A little bit of a break from the high street this week- but not too far removed!!!! 

Some of you may or may not know- but I grew up going to markets all over the midlands with my Dad when I was little! I loved nothing more than the early rise and drive in a van (its always great to be that higher up in a vehicle- you get to see so much more!!) to various places including Willenhall, Sleaford, Retford, Worksop and Boston. After finishing my degree in 1993 I then went on to forming my own business by designing stencils and applying them to plant pots, cushions and cards- these I sold all over the country at craft shows as far north as Edinburgh and the furthest south I went was Eastbourne.

I cannot describe the fun we all had doing those shows- my pal and I shared my little blue van quite often doubling up and having stands next to each other- probably the funniest occasion was my falling asleep behind the stand at not such a busy show- but that taught me that airshows simply weren't the shows for my goodies!!!! I then started painting again in 1999, ran the two businesses back to back for five or six years- which brings me to today!!!

I still go to a few of the shows- i've popped their website links below..... They really are still enjoyable- especially when the visitors are good fun, the weather fine and with good organisers! Most good craft and designs shows with be a collection of smaller handcrafted goodand medium sized businesses that design their own products. From spring right through to Christmas you can generally find these shows advertised in your local papers, internet and notice boards. There are even some popping up in town halls, and example is handpicked hall (link below)in Skipton- where local makers are getting together and opening their own small shops within a larger shop.Another example is my local bookshop in Lowdham organises a book festival each year which last year hosted a food fair in the cricket pavilion- which seemed to be a roaring sucess, and other years Jane has a craft/ book sale as part of the event-these events are all good places to support the smaller businesses and to buy British!

This weekend I shall be at Stately home Penshurst Place in Kent, and the following weekend Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, both lovely shows, great venues and a lovely morning/ afternoon- even all day out and makes a change to doing the gardening!! ;0)

So next time you see a craft event advertised at your local village hall, stately home etc - why not pop along- support a small business ( often some of the people exhibiting are brand new start ups) you may be surprised at what you find!!

Emma :0)

PS- In two weeks I shall be skipping down to sunny Padstow and a shop called The Gift Horse!