Country Living Christmas Fair, Glasgow

Yesterday I completed a pre Christmas ritual. I travelled to the SECC to attend the CL Christmas Fair.

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Can you spot Morag?

 

It was a beautiful day, crisp and clear with strong winter sunshine and the Fair seemed busier than ever which was great to see.

If you've never been before and you like crafty things and Christmas things and giant cakes then you would love it.

It's a mix of established retailers, food and drink producers and my favourite, makers of handmade items. I like handmade stuff, I like making stuff and I find browsing and mooching around the stalls really inspiring and come home with lots of good ideas, most of which will never materialise but I still love it.

This year I took my camera and have photos of some of my favourites to share with you.

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Julia Smith Ceramics is a fair favourite of ours. Her designs are very clean and contemporary and incredibly tactile. If you approach a craft fair stall and instantly want to pick something up, I think you're on to a winner, and we oohed and ahhed over the buttons, brooches and I loved the clocks.

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This is someone we seem to buy something from every year, Amanda Mercer completely nails vintagey, delicate handmade ceramic pieces and keepsakes. A treasure trove of lovely things awaits.

I think I'm drawn to ceramic makers because of the juxtaposition of lovely yet useful things. We all need jugs, bowls, buttons so why not have beautiful ones?

 

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I loved Louise McLaren's paper cut art. I have such admiration for the skill and patience it must take to produce these works of art. I love the prints of her papercuts on bunting, homewares and the like but the framed papercuts and just exquisite.

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The softest yarn in the world, ever? Probably. We found it at the Wear Alpaca stand. I was very lucky to be treated to kit which has the yarn and buttons for a neckwarmer, handwarmers and headband as well as the patterns for a very reasonable price (thanks Morag!) I suspect exposure to alpaca yarn may lead to further purchases however......

The company also uses fleece which is not up to yarn standard in hypoallergenic pillows and duvets which seems like a fantastically sustainable yet luxurious idea.

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We also heard a little bit of Cherry Menloves session which prompted us to agree that next year we would be a bit more organised and sign up for some of the workshops which are offered during the fair.

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And then it was most definitely time for tea!

Sunday Post

Today was the Fife Baby and Toddler Show, and if I met you there, Hello! It was lovely to meet you and thanks for stopping by the blog.

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The event was very well attended and absolutely teaming with gorgeous babies and toddlers and of course Mums and Dads. There was a great mix of exhibitors and the venue was fab. We met a lot of cloth nappy enthusiasts and Heather connected with lots of people who want to know more about Wee Green Mummy's nappy library  and Cheeky Wipes.

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My dribble bibs and taggies were popular and the handmade business cards were well received.  Writing a blog is someimes a solitary pursuit and even when you know your readers are out there somewhere in cyberspace it's lovely to speak to real people about nappies, tea and the stuff that works for real mums with babies and toddlers. Sharing tips and stories with real live mums (and dads) was a real treat.

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A trip to Fife?

My friend Heather also know as the Wee Green Mummy is doing her thing at the Fife Baby and Toddler Show this Sunday.  She's a cloth nappy expert and has a nappy library you can experiment with and she's hoping this event will give her the chance to meet mummies (and dads) who are interested in cloth and want to try it out with her help.

 

She asked if I fancied joining her with a few handmade goodies to sell and that seemed like a great idea so I've been whipping up bibs and taggies to take along. I also found some lovely things that have been in the loft since July 2011 which is when I last attended a craft fair and sold - remember this? - absolutely nothing. Not one sale. At the time I just packed all the stuff away and concentrated on my next job - having baby Grier. 

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It's time to have another go and see if my I can tempt people with my wares and then invest any profits into growing the blog.  This time around my focus is on tempting people to look at the blog and get some new readers

I'm  most excited about my lovely teacup and saucer to display my handmade businesss cards - get it? Tea Is The Answer cards could only be stored in a teacup. 

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If business is slow on Sunday, Heather and I will get to chat hopefully and perhaps we can convince some parents that cloths nappies are ace. If you are in Fife or fancy coming to meet us please do!

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Also if you have a spare moment perhaps check out my new favourite blog?  It's written by Emma who is my sister in law's sister. She's just moved with her husband and kids to their family castle, serious. And she's hilarious. And if that doesn't sound like it would be fun I don't know what I can do for you.

First Craft Fair

So with this weekend being so busy I haven't had a chance to write about my first ever craft fair! On saturday I took up my first stall at the Morningside Makers Market with my handmade goodies. I am so thankful for Greig, Vikki and Kerry and Morag for helping me set it up, keeping me company and making purchases:) I met a lot of really nice people especially Bella Bheag who makes handmade cards and was on the stall next to mine. I actually first saw her cards last september and really liked them, also she spoke to Brodie which he loved and it stuck in my mind how friendly she seemed. I was therefore delighted when I realised she was next to me and she really was very kind and encouraging of my crafts. Which brings me to the fact that I didn't really sell much at all. It started so well with a man buying a handful of cards as soon as the doors opened, and I sold a set of bunting to another stall holder which was great. Other than that (not counting friends and family purchases !!), I didn't move much else. Lots of people stopped by to look but not buy. I did cover the cost of hiring the stall and the printing of my cards but not the cost of the materials I bought. To be fair though I still have all the items I made, they just don't seem to be very saleable. A lot of people didn't know what the doorstops were so perhaps little signs describing my items might be effective? I'm still not sure I had the pricing right but I priced as low as I could to cover costs and to make a minimal profit which lets face it is what I'm trying to do. Perhaps the fair just wasn't the right place to sell?

I seem to have more questions than answers at the moment, but certainly while I was there I scribbled down lots of ideas for future fairs so at least some part of me wants to do it all again? I kind of want to have another crack at it so I can 'get it right'. That perfectionist streak runs deep.

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These arrived yesterday,

I think they look great, the colour choice was limited as I was only ordering a small number (so far) but I'm looking forward to using them. And it's true, all my pieces are handmade by me. I want people to know that everything I make is made at home, by me, and each piece has a little bit of me in it. That makes me sound like such a hippy, but that's the whole point of making things by hand. It might not look vastly different from something which is mass produced but someone has spent time and energy to produce it for you. Which brings me on to pricing items for the fair, but that's probably a post for another time. Anyone who has pearls of wisdom on that one should leave me a comment or drop an email:)

Here are some of my newest doorstops using my lovely linen fabric. They are so squashably tactile.