Halloween Party Goods


Halloween Party Goods

Spooky Boots Dinnerware

Invent some cuteness to your spooky Halloween party. Serve your guests the mouth watering delicacies in Spooky Boots dinnerware. The Spooky Boots party plates small and large, Spooky Boots party cups, Spooky Boots party napkins and the Spooky Boots party plastic table cover would present more eeriness and fun to parting witches and monsters.
The cute kitty, witches boots and the broom could always kindle the feel of Halloween among the hearts of the guests. Specially the kids would enjoy eating their Halloween treats in Spooky Boots plates and sipping beverages from the Spooky Boots cups. A Spooky Boots party plates and cups pack has 8 pieces in each. In addition, the Spooky Boots napkin pack comes with 16 2-ply paper napkins. Lay all your scrumptious food and beverages on the Spooky Boot party plastic table cover. Add the complete Spooky Boot collection to your cart today to entertain your guest to the fullest.

Halloween Décor

You do not have to place real pumpkins in your doorway anymore. Why deal with messy issues when you could decorate your doorway and garden with inflatable Halloween pumpkins? The authenticity and ambience of an actual carved Halloween pumpkin is offered for a much lower price with our inflated pumpkins.
Send chills down your guests’ back when they reach the table to grab a sandwich. The Halloween hunted table décor is the perfect décor you could used to accentuate the creepiness of your Halloween party.

Halloween gifts

Greet your friends and family members with a special gift from our Halloween gift collection. Neon bat toys, spider rings would be the best choices you could think of to give goose bumps all over the receivers’ skin.
The Halloween crackers available in our collection could bring joy to your heart every time you hear a guest shrieking with joy once the tiny treat is found. Treat yourself, your friends and family with Halloween gifts that would engrave beautiful memories in their hearts.

arts and crafts

How Do Arts and Crafts Help During the COVID-19 Crisis?

The world has changed so much since the coronavirus pandemic came to hit us without a warning. Now, we are forced to stay home and only go out to buy our needs just so we can protect ourselves from this deadly virus and a lot of us are still trying to adjust to this “new normal.”

But in those days when we feel confined, bored, anxious, and frightened, we can always turn to arts and crafts to help us through the crisis. Here’s why:

Art helps relieve stress

When you paint, do crafts, play music or just immerse yourself in an art project, you’ll easily get lost in your thoughts and forget about the stresses that you’re facing even just for a few hours.

In fact, studies have shown that spending at least 45 minutes on an art project can help you relive stress, improve your memory and boost your critical thinking skills.

Art is a way of setting yourself free

Yes, you are confined in your home because it’s the right thing to do. Many of us mourn our freedom and the life that we know will never come back again.

But art is a way of expressing yourself freely and without any limits. In a time when you can only do so much in terms of movement, you have art as an avenue where you can be as creative as you want.

Arts and crafts allow you to be mobile

You’re probably guilty of spending more time lying in bed or on your couch for most of the day. While there’s nothing wrong with getting adequate rest, you should also need to be a bit more active to stay healthy.

Now if you’re not one to work out or play sports, you can do some arts and crafts projects to keep you mobile.

Art can inspire others

We all need each other at this point in time. Since we’re all put in the same situation, we can rely on each other for inspiration so we can all thrive during this pandemic.

Doing a simple painting or putting together a scrapbook can already inspire someone to keep going while it also benefits you physically and emotionally.

Arts and crafts are a great way to bond with family

You now have the time to spend with family because you’re all in the same space. So, why not make use of it by doing arts and crafts together? Children love doing art projects because it keeps them busy and it also benefits them mentally and emotionally.

You can organise projects for the entire family to complete like a mural wall in one of your rooms where everyone can contribute so you have something to remind you of your bonding time while on quarantine in your home.

The takeaway

We are all struggling in one way or the other due to this pandemic. But we should also remember that we are resilient human beings and that we can all come out of this better. For now, let’s focus on the good side of this situation and express ourselves through arts and crafts.



Fast Company: Art matters more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis

The Conversation: The importance of art in the time of coronavirus

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash


Be Unique With a Handmade Gift

Shopping for that perfect present can be very tricky and particularly time consuming but there’s really nothing better than finding the right thing and watching someone unwrap it just to see that look of amazement on their face – and the best way to secure present success is to buy handmade gifts.
There is so much amazing talent out there that you know you’ll always find the perfect present for that special someone in your life, whether you’re on the lookout for handmade bags, jewellery, home decor items or some lovely embroidery.

