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Gingham love

I am a big fan of gingham, just makes me think of happy summery thoughts for some reason. Probably something to do with picnics and summer living.

Anyway, the very clever Pennydog recently purchased some vintage style gingham ribbon which she was going to make into a bracelet.

Viola, one gingham bracelet and it’s mine! (Mwwaaaahaaah)…

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Pennydog is offering a whooping 15% off all items on her online shop using code “pennytweeter”. What is even better is that if you can’t see the colour you want or a certain size, she’ll make it for you, that is what I call bespoke service. Go and have a look, you know you want to.

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Tiaras and sherpas

Christmas has come to the Crayons household yesterday. We went on our annual trip to Santa’s Grotto (aka garden centre) with our good friends and their children.

As usual it was a freezing day, but we planned it well this year as we didn’t have to wait 1+ hours in the queue. As it was still very early in the season we went straight onto the train ride (three times around an indoor track) and then straight into see Santa complete with pixie helpers.

A very well organised Grotto, for our ticket we got a baby Christmas tree, age appropriate present and train ride (the ride being the most fun apparently). The train ride staggered the Santa visits which was housed in 4 wooden cabins at the end of an indoor winter wonderland display.

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‘Miss Crayons’ had been thinking about what she wanted to ask Santa and in the end instead of opting for the pink pony she requested a jewellery box in pink naturally. Imagine my relief, Santa’s little elf would have really struggled to make a pink pony no matter how much duck tape and tissue paper she used.

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Christmas, charity, playgroup

This year I have volunteered to help raise some funds for our little village playgroup.

We have two Christmas markets on the same day and they are for two very different audiences. The first market is to be held in the historic Croyland Abbey, the second is at the town’s light switching ceremony (which is much fancier than it sounds because it’s probably going to involve a string of lights across the road).

Mrs Pink Milk has been roped into helping too. We have decided to try and make as much as we can ourselves to sell for a huge profit. We are going to attempt some soyawax teacup candles a la The Madhouse style, can’t say it will work, but we are prepared to give it a go. Other ideas for the Abbey fair include paper decorations, tealight jam-jar holders, cards and probably something involving glitter.

I am struggling to find ideas for the light switching ceremony. Think lots of children, cold, parents not wanting to spend too much. I can only think of food related items (surprise surprise), cakes, brownies, toffee apples….dentists look away!

Any other suggestions?

Henceforth…

The public has spoken.

Made by Artisans
Showcasing UK Handmade Designers & Artists

A mouthful, but I like it.

Darnit, does this mean I have to get all my boards reprinted?

Artisan Show Nov 09 Pictures

It was worth the wait, Mrs Pink Milk just uploaded the photos for the show and they are just wonderful. I loved seeing all those lovely things and talented artisans and it makes me want to do it all again!

Some of my favourites:

Christine Pike, working at the wheel and making everyone marvel at her freestyle sculpture.

Birdhouses each with their own satalite dish or analogue aerial, mini birdhouse and stairs. So popular with the visitors that my friend brought one in the morning, then sent her hubby back in the afternoon for another two. They must be setting up an bird centre?

FiddlyFingerWork, fabulous colours and textures.

Hook and Scumble, a personal favourite with ‘Mr.Crayons’.

You can see more photos at Pink Milk Photography.

What is in a name?

I have decided that I am going to make a conscious point of not referring to the artisans venture as an ‘arts and crafts fair’ anymore. I find that it just puts off too many people from even considering having a look and finding out more when I use that phrase.

Having done by ‘chugger’ impersonation on Saturday, I found it very difficult to make it sound appealling to the younger studenty and professional types in a single sentence. Those that did stop to give me a chance to explain ‘got it’ straight away and were happy to pop into the venue to check it out, but people have a natural adversion to being stopped on the street and I got a lots of turned up noses when I used the ‘c’ word.

I think I am going to keep it simple and just say the ‘Made by Artisans Show’ – does that do what it says on the tin or am I just kidding myself? Suggestions gratefully received.

