Fall For an Autumn Sunset Inspired Update

Bedroom Design by Create Display

Bedroom Design by Create Display

As the leaves and the temperatures start to fall, now is the time to update your home interior with the colours of Autumn.

Inspired by the wonderful sunsets that can be enjoyed in England at this time of year you can easily add warmth and colour to your home.

For extra well being when you are relaxing, celebrate this beautiful season by bringing the outdoors inside.

Bedroom Interior Design Detail

Bedroom Interior Design Detail

This country cottage bedroom provides the perfect backdop to enjoy the sun setting over the fields. The custom made bedspread adds an extra warm layer thanks to the fleece blanket lining.

The original Create Display bed throw also creates a center point in the room. This is because of the bright and glowing rosy orange fabric, edged with a deep border of gold, olive green and greyed blue.

This bedroom make over has been crafted using quality second hand fabric from Blendworth fabrics in Hampshire which has been given a current twist by the use of a deep border in the design.

The pretty old mahogany dressing table has been handed down through the family so we have just carefully topped the piece with the same feature fabric to match.

Using antique and second hand items is good for the environment and adds stacks of character which is great for a country cottage like this one which was first built in the 1860's.

The vintage bedside table and ceramic lamp base has been painted with Homebase own woodwork paint in Wild Willow and given an acrylic varnish.

Wine and gold vintage braid has been added to the ties on bedstead hanging and around the linen lampshades to unite the scheme and add a finishing touch.

A cream cotton chintz fabric with a silver 'fleur de lieu' pattern has been chosen for two generous handmade scatter cushions. This adds a further accent and unites the design scheme.

Autumn 16 at 100% Design

Autumn 16 at 100% Design

This September the London interior home furnishing shows 100% Design and Top Drawer were full of suppliers to the home furnishing trade offering wonderful ranges of velvets and knitted textures, checks and tweeds and metallic and glistening finishes.

The halls at Olympia in Kensington, London were full of inspiration for creating both cosy homes and office environments.

This season retailers in the UK are going to be offering customers luxurious and sophisticated furniture and all the elements for creating a warm and inviting haven inside.

Look out for colours and shapes from the 1950's and lots of natural finishes such as wood grains, ceramics, marbles, wools and glass.

More details on how to create the latest trends for Autumn Winter 2016 in your home to follow!


Staycation Style: How to Celebrate Summer Holidays at Home by the Seaside

This summer many people have chosen to enjoy a staycation holiday. Lots of folk are making the most of their homes and gardens and treating themselves to vacation breaks by the sea in England.

So what to do to get your home ready to enjoy the seaside? Here is our guide to giving your home a living by the harbour feel.

Textile Wall Art View Across Bosham Harbour

Textile Wall Art View Across Bosham Harbour

We recommend cheering up your interior with nautical accessories and investing in some jolly picnic wear, bags and blankets that will inspire you to hop on your bikes or into an open top car and head for the coast.

Add instant sea breezes to any room with a view of the harbour and a blue summer sky whatever the weather.


This piece is from our current Bosham Walk collection and features extra texture with hand embroidery. Bosham Walk website here

Wall Hanging Boats at Osborne Bay

Wall Hanging Boats at Osborne Bay

Sail round the Island without even leaving your bedroom with a wall hanging depicting yachts in Osborne Bay.

A large applique textile artwork like this is ideal for hanging above sofas and beds and adding softness to rooms with a lot of hard surfaces.

Seaside Snug Bedroom Interior

Seaside Snug Bedroom Interior

Create a snug day bed corner to read up on the latest yachting news and fill a stripey beach bag with a good beach read to enjoy at your leisure.

Get in the mood to be by the sea with layering a metal bed with blue and green handmade throws topped with hand painted stripey cushions.

Add wall hangings with a sea view and throw in some jolly motifs from the coast, like this applique sea horses fabric picture. Contact us for prices on all the handmade and vintage textiles.

The metal double bed frame is 'Leirvik' from Ikea and is £79 and the side table is also from Ikea but is past season. A similar one is 'Hemnes' which is £70. Ikea website here

The lamp with large glass beads is from a selection at Laura Ashley. Laura Ashley website here
'Skipper' fabrics at Falcon Fabrics

'Skipper' fabrics at Falcon Fabrics

If you fancy going the whole way with a nautical theme every day at your house Falcon fabrics in Chichester do a lovely range of fabrics.  Falcon Fabrics website here

They are very suitable for creating striking coastal interiors with prices from ten pounds a metre.

