It's been a long while since I wrote a blog. My last post was about the fire and then nothing....
If you are on my mailing list or have me on Instagram then you will know there has been a lot more than nothing going on! You'll have read about the ups and down of trying to build my business back up from the ashes, about trying to find a new place to work and house my wallpaper collection and about trying to fund the re-build of my stock and studio while the insurance money takes its time to come through.
Ten weeks on I find myself up a hill in Cragg Vale, on a business park, in a green shed with high ceilings and huge windows. I've had the keys to the place for about a month now but only this week is it starting to feel more homely.
I chose the little room for my design studio so I can tuck myself away from the hubbub of the studio and the noise of the laser cutter. It's got a great view of the tree too.
My desks arrived this week and so did the internet connection and it's been lovely to nestle in to this new and (so far) orderly space after being so upside down. I feel like I have got my control panel back.
Off the main room there is a slim slice of a room which I recognised instantly as the wallpaper storage I had been searching for.
We (I say we...really meaning Domenique and Dean, bless em) shelved it up and last week the wallpaper arrived and slotted in very nicely.
After lots of worry about where my wallpaper was going to live I am so relieved to have it back and easily to hand. Hello old friends.
The rectangle I marked out in the corner is for the wallpaper sample cutting workbench.
I ordered one of these from Arbor Garden Furniture.
I covered it in a 'BEAST Monster Mat' which is a made-to-measure self healing cutting mat. I gridded it up on the underside with tape to make out cut marks.
Me and Julia used to joke that we felt like 'proper artists' once we had our own plan chest. There's something lovely about them isn't there, something curious. What is in all those drawers? Well right now, absolutely nothing but soon this will be the treasure chest! I'll keep all the tiny treasures and the meadow flowers in here when we can make them again. I bought this one from Starling Furnishings on Esty. They can be SO expensive but this was only £125. I'm delighted with my bargain.
There is still one very important piece of the puzzle missing and that is the laser cutter. It was due on the 11th but had to be rescheduled due to the roads at Toplands being resurfaced that day. I was gutted. It can't come until the 27th now. That is a whole TWELVE working days to wait when we could be cutting things. Sigh. Anyway, we have set up the new computer that will be driving the laser machine and we still have the lamp workbench to create too so we will just wait and when it arrives we will be READY!
The loveliest part of setting up the new studio is, and will continue to be, finding places for all the little treasures - the special things that add character and curiosity. Those were the things were the hardest of all to let go of after the fire. You can't replace your jay father or your quaking grass ring on the insurance can you? But since the fire, kind people have been bringing me things and sending me packages. Honestly the postman was rolling his eyes (humorously) those first week. 'More presents'?
Each and everyone of those things represent so much to me. They carry love and care and support. The news of the fire moved them to reach out with a pebble, a pod, a favourite lost book, a card, kind words...it makes me well up just writing about it.
Keely Trae once lost everything in a house fire. She reached out with one of her beautiful pots that now sits on my desk full of poppy seed heads that Suzi picked from her Mums garden for me.
Naomi replaced my copy of Nature as Designer as she first saw it on my blog and a kind Three Somethings reader saw fit to gift me her late Mum's nature books.
Hannah from Etchable Laser replaced the curlew that I had just bought before the fire. So glad to have him back standing proud on top of my handsome collection of Observer books, all given in kindness from various friends and customers.
'Great oaks form little acorns grow' - a gift from Avril from Dandelion Clocks shop in Bakewell and a card full of wise words and kindness to make me feel at home in my new studio. And all the pressed flowers and ginko leaves from a jeweller Monica Peiser who I have never met before but who heard of the fire via her sister and was moved to write out of artist camaraderie.
Then of course there are natures gifts that I look out for every day (I ordered more treasure boxes yesterday)
and Naomi's flower press gives me joy everyday.
Honestly there are so many lovely things that I can't mention them all but every one means so much and is contributing so much energy and meaning to my studio.
And Cathy Woodall brought me a jay feather. It seems even more meaningful than the one I found myself. I'm waiting to find a very special place for that.
Thank you SO much to everyone for every gift, email, donation, comment, smile, hug, thought. I wouldn't be here without you x