Craft & Artisan Producers Fair in Bromyard

Dear  cat-lovers!

Finally, we can share some fantastic news with you this morning! Recently, The Cat Shop has been invited to participate in two arts and crafts markets: this Saturday (16th of April) we will be in Bromyard attending a newly created arts and craft show organized by the wonderful Conquest Theatre and on 23th of April, you will be able to meet us in Stratford-upon-Avon! We have to say, we are truly delighted to be distinguished – to join the famous market in Stratford, you have to be placed on a reserve list and wait for months to have a stand. Yet, we have been extremely lucky to be noticed and to be invited. Thank you kindly to those who made it all possible!

The Bromyard Craft & Artisan Producers Fair will start exactly at 10:00 am and will last till 13:00 pm. The event will be placed in the theatre foyer and the admittance is free. So please come and admire the fantastic creations made by local arts and crafters!

Please visit their official pages for more information:
https://www.facebook.com/events/956393824446157/
www.conquest-theatre.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/ConquestTheatre/

As usually, we have been preparing well for the occasion. Our stock has been updated and we have framed newly created artworks. Some of them have been described on our blog in the last few weeks, so if you’d like to find out more please visit our previous entries to learn about each picture’s history and stories behind them:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/worcester-easter-festival/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/worcester-easter-market-part-2/

01. “Up and Away”

Framing “Up and away” has been a true pleasure! Designed by Mal and finished by Rita, this lovely artwork is one of our favourites. We still cannot get over the fact that we have used about 2 cm of golden string before Athabasca (our boss cat) has claimed the rest as a toy! That’s a very expensive cat-toy as the artistic string costs £5 pounds per meter!

Up and Away framed

Up and Away framed

02. “(Wibbly wobbly) Timey wimey cat”

This artwork has been created last year around 3 am (eternal) in the morning before the Artisan Market in Senglea in Malta. There is one thing all artists must know before participating in any artistic markets on the island – the markets on Malta are absolutely bonkers! You start very early and you continue long after the sun has set. Be prepared for very long hours, thousands of tourists, who come in and go out then come in again and go out yet again to return for a next circle 20 minutes later. Your voice is gone before the lunch!

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey...cat

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey…cat

Our blue feline friend is named “(Wibbly wobbly) Timey wimey cat”, an obvious reference to our beloved 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant. We are sure, there are cats on Gallifray and this might be just one of them. Do you like “Doctor Who”? This Timelord kitten will take you on an adventure through time and space. Please be aware, the artwork comes with a sonic art frame!

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey cat framed

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey cat framed

03. Falling into place

Do you like puzzles? We have to admit, we are not big fans of them but cats are mysterious creatures and they puzzled human race since times immemorial. We love that pun so we decided to literally create a puzzle cat and named it “Falling into place”. Those who live with any animals can swear that pets are the last missing puzzle piece to complete our lives.

Falling into place framed

Falling into place framed

04. Flower power

“Flower Power” and “Falling into Place” have been made on the same day and were also framed one after the other. They are using semi-transparent paper to create a unique 3D effect. Did you know there is another cat in our catalogue that is part of the mini cat-series? It is a portrait of Athabasca, our beloved kitten! You can purchase all three of them for a single price! This is what we call a real bargain.

Flower power framed

Flower power framed

05. The impossible kitten

The titular Impossible Kitten has been made by Malicia and is a mirror reflection of the cat used in “Up and Away”. Her name is Clara, another reference to Doctor Who TV series. We tell you, our cats are pop culture felines!

The impossible kitten framed

The impossible kitten framed

06. A lot of blooming fun part 1 & 2

 Those two very lovely cat artworks were very hard to make. Rita complained before on our blog that it took her ages to glue all flowers together and that her fingers were cut and bleeding from working with artistic metallic sheets. Once we framed them, we realized that they look very oriental. Japanese people have a term for watching cherry trees blossoming. It is known as “Hana mi” (flower watching festivals) and thousands of people are drawn to public parks to witness the true celebration of spring.

As much as Rita likes them now – framed and finished, she will be truly happy when they are sold. They still remind her of the painful struggle to make them!

A lot of blooming fun part 1 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 1 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 2 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 2 framed

07. Butterflies Spotting

This kitten can be described as a younger sister to artwork called “In Bloom”.  It incorporates the same idea – showing a black cat staring out of the window and looking into a beautiful garden. You don’t see the cat`s face but you get a glimpse of a traditional English country garden, full of flowers and butterflies. Obviously – the cat is closely observing the insects and is not interested in the humans at all. “Butterflies Spotting” is smaller than “In Bloom” yet more focused. It can truly brighten your living room, a patio or  a cottage.

Like many of our artworks, the title is a reference. “In Bloom” is named after a song by Nirvana. “Butterflies Spotting” takes a playful twist on book/film “Train spotting”. Choose kittens, choose butterflies…

Butterflies Spotting framed

Butterflies Spotting framed

In Bloom - the big sister

In Bloom – the big sister

The curator

As you all know, each artist needs a manager and each exhibition needs a curator. We would like to introduce you to our boss and slave driver – Athabasca the white, AKA Oriental Shorthair, The Arctic Cat, The White Terror, The White Walker, Half Persian-Half Siamese Bandit, The Loud One and Basca (for short). This 16 + old, completely deaf, all white and spoiled-rotten kitten approves our efforts to convince the world that cats should rule the planet.

In her spare time, she likes to play with strings, catnip filled toys (mice shaped) and sleep on laptops and  chairs.

Basca the art curator

Basca the art curator

Obey the master and like The Cat Shop on social media.

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

We will see you in Conquest Theatre, Bromyard on Saturday, 16th of April! Support your local artists by visiting the local markets.

XXX
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

 

Bromyard Speed Festival – in pictures

Dear fans of speed and antique vehicles.

Royal Automobile Club Association logo

Royal Automobile Club Association logo

Malicia is taking over the blog and we will do something completely new around this time around. Rita asked me to look though all the pictures taken during Festival of Speed on April 3rd and edit the best ones. Thing is, so many pictures were good that once I sat down and started editing, I ended up having over 100 imaged processed and  complied into two groups: cars and motorcycles. It would be a waste not to use them all!

We have done quite a few image based posts and they are always well received, but never before they included so many shots in one go. It feels more like proper photo reportage than a visual recording of a particular area or event. And why not, to be frank. The Festival of Speed was so diverse and detailed, that you had to go Japanese tourist mode to see it all. Each car is a different tale and they all form a part of what makes British heritage so important and valued.

It was a whirl of colours, wheels, brands and historical artefacts. You can’t show it all in just few clicks. The rule says that one photo should be enough to tell a story, but sometimes you need one hundred pictures to do justice to the event. Mind, we only had a mobile phone so don’t expect that we will win Pulitzer Prize for feature photography (we will leave that honour to Tyler Hicks) but we tried our best. There will be few cut off heads or wobbly horizons and strange angles on the shots. But this comes as a part of the package – you have a small tool and a very limited time and too many objects that just can’t be missed.

Although Malicia is usually responsible for visual aspect of the blog, this post is the first time she was responsible for choosing, editing, chronological order of all the images and commentary. Proper editorial job and she is very proud of herself.

