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.

Worcester Easter Festival

Hello hello!

The time files so fast! It feels like Christmas was just yesterday and here we go…it’s 22nd of March! The spring is upon us again and we are getting extremely busy as usual. Warmer weather means that the open air markets are coming back into play and you can expect loads and loads of picture reports from different parts of West Midlands. Did we mention that our plan is to visit all important arts and crafts markets around Worcester?  Not yet? Well now you know!

Malicia and Rita will inaugurate the craft season by attending the Worcester Easter Festival on High Street on 25th and 26th of March. We are truly excited to be part of the Easter celebration so if you live close, please come to visit our stall. We hope for a nice, spring-like weather!

Since the market starts in just 4 days, we thought to show you some of the newest cats that will be available for purchasing. Malicia photographed our favourite ones so scroll down to see our newest line. Each kitten has been inspired by popular culture and we are convinced every cat lover will find a cat that fits them perfectly.

Now let’s see what we have prepared so far:

01. “Adele’s cat”

This small artwork has been inspired by Adele’s new song entitled “Hello”. We have seen several memes online showing cats sitting outside in the rain with caption ” Hello from the other side, I must have meowed a thousand times” and they made us roar with laughter. This is a purrfect take on the song’s very famous chorus. And every cat owner can relate to this, especially at 4 o clock in the morning! We have used a scrapbooking technique to create the busy background.

 

Adele's cat. you know how the song goes: "Hello from the other side, I must have meowed a thousand times"

Adele’s cat. You know how the song goes: “Hello from the other side, I must have meowed a thousand times”

02. “Up and away”

“Adele’s cat” and “Up and away” were created only two days apart. Both use scrapbooking techniques to create rich and colourful backgrounds. While “Adele’s cat” looks a bit like a portrait, we wanted “Up and away” to be dynamic. Have you noticed that the flowers are in fact balloons floating around the cat in the centre? It took about 5 hours to cut and put the flowers together.

Up and away

Up and away

05. “Butterfly spotting”

Smaller version of “In bloom” made on request and after long encouragement of our friends. We have used the same materials, yet we wanted to create something a bit different. It will be easier to frame, we can tell you that!

Butterflies spotting

Butterflies spotting

04. “In bloom”

The biggest artwork we have come up with in recent months. You would never guess but the background was once a gift bag! It was given to us for some occasion (we forgot what it was for!) and it would be such a shame to simply throw it away. The bag was torn on one side and we could not re-use it. The butterfly has been hand cut using decorative paper and the bow was made from the gift bag’s handle. For a nice contrast, we have used a gloss black paper to create the cat. We wanted to show the cat looking through the window and watching the butterflies fly around in the garden.

In Bloom

In Bloom

05. “Butterfly effect”

Rita is joking that once we are rich and famous, this period in The Cat Shop’s artistic journey will be known as the Butterfly period. There must be a bit of truth in her words as we have several other pictures using the faux 3D effect thanks to butterflies cut using the Sizzix machine. We do like the butterflies and they seem to be quite popular with the general public as well. The butterflies on this little artwork have been cut by scissors from a commercial advert found in a magazine.

Butterfly effect

Butterfly effect

06. “White Cat Christmas”

Malicia had an idea for a Christmas themed cat for a long period of time. As usual, the Christmas period is very busy and we had little time for any arts and crafts. Once the holiday rush has ended, Mal went through last year’s Christmas cards we have received and came up with White Cat Christmas you see below. Old Christmas or birthday cards do not need to end up in the recycling bin. We have used one card as a background for this artwork and other elements were either cut out from decorative paper or from other cards. If you have the time, you can mix your used Christmas cards or wrapping paper, cut different elements and re-use them to create original presents for your loved ones.

White Cat Christmas

White Cat Christmas

07. “You mean the world to me”

“You mean the world to me” has been made out of spare sheet of decorative paper and an old Valentine’s Day card. Rita wanted to create something that looked a bit like a vintage 1960/1970 wall posters. Very simple and with a strong message. She thinks she succeeded.

You mean the world to me

You mean the world to me

08. “My Meow Valentine”

This is another vintage-like poster that Rita and Mal came up with. Again, all you need is a bit of imagination, a sheet of decorative paper, old Valentine’s Day card and…voila. It may look simple but it took us about three hours to properly glue the cat to the base paper. It was cut out of thick cardboard and it refused to stay in place!

My Meaow Valentine

My Meaow Valentine

09.”Two times Rose”

We openly admit – our art is heavily influenced by pop culture. Being fans of classic shows such as “Doctor Who”, we are constantly looking for ideas for our next artworks that could be connected with our favourite scenes or episodes. When Malicia bought these two beautifully elaborate frames from an art sale in Mosta, we thought they looked like pieces of scenery from some scary wibbly wobbly, timey wimey episode! Rita found two small dried roses in her vast collection of useful odds/ends and we decided that the pictures will be dedicated to Rose Tyler/ Billie Piper.

Two times Rose

Two times Rose

09A. “Her name was Rose”

The first picture is entitled “Her name was Rose”. There is a lovely conversation between the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) in 2006 Christmas special “The Runaway bride”. The Doctor and Donna are sitting on rooftop watching the panorama of London below them, thinking about people they have lost. The Doctor mentioned that he has lost a friend earlier but this is the first time Donna learned that the previously unknown person was a girl named Rose.

The artwork is very simple. We used a heavy and thick decorative paper to create strong and equally elaborate background to fit the frame. The cat was then hand cut from pastel artistic paper used in scrapbooking to soften the entire artwork.