It can also be a bit difficult to shop for men upon occasion but finding something handmade will automatically show your recipient how much time you’ve spent hunting down the perfect present for them.

After all, who wouldn’t want something that no one else has and that really is the beauty about shopping for handcrafted items from artisan designer-makers – you know that everything is one of a kind and truly special, just like the person you are giving the present to.

Giving presents can be just as much fun as receiving them (some might even say it’s more fun!), particularly if you find that perfect gift that as soon as you see it makes you think of a certain person. So why not have a look around to see what amazing handmade items you can find? If you do, you know you’ll gain a reputation as being a really good present-giver – and people will really look forward to Christmases and birthdays!


Christmas Shopping

Online Christmas Shopping Is Where It’s At, Apparently!

It seems as though many of you are keen to avoid the hordes of Christmas shoppers out in their droves this year and will be choosing to buy Christmas gifts online instead.

Apparently,  two-thirds of you are intending to buy at least half of all your gifts on the internet this year, with just four per cent saying that they have no intention of buying anything online when it comes to Christmas shopping.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who live in rural communities are the ones most likely to head to the web to shop, with 91 per cent logging on regularly in order to shop till they drop.

What you do need to be aware of when buying online is your rights, however – earlier in 2015, new distance selling rules were brought in so as to protect people from any hidden costs and late delivery charges. The national charity found that three out of four people aren’t aware that they can cancel an online order or return their purchases within 14 days to get a full refund.

“Planning ahead now will make sure that your Christmas delivers. Late deliveries, faulty presents and unmanageable costs risk putting a dampener on the festive season. Make sure that you know your rights and have your budget in order before you part with your hard-earned cash,” Gillian Guy, chief executive with Citizens Advice, remarked.

Shopping online can be super convenient, particularly at this time of year when heading out to the shops along with thousands of other people can seem quite daunting, but just be careful and make sure you’re choosing to spend with a reputable company.

As it’s Black Friday tomorrow, please have a look at great selection of unique handmade gifts in Your Crafts Fair store.


Valentine Day message from Professor Hans von Puppet

Here is the advice from the Valentine’s Day expert Professor Hans von Puppet

Watch this video!


Valentine’s Day gifts for Her and for Him

As we approach one of the most vibrant and commercialised holidays of the year, are you stuck in present limo?

Valentine’s Day can actually become extremely frustrating for some. Money can be tight at the start of the year, you’ve used up all of your mojo finding the world’s best Christmas present, and you are running out of ideas. This is the plight of many people – both male and female. However, rather than succumbing to the clichés and pick up the usual order, why not go for something far more unique and thoughtful?

We have a full range of outstanding  Valentine’s Day gifts. As well as this, our usual product range carries the same level of significant and quality – after all, beautiful gifts are beautiful gifts!

We have a wide variety of unique handmade presents which are perfect for Him or Her. It does not matter who you are buying for, we will have a crafted item which will act as the perfect solution to your mental block in finding a present!

Wood Carvings

Wooden Carvings

Indonesian Wood Carvings

We carry various Valentines presents, even especially for cat lovers. Our product range around this time of year has many feline objects and crafts that would make the perfect gift for anybody with a love or respect of cats.

As well as this, we carry many outstanding wood carvings which are from Indonesia. The world has so many different cultures and styles in our work that it would be criminal not to look elsewhere, right? This is why we try to give such a huge list of different objects from all across the globe.

Whether you wanted to capture a specific theme or style with our handmade Canary Islands jewellery, or think one of our many Russian tapestries would be something your other would like, we have something for everybody.

You no longer need to stand in long queues with the same presents as everybody else under your arm!

With our help, you can find genuinely inspirational and unique products and gifts for your loved one.

handmade jewellery

gemstone jewellery


Nothing says you love them like the time spent finding a truly unique gift, and this is just right for anybody searching for that!

So take the stress out of your Valentine’s Day gift hunt and make the right choice to come and see our fine selection available here.

