Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A very cold Craft Fair

I'm very behind with posting about this as it was a few weekends ago when we had all that ice and snow. Now of course we have more ice and snow and I can't actually remember it getting much better in between, it seems to have been fairly seamlessly bitter and cold, at least it's pretty.

Anyway, my craft fair was in this beautiful building which is Leicester Guildhall - I was so busy I didn't get photos of all the rooms but here is where I was, the Lord Mayor's Parlour.
Behind me was very old stained glass - in some panels people had scratched their name and the date, so it was a fascinating place to be:

Last year I'd had a look round as a customer and it was supposed to be one of the best local fairs to sell at, this year someone had taken the decision to charge people a pound to come in - not a lot but that charge featured on all the publicity and I wonder if it put people off coming, that and the weather. So it wasn't as busy as previous years, but a couple of my things went to very good homes. When you've spent a couple of hours or more making a unique piece you do feel a part of yourself has gone into it, so it does make a real difference to sell to someone who actually says how much they like it.

Unfortunately there's no getting away from the fact that it was FREEZING! We had to have the door to outside completely open so people knew to come and see us, so we really were shivering - on the Sunday I brought two hot water bottles with me - one to keep and one to give to someone else. I managed to stuff mine up under my dress and put a belt and my money belt over it to hold it to my tummy - all was going well until about lunchtime when I was in the middle of talking to a customer and it slipped out and fell onto the floor with a big sloppy thud!

Craft fairs are so varied - I've really enjoyed the ones where people want to ask me about how I make felt as I like describing the procedure, but this was one of those ones where most people seemed to walk straight past me, sometimes I think it's a question of perhaps not having quite the right products for the exact customers that come through the doors - the photographer next to me was constantly busy and his pictures had such a wide-ranging appeal that he did really well. I said that I blamed him for my lack of success because as soon as people got half way along the room, level with me, I could hear them exclaiming 'What fantastic photos!' and speeeding past me to get to him! He was lovely, kept getting me cups of tea, and of course knew I was joking! His photos were indeed stunning and he deserved to be really successful.

I was initially disappointed with sales, because let's face it, it is a lot of effort to do a two-day fair - not only your time standing, but all the packing up and transport too, and you do always hope to do well. But what I remember most was what a lovely group of people there were in our room, and indeed in the other rooms, and a good friend gave up a large part of his Saturday to come and sit with me and help out, so I say it was a complete victory for Community Spirit!


  1. That building is so lovely, those old floor planks just gorgeous.

    I wish it had been more successful in terms of sales for you, but I suppose it *is* hit-and-miss on any given day as to what the attendees are looking for.

    I had to laugh at your falling hot water bottle, though!

    Take care, and I do hope the holidays go well for you and your family. I know things are difficult with your mum's situation, but I still hope you find some peace and joy this season.

    (((Hugs))) and Light.

  2. Sorry to hear it didn't go as well as expected at the fair, your stall looked fab and what a great location. Sorry to hear you Mum is off her food too, I always find patients who won't eat always say yes to jelly so that might be worth a go. It is also good as it has fat, sugars etc in it but doesn't seem too much to each when you are off food. x

  3. What a beautiful location for a craft fair ... sorry to hear you didn't do as well as you expected. It's a lot of hard work isn't it! Do you think it's a bit late for buying .... lots of people have bought all their presents by now. Hope you have a restful Christmas!
    Love Kathy xxx

  4. Beautiful venue - a pity the weather was against you - I am sure it will have put a lot of shoppers off this year. Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year - x Jo

  5. Your stall and your felted goods are so lovely and colorful, I wish you had sold every item.

    We have had never-ending rain for almost 10 days now, which is unheard of here in the desert. What is up with the weather? It's certainly dampened my Christmas spirit.

    Here's to a Happy Holiday! Best wishes to you and your family, and of course a smoochie and a squeeze for Archie!

  6. Yay!! Is that really you?!? Oh you look stunning and even more so surrounded by your beautiful things!! You know if I was there I'd have gone straight to your stall and got one of those lovely handbags asap!! They're gorgeous and I am so tempted!!

    That bit when your hot water bottle fell down. LOL!!!! Well I hope that next time you do a fair it'll be in a beautiful building such as this one with equally lovely people but with heating. You must have heating!!!! Unless if it's summer of course!!

    Hugs to adorable Archie - and well done you for doing this fair!!! Take care

  7. It does look like a lovely fair I must say, shame the weather and price may of put people off also I think lots of people are tightening their belts this year so this could also be a factor.
    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a crafty New Year

  8. What a beautiful building! And your stall looks absolutely lovely! I'm sorry to hear footfall & sales were slow... I think thats the case pretty much everywhere this Christmas. Many folks are staying home when possible due to the weather, and money is tight. As you say though its lovely when you know something is going to a 'good home' - I feel the same way about my felt.
    I laughed out loud when I read about your water bottle flopping out on the floor :D At least it didnt leak!


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