Southampton Community Craft Fair –

Confirmed Stall Holders for 3rd November Event are ( please click on images to be taken to their online shop, website or facebook page):

Arts and Upcycling


Local artist Teresa Booth creates a wide range of beautiful sculptures and homewares using wire, wood, papier mache and fabrics. Her sculptures of people are suitable for outside use and are absolutely beautiful.

Crafts Revival

Local crafter Clare is an inspired recycling and upcycling artist. She’s offering a workshop style taster session on Saturday, where you’ll be going away with a beautiful creation of your own, using materials you wouldn’t necessairly consider beautiful…..

She also revives ancient crafts, so look out for her beautiful dorset buttons!

Happy Thoughts – Cushions and Retro Upcyling

Leeanne creates beautiful cushions from often recycled fabrics on her Nan’s old singer sewing machine. The majority of her pieces are unique and cannot be repeated. She designs the majority of her creations herself and the finished pieces are bright, fresh and would add a modern twist to your decor.

Fabrics and Mixed Media

Mrs BadCrumble

Sue creates beautiful homewares and bunting from remnant and scrap materials. She specialises in applique and patchwork and has a wide range of designs for you to choose from. She’s also created some trendy coin purses that many a teen would appreciate as a stocking filler!

Raggy Rooz

Raggy Roos is  described by owners Kelly Shaw and Natalie Compton as their love/brainchild. They make a wide range of lovely items from sock monkeys to earrings. Their photo album on facebook is well worth a browse!

Gifts with Elegance

Julia creates a wide range of gifts from little cross stitched pictures, to dolls. She also stocks handmade soaps, cards and has some sweet little Christmas decorations.

Vikki Gough – Handpainted T Shirts and Cards

Vikki creates t-shirts and cards from her own original artwork. Unfortunately we don’t have an internet address for her so can’t share her work with you….. so why not come and have a look instead!

Knitting and Crochet

Bits and Bobs Crafts

Bev creates a wide range of knitted and crocheted accessories, often from surplus or upcycled materials. From homewares to hair accessories, you can find them on the Bits and Bobs stall… and commissions are always welcome, so if you can’t see what you like, then please ask!

Tuzuka Knitting Design

A prolific and talented knitter, Christina makes a wide range of lovely baby clothes, little toys and accessories. Her work can also be found at Between Dreams and Eastleigh Museum… both well worth a visit.

Cakes and Cake Decorations

Little Penguin Creations

As featured in yesterday’s post, Amy will be offering cake decorating workshops at Saturday’s fair mmm!

Ngina’s Cakes

Will be the main feature of the coffee shop this weekend again…… amazing to think that this talented young lady is only 16!

PaperCrafts and Cards

Frances Heather – PaperCrafts

Frances is a multi-talented lady, producing beautiful cards and paper craft objects, embroidered bags, paintings and jewellery. She’ll be sharing her papercrafting skills with us on Saturday on her first visit to the fair. Frances also runs a local mental health project, Creative Options, which I’m really pleased to be involved with as a casual crochet tutor.

Jewellery and Beading

Silk Dreamings

Cara is a local recycling artist and creates a wide range of beautiful makes from plastics and paper, Her brooches are fun, bright and quirky. She sells in a variety of outlets across the UK and Australia, which she finds on her walking / public transport trips around both countries.

Taylor Made Jewellery

Local lady Sam makes a wide range of beaded jewellery for all the family using a mixture of beads, pendants and charms. She also creates pretty woollen brooches.

Pandora Style Jewellery

The profits from Kirstie’s jewellery go to support 4 charities: Down to Earth Farm, Birdline, DEBRA and Little Prickles Hedgehog Rescue. Kirstie is a talented metal smith and designs and makes a wide range of jewellery for people and animals which can be personalised too!

As well as donating money, Kirstie is also very hands on and helps run a craft group at the farm, rescues caged birds and hand rears baby hedgehogs who’ve lost their mum!

