Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Missing in action !! ( wedding action )

Well hello .

Where have the last few weeks gone ??

Sorry I've not popped by but  the last two weeks I've been missing in action !! Wedding action .

Before that I had a stall at my schools summer fair to prepare stock for . I have been on a continuous creating roller coaster ever since the Open studio event , boy does that seem along time ago !! In fact I did hit a mid week exhausted state the week after the Open Studio event , I do push myself hard and I know at some point it will hit me . So I don't fight it when it hits, I take a couple of days to catch up on sleep and then I'm good to go again at full belt for a while .

I enjoyed making things for the school summer fair I always try to do lots of very nicely made inexpensive items for people to buy and this year I decided to do some Lavender bags , but my first problem I had was to source bulk lavender . After pootling about on the net I discovered a company based in Yorkshire that grew and sold Lavender . Fantastic as I like to keep things locally sourced if I can . The company Yorkshire Lavender @ Terrington near York has a lovely web sight and it is easy to use and the service is fast and efficient and I've ordered twice now . When the delivery came I was hit by the heady scent of lavender and I hadn't even opened it . This filled me with confidence that it was good quality stuff in the box .

I was not disappointed !!!
So this really gave me the urge to make , make Lavender bags but I wanted to do nicely designed ones that would look pretty to have hung up around the home . I really had an anchoring  to use vintage textiles and linens . So I had a search of my stash and the local charity shops and collectors centre.
This is some of my Charity shop haul and then I got creative with Linen and vintage doilies and vintage textiles and trims .

The Summer Fair  with the calming sent of Lavender wafting over me .

The summer fair was a lovely event and I sold lots of Lavender bags , helped I think by the fact it was a hot day and my stall was in a domed gazebo that held the relaxing smell of the Lavender in and everyone loved it !!
Happy summer days .

Once this event was finished my next job was the very very important job of making things for my  little sisters wedding . I was chief  Wedding cake maker , bun and sweet table maker and organizer , in charge of alterting all the  Bridesmaid dresses  , Table seating board maker and chief beautifier . So as well as working my last couple of weeks at my school job my every waking moment was devoted to making my sisters wedding visually perfect . This had the knock on effect of not having any time for blogging , facebooking and Handmade Over Yonder making.

Job number one was to alter our rather swanky Bridesmaids dresses , this involved all the bridesmaids  in their dresses climbing onto my coffee table in their high heel wedding shoes and letting me  pin their dresses . Tick , job done .

Job number 2 , start making the decorations for the buns ( cupcakes ). Tick job done .

Job number 3 , Make the seating plan board . Tick job done .

Job number 4 , Ice and decorate the cakes so they can be constructed on site on the morning of the wedding . Well the first part of this cakes decoration went fine , Marzipan on fine ...Tick . Icing on fine ( I was fully instructed & supervised through this stage by a very skill full cake maker/ decorator friend , as I didn't want anything to go wrong at this stage as we were only 5 days away from wedding !!). Then came the decorating part , doesn't the cake look beautiful below . OH HOW WRONG CAN A CAKE GO !!! 
This was nervous breakdown time !!! Let me Set the picture ...Tuesday evening amidst an evening of extreme humidity and thunder storms , all  the windows are open  the doors are open I have an oscillation fan blowing directly over the cake and I notice at 11.30 pm there are clear runs of liquid coming from each Diamond .  Yes all three tiers .... I was on the verge of tears myself  , ARRRGGHHH , O.M.G. !!!!!!  Right I leap into action with a long dress makers pin and I remove each diamond and then with rolled up points of kitchen paper proceed to dry each damp dimple left on the cake . So midnight Tuesday (wedding on Saturday ) I am sat in my kitchen feeling sick with stress with a pin in hand and a piled of slightly dissolved gel diamonds , oh how stressed am !!!

DON'T use gel Diamonds in humidity ( I will be writing to the producers of theses very soon as they have no instructions on packets or usage guidelines and they are not cheap ) buyer be warned !!

Thankfully the icing was not ruined!!

