Kirstie"s Handmade Christmas
8th March, 2019

Back in August 2018, I was approached at a Show by Kirstie Allsopps production company, asking me to apply for one of her programmes. So I did and shortly after heard that I had been lucky enough to be chosen to appear on the Christmas Wreath Competition.

In October they flew me down to Honiton and I met my lovely fellow competitors, Rachel - Mosaics, Sally - Macrame, Joy - Papercraft. We were picked up from the hotel at 7am! so it was an early start to try and get my wild hair under control and a bit of makeup on. Filming was in Handmade Christmas HQ, a beautiful old house full of art and stuffed animals with rickety old floor boards. After a while in the green room we set up our equipment in the drawing room, then around 9.30 Kirstie came in to say hello and we started! I was very nervous but as soon as I started making I dissappeared into a familiar zone and relaxed despite a horrible cold. I was sucking cough sweets all day so my voice on the program is not what I normally sound like.

It was hot under the lights and we were all working really hard to try and get finished on time. I was so pleased with the way my wreath turned out, I deliberately hadn't made a complete one before as I had wanted to enjoy the moment and surprise on the day of how it would look. Also things never turn out as well second time around I find.

After a few stops we finally finished around 5pm and went back to the green room where we waited nervously for the judging and next stage of filming. At last we went down and lined up nervously, but what a massive surprise when I heard the result although not shown on the program there was a slight delay for my response as the judge said the winner was Woodland Hedgerow but my piece was called a Winter Hedgerow petty I know but I didn't want to embarass myself by celebrating if someone else had won instead!

Anyway I got my lovely trophy but the ivy garland they put over my head had to go back to the art department for the next winner. We had a glass of fizz with Kirstie then back in the car to the hotel for a lovely meal with Joy and Sally.

Then on the 20th December the programme was shown and within seconds my website went crazy with orders flooding in, I was totally inundated with so many lovely comments and best wishes and Orders! It is only now in March that I have finished nearly all the commissions.

It was a totally amazing experience and I loved every second xx

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Kirsti Allsopp's Handmade Fair
3rd October, 2017

Back in September, I packed up the Beasties and Bella my vintage bike and tootled down to Hampton Court Palace, London to do the Handmade Fair. It was a brilliant show and I had so many lovely comments about my work. Kirsti said it reminded her of the Masquerade book by Kit Williams and the golden hare, which was great. I stayed with friends in Hampton so my morning commute was a 30 minute bike ride on Bella through Bushy Park, the second biggest Royal Park. The deer were very tame and the Stags were rutting so it made a wonderful experience every morning and evening. Kirsti was so nice and friendly to all the exhibitors. I shall definitely be back next year.

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Haring Around
28th February, 2017

It's that time of year when I am designing my new pieces, here is a favourite of mine 'Haring Around'. I loved Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows' when I was younger and the crazy Mr Toad, well here is my own crazy hare charging around in his wee car, it took a lot of messing about with bits of paper and origami to get the shape if the car right but I love it x

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New techniques
25th February, 2016

I have been enjoying playing around in the workshop with bits of old lace trying to come up for some new designs this year. Here I have stained old lace with tea then heavily starched it, cut out flowers leaves and borders and wired them onto my assemblage. I think the antique lace looks lovely next to the old china fragments. I will see how the new pieces go at the British Craft trade Fair in April.

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Finding all my old china
29th January, 2016

I am quite often asked where I get all my old china and bits and bobs. It used to be car boot sales and charity shops, but now I have an amazing vintage shop just two doors up on Jedburgh High Street, Grove Antiques at the old post office. Lorna the owner pops in from time to time with goodies for me, she knows exactly what I like and it saves me a lot of time treasure hunting. If you are ever in Jedburgh visiting my gallery do pay a visit to her shop, where else will you come across a beaver in a tiara!

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