Monthly Archives: November 2011

Otley Courthouse Christmas Fair

The Christmas Fair in Otley yesterday was pretty busy! I managed to sell all my snowflakes pretty quickly so I am going to have to make some more.

I got chatting with some of the girls on other stalls and was given a zine they had produced as a group called “Craft Soup” – over a hundred designer makers from Yorkshire have banded together on facebook and twitter to let each other know the dates of craft fairs, which ones are the most successful and to generally support and promote each other and give advice. I have been relying on word of mouth and research on craft forums until now, which can be fairly sporadic and time consuming, but this seems to be a very active and fun group who are local to me so I’m very glad to have met them!

I have been advised by just about every one there that the CND fair in Victoria Hall, Saltaire next weekend is an busy and successful one, so I am hoping to go and explore it on Saturday and find out what it’s all about!

This morning I had an interview for a really excellent national charity and research association and I think I blew it! Doh.

Better get started on the snowflakes

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Snowflakes and Stripes

Greetings!  Whilst I am confined to the house, eating porridge and tea, wondering if my business cards will ever be delivered by parcel force, I can show you what I’ve been up to this week in preparation for this weekend’s Christmas craft market.

This snowflake was created with different threads than it’s predecessors simply because I ran out but I quite like it – it has a softer feel to it. I also ran out of blue ribbon but the gold seems to match as well

I’ve been making up some necklaces of my sister’s design which you can buy from Button I was also running out of neck foxes so had an experiment using stripy fabric to see if I can create them from recycled fabrics. I remembered that a good few years ago, when I’d made some neck fox patterns for a plush toy making workshop at The Artmarket in Leeds, my friend Sarah made a really great one in stripy fabric and I have ever since been wanting to make a similar one!

I want to eventually make all my products from completely upcycled and recycled materials.

I also had a go at making a sausage dog in the same fabric with pink fleece ears and tail. I think I actually prefer the sausage dogs in patterned fabric so if they sell well I’ll make more of the same!

Check back soon to see if my adventures at the Christmas craft market were a success (and if I ever received my business cards….)

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Chapel Allerton Giant Puppet Parade Video!

Two years ago I was involved with community puppet building workshops in Chapel Allerton and helped build a giant clam puppet. The film of Chapel Allerton Parade (which I didnt know was even being made!) is here:


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Hi, here’s some dates to put in your diary if you fancy buying craft for Christmas, while eating some nice stuff.

Coming up this weekend is Otley Courthouse Designer Craft Fair on sunday 13th. It runs from 10 – 4 and features some sewing classes from “Sewyou” – I believe this involves creating festive bunting, like THIS:

The LS6 Christmas Craft Fair is taking place at The Leftbank on Saturday, December 3 · 11:00am – 6:00pm. Expect items such as unique jewellery, prints, clothing, ceramics, handmade cards, soaps etc. Here’s the facebook page, please give it a ‘like’ so word can be spread. If you’re not interested in Christmas but have never been to the Leftbank before, you should come along anyway because it’s a pretty brilliant building slap bang in the middle of Hyde Park and its uprising how many people have never been inside.

On 10th December MAP, an amazing music and arts charity for young children, are hosting a craft fair at  Hope House Gallery, Mabgate, Leeds. I’m going to be making a cake for the occasion. I’ll post more info nearer the time.

I am sure you will be in the position to acquire great armfuls of mince pies (or mice pies as I keep misspelling them) if you attend all or any of these events, so…I thought you ought to know. Plus I have stalls at them.

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Nautical netsuke?

I was just having a look at some netsuke (Items which were designed as toggles on the robes of japanese monks, often carvings of animals or people) on google images earlier today and I noticed this great octopus carving – I don’t think I’ve ever come across sea creature carvings before. So I’ve been having a search to find more!

I first came across Netsuke when I was looking round the Victorian and Albert Museum as part of a school GCSE art trip and instantly fell in love with them. I would quite like to own some one day but they can be fairly pricey items so that wont be very soon unfortunately… usually they’re carved in ivory or bone, but sometimes wood and amber are used.

This amazing cuttlefish was actually made this year by Russian artist Sergey Osipov – I really like his work as it’s so detailed and he uses metal and amber inserts for detail

This one is pretty strange –  it has been described on the website I found it on as:

“A stag antler netsuke of two mythical sea creatures and an octopus
19th Century
the creatures of human form, one creature held aloft in the octopus tentacles, incised signature — 1½in. (3.9cm.) high, (one foot with losses to toes).”

I think this may be a representation of Ningyo,  – 人魚, or “human fish” which I mentioned a few posts ago when writing about japanese Yokai. I think they were traditionally quite ugly-looking, and I remember Ningyo being described as something along the lines of ‘cross between a carp and a monkey’ which is certainly what this looks like.  I wish I had £600 to spend on netsuke… this is what this is estimated to sell for.

 I like this one but I cant find much info on it apart from that it’s currently in Kyoto

This piece features rather an angry upside down sea beam in the backpack of an old fisherman.

The last couple of images I’m posting are those I’ve found on the International Netuske Society website just because I think they’re great and hopefully will give you some idea why I like netsuke so much!

Really nice Kirin to finish!

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