Emporia at Tenterden Christmas Market

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This time next week we’ll be set up on the streets of Tenterden and taking part in their fabulous Christmas Market. Running over Friday 24th and Saturday 25th November, the Tenterden Christmas Market kicks off the festive season in that little corner of Kent, with a lantern parade and the big lights switch on taking place on the first day. It’s the perfect start to the festive season proper, with rides, snow and a whole host of independent crafters and retailers selling their lovely wares.
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Kicking off from 12pm on Friday 24th November, up and down Tenterden High Street will be a huge range of stalls all selling amazing unique gifts and foods. We’ll be joining a fantastic selection with our very own stall, selling lovely handmade things for Christmas from stockings and quilts, to knitted hats and scarves, plus a variety of other exciting gifts for the festive season. Craft kits, selections of special fabrics, one off handmade items and all the normal loveliness you’ve come to expect from Emporia will be on sale. Come and find us, browse for Christmas gifts and enjoy the festive atmosphere – there’s bound to be a few mince pies and maybe some other treats lurking on our stall too.
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Alongside us will be the likes of The Farm Street Kitchen and The Mucky Duck Bakery selling delicious pies and pastries, plus The Chocolate Note and Mini Mouthfuls fudge with their gorgeous sweet treats.  And for those that have a really sweet tooth, why not get stuck into a special Santa Shake from Chin Chin – it looks truly amazing and serious indulgent!
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Helping everyone get in the festive mood will be the Christmas in Tenterden light parade, where pupils from Tenterden Primary Federation and St. Michaels Primary School will carry handmade willow lanterns down the streets from the junior school, all the way to St Mildred’s Church. Starting at 4pm on Friday 24th November, members of the public are welcome to join in the lantern parade with LED candles that can be bought on the high street on the day. At around 5.30pm, after the church service the Mayor of Tenterden will give a special Christmas Tree blessing before turning the Tenterden Christmas lights on.

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On both days of the Christmas market, the Kent and East Sussex Railway will be offering a free shuttle service from Rolvenden Station up to Tenterden High Street. For just a small charity donation you can park at the station and enjoy a ten minute old fashioned steam train ride along the track to the market. A perfect way to start the festivities!
The Christmas in Tenterden festive market takes place from 12pm – 9pm Friday 24th November and 10am – 8pm Saturday 25th November along the High Street in Tenterden. Come and find us at our stall near the snow machine!

 

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Emporia Sewing Jewellery

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Last Saturday was Sew Saturday and we had a fabulous time in the shop handing out goody bags, teaching newbies the basics on their machines and enjoying a bit of hand sewing with some crafty customers. But we also launched our very exciting new range of sewing and knitting themed jewellery!

These gorgeous creations are the result of a fantastic collaboration between ourselves and our long-time crafty mates Richardson & Richardson, who are renowned in Kent and beyond for their amazing laser cut designs. We sell their brilliant jewellery and wooden keepsake cards in the shop, and now we’ve teamed up with them to create some exclusive crafty designs. If you love sewing and/or knitting, then these gorgeous designs are just perfect for showing off your passion. Take a look at these lovelies and tell us which one is your favourite?

The new jewellery range is priced from £12.00 for smaller items up to £20.00 for the biggest pieces.

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And they’ve hit our shelves just in time for Christmas too! Know someone who’d love one as a present? Get your hands on them soon as we’ve got limited stock of each design.

Speaking of presents and the dreaded (or not so dreaded in some people’s eyes) Christmas, we’ve also got a whole load of fabulous sewing boxes in store now. Ideal as gifts for committed sewing fans or the ideal present for someone who has just started off on their sewing journey, you can give the someone a sewing box to help them keep their sewing area tidy, or fill one with all the necessary pieces of equipment they might need. Either way, they come in a variety of fantastic prints – fun, funky, cute, pretty, sophisticated – they are loads to choose from.

The sewing boxes vary in size from small to extra large, and the prices range from £25.00 – £35.00.

Seen something you’d like? Give us a ring on 01233 612278 or get in touch via the contact form at the top of the blog and we’ll reserve it for you.

