Monday, 19 December 2011

A Little Chunk of Cheerfulness!

Victorian Christmas Market

hello dear readers.  sorry i've not blogged recently - i've been snowed under ('scuse the pun!) with work and the usual christmas chaos.

i hope you are full of festive cheer and just in case you're not, i thought you might like to see how i got on at leominster the other week when i did a christmas stall.

there was some fantastic stalls and people - everybody was in a christmassy mood and it was such a lovely atmosphere.

we were very lucky with the weather - it stayed dry which was a blessing but i have to say it was bitterly cold which resulted in me catching a bit of a chill.

different friends and family of mine came to say hello which was lovely and supportive of them. 

my lovely son rory came with me and was a great help all day which was just as well, because i have to confess dear reader that i actually thought it was going to be a very quiet day what with the recession and all but i couldn't have been proved more wrong.

the fair was actually busier than last year and although i did very well the last time i did a christmas stall,  i ended up doing even better this year which was very surprising!

as you can see from my photos my stall was full of little cheerful knick knacks, because as you know dear reader my ethos is to live my life surrounded by inspirational and uplifting people and beautiful and functional objects.

so for instance if i need a needlecase, i make it myself as beautiful and inspiring as i can.  if you're going to use daily objects why not make them visually appealing and heartwarming as well?

i'm a firm believer in finding little rays of sunshine and happiness in the simple things in life.

i wonder if other people are starting to feel the same way because items like my cheeky lady coasters were very popular, and again, if you're going to use a coaster why not have a funny one that makes you smile?

i think more and more people are moving away from the mass produced and are wanting a more personal and cosy home where they can close the door on the world and all its insanity and enjoy a relaxing space surrounded by the people and things they love.

i sold lots of different things including cushions, notebooks, cards, coasters, teacups and mugs, and i like to think that i've helped to cheer up a little corner of somebody's home.

i had a really successful day and the cherry on the cake for me was that a lady running her own stall at the market really liked my work and so now i'm supplying her shop at leominster.

it's a children's boutique called 'connie and tom' and i'm really looking forward to making more items for her shop and the other 2 that i already supply.

all in all i think i'm going to have a busy new year which i'm looking forward to because i love creating all sorts of art and to make money from it is just an added bonus because truth be told i would be making it anyway!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Credit Crunch versus Joie de Vivre

The Credit Crunched my Joie de Vivre!
a strange thing happened to me this morning dear reader.

i was going about usual daily chores when i suddenly realised that i had lost my 'joie de vivre.'

usually i start each day feeling that my 'inner lightbulb' is one of those old-fashioned full 100 wattage bulbs, but this morning it was definitely an 11 watt 'energy-saver.'

there seemed no obvious reason for why i felt so lack-lustre.  now i know dear reader that this probably doesn't seem very important, but me without my joie de vivre is like Del Boy without Rodney...

it just ain't right!

i had no idea where i had left her.  i thought about it logically and decided to re-trace my steps in the hope of finding her again.  i made a mental list of all the things i had done this morning. 

1. i know she was with me when i took my dog for his daily walk.

2. she was still about when i was eating breakfast.

3.  amazingly she was still with me when i was sorting out the huge pile of washing.

4.  i remember i went on my laptop to pay the bills... 

Ah!-Ah!  i think i know where my joie de vivre has gone!

i quickly went into my studio where my laptop was on my desk.  sat in a pile next to it was all our bills.  i leafed through the pile and there between the credit card statement and electricity bill was my joie de vivre!  i must have dropped her while i was busy paying the bills!

i was beside myself with joy!!  i said i was sorry to my joie de vivre for losing her so easily but my only excuse was that i had been pre-occupied and a little overwhelmed with the credit crunch and cost of living.

my joie de vivre said she would forgive me for this little indiscretion as long as i promised not to lose her again.

joie de vivre told me that even when i feel she is playing hide and seek with me and i cannot find her, she is still around but just in a different place.

i asked her where would be the best place to look for her in our rather frugal festive season if i misplaced her again.

joie de vivre gave me a list of the top 5 most likey places to find her:-

1. in the kitchen while i'm baking the mince pies and christmas cake for my family.

2.  sat next to me on the sofa while i'm watching the dvd of It's A Wonderful Life with my little dog Monty.

3.  helping me to untangle the sellotape while i'm listening to my favourite christmas tunes as i wrap all the homemade presents for family and friends.

4.  hiding amongst the tinsel as i sort through the decorations for the christmas tree.

