Say Hello To…Cat-a-Cake Creations

Today we hear from our fair organiser, Claire Montgomery. Claire will also have a stall at the fair and will be selling under the name of Cat-a-Cake Creations. Find out a bit more about her…

“Visitors to our fair seem to stay for hours, looking at the wonderful crafts, eating yummy cake, listening to our vintage singers, helping their children take part in a workshop, getting their faces painted and much more- it really was a magical day!”– Claire

Remind us a bit about you and what you do/ make….

As well as organising this fair and working full time at a design studio, I also regularly sell at craft markets across Sussex. I sell a range of whimsical & animal themed laser cut jewellery, greetings cards, pocket mirrors, badges, cotton bags and more! All of my work is hand designed by myself. I have recently re-branded under the name of Cat-a-Cake Creations, in line with my new website and Etsy store.

cat-a-cake creations jewellery

Do you have a best seller? If so what is it?

My ‘Buddy the Cat’ necklace is always popular. He is based on my own pet Buddy the cat, who is a big fluffy black cat who likes lots of cuddles! The best thing about having him as a necklace is he can be any colour I want him to be! Other than Buddy then my earrings are always popular- at two pairs for £7 they are very good value and come in various cute animals, colours and all have silver plated findings and come in a little pouch to keep them warm!

pink cat necklace

What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I enjoy translating a design that starts in my head, to a sketch, then to a visual, then to a piece of jewellery, then selling it, seeing peoples reactions and hearing their feedback on it is always good. It’s a great feeling to see someone wearing a piece of your jewellery- its nice to know that it is appreciated. I recently sold an item from my Etsy shop to a lady in America, so Dot the Dalmatian necklace was wrapped up and sent off to sunny Florida- alright for some! I think Etsy is great to get your work known further afield and its a great feeling knowing a little item you had an idea about is now sitting as a lovely necklace in a house half way around the world!

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Do you take part in other craft events (fairs, open houses, markets etc…)?

Yes, lots! As well as The Fairy Tale Fair I also take part in Brighton Craftaganza, Makers Boutique and two Artists Open Houses in May and December each year. This May I will again be part of The Cake House, which is a lovely child friendly houses with lot of cute arts and crafts (and rainbow stairs), as well as a new house- The Dog House which is a great well established house with over 16 artists- find out more about them on my website. I’ll also be taking part in more craft fairs and local events during the summer.

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What items and Mother’s day/ Easter gifts will you be selling at The Fairy Tale Fair?

I will be selling a range of cute gift ideas for both Mother’s day and Easter. These include greeting cards- my dotty chick card won a Pinterest competition last year and is very popular! Also I have made some special little felt chicks that come in their own little pouches to keep warm. They want to be your friend so please say hello on the day! There is only 3 available- so be quick! Also I will have badges, pocket mirror, earrings, necklaces and much more to choose from.

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You took part in the last Fairy Tale Fair, did you enjoy it?

Yes I took part, and organised it! As with the summer fair it was great to see it all come together on the day and see the happy faces of the children and customers who visited! It takes a lot of work to get the crowd in we did- thousands of flyers through doors, adverts, lots of posts on this blog, keeping up with social accounts, sending emails, contacting press and much more- but I think it is all worth it in the end. It rained hard ALL day for the Christmas fair but that didn’t seem to put visitors off- there was a steady flow of people all day and it was particularly busy in the morning. Visitors seem to stay for hours, looking at the wonderful crafts, eating yummy cake, listening to our vintage singers, helping their children take part in a workshop, getting their faces painted and much more- it really was a magical day! I hope this Spring fair will be just as magical, we have so much to offer so please don’t miss it!

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What are your plans/ ambitions for the future? Or have you already achieved them?

I hope to continue to organise The Fairy Tale Fair, and help it grow. I have plans to make it bigger and expand, but I’d always like to keep its local roots as it has a real community feel! I’d also like to organise more events, such as charity events, weddings and other fairs/ markets across Sussex.

I’d also like to continue to develop my design career and one day aim to have my own greeting card range and exhibit at a big trade show in London. I also have a keen interest in Children’s books. For my final project when I was at university I created a book of nursery rhymes- I’d like to continue to develop this and one day write my own children’s book too! Oh and I’d like to own a cute little cake and craft shop in Brighton by the seaside- everything would sparkle and be lovely!

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Any other comments you wish to make:

I am really looking forward to this Saturday the 9th March, and hope lots of you can visit our lovely fair on the day. We are open from 10.30am, and you can see full location details here. It’s a great day out for all the family and there really is something for everyone.

Find out more:
Web: www.catacakecreations.co.uk
Facebook (just set up new page under my new name and would love some more fans!): www.facebook.com/catacakecreations
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/CataCakeCreations

Say Hello To…Karen Rao Felt Artist

Karen took part in a workshop at our last Fairy Tale Fair and we are lucky enough to have her back again, find out more…

Remind us a bit about you and what you do/ make….
I am a felt artist creating unique animal inspired wall art, cosy floppy eared hats, pretty floral corsages, felted pebbles and a host of other hand felted goodies!

felt art

Do you have a best seller? If so what is it?
My Red Rose Brooches are popular throughout the year but my Husky Hats have been selling well. I have a range of hats inspired by the wonderful dogs I meet on my daily dog walks!

