Christmas is coming, Paperdolls Handmade Market “Digmas”

Hello folks, how are things with you all, looking forward to Christmas break. Its been busy with me getting ready for the Christmas markets in the famous Custard Factory in Digbeth, now a true centre for the arts, digital films, in Digbeth.

Plan ahead

If you fancy having your own market stall, you will need to plan ahead some months, or a year ahead you need to contact the market operator’s informing them of your interest in applying  with them.  For larger market operators. i.e Moseley Arts Market, Birmingham MAC, both you require to apply a year ahead. Others can be months (Paperdolls Handmade) prior to the event.  The application you will include your details, details of your work, photos of your work if necessary past experiences plus payment & details of your PL insurance.

If you pass the criteria of the operator then you will receive a positive reply.


I fully enjoy taking part in these independent handmade arts & crafts markets. The artwork you see with them is not found on your high street. We are small independent handmade artists, enthusiastic about our artwork, just stop & chat with us. I enjoy meeting my customers and chatting about my art and sharing the history of Birmingham, promoting my art to the public.

It’s strange mind you the common question most artists are asked “how long did it take you” what sort of question is that, are they weighing up if its worth the price. It feels like an insult to us. We are handmade crafters, artists, potters, jewellery designers, woodcrafters. Materials are brought then handmade into the final artwork these are unique designs.

custard factory tin

Brief family history of the Custard Factory

I have a soft spot for the Custard Factory in Digbeth as it was my mother in law first job working in an office young as she was her memories of working and meeting the man himself she has fond and happy memories. One of her proud stories is being invited by Alfred Bird to celebrate his gift to Solihull, his family home and land becoming known as Tudor Grange Park his kind donation for the community of his home becoming an education college.

Brief history of the founder of the Birds Custard

In its past history, the home of Birds Custard enjoyed by all around the world, where Alfred Bird (1811-1875) came up with the golden recipe it was all down to his wife Elizabeth who had both egg and yeast allergies. Which inspired Alfred by professional was a manufacturer and chemist working in Bull Street, Birmingham. To replace eggs with his own invention cornflour, egg free custard. In its long history of making this delicious vanilla custard. ‘Alfred Bird and Sons Ltd’ remained in the family business right up to after the WII when it was sold to General Foods and moving out of Digbeth, Birmingham to its new home in Banbury.

Now we think of food allergies as growing new modern lifestyle peanuts, milk, oats, wheat along with berries, so many of my friends have to check each purchase and eating out is a nightmare. My family are fortunate that we don’t suffer from such allergies. We can indulge in yummy food, without any fears.

So you could say Alfred Bird lead the way in supplying alternative easy choice for mothers to avoid food allergies.

Paperdolls Handmade Markets
Christmas Market 2017 held at Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham

Paperdolls Handmade Market – “Digmas” independent Christmas Market – 25th Nov 2017

It was a bit of worry if I would be able to go along due to I had a bad fall in October and silly me broke a bone in my foot, Damn inconvenient and painful of my foot to that to me.

With the stock of paintings ready for sale, I was excited to pick to be taking part in my first Paperdolls Christmas Market, An excellent display of the handmade creative selection of high standards of independent makers. One of the best operators and well organised by Jo & Carolyn.

DPfkfv3W0AUIgmI paperdolls xmas 2017


Paperdolls Handmade Market day

Website details

About Paperdolls Handmade, info from their website.

The Paperdolls began in the summer of 2013 when we, Jo Dowsett & Carolyn Carter – two likeminded designer makers decided to spread our love of all things handmade and get people making again.

We began by meeting monthly with the intention to eventually bring together local crafters and shake up the traditional craft fair, providing local shoppers with a creative alternative to the high street.
Our markets have grown over the years since we started. We showcase a diverse & unique hand-picked selection of arts & crafts by local makers and designers. There is also a pop-up cake shop, live music and kids activities.

My day at the Custard Factory

Great day meeting up with old customers as well new and really lovely having them come along to seek me out on my stall. Some of my favourites paintings were sold to new customers will be nice to see them again.

It was a delightful meeting the other artists, in particular, Yasmin Hook & Madeline Norris

Really loved Yasmin children books full of bright colours fab illustrations of animals please check out her website she also does larger prints of her animals.

Madeline Norris, please check out her website

Madeline handmade items are fine needlework idea for the bathroom home deco or a child’s bedroom along with her paintings must take a look, spending time chatting with her made the day, loved how she layered her paintings using mixed media.

I had a lovely busy day, with Paperdolls Handmade and found the selection of stallholders were of a very high standard of independent makers, I would fully recommend you go along to looking and purchasing something from them, its an excellent display of handmade crafters just check out their website for more details.

Last Christmas, Bullring acrylic painting
Bullring Birmingham, Christmas in the Bullring

I offer to the customer original paintings of Birmingham on canvas, no prints of my work. The range is of mixed sizes of past and present paintings with acrylic in monochrome colours showing the story of Our Lady in red travels around Birmingham.

Please check out my websites

“Show me your Birmingham” presented by Anchor Gallery. Oct 2017

Meeting Dan LLywelyn Hall on 02-11-2017

Fine Arts Exhibition “Hidden Talents” presented by Arches Project, Digbeth, Birmingham Nov 2017




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