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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Hello everyone

My blog disappeared!  I have spent many weeks trying to locate it, on my own, with the help of Blogger/Google and have been tempted many times to throw my computer out of the window - I am sure many of you understand this feeling?  However, I am the first to admit that computers are not to blame, it is we humans who do most of the damage.  It turned out to be a different email address I had opened and for some crazy reason had used it to access my blog - er, why?  I really don't know, but I am so pleased that I have now solved the problem and can access my old blog posts.  I know the authors hoping to win next year's Booker Prize have nothing to worry about, but not being able to access the blog meant I could not update any information about events, layout, etc.  You can probably hear the sigh of relief and feel the warmth from my very red face.  I am now one happy blogger.

Since my last blog post, which must have been, oh years and years ago, I have had an event at a new venue: the Wilfrid Noyce Centre (WNC) in Godalming.  A lovely venue that was refurbished earlier this year and now has two great halls; the main one has lots of light and plenty of room.  It has a very smart brand new kitchen, which makes setting up our pop-up cafe very easy.  We have a great caretaker who helps us set up and pack away - what more could we ask for in a venue?

Our next event in the WNC is on 5 November.  I have been trying to arrange a Best Guy competition to take place during the event, but the response has been disappointing.  I put a couple of posts out asking for local Godalming businesses to support the event, but sadly, nothing.  My plan is for it to be on a quid pro quo basis of mutual benefit to everyone involved, so Godalming businesses if you are interested please do get in touch.  Just a small gift, promotion for the event and plenty of advertising from me both before and after the event.

In addition to new venues, it has been a very sad time here in Christmas Pie.  One of our neighbours, who would have celebrated her 101st birthday next month, died last week.  This was closely followed by the loss of a distant family member and as we were thinking that unhappy events tends to go in threes, we received the very sad news that a favourite uncle passed away on Friday.

This time of year is always busy for me, both on the organising of events side as well as the taking part in events side.  On Saturday, 29 October I am taking part in the Woking Cats Protection Christmas Fayre in the New Haw Community Centre, Woodham Lane, Addlestone, KT15 3ND.  If you are free on that day, why not come along and buy some of the goodies there will be for sale in support of our kittens and cats.  There will be lots of lovely stalls selling gorgeous things, a chocolate tombola and I understand there will be bacon sandwiches.

Have a great week everyone - I will definitely be back next week because I now know how to get into my blog.


Sunday, 10 July 2016


Hello everyone

What a gorgeous couple of days it has been - please Mr Weather Forecaster, don't suddenly change your mind and tell us rain is on the way?

Since my last blog, which was, embarrassingly, several weeks ago, I have completed my last craft event this side of summer.  I made the decision a couple of years ago not to hold events between late May and September; I found that people coming into the town centre were there mainly to quickly get their BBQ goodies and their week's shopping and either nip back home to their garden, off to the beach or to buy supplies for their holiday travel.  As both a stallholder and an event organiser, I know how disheartening it is when footfall is low.  However, that doesn't mean to say work has stopped for the summer in the A Fair to Remember office - requests to take part in the autumn and winter events are coming in every day and I am still on the lookout for venues I can use that are in a busy town centre or (impossible I know) guaranteed to attract a high footfall.

What else have I been doing?  Catching up with friends, lots of gardening, visiting Wisley to see their plans for improvements and changes, spending a day at the Chelsea Flower Show; not sure I agreed with the choice of Best in Show or the Peoples Choice Best in Show, but hey that's what Chelsea does, creates controversy and talking points and we wouldn't really want it any other way, would we?  Of course, almost needless to say, a big talking point was Diarmuid Gavin's garden with its spinning trees, roof rising up and down and flower beds spinning around the building - great fun and he can be relied on to do something very, very different.

I am still a one-day-a-week potter - I love the course, feel I sometimes move one or two steps forwards only to fall three steps back, but it is great fun. My fellow potters are friendly and some of them are incredibly talented and I am not too sure why they are not selling their work for hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds.  I still have the 'what I see in my mind's eye, doesn't match what I produce' problem, but I can't be talented at everything (as if), can I?

