One of the best things about coming along to a Little Otter Events market is the chance you have to chat to makers and find out a bit more about them and their inspiration.
So ahead of Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November and Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November, I will introduce you briefly to our makers and showcase some examples of their work to give you some gift inspiration. For a bit of fun, I have also asked them to share with us details of how they spend their Christmas too.
First up, the very talented and very lovely Tommelise Danish Design....
What are you working on ready for Christmas?
For my stall I’m working on re stocking as I’ve not been able to replenish for a while, and I will bring traditional Danish Christmas decorations.
Something new this year I’ve worked in partnership with Cardiff rural Crafts, and will be hosting workshops in Danish Christmas Hygge, where participants will make three folded paper stars and get to taste gløgg and brunkager. These events are on Thursday 6th Dec from 7-9:30pm and Friday 7th from 10am-12:30pm. Booking via Cardiff rural crafts.
What's your favourite thing about Christmas?
Spending time with my family in Denmark - this year it’ll be a Danish Christmas so that means we will celebrate on Christmas Eve w meal, dancing around the tree followed by presents. You are going g to ask what we do on xmas day now..... we eat and drink and play with our new toys
What do you love about Christmas?
Christmas hygge, especially up to Xmas, the songs, smells, present shopping, lights outside etc
What's the worst present you have ever received?
I haven’t got a worst present, but Paul was once gifted on video tape: Peter Ustinov’s guide to the Vatican - we still laugh at that
What's your favourite Christmas song?
I like them all, especially choirs but not before end of Nov / early Dec please.
Come and meet Lise at Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November, 11-4pm, Rhiwbina Memorial Hall. For more info on this event, and a map, visit our RHM page.
Barry based Paula of p& d designs has become a familiar face at Little Otter Events, showcasing her beautiful range of textile jewellery and accessories. I caught up with Paula to discover what is on her studio table at the moment and how her preparation for the busy Christmas season is going...
How was your summer Paula?
I had a great summer. Being my own boss means that I pretty much do the bare minimum work wise through the school holidays as I'm looking after my boys full time, which can be difficult trying to juggle things but I also appreciate how lucky that makes me. We hung out at the beach, went camping with friends and family and generally spent as much time outdoors as possible.
What were your highlights?
Probably our camping holiday in Cornwall, even despite the fact that we had poor weather! I grew up there so it will always have a special place in my heart. Also my husband & I both turned 40(eeek!) so we had quite a few celebrations with family and friends.
How did it go at the Norwegian Church? Will you be back there in October?
It went really well and we've had some very positive comments from customers. The church always attracts such a lovely diverse mix of overseas and local visitors so it's a pleasure chatting to different people when taking my turn to man the shop. Yes, I'll be back in October, the shop will be open from Monday 8th until Sunday 21st and then again from mid November right up until the 23rd December.
What are you working on at the moment/any new products?
So many things! I'm busy making stock for my Winter markets and growing my new Contrast Collection.
How is your Christmas season shaping up? What events are you doing?
I'm thrilled to be back at Penarth and Rhiwbina's Handmade Markets, along with both the Cardiff Etsy Team's event at The Tramshed and the Hereford Etsy Team's market at The Left Bank. I've also got applications for stalls out with other events and pop up shops so it's certainly going to be a busy one, but that's all good!
What are you looking forward to this Christmas?
I love seeing everyone's new products and displays at the Christmas markets but once all of the above events are over and done with, I can't wait to have fun with my boys and relax with the family, G&T firmly in hand!
Come and meet Paula at Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November and Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November. For contact details, visit the p&d designs directory page.
The much anticipated annual Abergavenny Food Festival returns this weekend, and friend of Little Otter Events, Baked by Mel will be there. Mel has been attending the festival for a few years now and will be situated in the Upper Brewery Yard next door to Hallets Cider. (Cider and cake, sounds like a good combination!)
As well as her award winning bara brith, Mel will be selling a beautiful selection of scrummy treats all baked in her kitchen in Llantwit Major. If you haven't tried her persian rocky road, brownies or gin and tonic cakes, you are in for a culinary treat!
I interrupted Mel's baking to ask her a few questions ahead of her busy weekend...
What do you enjoy about the festival?
Well it's all about food of course, and in a relatively small space you can go and try so much variety, see your fave celebs and get in on the party atmosphere too… it's just lovely. It’s a very well attended and prestigious event attracting a lot of people and food fans so there is a lovely festival vibe around the town.
Who you are looking forward to seeing?
So many people!! The Preservation Society, Samosaco, Welsh Coffee, The Parsnipship, Hangfire Smokehouse, Hallets cider, Petals of the Valley, Sytch Farm Studios, Shellys Shortbread and I am hoping to hear Allan Jenkins talk on Sunday…fingers crossed. Its really a big annual event and I love having a catch up!
How is your prep going?