 

Fill your Stockings with Christmas Crafts

 

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We are so lucky to have a fabulous collection of local crafters fill up some of the nooks and crannies in our shop, and what better time to take a closer look at them than just before Christmas! With just over a week left, there’s still plenty of time to take some extra care with your presents and buy some unique, handmade gifts that will make the recipient feel even more special on Christmas morning.

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Richardson & Richardson have been with us for ages, providing the people of Ashford with their amazing laser cut jewellery and cards. For anyone with a passion for anything sci-fi, geeky or just plain out there, we have a fantastic selection of their amazing designs. Featuring pieces inspired by the likes of Harry Potter, David Bowie’s Labyrinth, and Jurassic Park, you can get necklaces, earrings and broochs, which will no doubt gladden the heart of some of your film fan friends or relatives. Similar themes also include unicorns, Christmas crackers, woodland animals, knitting, gothic scenes, and your favourite tipples all transformed into funky jewellery. Prices range from £10.00 – £20.00.

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R.J. Laurenson
Beautiful ceramic pieces inspired by the British countryside, Rachele has transformed her passion for hares, horses, butterflies and stags into gorgeously coloured tableware. Each piece has been layered with different prints of leaves, colour and animal designs creating an intricate and unique pattern. She has created coasters, trivets, over sized cups and saucers, as well as hanging hearts in both big and small. Prices range from £3.00 – £30.00.

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POLLEN
The creator of POLLEN may well have moved to Australia, but she’s still supplying us with her amazing coloured wooden necklaces. Bright, beautiful and funky, these coloured beads come in a range of sizes and arrangements, and make for some seriously striking jewellery. Treat someone you know who likes things a little different from the norm. Prices range from £16.00 – £20.00.

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Rosanna Clare
Rosanna Clare works with recycled leather and wood to create yet more intriguing crafts: trinket trays, tasseled keyrings, purses, sketchbook covers, earrings, necklaces, rings and cufflinks are all part of her range. Using bright colours and simple designs, Rosanna makes the most of her materials to bring out the best in them. Treat yourself or the man in your life to something stylish and creative. Prices range from £8.00 – £18.00.

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Funky designs on t shirts and hoodies, for both kids and adults, HairyHand brings his humorous, tongue in cheek style to Emporia. Bag yourself one of these limited edition graphic pieces for anyone you know that appreciates witty designs on their fashion.

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And if you’re looking for crafty stocking fillers, don’t forget our gorgeous range of fabrics can be presented in the very dainty packages of fat quarter bundles; plus we’ve got embroidery threads, pompom makers, wool needles, sewing scissors, hand sewing needles, rotary cutters, mats, rulers and our brand new sewing baskets if you know someone who would love to receive some crafty equipment under the tree.

There’s still plenty of shopping time left to get sorted before the big day itself, and don’t forget we’re open late on Thursday 22nd December for the Christmas Market which is happening right next door in Park Mall – come and see us during the day or between 5pm – 7pm next week.

Kits for Christmas

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Exciting news for those looking for crafty Christmas gifts this year as we launched not one, but three craft kit gift sets! Two from Emporia and one from Lotte Jamieson Crafts – take a look at these lovelies and then tell us you’re not inspired to give the gift of craft? Clair has expanded on her fabulous reversible and Amelie dress patterns, by presenting them in these fabulous sewing kits. Featuring the pattern itself and some exclusive fabric, which you can’t buy off the shelves of Emporia, you can give the gift of sewing to someone this festive season.

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The reversible dress kit comes with two beautiful fabrics that complement each other fabulously – a lilac heart print, and a blue flower and leaf print that features white, lilac and pale pink accents. Super simple and ideal as a first make for beginners, the kit will certainly make for a very happy Christmas morning for many aspiring sewers.

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The Amelie kit comes in a beautiful minty green featuring simple flower designs, and we think it makes the perfect transition from winter into spring. As the Amelie is little more complex than the reversible, we recommend giving this as a gift to sewers who know their stuff. And who know’s they might even have time to get on their sewing machine and having it finished by the time the Queen’s speech comes on!

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The Christmas gift kits are just for sewing fans this year – Lotte Jamieson Crafts has launched a beginner’s knitting kit just in time for the chilly festive season.