I am looking to take part in events (as a stallholder) in the winter months and prefer to do two or three day ones.  The first day is always hectic and it is great to be able to walk away at the end of the day and arrive the next day knowing all I need to do is uncover, tidy and begin selling.  The Farnham Maltings Christmas event is open for applications and I will have a go.  I was disappointed not to get in last year, but was very surprised that this year they are showing a video on their website from the 2014 event which has some of my work!

I am on a bit of a go-slow at the moment as I have damaged ligaments around my right knee.  I have dodgy knees and weak ankles so it doesn't take much to give me mobility issues.  However, I have no idea how I damaged the ligaments - I have racked my brains as to when and how it happened and I really don't know.  On anti-inflammatory medication and about to start physiotherapy, so hopefully it should soon be better - although one week on and it is still pretty painful.  It is easy for doctor's to say 'rest', but in real life that is almost impossible.

So embarrassing, I wrote this post and didn't publish it - er, not too sure why.  However, I think an update is needed.  I didn't get my application for the Farnham Maltings completed in time, so sadly I won't be taking part this year.  My knee is still giving me trouble - turned out to not be ligaments, but physio doesn't know exactly what it is so a return to the doc's this week is on my list of 'to-do's'.  My
pottery course has now finished until September - lots of plans on what to make next term, but I am possibly going to return to making my face pots, which I enjoy and they seem to work out fairly well.

Richard and I went to Jersey for a few days this week - the weather was a mix of cloudy and sunny.  We lovely Jersey and it was nice to go back to places we knew and also to stay in our favourite hotel.

More or less up-to-date - nearly forgot have just watched Andy Murray win Wimbledon.  A great match and a great player.

Have a great week everyone.  Now for my 100 lines: I must regularly update my blog, I must regularly update my blog.


Monday, 18 April 2016


Hi everyone

What a beautiful day it was yesterday in Christmas Pie land and it looks as though today will be just as lovely (although the sun has just popped in).  Wall-to-wall sunshine after a very frosty start which didn't seem to do any damage to tender plants in the garden.  The temptation when it is sunny is to bring everything out of the greenhouse, plant up pots and baskets and think 'yipee, summer's here'.  Sadly we can still have frosty weather for several more weeks and having carefully looked after many tender plants throughout the winter, I would hate to lose them now.

This week is Parkinson's Awareness Week.  Some of you may know that my sister was diagnosed with this early last year; it was a shock to her family and friends, although she had been feeling it was a possibility for sometime.  Apart from being a get-up-and-go and rarely sit-down-person, she used to be the amazing front-of-house person at my events in Godalming and was a great help in increasing the footfall throughout last year.  Sadly, she is not able to do this for me now as she becomes tired easily and a busy day can often mean two or three slow and painful days to recover.

My sister is a third generation family member to have Parkinson's and we, as yet, do not know if the next generation has or will be similarly affected.

She has been busily posting on Facebook and Twitter today to get peoples attention about this week and I have been sharing, liking and re-tweeting her posts and those from Parkinson's associations.  I have posted separately on Facebook and asked my followers to share, like and visit the various Parkinson's Facebook pages to share, like and help raise awareness, and I hope my blog followers will show their support too.


Thursday, 31 March 2016


Hello everyone

It's a beautiful sunny day here in Christmas Pie - how about where you are?  I hope you didn't have any problems from Katie?  She was in a pretty bad mood around here - internal doors were rattling, but as with all bad weather, our cats didn't move a whisker!  The bottom of our garden flooded, but it does that frequently - apart from wheelie bins falling over, everything stayed in place.

My most recent A Fair to Remember event was on 19 March; bitterly cold weather, an empty town centre and rugby on the television meant numbers were not as good as hoped for, but we kept on smiling and had a big pre-Easter warm welcome for our visitors.  Photographs of the beautiful work that was on sale can be found here on the A Fair to Remember Facebook page.  Our next event is on 7 May and many of the stallhodlers who took part in the March event will be there too as well as lots of lovely new makers/sellers.

