Friday, November 29, 2013

2013 London Country Living Christmas Fair

While I was in London last Christmas, I thought that it would be fun and also really interesting to participate at a London Christmas fair and I really liked the idea of taking part in the 2013 London Country Living Christmas Fair which would be taking place from 30th October until 3rd November. So I decided to go for it and I submitted my application form in February and to my great joy I was accepted!  

I knew that I would need to work really hard to prepare enough merchandise to sell at the fair. I had nine months in which to create a diverse and plentiful selection of housewares ranging from tea boxes, serving trays, jewellry boxes, decorative signs, storage boxes and key holders etc.

Apart from creating my merchandise, I also needed to work my way through their huge exhibition manual so that I could comply with the various requirements expected of me as an exhibitor. Plus I needed to make the arrangements for the delivery of what would be a pallet from Greece to the UK and arrange my own flights. I also needed to enlist the help of my very good friend Stella, with whom I would be staying, to turn her house upside down in order to find me props for my stand. Coming from Greece all I would have by way of stand decor were my exhibition panels and shelves. Also in addition to all the paperwork, I had press packs to prepare to promote my business, which would include press releases etc. So I really had my work cut out for me!
Before long, it was time to send my pallet to the UK and I sent it off terrified that it would either get lost or my merchandise would be damaged etc....two weeks later, it was my turn to fly to London.

Now I was getting seriously excited about the fair! Opening day was on the Wednesday and Tuesday was set up day. I was on tenterhooks waiting for my pallet to be delivered. The exhibition center was huge, a really amazing building and it was absolutely chaotic with all the exhibitors unloading their merchandise and setting up their stands. Stella had come up trumps and found me a vintage trunk, a vintage suitcase, several wicker baskets and old wine crates. So armed with these props, plus my panels and shelves (which had arrived safe and intact along with my merchandise) I set about trying to create a warm, attractive and inviting stand. Of course I could not hope to compete with the other exhibitor's stands as they had the luxury of bringing complete showrooms with them and the majority of the stands were absolutely stunning! But as you can see from the pictures I think I managed to do a good job and judging from the comments of the visitors,  they liked my stand too.

 From the minute the fair opened every morning right through until closing time, the exhibition center was packed. I was really lucky to have some lovely neighbors who were more than happy to keep an eye on my stand for me when I needed to grab a coffee or go for a five minute break.

The Gala evening, which was held on the Thursday was nice - there were plenty of customers but the pace was much slower and more relaxed and there was the added bonus of several waitresses wondering around with trays full of complimentary glasses of wine, which needless to say I took advantage of.



All in all I was thrilled that the fair went very well for me. I got terrific feedback about my work which almost sold out (I returned with just two boxes) and I came back home to Greece with clear ideas as to how I want Fiona's Creations to proceed and I'm looking forward to the New Year with lots of new ideas and plans for the future.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Repousse Peacock Jewelry Box

Today, I wanted to share with you my tutorial which was included in a recent issue of the "Dialogue," the periodical magazine sent out by Decoupage Artists Worldwide to their members.

You can see more examples of my repousse decoupage boxes at my Etsy shop HandmadeByFiona

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beautiful floral wreaths for 1st of May

I just wanted to celebrate the 1st of May with you by featuring a selection of beautiful floral wreaths made by fellow Etsy sellers - enjoy......




Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Easter candles (lambades)

Today I finished the Easter candles (lambades) that I made for my two beautiful goddaughters, Lydia and Sofia - aren't they pretty?

I decoupaged small wooden hearts with a napkin and decorated the hearts with the first letter of each girls name using clay. I then decoupaged the letters with a contrasting napkin. I also decoupaged the pale pink candles using the same napkin that I used for the hearts, added lots of string and a butterfly to complete the decoration.

The Greek Orthodox Easter is on Sunday and I made these candles so that the girls can light them on Holy Saturday evening at the Resurrection mass. One hour before midnight everybody goes to  church, each carrying an unlit candle. Later during the mass, all the church lights will be turned off and then the priest will exit the altar with a candle lit by the Holy Light.

