Sunday, 22 May 2011

Artlink Contemporary Art & Craft Fayre

After a hectic week with the play I am now busy preparing for the Artlink Contemporary Art & Craft Fayre to be held in Hull on Saturday 28th May, from 12 till 4pm.  I am especially pleased to be taking part in this, as each exhibitor had to apply and be selected to take part.

I have received a very handy information pack with thoughtful reminders of what to take on the day, and links to suppliers that I'd not heard of, even, so that in itself is a bonus!

Open from 12 noon until 4pm, I would be happy to see you there any time. I'm sure it will be a very successful venue and there will be a varied assortment of art and craft on display and for sale.

I'm hoping there will be a list on their website soon with the names of all those taking part, but if not, you might be able to check out the list of people who have indicated that they are attending via the Facebook event here.

I will be selling my range of notebooks, trinket boxes, magnetic notepads, mini easels, cards and a selection of my smaller paintings, like this one:

Grand Canyon Impression

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Unoriginal Sin - the first night.....

Cast Shot for our production of "Unoriginal Sin"
The first night was not as packed as we'd have liked, since some of our groups failed to confirm their usual bookings this time. Despite that, we were nearly half full, which doesn't sound too good but their reaction was more than enough for us to enjoy the evening.

First bit of bad luck was when our box office manager turned up without his reading glasses. This would not normally have been such a bad thing, since the seating plan has, until this play, been hand-written by Steve himself. However, this time Keith had written a computer programme to make the booking system easier to use for Steve, so he had to try and read from the laptop by means of various differing head angles and squints!

The play opens with a sermon in front of the tabs (Stage curtains) by a priest. Once that has been delivered, the intro music begins and then the tabs open to let the play commence. Last night, the audience obviously enjoyed the opening music so much that they ALL (except maybe one or two) started singing along with it! In case you're wondering, it's "Love & Marriage". I am on stage alone at the very beginning of the play, and I found it very hard not to smile when they failed to stop singing after the music had stopped playing! However, I think that introduction just set the scene for the rest of the night.

Everything went smoothly and the two new members, Mel and Liz, settled into their "roles" serving refreshments and selling raffle tickets for us with such a pleasant attitude that I'm sure it influenced the mood of the audience - thanks girls!

We love to hear the comments from the audience on a Tuesday night in particular, as I'm sure many of them think we can't hear them! The first comment was "Oooh, she's packing her bags, look". Yes, that particular lady got ten out of ten for observation! Then it was just regular little remarks and the fact that they were pre-empting the action which amused us back-stage and on.

Another new member, Paul, was helping out on car parking duties. That is always a thankless task - Keith was helping him last night, and they are both amazed at how people refuse to reverse into a parking space!

Sometime during the second half of the play, a pop and a flash signalled the demise of one of our stage spotlights - certain areas were a tad darker than required. So, instead of the usual celebration of the first night at the pub, several of us stayed back to change said spotlight (which I think had blown because 2 fuses had gone?) Keith and Neil to the rescue! Scott helped me set the stage, wash the glasses and cups, then replenish all the drinks that get used for this production, ready for tonight's performance. Not only had the spotlight blown, but just as we were about to leave, we noticed that one of the emergency exit lights had blown, too - so that had to be replaced as well!

I have thoroughly enjoyed being in this play, as have the other cast members, I'm sure - if we get as good a reaction from the audience tonight, we will be happy King Leopolds. (You will have to come and see the play to understand that little gag!)

Andy Jowett, Eloise Guy and Dave Hawxwell in the "chase"

This is one of my favourite photos!
It's nearly time for my bath, I'm desperately trying to stay calm, but I don't think the nerves ever leave me until I'm actually on that stage - even then, like last night, I can still feel incredibly nervous. I was shaking when I came off at the end of my first scene, not realising how much the adrenaline had been pumping through me!

Oh, one more thing I MUST mention about last night - Ellie (Eloise) had made some brownies for us all back-stage. I can't eat a thing until the play is over, but at the end of the night I had two and they were absolutely delicious! Thanks Ellie, my birthday is in December!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Opening Night!

