Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Real Wedding: Liz and Dale

A Fete Themed Family Wedding! 

I'm over the moon today to be able to share with you our first ever real wedding post!  All of the real weddings we hope to feature will be of days where Melissa Morgan Designs has had a tiny bit of input, but as well as this, I want to share with you weddings that can be an inspiration for your own celebrations.  Today's wedding is one of those such occasions.  I know from speaking to Liz (the beautiful bride) that a LOT of hard work went into planning this event, but also a LOT of love too, after all, weddings are special occasions where family and friends come together to celebrate the love of two people they cherish dearly.

A wedding at home is a task to undertake, but Liz and Dale did a sterling job of creating a fun, relaxed atmosphere with an abundance of original and home made touches.  I'll hand over to Liz to tell you more...

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

'I had always vowed that I was never going to get married but then low and behold, I met Mr. Jupp (Dale).  We had talked about getting married years ago and then we were actually planning a white chapel wedding.  We had even mentioned it to friends and family so that they could start saving to come and join us, when the shocking news came that I was pregnant! Thirteen years and two kids later and we still hadn't tied the knot.  To be honest, I wasn't that worried either, however, I knew that if we ever were going to get married, exactly how I would want it to be...

Photos Courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

...Luckily, when we moved, our new garden enabled us to bring my dream to life, and it all just came together naturally.  It was our wedding day but we wanted to make it a day of special family and friends, without any formality.  Most of all we wanted it to be great fun and to give everybody a bloody good knees up!  

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography
The marquee was full of straw bails alongside the tables, there was bunting, lot of bunting, apple bobbing, a coconut shy, hook a duck, retro sweets for the kids and coloured popcorn (it drove my sister almost insane working out how to make it coloured)!  We found the perfect marquee and decided on jacket potato company Juicy Jackets for our catering.  They were brilliant! 

Photo courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography 

 We felt so overwhelmed and humbled throughout the whole process, with the generosity of family and friends.  It was definetly a joint effort, and homemade.   My sister became wedding crazed, we held bunting making days, Dale's aunt worked wonders with dried flowers and made my bouquet.   For music, Dale's dad, uncle and our son Finlay, played at the wedding and then our friends, The Buccaneers, played later on in the evening.  

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

 The two days leading up to the wedding were perfect.  We had a house and garden full of family and friends slogging away to put it all together. I can honestly say that Friday evening, seeing it all done and ready, was very emotional.  It had turned into something much more than we had envisaged, all with the help, support and love of family and friends.'

Photo courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

In Liz's write-up she also mentioned that she 'always knew' I would make her jewellery!  This was such a lovely comment to read, and so here's the bit where I share what I made for Liz!  Liz managed to source an absolutely stunning vintage brooch, with the word 'Mrs' detailed in marcasite stones.  I took her ideas and added a a pretty rim of crystal and pearl, then put together a co-ordinating, vintage inspired necklace and a pair of static pearl earrings.  

Liz has been a firm supporter of Melissa Morgan Designs since she first found out about my little venture into the craft/wedding business and sent many brides my way before her own big day.  I'm not going to apologise for the outright soppiness of this part of the post - I want to use it to say a big THANK YOU to Liz for all of her support, and to let her know it was an honour to be able to add something to this amazing wedding! 

Congratulations Liz and Dale, we wish you many, many years of happiness together!


Photo Courtesy of Dan Gelder Photograhy

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Silver Clay Workshop

One of my goals for 2014 is to make sure I keep on learning.  With this in mind, at the end of December I decided to book a half day silver clay workshop with Emma Mitchell of Silver Pebble. I've seen silver clay jewellery before at craft fairs and demonstrated on television.  I'd always wanted to try it myself, so when I found Emma's blog through a jewellery magazine, I didn't hesitate to find out more and book myself on one of her workshops. 
Emma creates beautiful silver clay jewellery from her home in a pretty Fenland village.  Her pieces are all handcrafted and take inspiration from the rich landscape she calls home. 

A selection of beautiful Silver Pebble jewellery

So last month, after a relaxing drive through the Fens, I found the picturesque village of Reach and stumbled into Emma's warm and welcoming cottage.  Emma only has a few people at each workshop which meant it was a lovely, intimate gathering.   We had a pot of tea and a 'get to know you' chat before we settled down to work.

