Posted in crafting

Have you been to the Museum lately? We have…

I know that I have been in the land of the missing but I haven’t been idle.

In the midst of doing all my ‘making’ … you know, sewing and painting and crafting,

I’ve joined a new design team and I will let you know more about that in another post.

I’ve been learning some new skills because life is too short to sit doing nothing and when you are as nosey I mean as inquisitive as me it’s good to keep mixing those little grey cells!

And we have managed to fit in some craft fairs too.

Over the summer months we have been fortunate to be able to take our crafts to two fairs both of which were hosted in Museums. It’s been lovely to get out and about and see how it ‘used to be’ and to get to share our ‘Crafty makes’ with the lovely public who have been enjoying their days out and about.

In early July we were at the Ulster Museum in Cultra to ‘Mingle the Moilies’ celebrating this rare breed of heritage cattle. The weather was amazing and it was a real carnival atmosphere. Alongside the cattle, there was a craft fair where all crafts had to link back to our heritage, so everything was handmade or hand crafted, all crafters were in a huge marquee and The Crafty Pixy was located between a master saddler and a man throwing clay pots … how bizarre. It was a great day, there was even a wedding going on with the whole wedding party out and about and the bride in a horse drawn carriage just alongside us, the bridesmaids couldn’t resist and they came tottering around the marquee in all their finery. You just couldn’t guess what was going to come along next. We had tourists from Texas and China and local folks out for family picnics or a pleasant walk around the exhibits and a wee visit to our craft fair was thrown in for good measure. Definitely an eclectic mix, it was a real fun day.

Wonderful opportunity to meet this lovely native breed

Irish Moiled Cattle Society

Mingle with the Moilies this Saturday 8th July at The Ulster Museum, Cultra, from 10am to 5pm…….full day of activities!

We look forward to welcoming the Ards & North Down Mayor and in addition to our cattle classes, judged by Albert Baxter, Trevor Chadwick & Philip Mellor, traditionally/best dressed classes, cattle clipping demo by Eamon McGarry Cattle Services, young handlers with Maggie McQuiston, cookery demo by Aoife Clayton, kids activities with Alison Boyle, jiving competition judged by YFCU President James Speers, the Ballyvesey bovine from Laurelview Farm, stock judging and ‘Guess the Weight Competition’, we will also have the following traditional crafters in the marquee – BowCrafty, The Journeyman Saddler, The Messy Craftroom, From Granny’s Pantry, Blue House Gifts, Tandem Photography NI, Stitched Stuff, Bluebell Handmade Jewellery, Libby’s Crochet Patch, The Crafty Pixy, Bayview Ceramics and Bobble Crafts. The Farm Families Health Check Mobile will be on site and farm safely packs are available. Don’t forget to enter the competitions, milk the moilie and enjoy learning more about our unique breed.

The event would not be possible without our sponsors on board. Many thanks to our numerous supporters including;

Massey’s Butchers, Saintfield, Corrie’s Butchers, Holywood, Angus Butchers, Greyabbey, Pheasants Hill Farm Shop, Downpatrick, The Curious Farmer, Holywood, Robert Berry, Farm Manager at the UTFM, The Ark Open Farm, Newtownards, Johanna Montgomery Kitchen Designs, Martinstown, The White Bicycle, Holywood, Ulster Farmers Union, South Antrim Office, Lough Bishop B&B House, Mullingar, Manor House Farm B & B, Uttoxeter, Fane Valley Agricultural Merchant HQ, Sam McConnell Agricultural Merchant, Lisburn, Drumnakilly Supplies, Omagh, Castlewellan Show, Antrim Agricultural Show, Tullamore Show, Bannow & Rathangan Show, Plantation Press, Lisburn, Anonymous Sponsor, Ulster Weavers, Holywood plus those donating prizes for the evening raffle. If you have any enquiry relating to the open day please get in touch! See you there!

And, if you are going to visit one Museum… why not two?

