Crafty Muthas and Craftivistas at Bearwood Handmade

Our final ‘Meet the Maker’ post and I’m pleased to introduce you to some very special stall holders and a fantastic local action group.


Our Ceri makes anything. Well, she’ll have a go at everything! Over the years since the Crafty Muthas got together, she has knitted, crocheted, made jewellery out of buttons, beads and gemstones, made cards and other paper crafts, lino carving and printing, fabric printing and hand painting, shrink plastic, wood burning, sewing, pinecone crafts, a bit of pottery, mini scenes in glass domes, plaster of paris gnomes and skulls, resin and even made jewellery out of parachute cord.


I’ve reined myself in a bit this year, and I’m going to be showcasing my toasty hand knitted and crocheted accessories alongside some rustic wooden Christmas decorations. There’s bound to be some kitsch jewellery in there somewhere though. Bound to be!

Come and have a look for yourself, and suggest a new craft for her to try!



I’m the cake baking Crafty Mutha, it’s not my job, just something I enjoy doing when I have the time and Christmas baking is what I enjoy most of all.  I’m normally in the tea room at the back of the hall and I’ll be there again on Saturday 19th November bringing you a range of cakes and sweet treats such as brownies, mince pies (Mary Berrys’ recipe so there’s lots of brandy in them!), Christmas cake, spiced nuts, gingerbread, fudge, Guinness cake and whatever else I can rustle up in the two manic baking days before the fair! Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Smethwick Craftivistas


We asked Craftivista Madeline to tell us what’s happening on Saturday: “Smethwick Craftivistas will be at the Bearwood Handmade Winter Fairs adding new pieces to the ‘Welcome’ quilt that was started at this year’s Bearwood Action For Refugees Refuteaparty. Feel free to join us for some thoughtful activism between 10am – 1pm


Bearwood Handmade November takes place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 19th November at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall, Cnr Rawlings Rd and Bearwood Road, B66 4HA.

Smethwick Foodbank at Bearwood Handmade


As we’re buying gifts and looking forward to the excesses of Christmas it’s worth having a thought for those who find themselves having to rely on a Foodbank this winter. There are more people than ever turning to the Smethwick Foodbank for help, sadly many people who live right here in our community. That’s why we invited Smethwick Foodbank to join us, this Saturday, 19th November, at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall.

Crafty Mutha Christina who works for the Foodbank says: “We will be there to collect any food or donations of money all of which go directly to people in the local area using the foodbank. We will also have food collection baskets available for people to take to their place of work to collect food. There will be shopping lists detailing the types of food we require and info on volunteering opportunities.



And talking of opportunities, Christina is currently looking for volunteers for the upcoming #everycanhelps campaign at Tesco West Bromwich. If you could spare 3 hours to hand out leaflets or do collection pick-ups between 1st and 3rd December please ring 0121 517 0141 or email More information on their website.


Bearwood Handmade November takes place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 19th November at Bearwood Baptist Church Hall, Cnr Rawlings Rd and Bearwood Road, B66 4HA.

Bearwood Handmade November…meet Nisha Grover

Artist Nisha Grover will be joining us at Bearwood Handmade for the first time this year.


My artwork is inspired by Creation and Nature with its abundance of flora, fauna, organic shapes and natural patterns. The artistic traditions of India and the Far East also play a big part in my work and I like the idea of fusing eastern and western design together.


I create a variety of artworks including prints, cards, mosaics, mixed media on wood pieces and jewellery. I have a background in Textile design which constantly influences my work as I love to use bright colours, decorative patterns, different printing techniques, collage and embellishment to enhance the completed works.


Nisha will be selling a cohesive collection of prints (framed and unframed), handmade cards, mosaics, jewellery (mosaic pendants and porcelain brooches), mixed media on wood originals and her new tile on wood artworks.



Bearwood Handmade November…meet The Eloise Bindery

A book is the perfect gift at Christmas and we have some special hand bound books at Bearwood Handmade on 19th November.

The Eloise Bindery is a small bookbinding studio based in Birmingham, UK, established in 2013 by Eloise Lee.


Eloise is passionate about creating beautifully bound books that are designed to be filled to the brim with ideas, memories and creativity. The books are made using a variety of traditional techniques, complimented by colourful, contemporary designs. The books are perfect for drawing, writing, painting, traveling and scrap-booking. Eloise specialises in exposed spine bindings, as she believes the stitching is too pretty to hide!

Eloise’s product range includes sketchbooks, journals, notebooks, guest books, photo albums, cards, gift tags, stickers and other stationery items. Her client base include artists, writers, and prospective brides and grooms.

All the books are cut, folded, glued, pressed and sewn by hand. Eloise’s photographs form the designs for the bindery’s stationery, and it is all printed in house. Eloise occasionally uses handmade felt covers for her books, the felt is made using a wet felting technique with dyed merino wool.