Sail Away Bag Marine Superstore

Sail Away Bag Marine Superstore

A boaty cool bag will set your day trip to the English coast in style and will keep your picnic lunch fresh too. Marine Superstore website here

This '39 cm sail away' version is from the Marine Superstore in Chichester marina, West Sussex and is a very reasonable £8.95.

Staying in your own abode can sometimes be the most relaxing way forward. This easy option certainly avoids the unexpected delays, dodgy facilities, school holiday price hikes and the melting UK pound exchange rate.
It is more expensive than ever to take a holiday abroad especially if there are more than one or two in the family. So many British tourist attractions are enjoying a busy season and people are making the most of the hundreds of miles of natural coastline in the United Kingdom.

Give your homes seaside make-over the finishing touch by tuning into your favourite Balearic island cafe tunes or listening to a good old fashioned round of the Beach Boys.

Complete the effect for all the senses with the scent of the ocean. John Lewis Croft Collection white and glass coastal breeze candles last 25 hours and cost £20 each. John Lewis website here

Whether its exotic islands abroad or a Do It Yourself version in your own local area, wherever the creative wind takes you this August, we wish you a bon voyage!


Special May Evening Event: Talk with Slides for the Solent Branch of the Embroiderer’s Guild

Create Display Talk with Textile Art

Create Display Talk with Textile Art

It was a special evening in Titchfield on the south coast of England on Monday 16th May. The event included a talk with slides which explored display techniques and featured Create Display textile art. The talk was presented by Amanda Howse.

The location was the pretty rural village of Titchfield at The Parish Rooms, High Street, Titchfield, Hampshire PO14 4AQ

Titchfield Village Hall

Titchfield Village Hall

Ms. Mainwaring is the leader of the Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild and their blogspot website describes the club as

..a small group of people who meet in the Titchfield Parish Rooms in a beautiful part of the Solent area, Hampshire. Our group has been running for over 15 years and we have about 40 members.”

Textile Art by Solent Embroiderer's Guild

Textile Art by Solent Embroidery Guild

The Embroiderer's Guild website gives more detail about this regional branch of the creative arts society and their vision:

We are an informal,supportive and multi-talented group of enthusiastic stitchers. We have inspirational speakers covering a wide spectrum of stitch related art. Our workshops are always accessible to all levels of skill and encourage personal development of ideas with the opportunity to try out new techniques. Friendship is an important aspiration.”


Titchfield Village High Street

Titchfield Village High Street

This event was created as part of a calender of events for the Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild that includes meetings, talks and workshops.

The members of the Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild attended their May gathering which was chaired and introduced by Ms Mainwaring who covered the latest in branch news and updates.

Amanda was then invited to speak about display techniques and textiles and her creative work on display at Create Display upstairs in Bosham Walk Art & Craft Center in Bosham harbour in West Sussex.

Create Display Textile Art

Create Display Textile Art

The talk with powerpoint presentation lasted about an hour and Amanda showed everyone both photographs and drawings. She talked about her retail background and what she had learned about displaying home furnishings with well known quality department stores in London's Oxford Street.

Howse then covered some techniques used in display to highlight and promote products successfully and discussed some relevant creative freelance shop design and display projects.

Textile Art by Solent Embroiderer's Guild

Solent Embroidery Guild Textile Art

The spacious and historic village hall gave a perfect backdrop for the talk. On the walls hang a collection of magnificent hand stitched fabric wall art applique pieces in all colours of the rainbow that have been made by the Solent Embroiderer's Guild to mark 100 years of the village hall in the year 2000.

In the next section of her talk Howse shared a selection of Create Display fairs and events in Hampshire and Sussex.

In the final part Amanda explained how her work in textiles art was progressing this year and a little about her work practice.

Inspired by the picturesque Bosham harbour, Howse described how she enjoyed Create Display being part of the established Bosham Art and Craft Center. She mentioned how positive it is to share a gallery and shop space with other local artists and craftspeople.

Solent Embroiderer's Guild Textile (detail)

Solent Embroiderer's Guild Textile in detail

Howse concluded with talking about the trend for multichannel retailing and spoke about the launch of the new Create Display online shop at etsy.com.

The Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild where very friendly and enthusiastic and asked some great questions about product packaging and displaying fabric and stitched artwork in a public space.

Amanda was happy to speak with people in the club personally afterwards. The guild members were very kind to share several excellent tips for creating wonderful textile artwork and fine embroidery pieces.



At least half a dozen beautiful 'travelling books' had been bought along to enable the Solent EB members to share their new stitch work in progress. As a group we all keenly discussed thoughts and possibilities, of the process of curating and hanging the members wonderful embroidery work, that has been completed this year.
Memory Lane Cafe Titchfield

Memory Lane Cafe Titchfield

All who were present agreed that it is a challenging and important project, to arrange all of the creative embroiderer's current colourful and diverse finished work, in one space.

So there is much excitement and anticipation surrounding the forthcoming Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild exhibition. Entitled “The Solent Shore” the show takes place 22-Jul-2016 to 09-Aug-2016 at The Westbury Manor Museum, West Street, Fareham, Hampshire.

The event is free and there is more information via the link below.

It is a warm week and we were charmed to be the first customers to order a chocolate frappe drink in the pretty cafe named 'Memory Lane' in the middle of Titchfield High Street. This May Monday night was definately one we'll remember as friendly, fun, inspiring and memorable.


It was an honour and a great pleasure to be invited to share the evening with the ladies of Solent Branch of the Embroiderer's Guild. We are very much looking forward to their summer show. We think it will be both The Westbury Museum and Fareham's most stunning exhibition of the year!

Link to Embroiderers Guild Website

Link to Solent Embroiderers Guild Webpage

Link to Solent Embroiderers Guild Blogspot Webpage

Link to Bosham Walk Art and Craft Center Website/

Link to Create Display Etsy Shop

Link to Westbury Manor Museum Webpage

Link to Memory Lane Cafe Webpage

Top 5 Trends for Spring from the Retail Design Expo

Hall at Retail Expo Olympia

Hall at Retail Expo Olympia

The Retail Design Expo was held at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, Hammersmith Road, London W14 8UX on the 9th and 10th March 2016.

The Retail Design Expo was located adjacent to the Retail Business Technology Expo and Retail Digital Signage Expo this year for the first time.

This is because half of all retail business now involves digital sales or devices so it made sense to incorporate the events together.


Billed as “Europe's Leading Annual Event for Innovation and Inspiration in Retail Design, Marketing, Visual Merchandising, Architecture and Shopfitting.” the occasion attracted a wide variety of exhibitors and visitors.

The conference centre was full of stands displaying the latest products for creating amazing stores. Many exhibiting suppliers were available to demonstrate their ranges, explain their services and network with customers both old and new.

The retail industry press and media such as A1 Magazine were also present and had their latest publications available for visitors to sample, order and read over a coffee in one the many cafes.           http://www.a1mediamagazines.com

The businesses exhibiting communicated their brands through colourful and unique displays demonstrating examples of the latest in shopfitting and visual merchandising. Key Trends that emerged in the show included: 

Mr Cheston from Harrods

Mr Cheston from Harrods

1. Sharing the Omnichannel Journey

All retailers in the UK are now able to reach a global market thanks to the rise of internet shopping. Customers enjoy interacting with companies in store, online and through events, experiences and social media.

Sometimes these elements are combined simultaneously as shops become filled with digital technology.     http://www.harrods.com


Thankfully retailers are happy to network and share ideas and innovation in order to develop and progress in a fast paced world. Two Retail Design and Branding Conference Theatres provided an excellent schedule of 75 presentations including several senior experts in the retail field.

I arrived just as Mr Cheston, Media Sales Director at Harrods described (to a large and keen crowd taking notes) how pleased they were with the successful launch of the new Rolls Royce 'the Dawn' in the windows of their flagship store this year.


Two iconic brands showcasing the best in quality and luxury.”                    said Mr Cheston about this classic partnership.

Quadrant2 Display

Quadrant2 Display

2. Technological and Customised.

Quadrant2 Design are located in Poole in Dorset. Ms. Anderton Design Director at the company showcased the latest in exhibition stands that were available with fully customised features to allow a pop up solution for businesses wanting to quickly next promotional show.

