Monday, 15 December 2008

Upcoming Events

Following on from the success of Handm@de in Oxford we've decided to roll the format out to new places!

Handm@de Cambridge: April 4th - Applications open!
Email: for details and application forms.

Handm@de Winchester: July 5th

Handm@de Oxford: End of November/Beginning of December

We've been careful to select cities/towns that do have a central shopping area, and that have a decent number of both locals and tourists. All of these events are in central locations - generally the guildhall or equivalent, and always at weekends!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Come along to Handm@de tomorrow

The day is almost upon us, and I for one am very very excited.

The variety of sellers is amazing, with an eclectic mix of the traditional and the ultra modern - from painted canvas to stained glass, from jewellery to bags, and toys to clothes. You'll find something for everyone!

The doors open at 11, with free goody bags to the first few visitors, - hope to see you there.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Meet the Makers - Nic Dyche of TwigArt

TwigArt represents all the crafts that I enjoy and practice.

I first started in crafts through painting (mainly Oil and Acrylic) and got hooked! Most of the work I do now concentrates on small inks drawings, stained glass, silversmithing and photography although I'm still partial to flicking a bit of the oil paint around when the inspiration takes me.

Recently the greater emphasise has been on the stained glass, designing panels to create individual pieces. I especially love glass because each piece is so different in quality and character to the next and I love seeing how these come together.

I often try to mix media to bring in unexpected elements, playing on texture and quality as much as expectation. Some of the glass pieces will reflect this to greater and lesser degrees but it is something that I employ more regularly on my paintings.

Photography is a renewed interest (having studied it many years ago) and supports my love of travel. Many of the images come from day trips out in the UK or longer trips to Europe and America.

Although I largely create pieces through the images and colours found on my travels I am happy to undertake commissioned pieces.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gift Ideas - Those Troublesome Teens

I don't know about you but it seems that buying for the teenagers in my family is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, and I've studied Thermodynamics so I know of what I speak!

This year however, after close observation of what seems to become a more and more baffling age group, I present some gift ideas from some of the amazingly creative makers who will be at Handm@de.

Cloudhopping's Skinny Minnie scarf I can already imagine on one of my ultra-hip cousins.

MyAphrodite's recent foray into mixed media has, I feel, put her on to a winner. In fact, I'd like to have her China Red pendant for myself! With its bold colours and striking silver centre-piece it is bound to be a firm favourite. And what's more, this pendant is ideal for a guy as well!

Odd Ball and Sticks' lovely bobbled iPod cover is another gift idea which would be great for either a boy or girl and is sure to get them to at least pop *one* ear bud out to mumble their thanks ;-)

Resin jewellery is very popular and this clever resin and teal dye bangle from PennyDog is both funky and classic.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Gift Ideas – Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

With bags coming in a close second.

Several of our stallholders work with textiles, and as you can guess a few of them make bags. Bags in all shapes and sizes, different materials, different colours... in fact, probably a bag to suit all tastes imaginable.

Here are 5 of the ones I like best...

Raspberry makes some amazing tote bags – perfect for popping to the shops with!

This over the shoulder bag by CaraJane has such a beautiful shape – love it.

StitchyWooWoos bags are really well made – this one has such rich reds.

For the evening this clutch by Cloudhopping would brighten up any outfit.

Last, but by no means least, is this stunning retro bag by Yunisacs.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Meet the Makers - Lindsey Bird of Blue Cricket

Today's Maker is Lindsey of Blue Cricket whose love of paper leads to the creation of lovely cards for all occasions.

Hello, I'm Lindsey. I have lived in Northamptonshire for 11 years now after moving from London. I trained as a silversmith and still work in the jewellery world. My big weakness is paper! Can't resist it!
I started making my own cards about 12 years ago. I have a few retail outlets and personal buyers and have started doing craft fairs. I love the whole design process and the arrival at a finished piece. I also do special commission cards which I particularly enjoy.You can find me at

Gift Ideas - For the Young Ones

The toy department of stores is the best place to be! And the toys at handm@de shouldn’t be a disappointment... bright colours, and fun shapes – I’m looking forward to seeing what arrives with our sellers!

I just love the brightness of Mondas leggy monsters – very funky, and perfect for boys or girls.

This pair of booties look so snug, and the colours Jezzabell has used remind me of coastal walks. Beautiful.

The shape and the colours in this hairband are very girly – ChiChiMoi has excelled!