It is very important to support local cultural events – either by attendance or writing about them. Pop and local culture events don`t have big budgets, they don’t often find themselves presented to big audiences and they hardly receive coverage in major newspapers. But they are crucial to understanding of local history, customs, feelings or grievances. Such local events often shape and form individuals that become huge stars later on. Want an example: try to understand The Smiths without detailed knowledge of Manchester area in the 80s. Or better – try to understand Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear phenomena without attending one of those fairs full of old racing cars, past glories and strange characters.

We hope you will enjoy our (hectic) coverage of Speed Festival 2016. If we got any car brands wrong, please point it out. We`ll correct ourselves.

You can read of review of Festival of Speed here:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/bromyard-speed-festival/

Ta,

Mal & Rita

 

Cars brands:

 

Aston Martin

Aston Martin profile

Aston Martin profile

Aston Martin from the side

Aston Martin from the side

Aston Martin inside

Aston Martin inside

Aston Martin logo

Aston Martin logo

Bentley

Bentley profile

Bentley profile

Bentley front

Bentley front

Bentley logo

Bentley logo

Bristol

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol logo

Bristol logo

Caterham

Caterham profile

Caterham profile

Caterham side

Caterham side

Caterham mascot

Caterham mascot

Chevrolet

Chevrolet profile

Chevrolet profile

Chevrolet seen from the side

Chevrolet seen from the side

Chevrolet logo

Chevrolet logo

Chevrolet engine

Chevrolet engine

Factory Five

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car engine

Factory Five car engine

Factory Five logo

Factory Five logo

Ferrari Pininfarina

Ferrari logo

Ferrari logo

Ferrari Pininfarina front

Ferrari Pininfarina front

Ferrari Pininfarina profile

Ferrari Pininfarina profile

Ferrari Pininfarina back

Ferrari Pininfarina back

Classic Ford

Ford profile

Ford profile

Ford seen from the side

Ford seen from the side

Ford Austin

Ford Austin front

Ford Austin front

Detail #1

Detail #1

Detail #2

Detail #2

Ford Austin logo

Ford Austin logo

Ford Thunderbird

Ford Thunderbird engine

Ford Thunderbird engine

Ford Thunderbird front

Ford Thunderbird front

Ford Thunderbird logo

Ford Thunderbird logo

Ford Thunderbird profile

Ford Thunderbird profile

Jaguar

Jaguar front

Jaguar front

Jaguar profile

Jaguar profile

Jaguar logo

Jaguar logo

Jaguar steering wheel

Jaguar steering wheel

Jensen Healey

Jensen Healey front

Jensen Healey front

Jensen Healey profile

Jensen Healey profile

Jensen Healey logo

Jensen Healey logo

Lola Cars

A pair of Lola cars

A pair of Lola cars

Lotus Cars

Lotus racing car #1

Lotus racing car #1

Lotus racing car #2

Lotus racing car #2

Puma

Puma profile

Puma profile

Puma front

Puma front

Puma logo

Puma logo

Sunbean Bluebird

Sunbeam Bluebird full body of a legendary car

Sunbeam Bluebird full body of a legendary car

Sunbeam Bluebird profile

Sunbeam Bluebird profile

Sunbean steering wheel

Sunbean steering wheel

The inside of the car

The inside of the car

The flag

The flag

Engine of the Bluebird was regarded as exceptionally advanced in its time.

Engine of the Bluebird was regarded as exceptionally advanced in its time.

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports

We are living for the history - as the song goes

We are living for the history – as the song goes

Sunbeam logo

Sunbeam logo

Shelsley Walsh racing course in an old photograph.

Shelsley Walsh racing course in an old photograph.

Sunbeam profile

Sunbeam profile

The seats - we wonder if they were comfortable.

The seats – we wonder if they were comfortable.

Sunbean seen from the side

Sunbean seen from the side

Sunbeam spare wheel

Sunbeam spare wheel

Turner GT

Turner seen from the front

Turner seen from the front

Turner profile

Turner profile

Turner seen from a side

Turner seen from a side

The wheel

The wheel

Turner logo

Turner logo

Mdina Grand Prix 2015 - the car that went a long way.

Mdina Grand Prix 2015 – the car that went a long way.

TVR

TVR seen from the front

TVR seen from the front

TVR profile

TVR profile

TVR seen from the side

TVR seen from the side

TVR steering wheel

TVR steering wheel

Wolseley

Wolseley seen from the front

Wolseley seen from the front

Wolseley profile

Wolseley profile

 

Motorcycles brands

AJS

AJS profile

AJS profile

BSA

BSA bike in full glory

BSA bike in full glory

Can Am

The background on this unusual motorbike

The background on this unusual motorbike

Can Am profile

Can Am profile

Cab Am seen from the side

Cab Am seen from the side

Ducati Desmoquattro

What a machine!

What a machine!

Ducati Desmoquattro seen from the front

Ducati Desmoquattro seen from the front

Ducati Desmoquattro profile

Ducati Desmoquattro profile

Ducati Diavel Carbon

Ducati Diavel Carbon - if you prefer toned colours

Ducati Diavel Carbon – if you prefer toned colours

Honda 750

Honda is one of worlds most recognized brands. More than Adidas, bet you didn't know that!

Honda is one of worlds most recognized brands. More than Adidas, bet you didn’t know that!

Kawasaki

Not always a ninja...

Not always a ninja…

Norton Superior

Norton_Superior
Suzuki

One of the best bikes we have ever seen

One of the best bikes we have ever seen

Yamaha 400

Another legendary brand - Yamaha

Another legendary brand – Yamaha

 

Till the next time

M/R

Bromyard Speed Festival

Hello, hello!

Ready, steady, Go!

Ready. Steady. Go!

West Midland life can be hard if you are an outgoing person without a car. Herefordshire and Worcestershire are sparsely populated and you need your own transport to get to many interesting places. Birmingham has an excellent public transport system but the further you are based from Birmingham, the worse it gets. At Vanadian Avenue, we are constantly keeping our eyes and ears open in search for some local things to do, yet we are not able to get to all events, just because there is no decent bus connection. Luckily, sometimes we can get a lift and we enjoy a fantastic day out.

Map of the event

Map of the event

Leaflet #1

Leaflet #1

Leaflet #2

Leaflet #2

Old photos always get Malicia`s attention

Old photos always get Malicia`s attention

We learnt about Bromyard Speed Festival by accident. An unconfirmed internet rumor that Jeremy Clarkson has been booked to open the first edition spread quickly like Californian forest fire causing great excitement among locals. We were a bit skeptical as he is currently filming the equivalent of “Top Gear” for Amazon Prime, but tempted to see him in real life, we decided to give it a go.

The event was to take place on Sunday, 3rd of April so exactly at 11:00 am, we arrived in Bromyard and we set ourselves up on the main street waiting for the vintage car show to start.

Car parade in full swing!

Car parade in full swing!

Rare, precious and still kicking!

Rare, precious and still kicking!

