On Sunday, Didi Lou Crafts will be heading slightly northwest for another Christmas Market, this time at Purley on Thames. The details are below:
Sunday 27 Nov 2016 11am – 3pm Free Entry
The Barn, Goosecroft, off Beech Road, Purley on Thames, Berkshire RG8 8DR
Purley’s magical Christmas Market returns by popular demand on Sunday 27 November, between 11am and 3pm, in the atmospheric setting of the eighteenth century barn at Goosecroft, Purley on Thames. This year it’s even bigger and better, and entry is free: original and gorgeous crafts and Christmas gifts, fine foods and confectionery, festive atmosphere and entertainment, refreshments, mulled wine, Santa’s Grotto, disabled access and free parking. Great for all the family. Packed with stalls selling amongst other things: presents, crafts, vintage, books, accessories, jewellery, textiles, paintings, cards, confectionery, Christmas decorations, home baking and children’s toys. The event is organised by the Friends of Purley Barn with proceeds going to raise funds for this historic venue.
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This is an unusual one for Didi Lou Crafts as it is over in Essex, but there is a family connection and when it was mentioned I offered to help support this little church’s first attempt at a Christmas Market. So I will be deep in the beautiful Epping Forest at the historic Holy Innocents Church in the village of High Beach.
Here is their information page on the market: http://www.highbeachchurch.org.uk/events/christmas-market.php
The church address is High Beach Church, Church Lane, High Beach, Loughton, Essex IG10 4BF and the Christmas Market is Friday November 25th from 6pm to 9pm.
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This was a two day fair, but luckily they had a 3 hour set up period the previous day, which was probably most notable for the pouring rain. Thankfully most of my stock and equipment is rain proof, I actually store my stock in Really Useful Boxes® so it is well protected. The actual fair is held in the huge marquee at Trunkwell House. It was well set up, tables laid out ready complete with a fresh white tablecloth. Unfortunately with 80 stalls and only limited entrances into the marquee, it took some time to get parked close to move stuff in, so on the Friday I didn’t unload all the stock. I did spend time setting up the table with the tree and lights and tinsel around the white shelves. I spent about an hour and a half before heading home, knowing I had items to complete for the morning.
It was a very chilly early Saturday morning, frosty, but thankfully the rain had ceased. I finished setting up with plenty of time to spare to be able to photograph the stall and post it on Instagram. I bought a little table the previous night and managed to complete some of the little notepads and pencils I had been working on in past weeks during the day, which I added to stock on Sunday morning. It was cold outside both days, but I can report that the heating in the marquee made it rather warm. Thankfully it was a later start on Sunday, having left everything set up overnight. I did take a large plastic drop sheet and covered the stall with that both nights, which was just as well as a few people found damp from condensation had dripped onto their tables overnight.
Whilst I had steady sales, it was not the best fair Didi Lou Crafts has attended and I will need to consider carefully what lessons I can learn from the weekend. I did really like my new white Christmas tree as a display for the more individual Christmas decorations. The gingerbread men were popular and I have ordered more stock of those. There is one available in the Christmas section of the Didi Lou Crafts Etsy store now.
New products on Saturday included two gold character bells (above) at £4 each, two papermache reindeer (above) at £8 each and two china snowmen baubles (above) at £4 each. The brown reindeer has already gone, but if any of the others are of interest they will be available at future fairs this month (see the Events page) and are also ready to ship. Please contact me at email@example.com if you want one of them, and I can add it as a custom order on the Etsy shop. Remember if they are shipped they will also incur an extra post and packing charge. I also added 6 spinning tops (below) on Saturday, selling half of my stock, so I have ordered more and hoping to have them completed in the next week (they are dispatched but have not yet been delivered). I also added some extra notepads (below) and pencils (below) on Sunday, and had a run on the notepads, so my stock is low. I have been busy doing more this week and have new stocks of washi tape, including some Christmas designs so those will be ready for this coming weekend. These (the spinning tops, notepads and pencils) are all part of the Didi Lou Crafts exclusive Craft Fair range, so they are not usually available online.
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It has been months since Didi Lou Crafts attended a craft fair, a deliberate thing as my experience of fairs last year led me to believe November is the best time for my business to do fairs. So this fair was held at the Tadley Sainbury’s Cafe in support of The Voice, a group of professionals, patients and ex-patients of the NHS Mental Health Service. Who because of their experience have come together to develop and offer everyone free basic life skill workshops. Please do check out their page here. I feel too little is done for those with mental health issues, so was happy to help, even if I didn’t know who they were when I booked the fair.The fair was busy at first, but the queues died off quickly. I was placed in the back corner and if anything I found things a little cramped. It was one of those fairs which included a lot of stalls of pyramid sales products, rather than homemade crafts. Not a good fair for me sales wise, although I did get a custom order which I will make up next week.
However it was useful as a practice run to set up as it has been so long since my last fair. New features on the stall are the lit sign and the christmas tree. I really like the sign, not so convinced about the tree. I think I will remove the tinsel for this weekend and just leave the lights, as it is supposed to display the bisque and china painted christmas decorations.
The new items for this fair are shown above and below, the painted bisque gingerbread men (above) are £3 each. The painted and plastic-coated papermache diamond baubles (above), the decoupage and plastic-coated papermache trees (below), the decoupage and plastic-coated papermache hollow bell (below) and the painted and plastic-coated papermache hearts (below) are all £2 each. These will be available at all the fairs Didi Lou Crafts is doing this month (see the Events page) and are also ready to ship, if any catch your eye. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want one of them, and I can add it as a custom order on the Etsy shop. Remember if they are shipped they will also incur an extra post and packing charge.
I’m off again later today to set up for the next fair, a two day fair this weekend. I am tweeting, instagramming and making facebook posts with sneak previews of new items making their debut this weekend, so look out for those.
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