Friday, 10 September 2010

Friday 10th September 2010

September: the month of beginnings and endings. The beginning of school, the end of the Summer holidays. The beginning of Autumn, the end of Summer a time of sobriety and planning. Even the September spiders are scuttling around with renewed vigour in preparation for their moment of spider glory. September also heralds the ushering in of the silly season. We all know that just around the corner is Halloween, Guy Fawkes then (dare I say it) Christmas!

Here at Nicholas & Steele, we too are beginning something. On Tuesday the 14th September 2010, we open the Holly Nicholas-Steele School of Art. A simple programme of lessons and courses will be running on a half term basis in my unique, non- conformist style. So far a handful of rather nervy first timers have signed up, as well as my returning loyal students. In the meantime, we have just had the go ahead on the studio and have four days to turn our graveyard into an artist's studio! Yelp. Never a dull moment.

In my adult classes, beginners encounter a multi-media experience of art making. They are encouraged to work at whichever level they feel comfortable with. This often results in students surprising even themselves as they let go and allow the artist within to emerge.

Children find a similar ethos yet slightly more guided with equally impressive outcomes;

But at the end of the day, the true victor is the power of creativity and the incredible joy of playing a tiny role in guiding these lovely people towards a more fulfilling, creative life.

So, what's news in the shop?

We have had a great first month and have managed to keep our heads above water, which we are told is quite an achievement for August and as we head into September, it seems we are getting a little busier.
As many of you may well know, I like to 'faff'. I can spend three hours rearranging one shelf of tea cups. Often a whole day may pass and all I have achieved is the tidying of the jewelery cabinet,
so it will come as no surprise that a few things have changed since we last chatted.

Our week has been punctuated by two exciting events;
First we have appeared in our first press release in Darling Magazine. We feature in a piece written about the road and how it is on the 'up' entitled: "Durham Road, the new Village!"

We feature next to the famed Angela from the bakery, Maher and Sons (of Mary Queen of Shops fame). Our shop is described as "heavenly" (woop woop!).

Secondly, a very friendly chap came in last week to buy Steven's mini vintage mower (and broke Steve's heart in the process). Upon paying, he informed me that the mower was to be placed in a national heritage garden museum in somerset, "East Lambrook Manor Gardens" the once home of the iconic English Gardener, Margery Fish. It was with a heavy heart that we let it go but happily it will enchant many people who visit the gardens and home, of such a revered horticulturist.

I also got on with a project I have been meaning to complete for a few weeks; re-covering two old kitchen chairs in vintage Sandersen.

They are rather spindly but someone might fancy them in a conservatory or breakfast room.

The dresser in the window also had a tidy up.

and a new set of vintage French Arcopal were placed enticingly in the window.

Shirley Temples were arranged

The seven dwarves were corralled

and one Brownie uniform was rustled up to torture 30-something year olds with memories of Saturdays spent at freezing camp sites earning nameless badges for completing heaven alone knows what.

This September, I wish you all the joy of newness and closure as you pack the summer away with your cloths under beds and in lofts in boxes marked for next year. May your days be filled with hope for the future, creativity in all things, happy, crisp autumn afternoons, perfect Saturdays sipping lattes in the park spiders.

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