Sunday, 11 March 2012

Bearwood Handmade

Had a fabulous time yesterday at Bearwood Handmade, a craft event at St Mary's Church, Bearwood run by the Crafty Muthas who are a group of Bearwood mums who meet regularly to share their love of craft and the handmade.  This love and enthusiasm has launched The Bearwood Tapestry where once a month they and other like minded lovers of all things crafty meet at The Bear Tavern in Bearwood to share their creative ideas and inspire each other. 
Bearwood seems to be the place to be as in nearby Harborne another group of women called The Crafty Cocktail  meet once a month at The Proverbial Pub on Harborne High Street for a natter over their knitting bags, patchwork, crochet, etc. and a glass of wine as well.  What could be better than that?   Don't forget too Stitches and Hos knitting group as mentioned in my previous post Stitches and Hos at the Ikon,  meet up once a month at The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath. I am a member of the Solihull Branch of the Embroiderers' Guild who meet on the first Tuesday of each month at Solihull Methodist Church and the Birmingham Embroiderers' Guild meet on the second Monday of each month at Friends Meeting House, Watford Road, Cotteridge.  I'm all for this collective creative spirit to promote and celebrate the love of stitch.
I principally went along to support two friends of mine - Ita McKenna and Shirley Foster who were sharing a stall together to sell an array of things including lovely bags, cushions, cards, jams and some gorgeous  pincushions in china cups and saucers. They have both worked really hard  and I wish them well in their new venture.

The White Flamingo are a mother and daughter who make 'Corkies' - cute little hand painted champagne cork characters.  

I love to collect brooches so I bought two of their lovely cat brooches who come complete with their own names, pedigrees and and histories.  Meet Sapphire and Shadrach.

There were lots of hand-crafted jewellery makers and I bought two beautiful pendants from Pink Butterfly Jewellery.  The one is called 'A Good Wife' which really appealed to me as it was made using an image from a Victorian women's magazine so is relevant to my work on feminism.  The other contains a piece from an   old Birmingham A-Z of Harborne which means a lot to me as I was born and brought up in Harborne.

This week I lost my purse so it was quite serendipitous that I came across Gosia Weber's handmade purses and bags so I treated myself to a lovely leather purse and credit card holder too.

Another stall that caught my eye was the work of Madeline Norris who trades as Meeni. 
Madeline uses a mixture of embroidery, collage and knitting to create her handmade trinkets and treasures. 

Two interesting ladies I got talking to were textile artist Amanda Peach and jewellery designer Helena Moss who were sharing a stall together. I bought a beautiful hand made tote bag off Amanda and a rather unusual brooch made out of a tape measure which again I thought rather appropriate to my own work and it was they who told me about the aforementioned Crafty Cocktail group who meet in Harborne.


And because I'm never very far away from my next meal I also bought some tasty homemade chutneys from Beki's Precious Preserves. 

Here are just some of the other Crafty Muthas and Handmadens I chatted to.

I only intended popping in for an hour to support my friends Ita and Shirley and ended up staying all afternoon.  This was testament to the quality and choice here at Bearwood Handmade.  I chatted to lots of craft makers, artists and designers about their work and bought some very lovely treats for myself and gifts for friends.  I challenge anyone to find better made goods than this on the high street and why would anyone want to buy mass-produced goods anyway when you can buy really unique and well made gifts from fantastic fairs like this. You can check out where your nearest events and sellers are by visiting  so instead of lining the pockets of the big high street retailers lets support our local handmadens instead.

Long Live the Handmade!


  1. Wow, Jacqui, what a great post, thank you for your kind words, and for spending the day with us too. Take care natalie. xxxx

  2. Lovely to meet you yesterday and thank you so much for the mention.
    Madeline x

  3. It was lovely to meet you, Jacqui, and thanks for such a great post about the wonderful Crafty Muthas & their inspiring Spring Fair :) Best wishes, Helena Moss x

  4. It was great to meet you all and am looking forward to the next Bearwood Handmade.

  5. Hi Jackie. It was good to see you again. Thanks so much for coming. This is a really great post you have done. It was a great day and really well supported by Bearwood. The Crafty Muthas are a great bunch of people and the organisers do so well in promoting the event and inspiring everyone to get crafting. x

  6. Hi Jacqui, Thank you so much for coming all the way across to see our craft fair, such kind words, you went missing for so long on Saturday we thought something had happened to you !! Now I can see what you were up to. Yes the Crafty Muthas are a great bunch of people and indeed make you most welcome.
    Looking forward to a catch up soon XXX

  7. I would so love to come to this!! Those champagne corks are totally amazing! I would be in heaven here!! :)

  8. Great photos Jacqui and a lovely write up of your finds at Bearwood Handmade. Thanks so much for this post and from one blogging handmaden to another, keep up the good work. Jenx

  9. Just found this post again & it still makes me smile. Such lovely comments & I'm pleased to say the Crafty Muthas' Bearwood Handmade Fairs continue to thrive. They now hold two Christmas fairs instead of one to accommodate the amount of people who want a stall. Next year they plan a Summer fair as well as a Spring one plus the two Winter fairs. Hope to see you again soon. Eliza Harris