Earlier this month we went to Gozo for a week - the weather wasn't great all of the time, but we did have a couple of days when the temperature hit 22c.  It was fairly quiet where we stayed (Xlendi), particularly in the evenings but as we had planned a lazy and loungey holiday, we didn't mind the peace and quiet.  We had a fantastic view from our balcony:

A gorgeous sunny day-time view

A lovely night-time sun-setting view

The local 'stray' cats wander in and out of the restaurant and are well fed.  This fellow, we named him George, jumped onto my lap and settled down for a long snooze.  The majority of cats we met had been tipped, neutered and returned, so there is clearly a good network of cat carers in Malta and Gozo.

I like Gozo very much and feel I could happily live there - a long way to travel back for my craft fairs though, so perhaps have to think about moving there some time in the future.

I went to the Squirrel in Hurtmore last week for lunch with a couple of friends (Lesley and Dawn), apparently it has just been re-decorated and it does look good - very country-cottage style.  Good food and a great host too.  After pottery on Thursday met up with another friend (Linda) in the Watts Gallery coffee shop - gorgeous cake: one was beetroot and pumpkin seeds.  Very tasty.

This month has been spent catching up with friends, work and the million and one other things that seem to keep falling off of my mental To-Do list.  My To-Do list is a bit like a revolving door, just keeps returning to me expecting to be moved.

It's back-to-work time, so have a good weekend everyone.  Sadly not a four-day one this time around, but another Bank Holiday is on its way.


Monday, 1 February 2016


Hello everyone

Sitting here putting the final touches to Saturday's event and reading the posts on a couple of blogs that I follow, made me realise that it really is about time I pulled my finger out and blogged.  I have often said that I love blogging, yet it is five months since my last post.  Five months!

I am glad 2015 has been put to bed - it was not a good year.  Early in the year my sister was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease (PD).  Although she had a feeling for some time that it was a possibility, we were hoping she was wrong.  Although we have been told it is not hereditary, that is not always correct: our grandmother had it and an uncle has it, so it has travelled through three generations.  It has been very hard to watch someone who was full of beans, here, there and everywhere, become someone that has had the stuffing knocked out of them.  Life for her has by necessity become calmer and slower; like all PD sufferers she has good days and bad ones, in fact she can have a good hour, followed by a bad one.  If she has a good day and does too much because she feels well, she will pay for it with one possible two or three bad days.  How cruel is that?

 A few months after this a good friend had a stroke - it was a minor one, but enough to make her
and us realise how something can just kick you in the teeth when you are least expecting it and cause you to make major life-changes.  She is healthy, plays golf two or three times a week, gardens whenever possible and the very last person we would have expected this to happen to.  How do you plan if you cannot see what is around the corner?

My turn next.  I, like lots of people, have IBS (apparently 1 in 5 people suffer from this) and at the beginning of the year it was particularly bad, but I put it down to life being very stressful at the time.  Around mid-year it became so painful that I had to go to the docs's.  Tests were carried out, one of which threw up something that prompted a speedy colonoscopy (oh, boy, a never to be repeated 'exercise' - I hope).  The diagnosis was (is) Diverticulitis - thankfully not as bad as we had originally thought, but not great.   Interesting really because apparently I still have IBS and one requires a high fibre diet but the other requires a low fibre diet - very challenging.  (Research tells me that diverticular disease is very common and most people have no symptoms).  I know people will wonder why I am writing about something relating to 'that part of the body', but, hey, we all go to the loo and if I meet you and suddenly have to run off, it's nothing personal, I just have to go.

So a year of life-changing events all round.  These together with the dishwasher packing up, swiftly followed by the washing machine doing the same and then one oven on our 'just out of guarantee' range deciding to join them, meant an interesting end to 2015 and an expensive start to 2016.

Well, 'they' say everything goes in three's so three health events and three kitchen disasters must mean we have had our quote for a long time - please.

Lots more to write about, but time to get back to finalising Saturday's event.

Have a good week everyone.


Wednesday, 26 August 2015


Hello everyone

I love blogging, I really enjoy it as it is a great way to keep in touch with followers, visitors and friends and family who I may not see as often as I would like to.  Recently it seems to be getting harder and harder to blog regularly.  I feel guilty because there are the occasional (very, very rare) days when I look back and can't see what I have done - although I feel I am on the go all of the time.  I was chatting with a friend yesterday about this and we both agreed that despite having so many 'time-saving' gadgets, wonderful technology, etc there really is no time saved, just more time spent on pressing all of the buttons to make the gadgets work!

