A fairy tale comes true

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Christiane Berridge reports on the Brighton-based craft show

Claire Montgomery can be proud of her Brighton based craft venture, The Fairy Tale Fair. Being based on outskirts of the city is a definite bonus as it offers free parking! The venue is just off the A27 by-pass so easy to find for those coming from out of town. There's no hassle about watching the clock, worrying if you have enough time to browse before the meter runs out. And browsing you will certainly want to do, and that's before you've stopped for tea and cake, a face-paint session or a craft workshop, before the serious business of buying.

The fun began right at the door for the last Saturday's event as a brightly-dressed chap made balloon animals for those coming through the doors. A good start I thought. And no doubt attracted by the Fairy Tale tag there were indeed many families - the youngest child I heard was three weeks old! It's never too early to encourage the young crafter or future consumer, and the workshops were proving popular, as was the brilliant face painting (which Claire was sporting herself).

As for the crafts, there was a good selection made by the friendliest group of makers that I have come across. All were happy to talk about their wares and this, for me, is the selling point of any item that you might buy from this event. You get the provenance, the insider information, the blood, sweat and tears behind it…none of which you get when buying from the high street.

I loved the rings from Retro Violet, their designs hitting the craze for all things vintage, a style trend that harmonises well with steampunk, especially if you team up with some of the tattie cuffs from Lulalupin! With the image of the fox currently in vogue, FabFunky were onto a winner with their literary prints, whilst Hello Dodo and Shark Alley Jewellery also featured the handsome creature in various guises.

Adding a whimsical or retro touch to any room were the box-framed memo boards from Beautiful and Useful - who wouldn't fall in love with their Bambi board? Duvet covers and tea towels have all been put to use so there's bound to be a design that suits you. Fabric was also being put to a practical purpose in the colourful designs from Pomelo Crafts. While the colourful embroidery from textile artist Tina G Snuggs of Georgie Arts lifted sewing to a whole new level.

Also for sale were items that would make any present extra special, such as the gift cards from Bets & Bobs, or the pretty ceramic hearts from Lubilou. A delicate hint of 'grandmother's dressing table' was offered by the beautifully painted glasswear by Annmarie Hughes; tiny little flowers painted onto glass ring-stand and thimbles. Easy to visualize this surrounded by ornate perfume bottle and a silver-backed hairbrush.

And for a unique personal touch - get yourself (or a loved one) turned into a fairy! Check out the Altered Art by Amanda Howard of Maygreen Fairies. I can't think of a more fun gift for a special birthday or wedding.

With so many lovely craft items on sale (knitwear, handmade soaps, cupcakes, feltwork, bunting, and all manner of jewellery) I don't have the room to mention them all, you must just come along to the next fair. And with websites, Facebook pages, and goods on Etsy or Folksy, there is no excuse for not sampling the fantastic delights of the Fairy Tale Fair folk.


Visit www.thefairytalefair.wordpress.com

The next fair takes place on November 16, at Patcham Methodist Church, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton BN1 8TA


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