Category Archives: Thrift

Time, Time, Time.

It’s been a really long time since I posted and mostly that’s because things have changed. (A bit more about that in a minute).

Time, though has been very much on my mind of late as I’ve reached a landmark year in my life. I don’t feel the need to say which one, but to help, I’ll give you some facts from my birth year: An Iconic Beatles album was released, it had been a year since England won the World Cup, the UK’s first Shopping Mall was built, and Noel Gallagher, Mark Llamarr, and Davina McCall were born (so I’m in good company).

Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It’s been a real thinking time, though. I have days when I’ve been less warrior and more worrier, and my overthinking brain has taken over, so getting to at least half-way in my life had given me plenty of food for thought (too much). By the time I got to my birthday, though, after an amazing, funny, dance and laughter filled party with those closest to me, I shook my head and made some decisions:

  1. Living fully hasn’t passed me by, and there are loads of fun times to be had yet.
  2. Life is too short to waste angsting about how short life is.
  3. If I care so much about how long I have, I’d probably better look after the body I inhabit.

I feel I’m over it, at least for the next 10 years.

So – time.. Now a good amount of time has passed since we last conversed. It’s a year since I last posted (God, how could that…. Stop right there! That’s how you got into the angsty time thing mentioned above) Anyway it has, and I’m sure you’ve all been having as much fun as me, and I have certainly had some serious life changes:

We bought a house, my son left home and went to Uni, I left my shop.

We’ll skip past the first one quickly  – So I’ve now got an amazing Edwardian town house in the lovely Guisborough. I’ve filled it with colour already, and I’m so chuffed with it it’s probably worthy of it’s own post.

The Grand Arcade, Leeds

My son is doing Music Tech at Uni in Leeds. Like his Sister and Dad, he has the music gene, except he also has a good dollop of my techy nerdiness, so this is a good thing. He’s been there a year, has a fab house now and loves the whole Leeds vibe. Yet another post I think, especially on Leeds where I spend more time now than I expected to! I absolutely went through the whole empty nest thing, and I have to admit it took a real effort to get used to not having him around (especially our cups of tea and chat late on when his dad and sister have gone to bed) but he’s doing brilliantly and I’m chuffed for him.

And then I left the shop I shared with the 4 other wonderful ladies in Guisborough, and it’s simply about time…

So, for those who don’t know, most of my days are spent in my work as Projects Officer for an arts charity, so I’m there 4 days, and it’s an amazing role, bringing me in touch with some of the most fantastic interesting people. On top of that there are markets and shops to work with; No.30 Westgate in Guisborough now stocking a blend I madewith them as well as Preston Park Museum who I’ve developed new Teesmade teas with in collaboration with River Tees Rediscovered.

Crafts in the Pen, Skipton

There are workshops and bigger events  – The Festival of Thrift on the horizon, and even Christmas Markets to think about. I’ve been accepted for Crafts in the Pen too, and I couldn’t be happier. There are lots of things to make and do!

I get asked constantly how I fit it all in and I honestly don’t know, but I do know that trying to manage everything with a Chronic Pain illness, mean things don’t always get done as they should, and when that happens, something has to give.

So it was a hard decision to leave the fabulous Maison Belle and my fellow Belles there, and I wish the ladies all the love and luck in the world, but I’m off to packet up some tea…

It’s all about time….

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The Maison Belles, Tea and Thriftfest

I start this post with some fantastic news ..

After successfully selling some little bits and bobs in gorgeous Guisborough shop Maison Belle, I’ve been asked by the wonderful owner Laura to have a more substantial presence there.

So, from 11th Oct I’ll be one of the ‘Maison Belles’ The four artists maison belleshe has asked to join her in the shop. Not only will we be retailing alongside Laura’s own stock and work, you might just find us in there holding the fort!

With me and Laura will be my best friend Geraldine of ‘Bean Creative’ (with whom you’ll often see me sharing a stall or doing a workshop ), Abi of ‘Oh Abigail‘ … another wonderful friend and painter of the most amazing handmade signs, and by no means least my friend of 30+ years since we were at Art College together, Kim from ‘Daisy Bloom‘, purveyor of the most stunning bags, scarves and jewellery.

Allowing us to sell and help in the shop allows Laura to concentrate on her new project, the prettiest little cottage literally doors away from me! Couldn’t be more excited.

TEA !   …. If you know me, you’ll know I totally love my specialist teas. I’m not talking fruit teas here (unless you mean Cherry blossom green tea), I mean real leaf teas…

My obsession with tea started as a child, and as a young adult was soon exposed to the delights of Earl Grey. I have passed this on to at least one of my children, with my son drinking Earl Grey with lemon from the age of 8, and seeking out the tea section in Harrods the last time we visited.

Running a teashop I could totally indulge in my love of tea and helped by Carly the owner of The Old Young Teahouse I filled the shelves with all manner of interesting brews… a year on from my exit from the shop and I am missing being around the stuff , so after a great conversation with Rockwood & Hoot’s Jane , I’ve decided to sell teas!

I’ll be selling under my own Ruby & Blue brand and you’ll be able to buy soon at Maision Belle as well as order here. Crack out the china teacups!

THRIFTING in Darlo…

What an amazing time we had at The Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point in Darlington .. 20,000+ people came on day 1 and more on day 2 … It was buzzing!

On top of that we got the most amazing feedback from the festival organisers for both my ‘Kitchen Cupboard Books’ class and for our stall…

The stallholders, food , entertainment and classes were all superb and Geraldine and I had an absolute ball (if a tiring one!) The photos tell the story (and you can see my Ruby van in the last one). Totally booking for next year!