Jackie Munden and Sarah Rigby  – Decorative Beading and Jewellery

This is Jackie and Sarah’s first fair so sadly we don’t have any pictures of their work to share with you yet…. another great excuse for coming along!

Hair Accessories

The Rowan Tree

Rowan Crease makes a wide range of competitively priced and beautiful hair accessories. Her facebook page is well worth a visit for a preview of the makes she’ll be bringing along on the day

Children’s Activities

Cake a Moment

Gemma will be providing cakes, icing, sweeties and inspiration for the kids to have a go at decorating their own cupcakes…… and might have a few ready made for Mum and Dad too!

Edona Moore and Sarah Pullinger – Glitter Tattoos and Face Painting

Talented face painter Sarah and make up artist Edona have a wide range of decorations on offer for the kids. Edona also has a range of child friendly make up products too, that are guaranteed to be much better for them to wear than adult brands.

Handmade Monday 90 – Creative Cakes at the Fair

Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday, to join in the fun or discover a huge range of crafty blogs, please visit Handmade Harbour

As many of us read these posts on a Monday evening, I was thinking it would be lovely to have  a lovely cakey treat…So today I’m going to write a mini feature all about the cake makers who come along to Southampton Community Craft Fair and what they do! I think its nice to share other people’s talents out to a wider audience. It can spark all sorts of creative ideas too!

We have the next Southampton Community Craft Fair coming up on Saturday Nov 3rd and as well as a plethora of creative crafters showing their wares, we also have 3 very talented cake makers coming along. And as Christmas is coming Little Penguin Designs are running a cupcake decorating workshop at the Fair and Cake a Moment are providing something for the little ones, with their decorate a cupcake table! Nagina’s cakes are of course providing all sorts of yummyness for the cafe area.


Nagina’s Cakes

Nagina provides the cakes for the coffee shop and as a result of her success at the fairs is also supplying the Third Age Centre with cakes for its regular events. She’s only 16 and this is her first steps into starting a business and she’s doing really well.

From carrot cake to coffee and walnut, you get to taste 3 layers of cake, sandwiches with lovely flavoured buttercreams.

Little Penguin Creations

You can learn to make these at a Little Penguin Creations Workshop

As well as making cupcakes and providing workshops, Amy  makes lovely bigger cakes too. I first met her when she jumped in at the 11th hour at the Bee Festival when our cupcake maker let us down. She produced fantastic honeycakes and bee themed cupcakes.

We’ve done other events together since and her table is always popular and I’ve never seen her take leftovers home!

At the fair Amy is going to be running mini cupcake decorating workshops, where adults can come along and spend 30mins learning the basics and then have 4 beautiful cakes to take away. You could easily do this as a taster session for her 3 hour workshop on 17th Nov, a sort of try before you buy!

To book a mini workshop slot, go to the Southampton Community Craft Fair page and complete the enquiry form.

Cake A Moment

Something the kids can make!

Gemma from Cake A Moment is another very creative lady who makes beautifully flavoured frostings for her light and delicious cakes. She’s tried having a decorate your own cake table for children at various events over the summer and its proved really popular. Another lady with very few if any leftovers too! I’ve known Gemma for a good while now, having met her at a very quiet ladies night at a local secondary school. There wasn’t much to do, so all the stall holders got a chance to natter and had a great opportunity to network and make connections. At the time I had no thoughts about the fairs, but meeting ladies like Gemma and Amy at events, certainly made it much easier to find stallholders when I was asked to get them off the ground.

Gemma will be offering children the opportunity to decorate a cupcake with frosting and all sorts of fun sweet decorations. Its on a drop in basis, so if grown ups want 10 mins peaceful browsing, then Gemma will be happy to help out! Plus your little one has a creation they can be proud of!

I’ll be blogging all week, featuring other stall holders, from jewellers to knitters, sculpters to artists. Southampton nurtures so many creatively talented people and I feel really priviledged to be in a position to help in a minor way to get their amazing work out there!