You could buy some curios trinkets at the festival

You could buy some curios trinkets at the festival

For those of you who know very little about Bromyard, we need to say few words about it. It is a medieval market town located in Herefordshire, placed exactly halfway between Hereford (22 miles) and Worcester (20 miles). According to Bromyard and Winslow Parish Council statistics, it has nearly 4,500 inhabitants, several pubs (including two traditional half-timber “black and white” buildings), one local library, one theatre (The Conquest Theatre) small S-F Museum, two hotels and St. Peter’s Church dating back to Norman times. Bromyard may seem like a quiet place but it has several very active clubs and societies organizing nationally known events such as Bromyard Gala, Nozstock Festival of Performing Arts or Folk Festival among others. It also has a strong claim to motoring fame – Morgan Cars were originally set up in Bromyard before moving to Malvern and The Chairmen of the Austin, Bean and Morgan motor companies lived inside or close to town for many years. You can learn more about Bromyard motoring history on festival’s official website: http://www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk/history.html

We want this car, like now!

We want this car, like now!

Preparation for the car parade

Preparation for the car parade

Car parade is about to begin

Car parade is about to begin

By 11 o’clock, the town was already packed and several vintage cars were driving through the town centre forming a small parade. At first, we thought that we have missed the formal opening and Jeremy Clarkson’s speech but soon we found out that that Mr Clarkson’s appearance was not confirmed at all and it was probably an April 1st joke, a clever publicity stunt or a local gossip. To be very honest, the entire event was very well organized and there was no need for any special guests. Rita is not a big fan of the pompous presenter so she wasn’t bother by the fact he wasn’t there. At least nobody got beaten up when the food stand ran out of burgers around midday!

General view of the festival

General view of the festival

Rows and rows of truly unique vehicles

Rows and rows of truly unique vehicles

We love antiques. Hand on the heart. One of these days we will do a blog from Antiques Roadshow!

We love antiques. Hand on the heart. One of these days we will do a blog from Antiques Roadshow!

First editions of any events are usually plagued with many unfortunate incidents so Speed Festival organizers should be praised for a nearly flawless delivery. Each point of interest has been clearly marked on maps, volunteers were helpful and well informed and guests were directed to the right places. The organizers took serious security measures and the visitors were separated from the car parade by proper fencing. We had 3 emergency ambulances points, West Mercia police stand in Co-op car park and two emergency vehicle access points. The only thing we could complain about was the prices. Although the event was generally admission free, you had to pay 3 pounds to access The Paddock situated by The Conquest Theatre and another 3 pounds for the flyers or the event plan. We didn’t mind paying for the access to Paddocks as we had a chance to see the famous Blue Bird, but paying the same amount of money for a single leaflet seems a bit too much. Other than that – we are truly impressed. Overall, the Bromyard Festival of Speed attracted more than 3000 people, so hopefully it will become another annual attraction for the picturesque town.

Festival menu

Festival menu

Memorabilia corner

Memorabilia corner

Festivals as such always bring sellers who offer many artifacts from the good old days

Festivals as such always bring sellers who offer many artifacts from the good old days

If Mal wanted to buy every old photograph she fancies, she`d have to live at Tate Gallery...

If Mal wanted to buy every old photograph she fancied, she`d have to live at Tate Gallery…

Talking about the car parade – it was a very impressive sight. More than 130 vintage and classic cars took part in it, driving slowly in circles from Rowberry Road, passing the Council Corner, turning into The Cut then into the Broad Street, and finally arriving on High Street and Rowberry Road again. The cars were touring in groups of 20-30 cars at 20 minutes intervals. You could see the very impressive Royce-Royce Bentley MK VI Special (produced between 1946 and 1952) limousines in motion carrying up to 5 people, a lot of classic Morgan cars (Plus 4 Coupe from 1954, Morgan Super Sports from 1933 or Family 3 Wheeler from 1935), superb vintage cars (previously unknown to us SunBeams, Diatto Targa Florio, Riley Brooklands and Railton Straight Eight) or fan favourites Hill Climb Cars (including Porsche Cayman SV-R, Caterham Seven or Jensen Healey). Hillclimbing motorsport is a fascinating thing and maybe one day we will write more about it. You can read a short description about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillclimbing

Caterham

Caterham

Jensen Healey

Jensen Healey

Younger visitors were also mesmerized by a large collection of classic racing bikes and rally cars. We have to say, we are not interested in motoring or racing cars but some models were simply stunning. It was hard not to fall in love with them. Rita was especially pleased to spot a classic Ferrari and Mal was happy to discover that one of the vintage cars took part in The Mdina Grand Prix Classic Car Event in 2015.

Turner GT

Turner GT

Mdina Grand Prix 2015!

Mdina Grand Prix 2015!

We have mentioned the Blue Bird above but it needs to be explained why this car was the biggest attraction of the festival. We have never heard of the Blue Bird before but it has a fantastic history worth of a blockbuster movie. It was designed by brilliant French automobile engineer Louis Hervé Coatalen in 1920 for Sunbeam, a marque registered by John Marston Co. Ltd of Wolverhampton. It was officially known as Sunbeam 350HP and was equipped with a modified aero engine. Considered to be the fastest car in the world, it was tested by famous aviation pioneer and pilot, Harry Hawker. In 1922, it was purchased by Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had it repainted blue and nicknamed it the “Blue Bird”. The rest, as they say is history. The Blue Bird won several land speeding records and Sir Campbell became a true motor racing legend. The car has been recently renovated and is visiting motoring festivals all over the country. It is also on permanent display in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire. If you’d like to support the restoration of this fantastic machine, please see the links below. The museum needs to collect nearly £30,000 for a new gear box.

The legendary Blue Bird

The legendary Blue Bird

Look at the engine. It used to power the fastest car on the planet.

Look at the engine. It used to power the fastest car on the planet.

The Blue Bird links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbeam_350HP
https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/news/the-sunbeam-350hp-appeal/
http://www.bluebird-electric.net/bluebird_history/sunbeam_blue_bird_Malcolm_Campbell.htm

National Motor Museum links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Motor_Museum,_Beaulieu
www.beaulieu.co.uk/
http://www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/

It would be very unfair, if we missed another very old and very unique Sunbeam model that was displayed right next to the Blue Bird. The other Sunbeam known professionally as Sunbeam 16/20 Sports is even older as it has been made in 1911 and is in private hands (owned by Hicky Hickling). This 4 cylinder, 4300cc vintage monster of a racing machine can go at 100 m/h at the top of its speed and is the oldest surviving competition Sunbeam in the world. The car has won numerous racing competitions and held hill record at the Shelsley Walsh racing in 1912, the oldest motorsport events in the world running continuously from 1905 until today. Restored in mid-1990, it also travels around the UK being admired by new generations of speed racing fans.

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports profile

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports profile

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports from side

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports from side

Photo of Shelsley Walsh racing course

Photo of Shelsley Walsh racing course

Sunbeam logo

Sunbeam logo

The history of Sunbeam

The history of Sunbeam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelsley_Walsh_Speed_Hill_Climb
http://www.skwimages.com/media/802fbcec-236c-11e3-aae3-371ff1c67724-hicky-hickling-in-the-sunbeam-16-20-4-3-litre-1911-kop-hil
http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/motorsport/shelsley-walsh-relives-its-rich-history

We would love to write about each car or motorbike we have seen but it is simply impossible. Please take a look at our pictures and if we are missing any vital information about any of the models, please contact us and we will try to add them. Thank you kindly for your assistance!

