First Blog Ever..!

NEW SHOOT

Wednesday was the first day of my crafty shoot… It’s something I’ve been working on since Christmas, coming up with ideas – writing storyboards (albeit drawn like a five year old!), and buying all the materials… “Any excuse to spend money!”, I hear you cry… maybe… but it IS a valid excuse! I wanted the whole thing to look and feel well-made. So what is ‘it’..?

Introducing… *drumroll please*...


SEQUINS AND SLIPPERS!!!

Back in December I watched craft show, Kirstie's Vintage Christmas - and was filled with inspiration; not only to make things...

(Mum and Nan promptly received glistening new baubles for their trees! That's the beginning of my efforts to the left...), but also to put all MY crafty ideas into some sort of show format.

You know what they say, "No idea's original..."



Now - I'm taking it for granted that you know who I am, what I've been doing with my life & career, and what my aspirations are - because I'm talking to you as if you're my mate. If you're not (yet!) read the next paragraph, if you are, skip it!

Background... In short...

Born to a Spanish Dad, and Scouse Mum; I lived in Spain 'til I was four - then moved back to Liverpool with Mum when they split. As I grew up, I went back and forward between the two countries, cultivating a love of travel, meeting people, and trying new things. Altho' divorce is obviously horrible (given the intentions of marriage) - for me it meant a constant awareness of diversity in culture, something I'm very grateful for. I also grew up loving work... both paid and unpaid, which went on to be a real plus point when it came to working in the media! (*more on that in another post!). I've always loved making things, although I never felt 'artistically blessed'..! Yes, I was in a theatre group from a young age; and was always either singing, or playing the guitar, or dancing - but when I say 'artistically blessed' I mean when I drew a horse, Mum would say "That's a lovely squirrel darling!". I broke that many sewing needles in H.E. class at school I was made to pay for them... You get the picture. So the thought of actually being GOOD at sewing and making things seemed WAY out of my league, all I knew was I WANTED to be good at it. That's why this quote really appeals to me;

"If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent van Gogh

Suffice to say, when a shopping TV channel I was presenting on asked me to assist on a sewing machine hour, I was both repelled and intrigued in equal amounts! Being thrown in at the deep end, once I started sewing (under the watchful eye of the lovely-and-experienced Debbie Shore) I was hooked..! No-one was more surprised than me... although Mum did comment to friends and family "I don't know where she gets it from, she's the black sheep in the family..,". I made all sorts of things, from skirts to 'bingo bags'; desperate to learn what could be created from behind my sewing machine... I swiftly realised there was only so much I could do at home on my own, and paid to go on various sewing courses; which is something I still try to do when I have time! The most encouraging thing I've found is that there is ALWAYS something new to grasp in every dress pattern or crafty project; in other words, in certain respects, you're always a beginner - and that really appeals to the part of me that's always looking to learn something new...

So! On with the show...It occurred to me that people really do love both making, and receiving, beautiful things - and that when I've made presents for people, they seem to look at it with a sense of wonder... Don't get me wrong, I could just be misunderstanding their look! It could really mean, 'Oh dear, this is difficult... how do I look grateful when I'm actually wondering what the hell I'm going to do with that?!'... In other words, I'm fully aware they could just be blowing smoke up my arse when they say it's pretty/amazing/looks shop-bought. But if I listened to those fears, I wouldn't be making the show... so I have to believe the things I'm making are a) NICE and b) fit to talk about, and share with other crafters... Time will tell, that's the thing with producing a show - you really DON'T know how it will be received, until it's out there! So... how did I go about it..?

Research

Firstly I wrote down all the projects I've made over the years, things I feel confident making - and things that I believe would to appeal to other people. Then I wrote imaginative bits in; and concentrated on how to get Rod involved...

For those of you who don't know Rod, he's one of my best friends - and just so happens to be a dog. The canine bit's an after-thought, as he's really quite communicative and responsive - so it's not always the first way I think of him..! Anyway, my thought was that, if this is to be quite a natural show - in other words, me at home crafting and being myself, then it would be strange to NOT have him involved; as this is the way we are - often together, often sharing everything... Don't worry - he's not being made to sew or apply sequins to shoes, he's just... present. I'm looking forward to you meeting him, and getting to know him, in the way I do...

Production

The next step was to let someone in on my idea... This is a tricky one, and I'll go into more detail in another blog later on (on TV formats); but the basic principle is the same as ANY idea you'll ever have in your life, you tell people a) you can trust and b) who will be enthusiastic about it... and maybe give you ideas, and/or help make it happen. I'll chat with the person who's helped this idea become a reality, and share his details with you if he says OK to... In the meantime, just to summarize, I chose the right person to make Sequins and Slippers, The Show, with!

What's Next...