For the crafty child, how about one of these kits by LoveALittle?

I can vouch for the quality of Namolios toys, from stuffed elephants to rag dolls – all made from great quality linens.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Gift Ideas – Secret Santa

With that time of year fast approaching, and the inevitable secret santa gifts doing the rounds at work it is certainly worth considering handmade products. There are quite a lot around that fit within the £5 to £15 price range – from soaps to purses and jewellery.

Here are a few that have caught my eye...

Top row, left to right: Upcycled Notebook by Paperleaf; Chocolate covered Ginger by Belflair; Corsage by PinkFlapJacks
Bottom row, left to right: Cube Coin Purse by YuniSacs; Warm & Wake Soap by PureSoaps; Splodge shrink plastic bracelet by TwinklySpangle

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Gift Ideas – to Treasure Forever

Sometimes we want to get our friends or family something that they’ll treasure forever, something that will last a lifetime or longer. Here is a small selection of items that our stallholders may bring with them.

The fairies that Lily Grace Originals produce are so delicate, all hand sewn and painted – not a toy, rather something to sit on a shelf and keep watch over her ward.

Tina Mammosers paintings of the English Coast are simply breathtaking.

Commissions are gladly taken by Paul of Buckingham Pottery, this vase is just one of the many examples of one off work.

Or, for the young family or doting Grandparents why not ask Designs By Dotty to recreate a childs drawing in stitched canvas? Very unique, and will last for far longer than the originals!

Gift Ideas – Glass

I love the feel of glass... but am more than a little clumsy so its not often to be found in our house. This doesn’t stop me admiring work as stunning as this though...

These latticework bowls by Handmade Heaven are beautiful, custom made in the colours that you want it’ll fit into any home beautifully.

A tiny little paisley curl, created by SnapDragon Beads, glass beads all lovingly stitched together onto a brooch back. These brooches will make any outfit ‘pop’.

Julie of Lush Lampwork sells some of the most amazing beads I’ve seen. These ‘Wonka’ beads are a riot of colour and fun.

Something smaller might be found at Mark Langfords stall. These Christmas decorations will add a touch of class to your tree.

And for those of you like me, clumsy, there is always resin! A lighter weight option that doesn’t break as easily as glass... this pendant by Teasel is very pretty.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Gift Ideas – with which to beautify your home

I’m going to skip the introduction here – as these stunning items speak for themselves.

Buckingham Pottery’s range of handthrown porcelain pieces is amazing. The colours and the shapes are perfection! I love the green and grey hues in this dessert bowl.

I’d heard of teapot cosies, but never boiled egg cosies... these tiny little warmers by CaraJane are so sweet!

HodgePodgeArts makes a whole range of art for your home – these alchemists bottles are gorgeous.

What home would be complete without a few cushions? I particularly like the colours in these ones by LittleChook.

Friday, 31 October 2008

Gift Ideas – Bath and Beauty

I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things is choosing a new soap... the colours and the scents and the texture of the bar. Handmade soap for me is a relatively recent discovery – the sheer number of different scents available is wonderful, and that they seem less drying than most shop bought ones has made for several positive experiences.

The PureSoaps Blue Marmalade Soap Company, makes soaps that look good enough to eat as well as a whole range of hard shampoos and other skin products. All are vegetarian, with many being vegan. This Heather and Honey soap sounds divine.

PurpleSparkle makes soap amongst other things, including candles (some shaped as cupcakes!), bath melts, bath bombes and body treats. This ‘Always and Forever’ bath bombe looks amazing with the dried roses attached.

One of these already taken your fancy? Why not display it on one of HandmadeHeavens stunning square dishes... just at home in the bathroom holding soap as on the coffee table containing nuts!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Meet the Makers - Kate of Paperleaf

The latest in our series of 'Meet the Makers' features brings you Kate of Paperleaf - an amazing online store selling some of the most beautiful printed stationary I've seen!

I'm Kate, originally from Staffordshire but now living in Oxford where I'm studying for my PhD in medical engineering. I have always loved crafts since I was young, when I used to make barbie doll outfits on my mum's old sewing machine. Fast forward 20 years and I made my wedding dress this summer on that same old machine, perhaps my most ambitious (or insane, depending on how you look at it) crafty endeavour to date!

