Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Monday, 21 November 2011

10 Years Old!

This week back in November 2001 was the week I first opened the door of my little shop, The Sea Garden; first in rented premises in Gerrans Square, and then in 2003 down to my present location at the bottom of River Street in Portscatho. 10 years does seem like quite a long time; I'm just pleased that I've managed to stay open, and that's all been down to the many varied, wonderful, incredibly loyal and supportive customers who have passed through the door over these last ten years. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, one and all!

When we have a brisk Easterly wind blowing into Gerrans Bay everything gets coated in seasalt, and it had got to the point where you could hardly see in or out of my little shop windows, so a thorough cleaning was the order of the day. By the time I'd finished, dusk was just beginning to fall, and I switched on the Christmas lights for the first time and took a few pics to share with you.

Gertie and Jane have organised the first 'Christmas Homespun Fair', coming up this  Sunday, 27th November, at Portscatho Memorial Hall. There are 18 different stallholders coming from all over the southwest of England, with a whole treasure trove of vintage and handmade goodies on offer, perfect for finding Christmas pressies which don't cost the earth ( in more ways than one when you consider that buying vintage and antique is recycling! ) and pieces that are original, unique and different. 

The Sea Garden will also be open from 12.30 - 4.30pm, so I do hope to say hello to lots of you on Sunday,

Happy Christmas Shopping!
Love, Christine x x x

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sun Day

These November days seem particularly gloomy at the moment, so it was a breath of fresh air to have a bright, clear day on Sunday. Not a cloud in the sky. Watergate Bay looked stunning in the late afternoon sun; long shadows and dark silhouettes against a glowing peachy horizon.

A few surfers braving the cold.

A real tonic!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post; I feel very fortunate that I have the means to be able to make a choice in how to bring about change in my life. Plenty of people don't get to choose how they live. 
x x x

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Heart and Home

I feel as though I have been living in a state of limbo for most of this year, and that is why I have not done much blogging lately. My cottage has been on the market again since June, and although my first buyers pulled out a couple of weeks ago, in a stroke of luck a new buyer has come along and I am hopeful this time it will go through (fingers crossed). 
For a while now I have been restless (in my New Year post I wrote about needing change and that I was the only person who could make it happen). My shop will celebrate it's tenth anniversary in two weeks time, and although the experience of starting up and running my own business has been rewarding in so many ways, especially in the meeting of so many wonderful people who have walked through my shop door, the experience has also been challenging and draining. I need to break away for a while and assess what the future holds for me, and the first step I am taking is to sell my home.

On the 22nd of October I attended the evening wedding reception of one of my belly dancing friends, Sarah ( this is the heart I made for her and her husband to remember their special day), and it got me thinking about 'Home' and what it means. She and David have just bought their first home together. My little cottage has been my home for the past 12 years; my first home after leaving my parents and the house where I was brought up. 

So what will it be like to walk out of this front door knowing that I will never return? Well, I am quite philosophical about it really. Essentially I have lived alone here for the last 12 years. There are no memories of children running about the place for me to hold dear. Having two old buildings to constantly maintain has been a challenge and expense. The cottage is actually, now I realise, bigger than I really need it to be, so why pay a mortgage on this house when I could downsize to a smaller one? And, quite radically you may think, I am seriously considering not living in a house at all for the next year or so. My plan is to rent somewhere this winter, and then in the spring when the weather warms up, set off in a camper van and live on the road! 

I know that I am the kind of person who feels at home wherever I happen to be, and just because my home will be a mobile one will in no way make it less of a home to me. I am very excited at the prospect of breaking free from the responsibilities of mortgage and bills (although I will still have the responsibility of maintaining the shop). The other reason I feel the need to break free is in order to develop my own creativity, which has necessarily become somewhat stifled with the need to make things which are (hopefully) guaranteed to sell. My mind is buzzing with ideas all the time, but time is the one thing you don't get much of when running your own business. To not feel the pressure to constantly earn a living will be a luxury which will allow me to pursue those avenues I have been thinking about: going back to painting and drawing, creating more ambitious stitched pieces, photographing gardens and exploring this beautiful country of ours.

But before all that happens, I have the Vintage and Handmade Fair in Chipping Sodbury to think about! ( Saturday 3rd December ) So here's what I'm making at the moment.....

Decorations to hang made from an assortment of chandelier drops, glass beads and pearls, mother-of-pearl buttons, and vintage metal and diamante bits

Some of the drops have been backed with vintage fabric and old handwritten documents, and these are the tiny offcuts left over....

I have an idea to convert them into another sort of decoration, but that will have to wait for another posting......
I hope that you, my Blogger friends, haven't minded me sharing some quite personal thoughts in this posting; your support and friendship means a lot to me. Perhaps on my travels roaming the countryside I will be able to meet some of you in person! I hope so!
x x x