It is hard to believe that we are approaching the last Bank Holiday of the year before Christmas - frightening and judging by the weather and the state of the trees around here, autumn is well and truly here!  Friends of ours flew off to Australia a couple of weeks ago and are missing this wonderful wet weather - I am sure they are so disappointed.  However, looking at the forecast, I have sneaky feeling that they might just be lucky enough to experience some wet weather when they arrive back in September.

So what have I been doing recently?  Working on my events – lots to do and the first one is less than two months away.  I am still looking for Event Assistants.  I have one person signed up, but really want a team so that I have back-ups if someone is unwell on the day of an event.  I find it very hard to believe that nobody wants or needs work around here – no commitment, just one day (or event) at a time.  I know Surrey is an affluent area, but on social media sites there are people asking for work in this locality, just not interested in my work - perhaps because they have to be self-employed?  Oh well, perhpas nearer the time of the events, people will being to think some extra money would be welcome.

I recently helped my pottery tutor create her website and someone contacted her asking if they could be put in touch with the website designer (er, me?).  Could this be a whole new career?  I don’t think so, but it is proving interesting recommending/agreeing designs, photographs, etc, but not really something I would like to do on a permanent basis - adding another string to my already buckling bow is not on my To-Do list.

Not quite up-to-date in my blog-land, but sort of-ish.  Have a good Bank Holiday weekend everyone, fingers crossed the sun shines for some of the time.


Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Hello everyone

Not much sunshine today, so I am spending time inside - snoozing!  It's something we cats do pretty well, need no training for, can do at the drop of a whisker and, it has been said, something we do for about 17 hours a day.  Not me though, too much to do outside.

However, I haven't been outside much for the last couple of days because the 'visiting cat' is scary!  Yes, I know I don't scare easily and I normally take no notice of other cats, but he keeps chasing me and because he is about 6 times bigger than I am I have spent a lot of time recently hiding behind sofas, under chairs and in cupboards.  This is not the image I like to project!  I may be small, but I think big!  He argues with Jazz, but doesn't seem too bothered with Daisy, Coco or Poppy.  He sometimes nips into our neighbour's garden and rolls in her cat mint - probably high as a kite when he chases me!

Scary Cat hasn't been in our garden today, so it might be safe for me to go outside for a while.  Have to keep my eyes open though because he does sometimes curl up and sleep in one of the flower beds - ready to chase me as I wander by.

A mini post today, I am going to give the big outside world (my garden that is) another reccie - come back next week to see how I am managing my life with Scary Cat.


Monday, 20 July 2015


Hell everyone

It's raining!  Not much rain has fallen, but my garden is loving it.  Fingers crossed we get some more.  Okay, I prefer it to rain during the night, but at the moment I am grateful for any rain.

Talking of rain, I went with a couple of friends to the RHS Wisley last Monday.  Although it occasionally rained, we had a lovely day wandering around the gardens.  So surprised at how busy the car park was and how quiet the gardens were - until we went for coffee and then later for lunch!  Clearly the eateries are more than/just as popular as the gardens!  It always pleases me to see weeds growing in the Wisley flower beds - I don't feel so bad when I look at my bindweed, mares tail and other pesky weeds!

In celebration of Lewis Carroll's 150th birthday, Wisley have a display of Alice in Wonderland sculptures and this is one I particularly liked:

Now, I wonder if this could be my next pottery project.......  As always the lips would be a problem, but I have mastered noses.

I love Clematis and this is a very pretty one, Princess Diana, that is beginning to get established in a container in our garden:

Another favourite flower is this beautiful Calla Lily - we have three pots of different colours place around the pond.  One variety is almost black and when in full flower, I will photograph it - at the moment it only has one flower on it.

I got home from Wisley to the disappointing news that my application to take part in this year's Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair had not been successful.  However, onward and upward and I finished the week on a high having been accepted to take part in the two-day Packhouse Antiques Centre Christmas Night Market.

This week has been a catching up with friends week.  After Wisley Monday, met up with another friend for a quick chat and coffee on Tuesday morning and spent Friday with my sister.  In between tried to keep up-to-date with event organisation work and making stock - the good weather makes it hard to work inside, but lucky for me 'making' can be done outside.  We finished the week off with a BBQ at a friend's on Saturday - great fun and with 25 of us there, the 'Chef' did an amazing job: everything ready at the same time, nothing burnt - very impressive.  Well done Hugh.

