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 last few months of the school year always seem to zip by and I can't quite believe how quickly the end of term has come around again. My eldest daughter is leaving her primary school to start high school in September so I know that her last week will be an emotional affair which I am not ready for!
She has been lucky enough to have two excellent teachers in her final year and as the year ends, we are looking for extra special teachers' gifts to say thanks for all the care and support that they have shown her.
If you, too, are looking for some gift inspiration, have a browse through this collection of inexpensive presents for teachers from our talented Directory makers. Links to makers contact details are given in the descriptions.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Ceramic brooch, £6.50 plus postage, Love & Lovelier
Sterling silver and Liberty print friendship bracelet, £15 plus postage, Lou Gray Jewellery.
Notebook, £12, Seascape Curiosities.
French macarons gift box, mixed flavours, £15.99, Majestic Macarons
Fabric pin cushion, £4.50, Stitch City
Mexican oilcloth purses, various prices, Tommelise Danish Design
Teacher notepad, £5 plus postage, oh!Susannah
Classic bara brith delivered to your door! £15.99 baked by Mel
Chunky knitted bangle in ochre, green and white. £10 plus postage. p&d designs
Ceramic triangle ear studs, £17.99 plus postage, Ruby Anne Jewellery
Ceramic dish, £10 plus postage, Love & Lovelier
Cardiff central map notebook, £7 plus postage, Stitch City
Seahorse purse, £16 plus postage, Seascape Curiosities
Our talented group of designer makers have been busy behind the scenes working on new additions to their ranges. I am always blown away with their creativeness and originality. Roll on payday!
Here's a selection of some of the amazing products released this month....links are in the descriptions.
Emerald, Oxidised Silver & Keum-Boo Square Pendant, £125.00, Lydia Niziblian Jewellery
Organic cotton bibs, Zac & Bella.
Stitched Recycled Vintage Badges, Embroidered Abstract Patterns. £1.20, Stitch City
Fingerprints/hand/footprints in sterling silver, 9ct yellow gold and 9ct rose gold, price on application, Lou Gray Jewellery
New card range, oh! Susannah
Insect prints, Seascape Curiosities
Pretty pink purse, Tommelise Danish Design
Coral pink chunky bangle, p&d designs
Diolch ceramic love spoon, Love & Lovelier
My garden is full of pink flowers at the moment, and it is a real joy to see all the cherry trees laden with pink blossom in Rhiwbina. Pink is such a happy colour and it is a shame that most people think pink is only for girls. Right up until the 1930s, boys were dressed in pink and girls in blue. Men wore red as it was considered to be a strong colour (used in uniforms), and so pink was seen as a variation of this colour for 'small men'.
Do you have any pink in your wardrobe? Let me know about your favourite item in the comments below!
Here is a pink collection from our directory makers. If you are on the look out for a gift or a card for a pink loving friend, we have it covered!
Bespoke pink dot oilcloth bag, made to order, Tommelise Danish Design
Pink tourmaline and sterling silver stacking ring set, £40, Lydia Niziblian Jewellery
Pink geo harem leggings, £12.50, Zac & Bella
Pretty pink and red fabric knot bracelet, £14.50, p&d designs
Unicorn French macarons, Majestic Macarons
Penblwydd Hapus, cute cupcake card, £2.50, oh! Susannah
March has been such a strange month hasn't it? Sunshine then snow, then rain along with biting winds. It seems that every time I get a summer dress out, the forecast changes and I put my Saltwater sandals back in the box. Let's be optimistic and ignore any reports of the return of the snow in time for Easter! Bring on the blossom please!
Here is a bright and sunny collection of gifts from our talented directory makers to remind you of sunny days, blue skys and flowers in the garden...
Flower pot cake by Lolo's Cake Away.
Braided fabric knot ring by p&d designs. £14 plus postage.
Foldover mini clutch bag by Lynda Shell Textiles.
Organic clouds romper by Zac & Bella. £23 plus postage.
Floral collection from Seascape Curiosities.
Personalised icecream notebook by oh! Susannah. £5 plus postage.
Blue and mustard leather messenger bag by Pocket Pirate. £320.
I am so excited to launch our online directory this weekend on our Little Otter Events website.
Since the very first Rhiwbina's Handmade Market back in November 2013, I have been approached by people who came to an event, got home and regretted not getting the contact details for a maker. Over the years, I have been asked for details of "the maker with the brown hair who was by the stage". Or for "the lady who sold beautiful silver jewellery and had a stall in the hall".
I love that people get in touch, and often ask me for contacts and ideas on who to approach if they have a gift in mind. So this weekend, I have launched an exciting new venture that I have been working on for a while - the Little Otter Events online directory.
The directory is a carefully curated collection of makers who produce the high quality of work that you have come to expect at Little Otter Events.
Each maker has their own page showcasing their work, all the contact details you need to get in touch with them, and then a little bit about the maker so that you get to know the face behind the brand.
One of the very best things about coming along to a Little Otter Event (apart from the cake!) is the opportunity to chat to makers and get to know them. I wanted the directory to reflect this and I hope that you enjoy getting to know this talented bunch.
The directory is very much a live venture - so content will change as more makers come on board or existing makers add new products.
I will be blogging with gift inspiration every week including ideas for those special Mums as Mothers' Day is fast approaching. So keep in touch with us over social media to be the first to hear about promotions and events from our talented makers.
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.