Kirstie Allsopp presents The Handmade Fair – the hot craft ticket of the year! Have you booked yours yet?
Running between the 19th and 21st September this year and set in the super gorgeous grounds of Hampton Court (WHAT a venue!) The Handmade Fair is the first all-making craft fair. With learning and making at the heart of the weekend this is the type of event I absolutely love. Don’t get me wrong – pottering round a craft fair and looking at all the beautiful creations is fantastic and inspiring and there will be some of this with the shopping village… BUT the chance to squeeze a whole host of workshops and talks and effectively learn a little bit more about loads of different areas of craft is just perfect for this practical focused jack of all crafts!
So the day, the minute, in fact almost the very second that the pre-sale tickets went on sale I booked myself in for the saturday with my mum!… and then I may have booked in for a friday ticket too with some friends… although if you ever call me up on it I’ll deny it to the bitter end….
The tickets are almost laughably good value – for £30 you get a workshop, a talk, a grand-make (simple crafts with loads of crafters) plus entry to wander the fair, peruse the market stalls and there’s even an Etsy Business School! Considering that the average price of a craft workshop in London seems to be around £45 I was instantly sold – you do the maths!
so… question of the day… what have I booked in for!!
On Saturday I’ll be attending a talk in the Super Theatre by Kaffe Fassett: master of creativity. Kaffe works with needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics but the thing I love most is that his first knitting experience followed a trip to Scotland where, inspired into buying wool and needles, he was taught to knit on the train back to London by a fellow passenger – lovely stuff.
I’ve then chosen a workshop on lino printing. I find the idea of making printed cards, gift tags and fabric completely enthralling but this is a great example of a craft that I just wouldn’t feel confident enough to just have a go at using youtube vids and online tutorials. I’m really looking forward to being taught the basics and I hope that I’ll leave – if not with a beautiful print – then at least with confidence to persevere on my own.
A very close second choice was cross stitch so shortly after booking I had a bit of an amazon haul and bought some cool cross stitch books… including the What Delilah Did Storyland Cross Stitch. Maybe I can make my flat look a little more like this?
THEN IT’S POMPOM TIME!! Hooray for pompoms! Hooray for the million (or so…) ways you can make them and a big fat HOORAY for how bloody marvellous they are. Pompoms make me smile. They’re silly and fabulous and ridiculous and wonderful and I cannot wait to get pompoming in the #WORLDPOMINATION Grand Make!!
The Grand-makes are actually one of my favourite features of The Handmade Fair – masses of makers creating something simple together – it’s a not too distant vibe from what Crafternoon Cabaret Club tries to achieve after all!
FINE – YES THEN I BOUGHT A TICKET FOR THE FRIDAY AFTER A FRIEND EMAILED ME ABOUT IT AND SAID SHE WAS GOING… ok? happy? I have a problem…
It also worked out rather beautifully that I wanted to do the exact same line-up of events that she wanted – my mum and I had tried to negotiate before abandoning that plan and deciding we’ll just have to hang out for tea, cake, lunch and wine breaks.
So onto Friday…
Grand Make up first – nice and easy as their are only two choices so this time I’ll be opting for gift wrapping (notorious in my family ever since I wrapped everyone’s gifts in tissue paper on the train taking me home for Christmas… I was even helped by a lovely old man who took pity on me!).
Our talk choice for the day is Machine Embroidery… otherwise known as the crack cocaine of craft! We then opted for a paper cut workshop led by the rather awesome Poppy Chancellor: her work is vibrant, delicate and stunningly detailed.
I’m really excited about the weekend. I have very high hopes for the atmosphere of curiosity, knowledge sharing and celebration that I feel positive The Handmade fair will have and I can’t wait to be inspired!