What do you enjoy most about your craft?
Felt is so versatile. It’s uses and techniques are endless. I use soft Merino Wool but add different wool fibres to create added texture and depth. I experiment with Alpaca, Camel and Yak wool, plant fibres but also manmade fibres. Recycled plastic bottle create the brightest white, curly soft fibres. My source of inspiration within nature is constantly changing and my work is forever evolving. I love passing on my knowledge about this fantastic medium in the form of workshops so that it can be can enjoyed by all ages.

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Do you take part in other craft events (fairs, open houses, markets etc…)?
I regularly take part in the monthly Makers Boutique and will be exhibiting with them at the Brighton Fishing Quarter through March to May. During the Artists Open Houses you can find my work at The Trojan House. After a successful workshop at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire, I will be holding another one at the Brighton Science Festival. I also hold felt making workshops in schools too!

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You will be providing a workshop for The Fairy Tale Fair- what will your workshop involve?
Keeping with the theme of Spring, I will be holding a ‘Felt a Spring Chicken’ Workshop. Here you can create a mini art in the form of a cute fluffy chick (or your favourite animal of course) I will be teaching the ancient wet felting technique using just wool, soap and water! Add a little rubbing and rolling to create your own hand felted work of art to take home. Suitable for all ages.

You took part in our Christmas Fairy Tale Fair- did you enjoy it?
I held a ‘Felt a Brighton Rock’ workshop where we hand felted pebbles. It was great to see people’s fascination with felt making and what you can do with it. Seeing all the wonderful stall holders with their unique work was inspiring too in a super venue with a really friendly atmosphere.

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What are your plans/ ambitions for the future? Or have you already achieved them?
I am constantly working on new ideas. Even in a year the nature of my work has changed direction. I am experimenting with hand felting brimmed hats, so hopefully I’ll be able to work to commission soon. I love teaching too, so plenty of workshops to participate in would be fantastic!

Any other comments you wish to make:
I’m looking forward to seeing all the inspiring stall holders in a super venue with a really friendly atmosphere.

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Find out more about Karen’s lovely work: www.karenrao.com

Be Mine!

Take a look at this Etsy treasury we created, featuring some of our stall holders. Lots of cute handmade ideas for Valentine’s! Click here >

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Say Hello To…Shark Alley

We are excited to announce our ‘Say hello to…’ posts are back! We have lots of new and lovely stall holders to introduce to you, as well as some special Christmas gift posts from our regular stall holders!

The first of our posts is a special one! Today we introduce to you Shark Alley, who makes beautiful animal themed jewellery and otter characters. We think their creations are wonderful and look forward to seeing them at the fair!

Find out more below…

“My style is massively inspired by animals, particularly birds and British wildlife….I just love actually being able to create something real, rather than working digitally all the time.” – Sarah, Shark Alley

Tell us a bit about you and what you do/ make….

My name is Sarah Kelly and Shark Alley is an anagram that I’ve long wanted to use!  I trained as an illustrator, but often made detours into craft until I finally decided enough was enough and I became a fully-fledged designer-maker.  I make jewellery from papier mâché & resin and resin & sterling silver as well as hand-sewn otters and birds and I have recently started making otter and fox motif coin purses.

How would you describe your style?

My style is massively inspired by animals, particularly birds and British wildlife.  I also love colour and pattern.  Working with paper is fab, as I can use so many gorgeous examples – I’m particularly loving Japanese Chiyogami paper at the moment.  I also like to recycle wherever I can.

How long have you been making your craft items?

I started Shark Alley in January 2010, but I’ve been crafting since childhood.

Do you have a best seller? If so what is it?

I think it would have to be a tie between the papier mâché brooches and the little otters.

What do you enjoy most about your craft?

I just love actually being able to create something real, rather than working digitally all the time.  I enjoy trying to figure out how to make the pieces work and then seeing them finished gives me such pleasure.  I like to prop them up by the bed so I can look at them and have a think about them before I go to sleep.

Do you take part in other craft events (fairs, open houses, markets etc…)?

I exhibit in an Open House in Fiveways and take part in craft fairs in London, Surrey and Brighton, particularly with We Make London and Craftaganza.  I also have work in Bellis Gallery in Brighton and Oak Studio in Hampstead.

What items and festive gifts will you be selling at The Fairy Tale Fair?

I’ll be selling my full range of jewellery, otters, purses (including the Scampi Moo otter range), prints, cards and some gorgeous new Christmas decorations with a twist – quite literally!

What are your plans/ ambitions for the future? Or have you already achieved them?

I want Shark Alley to be a brand that embraces many forms and disciplines, although the animal theme will remain constant.  I feel that as an artist I can’t just constantly make the same thing over and over again, and as soon as it becomes a chore, I want to move on to something new.  I would also like to create printed products based on an initial design so I don’t have to make everything by hand all the time. I also need to get on top of publicity and media next year. Onwards and upwards!

Web: http://www.sharkalley.co.uk Blog: http://sharkalleyjewellery.blogspot.co.uk

Blog: http://buzzywithfuzzy.blogspot.co.uk/

We are looking forward to having Shark Alley and her otters at The Fairy Tale Fair- hope you are too!

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The Fairy Tale Fair BrightonApril 12th, 2014
The Fairy Tale Fair has arrived in Brighton!
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