Thursday, 11 November 2010

Happy 175th Birthday!

Do you feel Christmassy yet? I don't. I can't believe it's only 43 days away. The shops are awash with tinsel and stocking fillers but I'm just not feeling it yet. Hubby says I'm like this every year. I just have to wait for Christmas Eve.

I guess once the tree and decorations go up in our house then things will seem a bit more festive. I'm not sure if I'll be putting much up this year though, with having the house up for sale - still. I think my full-on Santa's (tasteful) grotto may put some people off. Then again, what the hell. 34 viewings later (yes, really!) maybe if we put the Christmas tree in the bathroom they won't notice that the toilet is downstairs...

Anyway, before Christmas arrives we've got another three craft fairs to get through (that's about all I can manage with a full time job too!) Our next fair is this coming Saturday - the monthly fair at the Grainger Market in Newcastle city centre. The market celebrated its 175th birthday a couple of weeks ago and there were Victorian-themed events on all week (and a huge cake!)

Bliss Knits was invited to take part in the craft demonstration day on the Thursday. My big sis helped me out on the day and we had a great time chatting to people about knitting and crochet. Lots of the older ladies reminisced about the hand crafts that they used to enjoy, but could no longer manage due to arthritic hands. Very sad.

It was good to see so many young people that were interested in knitting and crochet though. They loved the different yarns and funky needles that we displayed, and took great interest in our stitch samples and the idea that you could make whatever your imagination wanted to - it's not just about jumpers and scarves! It was a really busy day and we sold lots of stock as well as doing our demonstrations and chatting. Huge thanks to family and friends who supported us on the day too!

Other demonstrations on the day included hooky/proggy/clippy mats. The ladies displayed a huge selection of items - gorgeous intricate designs and simple stripes using scraps of cloth. I have a couple of books on the subject, and the tools, and loads of fabric, but I've yet to try out these techniques. One day I'll make the time.

Beamish Museum had a display of beautiful Victorian clothing; I'm amazed at how it survived all these years, though slightly worse for wear in parts. And they also demonstrated amazingly delicate lace making techniques using those gorgeous fancy bobbins!

Regular stallholder Alan from Twisted Nature showed off his delicate watercolour techniques on the day. Like us, he found that people were much more willing to stop and chat than they usually are at the monthly Art & Craft Fair. I guess the Victorian clothing that we wore was a good conversation starter!

The girls at Wylde About Bears also had a good day, demonstrating bear making to lots of interested customers. Sewing the bodies is easy; making their little characters come to life is the hard part!

On the Saturday I was joined by my regular little helper for the Victorian Art & Craft Fair. Again we had to dress up, but this time we were just selling and not demonstrating. It was another busy day - and a good laugh too.

Hubby, who usually hates to have is photo taken, seemed to like showing off his Victorian get-up. Doesn't he look good? Many thanks to everyone who loaned us clothing for the event.

We always have a good day at the craft fairs as we enjoy chatting to the other stallholders as well as the customers. And because everyone was dressed up in their Victorian finery, there was lots of jovial banter going on! Harry and Edna of Bitz and Bobz are always good for a natter, and they did a roaring trade, as usual.

A fairly new trader to the Grainger Market, but not to selling his wife's pretty jewellery, was a very dapper Karl from vjwjewellery.

But my last photo of the day goes to my gorgeous hubby. As it was Halloween, we had some chocolate eyeballs to give away to children who stopped to look at our stall. Always up for a laugh, hubby found an alternative to eating them. Bet that wouldn't have been allowed in Victorian times...!

More photos of the week's events here and reported here.

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  1. It looks like a great event - love those eye balls!

  2. Now I know why Chris wears those specs, ha ha.
    Good account of the 175 celebrations Sharon, divvent forget to email that pic of me and my braces, cheers.

  3. Hi

    Saw your stall at the Grainger market and fell in love with the green scarf, hows things been going?

    Shame it was such a small event I was expecting a bit more variety to be honest. Still it was a nice day out for my son.


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