Shopping Inspiration

Shopping inspiration: Christmas cards

Christmas cards, whether you love them or hate them, they're an inevitable part of the festive season. It can be hard to choose the perfect design, luckily for you our designer makers have been working hard, so you won't be short on ideas here! Below is a selection of some of our favourite cards from 15 of our Shopping With Soul directory traders. So now you've got no excuse to not shop independent this Christmas, even if it's just a card.

Read more about the Just a Card campaign here.

Click on the photos to visit the designer maker's Shopping With Soul profile.

Markets, Craft Workshops

Workshops - Christmas Markets, November & December

Along with all the Crafty Fox Market staples: our talented traders, delicious food, festive drinks, and Crafty Fox DJs, our upcoming festive markets will also play host to a selection of hands-on workshops. Each market has a different set of workshops, from decorating bags to character design. Check out the list below for details of the workshops at each of our markets.

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Crafty Fox Market – Mercato Metropolitano (November)
Date
: Saturday 18th November
Time: 11am – 5pm
Venue: Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR
Tube: Elephant & Castle / Borough

Workshops:
Learn to carve a wooden spoon with 2hungrybakers.
Cost: £40 (2.5hrs) 
Times: 11am or 2.30pm.
Please click HERE to book your space. 

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Crafty Fox Market PopUp Shop – Battersea Power Station
Date
: Friday 24th, Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th November
Time: Friday: 12 – 8pm, Saturday & Sunday: 10am - 6pm
Venue: Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, SW11 8AH
Station: Battersea

Workshops:
Saturday 25 November
London Drawing Club with AndSmile and Emma Block
Cost: Free!
Time: 1-3pm.
Limited spaces - please register HERE

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Sunday 26 November
Collage Club
Cost: Free
Time: 2-4pm
Limited spaces - book here. 

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Crafty Fox Market – Brixton
Date
: Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December
Time: 11am – 5pm
Venue: The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9 8LQ
Tube: Brixton

Brixton Workshops (Top floor at the Dogstar)
Saturday 2 December
Ding Dong Draw with Dulcimer Draws
Dulcimer Draws will be hosting an all-day drawing den where you'll have chance to create your very own fashionista pizza (7 inch gift box)! There'll also be chance to enter a festive colouring competition to win a Dulcimer Draws Selection Box worth over £20.  Come along and get your sketch on! 
Time: 11am-5pm
Book/drop in!

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Sunday 3 December
Pimp my pouch with PupTart (£4 - £10, drop in). Personalise a glittery bag or make a tree decoration with PupTart in this fun, drop in workshop which can be found on the top floor of the Dogstar.
Cost: £4-£10
Time: 11am - 5pm
Just drop in!

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Crafty Fox Market – Peckham
Date: Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December
Time: 11am – 5pm
Venue: CLF Art Café, The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
Tube: Peckham Rye

Peckham Workshops:
Saturday 9 December
Design and create your own gift box using the wax-resist method with Samantha Warren
Cost: Free!
Time: 11am - 5pm
Just drop in! Thank you to selfpackaging.com for providing the materials.

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Sunday 10 December
Character making workshop with local children’s author and designer Lisa Stickely who will also be signing copies of her new book.
Cost: Free!
Time: 11am - 5pm
Just drop in!

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Crafty Fox Night Market – Geffrye Museum, Hoxton
Date
: Thursday 14th December
Time: 4-9pm
Venue: Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London, E2 8EA
Tube: Hoxton

Geffrye Museum Workshops:
Knit and decorate a wooly Christmas Wreath with I Make Knots. (All materials provided).
Cost: £35 (2hrs) 
Times: 4pm or 7pm.
Please click HERE to find out more and book your space. 

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Crafty Fox Market – Mercato Metropolitano (December)
Date
: Saturday 16th December
Time: 11am – 5pm
Venue: Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR
Tube: Elephant & Castle / Borough

Workshop:
Learn to carve a wooden spoon with 2hungrybakers.
Cost: £40 (2.5hrs) 
Times: 11am or 2.30pm.
Please click HERE to book your space. 

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Makers, Markets

Maker Interviews: Christmas behind the scenes

This week we spoke briefly to four talented makers about their experiences during the festive season; from increased orders to keeping up with Christmas markets. Whether you're a fellow designer or an avid shopper of all things handmade these interviews will give you an insight into a small business owner's life in the run up to Christmas. 