Bromyard Festival of Speed:

Points of interest:

  • The Paddocks – located near the Conquest Theatre. Large vintage car display including the Blue Bird and Sunbeam 16/20 Sports
  • Prestige Car Display – located near the Old Road
  • Autojumble and Trade Stands – located near Sheep Close and on Pump Street
  • Motorcycle display – two locations, first one close to “Rose and Lion” pub near Little Hereford Pub and second on New Road.
  • Morgan Display – located near The Cut

Official website: http://www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BromyardSpeedFestival
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BromyardSpeed
Email: enquiries@bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk
Phone:  01885 555010
Post: Bromyard Speed Festival, c/o Holden Vintage and Classic Ltd, Linton Trading Estate, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4QT

Another of great cars - Bristol

Another of great cars – Bristol

Festival hosted a large collection of motorcycles as well

Festival hosted a large collection of motorcycles as well

Local news:

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-35953755
Hereford Times: http://www.herefordtimes.com/news/14401961.Crowds_flock_to_Bromyard_Speed_Festival/ http://www.herefordtimes.com/sport/14306797.New_motoring_event_to_take_place_in_Bromyard/
Classic Cars for Sale: http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/news/event-news/1603/blue-bird-to-appear-at-bromyard-speed-festival/
Bromyard Info: http://www.bromyard.info/index.php/78-news/1716-bromyard-speed-festival-to-take-place-on-april-3.html

As usual, thank you kindly for reading and we hopefully will see you very, very soon!

Have a lovely day,
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

A call out to all Worcestershire artists

Dear fellow artists!

We don’t usually post things like this but this is a very special case. Worcester City Council posted an official call out to all artists who would like to design an installation that will be permanently displayed in the area of St John’s in the city. The project is worth 30.000 pounds and can bring fame and fortune to the lucky winner.

If you don’t live in Worcester, you can find more information about the call out on official pages of Worcestershire Arts Partnership that are also involved in the project:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worcestershire-Arts-Partnership/321230657962937
http://worcsartspartnership.blogspot.co.uk/

Worcestershire Arts Partnership

More information about St John’s area can be found here: https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/st-johns-ca-appraisal.pdf

Interested? Please see the full memo below and send your applications! You may be the one they are looking for!

*************************************

Brief for Artist

Worcester City Council logo - "Civitas in bello et pace fidelis". A faithfull city - in peace and in war

Worcester City Council logo – “Civitas in bello et pace fidelis”. A faithfull city – in peace and in war

St.John’s, Worcester

  • Background

Worcester City Council are inviting applications from an artist or group of artists to deliver a concept, design and installation of public art funded through S106 developer contributions for the Sainsbury’s Swanpool Walk development in St. John’s, Worcester.

Swanpool Walk, Worcester WR2 4EL, UK

Swanpool Walk, Worcester WR2 4EL, UK

You can click on the picture below or copy the following address ino new bowster to see the exact location:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Swanpool+Walk,+Worcester+WR2+4EL,+UK/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4870f095c0159c39:0x66509f99bf86ec8c?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9zsPTrenLAhVpAZoKHc5qDnAQ8gEIGzAA

  • John’s location

St. John’s is a suburb of Worcester which lies to the west of the city. The name St. John’s is also used to refer to all of Worcester west of the River Severn including residential suburbs. The central part of St. John’s is a Conservation Area, designated because of its special architectural and historic interest. There are two parks in St. John’s, Pitmaston Park to the southwest and Cripplegate Park to the northeast. St. John’s is a historic settlement built upon pre-existing Saxon roads and has a varied historic environment which includes Roman enclosures and burials, medieval timber-framed buildings, sites of Civil War fighting, and former tanneries and malthouses. The area is rich in architectural and historic interest and the St. John’s Conservation Area includes 29 grade II listed buildings and one grade II* listed building.

Known locally as ‘the village in the city’, St. John’s contains many local independent shops including two butchers, a chemist, library, as well as a large Sainsbury’s and an adjacent sports centre. It also has a number of local pubs. Close to St. John’s are three primary schools and a secondary school. To the north of St. John’s is the University of Worcester St. John’s Campus.

  • Context

The selected artist(s) will work with officers and members from Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council and local community groups and schools to deliver a unique and interesting public art concept that will reflect and celebrate, in some way, the heritage of St. John’s, and which can act as a focal point in and around the area to create a sense of civic pride. Initial concepts are that the artwork will reflect and/or interpret the history, heritage and the present day of St. John’s through researched themes. Artists are asked to consider the themes of people and community, buildings and place, retail and leisure.

In particular the objectives are:

  • To create unique and distinctive artwork(s) that are of a high quality and design, are durable and easy to maintain, which integrate with the character of St. John’s and enhance the character of the St. John’s Conservation Area.
  • To create artwork that builds on the identity of St. John’s through its heritage in an innovative and engaging way, and is responsive to the local community.
  • Provides a focal point or series of focal points that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities, and seeks to involve all members of the local community and visitors.
  1. Location and scope for the work
  • The artist should be able to use outdoor, robust and user-friendly materials in an innovative and creative way and which require minimum maintenance.
  • The work should visually integrate with the character of St. John’s and capture the essence of the place, however there is scope for modern interpretation and materials which enhance and/or complement the historic environment.
  • There is scope for the artwork(s) to be located at various strategic locations in St. John’s and it is envisaged that there will be links to key sites including both parks.
  1. Role of the artist
  • Research the area and its residents to assess the scope of the commission.
  • Run workshops with local residents, community groups and schools to engage with ideas and identify community priorities.
  • Research ideas within the scope of suggested themes for the main artwork and justify location(s).
  • Design and make the artwork, transport and install the work.
  • Publicise the work and involve the local community at all key stages, including the unveiling.
  1. Budget

The fee for the work is capped at £30,000. This fee should cover all costs associated with the design process, local research and workshops, materials, fabrication, transport and installation.

  1. Target audience

It is important that this project engages with and subsequently reaches as much of the local  community as possible, covering a wide demographic.
The aspiration is to encourage a wide range of people from the area to talk about and visit St. John’s and the artwork and be proud of the history and heritage of their community.

  1. Selection process

This opportunity is being advertised both locally and nationally. Artists will be selected on the following criteria:

  • Quality of work and enthusiasm for this project.
  • Ability to meet the brief within budget and show value for money.
  • Proven experience of being able to produce commissions and delivering them to set deadlines.
  • Proven ability to collaborate with a range of professionals.
  • Proven ability to successfully engage with local communities and target audiences and an awareness of the social impact and accessibility of their work, both physically and intellectually.
  • Show an awareness of the local area and be able to relate their work to the St. Johns area and the themes expressed for interpretation.

Artists are asked to provide an expression of interest in the first instance. No designs are required at this stage, but images of at least three examples of previous work and references from two previous commissioners must be supplied, along with an outline approach to the design process. Evidence of insurance (minimum £5 million public liability and £1 million professional indemnity) is also required, and artists must hold a current DBS check.

Expressions of interest should be submitted electronically to Julie Lynn, Worcester City Council julie.lynn@worcester.gov.uk by midnight on 3 April 2016.