A day at the fair

Well, the Artisan fair has been and gone, and what a day!

I had lots of help, so firstly a huge thank you to Mrs Pink Milk and Wendy at Diva Wrappings for their help setting up Friday evening. It made a huge difference as the morning of the fair ran smoothly and there were no glitches for me in terms of getting the tables ready for all the exhibitors.

Mrs Pink Milk has taken lots of photos of the day as well as most of the lovely tables, so we have to be patient and wait for her to recover and post those (hint, hint).

I had such a fun day, I knew I would be in love with all the things there and I was so glad that other people, visitors and artisans alike, felt the same way. Goes to prove that quality does speak for itself.

My personal highlights for the day:

Slugs and Snails, Land Cuckoo and Cherry Trees girls spending most of the day wondering around in their socks.

Pennydog, recalling her journey adventure to Peterborough across country, literally.

Chilling out with MuranoSilver+Mum and watching a master ‘trader’ at work.

Sniffing chocolate soap. Yum.

Seeing Mr Crayons chatting to the artisans and being genuinely interested (and impressed) with their work.

Offering a flyer to a girl in the square and having her run away from me screaming was if I was offering her a dose of rabies.

Noticing the free stars on the ledge in the hallway disappear within a hour. Everyone loves a freebie.

Oh, in case you didn’t already know, the winner of the best dressed table went to Slugs and Snails, by 1 vote. She was delighted with the accolade and her prize which was a necklace from Hook and Scumble, which I knew she was a huge fan of already.

Would love to hear your highlights, so please leave a comment.

For those of you kind enough to ask if I will be making it a regular thing…well, I need to watch some x-factor and turn my brain off for a while. Watch this space though.

Made by Artisans Show

Well, it’s been a bit quiet on the blogging front as I have been madly preparing and adding things to my to-do list (as well as adding to other people’s lists too) in time for the first artisans show this Saturday at Peterborough Cathedral.

Along with that I have been doing my day job and churning out website designs and branding and well as looking after 2 small children. Talk about challenging!

My lovely artisans have been sending me some goodies. Some 50 peeps will be lucky enough to have goodies packs rammed full of vouchers, free samples and prize draws. Thank you for all the generous donations.

Fingers crossed for good weather and I’ll be sure to post some pictures of the event (courtesy of Pink Milk Photography no doubt) once everyone has had a chance to recover.

International rescue

We have family in New Zealand, so I am forever trying to remember birthday dates (not very successfully) as it takes 7-10 days for mail to arrive. So the other day I notice on facebook that it’s my sister-in-law’s birthday next Saturday! Yikes! So I think on my feet, how to buy handmade and still get it to her in time?

Answer, geo-locator on Etsy! So I do a search for her home-town and considering it’s just a small town in NZ there were a few members, sadly nothing suitable though, so I search wider afield and in the end find a jewellery maker in Auckland. I drop her a quick email asking if I can get the gift sent directly and within hours we have arranged for delivery and she even offered to include a gift card with a message.

I am so glad I have been able to stay true to my handmade pledge, even if it is on an international scale.

Big thanks to Cleobelle for her service above and beyond the call of duty!

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Woman power

It is going to be Women’s Enterprise Day on the 18th November. I love the fact that there is a whole day dedicated to women in business. I for one shall be celebrating all day by eating cake and quoffing copious amounts of…juice.

This day also coincides with the launch of the new website Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous.

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Be Passionate, Dream Big, Love the Unusual, Celebrate the Individual and Never settle for the ordinary

The site will be showcasing and representing UK designers and makers. If ‘marketing and promoting’ your work is not your thing, then this offers the perfect solution. It has been founded by two dynamic women and I am really looking forward to seeing it grow and become a huge success it deserves to be.

If you are a designer or maker and would like to register for the site, they are currently offering a very special registration offer. Follow the official GWAG_UK Twitter account to find out more.