We make sure that we offer the best quality, nothing else.

wooden calendar

What’s So Great about Giving Wooden Calendars? Apparently, a Lot

The best gift has very little to do with the price tag, and more about the thought that went into its selection. This is why generic gifts tend to disappoint recipients. But you have to admit that gift shopping is rocket science. At least this is what some people think. Well, what if you can find an item that seems generic, but not?

The best example? Wooden calendars.

Now do you see why it’s generic but not?

Calendars have now become freebies, especially during Christmas and New Year. This is why its popularity as a present is zilch. They’re not exactly something you’d wrap and put a bow on it.

But the Balinese wood calendars we offer are a category on their own. They tell you the day of the month, but in a more creative and attractive way. Cute cats, dogs and turtles carved out of a piece of wood, and set on top of the wooden calendar make for a great table-top accessory. So it’s not only functional, but beautiful as well.

Why give a Balinese wooden calendar

Not just the thought that counts

With our Balinese wooden calendars, there’s more than a thought that went into their creation. Wood carving, after all, is an artisanal process that involves the use of a cutting tool and expert carving skills. The detail on the topper is proof of the level of care and craftsmanship that went into every piece. So even if you bought it online, the workmanship involved more than makes up for the ease of purchase.

Perpetual calendars

Unlike printed calendars, the days and months of the wooden calendar are not tied to a particular year. This means you can use and re-use it for as long as possible. No need to buy a new one at every turn of the year, although no one can stop you from starting a collection of these beautiful and functional perpetual calendars.

Versatile pieces 

The wooden calendars serve more than one purpose. It not only works as a decorative calendar, but also as a paperweight and a display feature. They won’t get blown away, but help keep paper on the table when the wind blows. Their decorative design and intricate details also make them worthy of a spot on your desk or display case.

So this Christmas season, give the gift of a “new day” every day with our Balinese wooden calendars. Decorative pieces that cost less, but priceless in purpose.

Calendars serve as a reminder of the cycles of life – birthdays, holidays, special occasions, etc. Might as well remember it with flair, right?

wall tapestries

Gift Options: Photo Frames are out, Tapestries for Framing are in

These days, giving a photo frame for any occasion can be considered a crime. One might not say it outright, but photo frames as gifts are too old school. They no longer evoke that jovial feeling as they did in the past. Framed tapestries, however, will have the opposite effect.

One of the elements that make a gift special is its unique quality. Regardless if it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas, something different never fails to bring out the ohs and ahs. So instead of a generic photo frame or picture frame, buy tapestries for framing instead.

We have great options that you can choose from, in a size that is neither too small nor too big. It’s big enough to be placed on a wall, on a display case, and on a shelf. Where there’s enough room, you can redefine the term ‘personalisation’ by adding framed tapestry instead of just more photos or pictures.

Today we showcase the handmade Wall Tapestries for Framing by Belarusian artist Sergei Saltykov.

Wall tapestries for framing from artist Sergei Saltykov

These original small tapestries for framing are designed and 100% handmade by Belarusian artisan Sergey Saltykov. They are made with author’s own and mixed techniques of weaving. The framed wall tapestries are excellent for room décor which create comfort and warmth to your home or office even better than framed pictures thanks to their fabric texture.

These are the description of some of our tapestries made by the author.

Pear Tapestry

Measuring 20 x 20 cm, this beautiful representation of a pear is a testament to Saltykov craftsmanship. Carefully done by hand, you are assured of the amount of work that went into its creation. It doesn’t hurt that the colour palette is pretty impressive. It’s also an eye-opener, of a sort. Who would have thought to mix bright and vibrant shades with black and grey? Well, someone did, and the effect is pretty amazing.

Tulips Tapestry

To describe this handmade wonder as beautiful is an understatement. Viewed from afar, this 20 x 20 cm tapestry looks like a painting, complete with shadows and light. No one would think otherwise, until close inspection is done. Truly a masterpiece.

Autumn Tapestry

What usually comes to mind when you think of autumn? Yes, multi-coloured leaves everywhere. But talented artist Saltykov obviously had a different idea, and a unique view of the fall season. Why not give the gift of visual beauty this Christmas with this wonderful piece?

3 Tulips Tapestry

If there’s one thing you can expect from Saltykov’s tapestries, bright colours will be it. This particular handmade tapestry is sure to brighten any space. Place it next to a black and white photograph, and it will add a pop of colour instantly. Looking at it long enough is likely to calm your mind and give you a visual treat.