With the Prestige System the reusable stand is pre built to ensure it all works together successfully.     http://www.prestige-system.com


The Smart Lighting Engineering company SLE was clearly in the forefront of innovation with their clever shop window installation. These mini shop windows came complete with switches buttons and control panels to highlight items and alter lighting and mood. Mr Elecko eloquently talked me through the different settings possible on the app like interface.

As we approached the display the window lit up automatically complete with dressed mannequins. Warm and cool light might be shown and dresses could be highlighted in a set sequence or details shown to potential customers at any time of day or night.

A similar strategy was employed in the SLE fitting room area where customers could banish that harsh lighting once and for all! Alternatively fittting room clients can simulate their office environment to see how an outfit would look in a variety of possible lighting situations.   http://www.sleprojects.com

Blacks Display

Blacks Display

3. Geometric and Metallic

Chevron and angled boxes and mirrors drew attention at Blacks Visual Merchandising. The unusual stylised boxes which were lit and mirrored demonstrated how striking a simple display system can become when turned on its head.   http://www.blacks-vm.com


DZD display winner

DZD display winner

The DZD display company stand was made of pieces of rectangular silver card threaded onto strings and hung up in rows. The construction was simple and the effect was mesmerising, eye catching and memorable. The judges agreed and DZD won the Best Stand of the Show award from the Shop and Display Equipment Association.   http://www.dzd.co.uk


Sarah Feather Display

Sarah Feather Display

4. Rainbow brights

Sarah Feather's fringed rainbow stand was a delight to behold! The sheer panels were achieved using coloured yarns wrapped around a frame. The design worked well as the colours blended with a palette of subtle hues which was beautiful.    http://www.sarahfeatherdesign.com


As I strolled through the hall I noticed a kaleidoscope coloured Pop Art themed stand which reminded me of the cool VGL digital printers stand from last Spring's Display Show. I am glad they have stuck with the concept because it has the added benefit of being a play on words with Pop Up Shop which are a fabulous idea in any city.

B Brown Show Stand

B Brown Show Stand

At B Brown a galactic installation in firework tones grabbed our attention. Ms Allen let us know that a myriad of textures and colours were possible for their bright display card, amazing glitter card and wallpaper. I was interested to learn they have their own specialised printers on site and printing on many different surfaces and materials is possible.     http://www.bbrown.co.uk


Bright Goods Light Up Show

Bright Goods Light Up Show

5. Upcycled, industrial and retro designed

Splendid vintage industrial style lights are made using LED bulbs at the BrightGoods stand that would be suitable for many commercial and residential interiors.    http://www.brightgoods.co.uk



Mr Holcroft at Tedd Todd Hardwood Flooring gave me a tour of the wonderful world of reclaimed wood flooring as he strolled around a beautiful 3 dimensional chessboard of stripey coverings. All these square samples had lots of character and texture due the age of the recycled planks used to make the interior materials that were colourwashed in a variety of glowing shades. http://www.tedtodd.co.uk   

Since the 1920's neon has been popular for commercial signage especially in America. The Sales Manager at Neon signs A1 Designs based in Wallington in Surrey explained how “the manufacture of neon is an art form. The tubes can be recycled and all elements can be re-used.   http://www.a1designs.co.uk

Vowing to schedule more time to hear the conference speakers and enjoy the networking at the next event, we are looking forward to the next Retail Design Expo which is planned for the 19-20th April 2017.


Valentine’s day at Create Display

Detail of Shipshape Heart Hanger

Detail of Shipshape Heart Hanger

This Valentine's Day weekend we had a warm welcome and a fresh look at Bosham Walk Art & Craft Centre. Everything is shiny andf ready for the local public and families visiting Sussex for the half term holidays.

Smelling extra sweet  throughout the cafe, pottery and all the craft shops because the team at Bosham Walk rallied round and spent some time last week clearing the decks. A lot of careful cleaning and painting was done, ready for our Spring activities.

We shared the love too at the Create Display shop with a new design and we thought it would be appropriate to focus in a little more detail on this piece here.

Shipshape Heart Wall Hanging

Shipshape Heart Wall Hanging

'Ship Shape in Bosham with Heart' wall hanging pocket organiser features an upcycled heart shaped hanging holder in perfect condition.

This nautical scene is made with hand painted and applique techniques and preloved and vintage fabrics.

This original wall hanging includes a couple sailing along in their dinghy against a soft blues stripey seascape background. 'Shipshape in Bosham with Hearts' is designed to 'warm your cockles' in February and give a nautical flourish to any home interior.

Inspired to maximise both form and function I added some pockets and painted and hand stitched a few swans by the water to make this piece both attractive and useful.

What could be more heartwarming? Whatever the weather you can visit Bosham Walk Craft Centre at Bosham Harbour, Sussex
Bosham Walk Website and Location Map

or alternatively browse our online shop at etsy.com.

Create Display Etsy Shop

Handmade Chocolate Hearts

Handmade Chocolate Hearts

After burning off some calories giving the walls a lick of white paint (with a few sparkles added for good measure) we treated ourselves to some heartshaped homemade chocolates!

These naughty but tasty sweets were made in advance.

The melted chocolates with toppings are spooned and set onto baking parchment. Then the confectionary can be kept in layers, in a container, in the fridge for a couple of weeks quite successfully.

Sitting Room Heart Bunting

Sitting Room Heart Bunting

In January and February I like to decorate my home with different heart shaped accessories in a variety of materials and soft colours.

These hearts can be strung onto ribbon or upholstery cord and make excellent holders for displaying Valentine's and greeting cards.


Bedhead Heart Bunting

Bedhead Heart Bunting

The light pink hearts pictured here are easily made from two layers of cardboard with masking tape edges covered in recycled wallpaper and painted with acrylic paint with a little glitter glue added.

They add a little romance to a contemporary bedroom and make a plain bedhead look special too.


These decorations are ideal to brighten the home and lift the spirits during the more overcast days you can get at this time of year in England.


Spring to Bosham Walk or Surf Our New Online Shop

Birdtable Textile Wall Hanging (detail)

Birdtable Textile Wall Hanging (detail)

Our Spring 16 collection is available to browse and purchase, in person everyday, in the fabulous and picturesque:

Bosham Walk Art & Craft Center,

Bosham Lane, Bosham,

Nr. Chichester,

West Sussex, PO18 8HX


Experience twenty specialist shops, hang out at the harbour and then treat yourself at yummy freshly refurbished cafe.

The wonderful team at Bosham Walk are always happy to help. What's not to love?

Bosham Walk Website and Location Map

Alternatively, a carefully selected range of handmade original art and textiles is now available in the new etsy shop today.

Etsy.com is well known for being the best place to find unique handmade goods for sale online.

Create Display Etsy Shop

If you live further afield and would like to view and purchase Create Display online for home delivery, we are delighted to announce the launch of our new Create Display Etsy.com shop in January 2016.

We will be adding to the range with more new colourful artworks and inspiring interior accessories to brighten up your home, as the season progresses.


Cosy and Crafty New Year Celebrations at Create Display

Happy New Year! We know that January is well underway but there is still time to make these cosy and crafty treats for yourself and your loved ones. At the moment everyone in Northern Europe has a cold snap and some long wintery nights so it is perfect time to make something special for your home.

Sweet Home Comforts  

handmade chocolates

handmade chocolates

This season we invented chocolate mendiant puddings!

These are circular chocolate snacks decorated with fruit and nuts to look like Christmas puddings.

Stunning layered chocolate bark is really simple to make with melted white, milk and dark chocolate that cools into patterns and layers.

Sweet toppings like mini marshmallows or any of your favourite treats also add more texture to the edible artwork.

Clementine cupcakes with orange icing and cranberry and silver balls to decorate went down well especially as they are made using gluten free flour so everyone can have some.
Icing the buns means we could take them on our travels and they stay fresh a few extra days too.
Special thanks to Mrs Hartley for all her patience with a bain marie and extra supplies of the finest confectionary embellishments!

Cosy Sofa

cosy sofa

cosy sofa



As the temperatures plummet and the mornings become frostier, we have been adding pretty and warm layers to our furniture.

Using the sewing machine we have been quickly upcycling cashmere sweaters that have seen better days into extra snug cushions. 

pudding christmas card

pudding christmas card

Christmas pudding cards featuring a map of the solent icing were popular. These handmade cards doubled as handy festive decorations for those who have recently moved house.

Our cards are made using photocopy maps, recycled card, leftover wrapping paper and a sharp craft knife.

Glue sticks work really well for collage on cards A5 size or smaller as you can get making really quickly and this paper glue allows for some quick alteration if required.




new years greeting

new years greeting

Inside our cards this year we printed hand drawn and coloured traditional bells with this greeting:

Peace and Love from Coast to Coast 2016

The red ribbon above the bells relates to the shape of the winding solent coast and the front of the card.

feather and fabric wreath

feather and fabric wreath

This feather and fabric wreath is a great way of using up all those little pieces collected through the year.

The structure for this decoration is a foam ring which is readily available from florists.

Thread, string and ribbon is used to tie the different materials onto the wreath. Just hang in a hallway or entrance to welcome seasonal visitors.

trimmings Christmas wreath

trimmings Christmas wreath

Trimmings and offcut curtain making cords make up this colourful fabric stuffed festive wreath for the mantlepiece.

The fabric structure is crafted out of stiff backed fabric strip such that you might find with venetian blind samples.

This is rolled into a long 'sausage' and then secured, wrapped and decorated with many ribbons and tassles.

Throws folded ready to wrap

Throws folded ready to wrap

Here is a selection of three of our festive throw gifts.

Just choose a plain throw, add your own fabric and pockets and decorate in style to fit your interior of that of your friends or family members.

cream fleece and floral cotton throw

cream fleece and floral cotton throw

These cosy throws  have been customised using a base of a plain cream fleece throw large enough to cover a single bed or a decent sized sofa.
green pocket throw

green pocket throw

These are a selection of the throws we made this year using fabrics chosen to reflect a particular persons favourite colours.

We then added a big pocket on each one and personalised the throw with hand sewn monograms.

warm red fleece throw

warm red fleece throw

The sewing machine was used to attach a wide fabric border to each end of the throws.

Blanket stitch was then added all along the join to give a neat and attractive finish.

We used odd balls of wool and vintage fabric pieces to make these unique gifts.


New for Autumn 15 Interiors: Make a Splash with Nautical Textiles

Bosham Walk Wall Hangings by Create Display

Bosham Walk Wall Hangings by Create Display

It has been a lively year so far at Create Display!

We have been working on a few interesting new residential design projects in 2015.

Our passion for contemporary interiors and improving homes and work spaces in the South East of England continues with renewed enthusiasm.

The team at Bosham Walk Art and Craft Centre have also had an exciting summer with the Americas Cup bringing many new visitors to both Portsmouth and Chichester harbours.
This creative combination of mini shops contains more than 20 local artists and is situated in Bosham right next to picturesque Bosham harbour in West Sussex, in the South East of the UK.

We are delighted at Create Display to be part of this special creative collaboration.

An exciting new refurbishment project is now underway this month that will give our favourite cafe a very stylish update.

Nautical Textiles and Paintings by Create Display

Nautical Textiles and Paintings by Create Display

Our new nautical collection moored up this week at the Create Display shop in the Bosham Walk.Inspired by the colour and light on the water at Chichester harbour these pieces are all handmade original artworks.

These textile wall hangings are hand stitched and made from recycled and vintage fabrics.

The mixed media paintings combine painting and collage to form unique textures.


Countryside Textiles & Wall Art by Create Display

Countryside Textiles & Wall Art by Create Display

For those that are more inclined to be in the garden than at the seaside, we have also included our South Downs range which celebrates the country, nature and flowers.

A combination of painting, sewing, tapestry, beading and crafting is used during the making process and this collection includes a few upcycled items too.

As all our wall art is designed and handmade locally, each wall hanging is different and we are confident nobody else will have the same individual item brightening up their interior.

Our flower bunting and brooches remain popular and add to the fun and 3-dimensional feel.

Bosham Walk is open every day of the year – see the website for more information or contact us for more details.

Create Display Pops Up at Poplar Cottage

Chichester Tulips textile in Poplar cottage at Singleton

Chichester Tulips textile in Poplar cottage at Singleton

The Weald and Downland recommends a trip to Sussex in order to:"Come and discover traditional buildings in a rural landscape that tell the story of the men, women and children who lived and worked in them over a 600-year period."

Many chose to combine this interesting educational journey with the splendid annual Christmas Fair at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, a village set in the stunning South Downs during the weekend 15th and 16th of November 2014.
Create Display textiles in Poplar cottage, Singleton

Create Display textiles in Poplar cottage, Singleton

Our team at Create Display were lucky enough to join forces with other designer makers and craftspeople, to present a festive treat for thousands of visitors.

