Another wonderful weekend in the sunshine (maybe one of the last of the summer) spent at a market, this one a little larger and a little craftier. I went to The Handmade Fair a few years ago in the ground of Hampton Court but haven't been back since. Returning this year with just one fair on the green opposite its original location; it had grown in square footage but mostly the same idea.
The spirit of this fair is the workshops, so its an event for all you pre-planners. Buy your tickets early and learn a new skill. However you can also go for a nice day out to dip in to the markets and line up for the food stands rather impulsively and still enjoy yourself.
Now if your thinking, I'm not crafty, I'm going to show you that there is a craft for everyone. Whether your going to give it a go yourself or just admire the art that goes in to making the item your buying you can be crafty. I'm also going to include who I'd buy for (I've always got someone in mind, another business that could benefit from more maker made items in their lives).
I started off in the new makers tent and spotted this wonderful low cloth bookshelves for kids made by Little Lands. Each can be made from your fabric choice to match either your little ones space or your brands. I think these would be perfect for a friends kids boutique, she loves the maximalist look from floor to ceiling and has lots of kid friendly displays.
Another new maker in the same tent, Natasha is a champion for Vietnamese weavers after living as a native for 6 years. She obviously has an eye for choosing the best pieces and they are made even better knowing they are sustainably and ethically made. You can see exactly who made each piece from the label and know you have something to cherish.
A familiar face! Beck is a regular at markets I visit and I was on the look out for where I would see her next. She always has deals when you find her offline and I had lusted after getting my hands on one of her new naked vases. I wanted one as a prop for a few mid century styled up coming shoots and I know I'll have a few jealous stylists who wouldn't mind adding a few to their prop selection or on their coffee table.
There are always a few haberdashers at the fair; I have a secret stash at home from when I made much better use of my sewing machine. Now I just admire the occasional sparkly trimming for decoration and to feel inspired for bigger projects. Aarti J had a very impressive stash of colourful designs that I only let myself explore for a moment or 20.
Elle Baillie Home
Something a little different Elle had a mix of ethnic homewares and hand woven wreaths; her stand started we off spotting ideas for Christmas decoration. Something simple can have a lot of impact and doesn't necessarily have to be the traditional Christmas glitz.
The second perfectly festive idea I came across; Leigh was multi tasking on the stand showing all the possibilities with bespoke map gifts and tree decorations. I have already brainstormed a set of neutral decorations personalised with names as the perfect corporate gifts for a local showroom client of mine. They would also make great little stocking fillers, perfect for posting and a budget to match.
Another blast from the distant past, I saw Jazzy Menagerie at their first ever fair years ago and have got a collection of my own pins picked up over time. She has lots of choices from these lovely cotton reals to donuts, there will be something for everyone, perfect stocking fillers of secret santa's. I submitted my suggestion to add to the list, can you guess what it was?
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Some more personal favourites in my basket to take home.
My family's favourite natural skin care suppliers Caurnie are always far from home when I see them but give such a warm welcome. Their stand is a colourful collection of natural building blocks and I get a bar of their nettle soap for anyone with sensitive skin including myself.
Glaze Me Pretty
I picked up my second piece of ceramics from Raquel after spotting her at Crafty Fox and falling in love with her selection of 60s colour inspired glazes. The speckled glazes are great companion pieces for shoots and expect to see a new soap dish appearing in them very soon.
Something cute! I recognised these adorable faces from late night etsy scrolling and wish I wasn't gifted out of little people. With two new faces to add to the crew the stories behind each character adds to the magic of the pieces that you'll want to keep forever.
Willow & Finn
A new find Willow & Finn had a candle with a difference, their regular soy candle poured in to a hand thrown vintage inspired candle stick holder styled base. You can also, once you have finished burning the candle, return the base to be refilled for a more sustainable candle obsession.
So whether you are thinking about putting The Handmade Fair in your calendar for next year or just plan to look in to something crafty let me know what caught your eye.