Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Meet the Makers - Kerry Wilkinson of PennyDog Accessories

Today's Maker in the spotlight is Kerry Wilkinson, a resin artist, whose delightful pieces are rapidly causing her to stand out. She donates a portion of all her sales to the Retired Greyhound Trust, so not only are you supporting local, handmade work but also lovely retired dogs. You can visit her site at

I'm Kerry, I'm 22 and originally from Hull, though I now live and work in Leicestershire with my partner Alex and our dog Penny. I am constantly making new resin pieces and a few plastic, with a view to expanding to felt, acrylic and aluminium mediums when time allows!

I know there are several resin artists out there, so my main aim is to be different an stand out, creating wearable pieces to suit a wide range of people, even pieces that wouldn't look out of place worn in an office. I also create my own moulds, so I can offer people band rings and make
interesting shapes for pendants, earrings, etc, making it a bit more original!

I have decided recently to write a techniques book with tutorials and top tips that I have learned through experience that no other book currently offers. My proposal is currently under construction, but will keep you posted if you want to know more!

All my pieces are made supporting the Retired Greyhound Trust, which is a charity that has helped my dog when we adopted her. Penny was ten when we decided to give her a home, and as a retired greyhound, she qualified for veterinary treatment through the charity, including dental work, antibiotics and even a spot of cosmetic surgery! We couldn't have afforded the bills on our own, so this is my way of repaying them! I am also featured on their website, which I am very grateful for.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

Meet the Makers - Steph Jones of Handmade Heaven

As soon as I saw Steph's fabulous pieces I knew that having my husband with me at the craft fair was either going to be a good thing or a bad thing, perhaps both. Someone to restrain me or someone to fund my lack of restraint... Either way I have to say that there are a few pieces of hers that I am already drooling over and think would make great gifts for my in-laws.

So I shall just step back and continue work on my mental shopping list and let Steph take over...


My name's Steph and I'm a glass addict!! I'm a contemporary kiln-fused glass artist living and working in Cheltenham on the edge of the Cotswolds. Working under the name Handmade Heaven, I hand craft affordable 'artworks' for everyday use, showcase artwork for wall-mounting and display, gifts and 'wearable' art in the form of jewellery for men and women, with this range ever-expanding as I try new ideas and techniques.
Over my time working with glass, I've become something of a 'coaster-queen', producing unique, fun and funky designs in bold and bright colours. My work has been described as "sweets for the eyes", real eye-candy stuff, and it's funny how many people have a strange urge to eat my glassy products! They do have that quality of boiled sweets about them but I wouldn't recommend them for consumption! 

I'm really looking forward to being part of the Handm@de event, nestling in amongst other home-grown talent for today.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Gift Ideas

It may seem insanely early to be thinking about Christmas but often times, if you are anything like me, the choosing and purchasing of gifts, especially for family members, tends to run a little close to the wire; usually because I have no clue what to get, at least not off the top of my head.

In the run up to the Handm@de fair on the 9th of November we'll be asking you for your Christmas  gift conundrums, such as what to get your cousin's boyfriend, and making suggestions from the wealth of lovely and useful items the designers who will be attending Handm@de have to offer.

Think of it as a Gift Agony Aunt column if you will ;-) 

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Meet the Makers - Becci Keith of Moments By Martha

Today to kick off our Meet the Makers posts we hear from Becci Keith of Moments By Martha; a very talented Jewellery Designer who is the driving force behind the Handm@de fair.

Over to you Martha...

Having participated in just 1 craft fair before, you may ask why I decided to pull together a team to create Handm@de. I love the way that the crafting community help each other out - offer advice and support when individuals are felling the strain or seeking new challenges. This was my inspiration for Handm@de. I wanted us to be able to offer and event that is in a central location, in a beautiful setting - and one that does not cost the earth for our sellers to exhibit at.

Buying handmade is an ethos that I support as often as I can. Owning unique pieces, and being able to give gifts and cards that I come across everyday in the handmade world will have been made with love and the creator will have enjoyed making them.

I think my love of crafting and creating has been inherited from generations past - I remember making woolly bobbles in front of the fire at my Granparents' house, ready to turn into toys to taunt the cat with. Making skirts and paper quills, cross stitch and glass painting are all things I remember doing with Mum, both as a child and later as a teenager. I will forever be grateful to them for instilling in me a love of making and doing and creating things both useful and decorative.

Nowadays my hand is turned to jewellery... often chunky - sometimes delicate. Most of my pieces are one of a kind, altho some may be similar to each other. They tend to be created as and when inspiration hits... Which can be sporadic! I tend to buy beads without a real idea of what I'll do with them, just knowing that how they look or feel will inspire me to make something lovely - a necklace, a pair of earrings or a bangle! Currently my favourite items are probably the 2 SQUARE earrings, which are gorgeous tiger ebony wood squares which a cube of sponge coral suspended in the middle... quite chunky and funky, but still feminine!

Buy Handmade

There are some great sellers around. My Favourite UK sellers include Tina Mammoser whose paintings for the English coast are stunning - I'm really looking forward to seeing these upclose and person personal at Handm@de.

Amanda Sainsbury makes some amazing machine knitted trims, buttons and beads... I've yet to buy from her, but will do as soon as the right project comes around!

On the subject of buttons, I’m in love with Nikki Raimes shop (aka CreamRose) who sells such cute little fabric covered buttons – turned into bobby pins, hair bands and rings… of course you can buy the buttons too!

Outside of the UK there are some real stunners about – from Brooklyn, ReSurface’s lamps are stunning, Alisa Burke in San Diego makes some truly unique canvas bags and purses, Frances Pamela Angus makes some delicious looking stained glass items that would look amazing in any window.

Buy Handmade

I’m so excited about the Handm@de fair – so many new artists to discover, and just in time for Christmas too! If you do come along be sure to introduce yourself, I’m Becci aka MomentsByMartha. Nice to meet you.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Promotional Bags & Call for goodies

The Handm@de craft fair might still be a few months off but things have been very busy behind the scenes for the last few weeks; taking bookings and now getting the promotional goodie bags together! 

We will not be charging for the bags, which will all contain nifty goodies from various designer/makers, some who will be at the show and others who were otherwise unable to attend.

To whet your appetite here is a sneaky peek at a few of the promotional items that we have received...

We would like to thank everyone who has sent something so far and would also like to encourage other stall holders to send something in if they can, they are great publicity!

Also if you are unable to take a stall at this fair, then why not send along something anyway. It doesn't have to be much but we do stress quality over quantity.

Katie of TwinklySpangle is our goodie-bag wrangler and you can contact her at about sending in something.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Stalls Still Available!

In the last 6 or so weeks we have had a fantastic response to the Handm@de Oxford fair and taken bookings for 43 out of the 58 tables.

We still do have the last few stalls to book. Prices are:
Half stall : £17.50
Half stall with insurance for this event only : £25.00

Full stall : £35.00
Full stall with insurance for this event only : £42.50

Currently we are not taking any more applications for jewellery but all other kinds of stall are still available - baked goods, potters, wood turners, etc!

For more information and for an application form please email  
But please do so soon to avoid disappointment,  the stalls are going fast!