Coore cows

Heard at the Craft Fair….

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Craft Fairs are generally good fun.  You arrive about an hour before they are due to open to the public, set up your stall, wander around annoying the other stall holders by disturbing them whilst they are setting up, then you return to your stall in readiness for opening.There’s a bit of a buzz, excitement in the air as you get ready.  Yesterday I took the bags to the Clare Crafts Association Summer Craft Fair at the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point.  It was one of those Summer days where within an hour you got rain, sea fog and bright sunshine.  A few hardy souls were swimming and two people took a rowing boat out for a spin.  Spanish Point is my local beach where I could happily spend a few hours walking up and down the beach, swimming or surfing.  But yesterday I was grateful to be inside the hotel – the weather wasn’t my idea of beach weather.  So I was hopeful that the good people of West Clare and the many holidaymakers around at the moment would support  the event.

Spanish Point Beach
Spanish Point Beach

Which they did! We had a steady flow of visitors, who meandered happily around the 23 stalls, enjoying the huge range of crafts on display, from paintings, sculptures and ceramics to quilted items and jewellery.  What I like the most about craft fairs and markets is the immediate feedback and chat you get from people about the bags.  Some people say the most fantastic things, which make you smile for the rest of the day.  Yesterday I spoke to a lady who was sounding off about the huge prices some designers charge for handbags. She had seen some in a shop and was outraged at the high prices being charged, “so high – you’d have to sell two bullocks to pay for them!”.

Coore cows
How many Sallyann Bags for these cattle?

I’m no farmer, and don’t know the going price for a bullock, but I don’t think you’d have to sell any cattle to get your hands on one of my bags.  After all, they are just simple, well designed, useful, practical bags.  I’m not going to try to sell you a lifestyle next week.  You don’t need me to tell you what your duvet cover or your sugar bowl should look like!!

And then a lady and her daughter came over to talk to me and to look at the bags.  They liked their craft, and had clearly already bought a couple of pieces from others in the room. I was completely taken aback when she picked out a funky red Fely bag, turned to her daughter and said “That’s not a bag, that’s a work of art!”.  What an AMAZING thing to say! I was hugely flattered, and duly got all tongue-tied.  But I’m still floating 6 inches off the ground after that compliment.

Funky red & grey dandelion
Two favourite fabrics, funky red & grey dandelion

This is going to be a busy week for markets, fairs, festivals and duty free! I’m back in Shannon Airport, at the GlenAran Shop in Duty Free, on Friday 31 July from 7am, so look out for me if  you’re flying through Shannon on Friday.  On Saturday I’m at my very favourite community market, Chapel Lane Market in Ennis from 10am – 5pm. Sunday sees me return to the beautiful Vandeleur Walled Gardens in Kilrush for their  August Craft and Plant Sale, from 12-5pm.  Finally on Bank Holiday Monday I will be amongst the crowds at the amazing Kilmihil Festival of Fun. There is a craft fair in the Community Centre on there main street of this village.  For those of you yet to sample Kilmihil Festival of Fun, make this the year that you do.  The whole village lets its hair down for the weekend, with all manner of events, from tractor runs, walks, pig racing, vintage cars, sheaf throwing, turf stacking.  Then on Bank Holiday Monday there is a big parade which can be quite eye-popping.  I hope that I’ll see you at one or other of these great events this weekend, but whether I do or not, have a great Bank Holiday Weekend!

Chapel Lane
The welcome on the mat at Chapel Lane Market
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