Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from The Crafty Fox

We were delighted to welcome over 3000 people to The Crafty Christmas Markets at the Dogstar, Brixton on 10th & 11th December. Thank you to all who made the effort to come - it was fantastic to see so many people buying handmade gifts and supporting local makers. You can find more photos on our facebook page but here is a small selection to provide a flavour of the weekend for those who couldn't make it. A massive thank you to our friends at The Dogstar, Etsy and who helped to make the event possible.

Keep your eye out for more events from Crafty Fox coming soon and Merry Christmas to all!

Both days saw a queue outside the Dogstar before opening. The first 50 through the doors got free goodie bags

We were super excited to be featured in the Guardian
Browsing the stalls on the first floor

The Tea's Knees show off their delicious wares
Jimbobart's hand drawn plates were very popular

Lots of action on the ground floor where the DJ's keep the vibe just right

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Lots to discover at The Crafty Fox Market

This weekend, visitors to The Crafty Fox Market at the Dogstar, Brixton, are in for a treat! We have a jam-packed schedule of activities and workshops alongside over 40 unique designer makers on each day. We will be using all three floors of the Dogstar so don't forget to climb the stairs to get the full Crafty Fox experience. Thank you to for supporting our workshop programme.

Ground Floor 
More than 20 Designer Maker stalls plus....

Seaside Sisters
Make Xmas decorations with the Seaside Sisters - learn how to make sweet pom poms from plastic bag yarn, mini pennants with iron-on transfers and fabric baubles (£2- £5). 

Crafty Fox DJ’s
Local DJ’s including Hwen Rascale and Hands on Music will be taking to the decks over the weekend to keep you entertained with a range of house, soul, funk and disco tunes. If you ask the DJ, they may even give you a free Crafty Fox CD!

First Floor 
A further 20 Designer Maker stalls plus....

We offer you a Classic Tea Blend grown by Tregothnan in Cornwall.  Tregothnan is the UK’s only tea producer.   We also have a vast selection of traditional cakes and cupcakes as well as the classic cream tea.  At The Crafty Fox Christmas Market we shall also be tempting you with some festive delights and introducing the king of savoury tea time treats - the Crumpet.  


Letter Lounge (Saturday Only)
A space where you can come along to write the letters you never have time for and enjoy a bit of a social. All you need to bring is the address of the person you're writing to, we'll have everything else ready for you, including free stamps!

Second Floor

Oh Sew Brixton
Sew a make-up bag workshop - £2
Oh Sew Brixton is a sewing school based in central Brixton.  We teach sewing and dressmaking – beginners welcome!  

Gift Wrapping with Frinton Press
Complimentary gift wrap service by Frinton Press who will also have a selection of their beautiful hand-printed papers available.

Bunting with Harriet (Sunday Only)
Harriet has everything you need to design your own bunting triangle which will be stitched together to make Crafty Fox community bunting. What are you waiting for – get creative! Free Activity

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New Talent: Katia Wengraf

We are delighted to have the very talented Katia Wengraf selling her beautiful hats at the Crafty Fox Market on Sunday 11th December.

"After studying millinery at the London College of Fashion I completed in internship with Piers Atkinson before launching my own label.
I love that hats demand something of the wearer as well as the viewer and I try and make peices which make you feel confident and playful. I've just brought out my second collection and have indulged my dorky dress up side this time.
I work on the door at Dogstar on the weekends so came to the last Crafty Fox Market. There were some amazing designers and makers and a fantastic atmosphere all day so I'm really pleased to be part of it this time round. "

Check out Katia's website to see more of her work or simply pay a visit to Crafty Fox at the Dogstar, Brixton, next weekend! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tea and Cakes at Crafty Fox

We are delighted to have the fantastic Tea's Knees running our pop-up tea room at The Crafty Fox Christmas Markets on 10th & 11th December. We sat down with Natalie Stevens and Rebecca Goss, the lovely ladies who run The Tea's Knees to find out more....

 Why not start by telling us a bit about your background

"We met each other whilst studying photography at university and have always harboured ideas of opening a tea room.

We are a celebration of the British Tea Time and the nation’s obsession with a good cuppa and all its culinary accompaniments. We offer you a Classic Tea blend grown by the UK's only producer, Tregothnan, and a vast selection of traditional cakes and cupcakes in your favourite past time flavours, not to mention the classic cream tea. All hand made with love, care and creativity using the best quality ingredients Britain has to offer. At The Crafty Fox Christmas Market we shall also be tempting you with some festive Christmassy delights and introducing to our menu the king of savoury tea time treats - the Crumpet.

What do you hope to achieve with The Tea's Knees? 