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Perfect for those who want to get to grips with making something a bit more on trend than your average scarf, the Irvine Cowl kit contains an easy to read pattern (featuring three different versions ranging from super duper easy to the enthusiastic beginner), knitting needles, 200g of Lotte Jamieson Merino wool and a branded tote bag which can be used as a knitting bag.

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All you have to do is choose the colour of the wool from the range of 12 luscious hues in the shop and you could be giving a newbie knitter the gift of their dreams under the Christmas tree!

The Emporia Patterns Dress Kits are £35.00 each and the Lotte Jamieson Knitting Kits are £26.00 each. All three patterns are also available to purchase individually.

For more information or two see the gift kits for yourself, pop into the shop – we are open 10am – 5pm Monday to Saturday, with late night opening until 7pm on Thursdays between now and Christmas. We will be closing at 2pm on Christmas Eve.

Last Minute Christmas Gifts and a Happy New Year!

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Right, there are approximately 36 hours until Christmas Day dawns so if you’ve not got all your Christmas gifts done now is the time for a little constructive panic shopping. But fear not, we’ve got a few little extras hidden up our crafty sleeves, so if you need to bung a few extras into someone’s stocking or drop a couple of hints for the stressed out shoppers around you, read on …

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Our beautiful gift bags are perfect for quick fix presents – made from a range of gorgeous and funky fabrics, and full of lovely goodies, these will make someone very happy on Christmas morning. Choose from Wonder Woman, large bird prints, geometric florals, Star Wars or colour blocked butterflies; we’ve filled them with matching wool and super chunky knitting needles, crochet hooks and yarn, magazines and rotary cutters, merino wool and pattern books, but you’re welcome to fill a bag with as much or as little as you like.

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Magazines are always a good bet and if you love sewing or patchwork, these babies will sort you right out. Pretty Patches comes crammed with masses of projects for all skill levels, and will certainly keep crafty types occupied over the holiday period; Love Sewing is the ideal magazine for those that want to get creative with their clothing over Christmas as it comes with a free paper pattern and instructions in the magazine itself for a whole load of other makes for you and your loved ones.

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Our new sewing kits in large and small are cute and full of useful stuff: scissors, pin cushions, needles and thimbles. Just right for those that need a bit more organisation in their lives.

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Feel like giving a small girl an extra treat? Bag a reversible dress for anyone from the age of one to six from our range of fabulous fabrics – Bat Girl and festive gnomes are just two of our favourites.

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Want to give a loved one a handmade gift but really don’t have the time? Grab a cable knit headband in a funky colour and give someone the gift of warm ears for Christmas.

Really can’t decide what to get? A fat quarter bundle is always a good answer – have a rummage through our massive selection and mix and match for yourself, or choose a pre-matched selection if you are in a real rush.

So all that’s left to say now is we hope, whatever presents you manage to get or make, that you have a very merry Christmas and a super happy New Year! See you in 2016!

Wishing for a Crafty Christmas?

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Yes ladies and gents, it’s that time of year once again. Hold onto your hats, safely stow your sewing kit and put yourself in the brace position, as we take a headlong dive into festivity!

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There’s now only six weeks to go until Christmas Day and despite the lights not being switched on and not all of the shops playing Mariah Carey on repeat as yet, we know that across the town people will be waking up, aware of a sneaking suspicion that it is indeed the halfway point of November, which can only mean that December itself is creeping ever closer and that they should really start getting on with buying, planning, prepping, making, etc for the big day itself.

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But if you think we’re now going to start suggesting what you could buy for your mum/dad/grandma/nephew/dog then you are sadly mistaken; quite the opposite in fact. We think this is the ideal time to get a little bit selfish and start thinking about what you want to find under your Christmas tree, so with no further ado let us introduce the Emporia Christmas Wist List!

This handy little piece of paper allows you to tell your confused and dithering loved ones precisely what it is you would like for Christmas, whether it’s 2.75 metres of Michael Miller Wee Wonder or a simple bundle of fat quarters from the plains section. Many of us crafty types spend hours cooing over lovely prints and amazing materials throughout the year, never quite able to justify spending the money on them just for the sake of it – so rather than put your energy into hinting or simply willing your other half or your sister to magically know what it is you would like to be indulged with, you can leave a specific list with very specific instructions with us at the shop, so nothing is left to chance.

