Saturday, 10 November 2012

A Fab-u-lous Fair

Well, it's been a busy few weeks, keeping me away from my little old blog, but with a few milestones passed.  Wednesday saw the end of the building works here, all 39 weeks of them.  I can't tell you how glad I am to see the back of them and have our home back.  It coincided with a visit to the Country Living Fair and my birthday, oh dear another year older, just about hanging on to the "thirty-something" title.  I was a bit disappointed with the CL Fair, mainly because it was so busy that I simply couldn't be bothered to wait to look at some stalls.  No matter, I came away with most of my pennies intact and a good job that was, too!

Today, I headed off into London, something I rarely do on a weekend but I was on an exciting mission.  I usually find my way round London pretty well, I've lived here for seventeen years after all, but West London is not my natural stomping ground and I was a tad lost.  Perhaps it was because I was rather sidetracked by the attractive sights on offer all around me.  Some of London's tube stations are absolutely stunning to look at and do you know, I don't think I've ever emerged from South Ken before, I've just got off and followed the tunnel straight to the V&A.

I picked my way through the streets admiring the gorgeous houses and garden squares.  Ah, England is so beautiful.

I so love this pink front door.  Funnily enough, having seen another one in Bridport, I have been thinking recently how wonderful it would be if every time I came home, I saw a pink front door.  Don't think the boys would be too keen.

I finally found my way to the Kings Road and Chelsea Old Town Hall.  I had a date with my first visit to the Selvedge (magazine) Fair.

The hall itself is absolutely lovely, a really great setting.  As you can see, it was very busy, but not unpleasantly so.  There were two further rooms full of stalls plus some more in the corridors.  Oooh my giddy aunt.  Good job I saved those pennies!

I knew from the Selvedge website that some of my favourite crafts people were going to be there but I was pleasantly surprised to find so many more and such delightful people to meet and talk with.  Obviously not everything is going to be to any one person's taste but I generally found the workmanship superb and the items on offer exquisite.  Let's have a look at a few highlights, shall we?

Matilda-Rose had made some lovely items with vintage blankets as the base cloth, snippets of Tana lawn and some fine free motion stitching.

Cindy Incidentally with lovely Liberty fabric applique teacups.

I am already a big fan of Claire Fletcher's work having been introduced to it through Made in Hastings.  Her work is unashamedly girly and pretty, so right up my street!  Her illustrations are just charming.  A while back, I decided I really wanted to support talented crafts people and buy a special piece of work every now and then and one of her painted tambourines hangs in my Den.

I was also pleased to meet and chat with the lovely Sarah Strachan whose work was new to me.  I noticed that Sarah is featured in the current Selvedge magazine.  Oh look at that cute crocheted blanket.

I loved the miniature patchwork quilt you can see and Sarah explained to me that the patchwork effect is actually painted onto the cloth  Too cute.

Everywhere there were beautiful things to exclaim over.  Out in the corridor, the knitted "Best in Show" cats and dogs were going walkies!

Having first read about Abigail Brown in Homes and Antiques magazine, I have admired her work for some time so I was thrilled to see her work in the flesh.  I adored the little owl, he had such a cute expression on his face but the most comments from fellow visitors were exclamations over the fabulous flamingo.

Having lusted over one for ages, home came the pink birdy.

More excitement awaited round the corner when I beheld the stall belonging to Jessie Chorley showcasing the gorgeous goodies usually found in the Colombia Road shop belonging to her and her friend, Buddug Humphreys.

What is it about these pieces I love so much?  I looked at them a long time, admiring all the little details.  Jessie herself was a delight to chat with.  I think a place on one of her workshops must be secured soon.

And finally, I couldn't have been more thrilled to find Julie Arkell in attendance.  Both she and her stall were looking wonderful and it always amazes me, the new ideas she comes up with and makes her own.

I was so very taken with the crazy patchworked flower brooch in pink...

All beautifully and quirkily displayed.

Ooh, rabbit brooch love.  Could that black one need to come home with me, too?

Julie had the lovely idea to copy postcards which I think her grandfather had brought back from the First World War and combine them with her stitched "everlasting" poppies for Remembrance Day, and every day thereafter.

The lovely lady herself.

Oh what a perfect treat of a day.

