Come and buy some Dappled Sky

Dappled Sky dollies, brooches and other goodies will be available to buy over the next few weeks, ready to stuff your gorgeous Christmas stockings! The Exhibition:Home, art and craft event, will be taking place at no.30 Stockwell Street, Leek for 3 fabulous weeks throughout November 16th- 8th December (10am-4pm)

See the poster for details



Today I went along to the Boomerang Vintage and Retro shop in the newly spruced up Lightworks arcade – in Hednesford Staffordshire.

The arcade will look fabulous when all the units are full, it looks good already and has a nice mix of stylish shops and hairdressers and other businesses.

Boomerang is a fab little shop, so beautifully presented with a coordinated fifties flavour. Such gorgeous furniture and interior finds plus small gift items too. It’s well worth a visit. I’ll definitely be going back and I promised to buy something next time.

Well done Lyndsey and Steve – it looks fab .

Good luck to you both and I look forward to coming along to some of your future events and using your website shop too when that opens.

I just wish I’d taken a photo! And that turquoise typewriter is ace!

….next time!

Boomerang Vintage and Retro Facebook page

Staffordshire Open Studios 2012

Before I start … apologies for the the image quality, it isn’t brilliant for reading the tiny detail…. you need to look at the full online brochure or get hold of a paper copy – find out how you can get one by visiting this link :

It shows, an at-a-glance breakdown of Staffordshire Open Studios participants in rough geographical groupings to help you get around as many as possible:

Remember , you’re under no pressure to buy something when you visit, but from the occasions when I have visited artist’s studios for the first time,  I can truly say that it’s  been a great experience. It’s  always struck me how the artist has always been friendly and open to talk about their work  -sometimes they even offer you tea and biscuits  :)

Artists are generally friendly folks who have taken the plunge in opening up their studios (sometimes their homes) in the hope that you might see some art that you like and possibly buy it, or at least tell your friends about it.

If you do buy something – great! If not, thats fine, but always take a business card – maybe you will buy something later, plus you can just tell your friends about the fab artist you’ve made friends with :)

Here is a list of the artists opening their doors for you this year …
Beth Paynter, Olwen Holland, Alistair Kennedy, Yasmin Donlon, Vitor Azevedo.

Mark Lippett, Unit Twelve Gallery, Richard Bostock, Robin Ansell, Meg Farnden, Steven Eastwood, Richard J. Boote, (NB – Ingrid Wagner not longer available).STONE & ECCLESHALL
Gallery at 12, Noel Bennett, Christina Bennett, Rita Banks, Hilary Jefferies.

Barewall, Paul Dunkerley, Melanie Goodwin, Charis Jones, Alison Morgan, Sue Prince, Michael Pritchard.

Artworx Gallery, Carole Baker, Mary Griffin, Peter Valentine, Andrew Matheson, Lesley Westrop, Andrew Mather.

The map shown outlines the approximate locations of all Staffordshire Enjoy Art members, most of whom will be open on 15/16 and 22/23 September, and tells you what their individual disciplines are. Please note that open times vary for all participants so do check the FREE brochure or website prior to making your journey.

Full contact details and accurate Google maps can be found by visiting the relevant artist’s profile page on the website:

Pop Pop Pop! Call for Submissions.

Calling crafters, artists, makers, foody folk and vintage sellers, in and around the Newcastle-under-Lyme area  – and beyond … Here is a great opportunity to get a stall in a pre-christmas Pop up Emporium in Newcastle Under Lyme.

Denise O’ Sullivan-Dunn has organised lots of successful Pop Up Emporium events over the last few years, around Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire and across the Midlands. These events always have a good attendance of vintage sellers and a mix of handmade artists and crafters in there too, plus a few food stalls.

Denise is organising something quite big for Saturday 27th October 2012. She has three venues at her disposal in the town, to create three distinct Pop Up Emporiums, each with it’s own theme. There will also be a performance stage in the town, creating a great trail around the town for you to be part of and something fantastic for customers to enjoy. It is all part of a Newcastle Under Lyme council organised charity event called Paint the Town Pink, donating some funds from organisation of these events towards a breast cancer charity.

There will be lots of local publicity plus web-based promotion, plus … all selected makers will get a free advert here on from October – January 2013, by having your logo and website placed in the DappledSky Directory.

If you are interested in this opportunity you need to read this link and download the application forms when you get to the Pop Up site.

If you are a vintage seller or maker and want to get onboard with Pop Up Emporium before the  Paint the Town Pink event in October, there will also be other Pop Up Emporium events running in Lancaster Building in the market square, Newcastle-under-Lyme, plus some more events in November and December too ( these will be in one venue compared to the bigger three-venue event on 27th October.)

  • Saturday 29th September 2012 - Vintage, handmade and musicians  in Lancaster Building
  • Saturday 27th October 2012  - 3 great venues for Paint the Town Pink, including a handmade art and craft gallery,  vintage stalls, food outlet  in Lancaster Building and two venues in Merrial street, plus a music performance stage in town too.
  • Friday 16th November 2012 (This is also the 10th Anniversary of the Food Market … so it will be a good day to be in town and eat some nice things too!)  Vintage, handmade and musicians  in Lancaster Building.
  • Saturday 24th November 2012 - Christmas fun and frollicks with vintage, handmade and musicians in  Lancaster Building
  • Friday 7th & 8th December 2012 - Christmas fun and frollicks with vintage, handmade and musicians in  Lancaster Building

All the application forms and information can be found on the Pop Up Emporium website. Any enquiries just contact Denise via the Pop Up website.

