Thursday, 26 May 2011


Typing, originally uploaded by Wychbury.
I - am typing! That's about it really - cards for my vintage silk and button hair clips. I stitched some of them in bed last night whilst watching 'Underworld, Rise of the Lycans'. The film's not bad - Vincent is nowhere near as terrifying as Bill Nighy himself I can tell you!....Should I be this laid back when I only have about NINE hours of making and prep left? I really couldn't say - if you are in West Yorkshire this weekend come and see for yourself. If I am under an empty table rocking then I badly need to adjust my sense of urgency!

Paula x

PS Visit our Flickr page where you can see more of our diary pics.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail Preparation Diary : Last but one day of making.

So the Saltaire Arts Trail kicks off on Friday night with the launch party at Salts Mill. This means that with Friday being mainly set aside for last minute organisation, that I only have two days of making left. Lesley's parcel has arrived and she is hoping to send me even more from her cottage in Wales, I'm pulling our display together and finishing everything off.

The rest of our diary will most likely come in mini-photoblog format as we snap'n'share what we're doing for the next two days. See you on the other side!
Paula x

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Nearly There!

So we've not blogged for a few days, mainly because things just got too hectic on the organising side of things that making had to take a back seat.  The final meeting of the organising committee before the event, took place last night and everything seems to be coming together - in fact the Makers' Fair seems to be the are that is the least plagued by disaster!  The catering issue was quickly solved and the only other thing that's gone wrong is that the floor in Victoria Hall is being done and the whole place smells like solvent!

So today I have managed to get stuck into making and the first installment of Lesley's jewellery has arrived so I've started thinking about how I'll present everything.  Our stall recently has been taking the direction of a victorian dressing table.  Much of our range is reminiscent of a bygone era, my fabric florals have a feel of the faded velvet violets on antique hats, Lesley's elegant herb garden earrings have that Victorian beauty that's both rich and understated at the same time, we use buttons and fabric that take us back to our grandmothers' heirloom sewing boxes.  It seems only natural that vanity sets, glass trinket trays and old jewellery boxes have been finding their way onto our table adoorned with our work. 

In Lesley's parcel today were some of the much coveted Thorn necklaces, reputed to contain the blood of Eric Northman and the thorns from the briars that strangled Sleeping Beauty's castle.  I also have some coach necklaces belonging to Cinderella and a pair of scissors that I'm fairly sure chopped off Rapunzel's locks!  I've decided to place a few old books onto our Victorian lady's dresser display and add in a Sweet Briar pincushion ring for the pricking of one's finger.  Should fit in like Cinderella's foot!

Also I have a nice new item in my Pansy range to introduce at the Makers' Fair.  These are tiny pansy and viola flowers placed onto clips and sold in pairs.  Similar to the Red Heartsease clips in size but really teeny, machine stitch free versions of the single pansy. 

So it's now Four days until we kick off, the red bunting will be swathing the village by the time we get to the launch party at Salts Mill at 6.30 on Friday evening and everyone will be raring to go.....or hiding under a table!

Paula xxx

Friday, 20 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 8 days left.

Well it's been a mad couple of days on the organising side of things. A last minute panic over replacement catering reassured me that I am able to take a lot more in my stride than I gave myself credit for. I've also expanded the scope of the Makers' Fair a little to include more demonstrations and the fantastic artists involved have been really enthusiastic about sharing their skills with visitors.

With all this going on it was quite late before I picked up a needle this evening and I find myself feeling the need to tie up loose ends. It may be a result of the chaotic dream of Makers' Fair mayhem I had last night but I'm currently working methodically through a tupperware box of unfinished things. They are laid out on my sofa all grouped in stages and the mental effect as I finish them is similar to ticking a to-do list.

Hopefully I will sleep a little better tonight, safe in the knowledge that my catering is sorted and I got my beads sewn on!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary 9 days Left - Packaging

No time for me to blog today, but a few photos of the finished Fairy Tale bottle necklaces and packaging. An old Wychbury design, revamped. Contains brambles from my garden and the blood of Eric Northman :)

Also a few Herb Garden Earrings displayed on my old Welsh hymn board, ready to be sent up to Paula for the Arts trail. And yup, that is David Tennant, he sometimes holds my Joss sticks for me! L. xXX

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 10 days left.

It's been an odd one today. Lots of things that I really felt should have been finished by now in terms of the Makers' Fair organsisation are still in the wind. I am getting there but some of the hurdles and obstacles that are springing up are distracting me from my Wychbury work.

