Monday, 13 May 2013

Calke Abbey Craft Fair

See sometimes exciting things do happen around here. I know. I can't believe it either.

As I mentioned in my Bank Holiday post, my sister and I went along to a Craft Fair at nearby National Trust property, Calke Abbey.

I was unbelievably restrained and resisted the urge to go in and immediately buy up the first things I saw and then spend the rest of the time walking around and sulking that I didn't save my money. I wandered and I noted and then I went back, swooping like a hawk on the items that I considered to be precious.

The wonderful thing about craft fairs is the ability to discover artists you may never have come across - and if I were a crafter I'd be getting my backside down to as many of these fairs as possible. Yeah there was some stuff there that wasn't to my taste, but hidden amongst the creepy looking animals and behind the strong smell of home-made soap there lurked some absolute gems.

These earrings came from Joia Glass Art - Joy was on the stall and was so lovely and friendly, actively encouraging people to touch the art and not be afraid of it. There were some absolutely beautiful pieces, the tealight holders in particular I think would look amazing once lit. I settled on these earrings and as Joy handed them to me she said she hoped I enjoyed wearing them - I have and I have even been complimented on them already.

This lovely card came from Alex McQuade who also had some rather nice linen purses on her stall which almost found their way into my bag (Not because I'm a shoplifter but because I wanted to buy one) and some very pretty corsages. But I settled for a card, because you can never have too many of those - can you?

I don't think I'd be cut out for sleek living you know. See through chairs and white melamine and chrome are all good and well but they just don't say homely to me. Give me a whacking great chunk of wood any day. Enter stage left Wayne Glover, who reclaims wood and makes whacking great big mirrors and frames. Good man.

I snapped up this tealight holder, not for myself, but to have on hand for those times when a birthday sneaks up on you and you're not prepared with a present.

(Let's all pretend that this is true and not that I will actually keep this for myself.)

But my absolute favourite stall by far and away was Louise Wright's stall, which I stood in front of like a bumbling idiot for a very long time, totally paralysed by the fact that I wanted everything that was on the stall. And I really do mean everything.

I wanted the tea towels and I wanted the tote bags and I wanted the cards and I really really wanted a print. Louise's illustrations are just so completely up my street that it was as if she had been drawing just for me. Damn her.

I was so incredibly restrained here that I still have trouble comprehending how it happened. I snapped up the above card - just look at the envelope too - we all love a bit of recycling don't we?

But my attention turned to the prints. Oh the prints. I took so long picking one out that my sister very nearly swiped me over the back of the head. But it was so difficult because there were so freaking many that I couldn't decide. Don't believe me? Visit her Etsy shop for yourself and see.

It was a close call between the one I chose and Tiger Dreams (I know, I don't know how I, of all people, didn't end up with that one) but in the end I just kept getting drawn back again and again and again to Elephant and Penguin and unable to resist he is now mine.

I know. I don't even have a house to hang a picture up in. But one day my friends, when I'm no longer living in my sister's box room I will be able to put my own pictures up and this guy is going to make me so happy when I look at him.

And it is for these above reasons that I shouldn't be allowed to go to craft fairs.


  1. What lovely purchases. I absolutely love the elephant and penguin picture. I'm off to check out the links you've posted. Thanks x

  2. Oooh goodies! You're right, Louise's stuff is gorgeous - off to have a browse now...

  3. I love craft fairs!! And that last picture is adorable- I'm living at home (STILL. Gah) and would have had to have bought it too, so you're not alone!! xx

  4. The print is gorgeous. I don't think I've ever been to a craft fair, beginning to think I definitely should.

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  6. Hello!
    I just found your post via my stat page on etsy, seems you've sent some people my way ;)
    I'm so so chuffed that you bought some of my work and love it, reading this has really made my day!
    It looks like you got a haul from Calke Abbey, and when your do get some space to frame up your print you'll have to let me know! @louillustrator.
    Thankyou again and stay in touch!
    Louise Wright x


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