MICA PEET

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hello, my names Mica and I’m a jewellery designer working from my studio in Southsea, with the help of my wire fox terrier Reg. I specialise in crafting unique patterned jewellery, inspired by my love of the beautiful natural world combined with modern stylized shapes.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

The Christmas period is defiantly my busiest time, it starts to really ramp up around the second week of November and slows down by the third week of December.

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

This year I’m trying to get as much made as possible so when I get really busy I won’t have to do much making, this will hopefully make packing orders much quicker. I have been prepping stock since the end of August and trying to get all my stockists orders out by the end of October defiantly eases up the stress. Family members get roped in for packing duties, especially over Black Friday weekend which is my busiest time of the year.

Do you have any tips for other makers?

I would advise getting out of the studio for a bit as this defiantly helps the mind, I’m lucky to have the beach 10 minutes from my house so escaping with my dog for an hour is great, as well as a good night sleep. I try to stop working by 7 in the busy period or at least do easy jobs like box making on the sofa, preferably with a G&T.

Mica Peet will be at our Brixton Market at the Dogstar on Sunday the 3rd of December.

PUP TART

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi I'm Hannah and I run Pup Tart alongside my dog Indy and some excellent helpers. We currently sew sparkly accessories at our brand new studio/shop in North London.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

Every year I say I'll be more prepared and every year I end up in a mad panic to get everything done. Christmas is our busiest time of the year. I would estimate that 60% if our business is made during the period Oct-Dec and every year it takes me by surprise.

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

I'm very lucky to have the help of some amazing crafty buddies who come in more often and cut out Christmas pudding bags and pack up orders. Our Pet Bow ties are very popular around this time so we try to have extra stock made up. We've also moved into a new studio which has much more room and making busy times more efficient. I spent 4 years running Pup Tart out of our leaky old conservatory so having lots of space is amazing. We just built an order packing desk which has made our lives so much easier.

Any anecdotes you would like to share?

I have so many silly ones (mostly about posting parcels). I once had to make bow ties during friends’ wedding weekend, everyone was helping the night before and we had to drive around the countryside looking for a post box. Another time there was a big rumour that there would be a late night Saturday post collection at our local post office. I was there in the middle of the night filling up the post box.

You can shop Pup Tart on Saturday 2nd December at the Dogstar, Brixton and on Saturday 16th December at Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant and Castle. Or attend the Pup Tart Pimp my Pouch workshop on Sunday 3rd December at the Dogstar, Brixton.

CLEMENT & CLAUDE

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hey, I'm Jo! I have been running Clement & Claude for 3.5 years. I started pouring candles on my kitchen table and selling them to friends and family. I now make the candles out of a studio in Walthamstow, I have about 20 stockists and I trade at regular craft fairs and markets. My main goal with the brand is to make affordable and original candles.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

It is MUCH busier! From October onward I have lots of orders coming in from my stockists as well as lots more online orders on my website. Christmas markets and shows also start around October/November time so there is lots going on. 

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with the increased workload?

I have an amazing candle maker called Lucia who helps out lots with the production of the candles. She usually does extra hours around the Christmas period, and helps out with packing up the stockist orders. I have also recently enlisted my parents! They help out with all of my online orders, packing up the candles and sending them out to the clients. This has been incredibly valuable as I work full time separately to the candles. I generally do extra hours in the evenings and weekends to make sure I am on top of all of the admin side of things. Lastly there is also lots of prep before each market - and lots of driving around London!

See more from Clement & Claude at on Saturday 2nd December at the Dogstar, Brixton and on Saturday 16th December at Mercato Metropolitano, Elephant and Castle.

HELLO MARILU

Hello! Tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I'm Mary-Ann and I run my creative lifestyle brand Hello Marilu, which I have been doing since July last year. I love designing and making, so all of my products are hand crafted in my South London studio. I screen print my art prints, notebooks and greeting cards, and hand paint ceramics such as plant pots and Christmas Baubles.

What is the festive season like for your shop?

This is my second Christmas running Hello Marilu and my schedule is already really full on in the run up to the big day! It is amazing how much busier Christmas is compared to the rest of the year. I think a big reason for this for me personally is because one of my best selling products are my hand painted Christmas baubles. Each bauble is hand painted and personalised with a name or message. The design is quite intricate and can easily take 20-25 minutes per bauble to paint. Last year I was working on a lot of orders from my home studio, and selling at markets and running my own Bauble painting workshops. This year I am actually working with Fortnum & Mason to offer a live personalisation service in-store, and running Christmas workshops for a few other brands. It’s great to feel that my little business is growing and getting opportunities like this. Of course I will still be selling my baubles on my website and I’m looking forward to taking part in a few Christmas markets as well.  It’s always lovely to meet customers in person!

