a virtual Christmas shopping experience

I think it’s quite safe to say that this year’s Christmas present buying will, for the many, take place online. Although there are shops open, and a few local fairs and markets taking place, I fear a lot of us will decide it is safer to stay away and let the fingers do the shopping. Besides, it’s great to have a glass of wine (mulled perhaps?) or steaming cuppa and slice of cake by your side as you ponder over the vast array of fabulous gift ideas available from the comfort of your own home.

Push away the thoughts of the big online shops and marketplaces, this post will be highlighting three close to home online present buying opportunities, all of which will satisfy that need to find something a little different and be able to support the many small businesses too. Here we go ….

Virtual Norfolk Craft, Food and Drink Market – a group on Facebook set up by the very talented photographer and huge small business supporter, Paul Macro. At the time of blogging, this group has around 180 local sellers all regularly showcasing their beautiful wares to a huge number of followers. Joining the group is easy, just click the join button, you’ll be accepted and away you go. All the sellers I’ve come across have been friendly and professional, with links to shops or Facebook pages to navigate to in order to purchase an item or request further information.

1000 piece puzzle of Cromer beach from Paul Macro Photography.
Delicious hamper including shortbread, gin liquer and marmalade from Simon’s Table.
Fun and tactile handmade card from Covenant Craft.
Pretty beach themed mug from Zoe Crawford Art.
Made from recycled wood jumpers – thick and cosy wrist warmers from The Norfolk Farmers Wife.

@LincsConnect on Twitter is the handle for Martin of Mandarin Leisure. If you are looking to purchase gifts from online sellers in Lincolnshire, Martin has set up a hashtag hour called #LincsArtCraftHour, dedicated to Lincolnshire based artisan businesses to showcase their products. You can view the hashtag at any time, but the dedicated hour is every Monday from 12 noon until 1pm. Alongside this is the hashtag #LincsConnectChristmas, for Christmas gift ideas originating from the county.

Lincolnshire Wildlife Calendar 2021 from local photographers Dave Newman and Andrew Scott – available from Andrew Scott Photography.
Beautiful stag wall art print from Christine Dobbin Art.
Fun and festive snowflake necktie from Create England.
Elegant stoneware spoon rest from Made With Mud.
International Bomber Command Centre painted onto vintage maps from Original Art by Fiona Duncan – a donation is given to the centre for each sale.

Of THE MAKERS is a new subscription box service run by Kerry, a Norfolk based supporter of the creative community. Kerry’s vision is to support small independent businesses by offering a selection of handmade items from UK designers and makers that is beautifully packaged and delivered through the letterbox as a special one off treat or on a quarterly basis via subscription. Orders for the special Premium Gift Box of lovingly made items from eight small businesses, needs to be in by 2nd December, for delivery in time for Christmas.

Beautiful handmade items from UK based creatives, delivered directly to your home from Of THE MAKERS.

Reds, golds and mustards – the warmth of autumn.

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” (Jim Bishop).

a spark of colour as autumn sets in – small sunflowers

Savouring those last warm days, enjoying the crisp coolness of early mornings and evenings, the beautiful colours of nature, sightings of squirrels and robins and the lighting of an open fire all add up to why autumn is by far my favourite season.

autumn leaves – waiting for harvest with moody sky – close up of a pine cone

New items for autumn, like this squirrel brooch in mustard felt and little hanging artwork in sunflower yellow, have been inspired by the changing colours of nature. Endeavouring to be a little more adventurous with my mixed media style, I’m enjoying combining different colours and patterns of fabrics and embellishments to build a boho style piece, with a hint of vintage.

hand sewn embellished felt and fabric squirrel brooch and cat artwork hanging by Ellie's Treasures
mixed media squirrel brooch and little cat artwork hanging

Festive fairs and Christmas spirit

With my last Christmas market on the horizon I’m keeping my needle threaded, my charms and beads at the ready, and boosting stock levels whenever I have a spare hour!

hand sewn angel bag charm by Ellie's Treasures
hand sewn angel bag charm/key clip – “hope”

Last week’s fair at Pensthorpe was amazing! The weather actually stayed dry (in fact the sun peaked out for a short while), the line up of independent sellers was fabulous and the organisation was brilliant. I’m looking forward to my final fair of the year, and as it’ll be my third year at Deepdale, I know it will a lovely weekend with a great atmosphere.

Ellie's Treasures Norfolk craft markets and fairs
Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham, Christmas Market 2019

If you are in Norfolk (or surrounding counties) and fancy a trip out to start or finish your Christmas shopping, then do consider dropping by Deepdale at Dalegate Market, you won’t be disappointed. It’s free to enter and free parking, and with vast selection of stalls, in marquees, barns, pop up sheds and the church too, plus delicious grub to enjoy, you won’t be disappointed.

Ellie’s Treasures will be inside the Brick Barn and I’ll be accepting commissions over the weekend should you be looking for something specific.

Dachshund mixed media canvas artwork

Happy Christmas shopping!