Handmade Monday 89 – A Grand Day Out

Welcome to Handmade Monday, to take part or read lots of lovely creative blogs, pop across to Handmade Harbour

As part of the Unearth Your Creative Nature Course I’m currently doing, we were encouraged to go on an adventure in the coming week.  I blogged about week one on Thursday if you’d like to read more about what its about and why I’m doing it.

Spookily enough I was already booked on a very special day out with my Headway group last Monday – we were off to the V&A and as a group of people with disabilities we also got free admission to the ball gowns exhibition (no photo’s allowed 😦 ).  For me it was an adventure because its the first time I’ve been to London for fun since I was in my early 20’s, all other trips have been work orientated with no time for doing anything special sadly. Also I’d never been to the V&A before – so had no idea what to expect. It also turned into a bit more of an adventure when I was loaded in the minibus and Anita, the lovely member of staff driving us to London mentioned she’d forgotten exactly how to strap the wheelchair and me in! But with some help from one of the craft group and the decision that breathing was potentially less important than my becoming a human cannonball if we did an emergency stop, we managed! And duly set off.

Having thought about how to share my Adventure,  made some montages of the photo’s I took and will give you a glimpse into how I’m hoping they’ll inspire my work. When I blog later in the week I’ll also show you some V&A inspired artwork and doodles!

Inspiring Entrances

 I was amazed at the various entrance ways – from the ornate backdoor we slipped in, to the medieval masterpiece that led to the Medieval section.

I was so amazed and inspired by the stunning glass doodle – I want to move on into doing some free form pieces in knitting and crochet and this has given me some ideas of things I could try!

Fabulous Fashions

The fashion section is vast, so here’s a snipped of some of the pieces I loved! The necklace is silvered lace – I love crocheting vintage lace patterns and I’d tempted to have a go at using different threads and adding larger beads after viewing this piece.

The striped outfit is a fushion of knitting and fabric in one garment – this would add an extra dimension of texture and pattern to free form experiments.

The other garments inspired me in terms of shape and form – the cut of 30’s 40’s and 50’s dresses to give the impression of an hour glass figure contrasts with 20’s and 90’s style almost shapeless garments that hide the female form. I prefer the less shaped clothing for me but would love to create some fitted cardigans that create the hour glass look!

Inspiring Patterns

These patterns all said something to me. I could see a crochet blanket with micro granny squares contrasting with larger squares to create the look of the tiled floor.

The necklace was made of rows of tiny fret worked gold motifs and I could see a crochet version would make a stunning collar for evening wear.

I liked both the shapes created by the marigold fabric and the shape of the individual flowers – this could be the basis for an all over patterning or brooches.

The fret work just screamed crochet shawl at me – taking something hard like stone and softening it into yarn really appeals to me as a way of sharing beauty

Random Inspirations

I loved the simple lines and bold patterning of the green dress

The beaded bag has given me ideas for shape and form for unusual, vintage inspired purses

The turquoise ornament and the patterned floor both inspire crochet patterns for cushions or brooches.

The tapestries I chose because of the dedication of the makers who spent many years working on them in often unfavourable light yet still created things of beauty. A time when handmade was appreciated and the work that was required to create, understood.

Medievally Yours

The next section of photos are dedicated wholly to the medieval period. I love reading historical novels set in the mid to late medieval to tudor times. I find the nomadic lifestyle interesting and the need for decoration to be portable is inspiring in itself. Today how can we capture a snippet of home to take with us on our travels?

I also appreciate the beauty of the Christian art of that time, the intricate ivory carvings, jewelled bible covers, beautiful carvings and tapestries that told the stories of Christ in pictures to make them accessible to all. I know iconography is contraversial in the modern Christian Church and I appreciate the reasons behind it, but to me, the creativity of the artists was both an expression of their faith and an inspiration to the faith of others. Its also easy to think of the medieval as a time of starkness, but the stone work, windows and tapestries added much beauty and colour to their world. Secular tapestries also told stories and hid secret love affairs – they were the “hello” magazines of their day….. ideal for anyone with a love of modern soaps!

Medieval Marvels

I chose the balcony because I can imagine Romeo looking up at Juliet and because the patterns would make beautiful crochet panels . I’m experimenting with Carola Wijma’s Celtic Knot Squares  at present and think I could use the technique to create the end panels.