Some more of his beautiful tapestries which we can offer to your attention are the Blue Cat, Yellow Cat and White & Yellow Flowers.

Armed with that knowledge, buying tapestries designed and made by Sergei Saltykov as a gift will give a recipient a unique experience and more reasons to appreciate your choice.


What a Handbag Can Mean to a Woman

To a woman, a handbag is not just a bag for carrying things. Different women may have different opinions about handbags. Their personal preferences can also run from simple to something as unique as a handcrafted piece, complete with shells and woven pattern as decorative features, but no woman is without a handbag. And that’s a fact.

Men may not understand it. Some people may want to find a scientific explanation behind it. But it could be just a matter of practical use and fashionable options.

What a handbag may represent to a woman?

Status symbol
Handbag is to women what a car is to men. It is one way that some of them advertise the kind of life or career they are experiencing. If you can afford it, why not flaunt it? Women today are said to be more sensible with their finances than they were before, but a handbag is still number one on their shopping list.

To be one with a particular crowd
A designer bag tends to make a woman feel like she belongs to a particular crowd. It also signals to other people as to which group they belong to. So don’t be surprised if there is a proper way of carrying a designer bag, which is hooked over the wrist and palm held upwards.

As a form of “compensation”
It has been said that the bigger the bag, the bigger the void in a woman’s life that needs to be filled. But it is also possible that they buy a huge handbag, because they have plenty of stuff to bring. And nothing feels just as good, knowing that what you need is close at hand. Buying a bag may be a compensatory purchase, but if it can help you relieve stress without going broke, then there’s really no problem with it.


Regardless of what a handbag means to you, it is undeniably a necessity. Why do you think handbags come in many shapes and sizes? Because the aim is to address a woman’s varying needs, and serves as a statement piece as well.

What better way to make a statement than to buy handcrafted bags? There’s something fascinating about arts and crafts woven and sewn into something functional. There are benefits to handcrafted women’s bags as well.

  • Use of quality materials. You can bet on this.
  • Excellent workmanship down to the tiniest detail. This, right here, screams passion and dedication to deliver exceptional products.
  • Gives a sense of uniqueness. Your choice of handcrafted bag could be a rare find. Not to mention, exotic to a degree.

So go ahead, splurge. Reward yourself with a handbag or two.

If you want to combine arts and craft with your choice of bag, go for handcrafted products that are not only utilitarian, but also artistic and unique.


Jewellery And Gems

When it comes to jewellery in 2016, colour is the King! You can find your own stylish ear candy here, both bright and beady or, if big and bold isn’t your thing, then there are plenty of free-spirited earrings to be found!

Feel free to take a peek at metal patterned butterfly earrings, each set designed and handmade by a gifted artist.

2016 Runways are even seeing an ingenious joining of silk scarves and jewellery, making a single, drool-worthy piece. Try your hand at it with any of the lovely scarves — or even those you have already in your own closet!

Gems are more than simply birthstones or beauty-enhancers; in fact, they each have a long history as charms, messages, and therapies fraught with deeper meanings. For example, hematite’s name is derived from the Greek word for blood. Hematite is coal black or grey and shiny on the outside with a cooling smoothness on the skin. It has been used as a protective charm throughout history, and according to Feng Shui it is a grounding stone that calms and clears the mind.

Surprisingly, if you were to break this weighty black stone open, you would find that it is blood red on the inside. What a beautiful secret!

Another gemstone, chrysoprase, has a minty apple-green colour that can resemble jade. Ancient Greeks believed that this gem could secure a happy marriage and good health. Frederick the Great prized this gem above all others, having many of his household items and gifts crafted out of it. Alexander the Great always wore a chrysoprase on his belt, and it has been said that his success in battle was due to that one little stone. Its warm, clear light and vibrant colour make it an excellent choice to wear as jewellery or to design with.

Pearls are not formed inside the earth, but rather are grown, delicately and over years, in the ocean. They were incredibly rare and difficult to find until the 1900s, when a way was discovered to cultivate them ourselves. Many ancient cultures had rules about who could wear pearls and who couldn’t due to their rarity and value. The Greeks had a legend that pearls were the tears of the Gods; in fact, many cultures since have associated them with mourning and the mute expression of sorrow. Another meaning to be found in pearls is that of purity and union. Pearls are often associated with true love, weddings, and perfection. They have a beautiful, reserved sort of lustre to them that is like nothing else. Did you know that there are many colours of pearl? They can be black, gold, pink, brown, white, and also sometimes in unusual natural shapes.