What sort of arrangements do you make to deal with these changes? Do you work longer hours?

I will be working longer hours, and pretty much seven days a week. I think I only have one day off to look forward to from now until Christmas, which will be my birthday! It can be a little daunting when I look at everything I need to do but it’s also pretty amazing and I know I will be able to rest in January when it will be much, much quieter! I do realise I am lucky to be so busy and I want to make the most of every opportunity for my business throughout the season. I'm also very lucky to have friends and family who have offered to help with a few things. It can be hard working alone at times as you don't want to miss out on opportunities but also you can't physically do everything yourself.

Any anecdotes you'd like to share?

It’s not just Santa’s elves who stay up all night making Christmas gifts! I'm sure there are lots of makers who will be working pretty hard this Christmas season. I think it is great that more people, myself included, are supporting smaller brands and buying original handmade gifts.

You can catch Hello Marilou at our Night Market at the Geffrye Museum on Thursday 14th December.

Makers

Behind the scenes with Limehouse Ceramics

This week we spoke to the incredibly talented Elizabeth Macneal, of Limehouse Ceramics, about the process behind her beautiful clay creations. Read ahead to hear how she works the clay and her tips for aspiring makers and designers, and don't forget to check out her profile on the Shopping With Soul directory.

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Hello Elizabeth! Tell us a little about yourself!
I'm a potter based in Limehouse, East London. I make all of my ceramics in the glorified shed at the bottom of my garden. Last year I quit my job as a management consultant to pursue pottery and writing - I definitely do not miss a life of spreadsheets and PowerPoint. 

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What’s the process behind creating a new product? How long does it take you from inspiration to final product?
First of all I wedge the clay - this removes all of the air bubbles. After cutting and weighing the clay (e.g. a big mug is 550g), I throw each piece on the wheel. This is probably my favourite part - when a piece takes shape. I don't tend to follow any structured inspiration process (e.g. working from drawings) - I'll just experiment as I go, usually at this stage. 

After drying out for a day, the piece will be 'leather hard', which means it can be handled easily and trimmed. It's at the right consistency to add a foot ring, handle, or smooth off any imperfections.

Once the piece is bone dry - which takes about four days - it's ready to be fired for the first time to 1000C. This removes all the water and makes sure it is still porous for absorbing glaze. I dip or paint on the glaze, then fire it a second time to 1240C, so that the clay vitrifies and the glaze melts. From start to finish, it will take about 2 weeks for each piece to be made. I always love opening the kiln after a glaze firing - and seeing the glossy colours inside.

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What is the most challenging part of the process? And your favourite?
The most challenging part is probably the glazing. This can lead to the biggest inconsistencies - pieces are often ruined if the glaze is too thick or thin. My favourite part is definitely throwing - I never fail to be amazed that a ball of earth can be turned into a vase or a mug or any circular shape I'd like!

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What one piece of advice would you give to a new designer maker who is just starting out?
Try a market. They are great for feedback - you can see which designs are working and which aren't. You can also work out your pricing - if something doesn't sell, it's often because I've priced it too high, and markets are a very easy way of determining this. Also, build up your Instagram. As well as being a lovely way to connect with customers and get feedback, it's also where I get almost all of my online sales. With the rise of 'cool' markets, the increased connection with handmade products, and the ease of using marketing tools like Instagram, I don't think there's been a better time to start out as a small maker. 

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What’s next for Limehouse Ceramics? Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
I always have new designs coming out - I have a pretty low boredom threshold, which definitely makes it tricky to keep my website updated, but it also keeps the work enjoyable. In the coming months, there'll be teapots, new teacup designs, and some serving bowls.

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Limehouse Ceramics is featured on our Shopping With Soul Directory, you can also see Elizabeth's stunning creations in person, at a Crafty Fox Market, on the following dates (click on each date to see details and full trader listings):
Mercato Metroplitano 18 Nov
Brixton 02 December
Peckham 09 December
Geffrye Museum 14 December
Mercato Metroplitano 16 Dec

Markets

Mercato Metropolitano, 18 November & 16 December 2017

In the run up to Christmas, Crafty Fox Market will be holding two special Saturday markets at Mercato Metropolitano (18 Nov & 16 Dec) creating an ideal shopping experience for both foodies and those searching for the perfect gift. As well as a selection of talented makers selling fabulous gifts for the whole family there will be workshops, portrait drawing, DJs, drinks and delicious snacks. Here's a sneaky preview of all that awaits you!