The stained glass is just something I love – I chose this piece for the colours it uses

The carved screen and ivory “book” just spoke to me in terms of intracy and skill – as well as an expression of the faith of both the creator of the pieces and those who later appreciated their beauty.

Trio of Tapestries

This trio of tapestries is a contrast between the secular and the religious.

I loved the dress of the lady in red

The 2 people in blue are secret lovers in the Burgundian Court as signified by his tears and the hearts on her dress.

The religious tapestry on the end is full of imagery but the latin writing would make its meaning hidden and mysterious too

Just for Fun!

These funky socks are medieval and I am going to make myself a pair as slippers for the winter!

Unearthing Your Creativity – Progress So Far

I’ve decided that I need to take some positive steps to get over this “I’m not a real artist / creative type person” block that I have. Its all well and good coming up with makes and displaying them to the world but if I don’t believe they’re good enough I’m not going to ever break through the lack of confidence barrier. A local artist and wonderful cafe owner Jani Franck has set up some online creativity courses and the first one is paid for by donation – much like all the lovely workshops she organises at the Art House, the community cafe she is a co-director of, in Southampton and home to our knit and natter group.

I thought about doing creative journalling but was a bit scared that all the proper artists would quickly see through me and came to the conclusion I needed to dip my toes into shallower water. My friend Elaine had done this course and said I should try it as Jani was advertising it again, so I duly enrolled. Most of week one passed without me opening the emails so after a verbal kick up the bum I decided to get on with it…..

The first exercise was all about what do I already do that’s creative…… mental block kicked in, so I went along to the supportive facebook group for the course, realised I wasn’t alone and had another go and came up with quite a list of things from making salads look pretty on plates to all my adventures with yarns. I also thought about the love I have for Mediveal and Tudor history and how that can influence my ideas and my imagination world. I have all sorts of whacky thoughts from time travelling monarchs coping in todays world where monarchy doesn’t equal power to how would life have been for me back then – would I have been a “Lady” or a serf! The exercise also brought my mind back to the world of architecture, how I love interestingly shaped windows, ceilings and reliefs – my dreams of using them to inspire design. I have loads of pictures of windows I want to turn into blankets for example – I just need to allow myself to make the leap!

Next task was to imagine what your creative life would look like. I have a dream of running a craft centre on the Devon coast – a fisherman’s or coast guards former home on a beach. There’d be the sea and sky to inspire, tranquility and calm. People could come and stay and be creative or just visit for the day. I’d love a little shop there and a cafe – a bit like an olde worlde tea shop with lots of table cloths and comfy seats with chunks of squishy cakes….. and I’d have a studio in the garden, a space of my own where I could sit and knit or crochet the colours of the changing seasons around me

The final task was to doodle every day for 7 days. It took me a while to start this as although there is a “no comparing” rule with the course I automatically viewed all the other doodles on facebook and decided I really wasn’t good enough. I was so worried that I made myself up a little chart with mini boxes to be filled. However once I’d done the first doodle and I admit, cheated a bit and read into week 2 – all about beating the creativty blocking monsters – I moved on to working on a much bigger scale….

Today I’ve done the 2nd exercise of week 2 but that’s going to have to wait until next week’s Handmade Monday….. its a special day out! And yes I loved, loved, loved it and am full of ideas and definitely need to do the creative journalling course soon!

Handmade Monday 88 – Plethora of Pumpkins

Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday, if you’d like to take part or spend your Monday evening relaxing and reading lots of beautiful crafty blogs, then pop over to Handmade Harbour and find out more!

Yesterday fortunately dawned bright and sunny, as I was going to the last outdoor event of the season – The Annual Pumpkin Festival, which raises funds for the fantastic Jubilee Sailing Trust.They have 2 beautiful tall ships, the only ones in the world fully adapted to that anyone can crew them, regardless of ability or disability. I’d love to do this one day myself as it would really challenge me to overcome some fears that I know sometimes hold me back from doing new things! Although I think I’d need to be sure I could pschologically cope with being hoisted onto the ship in my wheelchair first!