The Subject bar should contain the title: St. John’s Worcester ARTIST SUBMISSION

There will be a shortlisting exercise from the expression of interest. Those shortlisted will be asked to attend an orientation session on 13th April 2016, to include visits to potential locations for artwork, and provide outline designs by 30th April 2016. Design proposals should also include how the artist would approach community engagement within their proposal.

Schedule

1 Brief advertised March 2016
2 Deadline for expressions of interest 3 April 2016
3 First stage sifting of expressions of interest April 2016
4 Orientation session 13 April 2016
5 Deadline for outline designs 30 April 2016
6 Interviews May 2016
7 Selection of artist May 2016
8 Agreement of draft design and contract June 2016
9 Development of proposals with community June – early July 2016
10 Agreement of final design By 16 July 2016
11 Creation of artwork TBA
12 Installation TBA
13 Unveiling TBA

 

  1. Appointment

Following an interview/selection process with a panel that will include local Councillors, officers from Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, the selected artist will be required to enter into a contract to design, make and deliver the artwork within a mutually agreed timescale and programme installation in conjunction with Worcester City Council.

Good luck to all!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Worcester Easter Market in review part 2

Welcome back!

We wrote for sun, they sent us rain!

We wrote for sun, they sent us rain!

We are so sorry you had to wait for the second part of our review, but we truly needed to rest. Two long days on the market in cold weather, rain and strong winds sent us to bed for 24 hours. Luckily, we recovered enough and we are now back in action.

Before we introduce you to some wonderful artisans we have met, please take a look at the previous links below. You can read about our preparations before the market and read the first part of our review as well:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/worcester-easter-festival/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/worcester-easter-market-part-2/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/worcester-easter-market-in-review-part-1/

Rita Dabrowicz waving at the camera at our stand in the rain.

Rita Dabrowicz waving at the camera at our stand in the rain.

A view from our stand

A view from our stand

Now few thoughts after attending the fair. Worcester Easter Festival has been organized by LSD Promotions and we have to admit, that despite a very nice and competent crew working alongside the traders, the market had been very poorly advertised. It had absolutely no promotion, suffered from poor internal communications and not many shoppers were even aware it was actually happening. According to other sellers, only one advert has been published in a local newspaper and it was just 3 days before the market took place, a bit too late to properly advertise it. What’s even worse, half of the people we spoke to never received any emails, receipts or maps how to get to the market – us included. We have been promised a full pack to be sent by regular post (it never arrived and we live in Worcester City center area), then an email was supposedly sent out with digital copies of the documents and we never received that either. Please note that it was not a problem for us as we live within walking distance but majority of the sellers came from other towns such as London, Coventry or Manchester. It would be nice if the organizers thought about providing some information about local hostels/hotels, bed and breakfasts or even maps so our guests could navigate their way around Worcester and find an accommodation for the night. Worcester has a complicated road system and vital streets such as London Road are being maintained as present. Several people had to sleep in their vans as all hotels in the city have been already booked for Easter Holidays. We have directed couple of people to small hotels in Malvern but many were left to their own devices. Pretty sad.

Advertising materials

Advertising materials

A stand advertising the market

A stand advertising the market

A stand advertising the market - better shot.

A stand advertising the market – better shot.

The other side of the stall promoting the market.

The other side of the stall promoting the market.

Even better idea in this situation would be to form a partnership with a local B&B or a hotel and to introduce a new package for those merchants that come from far away. Such package should include a price of hotel room & the stall at the market or some serious discount when booking a place for the night. Why this is essential. Bad weather affects sales. Overbooked hotels make an angry merchant. Sleep deprived artisan who did not make enough sales to even cover the costs of market and petrol, will simply never return again to Worcester. Market towns ought to take their reputation seriously – give decent conditions to the merchants and they will be coming back, will recommend you to others and the market will grow.  Not to mention, people forced to sleep in their cars is an accident waiting to happen.  The last thing local artisan community needs is a black PR that our guests have been having misadventures while in town.

Quirky and fun posters that were available for the public during the market - we approve of that. More please!

Quirky and fun posters that were available for the public during the market – we approve of that. More please!

Family orientated fun. Making any market better since the down of time.

Family orientated fun. Making any market better since the down of time.

Another complaint we have is regarding LSD Promotions website. It doesn’t work properly and it is hard to find anything useful there. Rita had to call in to ask where the application for the market was located to be able to download it. We also had to ask for digital copies of  leaflets and posters – such materials should be available on the website so the sellers can find them easily.  The biggest let down was that nobody informed the traders about red weather warnings issued for Saturday for Worcester and Malvern that included severe flooding and high winds. Again, we have found it on our own by listening to the radio or checking the weather reports.  Lack of information resulted in several sellers choosing not to arrive for the second day at all as they didn’t know if the market would be on or not. Even local stall holder such as us were not informed. We were only told that some sort of advice will be given on Saturday morning, which of course as you can guess, never happened.

The High Street in Worcester.

The High Street in Worcester.

Another shot of the location - with market stalls visible.

Another shot of the location – with market stalls visible.

It makes us also think that if bad weather made some artisans to cancel their appearance on a second day (if your wares are made of paper you will not want to hang around in torrential rain), some compensations should be available. We were told that Easter Market was  different and no compensations would be provided. We are fans of finding a middle ground. If a trader had to skip a day, so their wares are not damaged, why not offer them  a chance to appear some other time, with a discount? We have standard markets every Saturday on the High Street and surely something could be arranged to keep both sides happy and satisfied.

We also had a Easter Bunny. That was cute - the kids loved it.

We also had a Easter Bunny. That was cute – the kids loved it.

Bunny with balloons. Hopefully we will see him coming back next year.

Bunny with balloons. Hopefully we will see him coming back next year.

Our experience overall is rather that of disappointment – two stars out of 5. As we have said before, the organizers are wonderful people but a complete lack of promotion and  troubles in communication resulted in a very low sales for us. We will think hard before participating again.

Trading in pouring rain is difficult – you have our word for that. Please see how our stand presented itself on the second day of the fair. We have become “Cats in hats”, it was not planned but we tried to keep our spirits high.

Rita as a ginger cat in a hat.

Rita as a ginger cat in a hat.

Malicia as a black cat in a hat.

Malicia as a black cat in a hat.

Hissing at the rain to make it go away.

Hissing at the rain to make it go away.

Our stand - rainy day two.

Our stand – rainy day two.

Cats in the rain.

Cats in the rain.

We always cover our cats in a cling film to prevent damage due to elements. We are clever kittens.

We always cover our cats in a cling film to prevent damage due to elements. We are clever kittens.

On a positive note, we met wonderful artists and made new friends. We had a fantastic time, drank a lot of tea and discussed million different topics. If you’d like to learn more about them, please read their short bios and visit their pages. Believe us, it will be worth it!

01. Pelle Gifts

Pelle Gifts stand #1

Pelle Gifts stand #1

We absolutely loved the gifts. They are mind blowing.

We absolutely loved the gifts. They are mind blowing.

