Sunday, 15 March 2015

Columbia Road Flower Market

I spent my morning today in London with the wonderful Bronwyn from Queen B Creative Me and her sweet daughter Afton.  They are currently over in the UK on holiday from Canada, we'd made arrangements to meet up.  We decided on Columbia Road Flower Market.  It's somewhere I've never been before but always wanted to visit.

I'm not sure what I was expecting but it wasn't it.  It was so, so busy, too busy for me.  Being Mothers Day probably didn't help.  I feel as though we missed loads as we could only really see the stalls down one side, we didn't wander back down the road once we had reached the end purely because it was just so busy, so we ventured back down one of the side streets to find somewhere to grab a bite to eat.

I suppose I kind of had in mind the market in Notting Hill, it would have been similar had it of been quieter.  Still the crowds aside, it was a very pretty market and of course the obligatory flower photos had to be taken.

It was so lovely spending time with Bronwyn, we have been communicating via emails and letters for some time now so to be able to have a proper face to face conversation was really quite special, especially seeing as we live on 2 different continents, oceans apart.  It was all quite surreal really.

We found the sweetest little tea shop on Bricklane, Pretty Cuppa.  If your in the area I'd recommend it.  Stupidly, I didn't take any photos, I was too busy enjoying the company and of course the tea and cake but trust me, it was lovely, miss-matched china tea cups and everything.

It was such a great morning (apart from the crowds).  Thank you Bronwyn and Afton for letting me gatecrash your holiday, it was so lovely finally meeting you both.  I'm sat here now admiring the pretty flowers I brought home with me, reminding me of such a wonderful day.  I also treated myself to a few other goodies on my way home (I was naughty and stopped at Westfield, Stratford).

Notice the tissue paper, doilies and tags in there.  I'll have you know, I shan't be taking any of my gift wrapping duties lightly after last weeks course, oh no.

Love Gem x x x

Thursday, 5 March 2015

It's A Wrap - Gift Wrapping With Jane Means

Today I have spent my day with the wonderful Jane Means on one of her gift wrapping courses in London.

All I can say is wow, what a day it has been.  From start to finish I have loved every second of it.  I think James is beginning to consider filing for divorce because I haven't shut up about it since I've got home.

As soon as I arrived I was greeted by Jane herself and her colleague Sarah.  I was struck by how lovely, friendly and down to earth Jane was.  They both gave such a warm welcome and I instantly felt comfortable and at ease.  I'd been feeling so nervous about doing the course and meeting Jane, I've no idea why, it sounds so silly now, I really had nothing to worry about.

I learnt so much from the course, I will never wrap a present the same, ever again.  The detail and the care that goes into everything Jane wrapped was clear.  Her passion for what she does was also contagious, because right now I'm in desperate need of some gifts to wrap.  And I can't believe I'm saying this but the odder (is that even a word?) the shape the better.  I'm feeling very ambitious, ask me again after I've wrapped some weird and wonderfully shaped item, I may not be saying the same thing haha.

She makes everything look soooooo easy, but then she is a pro so I'd be worried if she didn't.  Saying that though she is a great teacher.  Everything was done step by step so it was easy to follow, she was really good at making sure everyone was at the same stage and that no one was being left behind.

We covered everything from paper, folding and embellishments, to cellophane, tissue paper and bows.  We started off with what I thought was the very basics of wrapping by wrapping a box, but it clearly goes to show that I know nothing about wrapping, because yes, I have discovered a new way of wrapping something as simple as a box.

I really don't want to give away too much in terms of instructions or detail about how each technique can be achieved, as it doesn't really seem fair on Jane.  I know she works very hard and I feel it would be wrong for me to just give away all of her secrets on here, but I will say a lot of what we covered is detailed in her book ' Giftwrapped'  I bought a copy while I was there today and would really recommend getting yourself a copy of it, even if it is just to admire all of the gorgeous pictures (they are pretty special).

She has also released a DVD 'The Art of Gift Wrapping' if it is a more watch and learn approach that you take.  Or of course you could book on to one of her courses, she offers them all over the country, details can be found on her website here.  I honestly mean it when I say that I'm so glad I've done it, my gifts will certainly benefit from what I've learnt and the lunch was pretty good too, plus there was unlimited tea and coffee :)

And for all us bloggers out there Jane also has her very own blog where she uploads tutorials on various things from tying the perfect bow to making ric rac flowers.  Take a look for yourself at

I'm already looking forward to wrapping my first gift after the course.  The question is what will the gift be and who will it be for?  I promise I'll share my attempt with you once I've wrapped it and it has been received by it's recipient.

I can't thank Jane enough for such a fabulous day, I had a great time and am feeling ready for a challenge :)

Happy wrapping ladies (and gents).

~ Gem x

Monday, 2 March 2015

Wedding Blues

Hello my name is Gemma and I can't get enough of my wedding.  I feel like I should belong to some kind of Brides Anonymous group.  The wedding was four months ago now, but I'm still suffering with the wedding blues (big time).

I loved everything about our wedding, from all the planning and preparation right through to receiving all of our photos.  I had spent a lot of time creating little bits for our day and knew I would struggle after the wedding, but I'd hoped that my fascination with Halloween and Christmas would cure that, but now they are over and done with I am still suffering.  I've even found myself adding little bits to some of the details used on the day, like customising & sign below (I just couldn't help myself).

I often find myself looking through our photos and reminiscing about the day.  I would love so much to go and do it all over again.

I put this together for my Dad for Christmas, I'm so chuffed with it and he loved it too.

I am currently in the process of creating a photo book with all of our photos, I know I should have done this sooner but with one thing and another I had never got round to it.  I can't wait to see it finished, a proper memento that we will be able to cherish forever, something to show the grand-kids in many years to come, and something that I am sure will adorn our coffee table for months on end.

Photos have been printed and framed and are dotted all about the house.  I have also put together a shadow frame and included little pieces from our day, from my hair slide, to some of the flowers from our centrepieces that I had pressed.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out and it is so lovely being able to look at them every day as opposed to them sitting in a box tucked in a cupboard or under the bed.

See my flowers there in the photo below.  I'm not sure about them.  They haven't dried quite how I had hoped.  I'm thinking now that maybe I should have got them freeze dried, but it is all too late for that now.  I can't bring myself to throw them away though, so they shall stay there on my dressing table just a little while longer.  My little locket is still attached to them too, you can just about make it out in the photo.

I'd seen the idea with the locket on Pinterest, I knew straight away it was something I wanted to do.  I inserted 2 photos of both my Grandad's and I have to say this little secret was so comforting for me on the day, it sounds silly but I felt that somehow they were there with me guiding me through the day.  How much I would have loved for them both to of been there to help us celebrate the day in person, but this was the closest I was ever going to get. 

Something else I have bought since the wedding is this gorgeous cuff bracelet that has been hand stamped especially for me, with some the words from Christina Perry's 'A Thousand Years' song, this was the song I walked down the aisle to.  Every time I hear it, it gives me goosebumps (I've had it playing on repeat on quite a few occasions) I love it so much and it is always guaranteed to take me right back to that moment four months ago.

I'm reminded of the day every time I look at it, I've worn it every day since the day it dropped onto my doormat.  If you are on Instagram I bought it from a lovely lady on there @betsyboodesigns.  I'm so pleased with it, such a pretty little keepsake too.

Surely I can't be the only one out there that is going through this.  Please tell me I'm not, I may go crazy if it is just me.  Maybe we could start up our own little Brides Anonymous.  So who's with me?

~ Gem x