Its a great day out for the whole family and celebrates the skill of growers of enormous pumpkins and the creative flair of the scarecrow makers. My mini scarecrow sold before I’d got a chance to get a quick snap – in fact I was still setting up the table – so although I designed a pattern to share with you today I now need to whip up another so you can see what the finished make will look like….

Ready to Go

To say the day was a “Comedy of Errors” is pretty accurate though! I’d left my daughter to pack the car whilst I sorted out a few last minute bits and pieces and we set off, picking up her boyfriend enroute to help her put up the gazebo – poor lad had no idea what he was letting himself in for as she is somewhat bossy and her slight aspergers means that things have to be done her way! What I’d overlooked was her associated memory issues and not checked with her that everything was in the car – hence her first sentence – when I’d safely driven over some lovely mud, arrived at my pitch and they’d started unloading-  was “Mum, did you pick up the covering for the gazebo?” – I should know better really as I’m well aware that she often thinks something and then assumes she’s told me and there is no way I can lift let alone carry the gazebo cover without ending up in a heap on the floor so I definitely would have responded to such a request :-)!

Rolled Roses


Going home wasn’t an option as there was no way I could get back and set up the stall in time. But with Tesco being nearby we got their number off the internet and rung to see if they might have one gathering dust in a clearance zone but no such luck. So after sending up a quick prayer I remembered there was a camping shop about 6 miles away, next door to HobbyCraft. So having left the poor boyfriend guarding the space and unpacked stock, we set off and fortunately got the last one in the shop! When we got back all the nearby parking was gone and I could see from the mud that I would need to at least attempt walking and pushing the wheelchair like a walking frame to avoid getting totally bogged down, so we chatted up a parking attendant and got a spot off to the side of the site, just about in walking distance to the stand space. The gazebo was soon up and the stall was set up and we were ready to go!

The rest of the day was lovely, and a huge deluge of rain and hail at lunchtime, meant I had about 15 people crowded into my gazebo and had a lovely time chatting to a little boy who was amazed by ice from the skies! As the old gazebo had a tendency to be a touch leaky, I was quite relieved that I’d got a new one!

I got to chat to lots of people, made some sales, gave out some fliers for events and helped a couple of fellow yarn addicts work out how to finish off projects they were working on. Its made me think that I need to spend some time early in the New Year getting my patterns written up properly and popping them in my online shop – currently empty and in need of revamp – and also having some printed off and available for sale at fairs.

My daughter also went walkabout around the stalls and handed out leaflets to promote the next Craft Fair on Nov 3rd – I’ve been busy creating a page for it and Rozi, a very talented volunteer at 3AC has also made a fab video of the last fair which you can have a peek at on Facebook.

I’d spent most of last week experimenting with orange yarn and crochet hooks to create a variety of little pumpkins. I mounted the majority on keyrings, used one for the Scarecrow’s head and also used one for a pumpkin pin cushion. I’d also made a little headband but managed to leave it at home on my craft table, but as I’m not 100% happy with the finish that’s probably no bad thing. And as you see from the pic on the right, I also had “pumpkin breaks” and made up a batch of rolled roses.

But I’m digressing again….. The day finished pretty well until the gazebo took off when being taken down and snapped through a joint, but the good news is that its fixable! We had lots of fun getting me back to the car though as the mud was worse by then and had been churned up by the cars. My legs had got to the point of industrial action and my balance was just about gone, so walking wasn’t an option. But fortunately a lovely chap came along and pulled whilst Lucy pushed until we got me onto drier ground. I’ve got a lovely pile of very muddy laundry – including cardigan as everytime I tried to help by wheeling myself, the wheelrims were also covered and so I had mud all over my hands and lower arms-  to do plus a wheelchair to hose down today but it was definitely worth it to support such a worthwhile organisation and have a lovely, fun day! And I felt like I’d had a micro experience of Glastonbury courtesy of the mud lol!