Monday, July 18, 2016

Starting small

For some people, their true calling is evident from childhood. Many others don't find it until later in life, but I think I might possibly fall into the first camp...

As a child I loved making things. I have a very crafty mother who taught me many different handcrafts. I always had something on the go, and was quite handy with scissors, tape and old cereal boxes, they could keep me entertained for hours! One school holidays many years ago, my cousin and I set up a shop to sell a few handmade pieces to family members. This got me hooked on the making things to sell bug, and our product range evolved over time. We even acquired a broken cash register to use, just to add that air of authenticity.

Our products were mainly focussed on stationery, but seem to have included a bit of everything. I was quite into making recycled paper at the time, so there were lots of cards, envelopes, bookmarks and key rings made with that. You may also notice a few candles – it's more than 20 years now since I made my first one! A few years ago Mum found the box with all my shop bits and pieces in it, so I took a photo of them for posterity. The shopping baskets now reside in my son's toy box.

Now, more than 20 years later I am living my childhood dream of making things to sell. I'm part of a designer co-op store, Pay it Forward, so you could even say I have my own shop (well, along with the 50 other designers!)

This week you have the opportunity to support and encourage a new generation of young designers and makers. As part of Kidsfest, Pay it Forward is running a Mini Makers market, where up and coming designers and makers have the opportunity to sell their wares. Come down and check out the amazing talent, and take home a unique handmade piece. It's always a buzz when people buy your creations, and is a great encouragement when you're starting out. Here is a sample of what will be on offer:

You can see why I showed you my creations first – these ones are much more impressive!

If you're wondering what my cousin is up to now, she is a visual merchandiser for a well known national retailer, and is busy setting up a new store right at the moment.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Three simple and effective ways to style taper candles

Taper candles are a great way to add a touch of elegance to a room. You can go with a traditional candle holder, or choose a modern one to suit your decor. I love choosing the right one from my collection to go with the theme I'm creating.

1. Modern & Elegant

Here I've teamed a copper candle holder with one of our turquoise colour-dipped tapers and a large vase with some gorgeous pink hydrangea blooms. The flowers offset the metallic, geometric shapes of the candle holder, and were picked from the garden.

2. Industrial Chic

The bright tones of the raspberry pink colour-dipped tapers work well with the concrete candle holders. To achieve this look cluster a group of taper candles together in simple, utilitarian candle holders.

3. Dinner for two

What is more perfect to set the scene for a romantic dinner for two than candlelight? If you're planning to treat your partner this Valentine's day, you can't go wrong with some the creamy look of our soy/beeswax blend hand dipped taper candles in some classic candle sticks. We've added a red rose and some ivy from the garden to finish the look – all it needs now is a bottle of bubbles and a delicious home cooked meal!