How’s your Christmas shopping going?
I used to know a family who went out together on Christmas Eve and did all their Christmas shopping in one day. Imagine that! They might have bagged a few bargains, but the stress and pressure would all be too much for me.
I’m more of a “get in all done by November” sort of girl. That way you can spend the last few weeks enjoying advent, collecting a few extra treats, and generally feeling relaxed. Yes – relaxed.
Imagine my joy when I heard that Caroline of Lal Home was hosting a Christmas Pop Up. They held one in the summer which I was upset I couldn’t get to.
Porth Eirias, on Colwyn Bay promenade, provides an ideal venue with plenty of space, loads of free parking, and coffee/lunch by Chef Bryn Williams. It’s worth perching yourself in the window with a cuppa for the amazing views across to Rhos on Sea.
I wondered how many would visit the Pop Up with it only being advertised on social media – but Facebook and Instagram have done their job in spreading the word around local folk who love a Christmas market. The place was packed all day.
But this is a Christmas market with a difference. We’ve all been to a few – haven’t we. The ones where you smile sweetly at the lady selling the Santa styled tea cosy full of holes and the baby blanket in shades of psychedelic pink. Keep smiling past the dodgy home-brew and the quick step through the (very) homemade greetings cards.
You won’t find any such dubious “delights” at this Christmas Pop Up. If you love contemporary crafts, rustic ceramics, gorgeous illustrations and cards, fabulous fake tan, hygge homeware and lots more – then this is the perfect trip out for you.
Bring a shopping bag, lots of cash and a present list to tick off.
We didn’t manage to catch everyone, and I’m really sorry to those exhibitors who I didn’t chat to. But here’s a few of our favourites.
Caroline, or Lal as she’s affectionately known, makes beautiful homeware. Bags from cute modern fabrics, leather goods, plant holders and fabric baskets. She’s also organised this whole event. 3 cheers for Caroline.
Sparkly Sarah is the home of the teeny weeny houses you might have seen on Instagram. Handmade and glazed in subtle shades of greens, blues and neutrals – they are the perfect stocking filler, or a tasty little treat to take home for yourself. I have a whole village on my lounge windowsill, and there’s room for more!
Macrame has had a revival. If you’re a child of the 70s you’ll remember these hand weaved plant hangers and wall art. Well, they’re all the rage again and perfect for an empty wall, or to brighten up a hallway.
Nichola gets the prize for the cutest business name. Irene and Edith are her 2 grannies – how adorable is that, and I’m sure they are very proud of the business Nichola has created. If you love rustic ceramics with a touch of metallic, you’ll find the most stunning plant pots of all sizes, and hanging decorations. I just wish I was better with houseplants – my track record is a bit of a disaster.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with these colourful quirky designs. Florals, spots and welsh blanket designs in rich bold winter colours. I might have had my eye on one in teal green and fuchsia. Was fully intending to go back – but sadly only remembered half way home in the car.
If you need a pick me up at the end of the day, make sure you’re following Tanya Whitebits on instagram, then settle down with a glass of wine and watch Shoned’s IG stories. She’s a complete natural, a hilarious story teller with an amazing product that everyone is talking about. If you’re feeling a bit pasty as the winter draws in, you know what to do.
When you have a small holding with accompanying herd of goats, you’re surrounded by lavender and rosemary, and your neighbour keeps bees in the next field – what do you do? Make soap, of course. Then you utilise your crocheting skills to make cotton flannels, and get your husband to produce rustic soap dishes with his carpentry off-cuts.
Liza most amazing woman and you simply must seek her out.
Sprouts – love them or hate them – they look very cute as a knitted pom pom to hang on your tree. It’s no secret that I love cute knitted things. You’ll find some real treats with Siop Siafins – they’re only a baby business but have a lovely unique product that would dress any home at Christmas.
There’s something about the smell of real tea leaves. Black tea, white tea, fruit tea, even Christmas tea. I settled for a little bag of Organic Queen of Assam which I’m excited to try. Apparently the bigger the individual leaves, the stronger the flavour – who knew? I like my tea fairly light these days and without milk. How about you?
Carissa and Iwan definitely win the prize for most exuberant stall holders. They’re both so passionate about their business. We’ll definitely be calling to their shop in Conwy for more teatime treats.
Einir Pg makes the most beautiful Christmas wreaths and posies. She was taking orders for floral wreaths and table centres to be delivered out to homes in late December. It’s worth hanging around her stall if only for the dreamy scents of cinnamon and spiced orange. Best smelling stall, for sure.
This is only the second time I’ve actually met my good friend Marcia, but we’ve chatted so much on Instagram she’s like my bestie. We’ve worked together on a number of IG giveaways and her handmade products are just beautiful. She started with lampshades in traditional handwoven welsh designs, but has since extended her homeware range to include cushions, blankets, aprons, mugs and candles. The latest product line is going down a storm for these winter nights we’re getting.
What a joy to meet Callie. She took the time to explain in detail how she lino prints her designs. It’s an intense, time consuming, traditional process which she is passionate about. An artist at heart, she has worked on numerous collaborations and her work has been seen at galleries around North Wales.
I kind of wish I hadn’t already bought my Christmas cards. Totally fallen in love with Callie’s festive Robin design. Where else can you get 5 gorgeous handmade cards for £10. Tea towels too, but far too nice to dry the dishes with!
I really hope you all had a great day, and enjoy a great December. Hope we can stay in touch.
That’s all for now
I’m Judith. I’ve been blogging here since 2014. I’m a writer, keen photographer, cake decorator, lover of travel, drinker of coffee and reader of books. . This is my Lifestyle blog – a fresh authentic space for thoughtful women – where I write about my life in North Wales – the things I love to use, the issues that matter, and the places I love to visit. I’d love you to join my community.
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