Honing in on the UK’s insatiable thirst for tea we aim to expand into a modern London tea room to satisfy the growing need for a more sophisticated cup of tea with all the added trimmings of a British menu. With an equal passion for creative learning and engagement we aspire to offer a range of accessible art workshops and activities to accompany your cuppa.  Working with emerging artists and creative practitioners we hope to offer them a key central space to teach whilst providing our customers with a unique and creative environment to engage, socialise and relax.

What made you want to start The Tea's Knees?

We started the Teas Knees through a frustration in the drowning influx of coffee chains and cafes in London - hot, stuffy and dingy with not an ounce of customer service or environment to relax in. Despite Britain consuming over twice as much tea than coffee there are very few places in London that specialise in tea and its ceremony unless you are able to afford the Ritz or the Wolseley. Most traditional tea rooms are confined to the counties and we would like to bring our own modern version to the tea lovers of London.
In July we had the opportunity to put together some ideas and a concept for The Tea’s Knees at Artsmart, an art and design market organised by the University of Arts London. It was so successful it led us on to running a market stall at the Thames Festival and since then we were selected to be part of School for Creative Start ups, a one year programme that equips creatives with the skills needed to start a successful business.

What is your favourite Cake?

Nat - Toffee and Pecan
Bec - Carrot Cake with lots of cream cheese icing
We also love a good cream tea!

There are a lot of independant bakers around at the moment. What makes you different from other cake makers?

We feel it is very important to support and celebrate British farms and independent food suppliers and we have taken care to source the right high quality produce and use as much British ingredients where possible. Our loose leaf tea is grown in Cornwall, the UK’s only producer, our cream and butter is from a dairy farm in Devon and our Jam from Essex. Our intention is not is not to compete with market leading Bakeries such as Hummingbird Bakery but instead to offer an 'experience' alongside our menu, an alternative social venue to the boundless cafe's, Starbucks, Costa's etc that are out there.

 Don't miss The Tea's Knees tearoom on the 1st Floor at The Crafty Fox Market, 10th & 11th December (11am - 5pm).  Dogstar, Brixton

Thursday, November 24, 2011

10th & 11th December - Busy weekend for Brixton

If you are planning a trip to Crafty Fox Market on Saturday 10th or Sunday 11th December, take some time to explore the other things taking place in Brixton. It seems to be a popular weekend filled with interesting things to do - below is a selection of just some of the events taking place:

Crafty Fox Market - 10th & 11th December
The Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton SW9
11am - 5pm, free entry

Three floors of handmade heaven with Crafty Fox. Over 40 different designer makers on each day, DJ's, a tea room by the Tea's Knees and a variety of hands-on workshops by Oh Sew Brixton, Seaside Sisters and others. The first 50 through the door on both days will receive a free tote bag from Etsy UK and some foxy tunes from the Crafty Fox DJ's. Get your Christmas shopping all stitched up at Crafty Fox!

The New Vintage - 10th December
Living Bar - 443-445 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9
11am - 6pm, free entry

This new monthly market features designer makers selling beautiful vintage inspired goods. Also featuring a DJ from Club de Fromage in Islington, a retro sweet shop and a recession-beating book swap.

Brixton Makers Market - 10th December
Station Road, Brixton
10am - 4pm, free entry (outdoors)
The Makers Market is part of 'Make it Grow it Sell it' - a sustainble community market with has been running a whole programme of great markets in Brixton over the past few months. There is often live music and other activities taking place as well as lots of lovely handmade items to browse.

Photo: Makerhood stall at Brixton Maker's Market by Laura Ward

Brixton Village Art Trail - Group Exhibition - 10th December
Brixton Village, Atlantic Road /Coldharbour Lane, Brixton
2.30pm - 5.30pm

The trail starts at Lab-G where you will find amazing Italian gelato. From there you can wind your way through the Village checking out the art along the way.  If you haven't yet been to Brixton Village, you should definately stop off on your tour of Brixton. There has been lots written about all the amazing independant businesses which have sprung up over the past couple of years. Our friends from United 80 in Brixton Village will be DJ-ing at Crafty Fox over the weekend.

Forever Loving Vintage presents The Vintage Shop - Sunday 11th December
Living Bar, 443-445 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, SW9
12pm - 5pm, £1 entry

For all you vintage lovers, check out this Vintage fair taking place on the Sunday. There will be over 20 stalls of vintage clothes, jewellery, beauty products and gifts.

Although not in Brixton, it's also worth mentioning a couple of events being run by friends on Saturday 10th December in South London. First up is the We Make London Christmas Fair at the beautiful Battersea Arts Club - a fab venue to showcase over 80 talented designer makers. Also, over at Gigilum in Clapham, you will find The Edgy Crafty Christmas Sale run by Brixton local Mo Bacchus.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Knickers and biscuits with Sarah Kerry

This Christmas, we have lots of new crafters selling their wares at the Crafty Fox Market. Have you checked out the full list of stall-holders yet? 