Katie Townsend has always been interested in jewellery design and created many unique pieces for herself as a hobby. In 2014, she decided to go pro creating Pelle Design brand. Her store grew very quickly in the last two years and now Katie offers a large selections of gifts through her website: bracelets (male and female), watches, hats, scarves, gloves and other decorative elements. You can contact Katie through her Facebook page or visit her very popular stand in Stratford-upon-Avon where she is present every weekend.

Website: http://www.pellegifts.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PelleGifts

02. The Funky Cupcake Company

Funky Cupcake Company stand logo.

Funky Cupcake Company stand logo.

The delicious goods.

The delicious goods.

Yes, cupcakes can look that good.

Yes, cupcakes can look that good.

Mouth watering eye candy!

Mouth watering eye candy!

It’s not easy to be a baker these days. Popularity of shows such as Great British Bake Off encouraged many people to open their micro bakeries and the competition is very tough. Each market we go to has at least 4-5 stands offering cupcakes, marshmallows, fudge or cakes. You have to be extra good to convince visitors to buy from you and not from the other places. Well, Nathalie Morris, doesn’t have any problems with leaving her competitors miles behind. Her creations not only look like a million pound deal (or million USD if you prefer!) but they taste heavenly. We have tried several of her cupcakes and we give it five or even six stars! If you The Funky Cupcake Company somewhere at your local market, don’t hesitate even for a second.

Website: http://www.thefunkycupcakecompany.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFunkyCupcakeCompany/

03. Beverly Todd

The man himself - true artist and gentleman.

The stand in its glory.

Wider angle - so you can see the entire stand.

Wider angle – so you can see the entire stand.

Glass is a very delicate material - just marvel at the details!

Glass is a very delicate material – just marvel at the details!

Simply beautiful. You have to agree.

Simply beautiful. You have to agree.

Classically trained landscape artist, Beverly Todd specializes in the use of oil paints and bullseye glass. She has been always fascinated by the outdoors and clouds and you can see the love of open spaces in her work. She is a member of Contemporary glass makers association and her works are in private collections all over the UK. She is also represented by several High Street art galleries.

What we love about her art is she is able to paint anything you can think of – green fields with grazing sheep, snowy gardens, blooming flowers, stormy sea, cloudy skies, autumn forest. You can purchase her craft through her website in form of coasters, framed artworks, curved glass blocks, glass platters and bowls.

Website: http://www.beverlytodd.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyToddArt/

04. Luxury Hampers and Gifts Ltd

Hamper heaven!

Hamper heaven!

If you need a properly composed hamper- who you gonna call?

If you need a properly composed hamper- who you gonna call?

Luxury Hampers and Gifts Ltd is a small family owned company founded by Paul and Ellen Halpin-Barnett. To create their outstanding hampers, they only use  British products of the highest quality – award winning wines and champagnes, locally baked cakes and cupcakes, organic teas and coffees. Hampers are beautifully packed and prepared for all occasions – from birthday celebrations to Christmas season or wedding receptions. Purchasing from them, you are supporting small and micro businesses from Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Website: https://www.luxuryhampersandgifts.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luxuryhampersandgifts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Luxury_Hampers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luxury_hampersandgifts/

05. SIXTEEN

Quality goods and a very friendly merchant!

Quality goods and a very friendly merchant!

You`ll be spoiled for choice at Sixteen.

You`ll be spoiled for choice at Sixteen.

Customer browsing the wares.

Customer browsing the wares.

Must have for all the Mods!

Must have for all the Mods!

Nicola Holder and her team opened Sixteen in Wing, Buckinghamshire in 2010 to find an outlet for their refurbished retro furniture. Their skills in renovation were so great that a simple business idea soon turned into a fully operational store that offers now a whole range of services, including  home décor. Nicola travels around quite a lot, visiting arts and crafts markets all over the country. If you see her, stop and say hello!

Website: http://www.homeatsixteen.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeatsixteen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/homeatsixteen

06. Blue-Beri

The artisan maker and her stand.

The artisan maker and her stand.

Incredible details. Malicia wishes she bought this one for herself.

Incredible details. Malicia wishes she bought this one for herself.

Aprons can be a very clever idea for a gift.

Aprons can be a very clever idea for a gift.

Angela Crofts is the proud owner of Blu-Beri brand. Based in Herefordshire, Angela makes shopper bags, tote bags, make-up purses, cushions and other accessories from high quality materials. Each item is individually crafted from high quality fabrics and has a unique, contemporary design. Angela’s bags are  very sought after and hopefully soon we will see her bags in High street boutiques. We have to admit that we fell in love with beautiful cooking aprons and we will have to get one for ourselves. Maybe two as  we both love to cook!

Website: http://www.blu-beri.co.uk (in preparation)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blu-Beri-1433193970304076
Ebay store:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/bluberi2014?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

07. Flora Graphics

Flora Graphics stand.

Flora Graphics stand.

Flowery alphabet was very popular with buyers.

Flowery alphabet was very popular with buyers.

Color and detail - always a great combination.

Color and detail – always a great combination.

Simple yet effective and beautifully crafted.

Simple yet effective and beautifully crafted.

Stephanie Cutler has always been an avid gardener with a great love for wild flowers. Her own, traditional English garden is full of forget-me-nots, elderflowers, lady’s mantle, violas and other old time countryside favourites. Her floral expertise comes handy when Stephanie creates her truly unique designs – she hand pick the flowers she grew, presses them, dries and uses to produce greeting cards, coasters, table-mats, tableware and other gifts. If  you are looking for something extraordinary – look no further. Flora Graphics offers you everything you can dream of!

Website: http://www.floragraphics.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Floragraphics/

08. Natures Rooms

Sarah and her stand.

Sarah and her stand.

Soya wax - slow burning and totally vegan!

Soya wax – slow burning and totally vegan!

Sandalwood candle we bought!

Sandalwood candle we bought!

Sarah Evans is one special lady and her creations are pretty special too. She makes ecological soya wax candles and reed diffusers that contains only natural oils. You will not find any pesticides, herbicides, petroleum, paraffin, beeswax or genetically modified materials in her products and she has laboratory certificates to prove it. We bought a slow burning sandal wood candle from her and it’s like a heaven in a jar – its smell is very strong and wonderful. It comes in a stylish glass container and weights almost 1 kg. If you are looking for a environmental friendly, ecologically disposable and truly vegan item, please give Sarah a call now.

Website: http://www.naturesrooms.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naturesrooms/445770492256062
Google+: https://plus.google.com/114681244989468229002/about

09. The Cheese Board

Barry and his son Tom - the best team ever.

Barry and his son Tom – the best team ever.

The selection is incredible. WE mean how many jams and marmalade and cheese you can take home?

The selection is incredible. WE mean how many jams and marmalade and cheese you can take home?

Details, details.

Details, details.

We purchased Guinness Cheddar. Best cheese you can have. End of topic.

We purchased Guinness Cheddar. Best cheese you can have. End of topic.

