I've been a big fan of the work of Nicky Barter of The Catkin Boutique ever since she joined us for the first ever Rhiwbina's Handmade Market way back in 2013.
Nicky designs and makes jewellery and prints from original animal illustrations. She loves to make items that are cute, quirky and that have a sense of fun. She designs and makes jewellery, totes and scarves from original illustrations, taking her inspiration from nature especially animals.
I asked Nicky how she spends Christmas and what she is looking forward to this festive season...
Nicky will be joining us at both our Christmas events this November:
Penarth's Handmade Market on Sunday 18th November at the Paget Rooms, Penarth and
Rhiwbina's Handmade Market on Sunday 25th November in the Memorial Hall, Rhiwbina.
Both events are open 11-4pm, £1.50 entry fee adults, kids free entry.
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.
This Saturday 14th July, I am honoured to be having a stall promoting our Christmas markets and selling work from our directory makers at a very special event - Rachel's Day.
Rachel's Day is in memory of Rachel Day who very sadly died of Sepsis last summer. Rachel was just 29 years old, and fit and healthy when she contracted the deadly infection. This Saturday's event is organised by her friends and family as they aim to raise awareness of the disease and raise vital funds.
As well as working at Llanishen Leisure Centre, Rachel used to walk dogs for Cardiff company Friends for Pets, and so when she sadly passed away, her friends thought that it would be a fitting tribute to organise a charity day, involving a dog walk here in Rhiwbina.
Last year's event was a huge success and raised over £4000. This money has paid for the ‘Sepsis 6 Pathway’ scheme at Wales’ largest hospital. It means that anyone who goes into the Heath hospital in Cardiff with a fever or signs of an infection will be checked for ‘red flag’ symptoms of sepsis.
I caught up with Catherine Clarke, one of the organisers of Rachel's Day to find out what they had planned for this year...
Catherine, what does this year's event involve?
"This year at Rachel’s Day we have various types of stalls selling food, cakes, crafts and your good old fashioned village fete stalls. These include Tombola, Raffle, Kids Tombola & a Doggy tombola especially for the dogs only! We also have a signed blues rugby shirt up for grabs with a silent bids table!
"For the children we have the kids tombola, Lob the gob (throwing a rugby ball through a hole!), a face painter, crazy golf and Vale Owls are bringing some of their beautiful birds. Rachel loves dogs but she also loves Owls!
"We have a bar that will be selling beverages and cocktails including Rachel’s Delight a cocktail named in memory of Rachel. 10% of the takings from this will go towards Rachel’s Day Sepsis Fund. We also have live music from The Big what?! Band and Al Moses."
"Friends for Pets will be giving away 200 goody bags and Georgina Flambert photography will be doing portraits of families and their dogs which you can purchase, with money to go to the charity. K8’s short bark n sides a local groomer are actually closing their shop for the day to come and spend it with us! They are offering to clips dogs nails for £5 and give all proceeds to the charity. We also have bandanas for the dogs to wear."
Do you need a dog to come along and enjoy the day?
"With so much going on you don’t need a dog to enjoy the day. It’s just as much for the people as it is for them. The walk will take place at 1pm to and around Caedelyn Park. You can join in if you want but it’s not necessary and you don’t need a dog to join in the walk. Registration will take place from 12 pm. There is no entry fee for this year though donations will be grateful received.
"With the weather the way it has been we never thought we would have to worry about it being too hot! We are taking every precaution to ensure the safety and welfare of the dogs. We have onsite canine first aiders, plenty of water, wet towels, shaded area and a much shorter route around Parc Y Pentre if needed."
What are you looking forward to the most?
"What we loved the most from last year was the sight of a sea of people and dogs walking to the park and then seeing all the dogs run around playing! It made all the hard work worth while seeing people and their best friends smiling and happy. We will look forward to that again this year for sure!"
What are you hoping to achieve from the day?
"Obviously the importance of doing this event again is to further our quest in raising awareness about Sepsis. We are passionate that the money raised is spent in Wales and the family have various ideas of how to spend it. One idea is helping to provide assistance dogs for those who have suffered life changing disabilities through Sepsis. Ultimately we never want another family to have suffered like the Day family have or another to endure what Rachel did!"
Thanks so much Catherine and well done to you and the team on all your hard work organising what promises to be a fabulous day here in Rhiwbina.
I hope that you can all come along and support it and please come and see me on my stall and say hi!
Here is some more information on Sepsis:
There are around 150,000 cases of sepsis each year in the UK, with an estimated 44,000 deaths - more than breast cancer and bowel cancer combined.
In Wales, that equates to around 8,000 cases and 2,500 deaths each year.
It is a life-threatening illness, caused by the body overreacting to an infection.
The body’s immune system goes into overdrive, setting off a series of reactions that can lead to widespread swelling and blood clotting.
Symptoms usually develop quickly and include a fever or high temperature (over 38C), chills, a fast heartbeat and fast breathing.
What should you do?
Seek medical help urgently if you develop any or one of the following:
Slurred speech or confusion
Extreme shivering or muscle pain
Passing no urine (in a day)
It feels like your going to die
Skin mottled or discoloured.
Since creating Little Otter Events in 2013 and organising the first Rhiwbina's Handmade Market, I have been lucky enough to meet loads of amazing talented people, many of whom I am now proud to call my friends including Rhiwbina based photographer Marie Palbom. I met Marie through a friend of a friend and we immediately hit it off - she is such a lovely person and fun to be around and we soon found lots of common interests and passions.
I love photography and Marie is one of the best photographers around. She has a wonderful relaxed style to her photographs and really captures the essence of a person, and the atmosphere of an event. She shot a session with my family up at Forest Fawr and created some amazing timeless images for us of our two daughters Awen and Tirion.
I caught up with Marie recently to ask her more about her love of photography...
Marie, I am so impressed that you are a self taught photographer! When did you start taking photos and why do you love photography?
I started when I was about 13 years old and have loved it ever since! I love being able to capture a moment in life and a true emotion. Sometimes you take a photo and you just can't stop looking at it - it draws you in and I just love chasing that feeling.
Do you have a favourite thing to shoot?
My favourite thing to photograph is people. Getting to know the person in front of me and get to create a photo they'll love and get a truly personal portrait of them. I love using just natural light - it just gives a much more personal feeling to the photo and not having lots of equipment around me, make it a lot less intimidating for the person that's being photographed.
I am always trying to improve my photography. Any tips for new photographers?
Think about the light! It's the most basic thing for photography. The light will determine the mood of the photo so take a moment and think if you should move to the shade or move your subject (product or person) closer to a window for some lovely natural light.
Instagram is of course a fabulous platform isn't it to learn about photography and discover new ideas. Who are your instagram favourites?
Here are my favourite people to follow on social media for lovely pics:
I'm a big lover of Instagram so people I love and follow here are: https://www.instagram.com/forestandfieldphotography/
https://www.instagram.com/lamblovesfox/ (this one not just for the stunning photos but also for my other love; amazing natural kids clothes!)
To find out more about Marie and to get in touch with her, visit her page on our directory website.
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.