Click below the see the full list of traders for each date:

Saturday 18th November, 11am-5pm
Saturday 16th December, 11am-5pm

Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DRA

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SATURDAY 18 NOVEMBER PREVIEW.
Here is just a taster of what to expect:

Window.

Nick Sellek makes cards with designs developed from a love of unusual spaces and stuctures with a utilitarian angle.

Sally Nencini

Sally works with lambswool making toys, cushions and baby blankets, machine knitting with her own patterns. 

Floozey

Beth Hart makes unique creations inspired by contradiction, taxidermy, surrealism, found objects (particularly roadkill), contrast, natural oddities and tourist’s trinkets.

SATURDAY 16 DECEMBER PREVIEW
Here is just a taster of what to expect:

Sparrow & Wolf

Sparrow + Wolf is a Birmingham based home furnishing and stationery studio run by Cherie Gregory. 

Clement & Claude

Clement & Claude candles are made from 100% soy wax, individually hand-poured and finished at their workshop in South West London.

Oh Squirrel

Oh Squirrel creates a range of pretty party supplies, stationery and gifts inspired by vintage photographs, typography, botanical imagery and retro fabrics.

2HUNGRYBAKERS - SPOON CARVING WORKSHOPS - £40, BOOK AHEAD

Join designer/makers Adamina Turek and Adrian Austin to learn how to carve a wooden spoon. You will learn which tools to use and how to handle the knives in a safe and effective way.  Then choose from a variety of seasoned wood blanks (a pre-prepared piece of wood) in English Ash, English Apple, Polish Cherry to transform into a spoon to take home!  All tools and materials are supplied.  Adamina and Adrian can advise you on which simple tools to buy to carry on with this beautiful craft.

Adamina and Adrian are the founders of 2 Hungry Bakers, a food inspired ceramics and woodcraft design studio. They use a mixture of traditional and modern techniques to create a range of everyday tableware. All work is produced by hand in their micro-workshop in North London where they aim to create objects that are both beautiful and functional.

Cost: £40 (2.5hrs) 
Times: 11am or 2.30pm
Please click HERE to book your space. 

ANDSMILE - LIVE PORTRAITS - £20, DROP IN

Viktorija's portraits capture people so beautifully, pop by her stand to get one of your own! You can have your portrait painted in 10-15 minutes and will receive A5 ink and watercolour original artwork. Worth wearing your favourite outfit for!

Cost: £20 (10 minutes) 
Times: 11am - 5pm. 

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Shopping Inspiration, Makers

Halloween Shopping Inspiration

Happy Friday the 13th! Isn’t it lucky (or maybe unlucky) that we get a Friday the 13th in October, perfect for the run-up to Halloween. In celebration of everyone’s favourite festival of fright, here are our favourite fabulously spooky finds from the Shopping With Soul Directory. Whether you're after something to grace your mantelpiece or a fashionable accessory, these picks are sure to pique your interest. And whilst these pieces definitely feel a little haunted, we think they’re perfect all year round!

Click on the photos to see more from these talented makers. Clockwise from top left:

Kayleigh Radcliffe

Floozey

El Famoso Prints

Rock Cakes

Juan is Dead

James Barker

Markets

Introducing our new venue: Mercato Metropolitano

We’re very pleased to announce that we will be hosting two very special markets at an exciting new venue in Elephant and Castle, on two dates in November and December. Italian food market and community project, Mercato Metropolitano is a playground for food lovers and artisan food producers to meet, talk, relax, shop, and eat. As well as a selection of the best designer makers to satisfy all your shopping desires, we will have some fantastic workshops for you to join while savouring a range of delicacies and enjoying tunes from the Crafty Fox DJs.

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Mercato Metropolitano London

Full trader listings will be announced soon, for now here's a sneak peak of some of the highlights you can expect.

Join us on:

Saturday 18th November, 11am-5pm

Saturday 16th December, 11am-5pm

Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DRA

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Markets

Design Circus Sneak Peeks

Design Circus brought to you by Crafty Fox Market and BRIXI
Part of London Design Festival / Brixton Design Trail
Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September, 11am-5pm. £1 Entry (children free)
The Department Store, Squire & Partners, 248 Ferndale Road, Brixton, SW9 8FR. 