We have saved the best for the last. Our neighbors, Manchester based company called The Cheese Board do not have Facebook page or their own website but their food is to die for. To learn about them you have to attend local markets, but once you taste their food, you will be coming back for more. As the name suggests, the Cheese Board makes a great range of special cheeses for your enjoyment – from Guinness flavoured cheddar (we got one for ourselves), Red Wine Port, Garlic Lancashire, Cheddar Madras, Wensleydale Blueberry, Cheddar and Leek, Balsamic Onion, Fiery Dragon, Smoked Paprika to Red Leicester with black pepper. You can also purchase  a huge selection of chutneys (cider and apple, hot rhubarb, sun dried tomatoes and garlic, mango, lime and ginger to name a few), marmalades (brandy, whiskey and red onion) and jams (chili, rhubarb and ginger). To make your order, please contact Barry or Lisa at Lisa.leigh@uwclub.net or by calling  07717666699.

We know that our blog doesn’t cover every stall available on the market but it would be impossible to write about each stand. We have chosen the ones we thought were the best and we hope our readers agree with us.

Don’t forget to visit The Cat Shop on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
or like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

Have a fantastic day and we will see you very soon!
xxx
Rita and Malicia

*****Update 31.03.2016*****

It seems that we are on the roll! Another blog and we score another mention! This time, we have been honoured by Sarah of NaturesRooms.

Natures Room Facebook mention for Vanadian Avenue

Natures Room Facebook mention for Vanadian Avenue

Thank you very much!
xxx
Rita and Mal

Worcester Easter Market in review – part 1

Hello!!

First day of Easter Festival has ended and we are dead tired! However, we wouldn’t be able to fall asleep without showing you several pictures from the market, so instead of going to rest, we are here writing this blog and editing the photos.

Markets are great fun and this one is no exception. We were truly blessed with a great weather (it was very cold in the morning though) and a great company.

Since we are extremely tired, we will try not to bore you with long review and  instead present you with visual evidence. Are you ready? This is how our beautiful stand look like this time:

The Cat Shop stand

The Cat Shop stand

Malicia greeeting visitors

Malicia greeting visitors

Cat artworks

Cat artworks

And more cat artworks

And more cat artworks

View from the distance

View from the distance

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and we are truly grateful for your kind words and comments. They mean a world to us. If you’d like to visit us tomorrow, please come to stand number 30, just outside of the Guild Hall. We are placed between Naturas Rooms (soya wax candle-makers) and The Cheese Board.

Don’t forget to like our social media pages:

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

The Easter Market will be open between 9:00 am and 17:00 pm, Saturday the 26th of March. We have been warned about possible showers and strong winds but we are not afraid of the weather forecast! If you don’t mind leaving your warm and cosy houses for a while, you can come and meet us in our usual place. You will also have a change to meet other extraordinary artists neighbors.

Let us recommend a few excellent people worth visiting:

01. Cotswold Crepes

Cotswold Crepes

Cotswold Crepes

The first stand we encountered at the Worcester Easter Festival belonged to the Redditch company called The Cotswold Crepes. The business is currently owned by John and Terrie Williams, successful entrepreneurs  and driving force behind several well known local brands such as Arrow Pig Roast, Willows Ice Cream, Arrow Buffet Services and John Williams Butchers of Studley. Cotswold Crepes prepared a delicious menu of sweet traditional Easter pancakes (massive selection of 17 different ones to choose from!), continental French crepes and English spring chocolates. Their cinnamon pancakes were to die for!

Website: http://www.cotswoldcrepes.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cotswold.crepes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CotswoldCrepes

02. Magical Den

Magic Den stand

Magic Den stand

Fairy Door

Fairy Door

Magic Den toys

Magic Den toys

Magical Den is a fantastic family run business that belongs to Anna and Marcin Rolinski. The Polish super duo won the hearts of Worcester parents by offering high quality hand made toys, tepees (also known as Fairy Doors), clothing and home decor. They use ecological materials that will last for years and can be washed multiple times without worrying about possible damages.  If you’d like to use their services please visit one of their links below:

Website: http://magicalden.co.uk/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/magicalden/

03. Serenity Cupcakes

Serenity Cupcakes

Serenity Cupcakes

Six pack for Easter

Six pack for Easter

Anybody wants a cookie?

Anybody wants a cookie?

Impressive selection

Impressive selection

Mark our words, in a couple of years, Seren Carpenter will be a household name as Marry Berry or Paul Hollywood. Seren, probably the youngest stall holder on the market, was doing extremely well bewitching the visitors with her baking skills. We wish we could add one of her cakes for you to try to this review but sadly it is not possible. To find out how good she is, you have to come to her next market and find out for yourself. We loved her vegan cupcakes and the blue cookie monster ones as well. Well done Seren! Oh, the bunny ears were great as well!

Website: http://serenitycupcakes.moonfruit.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/serenitycupcakes/timeline
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SerenityCakes17

04. Churros Olé! Limited

Churros Ole Limited in action

Churros Ole Limited in action

And even more action!

And even more action!

We love discovering new tastes and dishes, but Southern European cuisine has a special place in our hearts. When we learnt that a group of Spanish people arrived at the market straight from London, we set out to find them. We didn’t have to go far, we just followed the delicious smell of traditional churros and within minutes of our arrival at their stand, we were chatting with the owners of Churros Olé! Limited like with old family friends. There is something special about Pablo and Isaac, they can easily entertain their quests with a serious conversation about languages, Shakespeare,  word creationism and poetry in such a manner that you will be immersed completely without even realizing it. And they can cook at the same time! Sadly, we were too full to try their churros with chocolate, but other visitors gave them raving reviews. If you ever see them at your local market, don’t waste any time and order double portion. You will not regret it.

Website: http://www.churrosole.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/churrosole.co.uk

05. The Cotswold Cup Company

The Cotswold Cup Company banner

The Cotswold Cup Company banner

Lorna and Polly are ready to take your order

Lorna and Polly are ready to take your order

Boleslawiec Pottery

Boleslawiec Pottery

Always talk to your neighbors when you are waiting for clients at your stand at the market. If you don’t do it, you will miss a great opportunity to meet some of the loveliest people alive. The Cotswold Cup Company is a family run business owned by Lorna Middleton and Polly Davies, a mother and daughter tag team. Lorna has spent many years living in Germany where she discovered a unique Polish stoneware pottery made in Boleslawiec. First, she became a collector, but soon her passion turned into something much more serious than just a hobby. Today Lorna and her team are distributors of famous Boleslawiec pottery in the Cotswolds and neighboring regions. If you are looking for something of extraordinary quality, please contact her and she will be more than happy to advise you.

Boleslawiec pottery can be used to store food in fridges, can be heated in microwaves and is dishwasher safe. Lorna possesses great knowledge about pottery and collectible items and her experience can help you to set up a tableware that would please the Queen of England.

Website: http://www.cotswoldcupcompany.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cotswoldcupcompany
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/thecotswoldcupc/kitchenware/

06. Love Little Treasures

Love Little Treasures is a young business run by two ladies, Laura and Jenny. They offer fun and quirky handmade, vintage inspired jewellery. If you value pop culture, popular books or the trendy TV series, you will fall quickly in love with their range – long necklaces, delicate earrings or elaborate brooches. The girls are very popular on Etsy and their store receives only 5 star reviews. Don’t you dare to miss them!

