Category Archives: Local

The Fold Monthly Market, Bransford

I have been so very, very busy this week, and am so very, very tired. Next week is going to be worse (hence this post being written late on Sunday night). I thought instead of me waffling on with some nonsense or other, I would share with you the photos from my day today. I was at The Fold Monthly Market in Bransford. I am there every month – fourth Sunday of the month, 10am until 2pm – be lovely to see you if you are ever in the area. Its has such a great vibe – loads of local artists, crafters, designer makers, food producers – all sorts really. All the stallholders are super friendly and we love being there together. So, here it is in pictures – enjoy!

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Window Display

I had a great week last week – and the best part of it by far was doing my first ever proper window display. I am so excited about it, I will show you the picture first, and then tell you about it after….. look……

Tromans window display

Whaddyafink? I was rather pleased with it! I shall tell you more about it….. well, firstly, incase you hadn’t guessed, the window display was done for an opticians, being Tromans Family Eyecare of Malvern Link. I know Andrew, the owner, through school – his daughter and mine are in the same class and we are both on the PTA.

The majority of the display is made out of foamboard, which I have rediscovered – I love working with it, it is a very satisfying material to cut, but it does need a regular change of scalpel blade and a confident slicing action – if you are too slow with the cutting it seems to catch a bit for some reason.

I can;t take any credit for the colourful logo int he middle – this was designed by Andrew’s sister in law – its fun though, do you like it? I cut the two families on either side in a similar style (or tried to) – was very pleased to have got the holes to put the actual glasses through in the right place….that was a relief I can tell you as it was my last sheet of foamboard so would have been in trouble if I had cocked it up!

So….how many of you wear glasses and live in driving distance of Malvern?! I hope you will pop down and have a look for yourself, and check out the shop – excellent service and great choice of frames too. Oooo, here’s a thought – why not go and check out their website and see for yourself from the comfort of your armchair?! Tromans Family Eyecare I actually bumped into a friend of mine whilst I was working there – she had popped in to try to find a new pair of glasses. I helped her try some on – take a look at these ones, what do you think? I think they look fab! Hopefully Jill’s husband will think the same! By the way, Jill is super crafty – checkout her website.

Tromans Family Eye Care - trying on glasses

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Almost November? No way!!

Anyone else totally shocked that it seems to be almost November already? How did that happen?! I suppose I have been super busy, but then I feel like I am always super busy. So what have I been up to?

Well…… I have been undertaking investigations into getting some fabric printed with my designs – firstly so that I can make lampshades with them, but then also to make a whole range of soft furnishing type stuff – and thinking table runners, napkins, cushions, doorstops – what do you think – you like, or no? It has been much harder than I anticipated to be honest – story of the year in many ways! I have narrowed it down to two options – firstly to get someone local to have a stab at it for me – problem is, I am not sure if the fabric is quite right, or alternatively use Spoonflower – an American custom fabric printing company, or a new UK based company – Be Fab Be Creative. The problem with these second options is that I will need to get my head round some kind of digital image programe thing on the computer – photoshop, gimp, that type of thing – I really haven’t a scooby how these things work and it is making my brain hurt just thinking about it! Hmmm…..either that or perhaps pay someone else to sort the images out – ah, now there’s a thought!

I have also recently been approached about a collaborative project with another company – I really need to get back to them today to say YES I would be interested – hard to find the time and head space sometimes though, but as the children are away for a few days with their Dad I should make the most of the peace and quiet.

But back to real life and stuff that is actually happening rather than things whirling round inside my head – I was at The Fold Monthly Market again yesterday. I can;t tell you how happy I am I have found this place! I have never been to a market that is so friendly and helpful – the other stall holders are a fantastically cheery lot, an amazing range of good quality craft work and locally produced foods and drinks (including yummy beer and cider!). So I filled my tum with the most exquisite pastry products, drank soothing sweet tea, and I got these super snuggly gloves – am very pleased with them! (I was a good girl, I managed to stay away from the beer and cider sampling this week!)

