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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

Links round up – Who needs Mary Portas?

Sophie, Kat & Stacey at work in Da3 as reflected in Chloe Blount's reclaimed vintage mirror

Helen Crump's beautiful and witty pottery sewing tray - on sale at Da3

So you may have seen earlier this week that the government has called in celebrity retail expert and queen of glam Mary Portas to examine our drab and half empty high streets. But I’m not sure that we need her in Nottingham. Consider, if you will, the evidence…

First up, our friends at Curiosity Haus are holding one of their fantastic craft fairs on Saturday, featuring a whole host of very talented types and their delicious wares. This month it’s being held at The Orange Tree Pub, on  Shakespeare Street from 12noon till 5pm. Here at Creative Nottingham we all have our favourites and mine is the work of my erstwhile colleague Kate Broughton so make sure you check our her new range of garden themed cards and gifts. The Curiosity Haus fair is a birthday celebration as Curiosity Haus have been bringing crafty talents to Nottingham for two years now! Happy Birthday Curiosity Haus!

Slap bang in the city centre sits pop up shop Da3. What’s a pop up shop, I hear you say? Well, in this case, Nottingham Trent University students have taken over an empty city centre retail space as part of their final year module on live trading. It’s full of a whole host of crafty items, including many made by the students as part of their Decorative Arts degree. I popped in this week to have a look round and a chat and was really impressed and jealous! The shop features work by students, graduates and local crafters and offers students a taste of trading in the “real world”.

“It’s been a really positive experience,” they told me. (They were Sophie Whittle, Kat James and Stacey Lapper

Sophie, Kat & Stacey at work in Da3 as reflected in Chloe Blount's reclaimed vintage mirror

) “We’ve had a lot of footfall and some people have come in specially. Even if people haven’t bought anything, they’ve really liked the work out on display and we’ve learnt so much.”

The shop has attracted visits from local traders looking to stock their goods and is only open until 6th June. I’d venture so far as to say there’s something for everyone – textiles, ceramics, furnishings, clothing. A strong vintage and recycling theme runs through much of the work which does perhaps reflect the current vogue but also gives the pieces a timeless feel. The shop is on Lower Parliament Street, near the Victoria Centre entrance and is open Wednesday-Saturday. Get down there and have a good look round!

Finally, Kathleen and Lily’s are having a final *sniff* clearance everything must go type sale this weekend. Fill carrier bags for just £3! I know! But please save something for those of us who can’t get there till Sunday. Kathleen and Liily’s can be found at 205 Mansfield Road.

So there you have it! Get to Nottingham, Ms Portas, and we’ll show you a thing or two about good shopping. In the meantime have a good weekend all…