Many of which had made their way across the country, to enjoy the Autumn colours and see all the historic buildings. The official site at Singleton continues invitingly:
AH at Weald & Downland Fair

Wrapped up at Weald & Downland Fair

"Find that perfect gift and enjoy a great day out."

As the Weald and Downland team promised, everyone enjoyed the bustling Christmas market and 130 craft and trade stands made the most of the sunshine that came out after a rainy week on the south coast.

As advertised the hot chestnuts were roasted and proved very popular as was the hog roast and an abundant supply of hot drinks to keep guests going as they rambled around the ancient village.
Poplar Cottage at Weald & Downland

Poplar Cottage at Weald & Downland

Festive music and carols gave us all some extra seasonal spirit and we were treated to beautiful views and we also admired the shire horses and some donkeys that were taking their strolls around the countryside.

Our Pop Up shop was a bit of a challenge this time, as we had decided to 'move house' to a new stand location this year, in order to keep things lively and make a change.

Poplar cottage was originally a craft and farm workers cottage in Washington village, built in the 1650's.The complete Poplar building and its contents has been carefully moved from its original location on the outskirts of Washington and delivered to its current position and painstakingly restored.

This has 'saved' the cottage as part of the buildings on display for the public to learn all about architectural history and also enjoy themselves outdoors.

We weren't able to hang our logo and signage above the displays as usual. Undeterred we improvised and used the shoemakers hooks that were already part of the existing cottage interior to provide an ideal attachment for our banner.

Unsurprisingly electricity sockets and powerful lighting were also in short supply in 17th century cottages it seems.We used additional battery powered lighting and borrowed an extra strip of spot lighting from our friendly fair stall neighbours to ensure everything could be seen successfully.

The1650's interior ceiling were so low some of the visitors had to duck to gain access and walk around. This shows how much the average person has grown! At Create Display our pre-made display stands are designed to make sure all the stock can be hung from the rails and no nails are necessary, that might damage the old walls.

Mini LED strings of star lights added a festive feel to the stand without detracting from the hand crafted original textiles in our unique store.

Several customers had fun choosing their gifts from our stand and mirrors, wall hangings and jewellery hangers were all snapped up as well as other interior accessories in our range. Many people delighted in admiring Mel Howse stained glass mini decorative pieces and choosing them as presents that will brighten up a variety of windows come Christmas Day.

We happily shared the special Poplar cottage with Tim Bartell and his wife and their wonderful pottery at Selsdon Ceramics.

This fair is a truly magical combination of jolly folk, waggy dogs, country fun and hand crafted products, with plenty of mince pies and live music to help everything along merrily.

We are really fortunate to have Singleton village nearby in West Sussex and it was a privilege to be part of it all at the Christmas fair again this year.

Weald & Downland Museum, Singleton, Sussex
Selsdon Ceramics, Selsdon, Greater London


Brand New Boutiques Boost Business at The Trading Post

Port Solent is known as one of the best marinas along the south coast of the UK with upscale retail and leisure facilities including a multiplex cinema. The development has a reputation for being a great place to spend time with family and friends, whether they are sailors or just like spending time relaxing at the waters edge. Port Solent’s official website states:

This successful marina site already enjoys a very healthy footfall, attracting in the region of 3 million customers a year. The 15 bars and restaurants enjoy year round buoyant trading and have a customer base with a higher than average spend per head. (1)

The Trading Post at Port Solent is Hampshire’s new retail arcade with a creative twist featuring several unusual gift and home shops.

Bespoke Art at One 2 Remember

Bespoke Art at One 2 Remember

Each with their special niche, these start-up entrepreneurs have stocked the shelves full of fresh ideas for fashionable men, women, children and pets. More than a dozen small retail premises are under one roof and offer many different items from furnishings to website design. There is an atmosphere of positive anticipation as the Trading Post is open to the public for its first Spring season.

Further along the marina’s Broadwalk is situated the now bi-monthly Port Solent market. At these charming weekend events, sellers bring a variety of locally baked treats, handmade crafts and cruise-wear fashion. Set against the harbours scenic nautical backdrop, high quality pieces can be found at stands such as ‘All Things Glass’ which showcases fused, stained and engraved treasures made in Dorothy Borlands studio a few miles north in Horndean.


View from Gracie Anne's cafe

View from Gracie Anne’s cafe

The Trading Post concept was born after market stall holders requested an alternative place to sell their wares on The Broadwalk. This was during inclement weather in the autumn that turned out to be the wettest winter on record.