These are only a few of the myriad of gemstone colours available for you to express your unique style to the world. Wearing jewellery is all about expression, shape, and meaning.

Have a look at the expertly crafted jewellery here at Your Crafts Fair for more inspiration — and maybe your perfect match!


Mother’s Day Poem

Mother’s Day

by C. H. Daniel

Three little words speak the moment of truth

Three little words written on the card as proof

Three little words told by the waiting youth

Three little words in the hearts high roof

Three little words Love you Mum played on a crwth*

Spoke the child all aloof with one buck tooth


*Crwth is an ancient stringed instrument


Why Go Arts & Crafts For Mothers Day?

With Mothers Day around the corner you are probably already wondering what to get your mother for Mothers Day this year. Last year it was a bunch of flowers, the year before a pot plant, maybe some jumpers or smellies… but Christmas was just a few months ago, she still has the delicious smelling products you got her, she doesn’t need a new jumper and a bunch of flowers or a pot plant just aren’t going to cut it… so why not go handmade?

One of the great things about going handmade is that what you choose for your mum on Mother’s Day will be unique and it will have been made with love and chosen with thought. It wasn’t something you saw on the shelf when you did your weekly shop at the supermarket, it was something you went out of your way to select for her.

Because handmade products are unique it means your mum won’t have received it from your siblings because it is not a Mother’ Day gift that can be found anywhere. A handmade Mother’ Day gift is something that has been made by people that enjoy creating gorgeous arts and crafts and they love making something beautiful that can be given as a gift to a loved one. It’s not been made in a factory by someone that doesn’t care; a handmade Mother’s Day gift has been made with love, attention to detail and more care than you can imagine.

Here at Your Craft Fair we have bought together people that love what they do and are skilled at making incredible arts and crafts items.

If you are wondering what to get your mum to show her how much she means to you, why not consider choosing a unique, handmade Mother’s Day gift that she will really love. When you give a handmade gift for Mother’s Day you are showing your mum that you have taken the time to purchase something you know she will love, that is personal to her.

Christmas gifts

£17bn To Be Spent This Christmas, Survey Says!

How much are you planning to spend on Christmas gifts this year? If one survey is to be believed, you’re likely to blow hundreds of pounds on your family and friends, with the average spend per person reaching £383.


According to MoneySuperMarket, people aged between 18 and 34 are likely to spend £397, while those aged over 55 will splurge £339. Those between 35 and 54 will spend the most, it was found, splashing out £418 over the festive period.

Head of banking with the comparison website Kevin Mounfort reminded people to manage their finances well in the run up to December 25th since there’s only one pay check left for many people before the big day.

“For most households, Christmas is often the time of the year when we are the most generous with our cash whether it is buying gifts for friends and relatives, or funding the traditional Christmas meal with all the trimmings,” he remarked.

No matter what way you swing it, £318 is a lot of money so you need to know that you’re buying the best products that are well suited to your friends and family – and there’s nothing like a beautiful handmade present to really show them how much you love and appreciate them.

You’ll find all sorts of wonderful goodies on our website that would go brilliantly under the tree. There’s nothing like watching someone open a present and seeing their faces light up in a wonderful smile, so put your pennies to good use this year and have a look to see what you can find in our online shop.


Christmas Gift Ideas: Wall Tapestries And Embroidery for Framing

As we approach the end of the year and the Festive period, there comes a time when we need to actually start buying presents, not just noticing them! Of course, depending on who you are buying for, the type of presents that you go for can change totally.

I mean, you wouldn’t buy a kid an old piece of art, and you wouldn’t buy your grandfather an Xbox 360, would you? Finding the right Christmas gifts is always very important. Especially in these financially difficult times, it’s hard to find gifts that aren’t just waste of money.

Art has, of course, always been a popular choice when buying for adults. People with their own homes are always looking for something a little bit different for their art collection, and tapestries are perfect for just that. As we all move away from the era of filling our walls with movie and music posters, and towards more traditional art methods, tapestries for framing are the perfect solution. It’s really easy to find a truly sublime piece of art which you will struggle to find elsewhere when browsing through wall tapestries.

