Claireabellemakes in the shops!

I’m writing an extra post this week to share with you some exciting news! If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have heard me mention that I was working on wholesale orders over the last two weeks.

Claireabellemakes in the shops

I am super pleased to have been approached by Cambridge Folk Museum who are supporting local makers in their shop, which includes handmade jewellery, stationery, wooden children’s toys and home furnishings. Building a network in Cambridge is very important to me, as I love living here and know there are a ton of talented makers in the city.

In addition, one of my favourite stores; All the Fun of the Fair (on Carnaby Street in London) asked me for a large order of accessories to sell amongst their fabulous collection of yarn, trinkets and craft goodies. I have blogged about the store before (here and here) and feel so happy to have started a business relationship with them as well as being a customer. Creative Director Buzz is one of those people you could natter all day to!

Although I hadn’t planned to try for wholesale until next year, I’m very grateful for these opportunities and hope they will be the start of bigger things ahead. I am still keeping my Etsy store well stocked and always welcome feedback on my makes – good or constructive!

If you have a handmade business and are thinking of gaining wholesale orders, please check out this fantastic e-guide from Indie Retail Academy. It is well worth it and is free!

claireabelle

A Crafty Cakey Birthday

Cupcakes

Last weekend I celebrated my birthday weekend with friends, mostly being calmed that I have one more year until I am 30!

On Saturday we had a friend’s wedding. G was best man and did a fantastic speech. I realised in the (almost) decade we’ve been together, I’d never heard him speak in public. I was one super proud girlfriend. Lots of people at the wedding also commented that they thought he looked like Prince William, so I’ve decided by default I must be as fabulous as Kate Middleton hehe, just kidding!

On Sunday we took the train into London to meet some friends for lunch and do a spot of craft shopping. We were in the midst of the Christmas shopping crowds on Regent Street and I realised it wasn’t a great idea as we were pulling along a mini suitcase and G was carrying his suit. I am completely desensitised to London these days. Funny how Cambridge has changed me!

An absolute must for me was to visit All The Fun of the Fair in Kingly Court, which is a lovely festive courtyard, close to Carnaby Street. It’s one of my favourite shops and they were kind enough to have a birthday present for me when I mentioned I was coming! It’s such a gorgeous, colourful, quirky shop I could have spent hours in there. G let me choose some buttons and ribbon and he even got a little knitted cactus as a pressie for one of his friends (she apparently dressed as a cactus at a costume party once and was known as ‘cactus’ thereafter!).

We had a great chit chat with the owner Buzz and window shopped around the rest of the stores which included a quaint tea room, kooky jewellery stores and a trendy reading lounge full of books.

All The Fun Of The Fair

I couldn’t visit London without a stop off at Laduree Covent Garden. I LOVE MACARONS. Cost a fortune but they were so worth it. G and I had tea and macarons when we arrived home. Only china cups and saucers would do this time.Laduree Macarons

I felt well and truly spoiled by my friends and family. Here are some of the lovely gifts I received. A great set of book ends displaying a teeny weeny fraction of my baking books.

Bake Book Ends

A beautiful wooden sewing box which has been on my Amazon wish list for a while.

Wooden Sewing Box

A collection of ribbons and buttons from G, All the Fun of the Fair and my friends who got married. They also gave me a delicious cake at the wedding, it was so sweet!

Ribbon & Buttons

I had a fantastic weekend, despite battling a migraine the whole time. It was a bit too busy and stressful at times, so I plan to take it fairly easy over the next few weeks, so I can be well enough for my holidays in December.

Having said that, I have so much prep to do for upcoming craft markets, eek!

claireabelle

Knitting with All the Fun of the Fair

Note: All The Fun of the Fair has now closed.

One of my favourite places to buy quirky habberdashery supplies is  All the Fun of the Fair. I frequently use their online shop for yarn, patterns, unusual buttons, lace and accesories.

Located in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street in Soho (London), All the Fun of the Fair has been open for 5 years.

In addition to the cute shop and online space, they often visit craft, handmade and vintage fairs and markets such as the recent Soho Flea Market on Dean Street and the Wealden Times Midsummer Fair in Kent.

In a bid to improve my knitting pattern skills, I purchased a Chunky Knitted Cushion Cover Pattern for a reasonable £2.50. It is a nice simple knit and purl project with Cygnet Seriously Chunky Yarn and 10mm needles. I ordered the bluebell colour, but when it arrived it was more of a lilac tone, so I decided this would be a gift for my sister rather than another cushion for my spare room.

After a few blips in understanding the pattern repeats and many cups of tea later, I had finished the cover. I do love how a chunky knit grows so quickly! It was a 2 evening project with a bit of telly watching in between. A nice plump cushion insert made it feel really big! My sister was chuffed with her handmade gift.

This week, I made a couple of other purchases from their quirky range including the ‘I Love Sewing’ Spool Holder (perfect for my vintage stash), Fancy Trim Pack of Lace and Sew Crafty Gift Tags.

I’ll leave you with Jaqueline from All the Fun of the Fair’s best craft tip:

Try something new. When you’re an expert in a specific craft, be it knitting, crochet or felting, it’s always good to try your hand at a new one. The skills you learn from one can always be transferred to another and help keep your mind creative and filled with new ideas! And if it doesn’t work out, then you just go onto the next one!

Claire x