But I do believe it was a blessing in disguise as the changes I had to make  of the final design resulted in a much admired cake.
 There were lots of little jobs to do as well there were  place name cards , fancy labels for sweetie jars ,labels for bags , filling glass jars full of sweets etc.
I spent the next couple of days doing the final major job which was the making of the buns ( cupcakes ) for the sweetie table .This was fun and my sister came to help me which was a fun and happy time as we were able to laugh about the cake disaster.
Friday evening myself  the bride and our mum as well as the other bridesmaids and flower girl all travelled to the Hotel in Leeds where the wedding was to take place . We spent a wonderful evening together my sisters nerves were starting to kick in and I was anxious about making the next day look beautiful and putting the cake together with no mishaps .

This is me 7am  Saturday morning constructing the cake  , phew !!that went extremely well and I was able to then eat breakfast .

 I did like the replacement of silver balls instead of the diamonds as I think it brought the twinkle out in the broach .

 .........cake in place and a flurry of activity going on around .

 The official photographer capturing everything!!

 My work here was done Cake assembled and in place , Sweetie table set up ready for the big day !

I checked on the wedding room .... Beautiful .
My sister in her dress taking a moment before our Father comes to escort her to the Groom .

Take your seats please , can I apologies now to any guest who is reading this if I spelt your name wrong , I even managed to spell my own name wrong , the stress must have been getting to me !!

Here comes the Bride ! not quite married yet ,with her Bling ! my beautiful sister with her bouquet she made herself ,she even put all her children's initials in it, what a mum . My sister and her husband have been together since they were teenagers like me and my husband and they've waited along time to do this , I wanted everything perfect for them  and it was !

 She looked amazing ( as always ).

Then they were married and when they walked into the wedding breakfast room they loved what I had done for them , phew big sigh of relief !! They though the cake was stunning and that the Sweetie table looked fantastic . 

I did slightly wince as they cut into the cake ,after all the hours spent making the cake and  having been through so much emotion with it . But it was worth it as they loved it and the Wedding guests admired it and then enjoyed eating it .

I was so happy for my sister and brother-inlaw and their four children who were amazing on this special day. The day was fantastic and we will be talking of it for years to come and will have wonderful long lasting memories to recount and enjoy for the rest of our lives .
Here is my youngest before the evening guests turned up sliding around on the dance floor !! boys will be boys!!
Their first dance as Husband and wife . It is a special thing to be loved and to love someone else especially when you want to spend the rest of your life with them .

So now I've touched base and am starting to get back into the swing of things  I'm down to the studio this evening to work and I'm sure Lucy will be there opening all the parcels full of the Fabulous bunting that is being created for the much anticipate Yarndale event. . Just a note for your Diaries I will be having an Open Studio event on the same Saturday as Yarndale for anyone who wants to pop in . Skipton will be a fun place the weekend of the 28th & 29th September as we have an annual Puppet Festival which is the same weekend .

So ta ta for now  and thanks for popping by  Tracy x

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Wow What a weekend

Well what a high this weekend has been !! It's no secret that this weekend has been a bit of an event for me ( and my Studio Buddie Lucy ) .
 After deciding to do our first Open Studio event some 8 weeks ago it was soon upon us . My goodness me it has been  very hard work ( 7 days a week and working two jobs ), stressful , tiring , exciting and much much more all rolled into one but you know something , it's all been worth it !

 What an amazingly exhilarating day Saturday was but it has all built up and gathered pace over the last several weeks . 

Firstly there has been a lot of buying and acquiring of furniture to fit out our studio and I have been in much need of my D.I.Y skills . I love the challenge of flat pack furniture , no really I do !!

 Some unbelievably generous friends have lent us a table on long term loan and some chairs .

I have been doing lots of sewing and have sooooo enjoyed making my new Angels they have been great fun to make . Some days I have just simply sat and played with fabric combinations , colour and embellishment .

 More Hares and Mice were created and they are such a pleasure to make ! In fact I've had a great deal of creative fun over the last few weeks seeing new ideas come to life and watching the stock build up and fill the space I had created to display them . Another thing that came out of this very productive time was that I was finally able to see how long it actually takes to make my creations. Oh boy have I been getting my prices wrong . Let's just say that anyone who has previously bought from me has had a real bargain , I still can't bring myself to charge what I should charge for my beautifully bespoke handmade pieces but I am now charging a price that reflects the quality of the materials I use and the time they take to make . Also this is going to be my only job once we start the school holidays as I handed my Notice in today at school and in three and a bit weeks I will no longer be in there employment . I've decided I need to do this properly and give it my all ! So for this reason I have to get it right as it is what is going to provided me with the means to support my family . ( Sorry for getting all heavy and serious lets get back to the fun event ).

