With just 4 days to go until Good Friday we thought we would run with an Easter theme for this week's blog post, so have shared some of our favourite rabbit themed gifts from just a few of our fabulous vintage and handmade sellers.
We can't vouch that these items will still be available for sale, but there will be plenty more lovely things to see and buy from these great folks at our next event, The Spring Into Summer Fair on Sunday 8th April.
Happy Easter everyone!
We know Spring is just around the corner, somewhere! In anticipation of some better weather and the appearance of spring flowers we have picked out 10 of our favourite floral designs, all from some of the fabulous exhibitors who will be taking part in The Spring Into Summer Fair at La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Sunday 8th April.
The Spring Into Summer Fair takes place from 12 to 5pm on Sunday 8th April at La Mon Hotel & Country Club. Admission costs £2 for adults and children go free. And don't forget that everyone will be able to enter the free draw for the chance to Win Afternoon Tea for 2!
With only one week to go until Mothering Sunday we have rounded up twelve of our favourite gifts ideal for showing Mum how much you care. What's more they are all from some of the creative folks who will be exhibiting at THE BELFAST CATHEDRAL WEDDING FAIR on Saturday 10th March so if you like leaving things to the last minute then we have you sorted!
THE BELFAST CATHEDRAL WEDDING FAIR takes place from 12-5pm on Saturday 10th March at the Cathedral of St Annes, Belfast.
We do love a bit of sparkle and shine at Frock HQ, so with just under 2 weeks to go until The Belfast Cathedral Wedding Fair on Saturday 10th March we thought we would share our amazing jewellery designers with you. Not just for brides, the wedding fair will be the perfect place to pick up gorgeous bridesmaid jewellery and gifts for the Mothers of the bride and groom too!
Jeanette from Maryanna's Jewellery designs and makes unique, timeless and elegant bridal jewellery and gorgeous hair accessories. Works of art, they often incorporate genuine gemstones like emeralds, sapphire, pearls, topaz, and garnets, and because each piece is handcrafted with you in mind it will never be seen on anyone else.
For more information visit Maryanna's Jewellery on Facebook.
Norma Jean Vintage stocks the most fabulous range of antique and vintage jewellery and bridal accessories. Norma also reworks 1940's/1950's brooches and rhinestones together with vintage lace into the most stunning bridal and special occasion hair combs, all unique to you.
Julie from The Pretty Curious Design Studio says "My designs are inspired by many things, from flowers, birds, butterflies and other winged creatures, to old novels and pure whimsy. I have a penchant for Alice in Wonderland imagery and love woodland themed pieces too". Julie has been making jewellery and all kinds of lovely things for over 10 years. Using a range of new and vintage items in her designs, each item is carefully handmade with love and attention to detail. Custom orders are welcome, and wedding discount packages are available.
Erin of Erincraft Jewellery has an affinity with hearts and flowers, so many of her designs are perfect for brides and bridesmaids in particular. Her handmade sterling silver jewellery collections include pendants, rings, bangles and earrings, predominantly inspired by nature. Each piece comes in a white presentation box with the Erincraft logo, and gifts for bridesmaids come with a Thank You presentation card too.
Our Event Manager Norma Smallwood (of Norma Jean Vintage fame) has launched her new jewellery range Arsenic & Old Lace. This venture showcases her own silver jewellery designs, inspired by the landscape, flora and fauna of Northern Ireland, as well as redesigned vintage jewellery pieces, and a gorgeous collection of old Irish linens and lace.
You can find out more by visiting Arsenic & Old Lace on Facebook and Instagram. You will also be able to see Norma's beautiful creations when she exhibits at The Belfast Cathedral Wedding Fair on Saturday 10th March.
In this evening's MEET THE WEDDING SUPPLIER post we are delighted to introduce you to Anne McBride from Eclectic Cake Box who creates beautiful bespoke cake designs to impress and leave you with your taste buds well and truly tickled! We are delighted that she will be exhibiting at The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair at Belfast Cathedral this Saturday 6th May, and she has also donated a fantastic prize for the day. This week we caught up with Anne for a chat about weddings and cakes, so why not make yourself a cup of tea and find out what goes on behind the scenes in her creative kitchen!
So Annie, tell us about your background and how your business started?
My love of cake was born at the same time as my kids. Having family means get-togethers, special events to celebrate and parties to cater for. Obviously a party without cake is just a meeting so I rolled up my sleeves, popped my little peeps into their daddy’s strong arms and taught myself to bake delicious cake and host fantastically themed parties! I may have a touch of OCD when it comes to making things aesthetically pleasing so everything had to tie together. The theme, colour scheme and décor, along with a striking cake centrepiece that would pull all this together!
