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Christmas Fair Rundown

Phew! Six fairs may not sound like much but I tell you, I feel as if I’ve run a marathon, several times. Here are some photos from the fairs….

Michelham Priory – Two days of gale force winds in a draughty marquee!

Cabbages and Frocks in Marylebone High Street – Mulled wine and carol singers

Arundel Castle – Stunning venue, enormous quantity of customers!

Down Place – two days at the home of my friend’s lovely parents

West Hove Infant School

Cabbages and Frocks UCL Christmas Fair – students, crepes and cupcakes

I’ve had some new postcards made – a bit late for fairs as I did the last one on Tuesday, but now if you place an order you will also get one of these!

I use A Local Printer, an eco printing firm based in Chichester, so not only are they local, they also fulfil the ethical criteria! What I love about them is:

~ Ordering is easy.

~ P&P is free.

~ They do short runs.

~ All paper/card/inks used are environmentally friendly.

~ They are very quick and efficient.

~ You can have the FSC logo printed onto each card at no extra cost.

Also I’ve just noticed they’re doing ec0 wrapping paper now! I would definitely recommend using them if you’re looking for excellent quality, eco friendly printed material.

And no, they’re not paying me!

Make it yourself! Or not.

I would really love to make all my Christmas presents this year. I did a pretty good job of it last year after doing pottery classes and producing all sorts of baked clay goodies for my loved ones, but this year both time and inspiration are sadly slightly lacking. The thing is craft is such a massive thing now, especially with the recession forcing so much tightening of belts, that there are more reasons than ever to think about crafting Christmas presents for your nearest and dearest. For one, it’s immensely satisfying and meaningful (although I’ll admit that it is STILL difficult to think up things for men, especially if you can’t knit), secondly it’s eco friendly, and thirdly, it is or can be much cheaper than buying expensive high street gifts.

I just stumbled across these instructions to make a shopper bag from Daisy Green, an online magazine dedicated to all things green, eco and cool, but if you don’t have a way with a sewing machine, there are always our (very affordable, pretty and extremely durable and useful) Oneless Plastic Bags!

onelessbagstill

£10

If you are a dab hand with the knitting needles you could have a go at knitting a soft grey lacey scarf, courtesy of Folksy Makes, but if not, no bother, we have just the thing – a soft grey cotton jersey scarf!

Grey Spot Scarf£19.99

If you have a stash of bright buttons, some felt and a needle and thread, you could try making a brooch, (another Folksy Make), or you could choose one of our recycled felt brooches – still ethical and handmade (just not by you….)!

feltflowergroup£12

Make your own screenprinted card, or buy a set of our handmade, recycled, UK designed and produced notecards.

dancingledgenotecards

£5.95

Now these Upcycled Paper Beads really ARE easy, and no fancy schmancy equipment required. But if you’re all thumbs, guess what. Yup, we have jewellery! And very affordable and pretty it is too. What about this bright and beautiful necklace?indianfestivalnecklace

£16

Lots of ideas, whether you’re a DIY sort of person, or a BIY type (yes, that’s Buy It Yourself). Happy shopping!

bunting2Emma Herian from Sew Recycled had produced this fabulous bunting for me to use at all our upcoming Christmas fairs! If you need bunting, I highly recommend Emma – my shoddy image doesn’t show how beautifully she’s made it, using recycled and vintage fabrics, and very quickly too!

Christmas Fairs

I don’t even want to THINK about how close Christmas is, but that is the nature of the beast, so here are the fairs Boutiko will be selling at over the next month or so. If you’re in the vicinity come and say hi!

14-15th Nov: Michelham Priory Fair, East Sussex

18th Nov: Cabbages and Frocks Christmas Event, Marylebone Parish Church Grounds, London

28th Nov: Arundel Fair Trade and Sustainable Christmas Fair, Arundel Castle, West Sussex

2-3rd December: Down Place Christmas Fair, Hampshire. (Privately run fair, please contact me for information.)

5th December: West Hove School Christmas Fair, Hove, East Sussex

8th December: Cabbages and Frocks Christmas Fair, UCL, London

I choose fairs that I think will be not just appropriate in an ethical sense but also fun and lively, with lots of music and entertainment, and stalls with really beautiful offerings, so the whole experience becomes a fun way to do Christmas shopping.

If you would like to know more details about any of the above fairs, please get in touch. I will be writing about each fair afterwards as well.

Beanies, baby!

In the spirit of supporting local crafters in the UK,  I couldn’t not share with you the genius idea that is Grannies Inc. This fab site allows you to design your own beanie hat, in 100% wool yarn, and then a ‘granny’ based somewhere in the UK will knit it into reality, just for you! Aside from the uniqueness aspect, it also means that grannies all over the UK, who have been knitting for years and are running out of people to knit for,  can supplement their income doing something they love to do.

Want a baggy one with a bobble in citrus brights? No problem.Beanie_baggy06

How about a baggy one with no bobble in soft pastel shades? Can do.

Beanie_baggy08

Need something to keep your ears cosy on that skiing trip? Easy peasy.

Beanie_earflaps01

Or perhaps just a plain and simple, head hugging number in a nice masculine blue for your brother for Christmas?

Beanie_fitted02It’s true that knitting is unbelievably cool now, and very much the thing in these straitened times, but for those of us who just can’t get to grips with it, Grannies Inc is definitely the next best thing. For me, winter just isn’t winter without a cosy woolly hat, and trust me, even if you’re initially not sure, after a few minutes playing with different coloured stripes on the interactive Design Your Own page, you’ll definitely be wanting your very own unique-to-you beanie. The one I designed cost £23 – delivery within the UK is free – but you won’t be seeing anyone else with the same one as you, and you’re supporting a good cause too.

I’m a Guest Blogger!

The lovely Kate over at Only Fair has very kindly featured me in her new guest blogger series – so if you want to know how to find the perfect gift, hop on over to her blog now!