To begin with, Emma talked us through the origins of silver clay.  It is a wonderful medium, created using particles of fine silver.  Once fired it becomes so pure it can be hallmarked.  I have a little bit of silver smithing experience, but silver clay is an entirely different kettle of fish and is so much easier to get started with.  The workshop aim was for us to create a selection of charms that could be used for necklaces or earrings.  We had access to all the materials we needed and were supported every step of the way. 

The small number meant that we had lots of 1 to 1 time.  Emma was a great teacher, very informative but also lively, and chatty, making everyone feel relaxed and at home.  We were invited to browse Emma's garden for inspiration and the chocolate cookie break was a perfect opportunity to get to know each other better and reflect on our creations.

At the end of the day I went home with a delightful selection of charms.  I've not decided what I'm going to do with all of them yet, but some have already been given a purpose.  I still can't believe that I started the day with a little bag of what looked like grey Plasticine and in just a few hours it had transformed into these gorgeous pieces! 

Leaf and flower earrings, completed with a little help!

Bee charm necklace, with added Swarovski crystals

I'm not yet sure if I will be using silver clay in my jewellery ranges.  However, I will be purchasing some of my own materials for some personal projects and special gifts.  I'll be sure to blog about them when I do!

For anyone who'd like to find out more about making their own silver clay jewellery, I can't recommend one of Emma's workshops enough.  I had a fabulous day learning a new skill and chatting to like-minded people.  It's always so much more fun going out and learning from real people than trying to teach yourself from a book or video!   

Find out more about Emma's workshops here: Silver Pebble Workshops

Monday, 7 April 2014

King's Lynn Wedding Festival

Not many posts of late, but that's because I've been busy out an about at various events in our lovely home town.  The first was the wonderful King's Lynn Wedding Festival on March 9th.  We did the Festival last September and had a great day, so decided we should do it again.  We've drastically cut the number of fairs we've been attending over the last twelve months, but this one is one of the good ones, mainly because it's organised by such a fab team of creative wedding suppliers and it takes place in one of the most gorgeous, historic wedding venues in King's Lynn, The Town Hall.

The Stone Room at King's Lynn Town Hall

One of the great things about a local wedding fair is I get to tell all the lovely brides about my home studio.  So many times I've done fairs and been asked if I have a shop brides and can visit, that it has been lovely to offer them the chance to view the collections in private or have a leisurely discussion about bespoke designs.  I've already had more consultations than I'd ever dreamed of and I know the brides just love knowing they're supporting small local business too.  It's definitely been a good decision to stick to local events.  

I was really pleased with how the stand looked on the day, it took a bit of planning and has changed a lot since our first fair in 2011 (I've compared pictures, and there's quite a difference).  We were very lucky in that my sister has been letting us use her black display stand and we have some gorgeous images from shoots with Amy Lewin Photography and Katherine Ashdown Photography that we could put to good use as a backdrop.  The trusty heads and crates came out again, but this time I wanted to show off our pieces with the beautiful new packaging and branding we have worked hard to put together.  Finally we made use of some frames I had made last Summer for a craft fair.  They showed off the combs and headdresses perfectly and I couldn't have been more pleased with how we presented on the day.

Our completed stand

Jewellery display frames, reused for combs

Vintage headdresses on display

Lots of sparkle

New boxes and business cards

New pieces on display

Pearl and crystal band, part of our Vintage Inspired Collection

Headdress and comb boxes

We had a truly wonderful day talking to couples and chatting with the other suppliers.  This particular fair has a great atmosphere, down in no small part to all of the 'little extras' that the organisers add to the mix.  There was a fantastic range of live music to listen to, free drinks, goody bags, cake samples and a hog roast to try!  Now I feel a bit sad that we didn't get a chance to photograph any of the other stands.  However we thought we'd add a list below of some of our favourite suppliers from the day.  If you're planning a West Norfolk Wedding then please take the time to check out these talented people:

Rebel Heart Photography - Wedding Photography
The Little Lending Company - Prop Hire and Styling
The Town Hall - Beautiful Venue
Hairaid Shelter - Hairdressing and Glamour Make-Up
Twisted Melon Promotions - Music for your Big Day

Can't wait for the next King's Lynn Wedding Festival!