Monday 11 August 2014

Getting Crafty with Kirstie Allsopp

A few weeks ago I got invited to a lovely "taster" event for Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair - a new craft fair being held in the gardens at Hampton Court this September.

Would I like to come to the V&A (one of my favourite places in the world) to drink tea, eat cake and do some crafting? Um, yes please!

After discovering a few days earlier how horribly hot the Tube can be in the very hot weather, I walked to the V&A via Kensington Gardens and (thanks to a delayed train) got there just in time for the start of the event.

Kirstie Allsopp welcomed us all and introduced us to papercutter Poppy Chancellor. Poppy gave us some useful papercutting tips (use a sharp blade, cut details first and always cut towards yourself) and we got cutting!

Poppy had designed pretty bunting flags, inspired by the V&A's Wedding Dresses exhibition. We each cut out a few flags and then they were all strung together to make the bunting at the end of the afternoon.

It turns out that papercutting is a huge amount of fun. I was pretty pleased with how my flags turned out - though they were a bit of a mess if you looked close up! Professional papercutting is probably not a career path I will be pursuing :)

It was really nice to sit and try something new, while chatting to the ladies sitting near me (lovely to meet you all!).


After we'd done lots of crafting it was time for a cuppa and some cake. The cupcakes were provided by the Hummingbird Bakery and they were quite delicious... and it was lovely to bump into Claire in the cupcake queue! 


Kirstie then told us all about The Handmade Fair, the joys of crafting and how she hopes every visitor to the fair will be able to experience that joy for themselves.

She said she'd wanted making and learning and community to be a central part of the day so the ticket price includes a skill workshop, a creative talk in the "super theatre" and a "grand make" with hundreds of crafters making together. There will also be free "sewing masterclasses" and Etsy will be running business workshops.

Kirstie and the team are also hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the longest line of pompoms - a challenge they're calline World Pomination.

At the end of the event, we were given the chance to visit the Wedding Dresses exhibition which was rather gorgeous, with a wide selection of very different dresses. It was especially nice to see photos of the dresses being worn alongside the garments themselves, so you could peer at the delicious textile details of fabrics and lace and beading but also see how they suited each bride.


After a quick visit to the V&A's fabulous shop, I went for a short walk around Kensington...


... and visited the Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society.

Last year's exhibition was one of the things I visited on my first Nice Day Out last year! Just like last year, the photos were wonderful. The exhibition is also dotted with entertaining signposts pointing you in the direction of places near (the cafe) and far (Beijing, San Jose), real (the moon) and imagined (Mordor and Wonderland). 


I wanted to wait out the worst of the rush hour before catching my train home, so I sat near the Albert Memorial (looking particularly shiny in the sunshine!) for a while reading my book...


... then strolled back through the park enjoying the views.

Of course, I also had to stop and watch the bunnies (spotted a few days earlier) for a while before finally heading homewards.


Many thanks to the folks at the V&A and The Handmade Fair for the lovely crafty afternoon! If you're interested in attending the Fair or reading more about it, click here to visit their website.

P.S. Wanna see a little video filmed at the event? If you can't see the video below click here to watch it. I'm not in the video, but you may be able to spot me in this photo :)


Indigo Blue said...

Oh I was invited to this as well but could not get there and back in time for my flight to go on holiday. Never mind, it looks like you had a lot of fun and maybe invites will be sent out again for another event. They certainly packed in a lot of activities.

Claireabellemakes said...

What a great day it was and you have reminded me how delicious the cakes were. It looks like you had a fabulous time exploring London afterwards too. Great to meet you!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Indigo Blue - I got invited at quite short notice, so it was lucky I had the day free! It was a lovely day, but definitely not worth missing your flight for ;)

Claire - They were seriously tasty, weren't they? Lovely to meet you too!