Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The turbulent world of Life

Well Life has really ebbed and flowed since I last sat down and had five minutes to write a few lines. It does not do to dwell on the downs in life so I am not going to, we have moved on at pace over the last year with NOTHS starting to generate interest in my products. I have changed direction slightly this year to try and concentrate on the furniture which is really exciting, I am now doing about 10 shows this year to promote children's furniture and accessories.So look out for us when you are out and about. I will list the shows shortly on the website.

Now with all these shows it has given us the opportunity to develop some more smaller items to go alongside the sheep cushions and lamps. We have done some small cot and bed blankets, which are being sewn up as we speak. These we will post on the website as soon as they return to us.

The long campaign of big shows is also starting to reap its rewards and we have had orders coming in from allover, the best one going down to a holiday home in Cornwall. I was pleased with the graduated orange drawer fronts on the tall chest of drawers and the subtle seashells painted on as well finished it off beautifully.

I am now gearing up for my first show of the year which is Badminton Horse Trials at the beginning of May. I have been racking my brains (trust me that's tough!!) and have finally come up with a design (massively amibitous as usual!!) which I will roll out across my shows this year.

Finally I promised (I know again!!) that I will be more disciplined in my blog writing and do it on a more regular basis. My facebook and twitter accounts are working a treat, but I cannot take any credit for that, it all goes to Kate who religiously posts everyday (except in the holidays!).

I hope everyone has a fabulous year and remember "the river ebbs and flows but it always reaches the sea"

Monday, 2 March 2015

Chapter 2 - A secret revealed

The line of men were soldiers and they seemed to be searching for something. 
Sophie leant closer and whispered (so as not to alarm them) "what are you looking for?" 

The men all looked up in amazement. “she can see us” one said, “better send for the king” said another. 
Just at that moment a small man wearing a circlet of pure gold appeared from behind a stem of watermint. Just from his bearing you could tell he was the king and presently another person this time a woman appeared from the same place. Sophie could see another circlet of gold around the woman's head. She was clearly the Queen. She had been crying, her face was red and she looked distraught.
Everybody stopped and stared at Sophie, Sophie stared back; then as if to break the spell the tiny infant began to cry once more. 

Sophie slowly wriggled forward towards the people. The soldiers stepped back afraid, the King and Queen did not move. They had heard the baby cry. Sophie gently lowered the basket into the arms of the queen. As soon as she released the basket the tiny people disappeared.

“Oh no” she cried, “I cannot see you anymore”. A few stems of watermint  quivered and presently a tiny voice carried over the burbling of the river, “I am King Caltha and I give you my heartfelt thanks for saving the life of our daughter Petala”. 

Sophie turned her head this way and that desperately looking for the King. He continued” you cannot see me unless you touch something that is made with the very heart of our Kingcups.” The King’s voice moved and presently Sophie felt a minute touch on her hand  and all of a sudden the people appeared. The Queen who had been standing close to Sophie had reached out and touched it. The touch was so delicate it felt like a piece of grass had tickled it.

Sophie wanted to ask a thousand questions but the Queen just looked up at her smiling and the questions just melted away. All she could manage was “Hello my name is Sophie” (which looking back Sophie felt was rather lame). 

The Queen inclined her head and said graciously, “hello Sophie I am Queen Celandine, and I also want to thank you for saving the life of our daughter. We would not have been able to save her the current is too strong for us”.

Sophie closed her mouth with a click and tried to gather her scattered thoughts. “Your welcome your majesties, I am honoured to have been able to help you.”Sophie replied in her best voice. 

Sophie was also aware that when she spoke all the little people put their hands over their ears. Sophie lowered her voice to a whisper “ I do apologise for speaking loudly I am not used to addressing people as little as you”. 

Several Soldiers raised their bows, but the king waved his hand at them ordering them to lower their weapons. “ This giant is not being rude”, he said “she is only stating the obvious”.
“oh dear” whispered Sophie “ I did not mean to cause offence , but compared to me you are rather……. The King coughed and Sophie’s voice trailed off, clearly size what best not mentioned.

“Now” said the King, “we are preparing ourselves for  our summer ball and we would be honoured if you would join us as the guest of honour?” “Wow” said Sophie “Oooooh Yes please…… I mean your majesty is too kind” she amended. The Queen hid a smile and continued, “the ball takes place at Bel-tine, three days hence and you would be most welcome to attend; when sunlight hits three forks.” 

“Three forks?” asked Sophie , the queen looked puzzled for a second, “why bless me child I will have to show you how we tell what time of day it is”.

Sophie looked down at her own wristwatch “ Oh golly Mum and Dad are going to kill me” She cried. “Oh sorry”she whispered “but I have to get back home. We are all going out to see my grandparents who live in the next valley and Dad said he wanted to live early to avoid the traffic. I only came down here to see if the ducks’ eggs had hatched."

 “Oh no” said the King,” Mrs Mallecroft told us her eggs will not hatch until the day after tomorrow”. 

“Mrs Mallecroft?” Sophie replied enquiringly. 

“The duck.” The King laughed. 

Sophie scrambled to her knees and in doing so let go of the Queen's hand, immediately the people all disappeared.

 “Not again” moaned Sophie. 

The Queen shouted “Sophie my dear please take this”. Sophie gently lowered her hand again she felt something being pressed into her palm. Instantly the people reappeared as if by magic. 

“Take special care of it and you will always be able to see us” the Queen said. In her palm no bigger than Sophie’s little fingernail was a tiny stone the  colour of a Kingcup.

 “This jewel is made using the petals of the Kingcup and will allow you to see us and more importantly keep you safe from harm. But remember," the Queen continued, “the magic loses it power the further away from the mother plant you are."

"Be safe Sophie” she added and Sophie got to her feet carefully, thanked them all once again and hurried back over the fields towards Cowslip Farm.

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Fairy Bed Book - Chapter 1 - The Adventures Begin!

A shaft of golden sunlight slipped between the curtains waking Sophie from her dream. She opened her eyes and yawned. What was that dream she could never quite remember them? She got up,dressed and crept silently downstairs. 

Jolly the dog wagged his tail as Sophie patted his head and together they slipped out of the back door and ran across the farmyard. The morning dew soaked her trousers as they  made their way over the water meadows to the river.

The river glistened on the early morning sunlight as sophie snuck into her camp. Dad had built a little house for her in the branches of an overhanging willow. Sophie climbed inside and removed the secret viewing panel. she wriggled forward on her tummy and gazed down. There hidden among the water mint and kingcups was a ducks nest. There was a clutch of nine soft blue eggs partially covered by down. Mother duck was out having a paddle. 

Sophie was disappointed she was hoping they had hatched. she longed to watch the fluffy ducklings tumbling about on the water.

Sophie was about to turn away when she thought she heard a tiny cry and then a splash. she looked hard and saw to her surprise a tiny basket no bigger than an egg cup went bobbing past. 

Quick as a flash Sophie reached out and plucked the little basket from the water before the current whisked it away. The basket was cunningly woven from the stems of rushes and inside was a tiny blanket. Suddenly the blanket quivered and Sophie realised that the basket contained a tiny child.

In her surprise she almost dropped it. The tiny child was dressed in Kingcup petals stitched together with cobweb thread. The child gave cry and Sophie looked back towards the large clump of Kingcups desperately searching for the parents. Nothing stirred, but the more Sophie looked the more the patch of Kingcups seem to resemble a sort of house, or even a palace. There were minute openings in the stalks which looked like windows and lower down the stems seem to have been woven together forming walls and even battlements.

Surely I would have noticed this before thought Sophie. She carefully put the basket down and turned to look again at the amazing house, but when she looked back the Kingcups were just a mass of untidy stems and flowers. Am I looking at the same plant thought Sophie? Am I dreaming? The tiny child was crying and Sophie picked up the basket and gently rocked it back and forth. Immediately the crying stopped. Sophie looked back towards the Kingcups and there, as clear as day, was the palace. This time however she saw movement.  A line of tiny figures each carrying a miniature bow and a quiver of arrows came marching into view. 

Chapter 2 to follow next month...

the turbulent world of Life

Well blow me down with a feather my little world has changed!! After 12 years in Wiltshire we have finally upped sticks and moved. The house and workshop were simply too small so after a year searching we have  found an amazing new home  and workshop in rural Devon.

The whole rigmarole of moving is finally behind me and I am now focussing on the year ahead. Orders from the winter fairs are starting to show, and despite the upheaval, the workshop is up and running(albeit a tad chilly!!). In fact even as I type this the snow is falling making me wish I had insulated the roof of the workshop first!

My office window now looks across the valley to the woods while my dogs curl up next to the heater. I have even got a space for a small showroom so anybody can come and visit, but please call and make an appointment first.

Well new years resolutions and all that I have decided to be better at the communication side of things and try to write a blog at least once a month. It is good discipline and I really rather enjoy it!! Also I have decided to blog my book about the Fairy Bed as well, so check it out after this

This year we are trying to consolidate the ranges so a toybox for the sea range is in the offing and the castle bed is due a slight upgrade, and if time allows a toybox to complement it as well.

I am very excited also that I am joining "NotontheHighStreet.com" who saw me at the Country Living Christmas Fair in London and wanted me to come on board. I have been rechecking my photographs to make sure they are up to scratch for them. I will post again when I am up an running with them.

Lastly for this post I want to thank Julian and Louisiana, and Martin and Kathy for giving us such a warm welcome to the area, it really does make a difference when people are so friendly.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Summer 2013

To quote my Children OMG! I have not posted anything since March, how rubbish is that. But on the plus side I have been very busy. The Farm bed and the fishing cupnboard are nearing completion and will make their debut at the Hamptworth Fair in Hampshire on the 18th August.

I seem to lead a somewhat divided life between adult furniture and then switching to the children's furniture at a moments notice, I never quite know what I am making next which in a small workshop is somewhat frustrating. Still if you are selling who cares!!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

March 2013

Well things have been happening, I deliver my first fairy bed of the year to Yorkshire on Friday, which I am really looking forward to. I have also been featured in the Field Magazine March issue for my fly box. I already have had 2 orders for them which I am delighted about.

The exposure in magazines keeps rolling on Spring issue of Country Child, Wiltshire Life. So with all this publicity I hope I can cope with all the deadlines, Yeah of course I can, I need that pressure to keep me stimulated.

All I need now is some time to start planning my speculative items for the year, gilded oak and leather bookcase, secret pull out child's sofa or the wedding firescreen? Well which one to make? I will keep you posted

Monday, 11 February 2013

February 2013

It seems ages since I last wrote, but I am still here just trying to kick start the year. January is always a tricky month, but it gave me time to collect my thoughts and work out a plan of campaign for the year. Everybody wants me to come and exhibit at their shows and fairs but I am not sure which ones to do. I am sharing a stand at Hamptworth which I have not done before, and there is the Woodfair at Stock Gaylard which I love going to. I am sure that it is not the best for me but I love the atmosphere there, not too big and people all seem to be passionate about wood, always helpful at a wood fair!!! I would love to exhibit at RHS Wisley but the funds will not stretch that far this year grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!
Additionally I have been tracked down by another woodfair called the Pink Tree Woodfair at Delamore, anyway there seem to be a lot of arty people at this show which is right up my street!! so the show circuit seems to be filling up, all I have to do now is to find the money to pay for them all!!

I have jumped off the furniture bandwagon recently to carry out some very technical refurbishment

TASK:- Fit a chipboard kitchen.
 I know I know how could I stoop so low? Once I had picked myself up off the floor at how much this rubbish cost, I set about reminding myself "your only doing it for the money". Still it teaches you a few things such as " I never ever want one of these in my kitchen!!" A couple of dressers and a butchers block will suit me fine, and of course a teak sink.

By the way this message and the kitchen units will self destruct in 5 seconds!!!

I was trying to show one of my nephews a cupboard bookcase I made for a client, (I have never received such  lovely message before thanking me for the bookcase. He was only 6) I realised that I had not put it up on the website, so that got remedied tonight, anyway picture of it below. I was really pleased with this everything worked out the way I wanted it to and the finished mural was really plausible, see what you think.
But everything working out pales into insignificance when a 6 year old boy thanks you personally!

Still more ramblings to come but I must stop things to do.