And the organisers are a lovely lot – couldn’t be more helpful. I have signed up to do the next ones in November and December – so come and say hello if you get the chance – 10am until 2pm on the 4th Sunday of every month – follow this link for more info …. The Fold Monthly Market And if you are a local designer maker of food producer, it might be worth getting in touch to see if you can grab yourself a pitch – I don’t think there are many spare, but it’s worth a shot!

OK, I think that’s about it for today – sorry, it has been a bit of a rambling one! Am off to find someone interesting for you for my post on Thursday.

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Lovely Ludlow

I have been so busy over the last week or so, I completely forget to tell you that I have a fab new retailer on board – yay! I delivered a load of stock to them last week, so hopefully it will be on the shelves about now.

The shop in question is Kaboodle and they are in Ludlow. They also have an online store – check it out here – Kaboodle  I really love their…what do you call it….um…. mission statement? have a read ….

Kaboodle – Diverse World – an eclectic mix for the free thinking, rejecting the hype and falsehoods of the lifestyle merchants. Embracing     diverse global cultures where choice is your given freedom – inspiration to balance your world.

So if you are in the area, pop in and have a look, see if you can find my cards amongst a myriad of other treasures. It is an especially good shop if you like all things owl and rabbit!

I have to say, if you haven’t been to Ludlow, it really is worth a visit. I am thinking of planning a small weekend away there, even though it is very close to where I live!! There seem to be plenty of nice pubs and restaurants, and some great shopping – lots of independents, which is always good to see.We managed to find  a really lovely deli with lots of local produce from which we had the most amazing sage and apple scotch egg (which they very kindly cut into four for us, having no knife as we were having an impromptu picnic!) Have a nosy – Deli on the Square . There is also the amazing castle. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to go and have a look, so will have to arrange a return visit.

I was very lucky, and managed to time my visit to coincide with one of their food and craft markets. We had the most amazing Shropshire blue and red onion bread from one of the stalls, plus a feta and rosemary focaccia – mmmmmm. I also met a really lovely lady called Lola, who makes the most wonderful original artwork. She regularly has a stall there, so pop down and hunt her out – or if you can’t make it, check out her website to see what she does, and also find out where else she has a stall – Lola Charles.

Right, that’s enough of my trip to Ludlow – sorry to have gone slightly off topic there, just thought I would share with you a really enjoyable day! And maybe I might have inspired you to have a weekend away in this lovely place!

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What day is it again?

Is it Tuesday? Or Wednesday? No…. Tuesday, its OK, I kinda know where I am. Bit of a confusing week though, well for a bear of very little brain at least. We have had a visit from my Dutch relatives – was lovely to see them – and then at school this week (my school or my daughters school – she is reception I am PTA) we are having a visit from our sister school in Kenya, so lots of preparations for that under way. AND we have got Annabel and family and Emily and family coming to stay next weekend (6 adults 6 kids!). It’s why I am a bit all over the shop with dates. (Oh bother, it is also school dinner money week which I think I have forgotten again – stoopid system where the only method of paying is by cash every three weeks).

Anyway, what I really came here to tell you is that this week I am getting ready for the Bizart fair on Saturday. This means making sure I have the right amount of cards, and they are all paired up with envelopes and cellophane pockets (especially important in this rain!). I have mounted a load of limited edition prints, and I have my lampshades all wrapped up snug in bubble wrap. I have to choose which original pieces of work to take with me – not sure if I should take only new stuff or a mixture of the two, although am also worrying that I am going to be running out of room on my stall!

Goodness, have to remember to sort out a couple of lamp bases and lots of extension leads – MUST NOT FORGET TO TAKE! Problem is, I don’t really have any decent lamp bases, not the kind that look good with my shades on. It is just yet another thing to add to the list of things I really out to buy for business reasons, but just can’t afford at the moment.

I have splashed out on some cardboard display stands (that is what was in the mystery package yesterday!) Have been having a little play around with them – what do you think?

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Keeping It Local – An Oscars Style Thanks!