After about 10 years of throwing awesome parties, I moved on to making novelty cakes for other’s special events. Then encouraged to try social media, I needed to come up with a name to represent my passion for all things quirky, my love for elegance with a dash of vintage charm and my darker side, where I get to set my inner goth free; Eclectic Cake-Box was the obvious choice!
How did you move into the wedding market?
Moving into the wedding market, meant I could further indulge my passion for styling and create stunning edible centrepieces, because let’s face it, weddings are magical and seem to make everything shimmer and sparkle. Not only am I able to create your dream wedding cake, I can set up and style your cake table, make and create coordinating dessert tables and supply creative favours for your guests.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The wedding cake is still very much an important tradition, although they have developed somewhat over the past few years. I believe this is for the better, it seems anything is possible and certainly makes the wedding much more personal to each couple. I design the cakes using your theme, colour scheme and any personal traits or quirks you want to include. Each one is unique and bespoke to you. I will spend a lot, some might say too much, time on Pinterest fanning over other’s cakey skills and becoming encouraged to push the boundaries and experiment with new techniques, always whilst adding my own twist. Using only the freshest eggs and butter, quality ingredients and luxury chocolate your cake is sure to not only wow your guests, but leave you all with your taste buds well and truly tickled.
Since my cake business is part time, I have the added luxury of giving your cake a lot of attention. I only take a maximum of 2 commissions a month. I am extremely passionate about what I do and often it can become all consuming. From the initial concept idea through to snapping the set up pic at the venue, I endeavour to make it the best I possibly can! I am also fortunate enough to have a Mr Eclectic who carefully drives me and my tasty creations to venues all over Northern Ireland and patiently waits while I tweak and style to perfection.
Do you have any tips for brides and grooms?
Remember all the planning and organising will pay off. Enjoying your wedding day is the most important aspect of all, it marks the next chapter in your love story. Also, aim to steal a moment just to savour all your efforts too.
I look forward to meeting many of you at the upcoming Fayre where we can talk cake, try some tasty samples and I'll be giving away some vouchers too. Anne x
For more information please visit the Eclectic Cake Box website and also follow on Facebook.
Competition Alert! One very lucky bride and groom visiting The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair at Belfast Cathedral this Saturday 6th May will win a £100 gift voucher to spend at Eclectic Cake Box as part of our fabulous wedding fair prize package!
In this evening's MEET THE WEDDING SUPPLIER post we are delighted to introduce you to Naomi Campbell who bakes wedding cakes that are a treat to the eyes and the palette! Cakes by Naomi bake unique, delicious, bespoke wedding and celebration cakes for any occasion, handmade to your requirements. With macarons, brownies and traybakes as well as celebration cakes, Naomi has been baking and delighting customers for many years. We are delighted that she will be exhibiting at The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair on Saturday 6th May, and she has also donated a fantastic prize for the day. This week we caught up with Naomi for a chat about weddings and cakes, so why not make yourself a cup of tea and find out what goes on behind the scenes in her creative kitchen!
So Naomi, tell us a bit about your background and how your cake business started?
I've always loved baking and people have always loved eating it! I have a large family of 5 children ranging from 17 yrs to 6yrs, and they are my inspiration. I discovered my love and natural talent for cake designing / decoration by making many Celebration cakes for family and friends, and I then went on to complete the ABC level 2 cake decoration course in which I passed all units with merits. I am fully registered with Belfast council and have a food hygiene rating of 5 ( scores of the doors 5) and am fully insured.
What services do you offer to brides and grooms?
I offer a friendly and personal service to all my clients. I work from home and use only the highest quality ingredients to ensure that your cake tastes divine. They are freshly baked to order and I offer an extensive range of flavours to suit every taste and am happy to accommodate any special requests. My champagne and strawberry cake is always popular for weddings and I can even turn your favourite cocktail into cake!
Do you offer a range of styles?
I offer wedding cake consultations where we can discuss the bride and grooms requirements and I then design the bespoke wedding cake of their dreams tailor made for their wedding, which can be anything from traditional, vintage, or sophisticated, to a unique and quirky novelty cake!
I also offer a delivery and set up service locally or across Ireland to ensure your day is perfect. I can also supply cupcakes, macarons, biscotti and salted caramel chocolates and truffles all perfect for wedding favours.
