Monday, 29 September 2014

Greek Obsession

 Well, we are into autumn now and getting ready for the Christmas fairs. We have just returned from a wonderful week in Corfu. I think it is one of my favourite places I have ever been. I have totally fallen in love with the stunning Corfu Town. I spent hours here looking through all the gorgeous little shops and admiring all the old buildings. The Old Fortress is just spectacular and a week just wasn't enough to see all the things Corfu Town has to offer, never mind the rest of this beautiful island.

 One of my favourite places was the gorgeous Achilleion Palace, Gastouri. It was built in the late nineteenth century by Elisabeth of Bavaria and Empress of Austria (known as Sisi). She built this breathtaking summer palace as her retreat on Corfu and it was owned by her and her descendants until the end of WW1, when it was given to the Greek state as part of the Treaty of Versailles.
The palace was rented by a German consortium from the '60s until the early '90s.....the downstairs being a museum and the first floor being a casino. In fact, the 1981 movie For Your 
Eyes Only was filmed here. The casino scene takes place it what was then Corfu's casino and the outdoor restaurant scene where Bond dines with Kristatos takes place at the back of the building (pictured below with the black and white tiles, yellow walls and stunning columns and statues). There is also a scene from the Balcony Terrace (where James is standing) where Bond and Melina look out over Corfu bay. In the 33 years since the film was made, the trees and bushes have overgrown so the view isn't as great as that in the film, but it's still totally stunning.

I loved the Achilleion Palace so much that I think it is in my top 2 buildings of the world, along the the Tower of London. I love Corfu so much that I want to live there....I have been dreaming of a little house and shop on the beach ever since......maybe one day.....

 Anyway, back to reality and the Christmas fairs. I have been very busy making lots of stock for my Christmas fairs. The blue and white beads on this necklace have been inspired by traditional Greek design (as seen on Dexter's collar below). I am really pleased with how this design has turned much so that I made a little cat brooch from the same clay cane that I made.

Anyway, I suppose I had better get on with listing my new stock in my Poppy Designs Etsy Shop shop and making more creations for the Christmas shows. I am doing 2 new shows, the big ICHF ones in Glasgow and Birmingham and the Knutsford Christmas Market, which was a huge success for us last year.

I think I will just pop over to Handmade Harbour to see what everyone else has been up to this Handmade Monday......then get on with my work! Will leave you with a few photos of my latest designs  xxxx

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

September Already!

Oh my goodness, how is it September already???? It's been an extremely busy summer here at Poppy Designs. We have done 2 big shows : Stonor Park and Penshurst Place, which we have waited ages to get into. I am delighted to say that they have been a huge success. I would have been so disappointed if we hadn't done well as I have waited so long to be able to do them both.  The picture at the top of this blog post is of our stall at Stonor Park. I have been trying for ages to make my stall look more interesting so I can capture people's attention. Selling handmade jewellery is so competitive at the moment that you have to stand out from the crowd, so I have been working hard on creating my display. It seems to be paying off at the moment, but I still have improvements to make to the layout......and to make it look Christmassy for the festive season.  It will all have to wait though as I am exhausted after 2 big fairs back to back (and non stop making in between). 

A well deserved rest with my 2 girls 

 In other news, I am still as obsessed as ever with my cats : Poppy, Dexter and Maisie. I have been following them around with my camera and managed to get this shot of Dexter in the poppies. I love this picture, in fact I loved it so much I had it put on a mug! He looks so handsome.....he's come such a long way since we rescued him on New Year's Day 2013.

So handsome

Anyway, I am going to catch up with the gang over at Handmade Harbour and see what's been going on for Handmade Monday and have a coffee in my Dexter mug......and start thinking about the Christmas Fairs    xxx