Perfect from the lovely poster advertising the fair to the amazing items on offer and the equally pleasant visitors with their compliments on my 1940's cardi.  I bought this at the Chatham Dockyard event and it hangs on the outside of my wardrobe every day for me to admire.  Today, I finally wore it for the first time and I remembered I hadn't shown you.  A perfect cardigan, there can be no doubt.

Do go to the next fair if you get the chance, you have until March to organise your trip.  I'd better start saving...


  1. looks like a perfectly glorious day indeed! I love love love your cardy, it's spectacular. I live along the coast from Hastings and my daughter is fortunate enough to have art lessons with Claire Fletcher, we love her work so much and also try and support local artists when we have enough pennies xox Penelope

  2. Oh, you have all the fun! Thanks for sharing your trip into this show! I will be going to the Audubon Art Show next weekend.. I'll be posting some neat things I see there. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  3. What an amazing fair! Such lovely goodies.... going back to check out the links :) x

  4. Happy Birthday Hen! I was hoping to bump into you at CL but don't suppose there was much chance in those crowds, although I found the afternoon much easier as they'd definitely thinned out.

    I was rather thrilled with it, being the country bumnpkin that I am, a day in the Smoke was all rather exciting. Selvedge looks wonderful too, glad you enjoyed yourself.

    Absolutely love your cardi, beautiful! love Stephx

  5. We went to the Country Living Fair yesterday and thought it was wonderful but liek you couldnt stop for long enough to look at things we really wanted to as there were too many people and quite frankly just not enough room to move around, so we left early and went into Islingto and hit the charity shops. We too came out of the fair with 1/2 our money left over and was dissapointed as we couldnt get to things that we actaully went there to buy :(

    But the Salvedge fair you went to looks amazing and much more up our street...and my friend are planning another trip into London around March time so it would be perfect timing.

    Your cardigina is amazing, green eyed monster xx

  6. Oo that event looks fabulous

  7. A wonderful post! The Selvedge fair looks better than the Country Living fair with much more originality. This may be one for me to visit in the future. Thanks for posting Hen.x

  8. Oh Wow that fair looks amazing, sometimes I wished I still lived in London!
    Julie xxxxxxx

  9. Thank you so much, Hen, for the excellent reporting! I think that the Chelsea Town Hall is a great venue for shows like the Selvedge Fair...I remember seeing many antiques shows there.

    There is enough space for lots of exhibitors and also fairly easy foot traffic.

    It certainly looks like you had a grand time in the midst of fellow creative folks! I do like your cardigan with its perfect mix of expert knitting and feminine details. You've reminded me of the crocheted buttons I made for the first cabled cardis I knit way back in the early 1960's...when I was a teenager. I still have some of these now "vintage" wonders.


  10. Oh wow, Hen, what a fantastic fair. Yes, think I do need to start saving for March.
    Beautiful cardigan and I'm not surprised the pink bird came home with you, perfect choice.
    Carol xx

  11. What a lovely Fair..I don't know if they have them like that in the U.S. but I would like to find the..Lots and Lots of beautiful items and I think you had a great time looking...

  12. Hello Hen! Looks interesting, thought about going, but been too busy...all very tempting stuff, thanks for taking a camera and sharing.

  13. Thank you Hen for taking us along on another of your wonderful days out it was so enjoyable. I'm so glad for you that the builders have dparted and you have your home back again.:o)

    I look forward with eager anticipation to your next post.

    Peg xx

  14. The craft fair looks absolutely wonderful! I'm going to click through to all those links, thanks for sharing! x

    P.S. I want a pink house, never mind a door. hehe

  15. Looks like a really fab fair. I adore Chelsea Town Hall. I used to work in the building on the corner of Sydney Street right across from the hall and Heals. Loved working round there and often popped into events that were happening in the hall. You've also reminded me how much I love South Ken station. It was my stop when I worked in Chelsea as I travelled in from Kew on the district line. I've always loved that little arcade that you come up into. Ahhh, I need a trip into London as soon as possible. Fiona x

  16. WOW - what an ispirational fair. Thanks for sharing the photos as it's unlikely I'll be able to go to the next one! J9 x

  17. A fair that I've wanted to visit for a while now Hen. Julie A always looks gorgeous in the photos I see of her. A friend of mine is mates with her and says she is a truly lovely woman who completely lives for her creativity.

    My computer won't show me the pic of your cardi, so I guess I'll look on my phone at work tommorow as I love a cardi (no signal where we live so phone dead too).



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