Do you have any tips for brides and grooms?
My recommendations to brides and grooms would be to book their cake early to guarantee availability. The design can then be decided on once they have decided on a style, theme or colour scheme for their wedding. When consulting with couples I look at all aspects of their wedding from their venue, dresses, suits, colour schemes, decorations and personalities so that they get the perfect wedding cake design to suit them.
For more information please follow Cakes By Naomi on Facebook.
Competition Alert! One very lucky bride and groom visiting The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair at Belfast Cathedral on Saturday 6th May will win one of Naomi's wedding cakes to the value of £250 (or £250 off the value of their wedding cake). This is a fantastic prize, bound to really make a happy couple's day and is part of our fabulous wedding fair prize package.
We hope all our readers have enjoyed a wonderful Easter break. We're back at work early as we have The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair less than 3 weeks away and we have lots of news about our fantastic exhibitors to share before then! In today's MEET THE WEDDING SUPPLIER post we are delighted to introduce you to the lovely John and Annie from Rose Cottage Events. We caught up with them recently to chat about all things wedding, so why not make yourself a cup of tea and sit down to find out what goes on behind the scenes at Rose Cottage HQ?
So John and Annie, tell us a little about your background and how your business started?
We are a small family run business who had initially, for some years, been doing this type of service free of charge for friends and family. It was in early 2015 when we decided to give it a go as a small business. Since going live in September 2015 we have grown steadily, and have had fabulous feedback from our clientele. We are "Event Planners" which means we do more than just weddings. We can cater for any event.
What products or services do you offer that are suitable for weddings?
Our products, where possible are the real thing...the majority of our props are originals, some dating from late 1800's to early 1900's. We can cater from room dressing right down to the finer little details. Some of our props can be hired as a gift for the bride and groom for their special day, for example one of our gorgeous postboxes. We also have our personalised, handmade, bespoke items, which can be purchased from our new online shop, which should be going live for Monday 10th April 2017. The shop will be accessed via our website www.rosecottageevents.com Brides, or guests, can browse for a lovely gift for themselves, a friend or a family member.
Is Rose Cottage Events only available locally or do you travel across Ireland?
We cover the island both North and South of Ireland and have travelled to the Republic of Ireland on a number of occasions, with more bookings being taken for 2017/18.
Where does your inspiration for your styling ideas come from?
Our inspiration usually comes from our our own imagination and creativity. We have a knack of looking at something and seeing what it can become…for example a piece of wood fallen from our trees.
Do you have any wedding planning tips for brides and grooms?
Our wedding tips for any bride would be this.....Make your wedding day your own, don't let others take over your dream...its ok having help and advice or throwing ideas about to get a clear picture of what you are looking for, but don't let anyone take over to the point that its their day instead of yours. But do allocate little jobs to the bridal party so you're not over-stressed trying to do everything yourself. Our other main tip would be.. too many brides end up so nervous and stressed on their special day that it passes them by with no real memory of it....so after all the hustle and bustle getting to and arriving for your special day, take a moment, a couple of deep breaths and look around you, physically make your eyes and mind take everything in around you, so you don't miss out on the beauty of your special day, and how it has all come together....and enjoy it to the full xx
"We at Rose Cottage Events, endeavour to help create your dreams with our ideas and to inspire you, while you still hold the reins."
For more information please visit the Rose Cottage Events website where the Online Shop is now open. You can also follow Rose Cottage Events on Facebook.
And great news for one lucky bride and groom visiting The Vintage & Handmade Wedding Fair at Belfast Cathedral on Saturday 6th May - Rose Cottage Events have included free hire of one of their vintage postboxes as part of our fantastic prize package bundle!
In today's MEET THE MAKER post we are delighted to be introducing you to the lovely ladies at Camran Crafts - creators of melt-in-the-mouth, scrumptious, artisan marshmallows. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of tasting these delicious confections then you will be in for a treat if you visit our event this weekend as they will be exhibiting at The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 2nd April. This week we caught up with the lovely ladies for a bit of a chat about all things marshmallow, so why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to enjoy what goes on behind the scenes at Camran Crafts..........
So ladies, we have long been big fans of yours but could you tell us your background and how Camran Crafts started?
We started the business after our children expressed an interest in marshmallows, but did not like the texture or the artificial taste of shop purchased ones. After lots of research and little piles of 'not quite there' mallows, the camran mallow was born! Our children have additional needs so are very, very particular. We were able to produce an all natural, gluten, fat and dairy free mallow that melted in the mouth and they loved it. The business was then developed to not only have an opportunity to share these amazing little bites of confectionery but to raise awareness and funding for Autism related projects.
