So, Gertie and I are back from the Country Living Fair, almost fainting from sheer exhaustion, but was it worth all the effort? Well.......see that plaque in the top left-hand corner? Every year at the Fair Susy Smith, the editor of Country Living Magazine, goes around and chooses her favourite stand, and this year she chose us!!!! Gertie and I were quite overcome with emotion when they came with the news, and promptly burst into tears! I think it was just a feeling of overwhelming relief that all the hard work we'd put into making everything had paid off. The prize was a bottle of champagne and best of all, a FREE 6m2 stand at next year's Spring Fair!! So yes, of course it was all worth it. I've already started planning more ideas for the backdrop....
I could only afford to book a small stand this year so at times it was very difficult to actually know where to position yourself so that customers could see the work on display.
Gertie and I (with the help of my good old Mum) took everything with us on the train in suitcases (a bit mad). I'd designed the stand so that almost everything for sale was hung on hooks to maximise floor space. This limited us to taking certain things which were not too big and didn't weigh too much, and not items like pictures and cushions.
I made the backdrop for the stand out of a whole range of original old documents, letters, botanical prints from books, and some of my drawings. I glued and stitched the papers into position in easily manageable sections, which were then assembled in situ like a jigsaw. And at the end of the fair we were able to take it down again to be re-used.
In the collage I included some pressed plants from my garden, favourite cuttings from magazines, dried petals, leaves and honesty seed cases, and snippets of beautiful vintage fabric.
Two of Jane's butterfly fairy girls standing on old cotton reels, taken from real photographs of Victorian children. Beside them are some of my handmade notebooks that I showed in progress in one of my previous posts.....
Some of Gertie's beautiful cosmetic/washbags, all made from beautiful vintage fabrics with zip fastening, lined and with silk trim.
In both corners I hung an old lepidopterist's (butterfly) collecting box, and pinned my 'specimen' vintage button hair grips and button cards into the cork backing
A few close-ups of the hair grips
And on the shelf beneath, Gertie's tiny crocheted pebbles like sugared almonds....
On a row of hooks in the middle of the stand, a selection of my little vintage fabric bags, some with old letters and photographs printed in panels on the front,
and below, a washing line of see-through bags containing delicious bits of vintage handmade lace, ribbon, trim, old buttons, snippets of fabric and some with old documents, designed to get you inspired to create something like........
this for instance; a little vintage fabric 'sac' hanging from an old French bag handle, and filled with Gertie's home-grown lavender (she let me buy some of it from her and it really is the best).
Gertie's new range of cards feature pieces of vintage fabric and tiny Suffolk puffs, with even tinier Mother-of-pearl buttons
A selection of her recycled pin jars and button jars, alongside her hand-crocheted mobile phone 'pockets'
and her gorgeous vintage lace bejewelled lavender bags.
I so enjoy making up these button cards....
Some of my heart and butterfly decorations, wired with vintage buttons, old chandelier drops and coloured beads.
I hope you have enjoyed the tour of our stand and thank you for letting me do this rather self-indulgent post! It was so nice to meet all of you who came to the fair and those of you who are fellow bloggers, special mention to Marie, Gemma and Gill, and also to meet again customers who have been down to The Sea Garden in Portscatho and recognised the name. I hope to see you once more either in Cornwall or at the Spring Fair when we do it all again next year!