Make & Mend Festival Returns To Preston Park #AD

17 Jun 2019

Source: Make & Mend

Teesside readers, let me ask you a question. Am I imagining things or is our little corner of the North East becoming more and more arts-friendly? I'm seeing so many events, exhibitions and general arts discussions popping up all over the place, and I'm absolutely loving it. As a creative, it's so amazing to see this incredible shift and witness the difference it's making in our area. There are so many exciting things happening for the creative sectors, but today, I really want to focus in on a particular event that I'm ridiculously excited for - Make & Mend Festival (Sunday 7th July)!

Now, if you're not from the Middlesbrough/Stockton area, you might not have heard of Make & Mend yet, but I'm certain that you will! This festival is returning to one of my favourite parks, Preston Park, for its second year after an amazing pilot in 2018. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to visit last year, but I'm so looking forward to getting stuck in this time around! It's something that is totally up my street - full of Northern pizzazz, hands-on craft workshops, live demos and so much more!

About Make & Mend

Before I get stuck into telling about all the workshop details and the new-for-2019 elements of the festival, let me just give you a little bit of background. Rachel and Lyndsey, two friends from Stockton, launched the Make & Mend Company a few years ago after finding strength and happiness during periods of challenging mental health and high pressured careers through crafting. They wanted to share the incredible healing powers of making and mending, and so, the company and its festival was born! And what makes this even more amazing is that we have this right on our doorstep, so if you've been looking for a way to ease any stress or anxiety, or simply just shake off your working week a bit, this festival could be just what you need.
Source: Clare Bowes Photography

Why am I going to the festival?

Something that I haven't talked about too much on here is my love for crafting. Sure, I work for a crafting company in my day job, but I have loved getting crafty for as long as I can remember. I remember my mum introducing me to cross stitch when I was still in secondary school and I've loved it ever since (which reminds me, I've had a WIP going for over 3 years now... I really need to get that finished). I've also been taking a lot of interest in dressmaking lately, so once I've moved into the new place, I think I'm going to get my hands on my mum's old sewing machine and start practising!

That's just one reason why I'm so excited for this festival, but I think the main reason is that I've been struggling so much with my mental health lately. It has been a crazy battle where I'll feel on top of the world one minute, then it'll all come crashing down around me, leaving me feeling deflated and downright miserable. It's something I touched on in my How Am I Getting On With My 2019 Goals? post, so I think that taking some proper time out to indulge in some crafty goodness will do me some good. The embroidery workshop is calling me!

And the final reason that I'm looking forward to Make & Mend Festival is because it's being held in Preston Park. This is a place that holds so many memories for me - from seeing how high I can swing on the tire swings in the playground, to rolling down the big grassy hill towards the River Tees, to exploring the Victorian Street in the Museum. It's a place that holds such a fond place in my heart and I love visiting, no matter what time of the year it is.
Preston Park's River Tees lookout

What can you expect at Make & Mend?

Anyway, let's get back to talking about the festival and what you can expect from the day. As I mentioned before, there are a bunch of workshops that you can book on to when you purchase your tickets, and there really is something to take everyone's fancy. I'm very much interested in the embroidery hoop workshop, but there's also floral watercolour, macrame, bookbinding, brush lettering and so much more! They're the perfect thing to help you try something new and maybe even push you out of your comfort zone a little. 

However, if the hands on approach isn't your thing, there are plenty of demos and drop-ins too, and this is the beauty of Make & Mend - it's all about doing what makes you comfortable to help you unwind. There will also be the opportunity to get involved with some wellbeing experiences, such as yoga classes and inspiring talks. These are ideal if you aren't too much of a crafter and want to feel uplifted or revived in a different way. Wear your comfiest clothes, come with an open mind and get your stretch on to combat any mental issues that you may be facing.

Brand new to the festival for 2019 is The Maker Marketplace - a gorgeous market that will offer a range of thoughtfully curated craft kits and handmade gifts for those who are looking for something unique to inspire their creativity. With skincare, jewellery, illustrated goods, paper cut pieces and so much more, there is bound to be something that interests you.

Of course, when you've seen all there is to see at the festival (although I'm not sure that this is possible), you can take a beautiful walk along the River Tees or taking time out to explore the museum. I'm hoping that the weather holds up so I can go and take some nature shots by the river! But this is why Preston Park is the perfect location for Make & Mend - it's so rich with things to do and see!
Source: Clare Bowes Photography

Talking about this year’s Make & Mend festival, Lyndsey explained, “There really is nothing like this happening in the country at the moment. Our festival is designed to help you make some time for yourself and unleash your creative spirit whilst celebrating craft and makers in the North East.

I'm absolutely certain that this festival is going to be a huge hit in our town and I bet that there'll be visitors from across the country. I'm so excited to visit and celebrate all the North East creatives, as well as get my craft on and see how the festival develops for next year!

Make & Mend Festival will be held on Sunday 7th June from 10AM - 4PM at Preston Park Museum and Grounds (TS18 3RH). Find tickets here (be quick, they're going fast!).

Keep up to date with Make & Mend on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

This post was sponsored by Make & Mend Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whould you like to comment?

  1. I'm absolutely gutted I miss out on this a couple of weeks ago. It sounds right up my street!