How would you describe your business and what you do?
Our business is fun! We are so fortunate to be in the position to do what we do. Our customers love telling us what flavour combinations they would like us to make and revel in giving us wee challenges to rise to. The texture of our mallows is so very different and one of the biggest smiles we give is when someone says "well I wasn't expecting that... I don't even like marshmallows... can I take a bag of those and those please"!
We hear you have recently been nominated for some awards???
Our Strawberry & Champagne mallow made the finals of Blas Na Eireann and our Orange, Mango and Gin earnt us the title of Small Producer of the Year from the Irish Food and Drinks Quality Awards team. .... humbling and honoured on both accounts. Our true award though are our customers - we love them and really enjoy the time they spend to come and talk to us and share their stories whilst having a mallow sampling journey.
Where does the inspiration for your flavours come from?
We are well known for mallows and alcohol.... particularly whiskey or gin! Necessity or Fun??? - we will let you decide! The children inspire a lot of the flavours (without the booze!), they are young enough to not be tainted by thinking that savoury is savoury and you don't mix sweet with it... so they have great ideas. Not all of them work, but we have a go at most of them. Alongside our customers, this wee country has so much to offer and inspires us all the time. Our Whiskey & Chocolate mallow is made with that lovely north coast nectar and chocolate from Wee ChoCo which has gorgeous fruit undertones to complement the honey and vanilla in the whiskey. With plenty of Cider companies around and gorgeous apples grown here we have been inspired to produce an apple and candied chilli mallow. The chilli doesn't provide a kick in the mallow, it warms the apple and creates a more intense taste sensation. Sometimes we genuinely just blurt out flavours whilst having coffee and see what happens. We did say it was fun!
What are your plans for the future?
To remain happy and slightly sane. We will be going through a rebranding exercise in 2017 and our packaging is being redesigned. We have a few collaborations planned throughout the year too so keep an eye out for those.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Frock Fair customers and events team. The locations of these events are first class and we truly have an amazing time exhibiting. They are so well organised and the customers are always so kind and considerate that you hardly feel like you are working at all!
For more information on these delectable treats you can visit the Camran Crafts website and also follow them on Facebook.
You can also catch Camran Crafts at Belfast Castle this Sunday where they will be exhibiting as part of The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair.
COMPETITION ALERT!! One lucky person will also soon be able to win some delicious Carmran artisan mallows as part of our April Prize Package this Sunday 2nd April at Belfast Castle!
In today's MEET THE MAKER post we are delighted to be introducing you to Rosemary McCartney - the creative genius behind Simply Spun. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing her work then you will be in for a treat if you visit our next event as she will be exhibiting at The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair at Belfast Castle on Sunday 2nd April. But for now, why not make yourself a nice cup of tea and sit down to enjoy what goes on behind the scenes at Simply Spun..........
So Rosemary, how did Simply Spun begin?
My Mum taught me to knit and sew as a child. As part of my job at the Ulster Folk Museum I learned to weave and spin. Work and family commitments meant that it was not till I left the Museum in 2009 that I started to think about producing work for sale. My other love is teaching and I believe that our traditional crafts/skills still have a place today and should be passed on to others.
So in 2010 Simply Spun was set up. At first it was just spinning yarns to produce knit wear to sell at craft fairs. Then I got a loom with the help of an Individual Artist grant from the Arts Council NI / National Lottery. This meant I could combine yarn spinning and weaving to make a shawl which was displayed at the RDS Dublin show. A different shawl was also displayed the following year. So I have now added woven scarves to my range.
And where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get my inspiration for ideas and colours from my love of nature, the outdoors, walking and gardening and because of this I use natural materials in my work.
What is next for Simply Spun?
In the last eighteen months I have been weaving tapestry pictures. My next project idea is for a woven piece that can by displayed in the garden for my entry in an upcoming competition.
Rosemary also undertakes commissions and welcomes enquires for weaving and spinning lessons, demonstrations or group workshops. For more information visit Simply Spun on Facebook.
You can also catch Rosemary at Belfast Castle this Sunday where she will be exhibiting as part of The Spring Into Summer Vintage & Handmade Fair.
COMPETITION ALERT!! One lucky person will also soon be able to win a beautiful pair of Simply Spun handmade wrist warmers as part of our April Prize Package on Sunday 2nd April at Belfast Castle!