So! Watch this space! (what an over-used statement...). The show is now in the edit stage, so I'll be posting blogs on a weekly basis (if not more often); with a combination of 'Musings' and 'Makings' - (which I think is self-explanatory!), both relating to the forthcoming show - and on other things too... I'll make a concerted effort to reply to comments made on postings; and will also create blogs from comments, if it seems appropriate and interesting enough to expand upon..!

*BTW- the design of this blog is very likely to change (for the better!), but I thought it'd be good to get going with the blog posts, and worry about the look later... hope you agree! And, just in case you're not already aware, I'm going to 'litter' my threads with musical interludes... sometimes because I feel they add depth, or emotion to what I'm saying - and other times 'just because'...

Now I'm going to leave you with a piece of music that I find inspiring to listen to... I'd LOVE to make a music video with lots of other seamstresses and crafters, all lip-syncing to this... Let me know what you think..!!

Comments

  1. A brilliant opening not just into your life but your career and an awsome opening to a series of blogs! :)

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    1. Thanks, Carl, for being as supportive as ever! :)

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  2. Lovely jubbly hun. I will be holding you accountable to make sure them posts get put up.
    Goody good. Proud of you hun!

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    1. Thanks Dave! Really pleased you like it... and that you'll be holding me accountable... I think! ;)

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  3. Ooh joining the blogosphere eh? Welcome to this occasionally dubious world.

    If I can give 1 tip it would be keep the routine going, doesn't matter how often as long as there's a structure, it'll become part of your communication method. If you get out of the habit then, ahem, you find weeks, months going by with lots of unfinished drafts that never see the light of day. Never happens to me of course. If you can set a good example who knows maybe some you can inspire some of the more indolent amongst us!

    Bugsy Malone, what a classic, 1st film I ever saw in the cinema, WImbledon Theatre, with my Dad in 1976. "We could have been anything that we wanted to be... repeat to fade!

    dom x

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    1. Hi Dom!
      Thank-you for the great advice - I will endeavour to be regular in my postings... as for being a good example, that's a hefty responsibility! :)
      And yeah, I always think you can't beat a Bugsy Malone track (I was in in amateur version when I was little... LOVED the custard pies at the end!)

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  4. Hi Gema,

    Great start, as has been mentioned it's all about keeping up the momentum, If you're going to solicit orders/enquiries on your website or via the blog I'd recommend an automated email/message reply system, gives the sender a sense of connection and assures them that they've 'got though' automated systems can also send out brochures/pdfs etc which may be of use in marketing campaigns.
    Does also need correspondence to be answered in a reasonable timeframe but I'm sure you've got all that in hand.

    I see you mentioned Debbie Shore, I do think she's rather lovely, I'm suprised they didn't use her in the Sewing Beee programme, she's have been Ideal (so to speak..)

    I too remember going to see Bugsy Malone when it camae out, definitley one of theose films that sends you out of the cinema on a high.
    Look forward to future blogs.

    best wishes

    Brian (rider45)

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    1. Oh - that's a new one on me (automated replies); I'll definitely put it on my list of things to change on here :D
      I'm really pleased everyone's being so helpful, and giving such great feedback - it's not at all as I expected it to be, talking into an abyss!
      I agree with you about Debbie, and I'll pass on your thoughts to her; she would've been perfect...
      Thanks for getting in touch Brian!

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  5. So proud of you love. You have entered every new thing with enthusiasm and energy since you could speak. When you were fourteen you couldn't pass an ad in a shop window without applying for the job - at one time you had 4 on the go (remember the postman saying he never knew whether to ask you for the Daily Mirror or a pint !). Sometimes (especially when you were small) this enthusiasm bordered on the dare-devil and I was prompted to draw up 'an alternative bucket list' - a list of things you DEFINITELY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DO, such as bungee-jumping, free-falling from a plane and, bizarrely, the Pepsi Max at Blackpool. I have had to quote this list to you quite often over the years. (you)"Mum I want to enter the London Marathon" (me)"No, love it's on the list" (you)"It isn't Mum, I've looked" (me)"It's on the back". Most of the time I just had to grin and bear it (e.g. your 3 day bicycle ride from London to Paris for Charity - when you'd only gone to the bottom of the road before), but all of the time I have been so proud of you and your achievements. It hasn't always been easy being the mother of a fearless, selfless person but it has always been rewarding (forget the premature white hairs). So all the very best for your new venture (don't know where you get the craft-talent from - must be your Aunty Jane), I will always love you and always be proud of you - but remember there is still a 'an alternative bucket list' in the back of the drawer !

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    1. Thank-you Mum..! I'll ignore the list in the drawer, if you don't mind, I'd rather not know what's on it..! :)

      Hopefully you'll start your own blog now; knowing how well people have responded to the Marathon article..?

      Anyway, don't want to turn into one of those families who only talk to each other in public forums - so I'll call you in a minute! Love you x

      (p.s. sorry for the white hairs)

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