Bearwood Handmade November…meet Pinglemonster

Jinping aka Pinglemonster joined us in 2014 and was greatly missed last year so we’re really pleased she’s returning to November’s Bearwood Handmade with her adorable needle felting.


I have been doing needle felting since 2010. There are simple tools involved (needles and wool) but they are combined with my passion and patience. I am a freelance graphic designer, so I collect materials, sketch and use computer software to draw and inspire my needle felting creations. Soft woolly sculptures, toys, accessories etc. are very popular for all age groups, in particular children. The most satisfying thing about my needle felting is that whoever buys them are happy.


Expect to find Christmas themed needle felted toys, sculptures, home decoration, key rings, DIY felting kits and accessories and greeting cards.




Countdown to Bearwood Handmade November starts here…meet This Geek Love

This year we started planning our Christmas Bearwood Handmade fairs earlier than ever but all of a sudden I’m sitting here wrapped in a blanket on a bleak November afternoon thinking about delivering flyers and only just starting to write about some of our fantastic stall holders. So here we go, let me start introducing the first of the talented designer makers we have coming up at the Bearwood Handmade event on 19th November.


Amanda aka This Geek Love is a regular at our Bearwood Tapestry nights in The Midland and had a stall at Bearwood Handmade last December. “I learnt to crochet in 2012 and haven’t stopped since! I love making geeky things inspired by Doctor Who, Star Wars and now Pokémon amongst other things. I also love working with bright colours and the CMYK colour combo.


My products are all handmade, mostly crocheted, accessories and home décor with a geeky twist. They range from rose and bow brooches to star wars pots, 8bit blankets and anything I can make a Tardis into.


Instagram – @thisgeeklove
Facebook page – This Geek Love
Etsy –


Bearwood Handmade Flyer

Hello my pretties! Erin has painted these gorgeous wintery images for our latest flyer, coming to a letterbox near you any day. We’ll be updating this blog, twitter and the Facebook event pages for each fair (19th Nov & 3rd Dec) with details of stall holders and plans for both days so keep an eye out for the latest news. See you there x

bh2016 bh2016back-2

It’s a Crafty Pantry Food Festival!

We have some great news to share.

We’re joining forces with our good friends at Bearwood Pantry (two of us Muthas are actually founder members of Bearwood Pantry so that’s how good the friendship is!) to put on a very special event in September. We’re calling this creative collaboration The Crafty Pantry Food Festival – see what we did there?

food festival flyer
Erin Power once again designed our gorgeous flyer

With two successful food festivals behind them, The Pantry are once again inviting local food producers, cake makers, bakers and chefs to set up stalls in and around the Bearwood Baptist Church on Bearwood Road. This time however, the annual Food Festival will have a crafty twist. We’ll be providing craft stalls and childrens’ workshops alongside the tasty treats.

Once again, the Food Festival will be celebrating Bearwood’s diverse community and championing great quality food in all price ranges with a variety of stalls offering cuisine from around the world as well as homegrown local honey producers and jam and chutney makers. Organisations including Bearwood Allotments and Smethwick Foodbank will also be raising awareness of food related issues affecting local people.

Something new for 2016 is travelling book shop ‘How Brave is The Wren’ which stocks beautifully crafted illustrated stories and picture books for the young and young at heart. The Wren’s bespoke caravan shop will be pitching up on Bearwood Road ready to inspire young minds. Indoors the crafts on offer range from jewellery to crochet from some of our favourite makers and even a kids’ corner where talented youngsters will be selling their handmade products (our kids have been badgering us for years to make this happen!)

The Bearwood Crafty Pantry Food Festival takes place in and around Bearwood Road and Bearwood Baptist Church Hall, Rawlings Road, B66 4HA, from 11.00am until 4pm on Saturday 17th September 2016.

We’ll update this site with more info as the big day approaches.



Tap is back!

pint and wool

It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and new ones at the Midland last night.  I lost count of the number of people who came up and said “thank you so much for bringing the Tapestry back – I’ve really missed it!”

There were, as always, some amazing WIPs on the go, from Jo-ann’s beautifully delicate cross stitch


To Collette’s designs for a future mosaic house number


and Michelle’s detailled wire wrapped pendant, just waiting for a gemstone!

wire wrapped

We introduced our neighbours to the concept of Craftivism, and some of the projects currently underway.  #fortheloveof is a lovely simple project which sees fabric hearts embellished to demonstrate what it is you love, so you can literally wear your heart on your sleeve.


We talked to lots of people about their passions, and gave away lots of handouts to encourage people to look into what the craftivist collective do.  If you want to find out more, check out their website.


Our next Tapestry is Monday 26th October – it will be here sooner than you think! Can’t wait!