Two Norfolk Mums launching Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market,

Two Norfolk mums are launching the first Pick 'n' Mix Makers Market this month, <br/><br/>bringing together similarly minded artisan craftsmen to sell unusual and vintage-inspired gifts. Sarah Cassells goes shopping.

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Two Norfolk mums are launching the first Pick ‘n’ Mix Makers Market this month, bringing together similarly minded artisan craftsmen to sell unusual and vintage-inspired gifts. Sarah Cassells goes shopping.

pictures: sonya duncan

Those tingly festive feelings, the cockle-warming refreshment breaks, the unexpected bargain finds – there’s a uniquely exciting buzz to Christmas shopping the closer you get to the big day. And this year there’s one more reason to delay your present-buying, well at least until December 12, as it’s the date of the very first Pick ‘n’ Mix Makers Market – an event that promises to be packed with one-off, thoughtful gift ideas. For this one-day wintry event, St Andrew’s Hall, in Holt, will be transformed into a Christmas craft wonderland. Decorated with elegant home-made decorations and set to the seasonal crooning of Bing Crosby and the Rat Pack, shoppers will find the hall filled with 19 stalls of vintage-inspired toys, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and retro sweets – all hand crafted by East Anglian artisans.

“It’s our way of showcasing the best of local creativity while providing a unique and exciting shopping experience,” says Lisa Smith-Clare, one half of the crafty duo behind the event. Together with fellow craftsman Teena Vallerine, the pair has launched the event to bridge the gap between the traditional craft fair and art market. “From Norfolk alone we have Acorn and Will, a company that makes vintage accessories – even vintage fabric dog collars; Lapwing Printworks, which produces these brilliant, witty woodcuts and linocuts; Chillis Galore, a company utterly passionate about chillies, sauces and jellies; Faded Splendour, which sells top quality vintage clothing and these beautiful, floral felt brooches; and the Tea Lounge, from Norwich, which will be running a caf� for us,” she says.

Their work might be inspired by the past, but Lisa and Teena met through the thoroughly modern medium of blogging. As self-employed mums of young families, online diaries about their artistic projects proved an invaluable means of networking with other creative people, juggling family life and promoting their work. “You want to make the most of being a mum, but you still want an expression of you,” says Teena. “Being able to work from home and sharing your thoughts through blogging offers the best balance.”

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After becoming fans of each other’s blogs and meeting up as stallholders at the Little Vintage Lovers’ Fair in Blakeney last year, they decided Norfolk was missing a dedicated market for “something special with a vintage twist, but not defined by it; somewhere you could buy a top-notch one-of-a-kind item”.Teena’s passion is hand embroidery and her stall will be brimming with vintage textiles, embellished with embroidered designs, lace trimmings and buttons. Lisa, meanwhile, specialises in vintage homewares and accessories. At the market she will be selling hand-made stocking fillers like cuffs, brooches, tea cosies and children’s toys – even the stockings themselves.

“It’s exciting finally being part of something with this type of atmosphere,” adds Lisa, who says there are already plans for a second market to be held at St Andrew’s Hall on May 29. “I just want people to walk into the hall and feel a tingle.”

The Pick ‘n’ Mix Makers Market takes place on May 29, at St Andrew’s Hall, Holt.Find out more at or call Lisa on 07752 252511.

Meet Kitschen Pink (aka Teena Vallerine)


Teena’s chatty posts about her love of hand embroidery and vintage fabrics generate a staggering 2,000 hits every day. Named in honour of her 1950s English Rose kitchen, the 42-year-old mum-of-one’s blog charts her obsession with collecting china, fabric buttons and haberdashery and family life. “The blog has been a bit of a surprise,” she says. “I have about 800 followers, it’s given me the opportunity to meet people I would never have otherwise met and it draws attention to the work I sell on my website.”Her creative side emerged in childhood, inspired by her granny’s Singer sewing machine – the same one her son, Isaac, eight, now uses too. After a foundation year at Great Yarmouth and several years working in London, Teena returned to Norfolk in her twenties to study illustration at Norwich School of Art. A postgraduate course in marketing and “seven years as a suit” followed before Isaac was born. In April last year, she began the blog and set up her website, initially selling commemorative embroideries and pictures. “I live in a very rural, isolated area and it was about finding something to do that fits around the school day and holiday. It felt natural to go back to my creative side.”Teena’s hand embroidered items can take around 20 to 30 hours to complete, but she is diligent about keeping her blog followers posted on her movements. “It’s a diary of what I’m into and what I enjoy,” she says. “And my little boy loves it.”

Meet Mrs Bobo Bun (aka Lisa Smith-Clare)

From her south Norfolk home, Lisa, 41, blogs about her search for vintage treasures, her latest projects, and life with her husband, daughters and menagerie of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and hens.Her musings have attracted 93 followers and her unusual moniker comes from a knitted rabbit given to her as baby by her grandmother.  “I called it Bobo and it’s still my friend so it felt right to call the blog that,” she says.Lisa specialised in textiles at Great Yarmouth Art College as a teenager, but ended up completing an English degree and working as a lecturer, in PR and in fine arts and antiques. Once she had her daughters Rosey, nine, and Millie, seven, she found more time to indulge her creative interests. “I did eight dirty nappies one day and thought I might lose the plot with boredom so started making things for a bit of sanity. As much as you love being a mother, you can lose yourself.” She began making rucksacks for her daughters and bags for herself out of vintage fabrics. When people started asking if Lisa would make items for them, her work evolved and she began selling items through her blog. “It was also a great way to communicate with other creative people,” she says. “You feel almost part of a workplace again.”Today, Lisa holds crochet workshops in the Tea Lounge in Norwich and says she is inspired by the quirkiness and prettiness of patterns from the 1930s, 40s and

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