Category Archives: Inspiration

Handmade for Him…

Kitsch printed fabric guitar straps by HouseOfWonderland

In an ideal world, half the products available to buy at Brighton Craftaganza craft and handmade markets would be designed for men, or have unisex appeal. It’s no secret that craft fairs and handmade markets are female product-dominated places. I’d love that to be different. For ‘handmade’ to really offer a viable alternative to ‘mass-produced’, products for guys is really an area that needs some attention.

Awesome silver tree ring made by Beth Millner

I spend a lot of time checking out designer-makers and hunting down potential sellers for future Brighton Craftaganza markets. But the comparative lack of locally handmade (or even UK handmade) mens or unisex ranges who’s makers sell in craft market situations makes my dream of a 50/50 ratio of mens to womens stalls unlikely for the foreseeable future.

Cartoon fabric padded iPad case by PinkOasis

That’s is not to say that there hasn’t been stalls catering largely or in part for men at Brighton Craftaganza in the past; there has been some fantastic stalls of this kind. I really hope that mens product sellers continue to apply to sell at Brighton Craftaganza, but I have to say, they are thin on the ground.

Green merino wool crochet tie by KoutureCrochet

Even at the awesome Renegade Craft Fair last weekend, guy-orientated products were scarce. Aside from some fantastic prints, the only items on sale you would be likely to buy for a man were these amazingly clever puzzles or these stunning leather shoes, and both these stall’s products are made in the US, so unlikely to be lure-able to Brighton for our Christmas Brighton Craftaganza!

Handknitted fleece-lined beanie hat by BulcherM

So I started to think about what I would like to see on sale for guys at Brighton Craftaganza! This is my wish-list, if you will, of male-orientated product ranges that would be perfect for the Christmas market season. All of these products are available via Etsy, just click on each link to take you to the product page.

Knitted stripy wool mittens by RainbowMittens

Back Once Again for the Renegade Craft Fair

As the organiser of Brighton Craftaganza, and as a fan of handmade in general, I LOVE checking out other craft/handmade markets and fairs. And this weekend saw one of the best: Renegade Craft Fair at the Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London. Renegade have been running large-scale handmade/indie-artist markets in major cities across the US for yonks, and 2012 saw the second to be held in London. Their emphasis on contemporary work and inspirational sellers reflects my own aims for Brighton Craftaganza, so it was great to see how the big boys do it!

The Truman Brewery is an ENORMOUS, light-filled space. With over 70 vendors, it is twice the size of our own Brighton-based market, and they could easily have fitted lots more stalls in if they wished. I spent the day with Sarah (of Rock Cakes jewellery) and Kirstin (of Kirstin Stride jewellery), pictured below, checking out the wealth of handmade talent on offer.

My goodness there was a lot of it! It was wonderful to see previous Brighton Craftaganza sellers represented at Renegade. The designosaur pair were selling their awesome range of vibrant lazer-cut quirkiness; Deborah’s Pink Minx retro-cheek cushions was going down a storm; and Ladybird Likes’s brooches were filling the bags of the Renegade visitors when we saw her. Sarah, Kirstin and I all feel in love with many of the sellers and their ranges, in particular the lovely pair who create by hand the ‘i am acrylic‘ range (pictured below).

We collected heaps of business cards from talented UK designer-makers. Although Brighton Craftaganza is and always will be a local makers-based market, at each event I’d like to invite two sellers from other parts of the UK to have a stall to keep things fresh. Fingers crossed will see two of the sellers from this weekend’s Renegade craft fair selling at our own Christmas Brighton Craftaganza craft and handmade market this December!

And of course, no amount of craft hunting should occur without a couple of celebratory cocktails!


Hi everyone, hope the summer is treating you well and you’ve seen some sunshine at least 🙂

I spotted a link to this “Craftydermy” exhibition on the Guardian’s website, and thought I’d share it, as it’s an interesting concept!

The exhibition is on at the Atelier Gallery in Barnstaple, Devon, so if you’re in the area pop in and take a look. If not check out the photos of the exhibition here.

Inside Amy Butler’s Home.

Last month I had the amazing good fortune to go to the USA for ‘work’ (hehe isn’t ‘work’ great?) I was sent to: 1) Salt Lake City to Quilt Market to do some marketing activity for my book; then onto Cincinnati for craft video filming and finally Columbus to stay with Mr & Mrs Butler

Quilt Market was amazing!  Read more about it here.

Craft video filming was a gas! Read more about it here.

For fabric fiends who don’t yet know who Amy Butler is; Amy is one of the most well-known US fabric designers today. Her talents extend beyond fabric, she is an author and she also designs, patterns, wall paper, bedding towels and crockery to name a few. Find out more about Amy Butler here. 

Amy Butler and I have been buddies for a while. We’ve hooked up at various book signing events (on occasions when she was visiting the UK), so when she invited me to stay at her place I squealed ‘YES!!’ very very loudly!

Amy lives with her husband; David. Both Amy & David are experienced designers and both work from home (they each have their own super cool studio).  They also live with 4 ADORABLE kitties – all of which are rescue moggies. It was so inspiring to see how they have feathered their nest. You could see clearly that their home belonged to 2 talented designer types!

For even more snooping around Amy’s house pics, look here.

For more snooping around Amy’s house pics, look here.

Lisa X!

Daydreaming of Craftspaces

Over the last few weeks I’ve been daydreaming about bigger craftrooms 🙂 Right now I’m crafting out of a small cupboard – and keeping an eye out for cool things that other crafters are doing with their spaces for possible future inspiration!

Here’s a few of my favourites from Flickr.

Lookin in by Ali Edwards

Suzi Spence’s Inspiration Board

Christi Sheffield’s Studio Photo

Suzi Spence’s Wall of Textiles

Whilst I’ve not yet figured a way to make my little cupboard into the spacious multi-zone area I’d like it to be, I’m making myself some bunting to give some life to the space – hopefully the bunting will turn out to be as bright and lovely as this!

Garlands from sweetjessie

All photos used under Creative Commons licence.

Happy Crafting!