Meet the stallholders...tea and cake with Kirsty Neale from Hello Clementine
Kirsty lives in London and makes paper, yarn and fabric goods – prints, pictures, kits, homewares and accessories. She's a freelance designer and writer which gives her the flexibility to pursue her dream of selling her wonderful handmade creations.
Gorgeous apple decoration
Hi Kirsty, tell us a bit more about how you started Hello Clementine... I’ve been working full-time as a writer and designer/maker for around 8 years now. I’ve always made things, but only started doing it on a professional basis when I worked for a children’s magazine and took on responsibility for their ‘make-it’ column. When I left the job to go freelance, I carried on creating art and craft projects for other magazines and eventually started my own blog. I’m now selling handmade pieces, as well as continuing to design and write.
Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from? It sounds like a horrible cliché, but I get ideas and inspiration from just about everything. Often it’s visual – I browse a lot of design blogs and websites like Flickr; sometimes it comes from a particular need (I’ve just started designing gadget cases because I couldn’t find one I liked for my new phone) and at other times it might be as random as something I’ve seen in the garden, heard on the radio or dreamed up while queuing in the post office.
Find Kirsty on Sunday 12th
Why did you want to be part of “It’s darling!”? A friend discovered you via Twitter, and passed on the details. I like the fact it combines vintage and handmade, and the idea that your events are a little more retro-stylish than the average craft fair.
Paper Angel kits
Are you doing anything special with your stall? I’ll be bringing along some Christmas angel kits, and I’m also working on a small range of pretty but inexpensive jewellery pieces especially for the event. There’ll be a few things suitable for men, too, just because they’re so often difficult to buy for, especially when it comes to handmade products!
Kirsty's gifts for men - robot cufflinks
Describe your ideal Christmas day... I always spend Christmas travelling across the country with my partner visiting our families, and as lovely as it is to see people, it would be nice to have less time in the car and more time relaxing with them. So, for a perfect Christmas, we’d stay at home, and all our relatives would somehow be transported to visit us here. We’d play silly board games, watch hardly any TV, and we’d mostly eat cake so no-one would have to stress over Christmas lunch.
What’s your favourite cake? And kind of tea?
I love carrot cake as long (as it’s got no evil raisins or sultanas) and also chocolate brownies. To my shame – I don’t drink tea or coffee. I generally stick with plain water, although I do love the citron pressé they serve in Café Rouge. When it comes to making cakes at home, I’m a big fan of Harry Eastwood’s Red Velvet & Chocolate Heartarche book (http://amzn.to/bHlU9m) - cakes made with plenty of healthy ingredients, including vegetables, but which still taste amazing.
What’s “It’s darling!” in your life? The same friend who introduced me to the world of ‘It’s Darling!’ recently gifted me the most gorgeous vintage teacup and saucer. I’d say it definitely qualifies as ‘darling’!