Are there certain month's in your calendar that are a real hot-spot for birthdays? In my family, it's June - there's 11!! Of course, the summer month's don't just feature birthday celebrations..... there's Fathers Day, wedding season and anniversary celebrations to consider too.
I am really big on gifting experiences but do also love to finding and gifting unique treasures from small independents, many of which are hand-crafted from scratch. There's something especially feel good to buying direct from makers - hearing their story, supporting their passion, understanding and being confident in where they have sourced their materials.
Since setting up The Crafthood, both Kay and I are very lucky to meet many makers. We are big on sharing information and supporting other small businesses so here are some of our favourite finds that solve some summer gift giving dilemmas that you may have:
For Fathers Day:
Blow all sock expectations out of the water with a pair of these belters from High Arches*. How about a wallet with a difference? Mamie Makes hand-stitches all her leather creations so you can be confident of quality as well as unique designs - this wallet is my favourite pick for a rebel dad. For dapper dads or grandads, Tweedfiends* makes are stand-out; they even make mini versions. Is your dad partial to a grown-up G&T? Durham Distillery* make their gin in traditional copper pots which help give it a distinct, spicy, savoury character. Should the man in your life love the North East (like mine), you can't go wrong with one of LMOHT's great selection of illustrative prints - to be hung with pride.
For the Wedding gift or New Home:
Make & Mend Company* can take your favourite photo and add their magic touch, marking the memory with bespoke embroidery which we think makes for the epitome in thoughtful gift giving. This speaker pictured above by Nick James Design is the perfect mix of handcrafted, old school and cool gadgetry. The lucky recipient can listen to their favourite playlists when chilling with their feet up in their new pad or whilst entertaining at a house- warming party or summer barbecue. Handcrafted ceramics make even the most mundane meal-time feel like a special occasion. We love the work of Colbalt and Lustre*, Glosters (those mugs & that glaze!!) and Natasha and Pots*. Oh.my.days. just look at their work via the links and/ or photos above. Check out the cheeseboard of dreams from Samantha Lois Illustration* - just one of many wood and resin delights that are available in her collection. Macrame is high on my 'crafts to try' list and in the meanwhile, I love to see the amazing skills of pros like Organised Chaos. Her wall-hanging designs are intricate and beautiful.
For the sunshine minis:
My first thoughts for birthday gifts of the little human's in my life is clothing as they just get through so much on a weekly basis, if my washing basket is anything like yours?! Non- gendered, high quality, easy wear items that make a statement are my 'go to', hence our Mini Collection range*. I am also loving the eco credentials of screen printed items by Urban Cubs*. The next thing I think about are those treasures that really make a room their little sanctuary. I love their rainbow star by Glitterball Glass* ... imagine how glorious the reflection of this would be with the sun behind it?! This stylish macrame mobile (another Organised Chaos* creation) featuring a little rainbow just makes my heart sing too. We wanted to include a little something for the slightly older children so we have highlighted another goody from Mamie Makes - her hand-painted bookmarks can be personalised with any quote for the [not so] mini bookworm in your life. There are so many amazing and inspirational books around at the moment too, it would be a gift partnership.
For your loved ones:
For the plant lovers in your life, you really can't go wrong visiting - The Flower Folk in Jesmond, Newcastle if you live in the North East . A true feast for the eyes [the photo above is just one of the corners] and with so much on offer it is very hard to leave empty handed. For lovers of jewellery design with a difference, we love the work of Cube Root *and Francesca Lobb*. For fashion forward, tech lovers, how about this stylish laptop case by Tori Lo Designs*? Embroidery artist Brogan Sews* uses her top skills with colour, a needle and impressive attention to detail to beautifully depict beloved landmarks like the one featured in the above slideshow.
Treats for yourself:
Summer can feel pretty long for anyone who isn't lucky enough to be celebrating themselves so here are my top picks for little treats to give yourself a little lift when the long days are feeling a bit too long. Chocolate is on my mind often and these beautiful bars by Abaisse* are my current crush. Keeping on the sweet theme, I recently tried some Marsh loves Mallow goodies and enjoyed them very much! I am keen to ditch as much plastic as possible at the moment so this soap by Oakwood Soaperie* is on my 'most wanted' list. It is also the reason that I love everything about the what the folks at Something Good Newcastle* are doing at the minute. I am lucky enough to have a great selection of t-shirt yarn at my finger tips (as a result of our workshop and product range), which makes for a whole stash of knitted necklaces to match many an outfit... keeping with the whole 'we only sell it if we love it' ethos. Bag yours here or come learn how to make your own at one of our workshops.
We have found certain places and events really helpful for discovering fabulous talents and their creations - both online (Etsy & NOTHS) and bricks & mortar venues. When we first started planning The Thoughtful Night Market with the wonderful Thought Foundation, we definitely wanted to fulfil this brief. Each of the businesses marked with a * have been (or are booked to feature) at one of our events. We build each event with a view to the overall experience - good food and drink, live music, a workshop offering and general feel good vibe is a must. We work hard to curate a marketplace that offers a fresh and varied collection of marvellous creative independents that provide high quality, unique products so you get plenty of opportunity to find that special item for many occasions, loved ones or to treat yourself. Our next Thoughtful Night Market is 15th June 2019: 5 - 9.30pm (linked to the Facebook event, if you'd like to find out more) is at Thought Foundation . Sign up to our mailing list to keep in the loop of our latest finds and events. We'd love to hear what you think of our finds and if there is a small business you think we really should know about.
Full disclosure: we have not been paid to feature any of the businesses in this blog. These are our honest and personal opinions. We are joint organisers of an event that many of these businesses have attended or are due to attend.