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BECCMARK June newsletter by Alison Smith
Hi everyone. So here we are half way through the year June already. Although I must confess that of course I am writing this to you in the month of May, the 3rd to be exact and if you step outside you would probably think it to be more like the 3rd of November – Hopefully June will be warmer – a lot Warmer!
One country that has more than it’s fair share of sunshine is Africa, which neatly brings me to introduce you to one of our stall holders. Carol Whitehead has the most amazing stall selling products from Africa. I asked her about her stall and this is what she said:- “Bourne End has been my home for 35 years along with my late husband, children and grandchildren. For many years I worked as a senior career for social services. To relax, I enjoy gardening, cooking and especially jewellery making and crafts.
It was in my homeland of Kenya in East Africa, as a child, that I learnt from my grandma and then later became qualified in the intricate craft of Masai bead making as well as basketry. My brightly coloured baskets are made entirely from natural materials – sisal plants and leather – and using dyes from roots and leaves. I taught many women and children from the poorer villages so that they too could make a living selling what they made to shops and tourists. The proceeds invariably help pay the all important school fees – state education is not free as is it in the UK – as well as daily food and clothing needs.
These days I also make jewellery using precious and semi-precious stones including jade, malachite, sapphire, amethyst, mother of pearl and abalone shells. The pieces are something you will treasure for many years especially since these stones are becoming rarer due to overdevelopment and climatic change. I joined Bourne End Community & Craft Market, in the library three years ago and very much enjoy the friendly atmosphere and talking to people with similar interests. Whether you are on the lookout for a genuine hand-made gift or just enjoy a mooch around, come along to see me at our next fair.”
Africa makes me also think of safari and the wild animals there. We have our own set of wild animals and domestic ones at BECCMARK. Of course not real but in felt form.
Sally Boyce is the very cleaver lady who make these animals. She started doing crafts whilst at home looking after her young son. She was then asked to make items for her Mum’s craft stall and that’s when it all evolved and her craft experience began. Sally has tried her hand at many crafts from latch hook to sewing, eventually doing some felt dogs and cats that became very popular. Now she practically has nearly every animal you could think of on her stall and it’s a grand display. They make brilliant presents for all sort of occasions.
As I write this newsletter, I find I have my three cats standing around the fireplace. No they are not waiting for the fire to be lit but for the mouse that has made its way in and has found itself trapped in the hearth with three set of beady eyes looking at it. So before total carnage takes place, I will finish and wish you all well and let’s hope for a warm and enjoyable June. Ok now to retrieve a mouse!
Alison Smith – Crafter
June 10th, July 8th, August 12th, September 9th, October 14th, November 11th and December 9th.
For information visit http://www.BECCMARK.co.uk or call 07989716635 or email firstname.lastname@example.org