Crafty Muthas in the Birmingham Mail


Last week, we were featured in the Birmingham Mail! Our lovely Jennie Sandford was interviewed by Zoe Chamberlain, talking loads about how The Crafty Muthas got together and what we have been up to over the years. The main topic of conversation was our upcoming events at The Mailbox.

This Friday, November 29th, from 1pm until 8pm, and Saturday, November 30th, from 10am until 5pm, you can find our specially curated Luxury Handmade Craft Fair set up on Level 7 of The Mailbox!! We will be just outside the BBC and yummy restaurants, full of festive cheer. I promise we will be featuring some of the best independent artists and makers that the West Midlands have to offer. In my opinion, anyway! I know that I will be purchasing some special gifts for my family and friends from them.

We’ll be having 2 more on December 13th & 14th as well. How awesome!

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We even had Nick the Photographer come round to my house and take some photos of us! It was very surreal having a photo studio instantly set up around my kitchen table.

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Here is Jennie, IN CRAFTY ACTION! She is getting her embroidery on. 🙂

Here’s a link to the article online, if you want to have a read:


Bearwood Handmade November 23, Sunny and COLD!!

The first of our 6 (!!!!!) Winter Fairs of 2013 was a couple of days ago. Wow, was it a super cold day! We tortured our poor stallholders by insisting on keeping the main front doors to the hall wide open for the day… all to lure potential shoppers into our festive cheer. Forgive us, my crafty lovelies!

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I think that it was a good move, because it wasn’t long before the hall was full of happy browsers. All wrapped up warm, but shining in the sun.

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I tried my best to take some photographs of the main hall before I fulfilled my duties of providing hot soup, hot drinks, and bread for the Bearwood community. I’ve made a little gallery below of a selection.

So now it is time to focus on our Handmade Luxury at The Mailbox this upcoming weekend! I do hope you will join us there, as well. Friday, November 29th from 1pm until 8pm & Saturday, November 30th from 10am until 5pm.


Countdown to Bearwood Handmade November… 5 days!


it’s not long now until our first Bearwood Handmade winter fair of 2013. only 5 more sleeps! i’m really looking forward to getting my christmas shopping started. i love getting people special handmade gifts from local artists. and it really gets to the heart of supporting the local economy, which is so important now more than ever.     DSCF2672 (Medium) also joining us from 13:00pm are the lovely Bearwood Pantry! they will be serving 2 kinds of hot soup with a slice of homemade bread. They have also requested Albert the Baker to bake his always delicious specialty loaves. past experience has shown that the soup and bread goes pretty quickly… it is that good, people. also, can i say it again? locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. organic whenever possible. healthy and tasty, always!   i’m feeling a lot of warm fuzzy feelings for our community.

New Website!!

it’s taken a weeks to sort out… but here we are! today is the fateful day that Posterous is shutting down for good… and with it, our virtual home since October 2009. so welcome to our new virtual home! update your links and we’ll try and get back into the habit of updating our blog. just after we dust off the cobwebs here and get comfortable.


Bearwood Handmade Spring (Winter?) Fair 2013

i can’t believe it’s been over a month since our last humble Bearwood Handmade craft fair. i think it’s just taken a month to get over waking up that fateful Saturday morning and seeing this:

DSCF0295 (Medium)what the…???

i was in denial the night before. we went and decorated the hall, ever the optimistic Crafty Muthas we are (NOT!). snow was falling. stall holders were cancelling… we soldiered on! we talked about calling off the fair… but it was such short notice. i know that it’s our brilliant stallholders that bring the quality to our fair… but really, the fair is all about Bearwood and it’s community. and there was no way of telling the community in time that it was cancelled. i couldn’t bear the thought of people coming to St. Mary’s and not finding us there.

DSCF0318 (Medium)our very brave stallholders setting up. all in shock that we didn’t cancel!

amazingly, we had enough of the stallholders show up and the main hall looked lovely and full and abundant. when the clock chimed 10 o’clock, and we were officially open for business, we were all biting our nails… would we just be sitting on our own all day? just buying each other’s lovely crafts to keep our spirits up? well… we needn’t have worried..

DSCF0355 (Medium)customers!

that was pretty flipping amazing. the snow couldn’t keep Bearwood away. winter may have had returned for march… but it was definitely spring at Bearwood Handmade that day. very heartwarming, indeed.



November’s Bearwood Handmade

November's Bearwood Handmade

We’ve officially opened the Christmas season and cheer with our November Bearwood Handmade Fair. The doors opened at 10am last Saturday to welcome the Bearwood community… and even though it was grey and the skies opened with rain, we still had a very busy day.

I ran around in my usual last minute fashion, taking photographs of all of the beautiful handmade crafts I could see… have a look through and enjoy!

Also, if you see anything you like in the photos and would like to get in touch with the artist, just leave a comment and we can provide more details.


Close-Knit in Bearwood

Close-Knit in Bearwood


I’ve been running some very casual knitting classes in the jewellery quarter for about a year now. I call it Close-Knit because I like to think that we’re knitting bonds between us as well as yarn while our needles work away. The classes are very casual and social and fun… and I like to think very affordable, too.

Close-Knit in Bearwood Close-Knit in Bearwood Close-Knit in Bearwood


Now that winter is closing in, I’ve been knitting a lot more… and I was thinking that I’d like to start one of my Close-Knit classes at my house here in Bearwood. Our house was a bit of a fixer-uper and we’ve been renovating it slowly over the last couple of years… we just finished having some work done on the kitchen and it is a perfect place for about 6 people to gather around the table and swap some knitting skills.

Close-Knit in Bearwood

I have some very simple patterns to get you started if you are a beginner. My favourite way to start people off is by knitting a mini triangle… perfect for bunting!

Close-Knit in Bearwood

I’ve also started up a Knit-Along where you can learn to knit some Xmas Baubles. The kit consists of 2 balls of Artesano superwash merino and the pattern.

If anyone is interested in coming to a Close-Knit session, the next one is THIS FRIDAY! November 23 from 10am until 11:30am. It will be here at my house. The cost is £8, or you can buy 4 sessions for £25. Please drop me an email ( erin . power @ gmail . com) for more details and to book in.


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!

Bearwood Handmade Spring 2012

we were all sitting in a pub the other week (as you do) talking about the upcoming spring fair (5 week away!!). ideas were being bounced around for the flyer… and boy did we need to get that designed quickly. i had a week… so the following day i got to sketching. and sketching. and sketching… and i eventually came up with this:

Bearwood Handmade Spring 2012

all the classics are included: bunting, buttons, blossoms, a banner, and a bear (oh my!)… and a couple of squirrels for good measure.

Bearwood Handmade Spring 2012

this time i thought i’d include a map on the back, so we could be found tout de suite… and i made doubley sure that the post code was indeed correct this time (oops), for any sat nav users.

now… i suppose it’s time i thought about making crafty things to sell… i did say 5 weeks, right? 5 weeks!!