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I'm Heather McGarrigle and this is my blog - a colourful celebration of culture, crafting and creativity in Northern Ireland and beyond.

Thrifty Thursday: Market day!

Thrifty Thursday: Market day!

On Sunday 31 May I visited not one, but two markets in Belfast. Both very different, but equal in quality, variety and wallet-friendliness!

I called in first to the Fine and Dandy Market, held on the last Sunday of every month in The Crescent Arts Centre. It provides a platform for local makers and artisan producers to sell their wares and there is a seriously impressive selection of products for sale.

Handmade silver jewellery, homemade chutneys and preserves (delicious - I had to have a taste!), handpainted wood art and furniture, a fine tea emporium, vintage clothes, upcycled glassware, embroidered homewares, vinyl... The list goes on. All of the sellers I spoke to were so friendly, happy to take time to chat, and really passionate and knowledgeable about their crafts.

Click the pics to see them full-size, and for links to the makers featured.

I could have stayed all day without running out of things to look at, but I couldn't miss being at the first ever Belfast Flea. I'm so impressed with what these guys have put together in a relatively short period of time.

Housed in the colourful courtyard of The Sunflower Bar, under lime-green canopy roofs, the couple of dozen or so stalls were jam-packed with kitsch and curiosity. There were old classic books, original art, classic vinyl, stunning vintage and pre-loved clothes and shoes spilling out of old suitcases, and jewellery and knick knacks draped lovingly on charmingly rickety side tables.

There was also hot food, traybakes and (of course) a few pints being enjoyed, and apart from a violent but mercifully brief hail storm, the sun smiled down. A great day - I see this being a permanent monthly fixture in this thriving little quarter of Belfast.

Other must-see markets in Belfast and beyond:

The Dock Market (Belfast, Titanic Quarter)

Folktown Market (Belfast, Folktown Quarter)

St George's Market (Belfast)

North Down Craft Collective (Holywood)

Shambles Variety Market (Armagh)

Any you'd like me to add to the list? Get in touch!

Visiting Hours: Buskfest 2015

Visiting Hours: Buskfest 2015

Popping up at #CNL14!

Popping up at #CNL14!