Friday, 1 December 2017

Big announcement inside...HUGE!!

Well hello,

How are we today?

Things have felt a little surreal for me over the last few months, and I've been sitting on my hands trying not to type and tell of my news, but I have just been granted permission to let the cat out of the bag over on my social channels. Ever wondered what it's like to live someone else's life? Well I found out, as for a few weeks my life and world were turned upside down.

Back in September, I was approached by the assistant producer at 'Raise the Roof' Productions who make well know  TV shows. They invited me to apply for the prestigious 'Kirstie's Handmade Christmas' this year, to be aired during December 2017 on Channel 4! If you're not familiar with the show, get a taste for it with some past episodes here...or visit Kirstie Allsopp's website here...

After I'd picked myself up off the floor, and stopped shaking, I decided to just go for it.  I thought 'what's the worst that could happen...??!!'
I have an incurable awkwardness around camera's, not behind them, I love this arrangement, but in front...I just get so nervous, I jibber and feel flustered, so this was a huge thing to come to terms with for me.

What happened next can only be described as a exhilarating whirlwind of phone calls and e-mails to and from the fantastic production teams and casting researchers at 'Raise the Roof Productions'  in relation to my application and 'Handmade Gift' competition entry. All this was happening while I was trying to make Christmas soap stocks in earnest and attending some pretty big events and festivals with my stall. Some of which I simply had to cancel due to filming clashes...but of course I was bound by secrecy so couldn't tell anyone why I was having to cancel...nightmare!

The producer Ali, came to film me in my home for a day and document some processes for my competition entry, we had a hoot. She was so brilliant at putting me at ease, and besides there really wasn't time to think about being nervous. We had lots to cover and had a tight schedule of 4 hours max before Ali's train back to Glasgow.

My home set up for the backstory.

A couple of weeks after filming for the back story, it was competition time...!! Myself and the other 3 entrants made our way, with all our kit and equipment all the way to Honiton in Devon, a mere 7 hours by train  for me (!!) with possibly the BIGGEST bag on was heavier than me! Thank goodness for kindly strangers and strong guardsmen.

We spotted each other at the station as we waited for our driver to take us to the hotel (How the other half live eh?) then met up for tea once we'd settled in, nervously chatting and getting to know each other. Everyone was lovely, excited and really looking forwards to the next day.
Filming was due to start from 10am the next morning, so we were up and at 'em then off to a private residence which was our filming location for the day. The house was simply spectacular, with a room being dedicated to each competition, there were 10 in all, so you can imagine the size of the house! There was no time for exploring, but I'm sure I wouldn't have been found for weeks if I'd found a secret hiding place to sneak into and yes, I was sorely tempted, I can tell you.

The spectacular competition many decs.
Apparently there were rooms full in the attic!!

Trying to concentrate and not being at
 all ready for my close up...crikey!!

My fellow competitors Sammy and Emma...there was one more but he was outside in the workshop.

During the competition, we had 4 hours to make our entry from scratch before it was being judged by some very eminent guests. I was so busy concentrating on my 4 part entry that at times I hardly noticed the high definition film cameras and mic booms looming overhead, but at other times, they were oh sooo close and It was all I could do to focus.

Kirstie was very keen to be involved with us all and tried her hand at everyone's craft which was really lovely. She was just as exuberant and enthusiastic in real life as she is on TV too, such a sweet lady. She put us all at ease and took time to come and talk to us all and even made sure we'd had something to eat mid way through the comp. She was super keen to try my custom soap cutter out...but we just ran out of time.

Although I can't reveal any information about who won...(you'll just have to tune in throughout December on Channel 4) I can say that it was one of the most amazing times I've ever had. Being part of the show has given me a huge confidence boost and pushed me further out of my comfort zone than I ever thought I'd cope with. I felt humbled and a little star struck to be invited to take part in this amazing show, and get to meet and chat to Kirstie and the team,  I've been a huge fan for years.  I've loved every part of being involved in such an amazing adventure, with such fantastic crew and fellow makers, and of course Kirstie herself. It's not over yet, as who knows where this will's anyone's guess.

In case you didn't know, that's me in the grey dress ;) xx

To stay in touch with all that develops, just click the links below to follow me over on:

 Facebook : @OakwoodSoaperie
 Twitter: @OakwoodSoaperie
 Instagram: @oakwood_soaperie
 Pinterest: Oakwood Soaperie

Until next time...TTFN