I've listed a couple of the pincushion rings I've been making in our online shops today which has made the fact that I have actually completed some stock a little more believable to me but time seems all wrong at the moment. Everything is stretching out a bit too far for my liking and it's really only the writing of this diary that's allowing me to keep track of how long there is left before we launch.

So I've not done much actual making today apart from at my kids' dance class. I sew things there every week and the other mums are always interested in what I'm up to. Most know about my involvement in the arts trail so I had another opportunity to check in with my brain and tell them how things were going.

Better luck on Thursday I hope.
Paula x

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 11 days left.

I'm thinking about display a bit today. We have twelve feet of table to play with at the Makers' Fair so will have plenty of space. A few of the makers I admire the most like Leigh Shepherd and Kirsten Miller of Quernus Crafts make gorgeous table top arrangements with their pieces laid out in pleasing patterns. I have plenty of pincushion rings and am applying this technique which I hope will give them more prominance on the stall.

Most of my other textile products are usually displayed fairly haphazardly in bowls or baskets or on trays, this allows me to set up and pack up quickly. A quick set up time is a must for me since I nearly always have my children with me and on this occasion will be organising as well. Laying items out in this way is more time consuming than I am used to but I am inclined to think it may be worth it.

Other news today is that I have found the 'Y' that was lost from my handmade John Bull 'WYCHBURY ...England...' stamp and can now print some cards!

Paula x

Monday, 16 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 12 days left - 2

I always feel pretty guilty that I’m the silent Wychbury girl whilst Paula is out there promoting and selling our wares, unfortunately for quite a while now Wychbury has been slotted into a very small space in my hectic life. I’ve literally been spending one day a week frantically making regular good sellers to send to our suppliers in Yorkshire and Birmingham. Pretty frustrating also as I have a lot of ideas floating about in my head but not enough time to sit and try them out!
Ever get the feeling you have bitten off more than you can chew? I’m at that stage right now! I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, for some reason I agreed to start a retail college course suggested by my place of work (The glorious Lush Cosmetics), with the London College of Beauty Therapy. No problem I thought, I can do most of it while at work, not giving a thought to how much time it would take up at home. I’ve also been involved in promoting/painting/cleaning) a new alternative nightclub in Birmingham, the amazing Vudu Club and have been working shifts there, then running back and working a shift at Lush then hotfooting it back to Vudu. Of course then I have to stay at the club and have a bit of a dance, try the cocktails and end up stumbling in at 4am. A teenager I am not anymore, and boy does my body know about it!

Today, I’m having a day off and I’m about to tea-stain a load of Wychbury cards ready for a bunch of earrings I managed to put together last week. I’m also stamping a few boxes and considering selling the Fairy Tale bottle necklaces packaged in those. Hopefully I will get a chance to photograph those properly later and share them on here later in the week! Lesley. xXx

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 12 days left.

Ok, so what's happening so far this morning is that I am drinking tea in a very contrived way, partly for the purposes of this diary and partly because it's all gone a bit wrong this morning and I need to take a breather!

It has become all too clear that I am spending way too much time cooped up working in the house and that cabin fever has set in. An explosive row demonstrated that I needed some fresh air and my husband drove me up on to the moors and chucked me out - at my request of course! I would like to reassure anyone who drove past me at Keighley Gate this morning that I am NOT mental or the victim of a hen night prank but simply blowing off steam (despite what the stripy socks, bunch of wild flowers and lack of make up might imply!).

So now my lungs are full of fresh air, my flowers are in a vase, my tea is in the pot, my vintage turquoise is out and I may shortly be fit to thread a needle and make some pincushions for the Makers' Fair!

Paula x

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 13 days left.

Poppies, Pincushions and Purchases.

As well as the fair itself, two of our retailers are selling at the event too and we are being visited by a third. therefore I will be trying my best to produce enough work to send these ladies with some new stock for their shops.

Today I've started a batch of new pincushion rings with some new fabrics including a William Morris print in the perfect size for the pieces. I've also been working on some poppies both for the fair and for two November Wedding orders.

I've ordered a batch of 30mm ring bases from China, 200 leafy bead caps for Tudor clips from the USA and I've chased up my velvet leaf supplier in the UK!

Paula x

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 14 days to go!

Saltaire Arts Trail 2011 Preparation Diary, 14 days to go!, originally uploaded by Wychbury.