Handmade and Vintage

Even though I was feeling under the weather and could just about speak, I popped along to The Handmade and Vintage Fair at Newcastle under Lyme College on 20th May to try and grab an interview with the organisers at one of their monthly events.

The Handmade and Vintage Fairs are organised by creative duo, sisters Lauren and Julia Chamberlain … plus their mum was at the nearby stall, with some lovely vintage children’s games and kitsch prints (which gave me a real blast-from-the-past ) and other nic-nacs, including a scary nun that I now wished I’d photographed!

On this occasion, the event was placed in a smaller side room than normal, the dance studios, because there was a big sports event the same day.

Unfortunately because of an agreement with the sports event folks who were providing catering , Julia and Lauren weren’t able to provide tea and cake stalls, which always make the event feel that bit more special. Personally I felt that there was probably a bit too wide a mixture of stalls for my taste, with some weak ones in the mix, but maybe that just allowed the good ones to shine that little bit brighter.

There were also few fab vintage stalls worth browsing, but I want to tell you about some makers showing their handmade wares.

Here are some photos from my pick of the best makers showcasing on the day. If you like their work, click on the images and they should hopefully take you through to their websites.

Beautiful butterfly brooches and rings made by Sarah Elizabeth Sykes.
This is a new venture for Sarah and you may need to wait for her to fill her Etsy shop with some goodies (

The talented Jennie Sandford and her fabulous geometric-stitched embroidery-ring pictures that really draw you in to look at the clever use of space, and a lovely homage to the Beastie Boys. (

Emma Dawson’s professionally made, contemporary soft furnishings

Both sisters graduated from arts related courses before making a career from making, selling and organising fairs. Julia (standing) had studied 2D/ surface design at Staffordshire University and Lauren (seated) did her Fine Art degree at Bournemouth and then came back home to Stoke on Trent and worked at Emma Bridgewater for a few years.

The family ran a vintage shop a couple of years ago and then started to do fairs about 18 months ago at the Borough Arms Hotel in Newcastle, before moving to this venue at the college last year.

Julia told me about their plans and it’s evident that they don’t necessarily see themselves as just local fair organisers. They exhibited at the Clothes Show at the N.E.C in Birmingham two years ago. At the time it felt like a big risk, preparing a stall for a huge event and paying a large fee for a stall, but it was worth it. There were 300,000 visitors coming through the door and they had a great time. Next on their list of big shows to attend is the Country Living fair.

We talked of how things have changed quite rapidly in the few years and with so many local events to go to. This had affected how they run their events. They recognise the stallholders have more events to choose from and the demand of finding affordable selling opportunities has changed. “When we first started doing the fairs we would get over 70 applications from makers and stall holders to take part in the events, so we could really choose who we would showcase. But there are so many selling events now that people can go to, so it probably feels like the choice for us is thinning out a little. But we think of ways to change things and try new ideas too, you have to. We went to a new promotion event the other week at The Brown Jug in Newcastle, initially to support a friend’s new creative venture but also to promote what we do, reach new people. We have a mailing list of over 2000 people and we use Facebook and use other ways to communicate what we are doing.” Julia agreed with me that it’s great for customers when to get a mixture of people but quality is important plus the desire to see some new faces and fresh ideas.

Julia really wants to concentrate on the making side of her business at the moment and wants to get her “Linen Circus” work into galleries and other venues, but she is still committed to working with her Mum and sister to organise successful events.

Julia’s “Linen Circus” range of soft figures, brooches and lavender bags. (

I really love the “Whimsical and Curious” range from Lauren, with her quirky one-of-a-kind dolls (not for kids) and her memory based works.

The next showcase event will on June 17th (10am – 3pm) at Newcastle-under-Lyme College. As usual it will be free entry but it will be a bigger Summer Fair than the previous event. The makers and vintage folks will be taking over the Gordon Banks Sports Centre, so there will be more capacity for the 30 stalls, food and other things to see and do.

For more news of their future events this year check out this flyer and if you are a maker and want the chance to showcase your work just email Julia on :

Olympics brighten up the city with Stoke 100

The Stoke 100 parade, organised by B arts, took place on Wednesday 30th June 2012.
A welcoming procession for the 2012 Olympic Torch and it’s arrival into Stoke on Trent later that evening.

This parade, the Stoke 100, was all about community – the schools and colleges coming together with dancers and singers and musicians from across the city, volunteers stewarding the route, handing out water bottles, keeping everyone happy and on track, jigging along to the music and having a great time with flags and costumes to add amazing colour to Stoke on Trent. It was such a great atmosphere.

People were gushing about how happy they were to be there, to be involved in such a huge coming together if people.

Teachers with their school children were so happy with how it had been organised and some were even getting quite emotional about how wonderful they felt to be there.

This is what the Olympics is good at, no matter what country wins whatever medals… Its all about people and what you can achieve.


















Yellowstone Art Boutique

I originally posted this very same interview on the issuu site … and you can still look at it that way , if you want to have the magazine feel when you read – just go to yesterday’s post, called Interview with Hannah Stoney.

Issuu looks great but I understand that documents placed on the site aren’t always visible to i-pad and i-phone users… what a pain in the @%}!

Never fear. I’ve uploaded each page in the article as a photo. I did it like this when I did the interview with Rachel Grant and Paine Proffitt a few months ago. So dear i-pad users (and everyone else) you can now scroll each page in this post, rather than go to the issuu site. The only thing is, I don’t think you will be able to open any embedded website links…. you will have to type them yourself! Sorry about that, but it seems in this modern age you can’t have everything after all :(

Anyway, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and have a read. Hope you like it !