I’m delighted to announce I’m plastered!
Sorry amend that to my Workshop is plastered.
For followers of my blog I think you will know quite how good it feels, especially as this project was started 4 years ago. (bearing in mind we only have a small window of time in the farming calender to work on it each year)
I was hoping to have the workshop finished before the baby arrives, but when I think of what I’m actually capable of just now and the fact spring is here and Mark is back to farming, I think It’s time to be realistic!
Though I do have a store room ready to put boxes in (the lights and skirting board are neither here nor there!)
My best friend recently sent me a link to Hillarys Blinds Country Crafts Competition. Here’s the link to the competition page
With a prize of £1000 and with a baby due in a few weeks I thought this was an opportunity not to be missed.
The idea of the competition was to make an original craft design using a 100cm x 100cm piece of fabric provided by Hillarys from their country retreat range.
I chose a the ‘bird parade’ fabric, featuring beautiful printed peacocks.
After a sleepless night of designing 101 things in my head and apologising to my husband several times for turning the lamp on to write notes and draw sketches. I settled on the following design…..
A pair of Sparkly Peacock lampshades.
I wanted the whole bird to feature as a main panel on the lampshade, so I settled on a square frame, as a circular frame would have lost some of the bird. Once settled on my size, I set out to enhance the peacock to add another dimension, and found perfect colour matching Swarovski crystals to use on the peacock, and a teal feathers for the crests on the heads. I enjoyed the therapeutic repetitiveness of sticking on the tiny crystals so much that I got carried away and decorated the blossom on the trees as well, this time using an iridescent crystal.
I am delighted with the finished result as the crystals sparkle in natural daylight and add an extra dimension when the lampshade is switched on.
This weekend saw the launch of The Galloway creative exhibition at the Whitehouse Gallery in Kirkcudbright. And I’m thrilled to say it was our first exhibition! When I say our I mean The Galloway creative, A group of 9 artists/makers/friends who saw an opportunity and went for it.
It started as a group discussion on Facebook about putting on our own exhibition that nobody had actually done before, to becoming a reality. From visiting the space and feeling a bit awestruck, to designing the advertising fliers, and distribution, making pricing labels for everybody with their own logo to give a professional uniform look to the gallery, with ‘artists pages’ (information about the artists for interested visitors) and organising a launch event, All within 4 weeks! Meanwhile we were all still doing our day jobs and making works of art for the gallery
As everybody contributed and there was no 1 particular person in charge. It has been amazing that there hasn’t been one cross word or clash of personalities, Only kindness and support from each other and approximately 400 emails back and forth!
The launch was a huge success. we were busy from the onset at 10am right through to 4.30. we were all so touched by the lovely comments and the effort people went to, and the distances people drove to come and see us. (Oh and some great sales)
Here is a wee selection of photographs from the exhibition that is still on until the close of business next Saturday (8th Feb) for those who would still like to come.
Suffering the stress of Christmas and not able to afford the gifts you’d like to give everybody, or having the time to hand make them, especially for your closest friends and family?
Feel like you want to run away?
Feel like you want to quit your business because you think you’re no good at it?
Worrying how you’re going to juggle self employed work when a new baby comes along?
and various other family issues that have rocked your boat so much this past month you’ve actually fallen out and are floundering around in the water?
Well ‘Suck it up’, ‘get on with it’, ‘get over it’, ‘there are people out there a lot worse off than you are’, Are these words you want to hear when you’re having a melt down? No not really, but that’s what I got from my best friend.
Boy that was not what I wanted. I wanted the soft and gentle approach, with arms around me telling me it was all going to be alright and that they would sort everything.
This was the approach my husband took…did it work any better. Ha No!
Like the Tiger I am, I just needed 24 hours to go away and lick my wounds and put things in perspective………(my best friend knows me better than I know myself)
So now it’s time to button up the collar and straighten the tie and make the phone calls to the suppliers that have let me down.
