Craft Fairs · Out & About in Kent

Kentish Made – Celebrating Local and Handmade

Last November, I was lucky enough to be involved in an exciting pop- up shop held in the village where I live. Katie, the owner of luxury handmade accessories brand Marmaduke Scarlet lives in a beautiful beamed house situated right at the top of the hill. This lovely old house used to be a grocery shop decades ago ( I still remember it from my childhood!) So once again, for a few weeks in November, Katie’s front room was converted back into a shop, albeit this time the groceries were exchanged for gorgeous handmade goodies!

I was excited to be showcasing my handmade jewellery, alongside a selection of talented local makers, including Polly had a Dolly; Ginkgo Floristry; tatty tess and Ddesignmakebake. The shop and Starlight shopping evening event were a runaway success and lots of fun was had and friendships made as a result.

When I heard that Katie was opening Kentish Made this winter for a special Starlight Shopping event, I was thrilled to be invited along! I will be selling a lovely selection of handmade silver and copper jewellery which will make perfect Christmas gifts and stocking fillers.

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This year the Starlight Shopping event will feature some familiar faces and new people too, including local home-roasted coffee company StApple Hurst Roast and gorgeous handmade candle company The Hazel Tree. I’m really looking forward to buying some Christmas gifts myself!

If you’re local to Staplehurst, please do pop in and enjoy Kentish Made’s Starlight Shopping event, this Thursday 1st December,  7pm-10pm or if you can’t make the evening, why not drop into our open morning the following day Friday 9.30am -2.30pm

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Why not check out the Kentish Made Facebook page for updates on the event and lots of information about the makers, and their lovely products!

Out & About in Kent

Kent Bloggers’ Day -Park Mall, Ashford

Last Friday I attended a Kent bloggers’ day event at Park Mall in Ashford. The event was organised by the lovely Kate from Happy & Glorious one of the new independent gift shops in Park Mall.

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The invite

It’s been several weeks since I’ve finished showcasing my jewellery with Made in Ashford and I was interested to catch up with my fellow creatives and see what’s new!

As a designer maker myself, it’s so encouraging to see a town regeneration project that encourages small, independent businesses. I’m also a fan of unique, handmade gifts, so I was really looking forward to discovering what Ashford’s newest indie shops had to offer.

The first stop was Kate’s shop Happy & Glorious a gorgeous, beautifully displayed space, packed full of British made goodies. Happy & Glorious are a small, family-run company,which prides itself on supporting British home-grown talent, design and manufacturing. They’ve been trading online since their beginning in 2012 and have found a bricks and mortar home at Park Mall since late last year!

Some of the product lines Kate designs and creates herself, including some very pretty gift cards and mirrors. There are lots of yummy scented, handmade soaps and candles on offer, but my favourite gifts are the cute succulents!

As a special treat, I’m able to share with you some discount vouchers, to be spent in store or online at www.happyglorious.co.uk

  • £5 off £25 with code BLOG25
  • 15% off with code BD2016

Valid until 31st May 2016

Just around the corner is Fabric Heaven or Emporia Fabric and Craft  a truly wonderful shop filled with a great selection of modern fabrics, trimmings, wool, haberdashery and every thing you could possible need if you’re handy with a needle and thread!

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Emporia Fabric have the most fabulous window displays!

Don’t worry if you’re a sewing novice, Emporia Fabric runs regular sewing classes and workshops, just check out their website for details.

The trail of balloons led me along the Mall to Made in Ashford a great collective of Kent-based designer makers and creatives. I’ve been lucky enough to sell my jewellery here and as the shop duties are shared between the makers, it’s a great way to gain retail experience, get customer feedback and make new friends.

Below is just a selection of handmade gifts on offer, I really recommend you pop in and take a look for yourself!

There really is something for everyone on offer at Made in Ashford and if you’re a local maker who’s interested in selling with them, please email: madeinashford@outlook.com

There was just enough time to meet up with fellow Kent blogger and local friend, Lydia from Polly had a Dolly and have a coffee & cake at new independent cafe Stag Coffee This smart new cafe had only just opened and I was impressed by the modern decor, friendly staff and excellent coffee. I was pleased to see it was child-friendly too, always a bonus to a busy mum!

We then went our separate ways, with me heading towards GlamRUs Accessories

An Aladdin’s cave of scarves, purses, bags and accessories. Very tempting to a scarf-a -holic like me! So I  treated myself to a lovely silver scarf using their voucher code which you can use online too: –

  • 20% off your first online order with code GLAM20

 

Just opposite is the Creative Collective a thriving gallery, exhibition and community space for local artists. They offer an affordable art scheme and even host film and poetry nights. Yet another reason to visit Park Mall if you’re out and about in Ashford.

