Although I’ve been invited to many blogger events since I started Hapiness Wherever, I still get a thrill whenever a new invite comes through the door (or email inbox rather). I’d long enjoyed attending the ICHF craft fairs- they are amazing places to check out new products as well as stock up on craft supplies at bargain prices! In fact, I’d even travelled from London to Exeter last year for one of their shows! So I was really excited when they offered me a press pass to their Hobbycraft show at NEC Birmingham this year. Priced at £12, the ticket is a great deal, as you get to enter the  Sewing for Pleasure and Fashion & Embroidery  (16-19 March 2017) as well as Cake International (17-19 March 2017) shows with it, so it’s 3 for the price of 1! (You also get “value deals” if you attend for more than 1 day.)

 

So what interesting things did I see?

 

Rugging

Rugging seems to be all the rage this year- I’ve been seeing it all over Pinterest, Instagram, as well as at other shows such as the Knitting & Stitching show  Having gone on a T shirt yarn DIY making frenzy creating things such as this boho beach necklace, I’ve a pile of odds and ends to use up, so rugging is definitely on my list of things to try! (Too many crafts, too little time. Or budget!) I love making things in general, but the ones that give me the most satisfaction are actually those which use materials which other people might have scrapped, e.g. this yarn wall art DIY and this chopstick accessory holder or toilet roll hanger! What’s the favourite thing you’ve made?

 

At this ICHF show, Makings Handicraft was showing their rugging tool. Amazingly, each tool is handmade in Cornwall by the same craftsman and the design dates back to Victorian times. The master craftsman wasn’t there that day, but his wife showed me the ropes (it’s a family business)

Basically, you stick the tool through any of the “holes” in the weave of the hessian, then open the tool (similar to a pair of scissors), grab the end of 1 rag and pull it through.

 

Because the hessian has quite a tight weave, it “closes” on the rag, and  you don’t need to sew it or glue it! Hardy enough for a wash in the machine! (which actually helps make the rags more secure as the hessian tightens in the wash)

This tool has been picked up by Kirstie Allsopp and featured in her book!

 

Doesn’t it look fun? You can also vary the base to use other materials such as non-slip backings and more.

 

Bookbinding

Another of my to try crafts! The Hobbycrafts fair (and Sewing for Pleasure) cater to crafting enthusiasts so you see a lot of people selling craft supplies. In fact, it’s heaven if you’re a crafter! It’s not, however, a place where you pick up artisanal creations by other designer makers. The closest you’d get to that are the ready to make DIY kits such as the these beautiful books.

 

Bargain buys

Now I am going to do a big blogging no no- show a very unattractive picture! Why? Because of the sign! As you can see everything was a Quid!!! And 12 items were £10!!! I definitely spent a loooong time at this stall.

 

And what did I leave with? (Yes I controlled myself and only bought 12 items. From this store.


There was also this fun shop which had mystery goody bags. Every bag was £5 but had different things inside. They were open so some people rummaged inside before buying but I do think the mystery is part of the fun! You never know what you are going to get! 🙂

 

New tools

To me at least! You may have seen this Gyro Cut Craft Knife before if you do paper cutting but I hadn’t! It’s basically a knife that you wield like a pen, making it very easy to cut corners, round shapes and what not!

 

And here’s an easy way to work with foil!

 

So what do you think? Ready to head to the next ICHF Craft Fair? I can’t wait for the next one in Excel London this month (20-22 April)! 🙂

 

 

Written by Zen

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