Monday, 6 April 2009

We did it!

To all of you that visited and exhibited at Handm@de Cambridge on Saturday - thank you!

We had a fabulous turn out, 600 people through the door - 100 an hour!
Our goodie bags were really well received, we even had a queue forming about 10 minutes before opening, which was wonderful.

We also had a visit from the lovely Liz from Etsy - Liz is the Director of International Development for Etsy and has been on a whistle stop tour of Europe meeting international sellers on Etsy and seeing what we do. Keep an eye on the Storque (Etsy's blog) for a feature about the fair this week.

See the Flickr group for more pictures of the fair.

Not long til the Winchester fair now, hope to see you there!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Paperleaf

"I've always loved pretty stationery, and after designing and making the invitations for my wedding last year I decided to start Paperleaf as a creative outlet from my day "job" as a PhD student.

All of my cards are screenprinted using a Gocco machine, a crazy Japanese invention that has a cult-like following in the craft world! It's very important to me to use recycled and environmentally-friendly materials - all of my paper/card supplies are recycled and even my bags are biodegradable and compostable. Some of my designs are even double-recycled such as my notepads which I make from scrap paper from my office's recycling bin!

I currently sell my goodies on Etsy and Folksy and I have recently launched my own shop, Paperleaf Studio at -

Friday, 3 April 2009

The night before...

So it's the night before Handmade!

We are all set with our goodie bags, bulging with wonderful promotional items, cards, postcards and other goodies. Our designers have been working hard to give you a wonderful handmade shopping experience. We hope to see you on the day, get there early to grab a goodie bag!

Below are some picks from our designers to give you an idea of what you will find at the second Handm@de craft fair.
Found you Fondue Bracelet by Poor Robin

Hewn Resin Bangles by Quercus Silver
Venezia Lampost Print by Helena Carrington

Meet the Maker - Fabric Nation

Fabric Nation is a designer maker with a love of fabric and vintage craft books. She mainly works with vintage fabrics which are recycled into a parade of cats, dogs, accessories and homewares. She has shops on Etsy and Folksy and exhibits at Brighton and London Artists Open Houses. and

Why make stuff?

I was lucky to grow up at a time when education was project based and about discovery through hands-on making and doing. As a teenager without much money, the only way to make an entrance was to make your clothes yourself, so many a brightly printed curtain ended up as a skirt, top or dress (Eithne Farry sums this up really well in her intro to ‘Yeah, I made it myself’). My friends inspired me in this respect too as well as the whole DIY ethos of just getting on and making stuff in your kitchen or front room with what ever you had. I also got a lot of satisfaction from recycling fabrics I found from jumble sales and seeing how much I could create from other people’s unwanted stuff.

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What’s your favourite fabric?

I have always loved vintage prints, particularly barkcloth fabrics of the 1950s and 60s and began using these to make clothes which I sold on my stall as a teenager (no dull Saturday job for me!). I like the coarseness of the fabric and the wonderful array of patterns. No fragment goes unused as I am only too aware that it's amazing that this fabric has survived 50 years or more. I love the distinctive 50s atomic designs as well as the more pop-style flowers and swirls.

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What handmade stuff do you have your eyes on?

I’ve been writing about many of the makers who will be at Handmade Cambridge on my blog ( so I can’t wait to meet these lovely designers and see all of their amazing work for real. I find I keep returning to Pennydog as I love her use of ephemera and nature in her resin work and I also like the mix of illustration in Helena Carrington’s work. There are too many to mention, but I also recently discovered Corryvreckan’s silverwork and can’t help but be impressed by someone who gives her pieces names like ‘Holkam Plover’ and ‘Bladder Wrack’. I am also a big fan of Xtina Lamb’s print work who has a fine line in seaweed too as well as gocco bunting!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Meet the Maker - Strikk

Cosy homewares, beautiful colours and wonderful craftsmanship are all available from our new meet the maker interviewee - Tanya from Strikk.

What made you start crafting?

My grandmother taught me to knit when i was young and one of my first creations was an aran jersey which my then boyfriend very kindly wore even though it was two sizes too big for him. Luckily things have improved since then and I've knitted on and off throughout my life but it was not until moving to London about three years ago from my home town of cape town that I started knitting seriously again.
Oh, and this of course was helped by stumbling across a littl
e website called Etsy in december 2007!

I knit constantly! the only thing that frustrates me is that only have two hands and I have a full-time job in the city. Fortunately knitting is pretty portable, so I knit everywhere. I've gotten used to people staring at me on tubes and buses. I am trying to figure out how to knit and cycle but I think that is a step too far!"

Tanya mainly uses yarns that come from South Africa which have been hand dyed and hand spun by ladies in job creation projects - "I find the colours and textures both vibrant and incredibly soft."

Besides being on Etsy ( you can also find Strikk via notonthehighstreet -
"I have a little blog that I use to update and also showcase other amazing knitters"