Change the direction my business is going in (with the help from same best friend and doting husband)
Friends and family will be getting IOU’s for things I can make for them when I have more time and will cherish them just as much, and I’ll enjoy making them more as I won’t be under stress.
With the financial struggle, well it will sort it’s self in time and things are never as bad as they seem, just need to make a few adjustments and count myself lucky that I’m not homeless, ill, abused, unloved, ill or worse.
And as for this baby, it’s coming ready or not, and boy will I be pleased to see it when it gets here.
My next wobble will probably be when this baby is 6 weeks old and won’t sleep or has colic. I’m chuckling to myself as I can hear my best friends words already,
‘You wanted this baby’
‘I haven’t supported you for the last 4 years with your struggle to get pregnant to listen to this’
‘There are people out there who would love to have a baby with colic rather that the baby they have with worse problems than yours’
I probably won’t want to hear that at the time either, but I know it will come and I know I’ll get back on track two days later. In fact she’ll probably just email me this blog post.
Is this person the right person to be my best friend? Damn right she is! Could I take these words from anybody else? Ha, absolutely not!
Drowning in problems isn’t helped by drowning in misery. So ‘suck it up’, ‘get on with it’, ‘get over it’, ‘there are people out there a lot worse off than you are’!!
On the 17th of October this year I annoounced on Facebook that I was currently working on what I believe to be one of my greatest design creations. I figured the time has come to reveal all
It’s that incredible moment when something you’ve been working on (and thought would be so easy, but wasn’t) Suddenly happens!
I collaborated with my husband on this design, and finally after three and a half years of work, tears, dissappointment and with amazing continuous support from our friends and family am delighted to now share the latest design going on here at Gina Lillycrop Designs…. I’m sure you’ll agree it the 2nd greatest design I’ve ever created (My first was 14 years ago)
Please let me introduce you to Baby Lawson, Who hopefully, will make an appearance around the 21st of April 2014
Taken at 6 weeks (I’ve had to highlight it slightly as it was so small
Our upside down spaceman at 9 weeks
Our Alien with hands behind head at 12 weeks
Looking like a proper baby at 13 weeks
The Wigtown Book festival is “A ten day literary celebration in Scotland’s National Book town.” Drawing authors and visitors from all over the country and abroad, Offering “more than 175 events and activities for all ages, including music, theatre, food and visual arts.”
“Wigtown is a traditional market town, set in the beautiful countryside of Dumfries & Galloway, south-west Scotland. It is also Scotland’s National Book Town, a designation that reflects its dozen or so second hand bookshops and annual literary festival. Founded 15 years ago, the 10-day Wigtown Book Festival is now one of the UK’s best-loved literary events. In 2007, Wigtown Book Festival became a charity. It is run by a small professional staff assisted by more than 100 volunteers.”
Just a few days ago I had the privilege of being part of the Wigtown’s book festivals craft event, in the extremely busy Kist marquee selling my hand made products, but my highlight of the week was teaching a workshop in fabric stencilling to some of the younger visitors of the festival. This group were aged between 11 and 17 years (actually we had a few adults too, as I can’t bear to see parents standing over their children looking longingly at what their children are doing, wishing they were children again, so I asked them to join the class. They didn’t need asking twice!!)
It started of quietly as I’d expected, as they watch some demonstration of the products I bought along with them to try, In a matter of minutes they were mixing different paints and mediums to create some fantastic designs and pictures to decorate note books with. It was with much regret that the class had to end, as the more they did the more they wanted to experiment. I happen to own a fantastic fabric cutting machine called a ‘slice fabrique’ which I discovered could also cut acetate and meant they could cut their own stencils, leading to more experimenting. Check out their work below….
I was delighted to be asked to take part in the Kirkcudbright arts and crafts weekend by Solway Books. A delightful bookshop selling new and second-hand books (of which I bought many while I was there)
I ran four daily workshops which included felting pictures from wool, magnet making and card making, (though everybody just wanted to make magnets) and fabric stencilling. I was going to do a workshop on hanging decorations, but the felt making was in such high demand I swapped the decorations for another day of felting.
