STRAIGHT from the inaugural York Textile Artists exhibition at York Cemetery Chapel, Stillington artist Alison Spaven is taking her needle-felted creations to the Country Living Christmas Fair at Harrogate Convention Centre from Thursday to Sunday.

This will be her fourth year at the show, trading under the name of The Crafty Wytch. "I love the atmosphere; everyone is really pleasant and I have customers who come back to me year after year," says Alison, whose work will be on sale at her stand in Hall B. "Even the ones that don't buy again come to let me know how much pleasure my creations have given them or the people they have bought them for."

Every year Alison introduces a new product at the show. "This year I'll be taking my story boxes, which are a mix of reclaimed fabrics ribbons and lace, found items and felted accents,"she says. "Combined with strands of poetry, they combine my love of the antique with the whimsy of my felted work."

York Press:

Two deer: for sale at Alison Spaven's stall of needle-felted creations at the Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate

The Country Living Christmas Fair is in its seventh year in Harrogate, where visitors can immerse themselves in a Christmas experience involving cooking demonstrations in the Country Living Kitchen, craft workshops and dining at a French bistro set up in the Royal Hall, as well as sourcing handmade gifts, decorations, locally produced food and drink and products for interiors.

More than one third of the 300 exhibitors are from Yorkshire, including Saskia & Rose, a York luxury leather accessories brand founded in 2017 by two friends, former beauty journalist Suzanne Braithwaite and former department store fashion buyer Francesca Mcclure, who are exhibiting at the event for a second year.

"We had such a successful time last year that we can’t wait to return," says Suzanne. "Our products range from handbags to coin purses and we offer 'personalisation' too, so customers can pick up an extra special gift for someone or treat themselves."

Just So Interiors, from Harrogate, will have a stall too, in their case for a third year. Launched by Rebecca Moore with her mother Angela in 2012, the company provides interior design services and sells a range of seasonal home accessories such as throws, candle holders and Christmas decorations.

York Press:

Country Living Christmas Fair exhibitors, top, left to right, Rebecca Moore, from Just So Interiors, Moneeza Kahn, from Lotus Blu Book Art, and Suzanne Braithwaite, from Saskia and Rose; bottom row, Angela Moore, from Just So Interiors, and Sam McDermid, from Infinity & Co

Rebecca says: "We’re really looking forward to exhibiting again; it’s great to see repeat customers, as well as meeting new visitors and exhibitors from across the country. We have a newly launched Christmas range to help people add a decorative festive touch to their homes this winter and we’re very excited to share it."

The fair puts the emphasis on up-and-coming talent, small businesses and independent designer/makers, with Harrogate jewellery brand Infinity & Co and Leeds artisan book bindery Lotus Blu Book Art among the other stalls as visitors make their way around home and garden ware, arts and crafts, regional food and drink and the latest fashions and accessories.

Dan Sewell, event director at Upper Street Events, the fair's organisers, says: "We’re very happy to be returning to Harrogate for the seventh year. The Country Living magazine pages really come to life here and we’re delighted that residents and visitors alike continue to enjoy everything the fair has to offer."

More than 17,000 people are expected to attend and ticket details can be found at Opening hours are Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm.