I’m back in London after a very successful Towersey Festival! I taught 12 people to spin, 2 of whom were children. A three year old girl had a go on my spinning wheel, I introduced a number of spinners to Spin City UK, people to the Colourful Crafter, and I had an absolutely fabulous time. Not only that, I met a lot of wonderful crafters, inspirational business people and made some new friends. I got an opportunity to wander around the fair for a few minutes on Monday afternoon, and took a few photos for you all.
The Craft Fair
Obviously, me! I mainly want to show you some of the fibre blends I was experimenting with, as well as the biggest stand I’ve had. Although I have done a number of markets before, this was certainly the biggest and the longest. I’m renting a drum carder from www.handspinner.co.uk, and really enjoying having a go with it.*
I’ll be popping fibre on Etsy this week, so keep an eye out.
Helen Jenkins Designs
My next door neighbour was the lovely Helen with her range of machine embroidery goodies for home and people. Operating under Helen Jenkins Designs, I was super inspired by the range of things on display, from beautiful cards to framed pictures, brilliant hoops filled with art and little brooches. I’ve given machine embroidery a go, and it is hard. I’m so impressed by what Helen does. My favourite piece was this one, available on Etsy here.
Her sister was helping her out on the stall, and as a crocheter, took me up on my offer of teaching her to spin. She was scarily good.
Run by Jac and Belle, these guys upcycle leather and various bits and pieces to make functional and beautiful items. I was particularly fascinated by the fabric jewellery and covered tankards that they do. There are loads of different things on Facebook, and for those of you who love notebooks…I recommend you check out the selection.
Zane’s Magic Shop
This stall occupies the kids every year. With various magic tricks that he shows off to passers-by, Zane had a load of kids passing my stall with electric shock buzzers for shaking hands, small banging thingies (I can’t remember what they are called), levitating ropes, objects which vanish other objects…you name it, Zane had it.
The kids were super happy, and that speaks for itself! Check out more here.
I wanted to take a photo of the Tash Tops stand, but every time I walked past she had gone off and I couldn’t ask her permission! However, having chatted to her after this, I have taken some photos off her Instagram and Facebook. Tash is an incredibly interesting person, who along with being a designer and maker of these gorgeous tops, is also a sky-diver and travel blogger! She had some gorgeous things available, and I ended up buying a top when I saw someone else trying it on and got scared that they would buy it. The fabric was too beautiful to pass up.
Intricate drawings, beautiful prints and custom printed fabrics were on display at Cloudcover. This beautiful stall had a great selection of small, useful items, and the business card is scrapbook-worthy, let alone full of valuable Business Information on it! Just feast your eyes on this.
Again, another website under construction, but you can email enquiries[at]cloudcoverdesigns.co.uk if you want more information.
Cornish Stained Glass
Although based in Cambridge now, the beautiful glass produced by Cammille and Tony was originally made in St Ives before they left Cornwall – hence the name Cornish Stained Glass. I absolutely loved the available designs, which appeal to my love of the natural world, and will keep them in mind for the day that I have a huge house to fill with gorgeous things.
Linda Gifford Textiles
The mother of one of my folky friends, the fantastically talented Linda Gifford creates designs for fabric using a range of techniques, and turns them into things for the home. The one I have seen most often has been her headband, which is cleverly designed to be easy to wear while looking great, and I really enjoyed checking out her designs this year. A quick chat with Linda was incredibly interesting, particularly finding out how she manages various aspects of the design process.
Last but not least was Milkiway. You could spend hours looking through the jewellery on this stall, particularly if you love bohemian designs that embrace semi-precious stones from around the world. They’ve been to Glastonbury as traders, and I can see why – if I had a truckload of cash I would wear a different one of these stones every day of the year. Definitely check out Milkiway if you’re looking for something unusual for yourself or a friend.
There were more vendors at the festival, but I didn’t manage to get around everyone while there were people who could give permission for photographs to be taken. Everyone was very welcoming, and I was so thrilled to finally realise one of my dreams of exhibiting at my favourite festival.
My friends were all extremely accommodating, and kept me well supplied with caffeine, ale, cake and gin, and I can never thank them all enough for how helpful they all were! I had a fantastic time and will definitely be back next year for more folk and craft fun.