Different traders each day - check out the listings by clicking below: 
Saturday 23rd listings
Sunday 24th listings

Preparations for Design Circus are well and truly underway and we can't wait to bring our circus to the beautiful surrounds of the Department Store! Emy from BRIXI has been working on the decor (which even includes a very special dressing up box!), we've been busy producing our latest zine and our crew of talented artists and makers have been busy creating their products and displays. Check out the listings for to get a sense of all that will be going on and sneak a peek at our instagram hashtag (#DesignCircusBrixton) for more. 

Here are just a few of the many, many highlights you can expect!

Images Clockwise:
The beginnings of a giant brass pajak by Bobbin & Bow
Forgotten Stitches has been stitching up a whole circus troupe
The beginnings of the very special Felinni-inspired BRIXI dressing up box
A visitor from Stephen Wright's House of Dreams will be joining us at the circus
Look out for special edition products from our traders. Here's Jacqueline Colley's take on the Brixton Design Trail theme of 'Love is Power'. 
Ceramicist Kinska is planning an intriguing interactive stall with a variety of games
Artist Tom Berry will be completing his 'gin cat' work live at the circus
Artist Abe Obedina is creating a special circus inspired piece which will be on show at Design Circus. 
 

Markets

Workshops - Peckham Market, 16 & 17 September 2017

Alongside the stalls at our forthcoming Peckham Market, you will find a selection of drop-in workshops so you can get hands-on and take home on of your own creations. There are different workshops (& 50+ traders!) each day. 

CLF Art Cafe, The Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST
11am - 5pm. Free Entry
Trader Listings - Saturday 16 September
Trader Listings - Sunday 17 September

WORKSHOPS: SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER

Leather Craft with Rosanna Clare Gethin (£10)
Drop in and learn the basics of leather craft in a 30 minute workshop with Rosanna Clare. She will show you how to mark out, cut and glue leather to make yourself a fashionable tassel keyring. You will have a choice of leather colours and fastenings and all for just £10 each. Simply pop your name down for a slot when you visit the market. 

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Wax resist card making with Samantha Warren (Free)
Join Samantha for this fun workshop that anyone can take part in. Make your own cards by laying down wax resists (using candles/wax crayons) on the card and then washing it with watercolour paints to reveal the artwork. Choose from a graphic style, a more abstract design (as featured on Samantha's bags), or a statement card with text. Simply drop in any time. 

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WORKSHOPS: SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER

Make your own Hairy Jayne hair fresherners (£10)

Create your very own custom Dry Shampoo Powder or Hair Freshening Spray using natural ingredients and essential oils. They keep your hair fresh, lovely and fragrant between washes. Drop in any time (Sunday 11-5pm). £10 for either one, or £16 to make both.

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Photo by Martha Love

Photo by Martha Love

Drop-in 'Pink Fest' colouring competition with Dulcimer Draws (free)
Win a 'Pink Hair Don't Care' tote bag full of ALL THE PINK (including Percy Pigs!) and a free haircut at Pimps & Pinups by designing your very own Pink Hair Don't Care illustration using the template provided! 

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Markets

Peckham Festival Highlights

 
Fox illustration by Jimbobart

Fox illustration by Jimbobart

This year, our autumn market in Peckham forms part of Peckham Festival - a weekend celebration of all things creative and cultural in Peckham. You'll find us at the CLF Art Cafe in the Bussey Building along with our crew of 50 different makers each day. As always there will also be DJs spinning tunes and a variety of hands-on workshops for you take part in! Check out the trader listings for each day: 

Saturday 16 Sept | Sunday 17 Sept

Peckham Festival Highlights

Once you've paid a visit to the market, you'll find plenty more to keep you busy in the area. The line-up is pretty epic - you'll find a live music stage in Copland Park, lots of workshops to get involved with and artists open studios to explore. Check out the full listings via the Peckham Festival website.  There's even a munch map to help you out when it comes time for lunch!  Here's a few top picks from us...

P.E.C.K.H.A.M - Look out for large yellow letters on the streets of Peckham by local artist Harriet Hill. Read more

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Peckham in a Picture - open air exhibition of photos sharing what locals love about the area. Join in by submitting your pictures using #PeckhamInAPicture. Read more

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Peckham Clay Tiles - make your mark on a clay tile forming part of an installation after the festival. Read More

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Peckham Carnival (Sunday) - enjoy the music and dance at Peckham Carnival on Holly Grove. Read more

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Shaping Peckham (Copeland Gallery) - Visit Ben & Katrina's abstract scene of Peckham; dating back to when it was farmland and surrounded by hills and the River Peck was above ground. Take part by painting, adding and spotting shapes to bring ‘Shaping Peckham’ into 2017 and beyond. Read more.

