I’ve been going to craft fairs at Chipping Sodbury Town Hall for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, Dad would lead me round on a sunny Saturday morning to peruse the stalls of crunchy pastel-hued acrylic hand knits, cross stitched hankies and dried flowers encased in lumps of resin. At the end if it all (usually leaving empty-handed – there are only so many hand-turned wooden door knobs a girl needs, after all) we’d walk home via a little back-road path, fill our pockets with shiny auburn conkers and, if we were really lucky, see some mallards float by on the stream that winds between the grey stone cottages.
A few weeks ago I decided to continue this tradition, and I took Sherbet to her first craft fair. These days, it’s a slightly more upmarket affair – the Vintage & Handmade Fair is a great little market that takes place 3-4 times a year, still in Sodbury Town Hall. it’s chock full of handmade and vintage toys, jewellery, quilts, haberdashery and home wares. It’s mostly out of my budget, but I inevitably come home with some buttons or fabric scraps that I squirrel away in my black-hole-I-mean-stash.
Taking Sherbet was a challenge – eight months is perhaps not old enough to appreciate vintage hand-pieced quilts – and, once my arms were burning from carrying her one-handed while pushing an empty pram in the other, and I felt I’d apologised enough for her reaching over my shoulder and pulling people’s hair in the cramped aisles, we made a swift exit. We walked back to my sister in law’s via a different but equally beautiful path that wound beside the other end of the same stream, and collapsed in a heap.
I didn’t come away entirely empty-handed, of course! I snaffled this reclaimed basket that had been sprayed a sunny yellow. It sits beside my willow crochet basket and is perfect for holding my current sewing project.