The very creative and talented Sarah Kerry is new to Crafty Fox and spares some time to tell us about her unique creations.

Tell us a bit about yourself - where are you from, when did you learn to knit/sew etc...
  I have always enjoyed creating things, I remember aged 10 or 11 going round to my friend’s house and her mum taught us to make a rag doll using a pattern, every Sunday afternoon we’d work on our dollies, making dresses for them etc. I still have mine, although it’s missing a leg, so hopefully my sewing has improved since then. When I went to University College Falmouth to study Contemporary Craft, I was initially passionate about all things kiln related, till one day I knitted a test piece on a whim and didn’t really look back – instead of creating a giant glass and ceramic plug, I created a soft knitted one.   

 What inspired you start creating biscuit cushions?
Well I didn’t just look at a biscuit and get inspiration from that! I was working on a design for a giant tea cup you could sit in, with a fair isle willow pattern on it, and I kept drawing biscuits on the designs, until I wanted to make the biscuits more than the tea cup. It is important to my aesthetic to stay true to an image – I think it adds to the surrealism of the object. It was a bit of a painful process to get them just right but it was worth it in the end.

What is your favourite item to make?
I think the most enjoyable projects are also the most difficult. I sometimes take cardigans on commission, they take more than a day of intense work, so I feel quite attached to them when I’m done – same with the biscuits, the custard cream probably brings the most pride but I think the Jam Sandwich Cream is the most fun to make. The felted items (slippers, mitts, booties) tend to be the messiest

Do you have any new products up your sleeve that you would like to tell us about?
Yes please! I’ve gone a bit girly! There are pretty knickers repurposed from satin scarves and cotton fabric, and some cobweb weight lace knit scarves in merino, cashmere and silk.  

Find Sarah at Crafty Fox on Saturday 10th December at The Dogstar, Brixton

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Heart Zeena in Paperchase!

On a lunchtime wander to the Paperchase flagship store on Tottenham Court Road, I was delighted to track down the lovely creations of Crafty Fox regular Zeena Shah.  Zeena tells me that she was sewing and printing like crazy to get this order completed and it's lovely to see the fruits of her labours in such a well known store. Zeena will be back at our Christmas Market in the Dogstar on the Sunday (11th December) along with Clive the birdie, Fred the owl and all her other lovely creations!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Crafty Fox Christmas Market -10th & 11th December, The Dogstar - Brixton

It's going to be the 1st birthday for Crafty Fox - come and help us celebrate! 
Check out the amazing selection of stall-holders here

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Upcycling Crafty Fox Flyers!

Yesterday's news left us feeling heavy in the heart. We were disappointed to learn that our Pop-Up Market at Spitalfields had to be cancelled due to issues with Spitalfields trading liscence.

But what better to cheer us up than a little picture of Jamie, my budding-artist nephew and his latest creation from our left over Night Market flyers! We left a stack of these with Jamie and his cousins over a month ago and he's been putting them to good use ever since. Some of you may remember Jamie from our Easter market when he was our 'artist in residence' charging 20p for a unique portrait. He was very popular with the ladies I seem to recall!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crafty Fox Pop Up at Old Spitalfields - 5th November

*Please note: We are really sorry to announce that this event has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control :-( 

Crafty Fox are delighted to be taking part in the '4 Markets in One Day' event at the historic Old Spitalfields Market on Saturday 5th November from 11am - 5pm. We will be helping Spitalfields to launch their new Saturday trading - would you believe, they've only just been granted a liscence for Saturday trading despite being one of London's biggest attractions!

You will find Crafty Fox in the Main Market Square where we will be showcasing over 50 handpicked designer makers. You can find the list of traders here.

Why not start your Christmas shopping nice and early and beat the rush!

We will also have a full programme of workshops activities taking place throughout the day. The lovely Claire will be setting up her Letter Lounge from 11am - 12.30pm, proving visitors with an opportunity to take time out and pen a letter to a friend. At 12.30pm, the girls from Stuffed Nonsense will be taking over to teach us how to make some of their unique critters. Then, at 2pm you can make your very own crafty fox from Origami paper with Wil of From Chaos Comes Beauty. Finally at 3.30pm, Stuffed Nonsense will be returning to the Craft Den to teach us more tricks.

We are delighted to be sharing the space with Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, Designers Makers and a selection of Spitalfields Regular Traders.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Renegade Comes to Town

On Saturday, we headed East to the Truman Brewery on Brick Lane to check out what the Renegade Craft Fair had to offer. Renegade is an American fair which began in 2003 - the London event was their first overseas venture and I have to say, we were extremely impressed.