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Record Fair and Saki popup at Peckham Springs (Sunday only). Read more

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Markets

Workshops - Sample Sale, 8th July

There's just a couple of weeks to go until our first ever sample and seconds sale, taking place on Saturday 8th July at the Effra Social in Brixton. There's an exciting line-up of 40 traders taking part with discounts of up to 75%. Check out the listings here.

Alongside the stalls, in typical Crafty Fox Market style, we will be offering two different hands-on workshops for you. Simply drop-in any time between 11am - 5pm to take part. 

Pimp my Pouch: Customise a sparkly bag or make a brooch with PupTart (from £4)

Jewellery Workshop with I Am Acrylic: Draw, cut and file your own shape from acrylic then make it into a necklace - all for just £10! 

We look forward to welcoming you! 

Maker Profile - Paly Glass

Hi! I'm Nikki, owner and maker of Paly Glass, which launched online in March 2016. I am a stained glass artist who specialises in the copper foiling method and everything is made by hand by me in Bristol, South West England.

I studied graphic design at college and then went on to do an art foundation degree at UWE. The year long course was great and gave me the opportunity to try out many different things. I would definitely recommend an art foundation to anyone who isn't sure which creative path they would like to pursue after A levels!

Whilst studying, I made my own jewellery and sold the pieces on eBay. This eventually turned into a full time business and I became self-employed. I did this for 4 years before I decided I wanted a change and I started working at a pre-school. At this point, sales went down and work took over so I stopped my eBay business.

Five years on and I really wanted to be creative and start making again. I found an antique pressed flower frame and a terrarium at a car boot sale and I fell in love with both of them. I wanted to make my own and did a lot of research, learning all about copper foiling. I booked on to a local stained glass course in September 2015 and I loved it instantly. I purchased all the tools I needed and haven't stopped making since!

After completing 3 terms of my stained glass course I continued practising at home. Over time, I began to see a massive improvement in my soldering. I opened my Etsy shop 7 months after I started my course.

I started off making small terrariums and pressed flower frames. I then started selling at local markets, my main one being The Frome Independent which is held every month and is an amazing market with over 200 stalls of handmade goods and food stalls (if you have never been, you must!). Selling at amazing markets like Frome and Crafty Fox really gave me the opportunity to meet customers and other traders and get invaluable feedback. I realised how much I loved talking to people and selling my items face to face. So selling at markets is just as important to me as having an online presence.

My products have now evolved in to bigger terrariums and many more flower frames in lots of different shaped frames. They are filled with both flowers I have personally pressed (and also now pressed by my Mum and my fiancé's Mum !) and custom orders from customers sending me very sentimental flowers to be framed by me, some as far as America and Sri Lanka!

There is a great deal of work and process that goes into each finished piece. I love that there are so many steps as it means I get to see each piece through from beginning to end with my own hands.

First I start with a pencil and a whole load of graph paper to measure and draw the designs onto. The design is cut out with scissors and then I draw around each piece of the paper pattern onto the glass. Once the design is drawn out it's cut with a special metal ruler and a glass cutter. Each piece of glass is then foiled with copper foil tape. Once each piece is foiled it's then time to put on my mask and solder! Then it's time to wash the soldered piece with warm water and soap. The solder is silver in colour but with a special chemical called patina I can turn the solder black or copper, the latter being a very popular choice at the moment! Then the final stage is a good polish and that's it, a nice shiny new product!

I would have to say one of my favourite pieces in my collection is my cow parsley frame. It's also called Queen Anne's Lace because it looks just like lace, it’s so pretty. The best bit is in the summer it grows literally everywhere (it's a bit like a weed) so I'm always going out for walks to pick some! There are so many different types that once pressed all look completely different. Once it's pressed and put in between the two layers of glass you can see every tiny detail and no two pieces are ever the same.

My studio is currently in my house, in my spare bedroom. It's a small space but luckily you don't need a massive space for making glass. The only problem being that glass does seem to get everywhere so I'm constantly vacuuming up all the bits from the floor, so as not to get any stuck in my foot, which has happened before!