The nerves are kicking in already, with just over 3 hours to go till the play opens!!! I'm just about to start putting my hair in rollers - something I'm not really very good at but I need "big" hair for this play since it is set in the eighties - which just adds to the humour, I guess!

We had a publicity photo and small article in the Holderness Gazette last Thursday, but as yet not much more from the local media. It seems as though  they only cover productions that take place at the large theatres in Hull - such as The New Theatre and Hull Truck, which is a shame really as we used to get a lot of coverage in the Hull Daily Mail.

If anyone out there fancies a job as an independent reviewer for the local amdram scene here (on a voluntary basis, mind) I'm sure it would go down well.

My bra strap snapped and the label on one of my shoes came off at last night's rehearsal - making a very strange noise as my foot stuck to the shoe where the label used to be! Both ahve now been rectified so it's all systems go. Our Tuesday night audience is mainly made up of members from local Old People's Homes and they always come out expecting a good laugh, in fact it's often difficult to speak due to their laughter, but at least it's called for this time! I will report back on the opening night tomorrow.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Forthcoming Production - Unoriginal Sin

I can hardly believe it, but one week from now I will be nervously awaiting the first night of our next production. Rehearsals have been going really well (dare I say it?) and the cast and director (my husband, Keith) have thoroughly enjoyed the time spent in preparing for it. The past few rehearsals have felt more like actual performances which means that we should be raring to go next week! Bookings are coming in thick and fast now, and the Friday evening in particular is filling up fast!

I always like to use the countdown widget that Eventful provide whenever I add the play to their site, too!

Time seems to pass by so quickly when measured by the plays we put on! Last night Keith took some photos during the rehearsal for publicity in the Holderness Gazette this week, which I will post later on.

This comedy is not really suitable for young children, which is a shame because normally our grand-daughter aged 9 loves to come and watch every play we do - she has been coming for 3 or 4 years now. You can read more about it on Eventful or the Facebook page where I've created an Event here.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Featured in "Our Local Crafts"

Many thanks to Vicky Harrison from Our Local Crafts, who included my Arty Aitch Facebook page in her recent Yorkshire Businesses showcase. Showcasing arts and crafts from different regions of the UK is a really useful way of sourcing new contacts for traders and customers alike.

Vicky also runs an online home and gift ware shop on Facebook, Yummy Spirit.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Beady Spiders....

If you haven't already seen them, these little beady insects make great gifts for girls of all ages (or boys, too, if they like insects). Made by Lorna Storey you can see the whole range on her website here but I just had to share with you the photos I took of our two grand-daughters wearing the beady bugs I bought them as an Easter gift. They were so pleased with them, as you can tell by the photos - especially when I suggested they were attached to their headbands as unique hair accessories!

Matheea with her Scarlet Aranna beady spider.

The sisters wearing their beady spider sisters.

Evie proudly displaying her Amethyst Sparkle spider

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Winners awarded prizes

Apologies for the delay in writing this and posting the image - my mind has been a bit distracted by other things of late.

Here are three of the four talented winners in the competition we held to design a Mother's Day card at the Craft Fair last month.

Pictured left to right are Chloe Gray (6), Laura Jones (15) and Mikey Kellaway (8).

The cards were judged by the adult members of BADS and it was a close thing but winning the 1st prize in the 10years and under category was Chloe Gray, whose simple yet heartfelt message on the front melted our hearts - and everyone adored the little bumble bee she'd added to the scene. In second place, Mikey Kellaway was praised for the amount of time and effort that he had spent in creating the card.

A clear winner in the 11 to 16 year age group was Laura Jones. Her drawing skills impressed everyone, particularly the shading she'd created on the vase of flowers, the heart and the table.
Second place went to 14 year old Amy Burnitt, whose card stood out from the others due to the inclusion of an image of her mum created through a combination of drawing and collage. Unfortunately Amy could not be there to receive her prize. Congratulations to all the winners - we look forward to more entries from them at the next craft fair (which will probably be a Christmas themed competition).

L-R: Chloe Gray, Laura Jones and Mikey Kellaway.