So if you’re looking for somewhere new to shop, somewhere that supports local independent businesses, check out Park Mall in Ashford!

 

 

Craft Fairs

Springtime at the Kitsch and Stitch Fair

 

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The Historic Vestry Hall

Last Saturday was the first Kitsch and Stitch fair of the year. This lovely craft and vintage fair is held quarterly, in the Kent market town of Cranbrook, at the beautiful Vestry Hall. It’s always a friendly affair, organised by the lovely Joy from Crafted by Joy

 

 

The Vestry Hall is always beautifully decorated with lots of handmade bunting.  A pop-up cafe kept us all supplied with yummy homemade cakes and lunches, with all proceeds going to Hospice in the Weald, a favourite local charity.

It’s great to set up a stall in a room with lots of natural light, especially good for helping silver jewellery to look its sparkling best!

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Me (wearing my new Aye Aye skirt) and my stall of lovely silver jewellery!

 

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Catching up on some knitting…
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Such a beautiful building with lots of light.

With such a great mix of vintage and handmade, I came home with a few handcrafted Easter gifts!

The next fair is on the 11th June, so please contact Joy for more details. Wishing everyone a very happy Easter holiday!

Craft Fairs

My Craft Fair Survival Kit

I’m due to have a stall at a lovely, local craft fair this Saturday. It’s called Kitsch and Stitch and is a great mixture of vintage and handmade goods. I’ve been a regular stall holder at this event, it’s really well organised and has a pop up cafe, serving delicious lunches and cakes, with proceeds going to Hospice in the Weald.

To any craft fair, I always take with me a small kit of essential items: my survival kit!

  • Dressmaking pins and drawing pins – so useful for pinning up anything including wonky bunting or stray necklaces.
  • Sellotape- no survival kit is complete without it!
  • Calculator
  • Pens, pencils and notebook. I like to keep a record of everything sold and although I could use my mobile phone, I still like to have a paper copy!
  • Silver polishing cloth, for last-minute polishing to give my jewellery an added sparkle on the day.
  • Business cards, definitely an essential item as I want people to find out more about The Little Red Hen Jewellery once they’re at home.
  • Spare labels –  there’s always something that has missed the labelling process at home.
  • Flask of coffee –  most fairs are really kind and provide a cup or two of tea and coffee for the stall holders, but I always seem to need more!
  • Baby wipes – for when I inevitably spill my coffee….

 

What’s in your craft fair survival kit? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know! x

Jewellery Designing

5 Reasons Why I Love Copper

Although I had the best intentions of blogging regularly, I’m afraid those intentions have fallen by the wayside! A busy family Christmas, winter bugs and lots of jewellery orders have meant that it’s been put very firmly on the back burner. I’d like to change that though, so here I am, hoping again to share a glimpse into my world of jewellery making!

I love to use copper frequently in my jewellery designs, here’s 5 reasons why:

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Oxidised copper folk heart stud earrings
  1. It’s versatile.  I love the many different ways you can treat and create using this metal. It can be polished to a high shine, given a wire-brushed, rustic finish; oxidised for an antique effect; stamped and textured to create interesting patterns.

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    Copper butterflies in an oxidising solution
  2. It’s easy to work with as it’s relatively soft; can be soldered with silver in the same project, using silver solder; so doesn’t require any extra equipment than needed when working with silver.
  3. It’s inexpensive. As much as I love creating beautiful jewellery in silver, it’s great to offer the same designs at a more affordable price. As copper is such an attractive metal, nothing is compromised. (I hope!)Copper stamped heart handmade earrings
  4. Using copper is a perfect way of practising a design idea before I make it in silver. Mistakes are often inevitable when trying out a new design and it’s cheaper price makes copper the perfect ‘model’ material.
  5. The gorgeous autumn tones of copper really lend itself to designs based on natural forms. My jewellery is often inspired by the beautiful countryside where I live and I use copper to reflect that.

    If you’d like to take a closer look at my range of handmade copper jewellery, please go to my folksy.com shop https://www.folksy.com/TheLittleRedHen

     

Jewellery Designing

Exploring New Paths

Hello and welcome to my blog. I’m so glad you’re joining me on my adventures in handmade jewellery design. Writing about my craft, inspiration and my other passion, photography, is something I’ve been planning for some time…

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I’m very happy that I now have a space to share my creative journey with you!

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Copper bird studs, in an oxidisation bath.

TB Oxidised silver hoop earrings with crystal and jasper

Please check back soon for more posts about what inspires me !