I never seen so many sultanas in my life…
Good luck Mel! We hope that you have an amazing weekend.
Find out more about the festival programme and tickets on the official website.
I love this time of year. The slight chill to the air returns, the conkers on the horse chestnut tree outside my house are almost ready to drop, and my girls have gone back to school so I can return my attention to my blog!
Our directory makers have been working hard all summer long, and many are already busy preparing their Christmas ranges. I know it is too early for some people for me to mention the C word but I have been working on our November events since January this year so I feel that C is just around the corner.
Here is a roundup of the latest news from our talented directory makers. Remember you can find out more about them and their work over on the directory.
Quil from Love & Lovelier is busy preparing for two new workshops! Two separate dates to make your own pennant flag. Daytime at Cobbles Kitchen and Deli in Ogmore-by-Sea 12th Sep OR evening at Umber & Sienna in Taffs Well 17th Sep.
Head over to Love & Lovelier website to book!
Lovely Melanie Constantinou is baking up a storm ahead of her return to the Abergavenny Food Festival on 15th & 16th September. Now in its twentieth year, the festival has grown so much since it started back in 1999 and is now one of THE annual foodie events to visit in the UK. As well as loads of yummy food stalls, there is a whole programme of activities and food demos. Visit the AFF website to find out more.
Mel will be selling her amazing range of baked goods all created in her kitchen in Llantwit, including her famous bara brith, persian rocky road and chocolate brownies. Yummy. (I'm in the photo above with Mel from a few years ago!)
Hayley from Zac & Bella has been busy recruiting brand reps to help her promote her fabulous range of children's clothes and accessories. Here are just some of the crew! To find out more about becoming a Zac and Bella brand rep, visit Zac & Bella's instagram feed.
Alys aka The Pocket Pirate will be showcasing her range in Kington for @herefordshireartweek open studios 8th - 16th September, 11am - 5pm. More details & directions, visit the Herefordshire Art week page on Facebook.
Susannah Bulpin aka oh! Susannah is busy working on her Christmas range of cards, stationery and accessories. Susannah will be at both Little Otter Events Christmas markets in November so come along and get your Christmas cards and wrap!
Lise from Tommelise Danish Design has been working really hard juggling a new job and her handmade business. This is a bespoke order for an XL washbag with handles which she sent out to a lucky new owner this week. It's made with a beautiful ditzy gorgeous red, pink and mint blooms glossy oilcloth and has a wipeclean lining of course. If you would like to order a bespoke accessory from Lise, get in touch with her asap! Details on the directory.
Elena Floarea of Lolo's Cake Away is already getting enquiries for 2019 Wedding Cake bookings! Every year in September they get a wave of enquiries for 2019 💕 👰 🎊 Elena advises that if you want to book your date with them be fast and secure it with a deposit! She cannot hold dates without a deposit.
Remember that Summer dates, especially weekends will book the fastest. So email Elena today if you are planning a 2019 wedding! firstname.lastname@example.org
And remember friends of Little Otter Events get a 20% discount.
Sara of Seascape Curiosities has created some beautiful new additions to her range this month including these gorgeous bee themed purses. Find out more on her facebook page. Sara will be joining us in Penarth and Rhiwbina this November and I can't wait to see the new range.
Alex from Stitch City has been working on new wall hangings to add to her beautiful range of embroidery, stitched and illustrated products. Alex will be at Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November. Find out more about Alex on her directory page.
I wear my bracelet from Lou Gray Jewellery every day and I am sure the lucky recipient of this beauty will do the same. Lou made this bespoke sterling silver flat profile bangle with more traditional engraving on the inside and a little sunflower on the outer. How pretty. To get in touch with Lou, visit her directory page.
It has been a busy summer for Paula of p&d designs as she has been juggling spending time with her two small sons and manning the gallery giftshop at the Norwegian Church, where she is currently showcasing her range alongside 11 other artisan makers. The Church is open daily 10.30 until 4pm but be quick as the gift shop closes 17th September until it returns later in October.
After visiting her parents back in Denmark this summer where she had a few photo shoots booked in, Marie Palbom has returned to the UK and has a busy autumn lined up. As she is entering the busiest season of the year with lots of autumn shoots, Marie advises if you are looking for a shoot before Christmas to get in touch with her ASAP to secure a weekend spot 🙌🏼 Details on her directory page.
Last but by no means least, Lynda Shell has been busy welcoming her new addition to the family Stanley. He is just the cutest puppy! Follow Lynda on instagram for more cute pictures. Lynda will be joining us at both Little Otter Events this Christmas with her beautiful range of bags and accessories. Have a look at her work on her directory page.
That's it for now! Make sure you are following Little Otter Events on Facebook and instagram for all the latest news.
April Liddell. Founder of Little Otter Markets. Lives a crafty life. Loves going for walks with her dog Betsi, listening to music, and eating chelsea buns.