I started PaperLeaf, my fledgling stationery business, around 6 months ago after I became seriously addicted to Gocco, a crazy screenprinting technique from Japan. The only possible justification for making hundreds of cards was to start selling them, so here I am! All of my cards are made from post-consumer waste recycled material and packaged in clear bags made from corn starch which is biodegradable and compostable. I also take custom orders for wedding invitations which I adore!

I love the global indie craft scene that has emerged over the past few years. The handmade movement fits in perfectly with the increase in social conscience and environmental awareness at the start of the 21st century, and events such as Handm@de Oxford just go to show that we can make a difference! This year I've signed up to the handmade pledge and hope to buy most, if not all of my Christmas presents from online craft communities and events such as Handm@de Oxford.

You can find my stationery at Folksy (£), Etsy ($) and DaWanda (EUR). Visit my blog for more information about me.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Gift Ideas - Jewelled Delights

I love jewellery – I covet it and then hoard it once its mine! It can transform a plain simple (and oftentimes cheap) outfit, making it look a million dollars. It can change your look from workwear to glitzy glam in the flick of an eye... and we have some real stunners coming to handm@de. I can’t wait.

Quercus Silver uses resin and silver to create some truly beautiful pieces. The smooth curve of these silver cufflinks is wonderful.

Lush Lampwork makes her own beads, selling them individually and as already formed pieces of wearable art. I love the colours in this pendant.

Moments By Martha makes chunky jewellery using semi-precious stones. These ‘Strawberry Milk’ earrings are one of her favourite items.

Myaphrodites silverwork is stunning. The undulations of this bracelet are set off by the hues of blues and greens contained within the labradorite stones.

PennyDog’s resin jewellery is gorgeous. I love the simplicity of this fabric flower forever suspended here.

Silverqueens pieces are amazing. These Gold and Silver earrings have an ethnic, almost tribal feel to them.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Gift Ideas - from wool they're made

Our exhibitors will be bringing with them a whole range of items that started their lives as wool. With the cold weather drawing in scarves and gloves are a must – but there are so many other things that humble wool can be used for...crochet and knitting create some gorgeous items... unspun wool can be felted for decorations or clothing... and felt can be made into jewellery and toys.

Here are just a few of my favourites...

1. Earrings - SnappySausage 2. Felted Bear - Jezzabell 3. Cuff - Cloudhopping 4. Necklet - GreenWeeds 5. Felt Plush - Monda 6. Pincushions - Raspberry 7. Teapot Cosy - ChiChiMoi 8. Knitting Kits - Cafe Knits 9. Scarf - Made For You, by Shamu 10. Knitted Figures - Cakeyvoice

Monday, 27 October 2008

Raffle Prize Donation!

Hey, everyone. Katie (twinklyspangle) here. hope you are all getting excited about the fair! Now, I have been beavering away trying to get some fabulous raffle prizes, and the company I work for, Siblu Holidays has agreed to donate a holiday!

The prize is a 7 night stay between 4th of April & the 30th of June, in our Esprit+ accommodation, at any of our Siblu owned parcs across France. We have parcs in Brittany, Normandy, all along the west coast of France and in the south too. All our parcs make excellent family holiday destinations, and the prize includes a Dover- Calais ferry crossing aswell.

So, if you fancy winning yourself and up to 6 people a great break in France, you can have a lot at the company website here, start planning where you'd like to go, and enter the Helen And Douglas House raffle on the day!

Gift Ideas – art to adorn your home

We’ve got some amazing artists coming to handm@de this year – from the more traditional acrylic on canvas, to glass art as well as textile and printed artworks.

Here is a selection of my favourites...

Steph from HandmadeHeaven produces some stunning Fused Glass Art. These panels are beautiful.

These ‘Milly Molly’ Dollys by Sally of StitchyWooWoo aren’t for playing with – made from rich silks they’ll last for years.

Gorgeous paintings of the English Coast are amongst the repertoire of Tina, aka the Cycling Artist.

Mark Langfords Stained Glass is beautiful and so vivid.

Paul of BarkArt creates amazing images from natural resources. This is one of my many favourites!

Ginette produces screenprints that evoke a sense of times gone by.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Bag Packing - Take 2

On Thursday a couple of us got together and had a go at sorting out the promo items that have arrived since the last time!

They look amazing... and we now have 250 bags ready to give out to our visitors. Thanks to all who have sent in their freebies.

Becci and Katie packing the AMAZING bags!

And a selection of the items in them...