September 30, 2014 by lovenellie
Last week I made my way along with several hundred other handmade fanatics to Hampton Court. Some of us had come with like-minded friends, others had come alone possibly in search of new crafty buddies and some may even have come in secret telling others they were off to Sainsburys to do the weekly shop, whilst cramming as many craft workshops in on the day in an attempt to out craft their friends. Our meeting point was set in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace, a base camp of tents decorated with Poms- Poms and bunting with Britain’s best artisans and hand-picked sellers all coming together with Kristie Allsopp to create the first all making craft fair.
The Handmade Fair put learning and making at the heart of the day. Along with Kirstie and all the expert makers, they had a mission to get Britain crafting! There philosophy is that everyone has a craft they can do and the fair will inspire you to find and refine yours.
The idea is that at the time of booking your ticket you also sign up for some workshops during that day, they had everything from learning to up-cycle furniture to making tissue tassels and decorating cakes. You book one seminar in the super theatre, one skill workshop and one grand make where you learn something fab with lots of fellow enthusiasts. I could not help but think that if you had a wedding or big party coming up it would be the most fantastic day to pick up some skills that you could use and therefore save yourself a fortune making your decorations. Maybe even arrange a Hen weekend around it and get all your friends to learn something and make it as their gift to you for the decoration of the wedding.
I signed up for the Pinterest seminar in the Super Theatre and it was fantastic. I will have to pass all I learnt on to you in another blog but for me who readily admits to have an addiction to ‘Pinning’ it was fascinating to learn more about how this can be used for business and also how Pinterest if fast becoming the new Google in terms of finding things on the web … in a much more visual way. Three of the ‘Super pinners’ ran the seminar,these guys have hundreds, thousands, even millions of followers and inspire you to up your game. I have been pinning like mad since my return and finding all sorts of amazing things. This is the link to my boards.
Then after a spot of lunch (well churros and a coffee !!! Yummy!!!) and yes all lunch options are served from 1950s style camper vans and such like, it looks amazing, the whole fair design is so cleverly thought out, I headed to see one of my heroes Annie Sloan in her up-cycling and paint skill workshops. If you had never used Annie’s paint before the workshop would have been the perfect opportunity to learn a few of the basics and have a go at transforming a candlestick. I just enjoyed seeing Annie in action again, her enthusiasm for what she does is always magnetic.
I then had the chance to be shown in my ‘grand make’ session just how to wrap gifts with a bit of flair and style, perfect with Christmas coming up.
There were so many workshops to see and lots of things learn and it was all done in a way that inspired you. I can’t recommend it enough as a day out, infact I had so many things that i wanted to have a go at I may have to do two days next year!! So my verdict…BOOK for next year and book early so that you get to choose what you want to do before it all sells out. Don’t be scared, you don’t have to turn up wearing something handmade or know how to decoupage a lampshade. It’s just a place to be inspired, have fun and meet some really really talented people. Oh and there is some great shopping there too !!!!!
I for one will be going back, well done Kirstie Allsopp it was a massive success you are the Queen of the Handmade Revolution and you must be very relieved that it was a pom-pom headdress workshop and not a crotchet bikini workshop…….. maybe next year?? !!!
For more information on the day .