We have a very beautiful cat that keeps visiting our garden.  Apparently he lives locally, but not too sure why he would want to be with us.  Five cats and four next door - not an ideal place for a strange cat to linger.  He has beautiful blue eyes:

Back to work now - it is still raining so I am a happy bunny.

Have a great week everyone - 'see' you soon.


Sunday, 5 July 2015


Hello everyone

Wow!  What a hot week it has been.  If anyone dare says we haven't had a good summer, I will be just a little bit upset.  Okay, I know we still have lots of potential summer-time to go, but so far, so good.  The garden loves this weather, means lots of watering, but everything is blooming (including the weeds!), my tomatoes are doing very well and the sweet peas are gorgeous.  We planted some near to our back door and they have done really well, they are in a position where it is easy to water them, which really does help.

This week was spent getting work ready to photograph to send with my application to take part in the Farnham Maltings Christmas Fair.  This was a very successful event for me last year, so I really would like to be part of it again this year.  One of my submissions was a hessian bag I had decorated with glittery butterflies - these bags have proved to be and still are very popular and I do enjoy working on them

I don't take part in many fairs these days, I am more 'this side' of the table and working on my application did make me stop and think about where I am going.  Organising events is incredibly time-consuming and hard work and even though I have planned for my events to take place in the last four months of the year (one or two at the beginning of the year as well), they still take up around 2, sometimes 3 hours a day on admin.  I have also added a new string to my event organising bow: Surrey Village Vintage.  The aim of these events is to have all things vintage, but only vintage - I am being helped with this new venture by Fee Fraser, who is my 'Vintage Consultant'.  Fee has a lot of experience in this area, lots of contacts and great ideas to help the events go well, standout and become established.  If you are into vintage, check out the events on the website and make a date to visit one of them.

As the title of this blog post says, can I be a crafter and an event organiser?  The event organiser part of me wants to continue with them because apart from the hard work, I really do enjoy them and the chance to see an incredible amount of beautiful handmade work all in one place makes if worthwhile.  Much better than a department store - and the staff are often much more fun and friendlier.  When I begin work on an order or to make some stock, or browse a website of gorgeous card-making materials, fabrics, ribbons and buttons, I wonder why on earth I am spending so little time on what was my original craft-world, and craft-love.

It isn't decision time in Christmas Pie Crafts, but possibly time to become more organised so that both crafting and event organising can be part of my life without feeling one misses out.

Off to the garden now - our pond is looking a bit too full of water lily leaves.  Beautiful though they are, they are rapid growers and soon cover the surface of the pond.  The fish just about manage to peek out - mind you it is partly their fault that the lilies grow so well.

Have a great week everyone - see you at my next blog post.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015


Hello everyone

How are you coping with this very hot weather?  I am very sensible and stay in the shade for most of
the day - being black and white means I have some sensitive bits and have to be careful.  We cats are struggling in this weather, but Jill and Richard make sure we have plenty of water - plus you can't beat a drop of pond water, water from a plant saucer or from a puddle.  Yum!

I forgot to tell you last week that Jazz had to go to the vets.  That boy is a regular visitor there and I understand there is talk of him having his own named seat.  Jazz had a very poorly eye and Jill had to give him half an antibiotic tablet twice a day and squish some eye ointment into his poorly eye.  Poppy, Coco, Daisy and I thought it was hilarious watching Jill and Richard trying to get Jazz to take his medication.  Not sure why, but they didn't find it so funny.  I have said it on many occasions, humans are weird!

Poppy caught a magpie last week, but it got away.  She dragged it into the hedge, and it shot out squeaking and squawking, followed by a rather embarrassed Poppy.  She doesn't appear to have tried to catch any since then.

It's hot inside, so I am off to find a cool spot.  I will be back next week and paws crossed, the weather will be a little cooler.  Before I go, please don't forget to take care of your animals in this heat:

Don't leave them in cars
Make sure they have plenty of water
Take dogs for their walk very early or late at night when it is cooler.

'See' you next week.