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Crafty Fox bonanza

Wow, I've had an amazing two weekends photographing the Crafty Fox Markets. This December there were not one, not two but three markets, with different makers in each spread over 2 weekends. And even  better OH was at a stag do so it meant I could attend both days of the Brixton Markets!
I treated myself some of Kate Rowlands  jewellery this year. I took a risk and also bought a lucky dip and was fully expecting to feel disappointed by what was inside but how wrong was I! The lucky dip was full of fabulous goodies!
I was really chuffed with this photo of Anna Collette Hunt work.
Atelier Stella' s work sells like hot cakes. So cute.... 
Was great to see Bex from Stuffed Nonsense back at the Crafy Fox. She is such an inspiration
I think I may have taken a picture of Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons, a great blog for budding sewers. She was also on the Great British Sewing Bee last year and is a Brixton local (at least I think it's her!). I only realised when I was editing photos when I got home, otherwise I would have said hello to her.
The difficult thing about taking photos of the Crafty Fox Market is trying to keep it looking fresh and different so I've been experimenting with shutter speeds and f stops and ended up with some really interesting shots.
How amazing are these felt needled taxidermy brooches from Bumble and Earwig 
Just INCREDIBLE
As I say the problem with doing Crafty Fox so often is that I often find drawn to my regular favourites! Pygmy Cloud makes me smile every time!
OK we've now moved into the second weekend of Crafty Fox, this time at the Bussey Building in Peckham and WOW! A M A Z I NG! such an incredible vibe. Above is the work of Lucy Loves This 
Alice from Birds in Hats was working on a new design. Yes well spotted it's not a bird but a very cute dinosaur and great to see artists at work, even during a very busy fair.
Couldn't resist another photo of Bumble and Earwig's work - how cute is this mole! Loved it!
This is the amazing Harriet Riddell who stitches a portrait in fabric whilst you wait. She was at the Crafty Fox's Cut and Paste shop (with Brixton's Brixi) launch and did a portrait of my friend Claire. She is a joy to watch!
Crafting is the new clubbing.....
And just look how busy the fair was. Everyone agreed it was just buzzing 
I arrived a little later than I would have liked (half an hour after it opened) and it was already busy. Many makers were selling out towards the end of the day. Just a most amazing event. I love that the Crafty Fox go from strength to strength, year on year. Such a privilege to be involved in a small way, and I love meeting so many creative and inspiring people. I wonder what 2014 has in store!

For more photos of Crafty Fox events, both mine and other photographers go to the Crafty Fox facebook page. Like what you see? Sign up to their mailing list!

What's in a name?

Over the past couple of years I've been taking photos for various events in Brixton on volunteer basis and I love it. Not only does it give me the opportunity to take photos of things I would normally photography but I also meet people I would not otherwise have met. I'm the official photographer for Brixton Splash and last year was the 50th Anniversary of Jamaican independence so they commissioned these graphics to help celebrate.
I absolutely loved them and Brixton High Street has never looked so good. The designer, Jon Daniel,  emailed me to asking if he could use some of my images of his work for various press things such as Design Week. I was of course delighted! But it also turns out that we share the surname! And neither of us have  met another Daniel (that's Daniel, not Daniels - there is only one of us at a time you know!) that we are not related to. We've been in touch on and off since last year but last week, to our delight, we finally met up! And phew, we got on like a house on fire! And we both have stamp collections (check out my Etsy shop and  you'll see why this made me smile). 

