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It's getting closer...

Our Christmas makers' pop-up is in full swing in the Sail Loft and we're really enjoying having a shop full of such variety - it's great to meet all our visitors too!

Here's who...

Our pop-up shop features around 30 local artists and makers and most of them are taking it in turns to man the shop for a morning, an afternoon or a day. Below are the artists that are joining us over the next couple of weeks and who would love to chat to you about their work, and that of fellow creatives. Come in and meet the makers and get your Christmas shopping done whilst supporting small, independent businesses. Shop cool this yule!

We're open...

Every day between now and Christmas Eve - even Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10am until 5pm. Every Thursday in December we'll be open for late night shopping until 8pm. After Christmas, from 28th December to 31st December, we'll be open from 10am until 4pm.

Without further ado...

Here are the fabulous band of makers that will be joining us to chat to you over the next couple of weeks:

On Saturday and Sunday mornings this week, from 10am-1:30pm we're delighted to welcome author and illustrator, Phillip Reed in our Sail Loft. His book, The Christmas List is a fantastic children's story based around Manningtree and Mistley and Phillip will be happy to sign books that are purchased.

In the afternoons we've got Miranda Grayling on Saturday from 1:30pm to 5pm and on Sunday, Amanda Clement-Robinson. Miranda brings colour and vibrancy to the sail loft with her artwork and other pieces; Amanda's brings a variety of miniature mixed media pieces as well as her distinctive artwork.

On Monday 12th December, Pamela Hatswell will be manning our Christmas Pop-up shop. Pamela has her fabulous knitted delights on display. In the afternoon, Sandy Pison of Little Deer Designs will be joining us - her beautiful flame worked glass designs will make fabulous Christmas gifts.

We've got the hugely talented Vik Walsh with us all day on Tuesday 13th. As Mae Kandoo, she brings with her a variety of textile work, including the spectacular advent deer. Having exhibited with us over the year, and held a variety of workshops, Vik is happy to chat about her work, and that of all her fellow artists and makers.

Two completely different artists join us on Wednesday 14th: In the morning, Miranda Grayling returns - she's got her bright and colourful artwork in our pop-up shop; and in the afternoon, Christine Gallant will be free to chat about her work - in her own words she is a "Finder of forgotten objects. Teller of hidden tales. Seeker of extraordinary stories."

On 15th December we've got late-night shopping with Mr NaviStitch helping you with your shopping. Fenella Miller will be hosting our Christmas pop-up shop on 16th December from 10am-1:30pm - come along and chat to her about her beautiful fused glass creations. In the afternoon we've got tutor, exhibitor and lino cut artist Sue Bedford with her fabulous range. Amanda Clement-Robinson is with us all day on 17th December.

If you've visited the Sail Loft in the first two weeks of November, you'll have seen the stunning photography of Tazzy Bro. He captures local scenes and landmarks in a distinct way - if you know the area, you can't fail to love his work. Tazzy Bro will be in our Christmas Pop-up shop all day on Sunday 18th December. On 19th, we have Sandy Pison of Little Deer Designs here in our Sail Loft all day.

On 20th December from 10am to 1:30pm we've got Madeleine Tapp looking after our Sail Loft pop-up - come and chat to her about her beautiful art, as well as workshops that you've enjoyed with her this year. From 1:30pm to 5pm potter Jen Cook is here - she describes her work as "Fun, tactile and functional ceramics". Jen's back again the the following morning with hugely talented collage artist and illustrator, Hannah Tooke taking over the baton on Wednesday afternoon.

And finally...

Madeleine Tapp, artist, and Sue Bedford, lino print creative are manning our final two Christmas pop-up mornings before we close for Christmas. Madeleine will be in our Sail Loft on 22nd December from 10:00am to 1:30pm and Sue will be doing the same hours on Friday 23rd. And here's a shout out to artists that you may not have had the chance to meet, but whose work features in our pop-up event: Olivia English, Michelle Bowers and Charlotte Upton all bring their superb coastal-inspired art to our Sail Loft.

Our very own Mr Navistitch will be hosting afternoons and late-night shopping on 22nd, as well as Christmas eve.... and relax! We're then taking three days off to celebrate the festive season and will be open for business 10am-4pm from 28th to 31st December for those of you who have Christmas money to spend! For a full list of the artists and makers in our Christmas pop-up shop, take a look here.

In Other NaviStitch News

Here's where you'll find my own nautical stitched art over the festive season, if you can't make it to Manningtree:

In Maldon, at the Salty Dogs Christmas Show. Having seen some of the other work that features in the shop I think it's going to be a fantastic exhibition! Get on over and take a look if you can - they're open until 31st December

The Alma in Harwich, and the Lord Nelson in Ipswich both display pieces of my work for sale - obviously both places serve fantastic food and drinks so that's always a massive bonus!

I'm at Fenwick in Colchester today, tomorrow and Sunday, manning my own stand of greeting cards and art. You'll find me on the second floor by the drinks section and Carluccio's. I'm looking forward to meeting a new audience, as well as some of you if you're shopping in the town! I'm leaving the NaviStitch shop in the capable hands of Mr NaviStitch, alongside the creatives manning our Christmas pop-up.

Last but not least...

If you've not got this in your diary - here's a fantastic event that we're all taking part in on 17th December from 5pm to 8pm. Manningtree High Street will be transformed into a Festive Fiesta - a Winter Light Festival through the town from lots of children and parents who have been busy making costumes and honing their drumming skills; there will be live music, lots of stalls and food and drinks galore. Many of the High Street shops will also be open and there's promise of an incredible illuminated band.

As is traditional in Manningtree, we're also taking part in the 'Window Wanderland' - a live advent calendar event with 24 local shops transformed with multi-coloured illuminated seasonal images - our window is officially transformed this Sunday (11th), at dusk... we love our community - it's going to be a great Christmas!

We have some great exhibitions in the planning stages for next year. We are looking forward to welcoming back some previous exhibitors and looking forward to seeing some new exhibitors too.

If you're an artist or maker and want to host an exhibition or pop-up event in our Sail Loft, we have two rooms and lots of display equipment; you can man the exhibition yourself, or we can do that for you. We're really keen to encourage first-time exhibitors and students to get involved and, if you'd like to be a part of a collaborative / joint exhibition, we can put you in touch with other artists too. Take a look at the way it works here and get in touch if you'd like to chat about other ideas that you have for our creative space.

Until next time, I wish you calm waters and plain sailing


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