The Navigatrix at the Morton Steam and Vintage Fair

Sophia Cardea, the Navigatrix

The Morton Steam and Vintage Weekend, Lincolnshire, has been running for over 7 years. It is an event that is authorised by the National Traction Engine Trust and is one of many rallies held around the UK. This was the first time that I had run a stall as The Navigatrix, so I turned to the Etsy community, mainly to the group I help lead In Here Life Is Beautiful. I was delighted to get some thorough advice, drawn from experience (thanks all!) which helped me to be very well prepared. 

The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was that the organiser had been very thoughtful and, because of the weather, made a space for me in one of the main marquees. So, home went my gazebo with hubby, daughter and -oops- my banner.  Luckily, since we live nearby my banner was restored to me at lunchtime on Saturday.

At this point, it only feels right to acknowledge all the help I had in getting there. A ‘mummy friend’, who had heard of my crafty inclination, approached me one day and told me that she used to make jewellery and had some boxes left over and would I like them? ‘Yes please,’ I replied, thinking she meant about ten or so. Just over sixty boxes came my way later that week. These were an absolute gift, helping me to transport my work and display most of the pieces in a very professional looking way. My uncle had access to a large folding table and brought the beautiful cloth and two strips of ‘pleather’ to cover it with. I used a glass sugar bowl I’d inherited for my business cards and my beautiful personal jewellery tree and matching candlestick for displaying earrings.

The plastic boxes for storing and transporting had come from home, emptied of other things and borrowed for this event. Two blue glass bottles my hubby had saved made good hat stands (I’m glad he hadn’t listened to my pleas to recycle them after all!).

The orange boards used to display the felt novelty brooches were originally slat shelves from cheap clothes storage system shelves languishing in the garage, covered by stapled-on curtains given to us by my in-laws. I hope by now I’m giving a few people hope that amazing things can be achieved on a very tight budget, as long as you are willing to accept help from others and be unafraid to ask in the first place! Even my costume, the most expensive bit, was bought in instalments, long before the event, thus spreading the cost. 

The fantastic custom-built goggles are by my brother Matt at . I had commissioned them but he surprised me by giving them as a birthday gift. {Hug} He also re-finished the mirror which used to belong to our Granny. Little personal touches meant a lot to me.
The little balloon necklace is again from Etsy, Elaina Louise Studios. The clip-on olive swarovski crystal earrings are by my Tai-Chi teacher’s partner, Tracy at Because of Annie

The Edwardian style Tea Hat fascinator I’m wearing, I made myself and will soon be available to buy at The Navigatrix, for a limited time only. Because it goes so well with my outfit….

The hairclip was the first item I made and the one that inspired my whole shop. You can now read about the origins of The Navigatrix on my new About page. Etsy continue to impress me with their innovative developments and abundant support. I’m glad to be a part of it!
My three and a half year old daughter was quite
happy to tell passers by to ‘buy Mummy’s pretty
jewellery’.Bless her ♡

“When asked if one is a Time Traveller, the only proper reply is an enigmatic ‘May be'”
~Sophia Cardea
Overall, I had a very good experience, made quite a few sales and gave out a lot of business cards. The comments I received from people there were very encouraging. One of the most often heard was that my items were different and people loved my costume. This hat had quite a few admirers itself! I would encourage any local-ish traders whose items complement steam powered vehicles and vintage cars to get in touch with Morton Steam and Vintage on Facebook or their official website.

Many thanks to all who made the weekend so enjoyable!
Photos by Matt of Arcane Armoury, Instagram images by dollydaydreams
Edwardian Tea Hat made and photographed by Sally-Ann Livingston of The Navigatrix 

4 thoughts on “The Navigatrix at the Morton Steam and Vintage Fair

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