The Truman Brewery is a great space and it provided the stall holders with plenty of room to spread out and showcase their work. Many of the sellers had travelled from the USA and other corners of Europe to take part which meant that the quality of the items for sale was particularly high. This definately brought a different flavour to the market and made for an interesting visit. I particuarly liked 'Faces and Places' by Daniel from the Drawing Machine. Daniel is Canadian and lives in Holland - he had heard about Renegade so decided it was a good opportunity for a trip to London. This seemed to be a familiar story amongst the stall holders.

Of course, it was great to see quite a few familiar faces as well. Good friend and creator of the Crafty Fox illustration, Jimbobart was there with his amazing hand-drawn plates and prints.

Another Crafty Foxer, Mary Kilvert was also there with her beautiful range of cards, cushions and mugs. I seemed to have snapped both James and Mary with their eyes closed...woops!

It was also great to see the work of some prominent UK designers who don't exhibit often at markets. Janine Basil had a very colourful stand with a wide range of hats and fascinators. The fantastic Julia Pott was also there along with her cast of creations including 'Moped Eric'.   I bought the T-shirt for The Boy a little while ago and he loves it! 

There were a variety of workshops on offer - 'Make a Woodland Creature' by The Make Lounge seemed to be particularly popular. Gotta love anything involving foxes!

There was a lot of buzz surrounding Renegade's visit to London and it certianly lived up to the hype - a very welcome addition to the London craft scene which I'm sure will become a regular feature.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Find out what we got up to at our recent Night Market....

We held our first Night Market on Thursday 1st September at The Dogstar in Brixton. The evening saw over 1000 people through the door who all enjoyed the combination of handmade goodies, crafty workshops, drinks and DJ's. Thank you to all who came and supported us. Check out our video below for a flavour of the event:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hello Etsy

"Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability is a hands-on gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn the skills to find success and independence, and be part of the movement to build human-scale economies."

Last weekend, we took the opportunity to visit friends in Berlin and attend the Hello Etsy conference. We arrived on Thursday evening and enjoyed spending Friday checking out the city. Berlin is really vibrant place with a large international community. Rent is still fairly cheap and the city feels like it is buzzing with creativity. This was my second visit to Berlin so we skipped the main tourist attractions and stayed local.  We were in the former East German neighboorhod of Friedrichshain which has an abundance of cute cafes, craft shops, galleries and bars.  Later we crossed the river to wander Kreuzberg and Neuk├Âlln, along the canals and peaceful avenues.

On Friday evening, we went to the early registration session at Hudson's cafe.  The lovely people at Hudson's had been busy baking amazing scones which were served with Devonshire clotted cream and super jam....yum!

We spotted a few familiar faces from London including Mary from We Make London and made some new friends as well. We spoke to Maria who works for Bold PR - the company that had been helping Etsy to promote the conference.  In her spare time Maria runs Voodoo Market - a great Berlin craft and vintage market with more than a few similarities to Crafty Fox! Rather than a pub, Voodoo Market takes place in a nightclub.  The next market is on 22nd October so for those in Berlin - you should definitely check it out. I swapped market tales and creative ideas with Maria and The Boy did some interviews with German radio about the conference.

On Friday night, I went to the Community Organiser meet up at the Etsy Labs. It was really interesting to see Etsy's base in Berlin which is in an amazing old building based around a central courtyard. They run regular events and craft nights there - hopefully there wll be something similar in the UK before too long.

On Saturday mornng, it was an early start at Ewerk - an imposing building, formerly a power plant turned nightclub and now an amazing event space. The building really gave off a sense of history and many of the industrial features still remain. The 'history' section on the Ewerk website makes for interesting reading.

Before long, we were all settled in the main hall, ready for the first round of talks. You can find the full schedule and videos of the talks on the Hello Etsy website. Many of the talks were streamed live so that people around the world coud join in. Matt, Etsy's European Director kicked things off and paid tribute to all the hard work that had gone into making the event happen. It was clear to see that the team had paid attention to the details - just as you would expect from Etsy!

The speakers were wide ranging, diverse and interesting. Topics ranged from the practical 'Secrets to Good PR' to the more philosophical 'Mind Your Business'. Doug Richard from The School For Creative Startups and Tom Hodgkinson from the Idler Academy take to the stage below:

We had a chance to talk to lots of great people that had taken part in the event such as Charlie Festa former community director at  We bumped into Charlie on the roof of Ewerk and had a great chat looking out over Berlin's skyline. We had a good view of the iconic Trabant cars parked below which were a visual reminder of Berlin’s colourful history.  For 30 years, since the 1950s this was almost the only car available to buy in the former East Germany.

It was also great to meet more of the Etsy team from Brooklyn - a few familiar faces and some new friends too. Staff could be identified by their cool neon perspex bear badges! Morgan from Etsy's Brooklyn Base and George from EtsyUK model theirs (left).
A massive Thank You to Etsy for putting together such a fantastic event. We came back from our weekend exhausted and inspired with lots of new friends and a very long to-do list!