Christmas events

This year I’ve got together with three other local makers to spread the Christmas load.

Because so many fairs and markets at this time of year tend to be on the same days, we’ve decided to organise some group stalls and take it in turns to run them. This allows us to have a presence at more than one event on the same day, as well as lessening the workload. That’s the theory, anyway! 🙂

The makers I’m teaming up with are:

Processed with Snapseed.
Processed with Snapseed.

Anna Jackson of Black Cactus London, who makes lushly gorgeous handprinted art and accessories

mosaic-keep-calmKes Young of Heart in Art Workshops, who makes stylish and colourful mosaics, including door numbers and pots

ben-bowlBen Willis, who makes beautiful furniture and other household wares using traditional green woodworking techniques and timber from sustainably managed woodlands

So here’s a list of events we’ll be appearing at before Christmas.

Dulwich Christmas Bazaar

dulwich-christmas-bazaar-thumbnailSaturday 12 November, 10am-5pm
St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village
Run by Anna

Friends of Langley Park School for Boys’ Christmas Market & Craft Fair

red-baubles-soc-med-fb
Sunday 27 November, 11am-4pm
South Eden Park Road, Beckenham, Kent, BR3 3BP
Run by Kes

Camberwell Arts Market

camberwell-arts

Saturday 3 December, 10am-4pm
Datchelor Place, London SE5 7AP
Run by me

Handmade Palace Christmas Craft Market

handmade-palace Saturday 10 December, 10am-5pm
The Alma, 95 Church Road, London SE19 2RN
Run by Anna and Kes

Rookery Christmas Fair

Sunday 18 December, 11am-4pm
The Rookery, Streatham Common, London SW16
Run by Ben

As well as these events, I’ll have a solo stall at Furzedown Community Network Christmas Market on Saturday 17 December, 4-7pm. Women of the Cloth will not be doing their usual stint at Sprout this year, so this gives regular visitors a chance to see my latest scarves and accessories!

furzedown-xmas-market

Plus I’m taking part in the Diverse Makerhood Christmas Showcase, which runs from 14 November to 8 January. There’s a special preview on Sunday 13 November, 12-5pm, with 15% discount!

makerhood-flyer-1

The other advantage of taking part in group stalls is that it allows me to go away on holiday. 🙂

I’m off to Mexico tomorrow, partly for holiday and partly to attend the 10th International Shibori Symposium in Oaxaca. I’ve signed up for workshops with Michel Garcia, Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Jorie Johnson, so as you can imagine, I’m hugely excited!

I doubt that I will have time or facilities to blog while I’m away, but I may post the odd photo or comment on Twitter or Instagram, so do follow if you’re interested.

Hasta pronto!

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Possible new Christmas products

OK – it’s still August, but I’ve been trying out some ideas for possible new products for Christmas.

The indigo scarves are always best sellers, and hopefully I may have some eco printed or rust scarves available this year too. But it would be good to be able to offer more felt products at reasonable prices.

I sold a fair number of felt iPad/Kindle pouches last year, though probably not as many as I would have liked, given how popular this technology is. 😉 Mostly I add interest by adding fabric (nuno felt) or prefelt cut-outs, like these Matisse-inspired pouches.

matisse ipad pouches

So I thought about adding more 3D effects.

3D ipad case

However, this takes considerably longer so I would have to charge more, which may not be feasible in the current market.

Verdict: Possible, but maybe when the economy is a bit stronger.

Scarves are always popular at Christmas, so what about some felt ones to increase my product range?

ruffle scarf sample

I tried a sample ruffle, but wasn’t happy with it. The colours of the sample don’t work together very well, but even if they did, I just don’t think I’m a ruffle person.

Verdict: No go.

Finally, I tried a scarf based on paper garlands I used to make as a child. You fold a sheet of paper in half lengthways, then cut into it from alternative sides before opening it out.

paper garland

I adapted the idea slightly and came up with this cutwork scarf.

cutwork scarf cutwork scarves

This was much more to my taste. 🙂 And by using different colours in each layer, you get a lovely sandwich effect when you cut through.

cutwork scarf cross section

Just have to make sure it’s fulled really well to avoid having to seal lots of edges! 🙂

Verdict: I’m going to make a few of these and see how they go.

Let me know what you think – I’d be interested in your views!

Christmas rush

Not much time for blogging recently, with markets every weekend, Christmas parties and events, and trying to prepare for the event itself. Needless to say, I’ve failed miserably on the last count!

Markets have been going well, with sales increasing every week. I’ve sold some scarves and pots, but unsurprisingly it’s the smaller, cheaper items that sell most. The spectacle cases, Oystercard holders and smartphone cases made from old pilots’ charts are particularly popular, and the ones made from recycled plastic bags, bubble wrap and embroidery also have their fans.

I nearly sold out of them last weekend, so have been frantically making new batches for the pop-up stalls at Brixton Village this weekend.

Finally started making Christmas cards last night with ESP. The idea was to do a monoprint in two colours, but it took longer than expected, so we’ve only managed the first colour so far. (The pattern may look familiar! ) Still a bit of time before the last posting date for Christmas…