Thursday, 1 October 2015

Inspiration at Kew

Last week I had an inspirational trip to Kew Gardens. 

I've wanted to come for years. I don't know what took me so long!

I loved the old Victorian palm house. Green, humid, dripping and full of the most impressive plants.

It was tricky to take pictures as the camera kept steaming up!

So many good silhouettes.

You can climb the old spiral staircase and see everything from up high. 

It was good to look down on the HUGE leaves.

The waterlily house was beautiful too.

Look at those huge lily pads. 

This is the underside of one.

I took my time strolling around the gardens. 

It was beautiful and peaceful, even in the rain.

Autumn was doing it's thing and there were so many busy squirrels carrying huge sweet chestnuts and acorns in their mouths.

Look at this old thing. A three hundred year old Sweet Chestnut tree. 

It was the inspiration for the creation of the Whomping Willow in the set of Harry Potter. They came and took casts of the tree apparently.

I loved the tree top walk way. 

I loved being up so high and up so close to the huge numbers of Parakeets screeching around the place.

Can you spot him sitting in the tree?

Crows, pigeons, parakeets....

There were lots of these purple flowers..

and I bumped into this Peahen too preening herself on a bench.

Then I walked to the wild edges of the park and started to spot mushrooms under the trees.

Once I'd spotted one, I started seeing them everywhere.

I was just remembering how I saw some birds nest fungi when I was a child - then I spotted this. It was much tinier than I remembered. Anyone know if that's what it is?

Big one, little one...both with nibbles.

I came home with muddy knees, a head full of inspiration and billions of photos on my camera. I loved it. Wish it was closer to home.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Radiance is TEN!

Radiance is ten years old this week!

So much has happened since I did this first dreamy drawing in my sketchbook back in 2005. It was super scary opening a shop. I had no idea how to do it. But as my friend said the night before I was due to open, 'Just do it in your own way' and that was just what I did and it has worked out fine.

I hoped we would make it to ten years old. It seemed SO far off in the future but the years have flown by and have been full of adventure, lovely people and beautiful things. So much light and love!

Will you come and celebrate with us on Saturday the 19th of September?  We will open some fizz at about 2pm and have a jolly time together. There will be 10% off everything on the day and a prize draw to win one of my lamps.

I've been digging around in the archives today and found some photo's of the day I opened. 

Radiance used to be at number 58. Where Snug is now, before Hat Therapy had even opened!

Hannah the shopkeeper.

 Me and Ffion. She must have been eleven.

How sparse it was in the beginning.

Lots of people came. 

And people actually bought stuff! ;)

 I always remember the first thing I sold. It was one of my lamps with a very simple grass design. Nothing like the intricate designs I'm doing now. This pre-dates laser cutting!

Bernard my landlord who lived upstairs cooked pizzas with the kids. Little Ffion and Becky!

My friends daughter used to sit with me on a Saturday afternoon when they came to stay. Mia is sixteen now!

I was soooo happy that day. I sold some lights, people loved what they saw and were very complimentary and I discovered that using the credit card machine was not as terrifying as I thought!  I was just so proud of myself for having opened my shop! For having turned that sketchbook dream into a reality.

Ten years on and business has blossomed in so many ways. Hopefully soon Radiance will have a new owner and it will continue to shine for another decade at least!

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