Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair

Looking for some one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or to give others as a gift this Christmas season? Why not head to the 22nd annual Winter Fine Art and Antiques Fair in Olympia. The fair starts on the 12th of November and ends the 18th of November. We at The Amazing Blog thought this would be a great opportunity to view and even purchase some antique pieces for your homes.

The fair attracts a multitude of consumers, from collectors, to interior designers, and even celebrities. Even if you don’t feel like purchasing one of the many classic pieces featured at the fair, why not take a day trip with some friends to take a look at the exquisite antiques and even enjoy a delicious catered meal by Mosimann’s. The fair features about 140 exhibitors from all over who will showcase for purchase the best in classic furniture, textiles, clocks, paintings, prints, sculpture and much more. All items on sale are examined by a team of experts to ensure each consumer is receiving the best in quality and authenticity.

In an elegant setting, there are marvellous pieces on display. Scottish-based, Victorian picture dealer, Campbell Wilson, has an oil on canvas portrait of Isadora Duncan by Paul Swan signed and dated. The most famous dancer of her time, Isadora Duncan is known as ‘the mother of modern dance.’ It is for sale for £15,000. Although most antiques come at a hefty cost, there are more affordable pieces on sale too. For the James Bond lover, Hampton Antiques have several items that could leave you “shaken and stirred.” A very rare Art Deco ‘Smokers’ Companion, in the form of a stylised aeroplane manufactured in the late 1920s will be for sale. This wonderfully rare smoker’s companion includes a cigar box, removable cigarette cases, and ashtrays all included in the design of the aeroplane. It will be offered for £6,500.

Ticket prices and times can be found on the fair’s website here. The Winter Fine Art and Antiques Fair is a great way to enhance the quality of collections in your home, as well as finding some interesting Christmas presents for your family and friends. So head to the Winter Fine Art and Antiques Fair next week, we promise you won’t regret it!

Chocolate Creative

Having lived in the same bedroom for the last five years with the same furniture and decoration, give or take a few pictures on the wall and decorative candles, I’ve decided it’s time to update my boudoir and give it a fresh new look. With neither the budget to invest in a complete set of new furniture nor the skills to fashion my own DIY crafts for the home, I have been on the hunt for easy, simple and affordable ways to update my furnishings and hopefully add a stylish edge touch to my existing belongings. As always, I knew I wouldn’t be searching long thanks to my colleagues here at the Amazing Blog and sure enough they came up trumps by introducing me to Chocolate Creative. Chocolate Creative is a London based boutique homewares and accessories brand focused on sustainable, hand-made products, combining traditional skills such as cross stitch and embroidery with silkscreen printing. Inspired by traditional crafts, antiques, vintage textiles and images Chocolate Creative have created a range of products ranging from handmade natural linen cushions to bone china mugs. Here at the Amazing Blog we love the new range of wooden wall hooks and furniture knobs which are handmade in Chocolate Creative’s studios and guaranteed to transform the plainest furniture or wall space with their bright colours and vintage glamour inspired designs. Adorned with old fashioned landscapes and vintage embroidery and available in a range of colours to suit any colour scheme, the hooks and knobs can be used to decorate walls and furniture in an instant. We love the hooks for adding a touch of glamour (and are always handy for hanging coats, scarves, bags and hats) and the knobs which are great for adding a personal touch to newly bought cabinets or chest of drawers or for giving old furniture a new lease of life.

Chocolate Creative is available to buy online here.

Made By Hands Of Britain

Much has been made, in recent years, of the benefits of shopping local. Not only are you supporting home grown trade, but generally you’ll find products are higher in quality and as they’re not mass produced, purchases are far more unique, and thus perfect for treating either yourself or a loved one to something extra-special.

If however, you don’t have the time (or indeed the inclination) to spend your Saturday mornings trawling round craft fairs, or seeking out a nearby independent boutique, then Made By Hands Of Britain is the perfect solution. Founded by Gillian Montegrande just over a year ago, this beautiful website has on offer some of the finest items of British craftsmanship available exclusively online. Inspired by a love and appreciation of local skill and artistry, Gillian spotted a niche in the market that was yet to be filled. And so saw the birth of Made By Hands Of Britain which showcases over 190 of Britain’s finest craftsmen, all under one virtual roof. With an array of unique and inspiring items from confectionary to handwoven scarves and 18ct gold jewellery, there’s something to suit everyone, whatever your style or budget.

And while buying handmade gifts from this fabulous website supports local artisan communities, it also means you will be investing in pieces that will endure the test of time, unlike much of what is available on our high streets. One’s carbon footprint is drastically reduced and the seller’s eco-credentials are increasingly higher than large chains, due largely to the way in which they craft their items – by hand rather than by machine.

I particularly liked the Gift part of the website, which had a huge spectrum of offerings available. With sellers including Alexandra Abraham: Artist and Jewellery Designer, who sources her materials from the Thames Foreshore and forgotten rubbish tips, Lucy Alexandra Batt – whose handmade glass pieces are intricately carved and embellished with intimate floral or abstract patterns and Geoffrey Fisher – a Buckinghamshire-based designer who works exclusively in wood, there are some truly fabulous ideas for anyone who needs help with present buying.

So if, like us at The Amazing Blog, you're sick of Britain's copycat high streets, and want to support local trade, check out Made By Hands Of Britain and indulge in the very best of British craftmanship.