Jon had 2 exhibitions on the go when we met. The first was called Iconographic at the Clapham Picture House where I met him for a coffee. It was a celebration of Afro Pop Culture from the African Diaspora. And the collection was stunning. I love his graphic style. 
They are so fun, simple, colourful and you immediately know who they represent
Annoyingly the light wasn't great so apologies they're not amazing shots. 
But they looked impressive throughout the cafe area 
It was so hard to choose a favourite but I do love the image of Usain Bolt, Man of the Olympics last year. And I was also drawn to the image of Muhammad Ali. Unfortunately this exhibition is now over but prints are available from his website
His other exhibition is 'Afro Supa Hero' over at the V&A Museum of Childhood is of his collection of action figures, comics and games collected from when he was a child through to the present. The collection offers an insight into the experience of a boy of African Caribbean heritage growing up in the 60s and 70s. And I found it absolutely fascinating. 
I'm a couple of years younger than Jon (only a few mind!) and although we have completely different backgrounds there were some markers from my youth too. One of my earliest memories is watching the Jackson 5 on the TV whilst waiting for my dad to finish work. 
And I LOVED Mr T when I was growing up. As a teenager I even had a collection of faux bling which I would where every Friday night (when I went to Youth Orchestra - yep living the high life in Cumbria!) 
My friend Ben got me in to Lee Scratch Perry in the 90s, and OH is also a fan
And OH has recently got me into funk - here is George Clinton from Parliament. 
And I hope to see more of the Afro Supa Hero trade mark. 

It was such a great collection - this is just a small selection. I can highly recommend it regardless of your background. It will make you smile, but I also found it thought provoking. And if I hadn't volunteered to take photos for Brixton Splash last year I would never had  met Jon, nor seen more of his work, or these exhibitions. So my advise is take a risk, put yourself out there, do something for others and you never know where it will lead. It's certainly making my life more interesting, though I must admit it's also busy, busy, busy (though that is in now way a bad thing!).... And hopefully I'll be seeing more of my name sake in the future! 




The Lakeland home coming

Although I'm a proud Brixtonite having lived here for over 18 years I'm proud of my Cumbria routes too. I now go up to visit the folks and family in November rather than Christmas which is so less stressful all round. And I'm often really lucky with the weather. This year the storm clouds were out and for the most part the weather was awful.
Here's the view of the house from Dad's veg patch. As you can see grey and wet....
But dad's veg patch was looking good! He loves growing his veg and just look at those brussell sproats (which to me are the food of the gods!)
And look how red these sprouts are.....
Yes you read that right Dad is growing red Brussells Sprouts. Annoyingly they weren't read to eat so I didn't get a chance to sample them. But incredible!
But even in the rain the Autumn colours were so vibrant. Here are some leaves in the garden against the cold, wet stones of the barn with the fell in the background.   
Anyway on the Monday I jumped out of bed, put some clothes on and ran outside to try and capture the stunning light as the sun rose.
This is why I put the clothes on instead of just putting a coat on over my PJs, first frost of the year!  
 

We jumped in the car to try and take advantage of the perfect weather for a drive around the lakes. Here is Yew Tree Tarn just outside of Coniston (where I went to school).
 We then went to Derwent Water which is in Keswick. I love Derwent Water as I always get my waterbird fix. Love these geese feeding on  the grass next to the lake with the fells in the background.
 They really didn't care that there were people around as they're so used to them....
And of course the birds expected to be fed. Here's dad being quite brave kneeling down in front of a swan. I must admit I was petrified that they would peck me so I wasn't that fearless...
 
But this the view of the lake.
And the other way....  
I'd then requested to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle which I haven't visited since I was a kid. The colours were just perfect!

 I also jumped over this traditional lakeland style (love the dry stone work)
 
 To find another favourite of mine - sheep!
You've got to smile as this semi curious sheep
And these two looked as if they were behind bars!
Final lake stop was Ulleswater which in the right has amazing reflections
And views! Stunning
We then stopped near Lake Windermere and although the light was fading for landscape shots was able to take this shot of a leaf which looked as if it had 2 hearts cut into it!
Back home there were no sheep in the fields around the house but instead some heffers. They were reluctant models and a little jumpy.


And a little frisky to say the least!
Finally I went for a walk in the woods and found lots of mushrooms but on the way I stopped to take this photo of a traditional lakeland gate post. I thought I was going for a quite walk in the country (as mum and dad live in a very remote part of Cumbria) but within 10 mins saw 1 car, 2 walkers and the farmer on a quad bike  in the same field. It was like Picadilly Circus! Anyway it's always lovely to recharge the batteries but I'm always pleased to come back to London! Mum and I did some crafty goodness while I was up there too which I will blog about soon, promise.