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Simply pop into the shop, take a browse along the shelves and make your mind up about what you would like, then grab a Wish List from the counter and we’ll help you fill it out with enough detail so that your friends and family can shop for you, safe in the knowledge that you do actually want half a metre of each unicorn print fabric we possess. Write your name at the top, and bob’s your uncle – or Emporia is your Father Christmas if you prefer!

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You can also cater for a variety of budgets too – a couple of fat quarters will only set someone back five or six pounds, or a crochet hook is less than £3.00; but if someone wants to really go over the top they could fill a gift bag with a selection of beautiful fabrics, luxury wools as well as extras like rotary cutters, fabric rulers, knitting needles, stitch holders and cutting mats.

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And it’s not just for the fabrics and the wool, you can also fill out a form requesting one of the beautiful items made by our super talented crafters. Choose from Liberty print birds by Polka Dot Sundays, ceramic designs from R. J. Laurenson, Star Wars print t shirts from Fink Clothing, headscarves from Aye Aye or any of the other clever and creative gifts we have in store. This might be a little more work for your relatives as they might need to contact the crafters themselves or get something made to order if we’ve sold out, but we’re sure they can cope – and the sooner they do it the better, to ensure the makers have enough time to complete your gift. But there’s also the room to be a little more vague too – if you love all the P O L L E N necklaces and really can’t decide which one you would prefer, then let your gift buyer do the deciding. It’s up to you to be as demanding or as subtle as you please!

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So now you can start shopping for other people complete with that lovely warm feeling from knowing that you’ve got some gorgeous gifts coming your way. Yes, Christmas is about giving, but it’s also about being a little self indulgent too. Enjoy!

Pluckley Quilt and Craft Show

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Following our wonderfully successful Emporia Craft & Vintage Market which took place last week, we are upping sticks and moving out to Pluckley for the weekend. We’re grabbing a whole load of our wonderful fabrics, plenty of buttons and some seriously useful quilting equipment and shipping ourselves off to the Village Hall where we will join a whole load of other crafty types for some patchwork fun.

Clair will be running an Emporia stall at the Pluckley Quilt and Craft show which takes place over both Saturday and Sunday in the village, giving people a little further out from Ashford the chance to see some of our beautiful fabrics close up. Alongside all the Michael Miller, Riley Blake, Makower and Copenhagen Print Factory gorgeousness we will have for sale at the show, Clair will also be selling our fantastic cutting mats and rotary cutters, which no patchwork maker should ever be without. Making life so much easier (and quicker) when it comes to cutting fabric, these babies are simply the best way to get hundreds of quilting pieces all the same size.

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Buttons and beautiful embroidery cottons will also be available on our stall, and several lucky customers will be given 10% off vouchers to use in the shop, so if you can’t see what you want on the day of the show, you can head into Ashford on Monday and see our full range.

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One of the fabric collections we know will get a special mention in Pluckley is the Downton Abbey range. Inspired by the iTV series which has just made a return to our screens (hurray for Granny Grantham and her one liners!) these fabrics come in a range of subtle blues and greens, with vintage style patterns. Perfect for adding a little Downton glamour to your wardrobe (Lady Sybil’s blouses?) or transforming your bedroom into a proper ladie’s boudoir (Lady Mary’s curtains?) these gorgeous gems will be on sale at the Pluckley Craft Show from the Emporia Fabric and Craft stand all weekend.

The Pluckley Quilt and Craft Show takes place from 10.30am – 5pm Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September 2014 at Pluckley Village Hall. Entrance is £4.00 which includes a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake. 

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And in other news … Those of you who have fallen in love with our Poppykin owls and the Natsy Batsy bear will be delighted to know that we have more of both in stock right now. Colourful, patchwork sleepy owls have been joined by a wide awake button-eyed owl, alongside some heavy-bottomed doorstop owls in stripes. Joining the owls on the Emporia shelves just in time for autumn are these beautiful brand new bears – available in bright pink with white flowers, and duck egg blue with pink roses.  Perfect for brightening up any room, sofa or bed, these lovelies are in stock now and waiting to be taken to a caring home!