Sunday, 5 November 2017
Barnsgate Manor Christmas Craft Fair
The Mother and I spent a rather chilly but pleasant day at Barnsgate Manor in Herons Gyhll, East Sussex. It's a beautiful setting looking out over fabulous countryside, and as it is also a vineyard, surrounded by rows of grapes and fields of livestock (goats, horses, donkeys etc) who call the manor their home.
It was their Christmas Craft fair and was reasonably well attended- before and after lunch time was busiest but the beginning and ends of the day were a little quiet. Happily we were among good friends of the crafting community (and some work friends from my day job too) so things weren't boring and we had a good laugh.
We had some new ideas for ways of displaying the work, as well as some golden oldies. This time the table was a generous size and we added a small square table which was perfectly sized for my tree with embroidered Christmas hoops. I'm pleased that these were received very well, as we had lots of lovely comments about them. We also turned the festivity up a notch with some faux holly and twinkly lights. I might keep the twinkly lights all year round as I really liked them.
What worked really well was using my print stand to display my larger 12" prints. I haven't used it before as there was a hole at the bottom, but a fold of spare mount board solved that and actually it drew quite a crowd. People love to flip a print it seems.
Not having these on the table also gave me more room to spread out and layer my framed stitchscape minis on display. Usually there is such a limited space that all of my printed products are out but none of the embroidered work that I actually want to promote; really the printed items only help me to justify the prices on my original pieces. It's hard pricing everything up, especially the items that take the longest time because I can't charge as if I were working per hour.
As well as my own table, the ladies opposite me (Snobb Ltd- check them out!) had set up a showcase table in the doorway as we had the entire entrance hall to ourselves (cold though it was), which also happened to be next to the coffee machine. Free coffee for stall holders- woo! This meant that I had a little extra space to put my remaining stitchscapes, and actually there was loads of room and I could have brought more! It's so difficult to judge how much to take, usually I have loads of 'scapes stuck in their boxes under the table! I think we will definitely work the Barnsgate craft fair circuit again. (But maybe take a few extra layers just in case we are put in the same entrance hall.)
As we were packing up and leaving, the sunshine was turning everything golden across the valley and I had to stop and take some photos. I love this part of the world and I hope that through my photos you can see why. There are so many ways to fire up the inspiration engines!