5.  and last but not least,  curled up on the sofa next to me on christmas eve when me and my hubby and 2 kids all snuggle up together and enjoy watching the original version of Scrooge while we have hot chocolate and mince pies.

 joie de vivre told me that this was the most likely place where she would be because although she understood my financial worries she felt it was her duty as my best friend to remind me that money was all well and good but it can't buy you health, happiness and love.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Leominster Victorian Christmas Market

Roll Up!  Roll Up! Get Your Bargains Here!!

hello dear readers!  i'm so excited because i'm going to be joining in the fun at the Victorian Christmas Market that's held at Leominster every year.  this year it's on Saturday 10th December all day in Corn Square.

i did my first stall there last year and it went really well.  everybody was so friendly - there was a great christmassy (is that a word?!) atmosphere and everyone was so complimentary about my work which was really lovely.

  it was so encouraging because it was my very first stall i had ever done and i was nervous as you can imagine.  i needn't have worried though because everybody was so chatty and helpful.  i was also fortunate to have my son helping me which was great and he's very kindly agreed to help me again this year, because my stall got pretty busy, and of course dear reader it wouldn't be christmas if i couldn't stop for a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine at some point during the day!

there's always a great selection of stalls selling all sorts of things from handmade jewellery through to local food and drink.

all my work is inspired by old photographs and postcards and i like to use original vintage ephemera as much as possible in my original one-off collages that i make.

on my stall i will be selling handmade items that i have been making over the last few weeks from cards, jewellery and collages through to my teacups that i designed myself that are made from fine bone china and are dishwasher safe.  i'm really excited to be selling this limited edition teacup design.  as you know dear reader it was a long process to get my design off the ground and actually be made into teacups that i hope you will like.

i hope you will be able to come along and join in the festive fun and do some last minute christmas shopping.  it would be lovely if you could stop by my stall for a chat and say hello!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

My Secret Love Affair!!

My Secret Love Affair!

dear reader i have a confession to make.  after 19 years of marriage i am having an illicit affair with another - his name is Kristopher Krups.

i know i shouldn't be, but i just can't help myself so i feel i must tell you the full story.

it was just a very ordinary day no different to any other. i was in town.  as i was gaily trotting along doing my christmas shopping i saw him for the very first time and wham!  it was love at first sight.

i stopped in my tracks. as i gazed at him in all his glory through the shop window,  he winked at me.  i noticed how smart he looked in his vibrant red shirt.  i said 'how handsome you look.'  'thank you' said he.  he replied 'you look beautiful in your peacock-blue hat and jacket.'  'why thankyou' said i.  he told me his name was Kristopher Klups.  i told him my name was collagegypsy.

before i knew what i was doing i went into the shop to have a closer look at him.  i ran my hands over his well-defined shoulders, he flexed his muscles for me.

we were instantly attracted to one another.  i gave him a flirtatious look,  he showed me his package.

we carried on chatting for a while.  i knew he liked me because i was being given the green light.

i decided there and then that we must never be parted so i took him home with me.

ever since that fateful day, every afternoon when everybody is out at work or college, Mr Klups makes mad passionate love to me!

we spend a wonderful hour flirting across the coffee cups chatting and enjoying each others company before everybody returns home.

i don't know how long this illicit love affair will go on for, but i can truthfully say that at this moment in time Mr Klups is pressing all the right buttons!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Time waits for no Mum!

Time waits for no Mum!

as you know dear reader i am busy re-decorating my spare room in preparation for the large delivery of tea-cups i have ordered.

i feel that i should give you a little background history of our spare room and the role it has played over the years.

if you have a spare room or a cupboard under the stairs somehow it inevitably ends up as a 'dumping ground' for the things that a family gathers over the years.  you don't mean for it to happen but somehow that spare kettle, old sunlounger, the box of christmas decorations slowly builds up until suddenly it becomes an avalanche of 'stuff' that you don't want to throw away.

i'm afraid dear reader that after 19 years of marriage that's exactly what was going on in our spare room.  it had got to the stage that i was afraid a gremlin might have been living in there undetected all this time.

i decided to brave it and start to sort through all the artifacts of our life.

i sorted out the usual nonsense of dvd players, old coats, a yoga mat (used twice i think!) and then i came across the holy grail of 'things saved to do at a later date.'

i found four boxes of the kids playgroup and school work from when they were little.  needless to say dear reader i shed many a tear as i sorted through it.  my aim was to reduce the four boxes to a box each, one for my daughter and one for my son.  my plan had always been to make them a scrapbook each and when the day came for them to leave home i would give them each this little memento to save and show their children in turn.

i found all their old cards, pictures and school books from many moons ago - they are now 18 and nearly 17 - and as i sat amongst the piles of macaroni laden paintings, sea shells covered in sticky glue, strange-looking animals and cardboard easter flowers i felt sad for all the time that had passed so quickly.

i remembered their scabby knees from falling over; their singing at the different school plays; the bear hugs they would give me; and their excited chatter when they came in from school each evening.

then something strange started to happen.

  slowly i began to remember things that weren't so great and i was glad that they were in the past.  things like the inevitable headlice that they would catch each new autumn term; having to go through their spellings with them when all they wanted to do was watch cartoons; the tantrums in town when they were tired. 

i began to realise that instead of being sad for things past, i was happy about all the things i do with them now and all the fun things still to come.

 my daughter and i love going girly shopping; my son likes to take the dogs for a walk with me; my husband and i like to take them for a family meal at our local pub;  just small everyday pleasures but that is the key word here - PLEASURE.

it's always a pleasure to hear somebody say what a lovely job we've done of bringing them up.  different people tell us what lovely polite and helpful children we have.  my daughter works full-time as a beauty therapist, my son is studying at college because he wants to be a police officer.

i'm very proud of what they've achieved and the people they have become.  and yes dear reader i will still shed a tear for things past but hopefully i've got grandchildren to look forward to and i now have a space ready and waiting in our spare room for the macaroni laden paintings they will make for us!