If you are local to Northern Ireland you will probably have heard of Bangor, that’s Bangor County Down. In Bangor there is a Museum, the ‘North Down Museum’. I only found out about it last December when we took a table at a craft fair there. It’s a great little museum, lots of nooks and crannies and things that are peculiar to Bangor. For instance there is a little cinema inside the museum and it’s fitted out with some of the seats and cinematic things from the Tonic Cinema, which was open from 1936 until 1983 and I think anyone who knows Bangor, knew The Tonic, the museum even has some old films running in their mini Tonic Cinema and you can take a seat and watch the show.

You can find lots to do in the Museum there is a super wee coffee shop/restaurant called Coffee Cure, where they make absolutely fabulous traybakes & shortbread – you can read the paper or a book from their own library or just sit, relax and enjoy the experience.

Around another corner you can find this little house, it’s a replica of what they believe the Monks from Bangor Abbey would have lived in. It’s ‘The Monks Cell’ if you look to the right of the photo there is a glass walkway and during the Summer Market you would have found us there…

So that’s my cultural chatter finished and now on to my normal Crafty patter.

This is our stall (before the Market opened), and the whole surroundings lend themselves to displaying my crafted goods, even the giant green grasshopper lends a hand and he is a huge talking point especially with the little ones! Those fabulous stone balustrades are perfect for displaying quilts pillows and handmade bags… well you have to make the best of whatever you are given!

What a fabulous place to be, so many gorgeous historic things and we had a whole weekend to wander the halls and take in the displays and chat to the many who visited.

The variety of stalls was excellent from jewellery to turned wood bowls to quilts, bags and even reclaimed goods where there was a stall displaying and selling wonderful things like horseshoes made into wine racks. It was a brilliant weekend. From that chats we had with people visiting the Fair, they were delighted with the range of items for sale and with the quality and variety of the products.

We are very grateful to the lovely people who stopped by and bought items or had a chat it makes the whole event so much more personal and memorable, so thanks folks, I hope that everyone who purchased enjoys their products. I am very interested in aromatherapy and the use of essential oils and make lavender bags for hanging in rooms and wardrobes, sachets and ravioli for drawers and heated pillows and wraps for comfort. I also enjoy the garden and grow lots of lavender in many varieties which we harvest and dry for using in our products. We have had some very fine weather this year and it’s resulted in a great crop of lavender so there have been many great conversations about garden lavender; how we grow ours, how we cut and dry it and use it in a range of products including scented ravioli. More than a few garden tips have been exchanged and secreted for use later on, thanks to those who shared 😍

We had a wonderful summer Market/Fair and are now preparing for the Christmas Market which will be held late November early December I think, (I’ll keep you posted on that) so fingers crossed that Donna and her team let us back!

The museum staff are really friendly and helpful so if you fancy a cup of coffee or tea and a wee bit of culture why not pop in….

I did say we had a really busy time recently, final snippet of news.

Our family has had a new addition…. we have a beautiful new granddaughter Isla Rachel and she arrived on 4th August; her Mums birthday. The very best present that Sara could have ever hoped for. I guess we will be finding a new way to celebrate those two birthdays for the future. We are very fortunate and have 5 grandchildren that we love, 3 boys and 2 girls. Somehow I’m not convinced that’s the final count…

See you next time Marie x

Ps I’m working towards getting an online shop up and running. If you have any ideas or suggestions or ‘wants’, please don’t be shy, drop me an email or text, I’d be very grateful xxx


I have loved making 'things' as long as I can remember. I love quilting, patchwork, fabric and multimedia crafting. TheCraftyPixy as a name started as a bit of fun but I love 'playing' so much, it has stuck! Family and friends ask 'where is she, is she playing?' meaning am I upstairs in my craft room working or playing.... I make samples of quilted and fabric items for television, magazines, social media and for demonstrations. I sell handmade items and take orders or special commissions. I have committed to two craft fairs this year at the North Down Museum in Bangor. As well as this I'm also working with a friend printing personalised items to order; clothing, caps, stationery and craft, there is a large selection of designs already available (and this is growing daily...). From here ..... the world is my oyster or my lobster- depending on who you listen to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s