I am totally glass obsessed, I absolutely love windows, my favourite being old leaded stained glass windows. I will look for it above front doors, windows and churches. Luckily there is a lot of stained glass around Bristol. I'm always taking photos for inspiration, which gets a little embarrassing when the owners come out and wonder what I'm doing! Nature is a big inspiration for me as well, my favourite thing is to go for a walk to the forest or by a river and search for some natural things to press. I recently went for a winter walk and found so much beautiful dead foliage like cow parsley seed heads and thistles. It would probably look like weeds to others but is like treasure for me!

I'm a crazy cat lady, but I'm also a crazy plant lady! I'm very lucky that I can just make my own glass pot whenever I like and in whatever size. I have a lot of hanging terrariums around my house filled with trailing plants and succulents. I'm also now obsessed with air plants and they intrigue so many people when I'm selling at markets, they are a great conversation starter! Glass shelves and terrariums are perfect for them, as they don't need soil just light and water meaning they can just hang beautifully in the glass. 

Music is a big part of my working day! I always have the radio on or a mix to keep me going. Oh and my cat, working at home can be lonely sometimes as my fiancé is out working in the day so she's always popping into the studio to see what's going on!

Currently I sell my products through Etsy and Not On The High street but I would love to have my own website as well, so I am hoping to start work on that soon. I have also recently started to make very tiny pressed flower pendants (after feedback from customers saying they would love to wear my flower frames) that are small enough to wear as jewellery. I'm hoping to eventually go back to my jewellery roots and start making glass that people can wear.


Shop the gorgeous collection now on the Shopping With Soul Directory.

Markets

Spring Market Video!

Here is a little roundup of what went on at our Spring Market a few weeks ago, hope you like it! More news of our Autumn markets coming soon, can't wait to return in September with some more great events for you, in the meantime here are some dates for your diary -

16 & 17 September - Autumn Market Peckham as part of Peckham Festival, CLF Art Cafe, Bussey Building, 11am - 5pm. Trader applications open in June.

23 & 24 September - Brixton - A collaboration with Brixi as part of Brixton Design Trail in an exciting new venue. More details coming soon! Trader applications open in June.

2 & 3 December - Dogstar, Brixton, Christmas Market, 11am - 5pm. Trader applications open in August.

9 & 10 December - CLF Art Cafe, Peckham. Christmas Market. Trader applications open in August.

Plus more dates and venues coming soon...

Maker Profile - Life's a Biscuit

Hello!  I’m an Saskia from Life's a Biscuit, an East London girl living in beautiful Brighton. I make biscuit and sweet related jewellery, magnets and accessories.
 
I think I’ve been a maker all my life! I made a tamagotchi from an old soap box when I was little until I could save my pocket money for a real one! I didn’t enjoy art at school and dropped it before GCSE but kept painting and making bits and bobs in my own time. I did an art degree in Brighton and haven’t looked back since.
 
In our final year at uni one of my friends and I made little gummy bear brooches and sold them to our peers to make money for our mid-afternoon tea and doughnut fund! After I graduated I carried on making delicious looking goodies. It’s grown very naturally, from working in the corner of my kitchen, I now have a studio where I spend half my week.

I tend to mould my personal favourites when it comes to sweets and biscuits. Sometimes I make my own version of a biscuit, other times I mould the real thing. I piped my own icing for the iced gems and moulded that. I work with a polymer based resin for most of my biscuits. I mix the resin, adding colour and then pour into my moulds. Once it’s cured I clean it up and depending which biscuit it is I then add resin ‘jam’ or a magnet. Then they’re good to go!
 
Mould making is one of my favourite processes. I use silicone to make my moulds.  Initially it takes time to make a really neat careful mould but it’s worth it because I can then pop out several biscuits in one go. Taking things out of moulds is always so exciting - I’m never quite sure what I’m going to discover!

I work on the top floor of a fantastic building filled with creative and small businesses (New England House). I share a room with other makers and have a big desk right by the window looking out across Brighton to the sea. I have all my moulds and pigments there as well as a LOT of biscuits (they’re all fake, sorry!). I want to paint my space and put cheesy slogans up on the walls, that’s my next job!
 
It might sound boring but Radio 4 keeps me company most of the day, and I learn so much. It can be lonesome working on my own so it’s important for me to feel like I’m staying in touch with the rest of the world… I’m not an Archers convert yet though! My perfect tea break consists of builders tea, milk no sugar and a Fox’s Crunch Cream… they’re amazing!