Lorraine Newman is an artist and owner of the colourful range of original paintings and interior accessories at One To Remember located upstairs at the Trading Post. Lorraine explains

“Ms S Golden is the Unilever Marketing Manager and it was her good idea to open the Trading Post to provide cover for traders during the winter months and on wet days” (2)

After a full refurbishment of a large empty premises and a lot of hard work the portsolent.com website announced that

The Trading Post is a collection of 14 stunning shops and a traditional tea room overlooking the water at this prestigious marina destination. The Trading Post is a large 6,000 sq ft building located in the heart of the scheme with some of the best views over the marina. Downstairs the unit has been split in to 8 units, two of which overlook the marina.” (3)

The Trading Post Exterior

The Trading Post Exterior

Lorraine knows the building well as she used to display her colourful paintings in the windows when it used to be a cocktail bar called Manhattan in 2005. These bright canvases can be designed to fit with any scheme and Lorraine has sold One 2 Remember artwork all over the world.

This total transformation has lead to a shopping walk offering a completely different kind of attraction. Friendly local merchants promote their products and services on two floors within the white painted, modern boat yard style mall.

The social hub of the Trading Post is ‘Gracie Ann’s cafe’ which complete with pretty painted furniture makes a great afternoon tea to go with the delightful view. Diana is a helpful lady with a welcoming smile who is a waitress at the cafe and describes how

the name originates from the names of the cafe owner’s Mum and Mother-in-Law combined together.” (4)

Sweetie Kingdom caters for children and those who still have some room left after their tea and like traditional treats. So variety could be the theme of this project as Bow Wows keeps four legged friends happy and sells handmade collars for pets. The Glass Room barber shop makes sure men of all ages are well groomed between their cruises around the Solent. New Media UK is a one stop shop for smart web design and business presentation online. Art session workshops and children’s activities are also offered at The Trading Post so there is plenty to keep those who do like to be beside the water busy.

French furniture at the Trading Post

French furniture at the Trading Post

A community feel has been generated by the variety of small businesses that have set up shop under the same roof. These include Precious, a handmade jewellery shop where you can watch multi-coloured original glass jewellery being made by Karen Taylor as as you select your presents. It is also possible to ask Karen to assist you design your own custom made accessory.

The Stash is run by crafting expert Suzanne Tagg and provides a haven for those who love scrap-booking materials and enjoy making projects with decorative paper and fabric. Indigo Rose is full of re-styled Vintage furniture and accessories for the home that are individually selected in France and often hand painted in a pretty vintage style by the boutique’s owner Carla Street.

When asked how the retail stores are performing since the recent launch Lorraine says

so far this year the weekends have been busy and week days are quieter.” (5)

Support the Trading Post’s Future

If residents and people who live in the Portsmouth area choose to shop locally at the Trading Post and at Port Solent they will benefit from a diverse and unique shopping walk of small businesses on their doorstep. These innovative company directors and sole traders will all in turn contribute to the greater economy.

The larger ground floor units at the Trading Post are still available. The relatively high rents and stiff rates required for occupying the new retail development may be deterring smaller companies from leasing them and finally filling all the units at the Trading Post. If necessary another option could be to subdivide these prime shop floors into a few more units which will make these waterside stores more affordable.

Currently inside these empty retail spaces there are window displays and room sets of interesting products to be discovered further within the building. The clever merchants have clubbed together to promote their own ranges within these expensive shops on the ground floor that are perfect for enticing passing trade inside. The final pieces of the jigsaw are yet to be added.

It may be key to success that these local traders keep attracting the public back through their doors with tempting classes during the week, artistic events and merchandise that cannot be found in the high street. With the wind in the right direction, the Trading Post team deserve to win first place, in the race for coastal customers.


1. & 3. Port Solent – Official website 22/04/2014 The Port Solent website gives full details of new shops and events coming up at the marina.


2. & 5. Lorraine Newman, Owner and Artist at One 2 Remember 22/04/2014


4. Diane at Gracie Anne’s Tea Room 22/04/2014


5. All Things Glass 22/04/2014


6. Precious Jewellery 22/04/2014


7. The Stash 22/04/2014


8. Indigo Rose 22/04/2014


9. New Media UK 22/04/2014