The Holy Light is distributed by the priest to everybody present so that they can light their candles and a few minutes before midnight everybody exits the church. Exactly at midnight, the priest announces the resurrection of Christ. That is the moment that fireworks go off and families and relatives kiss each other and wish each other "Hronia Polla".


Happy Easter to everyone who will be celebrating Easter on Sunday!


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From old and unloved to......

You may recall that I had posted about a set of chairs that I had found abandoned by the roadside which I wanted to re-upholster. Well, I have finally completed the job and I'd like to share with you some photos of the process.

I originally intended to keep the natural color of the wood but I fell in love with a gorgeous "eggshell" chalk paint that I knew would look fabulous with the damask material so I decided to paint the chairs, thus giving them a total make over.


Once the old upholstery was removed the wood was lightly sanded to provide a base for the paint

"eggshell" chalk paint and damask material

The foam seating and arm rests were replaced

The deep buttoning process is done by hand and each diamond shape is individually created to achieve the perfect alignment required.
The completed chair

Before and after

I am just completing the second chair and they will soon have pride of place at the entrance of our apartment.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Glass clock decorated with decoupage

I love working with glass, but this was not always the case! When I first started to practice decoupage, my initial attempts at decoupage under glass failed dismally!
I have lost track of the number of times that I have placed an abandoned plate in a bowl of water to soak for days, in order to remove all the paper and glue and then start again!

I also began to realise through trial and error, that hand-painting the background onto a plate after I had completed my artwork was just not for me!

Instead, my technique is to completely cover the glass surface in collage. I always start with a central image which has inspired me and then I work around this image building up the collage until the whole surface is covered. I just love the way a collage evolves from just one image.

As I started to become more confident with working in glass, I decided I wanted to create a glass object that as well as being beautiful to look at is also useful.

With this in mind I decided to create a range of glass clocks for my Etsy shop,  ArtCollagebyFiona.

I'd like to share with you some pictures of my first clock from the range and I am currently working on more clocks, so there will be more to follow.

My central image is the gorgeous picture of the parrot

 I  used pictures of exotic birds to build up the collage

I added the decorative hands to complete the clock

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy, Crafty New Year!

When I took the plunge to start my own blog I was well aware that I would need to keep my blog up to date with regular posts etc and I'm painfully aware that my last blog post was over a month ago and I do apologise for this.

Sadly, my mother passed away suddenly before Christmas and although I had made arrangements to spend the holidays with her in London, I had to fly out a lot earlier than planned and of course stay much longer as there was just so much to do.

I do so regret allowing two years to go by since my last visit home and that I was not able to spend a final Christmas with her. I miss her so much.

However, I am now back home in Athens and looking forward to making a go of my blog......

While I was in London I stocked up on all those wonderful British magazines such as Period Living, Country Living, Period Homes & Interiors and more besides and using these magazines as inspiration, I have decided to finally make a start on my increasingly lengthy "to do" list for my recently renovated home!

Top of this list are two gorgeous armchairs which my husband and I rescued a few years ago from the roadside where they had been thrown away. They were accompanied by a matching settee and to this day I regret not saving the settee too! At the time though I didn't have my studio and I had    nowhere to store it, so we left it!

The chairs are in quite good condition. The seats are sagging though, so after I strip off all the old velvet I will need to ask my long suffering husband (he enjoys it really) to repair the seats. Also the foam in the padded arm rests is rotten so we will need to replace the foam.

I'm going to keep the natural colour of the wood and I bought a gorgeous, silky, damask material in a light gold/green to re-upholster them. I'm really looking forward to doing the deep buttoning on the backs of the chairs. I'm quite practiced in this now since I taught myself how to deep button using videos that I downloaded from the web. Deep buttoning is a service that I actually offer on my website Fiona's Creations.

I'm planning to make a start on stripping off the old velvet tomorrow as my husband will have two days off next week and I want to ask him nicely, to devote part of his free time to repairing the seats!

I'll be posting pictures of the project as it evolves. These chairs are destined to be placed in the entrance of our apartment with a set of two antique gilded wooden tables between them. I know that they are going to look fantastic!