I feel like I have come quite a long way in a short period of time this year, trying to get this venture off the ground, and have been thinking about how I have managed to do that. The one thing that I keep coming back to is that I wouldn’t have been able to get this far without the help and support of so many local businesses and local people, so I thought it right and proper to take a little time to thank them, so here goes!

First on the list is the lovely Jill Peer. She is a member of the Malvern Hills Gallery and has her fingers in lots of crafty pies! She runs The Pixley Crafters, of which I am a member – we are a craft group who meet a couple of times a month in various Malvern pubs to discuss crafty type stuff – its lots of fun, a great source of inspiration, and also a great place to learn about how the art and craft world works. Jill has been so kind, friendly, helpful and supportive – and a great laugh too – what more could you want! You can check her out over on her website… http://www.jillpeertreatments.com/index.htm

Second on the list is Steve a.k.a. Your Picture Framer. He has provided the most amazing service, so much more than you would get from a  national or an online service. It is great being able to get to his and back to pick up mounts in under 20 minutes! And to be able to phone up in a panic at gone 6pm about some mounts and then be able to go and pick up the new ones under an hour later – what more could one ask for?! So if you are in need of a high quality, friendly, fast picture framing and mount making service, you really only need to contact this chap – http://www.yourpictureframer.co.uk/

Third is  Mr Sean Austin at Austin & Co. which is a fantastic independent card and stationery shop in Malvern ( http://www.austinandco.co.uk/ ) Without his support, belief and encouragement the greetings cards would not be in existence. The greetings card market is a lot more complex than one might first imagine, and I really value his opinions and knowledge about the business – and its great to be able to have business meetings in the pub too! If you happen to be in Malvern, please pop in and say hello (and buy lots of stuff, including my cards and original artwork!).

Next is Mark who prints my cards for me over at The Whole Hog (http://www.thewholehog.biz/printer_worcester_contact.html) and also manages to get my artwork onto the computer and looking how it should, rather than my dodgy home photography sessions! This means that hopefully I will be able to have some decent images on the website next week. It’s great to be able to have a chat on the phone and nip down there to check out the progress, and that it’s OK for the toddler to toddle along too! Looking forward to dropping down my next batch of work for processing.

Then comes Popi at Mangojuice Gallery and Workshop – http://www.mangojuicegallery.com/ who is now stocking my greetings cards and limited edition prints alongside her wonderful jewelery and other great stuff from UK artists and designers.

Now I also have to thank all those at Bizart – you can find their blog on wordpress), especially Ruth. Jenny and Bridgette and the rest of the Pixley Group for kindness, fun and advice, my fab-a-lous neighbour Kirstin for gee-ing me up and emergency childcare, Crafty Mo for supplies (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Crafty-Mos/248848165182673), Zoe & Alan Coldicott for tea and craft fairs, Kirsty Stockwin for sound business advice, um, and I am sure hundreds of other people!

Anyway, the general point is that I have developed a rather large network of local help and support and I really do think this is the only way a small business venture can thrive – and at least if I don’t make any money, I have made some new friends –  cue the Qwynnie style sobbing and gushing –  will shut up now and leave you in peace! Lots of love my dahlings, mwah mwah.

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Exhibition Month

I have been so tied up with my own exhibition setting up that I completely forgot to mention that my amazing new friend Jill has got an exhibition of her own happening this month. If you happen to be in Malvern, please do go and check it out – Malvern HIlls Gallery

http://www.malverngallery.co.uk/

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busy times….

Last night I went to a meeting of The Pixley Crafters group in Malvern. I must admit I was a little nervous as to wat kind of people I might meet – it had occurred to me that it might be a bunch of nutters, but it was at a nice pub and the lure of half a pint (driving) of Dragons Blood was enough to tempt me. I was pleased to find three lovely ladies who were so warm and welcoming. We talked about life and family, the trials and tribulations of moving house, local Ledbury, and of course art and craft. I am sure you will hear more about these ladies in the future.

 

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