In terms of finding really unique, powerful art the best place to look is in Eastern Europe. In the last couple of centuries, Eastern Europe has served as a breeding ground for talented artists and they have in turn produced many outstanding tapestries for framing.
Tapestries are a textile art, which are usually woven with two interlaced threads running parallel to the length and width of the tapestry. Usually depicting extremely emotional or colourful images, tapestries make a real impact on any home they are placed within. The reason they look so good is that they are not just printed out – they are genuinely woven. If you own a tapestry, there is a high chance it has been made completely unique and from total scratch. The threads tend to be made up of linen or cotton, with silk, gold or silver in the picture to add another level of class.

Some of the greatest parts of nature and history have been captured in wall tapestries. For example, this picture of four deer in a forest just sums up the perfection that is nature. Before we brought down the land with our industry, the world looked just like this picture depicts. It’s truly a stunning piece of artistry and would look perfect framed in a sitting room.

Tapestries offer a different style and perspective to your usual painting styles, and have commonly been one of the most enjoyable pieces of art you can pick up today. When it comes to finding the right type of art, it’s important to get the real deal and not the quickest alternative. Tapestries are very much the real deal, so why not consider picking some up for the Festive period to really complete the look of your home? They last for many years and offer a significantly higher level of depth and quality than your average paintings!


Gemstones – unique and artistic choice

We pride ourselves on not only the time and care we put into choosing products, but the quality of the material used.  All of our handcrafted goods are expertly and individually made, offering you a unique and artistic choice when it comes to jewellery.

However, do you know what the gemstones actually mean? Gemstones hold a rich culture that really does go back quite some time. We want to look into the types of gemstones that we sell, and what they mean – and even how they are related to your Zodiac sign!

This should either help you choose the gemstone you like, or at least let you know the story behind them.

Hematite – Coming in a variety of different colours, from black to silver and red, it comes with a rust-red streak through it. Harder than iron, it is found most commonly around hot springs. Used to improve relationships, it carries the energy of love and protection.

Tiger’s Eye – A unique and eloquent golden brown colour, Tiger’s Eye represents the ancient, and is linked to Pisces, Gemini and Capricorn. Known to emit luck, protection and healing, November lays claim to it being the birthstone of that month. It’s unique patterns and colours make it a very intricate and beautiful gemstone.

Pearl – The oldest of all the known gems, it comes from oysters and mollusks. It is so historic that February, April, June, July and November all lay claim to it being the birthstone of that month. The astral stone for Gemini and Cancer, it holds strong links to the moon hence its colour.

Jasper – Standing for energy and nourishment, it comes in either green, blue, purple, yellow or red. Jaspers are more commonly known as bloodstones. Jasper provides a warmth and is thought to give out positive vibes. Many people keep a jasper bowl at home for good luck.

Chrysoprase – Told to be from Venus, Mercury, or the Moon, it offers protection and healing and usually comes in a very attractive green colour. Usually aligned with May or December as a birthstone, Chrysoprase was carried many years ago to help clarify issues and provide protection on the seas.

Obsidian– Despite its petrifying look, Obsidian stands for healthy and divinity. Usually just black, it has a glass effect to it and is formed from cooled lava after a volcano eruption. Comes in a variety of different other colours, most commonly with hints of gold or silver.

Serpentine – Thought to be from Saturn, it is the birthstone of January, and offers protection and healing. When worn, it is thought to balance mood swing and helps solve conflict. A known meditation stone, it helps create inner peace. Also known as New Jade, it can come in a variety of different colours red, green, browns and white.

Onyx – Known to help remove negative vibes and help end an unhappy relationship, onyx is the birthstone of July and gives off protective vibes. Thought to hail from Saturn, it is one of the most beautiful gemstones to look at. Usually a piercing black, the depth can be mesmerising to some.


Traditional Wood Carving Techniques

One of the most astounding aspects of the world around us is the way that we embrace so many unique cultures and traditions across the world. In Korea, a huge tradition is that of engraving – especially wood. Traditional Korean craftsmen were known as the “gakajang” and were a renowned collection of artisans who engraved letters and pictures onto wooden plates.

