I had a double whammy on the ticket front. Firstly, for my birthday, my super other half had bought me an entrance ticket to the fair and then my fellow blogger Kathy had also ultra kindly sent me some complimentary tickets so all in all, that was very good news for me and my sister (and equalled extra spends)! Kathy makes stunningly gorgeous jewellery, "Kathy Jobson Jewellery", and had a stand of her own at the CL fair. So, first stop was to see Kathy at her stand to ogle her lovely jewellery. This was my first "blogger meet" and it was lovely to have a chat with a like minded soul.
Kathy was also selling the work of another talented lady from the West Country, Willemien Stevens, who makes beautiful appliques. Kathy has mentioned Willemien on her blog before and I was very interested to read about it because a shop in Briport which I often visit sells cards and prints of Willemien's work and my sister has long loved the "Princess and the Pea" applique so it was interesting to link up the two things when I read Kathy's blog. As Kathy mentioned on her blog, Willemien's house was recently in The English Home magazine.
The stand was looking great with all the yummy jewellery, appliques (and prints and cards of the appliques) along with some delicious vintagey goodies. I couldn't help but treat myself to a divine necklace.
I hope you had a successful time at the fair, Kathy, your stand certainly seemed popular and I also hope you get a good, relaxing break next week as I imagine it must be very hard work being on that stand (and miles away from home in unfriendly old London) for nearly a week.
One of the first things you see at the fair is a rather gorgeous roomset which is inside what I would call a posh garden shed/room, actually I think the word is gazebo. I am a bit sketchy on the details of this, I imagine it was probably advertising the manufacturer of the "shed" but I was more interested in all the Cath K and other goodies inside! (Sorry about that, Mr Manufacturer.)
At this point, I have to confess that I do not have any further photos of the fair to show you, sorry about that. To be honest, it was rather busy with lots of people looking at the stands so taking photos was difficult, I was busy shopping (oops) and I am increasingly finding that some people do not want you to take photos, in particular a certain Jan Constantine. I asked why she did not want us to take photos (having politely asked if I might) and something was said about copying designs??? She then gave me a brochure showing all her products instead. Well, thank you for the brochure, it's very nice, but am I missing something here? Surely if I had it in mind to become a Jan Constantine products impersonator, I could do that much better from the perfect pictures in the brochure than my fuzzy amateur shots? I don't understand this reluctance to allow people to take photos, perhaps someone shall explain it to me? Anyway, (mini rant over), here are some piccies from Jan's brochure instead! You see Jan, I don't bear a grudge, I'm even doing a bit of advertising for you!
One stall I really loved was that of the "Made in Hastings" gang, a group of ladies who have got together and opened a shop selling their handmade items. I have seen articles on this group in Country Living magazine before and have always fancied visiting their shop in, funnily enough, Hastings, and I shall definitely be going down there now. The people on the stand were very friendly and are obviously very talented too. Most of the products were vintage inspired. I came away with this modest little haul (I did reluctantly leave behind a gorgeous oil painting of a cute doggie on the beach, my purse lacking as it was, the £105 I would have needed to buy it. How about it, Santa Baby?)
I love the work of the artist who painted the picture on the card you can see above (also the painter of the doggy oil), Claire Fletcher. I had a chat with her and she showed us a book she has just illustrated which turns out to be Jools Oliver's new book (yes, wife of chef Jamie Oliver). The illustrations were gorgeous. I also spotted some more of her cards in Liberty today.
It is fair to say that some of the stalls were not up my street at all but then we've all got differet tastes, haven't we? The majority of the things sold at the fair are new but there were several stalls specialising in vintage items. I had a nice chat with a lady selling her vintage/repurposed items who lives near my beloved Totnes. I thought you might like to see her postcard/business card because I think it is just lovely.
One fabulous stall had an array of gorgeous vintage things, flowery and paisley eiderdowns, cushions made from embroidered tablecloths (beautiful but out of my price range at £55), some of those very cute and covetable furry doggies on wheels and some divine oil paintings of groups of flowers (sadly a tad more than my £2 car boot sale find)! I didn't take any photos, I'm sorry, I was too busy ogling everything and chatting to the owner!
Lastly, there was a stall of vintage goodies belonging to some folks who provide all the necessary items to stage sets (or whatever) in vintage style. Their prices were very reasonable and I came away with...
I might not love all of these buttons but I certainly do like a lot of them!
Here are some of my faves...
So, we had a lovely time but I was absolutely shattered afterwards! We just about managed to limp to a local restaurant where we sat back and chatted away and had a glass of rose, or two with dinner...
On a different note, thanks so much to you all for showing such enthusiasm for my giveaway, I'm overwhelmed and it's been lovely to have some comments from some new folks as well as old blogging friends. I haven't got round to visiting everyone's blogs yet and replying to you all, I will do my best. It's so frustrating that you don't get people's emails so that you can respond direct. Anyway, life should get back to normal a bit next week and I'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday so if you haven't done so already, you still have time to enter. Watch this space! I am very excited tonight as tomorrow, I pick up my new Bernina sewing machine, what a lucky girl I am. I imagine lots of sewing shall ensue...
Have a lovely weekend everyone.