Saturday 31 March 2012

Theo Paphitis - the big day

It started with a tweet

Yesterday, Friday 30th of March 2012 Jeff and I went to Edgbaston Cricket Ground

After an invitation from Theo Paphitis, to meet the man himself and receive our 'Small Business Sunday' Certificate.

It was a FANTASTIC day, great to meet so many friendly twitter friends and then the event it's self.

Finally I met the wonderful Heidi from Giddy Kipper - who I have tweeted with from the start but never met - a highlight for me!
'Kip' the Chief Exec of Ryman sponsored the event
and then the man himself Theo Paphitis did his bit - very genuine, inspiring, supportive man.

He spoke for quite a long time - well a very long time

and introduced a fantastic new website that will support SBS winners in the future.

The whole event was being filmed and an official photographer was running around all day.

We then had the opportunity to have a couple of words and an official photo with the man himself.

Outside, parked so that everyone could notice it was 'the car' just to show us what could be ours, one day!

and we came home with a goody bag, feeling very special and inspired.

A huge Thank You to Theo Paphitis and all the team at Ryman.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Busy bee!

Sorry, sorry, sorry for the lack of posts but I have just been so busy!

Too much going on behind the scenes to share at the moment with new stuff and things are suddenly happening about bigger premises. Just to add to the chaos, it was Mr dots and spots birthday yesterday. Dozens of trade orders seem to be pinging in as the realisation that the busy Easter weekend is on the horizon. I've had a commission to do and what with this glorious weather, my days seem to be packed to the brim and that swan keeps popping up in my eye line every now and again, reminding me of it's presence.

I've been trying to clear the decks as tomorrow is the day we are heading up to Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham to meet Theo Paphitis from Dragons Den. The day has come around far too quickly but it should be fun. His last tweet mentioned a film crew and official photographer - not good, although I'm 10lbs lighter than when I heard about it all 5 weeks ago.
I will let you know how tomorrow goes - just need to find a garage that doesn't have a massive queue outside it, so I can fill up with petrol to get there!

Monday 26 March 2012

The sun has got his hat on......

Hip Hip Hip Hooray!
What a gorgeous weekend we have just enjoyed and the forecast is showing that the sun is with us until at least Friday. I can't help but smile and want to spend all my time outside.

I'm going to be a little greedy and ask that it continues until at least Wednesday of the following week, as we will be in Cornwall for a few days.

The washing got done and out on the line and fresh bedding last night was an extra bonus.

We spent the whole weekend out in the garden - we cut back a huge honeysuckle with our neighbour - we're hoping the severe cut will shock it into fresh green shoots. There is still more tidying up to do, sorting tired old pots and digging over the beds but a good sweep up and the grass getting it's first cut of the year, all in all it was a productive day.

Friday 23 March 2012

The swan is in the building!

Great excitement over at the premises yesterday, as the new addition to the team arrived.

A 4ft fiberglass swan! It is part of the Jubilee celebrations for the city of Wells.

Swans have been chosen for Wells because of their historical place in the city, where they ring the bell for feeding on the moat surrounding Bishop's Palace.

Similar projects have taken place in cities across the country, where large animals or objects are decorated by artists and then these objects, in my case the swan, are placed around the city to form a trail throughout the months of June to September.

They will each be decorated differently by the individual artist who is then sponsored by local businesses etc. Because I am also a business as well as an artist, I have gone into joint sponsorship with my printers St Andrews Press and one of our local stockists Maddie Browns. It will be displayed in the Market Place throughout the summer and will hopefully get seen by the 1000's of tourists who visit and be enjoyed by the locals too.

In October the various swans will be auctioned off to raise money for charity - so if you fancy a giant spotty swan, start saving!!

It just about fits into the last bit of remaining space I have over at the premises and as you can see, is quite a size.

I intend to collage it using our spotty papers. In conjunction with St Andrews Press, we are getting special UV protection papers printed to withstand the sun that WILL shine this summer. Something similar to that used on billboard posters.

I will have to sand her, prime her and sand again to give her a key before any work can begin.

I love the contours already on the swan and know exactly what I am going to do.

As always I will share with you the progress I make but am not aloud to share the final swan until the grand launch at the end of May. You can read more about it all here

So for now, work carries on as normal over at the premises - orders made up and dispatched and new design projects continue to develop. Every now and then I glance up and get a reminder of the task ahead of me.

I intend to spend a concentrated few days on it during the Easter holidays when I can work freely without the time restraints of school runs etc

For now though, this weekend, I intend to enjoy this glorious weather that has been forecast.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend and the sun shines where you are.

Wednesday 21 March 2012


OK before I do the school run I'll let you into the secret - I am honoured to be decorating a giant swan (yes you were right about the swan) as part of the Jubilee Celebrations in the city of Wells, Somerset. It will be displayed in the Market Place for the duration of the Summer from late May to September. As you can probably guess, it will be 'spotty'!

I will tell you all about it in more detail in the next post, when I have more time.

Clue Number 2

It's arriving on the back of a van!
Shhhh if you know!

Clue Number 1

Something big is arriving over at the premises tomorrow - if you are local to the Wells, Somerset area you may have an idea of what it is. Will reveal another clue later.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing all of you a very lovely Mother's Day and hope you are being spoilt rotten. I have made a special request from my two - no bickering for the duration of the day! It will be interesting to see how long they can last!

I have been spoilt though

Handmade cards - always the best on this special day and

heartfelt words - something to cherish.

This bar of soap may not look much but Sophie choose it and bought it herself yesterday on a shopping trip with her friends so somehow it is extra special.

I was also treated to this gorgeous bag made by the very talented Karen of Blueberry Park

Yesterday I treated myself to an hour on my own over at Mells - Spring at the Barn run by the lovely Rebecca (edamay)

It is the most beautiful setting and there was a truly talented ensemble of crafts people selling their wares.

I finally met the lovely and very colourful Tamsyn and her son Arthur who I have tweeted with for the past couple of years but have never met, despite living relatively close. Another coffee date on the horizon.

I am very lucky to have met so many lovely people on my dots and spots journey over the past 3 years, so it is lovely to see old faces and meet new. The lovely Charlotte Macey on the left of the photo is a very talented textile artist and the very lovely Julia Davey who I met for the first time yesterday is a fabulous ceramist.

Charlotte Macey
Julia Davey Ceramics (please excuse the red glow - it was from the heater on the wall)

I also came across the work of Sally Gardiner who made the most beautiful ceramic hares - I know who would love one of these.

Jess Hyde is the person behind Rockadoo Designs - I know Jess very well as our boys went to school together and were best friends from the age of 4 - a friendship cemented by the fact they went to school on the first day wearing the same shoes! Sadly we moved Sam to a different school 2 years ago and sort of lost touch, so it was lovely to catch up and hopefully get the boys together again soon plus see her new venture for real.

Wendy of Redbrick Glass was lovely - we have only recently started tweeting and facebooking each other but again it felt like I have known her for ages. She makes the most beautiful glass items - I have already mentally bought some of her gorgeous lights for Christmas.

So another great fair. Rebecca has prised me out of hibernation and I have promised to have a table at Christmas at the Barn on Saturday December the 1st. I have not done a fair now for a couple of years but I have been a a visitor for the past 2 years and it is such a lovely event. I will remind you nearer the time.

So I'm off to relax for the rest of the day - enjoy your Mother's Day and what's left of the weekend.