Cheltenham Made by Hand

Hello all!

Well, since I had my cheeky week off blogging (due to deadly cold illness) I seem to be playing catch up and yet again I'm a week behind. So could we please, just pretend (again) that it's a week ago so I don't seem so late to the party? 

 

What a weekend! 

COOOOOR, that really was a great weekend, y'know the one, the weekend we JUST had - March 10th/11th (possibly overplaying this a bit) Cheltenham Made By Hand really was wonderful! It was my first show in years and I thoroughly enjoyed playing shop and having a (very good) natter to anyone who passed. Thank you so much to everyone who visited and came to talk to me (and a special thanks to those who brought tea or treats...I love you the most) 

 

How to plan for a craft fair...

Helen and I had been planning MBH for months and after we so successfully planned our year ahead and wrote a blog about it she suggested that after the show I did a 'how to plan for a craft fair' blog. The trouble was that although I planned the stand pretty well I actually forgot all the other shit you're supposed to bring. Thankfully my good friends Grace and Favour were on the stand next door so saved me from myself about a hundred times when I kept 'popping round' to borrow things. So Helen and I concluded that I have no authority on the situation and should really not be telling people how to forget their own business cards for a show...Having said that if you'd like a list of helpful things NOT to do, let me know and I'll happily oblige! I do have a very comprehensive list now after all.

 

Get to the point

So anyway, todays blog isn't about my failings as a business woman, but it's about a few of the other magical makers who were there. My faves, if you will. I've chosen 3 and a favourite customer who absolutely made my day so I hope you enjoy them also... 

 

Vinegar and Brown Paper 

Some ransom musings before I get to the point - I've been one of Andy's fangirls for about 4 or 5 years now, since I 'met' him at the Contemporary Craft Festival in Bovey Tracey, fell in love with his work, purchased a decanter for my other half and decided to tell Andy exactly why I was buying it (Alex had just passed his validation (test) for tower controller - telling airplanes where to park or something like that :p - at Exeter Airport) So it was a celebratory port decanter... a long winded story which I felt Andy NEEDED to know (he did not) anyway, after years of stalking him I've finally forged something of a friendship with him (good lord I hope I have otherwise this is awkward) assuming that's the case - I'm pretty happy with myself.

Anyway enough of that, let's talk about Andy's work... He is the most magical glass etcher I've ever met, I adore how his clever choice of words make you think twice about what you're looking at. You could spend hours on his stand just trying to take it all in, it's positively an emporium of beautiful and clever LOL's (a description I'm sure he'd never approve of...I know this, cuz we're such cracking friends.)

I left MBH with a milk bottle for myself (and one for my mum as a mothers day gift which said 'thanks for delivering me mum'. Mine is pictured below on my most favourite shelf of goodies in the kitchen (I firmly believe everyone needs a shelf just for beautifully made things...I have 12.) 

P.S all the best friendships are born from one person being weirdly into it so I have no shame there, It's how I've managed to become 'insta-besties' with my HERO All That Is She on IG so it's a tactic I use well and often. 

 Also - Wooden Lady by Lynn Muir, Ampersand by Nkuku & Ceramic Whale by  Gwen Vaughan  

Also - Wooden Lady by Lynn Muir, Ampersand by Nkuku & Ceramic Whale by Gwen Vaughan 

 

Williams Handmade

Next up is another item I purchased (are you seeing the trend?) Sarah from Williams Handmade creates the most beautiful leather handbags and gifts. I went away with this beauty and absolutely love it. I really enjoy how leather changes over time and it basically goes with EVERYTHING. 

 

Grace and Favour home 

My wonderful neighbours Rachael, Steve and baby Bertie from Grace and Favour Home, really did save me on a number of occasions. Rachael designs all the fabrics herself and then they pop them on the most beautiful, quality products - mainly hand sewn here in Devon - products like Tote bags, cushions, tea towels ... but there's also placemats, clipboards, lampshades (and I've been treated to a preview of some new products they have coming out soon and I can assure you, they'll be wonderful!) The latest range - The Cadiz Collection is my favourite yet packed full of blues and oranges it's just a delight. 

 Picture borrowed from Grace and favour's Instagram.

Picture borrowed from Grace and favour's Instagram.

 

As for me...

Well, I was busy building my stand, flogging chunky knits and chatting to my hearts content. The highlight of my weekend was when my friend Harry came to visit. I know Harry through his mum Emma who owns Cheeky Sew and Sew she recently messaged me to say that her son Harry had joined a knitting club at school and how much he was enjoying it. When they came to visit me at Cheltenham it wasn't hard to get Harry knitting on my giant needles and he was such a whiz I think I've got some serious competition. That's for stopping by Harry, your smily face and brilliant knitting skills made my weekend. 

 

Stop talking Lauren

So that's Cheltenham in a belated nutshell. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by, it was a joy to be there and to meet you and chat knitting and businesses. I hope to do it again sometime - I'm just writing my list of stuff not to forget next time!  

OK, best be off - speak soon, 

L x