The journey begins

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Covid has had an impact on everyone. Whether you have had it, know someone that has had it or have had to help someone that has had it, there has been no escaping the fact that our lives have been changed by it.

For some people it has been nothing more than an inconvenience, for others, their lives have been changed forever.

I am one of the lucky ones that has come through this relatively unscathed. I was ill, but only mildly. It wiped me out for a few weeks but nothing that couldn't be managed at home.

What has been impacted and changed completely is my work life.

Before covid I was running a successful wedding cake business that had been thriving for several years. I had won awards, been featured in magazines and had even made a cake for an event at HighGrove House attended by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Covid brought all of that to a halt.

All weddings were cancelled.

Couples were postponing their weddings, not just for a couple of months, but for years. With so much uncertainty it was just too risky for couples to plan their wedding too so nothing was being booked either. When weddings finally got the go ahead they were small, intimate weddings of no more than 15.

No weddings at all for most of 2020 and limited bookings for 2021meant that my business was effectively non existent.

Everything that I had worked so hard to grow over the years was no longer required!

However, without the wedding cakes to work on, I had plenty of time to extend my skills to other areas. I had discovered a wonderful flexible modelling medium a few years previous but hadn't had the time to really get stuck in and learn about it's properties or how to work with it.

The quiet months of lockdown and home schooling gave me the perfect opportunity to make, create and learn in a way that I never could have with day to day life to deal with.

Over the weeks I created flowers, leaves, berries, seed pods, toadstools, nuts, just about anything that I could think of that I have seen on my walks in the Cotswolds.

I learnt how to shape and mould, colour and dust, to work in familiar ways with an entirely new and unusual paste that just didn't behave like sugar-paste does!

The end results were incredible!

The flowers and foliage were just as good, if not better than the sugar flowers that I had been making. The ability to arrange them without breakage and to be able to tuck petals and leaves in as if they were real was amazing.

I had found what I was looking for, without even knowing that I was looking.

I had found a way forward, a way to continue to be creative but also a way of sharing that creativity with others.

I absolutely adore where I live and as an avid trail runner I get to explore the countryside far and wide, the Cotswold hills are where I feel at home. I have had experiences and memories through the seasons that are simply magical. The first little snowdrops pushing their way through the last of the winter snow. The fluffy white blossoms covering blackthorn trees in the early spring, perfect for the drowsy bees to feed on. Summer months bringing big, blousy blooms, bright pink foxgloves, heavy headed peonies and giant pompoms of hydrangeas. Autumn months heralded with earthy tones and textures galore. Crisp, winter months when everything grows quiet and still, rose hips and scarlet elf caps glowing in the grey light of day.

One petal and one leaf at a time I could bring the beauty of our Cotswold countryside to the homes of others. I could create bouquets, arrangements and huge displays that would last an entire lifetime.

I could share my memories and experiences, I could create bouquets to celebrate the memories of others and I could bring a small piece of that gorgeous outside world into homes around the world.

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