Thursday, 15 November 2012
It's been a month of Simple Lovely Things.
From the first bite of a Russet apple, to warming ourselves around a glowing orange bonfire and watching jewel coloured fireworks bloom and glitter against a dark night sky.
I've loved seeing the leaves turn colour; the woods suddenly awash with a rainbow of colour, and in contrast, the sketch like silhouettes of seed heads against an afternoon sky soaked with the promise of a wind whipped squall.
Something else special happened this month. I went to London to meet a group of women I had never met in person before (apart from one)...but let me start from the beginning and put you in the picture.
Many moons ago, a few of us arty crafty sorts began chatting on Facebook; we had connected through our Pages and over the weeks and months that followed began to chat on a daily basis, each providing a bit of conversation in an often quiet and solitary lifestyle (as it is for the folks who work from home alone), help and suggestions for business related things, a space to have a moan and a groan, all interspersed with huge doses of laughter. I have to confess, and I know it may sound strange, but these women have reduced me to tears of hysterical laughter many times as I sat at my laptop working.
It came to pass that we decided to meet up. There would be seven of us altogether, travelling from all corners of the UK to meet in London on that damp, rain drenched morning at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, for the Country Living Christmas Fair.
Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting six kindred spirits? Six people who all instantly connect with one another? Have you ever had a day with six strangers, who in the space of a few hours become Very Special Friends?
from L ~ R: Sarah (Kate's lovely sister), Kate from Kate Creates, Andrea from Polka, Helen from Kindred Rose (who features in the December edition of Country Living magazine), Me, Marna from Little A Designs and Roslyn from Roslyn Mitchell Designs.
From that morning, til we left in the fairy-light sprinkled night, we talked and laughed constantly, and then laughed some more. Around each corner was another discovery to OOhhHH and AaahHHH at; Christmassy food and drink to be sampled, decorations to be bought, and gifts to be taken home.
The Christmas Table by Susie Watson Designs
The bustle of the Fair
Later that afternoon, we went for a meal at an Italian restaurant. Resting our weary feet and sipping a welcoming glass of wine I mentioned that the famous wool shop, Loop, was in Islington somewhere, and wondered whether I'd have time to find it before my train left. It didn't take long to discover where it was; literally just across the road and down Camden Passage as it turned out! There were murmers of excitement, and we all agreed to go.
We finished our meal and crossed the busy high street, crammed with big red buses, stores and restaurants and then disappeared down a quiet little lane. We were suddenly in another world, quieter, and lit by twinkling fairy light stars that were strung up above between the quaint buildings. Tiny shop windows beckoned, full of beautiful things which seemed suffused with a warm golden light. There were candle lanterns on the pavement, the scent of delicious food and hot coffee, the air felt full of magic and glamours and suddenly nobody wanted to go home.
And then we found Loop. I think it might be easy to walk past it if you weren't looking for it.
A peek through the window of Loop
Loop, for those of you who don't have a wool infatuation, is a treasure trove of a shop, full to bursting with delicious yarns from all around the globe; those hard to come by brands, those softer than a feather skeins, those rainbow infused balls that sat in plump stacks of colour co-ordinated lovely-ness. There was a Sophie Digard scarf hanging up by the counter too, and I gazed in awe at the tiny stitches, the beautiful detail, the inspiring colours.
I confess to buying not a single thing, but I drank it all in and next time I go to London, I shall take myself there with some spending money and treat myself to something special.
All too soon it seemed, it was time to go and catch our various buses and trains. At the tube station we said our goodbyes, all of us slightly teary eyed and sad to be leaving. Many hugs later we were on our way, each of us a little bit richer from that day, with the wealth of new friendships still warm in our pockets.
I feel very lucky to have the pleasure of having those six fabulous ladies in my life, and already we have plans to meet again. I can't wait :)
I've been busy making a new range of decorations...
And they're proving rather popular - so much so, I haven't had a chance to get them on my website yet as the ones Ive had, have sold!
After a week or so where I felt I had run out of steam, and felt utterly devoid of New Ideas, my friend Helen told me to take some time out away from work things. As it happened, my sister was visiting and it was the school holidays so I made merry for a few days and forgot about everything.
And that's when the magic happens, when you've forgotten about everything, left the stress behind and chosen to enjoy life for a bit. The ideas creep in quietly and then suddenly, there you have it!
Little wooden heart decorations, hand painted and signed, some stamped with a vintage style typewriter stamping set text, varnished and given a pretty cord ribbon to hang up with. I couldn't be more thrilled with the response these have had, and if you're interested, I'm currently taking orders through my Facebook Page for them. Just drop me a message if you'd like to get on my list (my order book is currently still open) :)
So, Id best be away and get back to work - I've got some Christmas music playing (I know, I know it's only November but it really does help to get me in the mood when Im painting those cheery little robins!!) and there's a big mug of hot tea waiting for me. Thanks for dropping by to see me today - oh, and one more thing - if you haven't signed up already to receive my Art Ezine which I send out each month, there's still time to do so for this months issue...there's a very special preview of another brand new Christmas product that Im launching, so get your hands on your copy here! **Please do add me to your contacts list so you receive my mails please!**
Right, Im off.
Thanks for reading, I'll see you again soon.