Sunday, 23 December 2012

Manchester WI Christmas Fair, Chethams School of Music, Sunday 9th December

A couple of weekends ago it was the Manchester Women's Institutes Christmas Fair. Set in the grand surroundings of Chethams School of Music's medieval Baronial Hall, it was a superb setting for vintage inspired crafts, jewellery, fashion and food stalls.

The mulled wine was flowing and christmas tunes playing, creating the perfect atmosphere for a mooch and the opportunity to purchase handmade christmas gifts from a fabulous mix of stallholders.

Gorgeous china was available from the All That Jazz stall, presented in rustic picnic baskets...

....and tied up with festive ribbon and candy canes

I fell in love with a vivid coloured tea set on the stall, as well as these super cute vintage hankerchiefs...

Bringing a touch of naughtiness to the festivities was Crass Stitch Crafts, who produce cross stitched greeting cards and other products, which the name suggests are a little crass! (note the strategically placed card over a really rude caption below!)

The Manchester WI Calendar, which featured images inspired by inspiration women of Manchester was on sale.

The Reconsidered Retro stall was packed with upcycled items, from brooches made with old tape measures, to bracelets made with recycled knitting needles!

Gorgeous artwork and textiles were available on the Ursula Grice stall, with products drawing inspiration from British wildlife. Whilst Barefoot Books were on hand to offer some unique childrens books, including some illustrated with hand stitched images.

 Festive touches were everywhere, with Mince Pies available from Hayley Beth's stall...

And handmade decorations on other stalls around the event...

Handknitted items including these tea cosies were extremely popular, selling out fast

My personal favourite of the event was the Cheshire Cat stall (  owned buy Milliner Emma, whose vintage inspired hats were out of this world! I fell in love with this 20s looking pastel peach number below. Emma also makes custom order hats and will incorporate personal touches, such as sentimental jewellery pieces.

She also creates jewellery inspired by Alice in Wonderland, sold on playing cards.

Despite being there to represent Pretty Nostalgic, I also managed to spend quite a fair bit of money! I purchased a clock made out of a vintage china plate from Stephanie Lindsay, who revamps china, turning tea cups into candles and cake stands.

Her friend whose products also featured on the stall, upcycles old suitcases and handbags giving them that real nostalgic feel.

As well as this, I bought some handmade earrings, brooches from the Reconsidered Retro stall, and a food hamper from Fyq Deli, who brought some foodie goodness to the event.

And of course,  Pretty Nostalgic magazine was available at the fair too!

All in all, it was a great first fair for the Manchester WI ladies, and hopefully one of many more to come! Here are the co-founders of the Manchester branch, Lucy and Alex, below.

You can read more about this branch of the WI, who describe themselves as 'an eclectic mix of sisters jazzing up the WI tradition' and other WI groups in the forthcoming Issue 5 of Pretty Nostalgic magazine, hitting shelves nationwide January 2013.!/ManchesterWomensInstitute

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