So today I have worked on some handmade packaging for the hopefully very busy weekend. Our fabric bags are calico and we use them mainly for jewellery purchases. The paper bags are made from that perforated brown paper that comes screwed up in cardboard boxes as padding. Both are stamped with my John Bull set and a wee squiggly stamp. I'm envisaging needing a lot more than this though - I hope so. My 1000 business cards have arrived to so I am good to go.

It's pretty late now and I've been working on a lot of other stuff today but I'm going to stitch some beads on to some stock Poppy Corsages before bed, ready for the bulk velvet leaf order I'm waiting for.

Paula x

Countdown to Saltaire Arts Trail 2011

The Saltaire Arts Trail is now 14 days away! Preparations are in frantic full swing as far as my involvement in the organising committee is concerned but when it comes to Wychbury's involvement as an exhibitor at The Makers' Fair I have been as laid back as ever.

We've been selling at events for a number of years now and often treat it as a matter of routine, 'This is our job and we know what we're doing' sort of thing. The fact is though, The SAT Makers' Fair is not just another fair, it's the highlight of our calendar. Wychbury's five year commitment to promoting, volunteering and selling at the event has led to the situation I now find myself in. I am now proudly responsible for the Makers' Fair itself and May 2011 marks SAT's debut as a stand-alone event, its coming of age party and the first time our Makers' Fair and me are being allowed out on our own!

So, what about Wychbury? Well to make sure that my eldest child doesn't feel left out at the party, I've decided to countdown to the 28th with a daily diary of what WYCHBURY is doing to prepare to sell and make our mark at the event. Lesley and I will be snapping, posting, updating and tweeting every day for the next 14 days to record all our preparations and I will post a diary entry style blog at the end of every day.

Please follow us AND the
SAT blog and keep a blogger tab open to get all our updates as we count down. Please comment if you are also involved in any way and we can link back and forth to us with your own preparations.

More about today's' preparations later on!

Paula x

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Saltaire Arts Trail

For several years now, Wychbury have been exhibiting at the Saltaire Arts Trail Makers' Fair. For us and many other artists and makers, this prestigious event is the highlight of our selling calendar. This year I am proud to have stepped up my volunteer role to become the Makers' Fair lead on the organising committee. This is an amazing project to be involved in, meeting so many talented artists and getting to know about their work and how it can be showcased in such a large scale event is a fantastic experience.

Traditionally the Arts Trail has taken place as a partner event to the Saltaire Festival, a two week long festival of food, arts, music and family activities held all over the famous World Heritage site of Saltaire, built by Sir Titus Salt. The festival is now in it's ninth year and is held in the middle two weeks of September. The partnership between Arts Trail organisors Saltaire Inspired and the Saltaire Festival has always been a successful one and one which we hope will long continue. However, this year The Saltaire Arts Trail is being brave, coming of age and stepping out on its own. Although the Makers' Fair will still take place in September, the Bank Holiday weekend of the 28th, 29th and 30th May will see the very first stand-alone Saltaire Arts Trail.

Over the three days, twelve homes in the village will open their doors to the public. Inside, visitors can discover not only what the residents of this historic village have got on their shelves but also the unique and diverse artwork of over 50 Yorkshire-based artists. Family activities with a strong message of sustanability including Teepee Building, Children's mini-trail, Dens and Mazes and our famous Garden of Easels will be based at Shipley College and on the lawn outside Victoria Hall. The spectacularly grand Victoria Hall itself will house the Makers' Fair, 48 designer-makers and artists will be selling their wares and demonstrating their practices.

You will definitely have no problem filling all three days as even more exhibitions are dotted around the village, often in places where you can get food and coffee! These include the World's smallest cinema showing the 'Wondermental' films of Cherry Kino in Super8 format screening daily, also Out There, a project investigating sustainable art practices inspired and sourced from the environment, initiated and run by Kirkgate studios and Workshops and Textile Artist, Claire Wellesley-Smith. Shipley College exhibits work by its students and other spaces will be occupied with larger projects and installations by comtemporary artists.

Please visit where you can download the brochure, follow our blog, facebook and twitter and browse the galleries and artists' links. Home to Salts Mill (which has the most mesmorising website ever and houses a permanant David Hockney exhibition) Saltaire's unique architecture, history, arts and culture attract visitors from all over the world and The Saltaire Arts Trail should not be missed.

Paula x