The classes were designed so they were adaptable for every age. The youngest was just 18 months old and the oldest…I wouldn’t dare! (suffice to say they were long retired )
My biggest delight was the children. As a former Nursery Nurse I love working with children. However I am aware they come in various shades of attitudes. Every child that came to me that weekend was a credit to their parents. Every child was a delight to teach and so mannerly. Huge thanks to all of them. (A special thank you goes to the lovely couple, Bev and Keith of www.solwaybooks.co.uk for having me and keeping me supplied with copious cups of tea and laughter, and my felting mentor Liz Gaffney of www.heartfeltbyliz for teaching me everything I know)
Here are a few pictures of the weekend’s workshops.
I have finally finished a large furniture covering contract for a delightful couple and their holiday home.
They loved the suite they had in their holiday cottage and couldn’t find another suite they liked as much so enlisted my services to have it covered instead. They could have had them reupholstered, but liked the idea of being able to take the covers off to wash them, so they asked if I could make some loose but fitted covers.
The job included two sofas, an arm chair, a footstool, some cushions, and to preserve the longevity of the seats they wanted arm covers that could be washed on a regular basis, rather than removing the whole cover.
Before taking on this job, my pet hate had been making piping cord, due to the time it takes compared to making the actual item (saying that, piping does give a beautiful finish to products).
Having now made over 100 meters of piping over the course of this project, I seem to have made my peace with it, thankfully! Apart from the piping the biggest problems i found were matching the pattern to make sure cushions, covers and skirts matched up, and also the weight of lifting the heavy upholstery fabric on and off the sofa and getting it through the machine.
Below are some before and after pictures of the furniture.
I’m delighted to say they liked the new suite covers so much, they asked me to cover another sofa and a foot stool for their house.
For the last 3 years I have been waiting for the boys to bring the excavator into the garden to remove some trees and scrape off the top soil and reseed to give me a perfect manicured lawn. However….. While hanging washing on the line in my unkempt garden I realised I was in love with my garden the way it was. I was standing in the middle of a thousand bluebells (approximately), with the early morning sunlight creating dappled shade through the beach trees at the edge of our wood, with cabbage white butterflies dancing above the long grass and an owl (who had quite forgotten it was bed time) hooting in a neighbouring tree. Why would I want a manicured lawn when I could have this romantic wilderness? Unfortunately when the bluebells die it all starts to look rather scruffy and I return to my thoughts of a manicured lawn again.
So this weekend Mark and Alex set to work with the strimmers. My Dad (who was here for a holiday) and I, set to work with a saw and secateurs. We now have a very respectable garden. By taking off all the branches below head height on intruding trees we have opened up the garden and can now see into the woods from the house. There’s still more work to be done to level the ground, but now I can have a lawn from June to January, and from February to June I shall allow it to grow wild so I can once again stand in the middle of a thousand bluebells (approximately) whilst hanging the washing in the trees.
It was unfortunate that it rained the whole time we were working, but it gave us much to laugh about, especially as my dad looks like a turtle with his green head and legs and brown body. He’s definitely my hero in a half shell, Turtle power! (Teenage mutant hero turtles)
It’s been a while since my last post. Mostly due to lots of work, and starting my day earlier to fit more in.
Since my last blog I’ve taken on an orphaned calf, a large soft furnishing order, I’ve designed my new spring range of bunting/garlands, and taken over the running of the Dumfries and Galloway Mumpreneur networking group (to name a few things). I’m loving being so busy, but it does mean some things get missed, like my blog and down time!
I thought I’d get back in to my blog by introducing you to my Calf.
Age: 3 months
Weight: very (according to toe calculations)
Here’s a wee video clip of me feeding Buttons this morning. He gets a little frustrated in between top ups of his bottle. It would probably speed things up if he gave up trying to find if I had udders!
http://youtu.be/NgRTrfuUdDs (please click on the link)
And people ask why I spend my life in overalls and waterproof trousers!