Crafty Fox Market, Autumn 2014

On Sunday, Jack and I visited the unique Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. Held at The Dogstar, this quirky pub became a craft showroom for the weekend, packed on all three floors with crafty stall-holders.

Crafty Fox Market

My favourite three stall-holders were Takae Mizutani and Sons – who had cute ‘snail’ plant saucers and tiny horse & fort egg cups; Oh My Gee – who sold cards consisting of colourful animal prints and unexpected slogans such as ‘Twat’, and ‘Piss off’; and Floss & Mischief – who is leading the ‘trendy needlework’ scene with a range of taxidermy themed sewing kits and thread art.

Takae Mizutani and Sons

As well as the stalls, there were also a few pay-as-you-go craft workshops, including tote bag screen-printing (£5) with Mr. Wingate, bunting necklace making with Lucie Ellen (£15), or you could sit down with a cup of tea and a casual skull badge cross-stitch with The Sewcial Circle (£3).

For our tote bag, we designed a butterfly screen-print. I’m not gonna lie – it didn’t come out quite as expected; Lesson #1 of screen-printing – remember the Inverse Rule. That said, it did make me realise how easy it is to design and make your own gifts for people, with a little practice!

IMG_3105

I also made a bunting necklace with the lovely Lucie Ellen. It’s fair to say that Lucie did all the hard work in prepping the wooden bunting, however I used my new-found plier skills to connect them.

All in all, we had a great day! I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere quirky to go to catch up with crafty friends in London. It’s a very laid back atmosphere, plus cake galore!

For better pictures (it was very dark inside), visit the Crafty Fox Market Facebook page.

Autumn Craft Fairs, London 2014

I love this time of year, when mornings are crisp, and trees turn beautiful shades of orange. Something about Autumn makes me want to go outside and retire inside all at the same time, so what better way to spend my weekends than at autumn craft fairs. There are a few upcoming craft fairs in London that provide the perfect excuse to mooch around by day, and curl up crafting by night.

1) Crafty Fox Market – Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th October

Crafty Fox Market caught my eye as they not only feature a selection of hand-picked designer makers, but they also feature creative workshops, tea & cakes, and DJs spinning an ‘eclectic’ mix of tunes. With regular seasonal markets in London – all guest curated – they are not to be missed!

Crafty Fox Market

This weekend, on 4th-5th October, you can visit the Crafty Fox Market Autumn Fair at the Dogstar, Brixton between 11am – 5pm. I’m going on Sunday, which has been guest curated (from over 400 applicants) by Katie Treggiden of Confessions of a Design Geek. As well as featuring some very cool stalls, I’m hoping to take part in some fun creative workshops including a screen printing workshop by Mr Wingate (£5), and a bunting necklace workshop by Lucie Ellen (£15).

2) Renegade Craft Fair – Saturday 22nd – Sunday 23rd November

Keen DIY’ers will be pleased to hear that the Renegade Craft Fair London Market returns to the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, on 22nd – 23rd November. Founded in 2003 to serve the neglected DIY craft community, RCF now has 14 annual events in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and London. In other words, the Renegade Craft Fair is kind of a big deal!

Renegade Craft Fair London

Visit the fair in November to kickstart your festivities. Market hours are 11am – 6pm, and you can expect to find over 100 of the best makers from the UK and beyond. Celebrating indie craft and design, you’ll find vendors from jewellery, ceramics, paper goods, artisanal food, art installations and more.

Are you heading to any autumn craft fairs this year?

Shelley Does… Hobbycrafts!

You might remember a few weeks ago I told you my excitement at getting tickets to Hobbycrafts at the ExCel centre. Well, today was the day, and my sister and I boarded the train to London.

Fabrics

Hobbycrafts is a fair for ‘avid crafters’, although with no major brands present, it does have quite a ‘market’ feel – complete with the sharp elbows of fellow bargain hunters. Be prepared!

Hobbycrafts stall

The stalls were selling craft supplies from beads, paper, cross-stitch, knitting needles, thread, and ribbon, through to fabric, with multiple stalls (decked in bunting) selling stickers and stick-on gems.

Knitting

Some of the arts & crafts supplies were a bit kitsch (or as I called it, ‘quiche’, before I refined my crafting lingo), however I wanted to talk about some of the stand-out stalls!

Sewing workshop

The best stands were interactive, offering sewing machine tutorials, or the opportunity to sit down and knit. Everyone was pleased to talk to the stall owners and learn from their expertise.

My Favourite Stall:

My favourite stand, hands down, was Decopatch.co.uk, which had a shop section but also a sit-down craft section where you could ‘try before you buy’ and have a little fun being creative!

Decopatch.co.uk

I’ve never done decoupage before, or even really considered it, but everyone at the crafting table looked very content as they played with different patterned papers and made decorative figurines.

Decopatch.co.uk

There was a lot of choice of things to decorate so you really can choose something personal to make a thoughtful gift – from a letter of the alphabet, to a jewellery stand, to a chair.

I imagine that a deco-patch café would be great for birthday parties, like a ceramics café!

My Second Favourite Stall:

My next favourite stand, ironically, was where the stall-holder told me abruptly ‘no photography’, as I was drawn in by the most gorgeously scented dried flowers and potpourri – NaturaLeigh. In the stall-holders defence, someone had just stolen some of her goods, so she wasn’t the happiest bunny!

Roses

The dried rose-buds and lavender mixes were to be used within scented ‘home-furnishing’ kits. They also sold natural heart-shaped soaps which would make lovely gifts or favours.

I only bought one item at the fair – a mini alphabet stamp set, and was tempted by some pretty gilded scissors. Despite a few quality exhibitors, I’m not sure if I’ll head back to Hobbycrafts next year.

I think it’s probably aimed at a slightly older crafter, and I would have liked more inspiration on specific craft projects, not just products. Many of the stalls were quite samey, which was a shame!

If you went this year, tell me, what did you think?