Guest blog: Swarovski Create Your Style sparkles at the Handmade Fair.

Of course, the Swarovski Create Your Style lifestyle brand was at The Handmade Fair this year! You couldn’t have missed it because the stand was decorated to look like an old-fashioned sweet shop bursting with colour and brightness.

Swarovski was partnering with UK’s Beads Direct, and there were packs of crystals and pearls for decorating one’s favourite textiles and accessories with all the colours of the rainbow. It was especially great to see the excitement on children’s faces as they explored the crystals on Saturday. Bustling crafters were filling the tent all over the weekend, interacting with Beads Direct, and admiring the crystals.

On top of that, there were daily 1–2pm workshops with the fabulously talented Christine Leech, author of many brilliant handcrafting books and well known for her fun, colourful, stylish and cool approach to handcrafting. Christine Leech had great fun with the crafters over the weekend in her workshops, creating bespoke patches with crystal and pearl patterns.

On Saturday the 16th, there was also a Create Your Style workshop live on stage with Kirstie Allsopp, the queen of handmade, who was wearing a dress designed by stylist and artist Rosy Nicholas embellished with blue crystals, each sewn on by hand to create an amazingly shimmering effect across the bodice. Another three experts of handcrafting—all specialists from Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria — were there to share their skills: Gabriele Huber with her sewing, knitting and stitching expertise; jewellery designer of distinction Marlene Kohlhofer; and textile and crafting expert Chloe. On top of this, there was some fabulous food, music and merriment, rounding up a truly inspiring weekend.