In what has become an eagerly awaited (I believe this is true for everyone involved!) festive tradition among myself and a group of very lovely and talented ladies, our annual lunch took place last weekend at Vanessa’s pretty home <3
Besides great, homemade food (we’re each delegated a course and/or drinks/snacks), you can also trust these ladies for the most beautifully presented and thoughtful gifts and as ever, the best of company! Unfortunately this year, one of the merry bunch had to miss the festivities due to sickness, but she was there in spirit nonetheless (get well soon, Carla!).
Having spent the festive season in the United States, first in New York then with short stop overs in Philly, DC, Baltimore and Atlantic City, I had loads to do upon my return – hence haven’t found the time (till now!) to share some of the lovely crafty things I brought back from my trip.
As well as some beautiful velvet ribbon and wooden gift tags from the lovely Anthropologie, when in Philly, I treated myself to a little (ok, not so little) shopping spree at arts and crafts superstore AC Moore. With seasonal discounts and nothing even close (both in size as well as stock) to this huge warehouse of craft supplies back home, a short visit soon turned into a two-hour-long spree, much to the chagrin of my long-suffering other half!
The festive season is always a busy time for The Secret Rose, with the weeks leading up to Christmas Day generally being chock-a-block with orders for custom Christmas presents.
I’m a strong believer in unique and one-of-a-kind gifts – there really is nothing more special than receiving something that was created with you in mind, especially for you. One of my products that is particularly popular as a gift, especially at this time of year, is the initial necklace.
Fresh from the madness running up to Patches artisan fair on December 1st, comes the Christmas order rush. With not long to go before I close up shop for two weeks for my festive holidays on December 21st, there’s plenty going on. Before I can share any of that however, I’m so pleased to finally able to share a selection of photos of the project that filled many a day’s work pre-market craziness: custom souvenirs for a winter wedding.
On my recent trip to France, I was shown to the mother of all craft shops and a true crafter’s paradise. It goes by the name of Cultura, and stocks all sorts of things you’d need for a massive variety of crafts from painting and sewing to scrap-booking and card making.
Following Patches Christmas market a few weeks ago, I’ve been hard at work on a variety of custom Christmas orders. Due to time constraints, I had no choice but to separate orders into three, i.e. ‘due by xmas’, ‘due by nye’ or ‘not specified’. So far, I’ve just about managed to finish off the ones that needed doing by Christmas day (excluding a couple that came in late, but should be done soon)… though still got loads more to keep me busy well into 2013!
Among the orders intended as Christmas presents are a trio of frame diaries, a recipe book with embroidered motif (not pictured, sorry!), a little ornamental embroidered notebook as well as a variety of embroidered wall art with bespoke messages.
Amidst all the chaos though, I still somehow managed to do a little baking, and whipped up a batch of delightfully light strawberry & cream cupcakes for dessert on Christmas day (as you may have guessed, dessert generally falls to me!)
Must get back to it now though… designs to be drawn and embroidery to be done. Happy holidays everyone!
Welcome one and all to the first post of 2012! A lot has happened since I’ve last posted, and I feel I must apologise for the prolonged absence… still, I intend to make up for it (it’s one of my resolutions – one of the long list actually).
These past couple of months have brought many happenings and changes, all of which have kept me so busy that I’ve barely had time to shut my eyes and take it all in. That’s where the resolutions come in. I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but this year it seems strangely apt. I’ve started working full time at Vida – have been for just over a month now! – and following the departure of our much loved editor Richard Muscat Azzopardi, it now falls to me to take on the role (at least for the foreseeable future), and I intend to give it all I’ve got.
Other resolutions have come via natural progression, including the ‘Great Spring Clean’ which I’d been putting off (you never know when you might need those JC physics notes…); getting my driving license (after numerous lessons and one failed test, the time is NAO); saving up now that I have full-time wages (one hopes that by this time next year I’ll be in a position to go house hunting!); not sacrificing that which makes me who I am for the benefit of others, even if I may be perceived as weird or, as I prefer to put it, eccentric; and generally being more organised and self-sufficient (this goes for The Secret Rose too, for which I intend to go onwards and upwards!)
And just so this post doesn’t become too text heavy, I thought I’d regale you with some pretty photos taken at yesterday’s posh girlie lunch at Maria’s – a belated seasonal gathering of some of my favourite like-minded ladies! Instead of buying each other gifts as we normally do, we each contributed a monetary donation to the supremely capable host, who in turn provided us with a meal fit for a queen. Not a bad way to start the year…
Cream of chicken soup Seafood vol-au-vent Duck breast in soy & citrus sauce Rhubarb crumble Rachel & Carla, looking delightful Alex, avec daisies Gustav samples the crumble…
Now to close off the festive season and 2010 on an even better note – a presents post! Here are a few photos of my favourite presents received this year. Why, you may ask? Well, I’ve never been above gloating 😉 Still, I love giving presents so much too, as well as making the wrapping look as unique as possible! Therefore, above is a photo of a couple of gifts I gave, and their presentation 🙂
a selection from Carla’s santa sack of goodies – a vintage decoration, eyeshadow, nailpolish, little bowl and arty postcards
a pair of beautiful brogues from my love
a floral mug from Rachel, beautiful handmade brooch and carpet book from Babette
Sending much love to all those present-givers out there, and I really hope you like the gifts I gave as much as I like the ones I received!
some more of Carla’s treasures, including a unicorn keychain and vintage book
an elegant cake stand with mirror top from the brother
another selection from Carla’s santa sack of goodies – postcards and baking forms
and lastly, a very unclear photo of me wearing a gorgeous hand-knitted scarf from Dani and crocheted palm-warmers from Carlita 🙂
After the all-round success that was Patches Market on December 12th, I’ve been keeping busy with Christmas orders. The pressure was really on to get a good deal of stuff finished in time for the big day (as most of them were intended as presents) as well as to free myself up for the vast array of food waiting to be consumed on and around Christmas Day!
petal necklace with gold braid for the lovely Lara from her doting boyfriend, Daniel
As has become customary, I decided to post photos of a few of the things I made this festive season, now that gifts have been given and surprises have been had!
map journal for Dani’s mum, who’s into travelling, cats and apparently, turtles
2010 has been a good year for The Secret Rose, as I slowly began to establish myself as a proper crafter whose wares are worthy of taking a look at, if not taking home 😉 Here’s hoping 2011 will bring more crafty adventures and *mum’s the word* – an Etsy shop!
It’s off to Patches we go this morning as the long awaited date is finally here! Everything is packed and rearing to go, so hope to see everyone there today! We’ll be there basically all day (that’s from 10:30 am to around 8:00pm) so steal a little snatch of your lazy Sunday and come on over for a looksee! xxx