So, I vowed I wouldn’t go back to the world of craft fairs, but this time for a very tiny fee my friend was arranging a craft fair so I agreed to come along.
You may of read my previous rants about craft fairs, and in honestly this was exactly the same, but there were some key differences.
Firstly, the cost of me getting in was equivalent to a bottle of wine, and I donated a small agate necklace with sterling silver findings as a tumbola gift.
Secondly the other stall holders were friendly, all made the effort to socialise, and boost each others confidence.
Thirdly, whilst the Hotel probably wasn’t the best venue in the world for a craft fair, it was on a main road (2 minutes walk from my house), the room was spacious, it had air con (when the staff remembered to switch it on). It was marketed on social media, and had a board outside.
All in all, I actually enjoyed the fair, chatting to the people as they wandered in for a look, leaving their partners in the bar.
The table was there for me, and marked up so no confusion. I had a suitcase, battered, vintage but served a purpose. I up ended it, made a metal flashing for the inside and double sided sticky tape to hold up the craft kits.
I sold enough to cover my costs that day, no profit but that was to be expected, there was a steady stream of browsers, but overall it was an interesting experience!
Conveniently located in the centre of this delightful market town, with loads of fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, independent traders selling a variety of lovely items, plus your big hitters like Fat Face, Marks & Spencer, Next, WH Smith etc Newark has something to offer everyone.
So, the class size will be a maximum of 6, all materials are provided, and it will entirely suitable for beginners or a change for more experienced bead weavers or jewellery makers. don’t worry if you are nervous, this will be a fun workshop where hopefully we all learn a new skill, and make some new friends along the way.
The shop is located on the ground floor of the impressive Buttermarket, with car parks only a few minutes walk away.
The dreamcatcher uses a variety of seed beads, threads, bugle beads, feathers, and could be adapted to make a piece of jewellery, such as dinky earrings, or pendants for necklaces, once the basics are mastered the design ideas are only limited to your imagination! There will also be a selection of colours on offer, so don’t worry if you don’t fancy blue or brown! We have pink, red, and possibly green too!
As this is a basic introduction I am aiming to focus on techniques in basic bead weaving, if however you fancy a more advanced wirework, or genuine gemstone dreamcatcher do ask Michelle to organise another workshop, or if there are any other stitches you would like to learn such as Ladder weave, peyote, brick, netting again just ask Michelle as I am more than happy to share my skills.
I can also look at doing classes in Kumihimo, Macrame, Tiara, Fascinator’s, beaded corsage’s along with inexpensive but unique wedding jewellery.
So if you have an idea, get in touch … if you can doodle it, I can certainly have a go at making it for you or design a class to help you make it!
There is another, FEATHER SPECTACULAR; INC TEAL, BLUE, PURPLE, RED AND FUCHSIA, ZBGC72 at £6 more!
I can’t seem to post an image from JM today (well I haven’t ever figured it out actually, but the links work) I have to say that the colours of the feathers they have in stock today are truly amazing, some of them even have itsy bitsy spots on the tips, I can just imagine these on some striking dreamcatchers in some really bright beautiful colours. Do take a look, I guess they won’t be hanging around for long.
So, if you didn’t want to make a full scale dreamcatcher to hang over the bed, by using some small memory wire (ring sized), and smaller / shorter feathers it would be perfectly acceptable to make a pendant, brooch or pair of earrings. The colours offered in the deals above could add a hint of colour to a little black dress, perfect for the party season which, as summer draws to a close is rapidly approaching.
Of course feathers aren’t just for dreamcatchers, they can be used in a variety of different ways. On example I spotted yesterday whilst surfing the web was Doncaster races. I realised that the feathers look stunning when used in a hair fascinator, or tiara, as they can add that element of softness to the piece, and height which lets face it if you want a statement piece it needs to stand out in the crowd! In fact, a small blue feather in a bridal tiara could also look amazing, especially if coupled with vintage pearls, something old, something borrowed, something blue ….as the saying goes.
