Heaven or Emporia Fabric and Craft a truly wonderful shop filled with a great selection of modern fabrics, trimmings, wool, haberdashery and every thing you could possible need if you’re handy with a needle and thread!
Pretty pastels; I came away with some of the turquoise fabric
Don’t worry if you’re a sewing novice, Emporia Fabric runs regular sewing classes and workshops, just check out their website for details.
Some ready made garments for sale
Take a stroll down Park Mall
The shop’s workshop/ demonstration space
The trail of balloons led me along the Mall to Made in Ashford a great collective of Kent-based designer makers and creatives. I’ve been lucky enough to sell my jewellery here and as the shop duties are shared between the makers, it’s a great way to gain retail experience, get customer feedback and make new friends.
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There’s something for everyone, all locally made!
The inviting, colourful shop front
Below is just a selection of handmade gifts on offer, I really recommend you pop in and take a look for yourself!
Cards, jewellery & giftware by Lucy Alice Designs
Gorgeous unique retro inspired clothing by Aye Aye
Cute cards & Prints by Made in Pixieland
Unique ceramics, cards and homewares by JuJu Art
Local Scenes -prints by One White Sugar
The fabulous Mini-Medley childrens’ wear
Fellow Kent Blogger Nicola Jennings Art
There really is something for everyone on offer at Made in Ashford and if you’re a local maker who’s interested in selling with them, please email: email@example.com
There was just enough time to meet up with fellow Kent blogger and local friend, Lydia from Polly had a Dolly and have a coffee & cake at new independent cafe Stag Coffee This smart new cafe had only just opened and I was impressed by the modern decor, friendly staff and excellent coffee. I was pleased to see it was child-friendly too, always a bonus to a busy mum!
An Aladdin’s cave of scarves, purses, bags and accessories. Very tempting to a scarf-a -holic like me! So I treated myself to a lovely silver scarf using their voucher code which you can use online too: –
20% off your first online order with code GLAM20
Lots of lovely accessories
Perfect for any scarfaholic!
Just opposite is the Creative Collective a thriving gallery, exhibition and community space for local artists. They offer an affordable art scheme and even host film and poetry nights. Yet another reason to visit Park Mall if you’re out and about in Ashford.
So if you’re looking for somewhere new to shop, somewhere that supports local independent businesses, check out Park Mall in Ashford!
For the last five months I have been showcasing my handmade jewellery in the Independent shop, Made in Ashford, in Ashford Kent. The shop started life as a pop -up shop and since January has become a permanent fixture. The shop is a great place to support local creative businesses.
The lovely folk at Love Ashford ( the town’s regeneration team) wanted to interview me about my time at the shop and you can read about it here: