spring has sprung

A big thanks to all our lovely stallholders and visitors to the Bearwood Handmade last Saturday.  What a lovely Spring day, with the brightness and warmth that Bearwood brings!

The TV cameras came to record the event and contribute to the community’s bid under the Portas banner for money to help revitalise the High Street, and even the local butcher and hairdresser made it on to teatime news on Monday!  Try and catch it on YouTube to see crafty muthas’ very own Jennie Sandford explaining the virtues of a pop up shop!

There were fewer people around than at Christmas, but our resident counter reports that even so over 2000 people piled through the doors over the course of the day, and some local traders (in particular those selling refreshments) reported an increase in trade over the previous weekend.  Lots of lucky people found their mother’s day presents with a spirit of individuality and uniqueness under one roof (but two rooms, isn’t that right Jennie?!), and all the gorgeous stallholders left with smiles on their faces.

Thanks for coming and supporting local handmade Bearwood, and come back and see us again soon x

It’s all about Bearwood

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There’s a lot of love for Bearwood at the moment. A wave of enthusiasm for creating and developing a social, active community where good things happen. Our little part of the West Midlands seems re-invigorated despite the current hard times, or maybe because of them.

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I’ve ‘re-invigorated’ some vintage doilies from my stash to create some beautifully delicate bunting. I’ll have some on my stall at Bearwood Handmade this Saturday. Come see the very best of Bearwood’s crafty community, enjoy the lovely atmosphere and please do say hello.

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

oh i do so love to make things. create and craft. it calms me and challenges me and lets me express myself. i love to customise and make things unique and special… to start with just some basic materials… and then, with some thought and time and effort and love, i’ve created something.

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

(a photo of me screen printing some bags at Cow-Studio)

another things i love to do is teach people. there’s nothing like the feeling of sharing a skill with someone. it’s like letting someone in on a secret. and to witness the “oh i get it!” moment when someone learns something new… and you taught it to them! i don’t know if you know this, but i teach people to knit. well, it’s more like i get to hang out with people and talk and laugh while we knit together. it’s why i call my knitting group Close-Knit… because not only do you weave yarn together, but friendships are also woven together as well. it’s a special thing.

i really wanted to try something different for this Bearwood Handmade fair. i wanted to put together kits for people to pick up so that they can create and craft themselves! i wanted to be able to give people an opportunity to make things unique and special. so i thought i would make 2 types of kits, based on the workshops that i teach at Creative Open Workshops in the Jewellery Quarter.

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

the first kit is to Knit Your Own Bunting! it will include all the materials you’ll need to knit up 5 little triangles: a pattern, a set of bamboo knitting needles, and 5 little bundles of yarn. all in a cute little muslin bag, screen printed by Your’s Truly!

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

The second kit features something that is very close to my heart… photography. especially lo-fi low tech experimental photography. I’m putting together a Matchbox Pinhole Camera Kit.

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

(a photograph i took with my matchbox pinhole camera)

 in the kit you’ll find everything you need to make your own pinhole camera out of a matchbox. Believe It Or Not! i have written up a tutorial that was featured in Handmade Living magazine a couple of months ago that i’m putting in the kit that will guide you through the nitty gritty.

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

eep! kits at Bearwood Handmade

again, i’ve screen printed up some muslin bags to put all the materials in… i think i’m addicted to screen printing!

okay, this blog post is getting long winded. i’m going to wind things up and just publish this sucker! come see me at Bearwood Handmade on March 10th! i’m sharing a stall with the lovely mutha Jennie Sandford. i’m also going to give a little Cow-Studio workshop discount to anyone that buys a kit off me… now, there’s a great incentive!

4 days to go…

…and I’m burning the midnight oil again in a bid to finish off the multitude of projects I want to bring along to Handmade Bearwood on Saturday!

Having spent many a joyous evening half watching a film with Mr S whilst simultaneously singeing organza circles over a tealight to create petals for my organza blooms, the real tricky bit came with assembling them and trying to decide on centres for them.  I carefully stacked them all with loose beads inside, then turned around and the singed edges of a few caught my clothes, catapulting the beads all over the hard floor and under the sofa…!  Ah well.

An enjoyable evening with top notch company last night (plus a super special belated birthday present – thanks so much!!!) meant I could sew quite a few of them together.  I think they look quite delightful en masse, and I have some gorgeous pale brown shot with purple, and some deep burgundy ones still to sew together, so I think my garden will look quite colourful in the end…

I am presenting them all on luggage tags this time, and have happily stamped away this evening, carrying the theme on to my paper bags.  All Crafty Mutha creations are, naturally, “smutha’d with love”!

And finally I had great fun experimenting with my new stamps and fabric paints on Sunday evening – I am loving the little doll, and the rocket and skull rock too!  Of course my cherished “I heart Bearwood” babygros and totes will also be on display, all can be made to order.  These all need a jolly good press with a hot iron to fix the ink and iron out the wrinkles, so forgive their crumpled state…Me and the iron, we don’t see much of each other these days, so liberating it from its understairs prison will be an experience.

OK, back aching now…bed calling….

nymph nymph show me your beads

so, as well as the floral mania, I have been busy experimenting with semi precious gemstones and silver beads, to create some necklaces which are really different to what I’ve done before.  I’ve used turquoise, lapis, rose quartz, aventurine, jade, cats eye, ceramic beads, pearls and seed beads – me likey!

I also found a supplier of cute and funky acrylic pendant shapes, so I’ve put together a small selection of them – particularly like my two little monkeys modelling “Freak” and “Sweetheart”!

Can’t wait now – just over a week til the fair – and SOOOOO much to do!  Hope to see you there! x