So for a day at the races hair accessory, especially those you see on the news at Ascot, Newmarket, Doncaster I can’t begin to imagine how much those cost to buy from various department stores, or bespoke fashion houses, its much cheaper to whip one up yourself, (or commission me to do it). For the DIYers out there, JM have a kit running today with some lovely gems, hair pieces & tiara bands – around £20, and you would get 5 items at least out of the one kit I would hazard a guess at, so with a little imagination, a little time and some crafty skills you to could have a hair piece for a material cost of under £4!
Myths and Mythology is quite apparent in the world of Gemology, for Centuries people have believed in the power of gemstones, whether its to promote calm and well being in the mind & spirit or to give courage & strength in times of need, the result is to offer a form of reassurance to the recipient.
In this regard Dreamcatchers have a similar history, they originated from the Ojibwe people but by the 1960’s -1970’s they were adopted by the native Americans in a number of different nations.
Storytellers speak of the Spider woman who took care of children and land, as the Ojibwe nation spread it became difficult for her to protect all the children, so mothers would weave magical webs for children which filtered out all the bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter our sleepy minds.
These became quite popular again with the Twilight film, obviously not if you are Team Edward, as I can’t imagine the Cullens believing in the Native American mystical decorations, but if you are on Team Jacob, the dreamcatcher can capture your imagination.
The native American style dream catcher is traditionally made from a willow hoop, with a spider web type centre designed to snare your dream, these dream snares are normally decorated with items such as feathers and beads depending on the trial origin.
Imagine creating a beaded dreamcatcher, and then taking one step further and adding Rose Quartz Gems, or Mystic Quartz Crystal Rounds, to capture the light, to encapsulate that feeling of calm, reassurance, well being wrapped up in the magical web to filter out any bad dreams, wouldn’t that just be a object of beauty, hang it up by a window near your bed and the light it would capture and refract around the room would be spectacular.
In actual fact JM have started selling feathers, they could make the most amazing dreamcatchers on air ….perhaps I could apply to be a guest designer to take these beaded designs to the next level and beyond! Ok so that isn’t likely to happen but just whilst I dream (because actually I really enjoyed going on the Sunday Experience, the being on TV thing didn’t actually bother me, as I thought I might, in actual fact I got a real buzz, and sense of fun whilst in the studio, it was daunting being the first time I had done something of level, but amazing too) I get genuinely excited when I try out new techniques, in fact I could use imagine using a piece of that incredible Druzy JM (this is just one example they have some beautiful pieces in peacock colours too) keep teasing me with, wire wrapped, with gems & bugle & seed beads, strung in the spider web formation, with a memory wire or twisted wire frame as a dream catcher …..feathers on the base, maybe using the wire coiling gizmo too …. I can only imagine the dream catching creations I could make if I had the opportunity to pull together a JM Kit, and then create from it!
Anyway back to Earth with a bump, if you do feel you would like to have a go at beaded Dreamcatcher, I have developed a kit, its in several colour ways (pink, brown, blue & red) which I have been busy selling on Etsy, and Ebay.
Now sadly this kit doesn’t contain a willow hoop, nor ancient relics but would still look lovely hung in the bedroom above a bed, with its beads, feathers and spider web centre, so if you fancy having a go at one why not try the kit ?
It contains all the seed beads, frame & thread that you need, full instructions are printed, and I have made a few. They take a few hours to assemble, but really aren’t complicated so very suitable for a beginner.
The hoop supplied is approx 100mm in diameter, the finished piece can be as long or short as you need it to be, but mine are 4000mm in length on average but it really depends on how many beads you include in the tail pieces, and the hanger at the top.
I am, as always more than happy to help if you ever got stuck, drop me a line via the site you purchased from, via twitter (@aarticraftsbyfi) via Facebook, or we could if the problem is bad FaceTime, or Skype.