If there's a possible bright side to the recession, it's the phenomenon of the pop-up shop: local people take over a vacant shop in an otherwise bland and homogenous shopping centre, and suddenly there's a place where you can buy lovely, quirky, one-off, hand-crafted things made by local people.
If you're in Birmingham over the next few weeks, there are two pop-up shops to visit. First there's the Pavilions Pop-up Arts Shop in the Pavilions Shopping Centre, which will only be open 5 days from 2nd-7th April, and features Mr. Bsag's prints, if you'll forgive the obligatory spousal plug. Then there's the Created in Birmingham shop, which is in the Bullring Shopping Centre. Both are fine places to have a look at interesting things made by talented people.