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Views are my own...

Sorry, this isn’t very jewellery related, but I thought I’d start my day today with a blog. I keep seeing so many posts on social media about stress, and how to not have it. Well, before the start of the school summer holiday’s, I too was feeling pretty  stressed out, I think just because I had so much work on and that build up of a year’s worth of frustration at having to see the dangerous actions of parents playing car Tetris every day as I walked my child to school. But over the summer, we (my family and I) all relaxed and really enjoyed having more time together. We spent a week camping at a festival and then two more amazing weeks travelling by train to Spain and France. When school started again, I’d decided that I wasn’t going to let the car Tetris get to me any more as, even though its so dangerous and is filling 300 children’s lungs with pollution every day, there was nothing I could do. I’ve tried in the past and just been subject to abuse, as unfortunately, it appears that only a very small handful of people care. Well, its been ok so far. I’ve been successfully ignoring it all and just concentrating on enjoying the walk. I’ve also been running(well, jogging), and yes you did read that right! It all started when we were in France, and my older (and home-educated) child said that they wanted to work through the “Couch to 5K” app. I installed it and off she went! Then on the second run, we all decided to join in. It was pretty hard going but we’ve kept it up and are now almost at the end of week 4 and today ran for 16 minutes! Woohoo!! 

So what does this have to do with stress? Well, this week has seen the return of that “school stress”. For a different reason, this time, but nonetheless it’s been there. I think part of the problem is that myself and my partner are not part of the “cool gang” of parents. You know, the ones people look up to and flock towards in the playground; the ones who run the PTA; and now this is a little controversial but hey ho, its how I’ve been made to feel, the ones that are seen to be good “Christians”. I think, maybe we’re seen as the “odd hippy” parents, who ask too many questions and don’t just follow what everyone else does. I’m happy with that and have no desire to join the “in” gang, but when we do try to make a suggestion or help out with something, we’re often subjected to a virtual firing squad. Anyway, back to the running........This morning’s run was the perfect stress reliever to all of this. It was hard work, but it was a chance to focus on something else, on me, on the beautiful trees and fields around the edge of the housing estate that we were running around. If you’re feeling stressed over something, I’d highly recommend going out for a walk, run, skip, swim, whatever - just do something different for half an hour. I finished my run feeling refreshed, happy, and most of all ready for breakfast!! 

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Happy Summer Holidays...

Hi, and sorry for the radio silence over the last few weeks! As you may already know, as well as a designer, I’m also a mum, and I feel incredibly lucky to be in the position to be able to say that over the 6 week summer holidays, family time comes first (and also, by this time of year, as my busy time starts to be just slightly less busy, I’m usually such a stressed out wreck that I REALLY need to take a break).

Soooo, what have I been up to over the last 6 weeks? (I’ll try and keep this as short as I can, as lets face it, nobody can be bothered to read a really long blog)

Well.....as soon as school finished for my son, we piled up the car with camping stuff and headed south to spend the week with friends at an “Alternative Education” festival. After this I did manage to get back to my bench on and off before we went on a bit of adventure to Spain and France, all by train. The humongous carbon footprint of flying just isn’t part of my ethos, and it really did feel fantastic that we could all walk out of the front door, just with a rucksack on our backs, and a few hours later be eating dinner in Paris, and then by lunchtime the next day, be stepping off a double decker train in Barcelona!

Our European adventure only lasted just short of two weeks, but in that time we managed to fit in so much that it felt like we’d been away for ages! I meant that only in a good way though, as I think we could have all easily just stayed in the beautiful french countryside (with it’s daily aroma of croissants) for a good, umm, few weeks longer if we were able to!

