Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Handmade Fair

This past weekend saw craft enthusiasts flocking to Hampton Court for one of my favourite craft fairs - the Handmade Fair. Now in its third year, the fair is set up in a series of marquees on Hampton Court Green, which I think is far more convivial than a massive exhibition hall. There's a definite creative buzz about the place and the tents and quirky food stalls give the whole thing a bit of a festival vibe (further highlighted by the fact that it didn't stop raining the entire day!) 

I visited on the Friday, but was only able to stay until early afternoon as my children beckoned. I really wish I'd been able to stay longer though, as two afternoon delights I missed were talks by Cath Kidston and GBSB hottie Patrick Grant. Doh! I always say I'll book in for a workshop or class and always end up getting distracted by the shopping tents instead. This year was no exception and I spent hours browsing the eclectic mix of wonderful craft stalls. I've been on a bit of a fabric bender recently so I was pretty stern with myself about no fabric purchases. That didn't stop me treating myself to a couple of other special things…

I spent ages at Gizelle Renee's stand which sold a wonderful selection of handmade leather gloves. I've always wanted a pair of posh gloves and this red leather and cashmere pair had my name on them.


I have teeny tiny hands, so it was good to get them properly measured (I'm a size 6.5 if anybody's interested) and finally own a pair that fit me like a glove (boom boom!) Here's Gizelle shortly after completing the sale…


My other treat to myself was a new teapot. It wasn't exactly high on my wanted list, but when I saw this Art Deco-style ceramic and chrome pot just sitting quietly on one of the vintage stalls, I knew it was coming home with me. 


I actually have a small collection of coffee pots and milk jugs in this style, but no tea pot. See how perfectly it fits in on my shelf at home, it was obviously meant to be!


Other stands that caught my eye were Ladybird Likes - brimming with vintage sewing lady and pin up girl brooches.


Hannah Bass contemporary tapestries. These amazing map cushions almost made me want to take up cross stitch.


Beautiful, printed stationery from Cambridge Imprint



I also got to catch up with sewing friends old and new. 

Clockwise from bottom left: Tilly, Elisalex, Gabby and Mark
Next year I'll make a point of booking childcare well in advance so I can complement my shopping and eating with a sewing class or two. I'll also make a note of where I left my car, to avoid wandering round a field like an idiot for half an hour looking for it!  x


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18 comments:

  1. Sounds like you crammed a lot into a few hours Jane!! What perfect purchases, those gloves are beautiful and I love the idea of buying them properly by getting your hands measured. I really must make the effort and visit next year...

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    1. Yes, come next year, then I can meet you for a cuppa! x

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing your visit. I can't be everywhere in the world to see all the lovely makers and their designs but this is an excellent way to catch up from afar. I must have one of those Hannah Bass kits!

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    1. They're very tempting aren't they?! x

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  3. How fun - I've been to Hampton Court, so can imagine the fair! (I'm in Phoenix, AZ, USA)

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  4. Hahaha! "I've found my keys. Now where did I leave the car?"

    What a BEAUTIFUL setting that must have been for a wonderful day - rain & all. So glad you had fun, Jane. :)

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  5. Second best, I know, but Cath Kidston was really interesting on Desert Island Discs a while back. Easy to find on BBC radio I player as theft archive them all. Nicole Farhi was amazing too just recently.

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    1. I think I remember listening to Cath Kidston at the time but have just listened again, you're right, very interesting, thanks! x

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  6. Love your gloves!! I went on the Saturday, first time I've been to something like this and loved it, can't wait to go again.

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    1. It's a great fair isn't it? Glad you enjoyed it! x

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  7. Love those gloves, they took me back a few years (pre-children) when I spent an outrageous amount of money on a pair of green leather gloves, with cashmere lining in Italy and for the record - because I checked - mine are a 7! Jo X

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    1. I'm very nosey so am interested to hear you wear size 7 gloves! They sound beautiful by the way! x

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  8. I *love* those map cushions. Off to hunt one down right now...

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  9. Wow. I went to the first one and did some workshops, would have loved to go back but husband in Kenya and three smalls made it a bit difficult. The gloves look fab. I think I will have to head to our local leatherwear shop and get measured, it's starting to get chilly and I seem to be developing Reynards Syndrom. The tea pit looks perfect. :)

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