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Weekend wanderings

I took a trip to that there London at the weekend and manged to squeeze in some crafty happenings in between catching up with friends and drinking the obligatory cider.

First up was the knitting and stitching show at Ally Pally:

This was my first time at the show and I was really impressed by the exhibition galleries – there are so many exciting young artists working with textiles and embroidery, and I was pretty bowled over by the talent on display. Check out these amazing 3D stitched creations by Nicola Flint:

Then on Sunday I managed to rise at 8am (yeah, I surprised myself too) and took a little wonder from where I was staying in Hackney Downs all the way to Spitalfields to check out the new We Make London handmade market.

I stopped off for breakfast in Columbia Road before the market got too chocka with crowds. This has to be one of my favourite places in London – the colours, scents and shapes of the flowers are just so overwhelming beautiful.

I also love all the little indie shops selling unusual knick knaks.

Then I wondered along Brick Lane, which I’m sure you need no introduction to. As always, I spotted some pretty rad street art and other colourful bits and pieces

When I finally arrived at the We Make London market, I was a bit miffed to learn that I’d missed the majority of stalls – Saturday’s market had 40 designer-makers selling their wares, but on Sunday there were just 17 due to the space already being heavily booked up. (However, if you’re planning on popping down to November’s market, please don’t be put off – I’ve been told there should be a whopping 70 stands this time!)

But, as they say, it’s quality, not quantity – and I was really impressed by the stands I saw. I managed to have a little chinwag with Zoe from Ladybird Likes, having admired her blog and Etsy shop for a while – her gorgeous butterfly necklaces are actually pictures from old French nature books, scanned in, printed out and laser-cut. I love that they have a little piece of history in them, as well as being pretty.

I also really liked Egulte Designs’s recycled accessories and printed T-shirts – how cool are those clutch bags?

I think it’s great that UK designer-makers now have such a wonderful space in central(ish) London to showcase their products. I don’t know about you but I struggle with many of the larger markets these days – when I was a teenager they were the go-to places for anything remotely unusual, but now lots of stalls are filled with the same old mass-produced crap and I get a serious sense of deja vu wondering round them. So hats off to Spitalfields for making the effort to support original, creative talent.

Anyone else got any crafty adventures coming up?


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