Unfortunately though, school, home-ed courses and the need to earn money to pay for both of those things means that we have to return to the real world. Tomorrow though, as I walk to school with my son, I’m going to do my best to hang onto this feeling of inspiration and contentment that I’ve picked up over the last couple of weeks. I know my mornings will be back to the usual mad rush to get a packed lunch made  (yeah, I know, I only have to make the one and really have no reason whatsoever for complaining) and get to school before they lock the front gate, but I’m going to try really hard not to get angry at all the parents that aren’t bothered about the pollution coming out of the back of their range rovers and simply MUST drop their children off right outside the school entrance, even if it does block the only safe crossing place for those of us that walk. I’m not saying I’m going to succeed, but at least I’ll try!

Right, that’s it. I could probably write loads more, but its now 23:14pm, I still need to listen to today’s episode of The Archers, and I have to get up at 6!

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Wedding in a yurt, but football always wins?

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Wedding in a yurt, but football always wins?

Hi everyone. I thought I’d write a short blog about last Sunday’s wedding fair, as it didn’t exactly turn out as I expected it to...

So, I’d been previously been pretty excited about this one. Firstly, because it was in the prettiest village in the Cotswolds, and secondly, because it was in a yurt! What a fantastic combination that was sure to attract lots of my kind of customer, or so I thought anyway. 

But, I started to wonder a little if all was well, when I saw a facebook post from the company that runs the fair, saying that they still had a couple of spaces for exhibitors. A yurt isn’t a massive space, so I expected that all the exhibition spots would have been taken weeks ago. Ah well, I was till sure that they would be quickly filled up, but when I arrived, I discovered that there was only a very small handful of us. Ok, not a massive issue, as it was still a beautiful venue, and I got to spend the day meeting lots of potential new clients in the most fantastic yurt ever. Unfortunately though, only part of that last sentence was true. 

Now, I don’t quite know why only 4 or 5 couples ventured inside the yurt over the entire day. The wedding fair company had advertised the event, is well known and I’ve exhibited with lots of very successful fairs with them. I do have a couple of theories though:

1. I remember visiting the village of Bourton-On-The-Water as a child. It was such a beautiful place with quaint little shops and a river running through the middle, perfect for summer picnics. However, I haven’t been there for years, and I don’t remember it being filled with literally 1000’s of tourists being bussed in and out. It was soooo noisy, and the air was full of petrol and diesel fumes from all the traffic. It certainly wasn’t the peaceful place that I remembered. Maybe people that actually live in that area, just avoid that place at the weekends?

2. And I suspect that this is probably the main reason - football! Flipping football, that I have no interest whatsoever in, but apparently England were playing that afternoon, which means that almost the entire country spends the day staring at a screen, watching some men chasing a ball around a field. 

Whatever the reason, I guess I’ll just have to down to experience, but it has got me questioning my plan to only exhibit in interesting venues a little.  

Anyway, I don’t want to end this blog on a negative, so here are a few photos of Cheltenham Yurt Hire’s absolutely gorgeous wedding yurt (a couple are nicked from their website as they were better than my pics 😉)..... 

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New Bench!

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New Bench!

Every time I do an event, I always stand there thinking about the improvements that I need to make to my display. I’ve talked about this before, and am just resigned to the fact that I will ‘never’ be completely happy, but I’m ok with this now, as I read somewhere a few weeks ago that this is what makes me an artist!  

An idea, thats been whirring around in my brain for quite a while now, is to solve the problem of how to get my jewellers bench to events, partly just because I think it would look really cool, and mostly because, even though I have loads of “work in progress” photos out, I always get asked the question, “Do you make all these?”.

Well, about a month ago, I finally solved that problem, in a way that I’m probably 99% (possibly even 100% for the first tine ever) happy with!!  

So here are a few pics of my fantastic, new, super fashionable, industrial style OSB board and scaffolding tube, PORTABLE JEWELLERS BENCH........

It wasn’t “quite” finished in these photos, but I’m really looking forward to taking more photos at my next wedding event at the Dial House Wedding Fayre (run by Diva  Wedding Fayres) in beautiful Bourton On The Water on the 24th June. 

I’m also REALLY looking forward to “rainbowing” it all up for the next Eclectic Wedding Extravaganza (as long as they still want me!) in the autumn. 

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