Ducks, Chickens, Fetes and Summer weather
It has been a busy few months! There has been a surge of drawing and painting, a tidal wave of Fete preparation (buying, making, sewing, hammering) and a distinct lack of blogging....sorry about that, everyone. The last few weeks have pretty much been geared up to one thing and one thing only: my first Fair - Weston Turville Village Fete.
After finally biting the bullet and sending off my application form and good old fashioned cheque, I had a mild rush of inspiration and sketched more ideas than I had in a long time. The result, after an enjoyable few days purely painting, were my latest range of occasions cards. Geese, ducks, chickens and a cockerel all had a hand in their creation, along with some helpful "quirky pun" advice from my other half (see "Good Cluck" card for legacy).
Hilary Clea in Your Home
I felt it was about time I offered you lovely people the chance to hang a piece of Hilary Clea goodness in your home, so I picked the best of the crop and had some prints made too. The lovely people at DStudio (www.digitalprintdesign.co.uk) did an excellent job; they also printed all my new cards on Recycled paper, which looks amazing. Take a look at the cream of the crop as prints:
A little DIY...
Prints and cards done, now how to display? A raid of my cupboards and shelves resulted in some lovely wicker hampers and a vintage brown leather suitcase, and the Persian rug from the bedroom that was covered in candle wax was swiftly earmarked. A good friend of mine from Event management days, Jeremy at Grand Marquees (www.grandmarquees.co.uk) kindly lent me a couple of trestle tables and I purchased an inexpensive table cloth....but I still needed somewhere for my prints to hang. I decided to buy a second hand divider screen from eBay (took a bit of searching, but eventually found the perfect one), bought a large quantity of fire retardant pale upholstery fabric, found a quantity of tacks in the garage and got hammering. Re-covering the screen took a while, and after realising that adding a layer of wadding under the fabric wasn't really necessary, things went a little quicker. However, the end result was a thing to be proud, and when it finally went up in the stand, it looked fabulous.
Acutely conscious it just wouldn't be cricket without bunting at a Fete, I dug out the old sewing machine, watched a YouTube tutorial on how to thread it (sorry, Mum) and set to work on the yellow and grey fabric (carefully chosen to match my little Hilary Clea Kingfisher logo) I had bought. It went suspiciously well. The jolly, slightly wonky string of bunting behaved itself impeccably, even still looking bright and appetising while stoically dripping at the end of the day. After my positive bunting experience I'd like to do more with fabric, so watch this space....
Getting out of the Sun (or Rain!)
Finally, I needed something to protect me from the elements (or as we like to call it, the British Summer!). My 100 year old Grand-dad, who lives in Florida, and is an incredibly generous person, kindly sent me enough money to buy the perfect little gazebo. Waterproof, with interchangeable sides (windows or curtains!) and very easy to assemble, this little beauty did me proud. On the day, we sustained misty rain, torrential rain, wind and thunderstorms, without anything more than a little drip. So, the stand was complete and ready to go....but what of the custom? Would people like my illustrations? Would they buy? I needn't have worried. I had so many lovely compliments it was all I could do to keep the excitement out of my voice, and when the first sale was made I was so glad I nearly gave the kind lady back much more change than I should have. I think she thought I was a little challenged, but I was just rather overwhelmed with making my first sale from my own stall. What a wonderful feeling!
Have a look at what's new in the Hilary Clea Shop The very lovely people at Weston Turville made the day really special, I met some great stallholders (check out www.thepinkpeonyroom.co.uk) and actually made some money too! I can't wait for the next one...watch this space as to where I'll be going next. I can't wait to meet you all.