I’m always getting new ideas, it helps that there are so many biscuit options out there! I want to make more mirrors covered with Life’s a Biscuit goodies and I’ve got ideas for a jammy dodger pocket mirror which I need to work on! Customers at stalls are always giving me new ideas and requesting their favourite biscuits! I’d love to collaborate with someone in fashion and turn the biscuits into an outrageous and extravagant outfit!
 
I have a sign on my stall that says “Not real!” because so many people ask! I did catch a child trying to have a nibble once. Most people like to pick the biscuits up to work out if they’re real - they’re very tactile.
 
Plan for the future include more biscuits!  I don’t think I’ll stay in biscuits forever but for now I think there’s still more to explore and I’m always willing to do biscuit eating research!


#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 13

Another great week of new products from a wide array of makers using the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag and it was great to see some of them in the flesh at our market last weekend too!

Here are our top finds of the week .....

Hope you enjoy this weeks choice, click on the images to go to the makers pages. We shall be taking a little break from the roundups but keep using the Hashtag on Instagram and we will be back again in a few weeks with lots more exciting new goodies from our favourite makers.

Craft Scene, Makers, Markets

Download the Crafty Fox Zine!

At our Spring Market last week we launched our very first zine! A celebration of all the wonderful makers involved and a lovely keepsake for everyone who visited. Featuring interviews with guest curator Lisa Comfort, trader Jenny Sibthorpe, Pui from Scout Editions and illustrator Hannah Rampley whose gorgeous artwork features throughout. There is even a special Crafty Fox inspired craft tutorial from Zabby Allen so you can carry on the fun at home!

Didn't nab a copy at the market? Worry not! You can view and download a copy of the zine for yourself, by clicking here.

Makers, Markets

The Crafty Fox Zine is coming!

We are so excited to share our latest project with you - The Crafty Fox Zine!

We will be launching the zine at our Spring Market this Saturday 6th May at Oval Space in Bethnal Green, where you will be able to pick up your free copy as you go in.

The zine is filled with maker profiles, spring trends, a special foxy craft tutorial by Zabby Allen and lots more. Beautifully illustrated throughout by textile artist Hannah Rampley.

As an extra special treat there will also be a mural wall in the entrance to the market featuring Hannah's illustrations, by Coast Design Studio, perfect for an Instagram photo opportunity with your new purchases!! Don't forget to tag us in to your market photos using @craftyfoxmarket and #craftyfoxmarket.

See you there!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 12

It's #CraftyFoxFinds time again! Loads of action over on Instagram  this week, exciting to see lots of market prep for the Spring event in just over a weeks time!

Here are our top finds of the week .....

Hope you enjoy this weeks faves, click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with more exciting new handmade products for you.

Craft Workshops, Markets

Spring market crafts and interactive arts!

At our spring market on Saturday 6th May (Oval Space, Bethnal Green) you will find lots of crafts and activities to get involved with as well as all the amazing shopping!

Here is a round up of all the fun activities you will be able to join in with from 11am-5pm. Click here to see the full trader listings.


I Make Knots - Knitted i-cord necklaces, £10, drop in.

Get knotty with us and learn to knit a statement i-cord necklace. Using various techniques and a variety of fabric yarn, we'll show you how to knit a couple of these stylish necklaces all in the space of an hour. Don't worry if you're a knot novice- this workshop is perfect for beginners and those already with the knot know-how.


Pup tart - Pimp Your Pouch Workshop - from £8, drop in.

Customise your sparkly bag and let your imagination run wild! You can monogram, add a sparkly rainbow or your own design… the possibilities are endless. Bring along your Pup Tart sparkle or purchase a bag to customise.


Andsmile - live portraits - £20, drop in.

Viktorija's portraits capture people so beautifully, pop by her stand to get one of your own! You can have your portrait painted in 10-15 minutes and will receive A5 ink and watercolour original artwork. Worth wearing your favourite outfit for!


One Pound Poems - live poetry - £1, drop in.

Visit Amber on her stall and for only one pound she will write you a poem on a subject of your choice while you wait! All done on a gorgeous vintage typewriter in front of your eyes, totally captivating, we can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Makers, Shopping Inspiration

#CraftyFoxFinds - Week 11

Hope you have all had a lovely Easter and are back in the swing of things! Its been great to see that the sugar rush has resulted in a flurry of new makes over on Instagram.  It's nice to discover new people to follow and see what our Spring Market traders are up to by checking out the #CraftyFoxFinds hashtag.

Here are this week's top 9 - click on the images to go to the makers pages. Keep using the Hashtag and we will be back again next Friday with the best new discoveries for you to enjoy!