Uh-oh! Try as you might to ignore it, there’s no denying that it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! And while I’m already preparing to be haunted by my least favourite seasonal song (“Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time”) as I wander around Dublin’s city centre over the next couple of months, the ever-earlier arrival of the festive season has its advantages too… Top of the list being CHRISTMAS MARKETS!
I do enjoy going to markets – obviously there’s a Beastie adoption motive underpinning every one I attend, but I also really like the buzz of market day. Not only is it a super way to catch up with other craftspeople (and probably, let’s face it, leave a substantial chunk of your earnings at their stalls), I also love meeting my own customers face to face! For a crafter, markets are a great (and non-creepy) way to get to know the people who admire your work, and to see which aspects of what you do appeal to them most.
This past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday at my first Christmas market of 2016 – the Creative Collective Ireland Craft Fair, which is held annually in the Multidenominational School in Ranelagh, one of Dublin’s most charming suburbs.
The Ranelagh Fair is always a special one for me… BeastieBlog veterans may dimly remember my first market update back in 2013, when I launched my Beastie-making career at this very market! And although my stock and setup have changed a bit since then, it was nice to see to see some familiar faces, both behind the stalls and among the punters!
I also thought it was time to crack out the party season finery for my stall… My spooky Hallowe’en setup has made way for bright red felt and cheerful fairy lights on my (only slightly Scrooge-y) black Christmas tree!
There were a couple of festive special guests at the table too, of course…
… And on day 2, I managed to get my banner up behind the stall as well!
By the end of the weekend, we’d found new homes for some Beasties… And a whole lot of cuddly beans!
Hopefully they’ll stay in touch, and share their adventures with us in the new year!
We’ll be doing more markets as Christmas draws closer… Be sure to follow us on Facebook to see where we’ll be popping up next! And don’t forget to call back on Friday, when we’ll be doing some wintry countryside rambling with Explorer Beastie. See you then!
28 thoughts on “Jumping on the Festive Bandwagon!”
Your set up looks great. I used to love attending art and craft fairs. I haven’t been to one in a couple of years. I should try to seek one out. That’s the first time I’ve seen your wee beans. Those are cute.
Thanks, Laura! The beans are always a hit with kids too, thanks to their pocket-money price tag… I’m thinking of adding a couple more characters to the family before my next market, I just hope I have enough time! I definitely recommend seeking out a local craft fair – Christmas is peak season for them, and doing your Christmas shopping there is a lot less irritating than hitting the shops!
I have been attending craft fairs for 4 years or so and I love them! I agree with all of what you said above. It is a wonderful way to catch up with other crafters and get to know your customers. I even realized some people seem to follow me around for years now and even if they don’t buy anything it is so nice to talk to them and enjoy the market atmosphere. They are also a great source of new ideas.
… and yes, I also spent quite some money on craft fairs. (I rather give my money to a local artist/crafter/farmer than to a China-based company). I’m a notorious Christmas market shopper or at times swapper. Most fellow crafters here will exchange their products for one of the other crafter’s. And I’m fascinated by that idea I have to say.
Happy Tuesday back (although I’m a little late 😆)! And I’ve noticed that I’ve picked up a few “regulars” at my markets over the years too… Like you say, catching up with them is always fun, even if they’re not buying that day! You’re so right about the importance of supporting local producers too – yes, I know I might be a bit biased here, but I honestly think that shopping local helps to make communities stronger, and more interesting places to be!
Yes, ‘interesting’ is the key word. Who wants that crap that rolls thousandfold off Chinese conveyor belts.
Yep… It’s especially bad at this time of the year, too. I look at these cheap mass-produced Christmas decorations everywhere and all I see is landfill!
Isn’t that sad?! The Chinese produce all these things at a high cost for their environment and people welfare so we can buy it for almost nothing and throw it away. Disgusting.
Urrrrgh, I know… And when you think of the thousands of years of excellent craftsmanship that went before! Part of me is intrigued to see one of these factories someday though – imagine being in one of these places deep in the Chinese heartland, and spending your working days making cheap souvenirs for a country you may never visit, or decorations for a holiday you don’t celebrate…
What a nightmare … especially thinking about what they earn.
But I would love to visit China one day. I think it’s a beautiful country I’m just too afraid to go right now since the political environment is not very foreigner friendly.
It is still amazing though… A friend of mine was living and working in Shanghai for a few years and he loved it! Maybe one day, eh?
It sounds amazing! … but I guess I would need blinders with all the people and the busyness of Shanghai.
Perhaps, but I remember him saying that it’s much less hectic than Beijing. Apparently in Beijing the air is so polluted that it’s hard to breathe!
eek. New Delhi is supposed to be really bad right now, too. (And yes, I know that’s India. :-D)
What a great view!! All those lovely beasties ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
Thanks Tajana! The Beasties do enjoy a day out 😀
I love your display! It sounds like you have some terrific opportunities to get your Beasties into good homes. I don’t do much Christmas shopping anymore, but before my “bah humbug” set in I used to enjoy going to little crafts fairs that would pop up in the area. Although, then I’d start getting jealous at how much more clever everyone else is than me and have to leave before I was consumed by my own self-pity ; ))
And don’t worry about jumping on the holiday bandwagon, I’ve been seeing Xmas stuff in the stores since August.
Thank you, Tammie! I actually find Christmas one of the most fun times to set up a market stall, despite my inherent Grinchiness. And Christmas started crazy-early on this side of the pond too… One of the big Dublin department stores put in their Christmas shop in August as well, and the dreaded Christmas songs had already infiltrated the playlist at Other Work by Hallowe’en! All together now – “bah, humbug!”
I think the more stores promote Christmas, the more I want nothing to do with it. Unless there’s Xmas cookies involved. Then I am definitely on board with some festive-ness!
Hahaha, that sounds like my kinda party! Throw in some Glühwein as well, and I’d be full of the joys of the season myself!
What a terrific display of your talents! If only I were in the neighborhood, I would be sure to visit and see in person. In NYC at the moment where Christmas displays are everywhere…there should be a rule. Oh, well.
Thanks, Maggie! It’s always fun to get all the gang together 😀 And I feel your pain… Half of Dublin is now dressed up to look like Lapland 😆
I love to see so many of your Beasties grouped together don’t they just look fabulous, congratulations to each and every adoption …I wonder if they know what they are letting themselves in for~ every Beasties comes with it’s own adventure
Thank you, Mrs P! I have to admit that I do feel quite proud of my little guys when they’ve managed to commandeer a market table and turn it into their own playground for the day! And I hope that they all get to share their adventures with a human friend someday 😀 Thanks for your lovely comment 😄
A playground would make a brilliant backdrop for a stall 🙂
Iiiiinteresting! Although my main challenge right now is to find the perfect props to help the Beasties stand up all day. Sometimes they get a bit overexcited and fall over…
A bit like me then LOL
Hahahaha! 😂😂😂 I’m actually pretty clumsy myself, so they probably get it from me 😆
It’s good to know your Beasties have a little of your genetic makeup LOL