Love Little Trasures stand

Love Little Trasures stand

Vintage jewellery

Vintage jewellery

All items are hand made and inspired by popular culture

All items are hand made and inspired by popular culture

Business cards

Business cards

Love Little Trasures close up

Love Little Trasures close up

Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lovelittletreasures
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lovelittletreasures
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/love_little_treasures/

All right, we are off to bed to catch some beauty sleep and we will see you all tomorrow!
Have a fantastic evening xxx
Rita and Malicia D

******Update 31.03.2016******

Look at what we have received! The lovely ladies from Cutswold Cup Company purchased one of our cats and it is now proudly displayed on their wall. They were kind to share this wonderful picture with us!

Simplify your life adopted by Polly and Lorna of The Cotswolds Cup Company

Simplify your life adopted by Polly and Lorna of The Cotswolds Cup Company

We were also featured on their Facebook page:

Vanadian Avenue is mentioned on Cotswolds Cup Company's official Facebook page

Vanadian Avenue is mentioned on Cotswolds Cup Company’s official Facebook page

This is not all! Our blog is gettinga lot of likes and  it was also been mentioned by Serenity Cupcakes:

Serenity Cupcakes are not only delicious but sweet as well to post links to our review!

Serenity Cupcakes are not only delicious but sweet as well to post links to our review!

Thank you kindly for your kind words. They mean a world to us!

XXX
R+M Dabrowicz

Worcester Easter Market part 2

Welcome again!

Worcester Easter Festival is just two days away now and we are very, very excited. Two-day markets always mean hard work, but we are extremely happy to see our usual customers return to our stall. We are also pleased to meet new people as well. We hope to be excused if we sound like doors to the crypt by the end of the day. High Street is fully packed every weekend and Easter time shopping spree could be twice as busy. After speaking to several hundred people, your voice refuses to work and there is nothing we can do about it!

Worcester Easter Market 25-26 March 2016

Worcester Easter Market 25-26 March 2016

Yesterday we showed you several of the newest unframed artworks that will be available for purchase on the market. If you have missed the previous article, please click on the link below to read it: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/worcester-easter-festival/

Today, we would like to present our favorite framed pieces. They come in different sizes and shapes and are worth taking a closer look as they can be quite detailed.  Rita has chosen 5 large pictures and she hopes you will enjoy looking at them as much as she enjoyed making them.

01. “A lot of blooming fun”

Malicia came up with this very cheeky title after Rita ran out of ideas. Originally it was entitled “Whatever” as this was Rita’s reply when Mal asked her how this artwork should be named. Luckily, a nicer title was quickly found and we don’t have to be ashamed inviting you to look at art pieces knows as “Whatever1” and “Whatever2”. A lot of blooming fun sounds so much better!

Cutting the flowers was a real nightmare for Rita and it took forever to do it. She has worked with brand new materials she has never used before and the experience was not a nice one. The artistic metal foil sheets are not only very thick and you need to apply a great amount of strength for them to go through the Sizzix machine, their edges are also sharp as knives and you have to be careful when you are using them. One composition took about 6 hours from the beginning to finish

A lot of blooming fun

A lot of blooming fun

A lot of blooming fun - flower close up

A lot of blooming fun – flower close up

02.”A lot of blooming fun part 2″

Rita has a strange habit of creating another similar artwork if she had problem with the first one. Even she is not sure where this very unusual desire streams from. Maybe it is the need of mastering an unknown medium/materials or she simply like to torment herself. Anyway, she decided to create “A lot of blooming fun part 2” and she had another 6 hours of pure physical and mental torture. At times she was close to tearing  both picture to pieces but her fingertips were so bloodied and bruised that she had problems with keeping anything in her hands!

 It is worth mentioning that she is very proud of the Japanese vibe both picture have but generally speaking, making them was a tiny bit of a hell on Earth for her.

A lot of blooming fun 2

A lot of blooming fun 2

A lot of blooming fun 2 - flower details

A lot of blooming fun 2 – flower details

03. “Portraits”

 We didn’t plan to make this artwork as its frame has been originally purchased for another picture. After it proved to be too shallow, we decided to create a unique work to fill it. Rita found a matching mount in her friend’s art gallery and Malicia provided her with an idea and materials (decorative paper and small wooden frames purchased on Malta). To fill all 5 places on the mount, Rita had to make 5 separate artworks and attach them one by one to the base. It took her five consecutive evenings but the overall effect is worth every effort

Portraits number 2

Portraits number 2

Please take a look at close up photographs taken by Malicia. Each cat is different and you will not find two identical ones

Portraits - kitten number 1 close up

Portraits – kitten number 1 close up

Portraits - kitten number 2 close up

Portraits – kitten number 2 close up

Portraits - kitten number 3 close up

Portraits – kitten number 3 close up

Portraits - kitten number 4 close up

Portraits – kitten number 4 close up

Portraits - kitten number 5 close up

Portraits – kitten number 5 close up

04. “All together now part 1”

As with “Portraits”, “All together now” started with a frame. While shopping for other items, we found two lovely frames, slightly damaged and ready to be thrown away. We spoke to the store managers and we were allowed to purchase them at half of their price. This is a sad reality we live in. Perfectly good items are being removed from the stock just because they are imperfect – in majority of cases “the damage” is just a scratch, a dent or a broken frame clip! Those items are very rarely available to be purchased; bigger stores purposely make it harder for customers to buy them. It seems it is easier for stores to discard the faulty items than to move them to the “Reduce to clear” section. When Rita questioned one of the managers why they do it as such practices contribute to bigger waste, he just shrugged and hid himself behind company’s policies.

We are big advocated that such policies should have no place in our modern societies. There is no shame is displaying slightly damaged goods with reduced prices. People are very good with tools and you don’t need any special skills to fix tiny things. It took Rita about 10 minutes to re-attach the clips to the frames using tiny screws and a screwdriver. Hardly any work! We are on the right way, however. Supermarkets in Italy and France are no longer able to throw away food; it has to be given to shelters and food banks. A time will come when big department stores will be forced to stop throwing slightly damaged household items just because they do not fit their marketing or aesthetic visions. Maybe they can be given away to those who are in need of them but cannot afford to pay full prices?

Excuse this rant, but sustainability and improved way of life are very close to our hearts. The Cat Shop is using recyclable materials to turn trash into treasures and we cannot stand still when things like that happen in from of us. Anyway, as you can see, the fixed frame looks fantastic, you will not be able to tell it was broken at some point!

All together now #1

All together now #1

Close ups of each kitten:

All Together Now #1 - upper panel detail

All Together Now #1 – upper panel detail

All Together Now #1 - middle panel detail

All Together Now #1 – middle panel detail

All Together Now #1 - lower panel detail

All Together Now #1 – lower panel detail

05. “All together now part 2”

All together now part 2 is very similar to the first one. Each kitten on the three window panel is of course different, but the frame is identical, except for the colour (white). Rita has fixed the broken clip using exactly the same method as before and both pictures can be displayed next to each other. We are truly proud how both of them turned out!

All together now #2

All together now #2

All Together Now #2 - upper panel detail

All Together Now #2 – upper panel detail

All Together Now #2 - middle panel detail

All Together Now #2 – middle panel detail

All Together Now #2 - lower panel detail

All Together Now #2 – lower panel detail

Please don’t forget that The Cat Shop has two social media pages:

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

Have a great evening!
XXX
Rita and Malicia D.