I got the tram into Nottingham today, I was going to meet some friends for Sunday lunch and the trains were a bit sporadic for some reason other than it being a Sunday. When I got on to the tram it was already busy, and although I saw there were seats to be had further down the carriage, I opted to sit with the elderly gent who smiled at me as I got on.
I am glad I did, as we had a lovely conversation about the friends he was meeting up with in a local pub, his love of live jazz, his many grandchildren and his lovely wife who had recently died of cancer. It made the tram ride seem so much shorter and his sheer enthusiasm for life enriched my day. I love to connect with people. As I type I am conversing with Maria regarding publicity for the next Sunshine Vintage Bazaar and making arrangements for the workshop we will be delivering on the day.
Yesterday was the Sherwood Christmas Craft and Food Fair and it was amazing! Even in it’s larger venue it still felt just as busy and there were more local makers than ever. I met some wonderful people throughout the day, and came home with that pleasantly exhausted feeling that you can only get from a satisfying day of work, where the outcome was exactly the one you wanted it to be. It was definitely an evening for picking up a chippy tea and cracking open one of Mr Bee’s display lagers.
As well as the ever popular coin purses, hair clips and flower brooches I took along my collection of upcycled tea towels and they went down a treat! There was one lady who told me that she liked to visit places around the UK and collected tea towels as souvenirs. She was particularly drawn the ones that came from Cornwall, as she was planning to walk the Cornish coastal path next year, and bought a bag, a pinny and one of my cushion covers.
What’s more she LOVED my work, and her compliments made me beam with pride. In all honesty I do believe anyone can do what I do, take a pile of old jeans and vintage fabrics and sew them together to make useful and pretty things, but she realised my passion for it and this is what motivates me to continue. At this event, just like at The Remarkable Recycling Gala earlier in the year, the customers who visit really get me and that is just so refreshing.
They understand the LOVE for the 70s florals and colours from my childhood, which often stir the same nostalgic joy in them when they pass by. They also appreciate the time I take to put together other recycled materials to produce practical designs that appeal to the environmentally conscious customer. I love talking about my work, what motivates me to salvage the smallest scraps and share my extensive collection with like minded people.
It’s not just about crafting and having a stall at a craft fair for me. I want people to engage with me in conversation about their projects, their passion for upcycling and how much they enjoy seeing the colours and patterns from their past brought into the present. I am still so very surprised that my stuff sells so well, I still see honey bee as a hobby that funds my fabric addiction, but it does! I feel I have come a long way since my first ever craft event and continue to learn with each new make.
I thoroughly enjoyed the upcycled t-shirt workshop I did for the City WI earlier in the year and am hoping to start some sewing workshops in collaboration with Lucy of Two Little Magpies in the new year. I have already had two requests this weekend for basic sewing lessons and I am more than happy to share what I know with others, if they ask me. I am looking forward to sharing my skills at the Christmas Sunshine Vintage Bazaar in a couple of weeks and organising our final Crafty Catch Up of the year.
This week I will be working hard to replenish all the stock I sold yesterday with some more carefully created one-offs that might just raise a knowing smile or comment from a passer by.
In the meantime,
keep making those connections
and stay sweet