Her name was Rose

Her name was Rose (framed)

09B. “Rose de jour”

The second artwork is called “Rose the jour”. Malicia came up with the title combining the overall Doctor Who theme with another Billie Piper role, as Belle de Jour from “The secret life of a call girl” TV series, another of our favourites. Again, the heavy background is soften by a hand cut kitten from a delicate pastel artistic paper.

Rose de jour (framed)

Rose de jour (framed)

 

If you haven’t visited our new pages yet, please do so!

You can now visit The Cat Shop on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
or like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

Don’t forget to visit our stall this Friday and Saturday!

What: Worcester Easter Festival
Where: 25th & 26th March 2016, Worcester High Street
Who: LSD Promotions and Worcester City Council.

Worcester City Markets:

http://www.worcestercitymarkets.co.uk/special-events/
https://www.facebook.com/worcestermarkets/

LSD Promotions:

http://lsdpromotions.com/seasonal-events/
https://twitter.com/Markets_LSD
https://www.facebook.com/LSDPromotions

See you soon!
XXX
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

The Cat Shop Workshops – Cheltenham 12.03.2016

Dear Cat lovers!

What an exciting weekend we had! We are very tired but also extremely proud and happy that we could be a part of something big. If you don’t know what we are talking about, please bear with us for a moment. We will try to explain, but let’s quickly jump to the beginning of the month where our story starts.

You may know it or not, but from time to time (usually every 6 months or so) Rita is forced to go to Cheltenham to see her doctors. While others go to Cheltenham for shopping, antiques hunting or horse racing, Rita spends long afternoons waiting to be assessed.  Those trips are not the happiest times in her life and she usually returns to Worcester at the speed of light. Don’t be surprised, have you ever seen a cat that enjoys going to the vet? No, we didn’t think so. Fourth of March looked like another routine visits – early start, long queues and then planned rapid escape. Sometimes, however, your plans can change in a spur of a moment. Rita decided to stop for lunch and this very trivial thing led to an unusual discovery.

Welcome to the Hobby Craft branch in Cheltenham

Welcome to the Hobby Craft branch in Cheltenham

The Gallagher Retail Park is a place to go when you are hungry. Three fast foods places, two coffee shops and restaurants – all within a short walking distance. And in the middle of the park – an oasis for arters and crafters – local branch of Hobby Craft. We can assure you that Rita ate in less than 10 minutes and then spent an hour and a half replenishing her archives, secret stashes and art cupboards. While looking at the newest cutting machines made by Brother, the ScanNCut series, Rita noticed a small advert asking local artists to contact the management. Interested, she spoke to Malcolm, the manager for the branch and learnt that Hobby Craft organizes seminars and art presentations for their customers where they can learn how to created their own artwork or learn new skills. Quick arrangements were made and The Cat shop was invited to present their skills to the public on Saturday, 12th of March between 11:00AM and 15:00 PM.

Malicia during the presentation

Malicia during the presentation

Exactly at 11 o clock in the morning, Mal, Rita and their two Sizzix machines arrived safely to Cheltenham and the fan began. Working as an artisan on arts market can be tiring, but being an art teacher is a completely different thing and much harder one. You not only have to convince the visitors to dedicate their time to show them your craft but you have to interest them in what are you doing.

Our work station

Our work station

We have been very lucky; a lot of people stopped by, asked many questions, and admired previously made artworks. We received so many compliments that our ears were burning bright red and we are truly thankful for each comment. The most unusual thing was that visitors photographed us at work (it makes you feel like some kind of celebrities) so if you see our pictures on arts and crafts related blogs, please drop us a link.

Malicia hard at work

Malicia hard at work

We made three complete artworks during the workshop, showing different styles that can be used in home decorating. Malicia presented how to create kids friendly artworks (Princess Birthday Party) using large applications and elements you can purchase in Hobby Craft. Kids have natural talent towards art and unlimited imagination so involving them early (about 2-3 years old) can be great fun. You only have to remember about giving them soft materials to work with – paper and fabric and glue are perfectly safe for them. Malicia’s demonstration was aimed at 6-7 year olds as we worked with buttons, ribbons, stick on gems and small plastic elements.

Artworks on display

Artworks on display

Another artwork we did during the workshops was directed at adults who are looking for a clever ways of re-using materials they have at home. Old magazines, pictures, birthday cards – everything can be recycled instead of being thrown away. Rita used Sizzix machine to cut the cat and the flowers and scissors to add additional elements such as the heart and trimmings. The artwork entitled “The cat emblem” can be framed and be displayed in guest bedroom or in the lounge.

Artsy kittens

Artsy kittens

The last presentation piece was created to teach the visitors the basic ideas behind the immensely popular scrapbooking. Again, we have used decorative paper, stick on gems and pages from old art magazines to come up with a fun project. We called it “Just a note”. Freshly done, it was given straight away to a young visitor named Mariah, who loves arts, crafts and kittens. She was really pleased with her gift and declared that she will have it framed and hang above her bed.

Princess Birthday Party

Princess Birthday Party

If you’d like to take part in any arts and crafts workshops, please contact the store management at:

Hobby Craft Cheltenham
Unit B, Gallagher Retail Park
Tewkesbury Road Cheltenham GL51 9RR
http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/cheltenham

The Cat Emblem

The Cat Emblem

Just a note

Just a note

The store in Cheltenham is open every day between 9:00 and 20:00 on weekdays, 09:00 – 18:00 on Saturdays and from 10:30 – 16:30 on Sundays.
We will be returning to Cheltenham in the future so please keep visiting our blog or our Facebook page for more information.

Please don’t forget that we will be taking part in Worcester Easter Festival arts and crafts market on the High Street on 25th and 26th of March.  We will be updating you so stay tuned!

Be well,
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz