Sunday, 6 June 2010

Half Term Hols + Summer Sunshine = Discovering Local Treasures

Ok I'm back! Back from sunny North Yorkshire where I've been spending my much needed half term hols with family and friends and do I have so much to share and tell. Thankfully all my news seems to have a central theme of local business = local treasures.
First off it all began on a beautifully sunny and warm Bank Holiday Monday spent at Castle Howard which is the home of my much loved and favourite metal and glass craft shop which is a haven full of of the most beautiful things - Jorvik Glass but what this website shows is only half of the wonders they sell and make in the shop. I do great encourage you to visit Castle Howard yourself to see their magic creations and you don't even have to go to the big house to see it - the shop is right in the square court yard at the entrance.
 This is a fine example of the wonderful use of precious metals such as copper, gold and silver upon leaves. This is a japanese maple leaf coated within iridescent copper. It is a 100% GENUINE leaf. My mum got me a silver oak leaf pendant and matching earings for my 21st. They really do make very special gifts.
And this is another example of their beautiful metal work creating a 'Summer Scene' with colourful insects and leaves which would look lovely against someones wall in the summer sunshine.
Now it just so happened there was a craft sale and fair on at Castle Howard court yard so I did spend a few pennies and quite a while adoring so many beautiful and unique hand made pieces.
The first stall that enchanted me was By-Hand where I bought to lovely hand-made and fair trade bracelets for my friends whom I would be meeting with later in the week.
The next stall was very funky - it was like meeting the british counterpart to my good friend Julie (aka Mermaiden - her blog listed down the many I follow on the right near the bottom) who also makes quite cool jewellry with bits of scrap metal except this artist works exclusively with old watch parts.  This designer was known as the Steamstress. There were many pretty bits on their stall and can be seen at . But here is just a taster.

The next stall was very eco and flower power friendly. Their known as Big Tree Little Tree and sell bookmarks, gift tags and cards and other staionary all made from recycled paper and with simple designs but with the added touch of seeds from the flowery image on each product. I treated one of my friends to a Forget-Me-Nots card which had seeds embedded behind the design for that particular flower. It's all very sweet and quite a original idea - instead of buying flowers why not encourage a friend or relative to grow them themselves?
There was another quirky but in a classy old fashioned way stall selling some very interested jewellry with a flare of the mad beauty in Alice in Wonderland fashion. Ruby Rouge makes all her unique and different jewellery which can be viewed and bought via Etsy at . Here's a glimpse of the quirky wonders she makes.
The one last stall that fascinated me was an artist called Clare Lindley who simply used paper and scalpul to create wonderful stencil art. I would have loved to buy even one of her smaller pieces but sadly I didn't have enough money.
My next encounter with the wonders of hand made and craft was with my all time favourite little shop in Scarborough where I went to enjoy the little pleasant summer heat wave we had at the end of the holiday week.
 Here's me by the popular beach and the beautiful blue north sea. Wearing my big summer hat.
Anyway I digress, my favourite little crafty shop in Scarborough for gifts that are beautifully well made is Luvulite. Here it is down the little quiet Bar Street which comes off the main high street and takes you to the beach top.
The woman inside is ever so nice and she even makes some of the gifts she sells and everything in there is handmade! Ugh I can never go to scarborough without buying something from her and ironically it's always gifts for other people but I know it always produces a smile. As you can see the windows are very well laid out displaying all the latest gifts she has in. However I have some bad and good news regarding this wonderful gem in Scarborough. The shop will be closed from September as the woman may be moving abroad! She says if she goes abroad she will continue the shop there yet she is in the process of setting up a website to sell her stock that way. So there is hope yet for many more people to become enchanted with her. All at

Now this next truly is a local treasure to me as I'd known about its existence for ages but until I went in out of curiosity I didn't realise what a gem I was missing. It's based in my humble home town of Malton in North Yorkshire, in the building which used to be the Tourist Information Office (don't worry that just relocated to the humble Malton Museum we have) - it is the amazing Malton Relish .
 There it is, on the corner of the market place painted out in red.
And here is a glimpse inside where they have a lovely stock of local produce, a fab delicatessen counter, a local antique buisness based upstairs and you can sample the products yourself in their little cafe area.
This is where I was so overwhelmed with pride and admiration for the woman who set this business up I couldn't resist buying some local Whitby Gingerbread for my boyfriend's dad and some adorable hand decorated chocolate buttons in little glass jars for his sister and niece and some Malton Relish Blackberry Jam made using locally grown Blackberries for his mum. I even noticed an actual jar stating it held within the contents of The Malton Relish - that made me grin - my own little town had its own speciality relish. And if that wasn't cooler the woman behind Malton Relish was a key figure in organising a massive wave of publicity for this little market town by creating the We Love Malton group where local businesses would raise this banner in what ever fashion to show they were a genuine local business and hopefully attract more customers. Showing the rest of the world what Malton has to offer. 
So being a local girl it only seems far I honour this call if a few months late.
I hope you enjoyed this whirlwind tour through the local handy crafters I encountered on my half term hols and I do hope some of them caught your eye and that of your wallet. All these wonderful artists and creators and local businesses should never be forgotten and always supported. For they are our treasures and will always have that extra something special against the modern highstreet of today.


  1. Oh my gosh, that leaf is amazing and gorgeous! Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. Thanks for linking to my blog :)

  2. Hi Becky,

    This is Lucy from By Hand here. Just wanted to say thanks for the mention. We're really pleased you liked our stall and our products. If you are interested in keeping up with what is going on at By Hand then we have a Facebook page at If not, we will maybe see you again at another fair in Yorkshire!


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