One of the few remaining gakajang today, Kim Gak-Han, has worked with a variety of different wooden items throughout his life – from cabinet and shelving to ancient texts. Having carried on the traditions of those who came before him, Kim’s work was recently included in a series of Confucian printing woodblocks.

These were recommended by the Korean government to be included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

The Confucian technique itself follows a rigid structure – using a carving knife at a 45-degree angle, the message is then created by a Joseon craftsman. It’s known as the “basic” angle throughout Korean architecture and art. This angle is commonly found on both a hanbok’s sleeves and a hanok’s eaves. This is a traditional Korean garment, as well as a traditional Korean building.

While in Japan they hold their knives at a 90-degree angle, in Korean culture art is crafted at the 45-degree range instead. The change in angle makes the Korean art more effective at creating lines with their sculptures, even allowing for circle carvings which are far more difficult to do in Japanese art. The actual differences between Korean, Asian and Japanese calligraphy can be quite nuanced to Western audiences, but to those from these respective countries the differences are fairly stark.

At the height of their artistic prominence, the Confucian Carvings were extremely expensive to make. They were typically used to create long-term homes for wisdom and scholarly writings, as well as poetry. Due to the expertise required to do the job properly, the expense of a Confucian carving at their height would have been roughly the equivalent of that of a male servant!

Today, though, the art has returned to its Buddhist roots. The remaining gakajang either work with the Buddhist temples to make scriptures, or teach sculpting classes whilst making ornaments on the side.

Kim himself struggled for many years due to the lack of expense in the industry, and early in his life he worked as a joiner’s assistant before touring to an Oh Ok-Jin tournament. Ok-Jin was a renowned sculpture and held regular exhibitions. Kim chanced upon the event as he was in the capital of Seoul getting treatment for breaking both of his ankles.

His limited mobility made him think about what he might do if he would never walk again, and the idea of sculpting immediately appealed. He came across the famous Suseonjeondo, a drawing of Seoul by the famous cartographer Kim Jeong-Ho in the mid-1840s. It was to be this stunning piece that changed his entire perspective on art, and he then became a student of Ok-Jin. His experience as a joiner now paid off, as he caught up with his classmates quickly.

He has since gone on to learn more about the subject through studying a Tripitaka Koreana. This 800-year-old set of Buddhist scriptures is engraved across more than 80,000 different woodblocks. Additionally, his studies have taken in Joseon woodblocks that were used to print the writings of Yi Hwang, one of the most prominent Confucian scholars of the entire Josean era.

As one of the last true artisans of his kind, Kim spends time lecturing at universities about traditional calligraphy and engraving, visiting various parts of the nation to help keep one of the proudest Korean traditions alive. Some of his key works include replicas of the Confucian and Buddhist woodblocks, including the Jijki, for restoration and research purposes. His craft may be one that less people know about than a few years ago, but it’s certainly something that Kim helps to keep alive and well through his various teaching sessions!

Still in search for a successor in the long-term, Kim believes that his teaching time is because of this search. He wants to find someone with a deep interest in calligraphy, the same interest that drew him to the subject in the first place. Because of the lack of earning potential in a career in this kind of lifestyle, many young people are put off by the prospect of taking on calligraphy as a long-term vocation, rather than just a nice hobby that they enjoy.

It’s something that perhaps we should lament, that there could be a loss of generation’s worth of teachings to society. These are some of the most important aspects of Korean history and culture, and to lose them due to a lack of financial gain would be a massive & complete irony.

handmade Christmas cards

Avoid The Queues, Shop Handmade Online!

Let the silly season commence! Christmas can be a really joyful time but it can also be a period of great stress, particularly when you’re out and about, stomping up and down the high street, trying to find the perfect handmade Christmas cards and presents for your friends and family.

This year, why not do all you can to keep the stress at bay by shopping for your gifts online at home on the sofa with a nice mug of mulled wine and some carols on the radio? Much calmer indeed! You can spend as long as you like thinking over your purchases and won’t have to fight anyone over the last teddy bear left on the shop shelves.

Even better, you won’t have to trudge home in the rain and snow with all your heavy shopping bags. Your friendly neighbourhood postman will just pop them through your letter box in a few days’ time.

However, there is one thing you need to make sure of when Christmas shopping on the internet – don’t leave it too late! Always check with the retailer to see when their last days for delivery are and bear this in mind when making your purchases. There’d be nothing worse than turning up on December 25th with nothing to put under the tree just because you forgot that the last day for ordering your presents was the 21st and you missed the deadline.

