Old Rectory Fair, Cheam

Let’s face it, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday than sitting in the (mostly sunny) garden of a beautiful house, surrounded by lovely people and beautiful objects, alternating between quilting, talking to lots of wonderful, interesting customers and chatting with other stallholders and crafters in the quieter moments.

It was quite an early start – gates opened at 8:30 am, so although I think getting up at 6:30 am should be illegal any day of the week, let alone a Saturday, we were there (Honey came with me – I love having her company) in good time and set up and ready to go:

I did think the stall looked particularly lovely this time round! I like outdoor fairs, because there’s a little more leeway for spreading out a bit and using props and setting that you don’t get so much with the indoor fairs.

As always, one of my favourite bits of the day was getting the chance for a wander around the other stalls … I enjoy talking to other stallholders, and I’m such a dreadful magpie when it comes to coveting other gorgeous shinies!

One of my favourites was Hetty’s – vintage inspired fascinators, and a gorgeous collection of proper vintage beaded corsages. The story that went with them was amazing, too. They came from a tiny shop, run by an old lady, who just piled new stock on top of old stock without ever clearing away (a magpie after my own heart 😉 ) – when she passed away, the stock was cleared, and these beaded pieces – some with original price tags still on –  were salvaged to appear in Hetty’s shop. I had to have one – the fabulous red-beaded flower that you can just see on the far right of the picture below. Lucky me!

And right next door was The Bandwagoneer with a fab collection of vintage bags and clothes … this red leather clutch came home with me, too. I have no self-control 🙂

Of course, I wouldn’t be a proper magpie without a small covet of something sparkly … there were several jewellery stalls there, but Simple Silver was my favourite – I loved these bracelets with the big stones.

Lots of pretty, vintage-inspired retro fun at the Popcorn-Box – I was very taken with the spotty red cake tins, but decided I’d be exceptionally unpopular if I introduced more tins to my already-large family.

My favourite oddity was Quacks pickles … all sorts of marvellous homemade pickles, with equally fantastical names. Honey came back shuddering about the ‘preserved patagonian squirrel fish organs’ (which I’m pleased to report was actually a mixed vegetable pickle!).

Michelle and Bob Green were there from the Wessex Guild of Craftsmen, demonstrating spinning and with a fabulous collection of handspun, hand-dyed yarns, silk scarves and felted goodies. I would have loved to add some of these to my yarn pile, but I’ve already got so much that I just couldn’t let myself. (Perhaps I do have some self control, after all?)

Lots of lovely decoupage and button decoration going on at Jemo Crafts … such wonderful colours, and really reminded me of Squint styling, particularly those beautiful, bright lampshades ….

Honey was absolutely blown away by Shirley’s Handmade Dollshouse accessories, and despite her advanced years demanded that I instantly acquire a dollshouse for her, so she could stock it up with these lovelies. I have to say that the time and patience that must go into these minatures leaves me utterly lost for words (though, as my husband pointed out when I was talking about it when we got home, I will quite happily spend upwards of 50 hours hand-sewing on a big quilt, so perhaps that’s just a question of perspectives).

All in all, a wonderful day, and one that left me feeling like I’m very lucky … I spend my time doing the thing I love the most – sewing – and then I get the bonus of these weekends when I get to go and share my passion with others, and to share their passions, too. It’s really not a hard life 🙂

Did you go to the fair? What did you think – did you have a good day? Leave a comment and tell me all about it …. I’d love to hear about your best bits of the day!

4 responses to “Old Rectory Fair, Cheam

  1. Hello there,
    Lovely to meet you on Saturday and glad to see that you are pleased with your red clutch bag – it went so well with the beaded brooch!
    Just been looking through your webpage and your work is absolutely stunning; great to know that we were in such talented company over in Cheam and that I wasn’t alone in lamenting the 6.30am start!
    All the best,
    Emma (and Chris of Hetty’s)

    • The red clutch is fabulous! It’s already had an outing – to the theatre on Sunday night – goes wonderfully with my vintage brick-red mac.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and for your kind words about my work – always nice to get a compliment 🙂

  2. Really enjoyed the fair and reading your blog, was fun. Glad you love the jewellery. A very civilised peaceful afternoon in the lovely garden in Cheam.
    A great variety of stalls,I am always astonished that people have the time and the passion to make handmade goods and they always look so professional.

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