So lovely stock made , it was time to start organising our spaces , Lucy and I did a lot of trips back and forth to our respective homes to bring furniture , items to dress the room and Lucy really wanted to share some of Attic 24 and it's recognisable items with visitors. I have so enjoyed watching Lucy's area burst into life , It grew more colourful by the day and when I sit at my table it is a pleasure to glance over my shoulder and get some serious colour therapy !
This was Thursday morning , my fab hubby called in to bring me some postcards and greeting cards I had ordered from . I had wanted just a small batch  to see what they were like and what sort of response they would get from people , a bit of an experiment . I was quite pleased with most of them .

Friday morning was a major flurry of activity and organising , it was great fun arranging stock and setting the scene . We were also getting excited about Friday evening and our preview party . We bought flowers and I cut some fresh ones from my garden to add more colour to Coopers . My roses are so beautiful at the moment .

 I took lots of my little bottles down for this windowsill which is on the staircase that leads up to our studio , the coloured Victorian glass is beautiful and I wanted to enhance this space with an injection of colour that reflected what was already there .

The room next to ours also had a major makeover the coopers lady's plus Lucy and I wanted people to be able to have an additional  space  to use . Essentially a more chilled out extension of the cafe and a place for people to have coffee , cake  , chat and meander too and from our room . Boy did Suzanne work her creative talents on this room  with little touches from Lucy and I . The room has an elegant sophisticated feel with a twist of creativity and we love it !!
  Lucy's felt ball garland .

 Twigs , paper pom poms and hearts very artistically arranged ! All in soft muted colours which I lurve !
 Then Lucy hung some Yarndale bunting drawing people into the studio .
 I continued to arrange ,  tweak , organise and prettify .

 Setting things out to make the place feel inviting and intimate and an extension of our selves was very important to us .

We wanted the space to say a bit of what were about as individual , but also what the space is about and what we hope to use it for in the future.

 We had the room dressed and ready for it's unveiling just in time for the party , oh boy were we ready for that . It was just a little party to say thank you to our close friends and a few business people for supporting our endeavours . OOOOoow the food was good all made by the lovely talented Suzanne , yummmmyy!!

 Unfortunately this is where my camera decided to die so  there are no more party related photo's but I know Lucy took some so pop on over to have a look ( I know I will Be ! ).

It was a late night on Friday I didn't get home until after midnight and was back down at the studio for 8.30 am  .
To be truthful I was a bit nervous about what the day would bring , as soon as we opened the door at 10am we had people in soaking up the creative vibe . We soon got packed out , to the rafters at some points and I never met such a crowd of  , patient , courteous , friendly , enthusiastic creative people . I encourage some people who were not too shy to get their projects out and sit at our table and have a drink and chill and crochet . The support we received was outstanding people had travelled from all over the country . We had people from London , Exceter , Nottingham , Liverpool , Wakefield , Huddersfield , Whitby, Scotland and our only two men of the day ( Knitter and crocheter) were from Leeds ,you guys were a delight to meet . I could go on with where people came from . It was really quite overwhelming , in a good way we didn't stop all day , we chatted and I sold some of my lovely handmade items . I had two cups of cold coffee and a box of Strepsils ( I had a very sore throat ) and no lunch and my feet had swollen by the end of the day , which was quite funny as I had to change into my flip flops to work home and my feet just looked weird.. But I was on such a high it has taken until today to sort of calm down . There was a real buzz of excitement on Saturday and we feel the people who visited really enjoyed them selves . This event has really given my very young business a real boast which I am truly grateful for that and really appreciate people supporting what I am trying to do .

We received lots of good luck wishes  and well done messages  , we both received gifts from people who follow our blogs and one lady and her delightful daughter nearly made me cry with their kindness and generosity.  ( I will be doing a little post later this week about this as this post is getting nearly as long as War and Peace ).
On reflection this morning all I could think was I can't wait for the next Open Studio event  , I loved it!!

All there is left to say now is a big