Why not set some time aside this weekend to do some of your shopping? Stick a lovely festive film on (we’re quite partial to Miracle on 34th Street, ourselves) and see what you can find online.

Christmas gifts

How Long Do You Spend Christmas Shopping?

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts, men are notorious for the speed at which they can complete the task – but it might come as a bit of a surprise to you just how fast some can actually get it all done.

According to a festive survey from retailer QVC, one in four men say they can get it all done in a single hour, with the majority only setting aside one day to buy all their presents. But that’s not all – three per cent claim that they can actually finish Christmas shopping in under ten minutes.

Women, on the other hand, dedicate a lot more time to the job, with just 12 per cent saying they would be able to finish shopping in an hour. In all, 30 per cent said that it took between three and five hours, and 35 per cent stated that they could get it all done in between one and three hours.

Of course, there are plenty of others out there who start planning for the festive season months in advance and make lists of presents for people of things they think they’d like ages before December arrives. When it comes to looking for handmade pressies, the more time you can spend the better so you can find that perfect gift for someone special.

Why not use the internet to help? You could set up a secret board on Pinterest and pin all the possible presents you find so that you don’t have to remember what website you found them on later. They’ll be right there waiting for you when you’re ready to spend some money.


All You Need to Know about Chrysoprase Gemstones

If you’re thinking you’d like to buy gemstone jewellery – either for yourself or as a really meaningful present for that special someone in your life – then you could certainly do a lot worse than by investing in a beautiful piece made using chrysoprase, a gorgeous stone that is well known for its healing properties.

This particular gem is thought to be excellent for promoting joy and happiness, as well as attracting prosperity, abundance and love, so any jewellery using chrysoprase would be a great choice to give as a gift. Of course, if you’re feeling as though you yourself are in need of a little pick me up, it would be a brilliant way to go as well.

Aside from its special meaning, the colour of the stone is also a gorgeous one and will go with almost any skin tone so you won’t need to worry that your chosen recipient won’t look good when they step out in earrings or necklaces made using chryosprase.

And there’s no chance that they won’t like the present either, so you’re definitely in the safest of hands when buying jewellery made using this particular gemstone. If someone you know is really into meditation, this would be a good choice for them as well since it is thought it can help people to achieve deep meditative states. Whoever you’re shopping for, you know that chrysoprase jewellery is a safe bet and you’ll be giving someone a beautiful present that they’ll cherish forever.   http://www.healingcrystals.com/Chrysoprase_Articles_117.html


Happy Mother’s Day!

As we approach the end of March, it’s common for sons and daughters all around the world to be caught en route to the store to pick up late Mother’s Day gifts. While most mothers are kind enough to let us off the hook for such poor planning and selfish behaviour, others are not quite so forgiving!

If you are looking to impress your mother and let her know that you haven’t forgotten about ‘her’ day, then why not go for something a little bit different? Every year, we buy the same things over and over – perfume, flowers, chocolates – but the selection out there is so grand and marvellous you really don’t need to settle for such a generic choice.

Why not go for something a little bit more unique, a little bit more long-term? Crafted jewellery and ornaments could be the best way to go. Mother’s Day is a difficult one to get right in terms of presents – you don’t want to go overboard, but you don’t want to understate how much your mother means to you.

As the kind soul who brought you up and fed you for many years, your mother deserves a little bit of something back from you, right? So why not go that extra mile to provide that and go for something she will have for years and years to come?

Jewellery which has been hand crafted is always a well appreciated gift, purely for the unique nature and style of it – it’s very rarely like anything else they will own.

This unique level of creativity will not only get you in the good books for originality, but your mother will genuinely appreciate being given something which she has not had for the last six years in a row from you! Don’t let your mind wander when you are out buying presents, as this is how poor presents are bought for people. A little bit of looking around online and finding the right type of gift for your mother, something that matches her own style, couldn’t be any simpler.

There are so many places that you can start online to find the right type of product for your mother, presents from the gas station are no longer an acceptable thing! So give you mother a nice big smile on Sunday when she receives something which isn’t the same as every other year – give her quality, hand-crafted jewellery she can wear and savour for many years to come.