Celebrating craft and diversity in Bethnal Green

Last Saturday I had an exceptionally rare day off. It was a gorgeous day so I slapped on the factor 50 and my trusty sunhat, hopped on my bike and headed down to Bethnal Green.  My destination was Craftacular, a craft fair put on by Bust magazine.

The hall was packed with crafters purveying their wares, from cakes to crockery, knickers to knitting.


Weirdly, I found myself simultaneously over- and under-whelmed with the whole thing.  I was staggered by the huge number of incredibly talented people who were all making the most beautiful things. But at the same time, not a lot of it was really my style – I don’t really do “pretty-pretty” and I’m hopeless with accessories.

Still, I bought some gold-painted ceramic earrings from By Louise, some super-cute Love Heart buttons (from the fabulous Lilley – go see her shop, you can buy glow-in-the-dark ninjas!) and an amazing diet-breaking slab of cheesecake from Coco & Me. I also loved the sinister ink-pen illustrations by Dan Hillier – if anyone wants to buy me something big, one of those would do just fine!

Drawn by the sound of live music,  I headed across the road to the New Voices festival in the park next to the Bethnal Green museum of childhood. On stage were Aar Maanta, a fantastic Somali band who really got the crowd going.

After them, there was this:

That’s Morenada Bloque Kantuta – a Bolivian dance parade troupe. They looked absolutely amazing with the sun glinting off their brightly-coloured costume. An unexpected riot of colour on a rather random afternoon – and I managed not to get sunburnt!

One response to “Celebrating craft and diversity in Bethnal Green

  1. I was there too at the New Voices festival, a nice family friendly festival. Great blog by the way and yes Aar Maanta was great and so were there Peruvian dancers!

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