Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Festival of Thrift and more The Shop preparations!

Hello all,

So it's been a busy week as always! Lots of stuff going on.

Carmela is busy trying to find additional venues for Arts on Prescription to run cookery courses in the evenings... It's not as easy to find venues with enough space, ovens etc. But hopefully some news on that soon.

I've been attending lots of meetings recently to keep an eye on all the projects I am involved with. I had a pleasant afternoon last week writing a concept for a new bid outside in the sunshine, attended the Health and Wellbeing meeting to fight the case for Arts on Prescription to receive more funding and be able to continue after June next year. Watch this space as there were exciting murmurs of agreement.

I caught up with my fellow project managers on our new Strategic Touring programme which is bringing some great affordable family theatre into Pendle and Blackburn with Darwen and which is allowing people to choose the shows put on in their local venues. I'm going to do a more in depth post on that next week...

Also there was plenty of The Shop related activity. I attended the auction in Burnley for the first time, and was very brave - bidding with my piece of card with my number on it - and didn't get carried away on anything (I was tempted to buy a taxidermy duck in glass case but overcame it). I did buy a few really useful shop items and am planning on going back again soon, albeit with boots, jumper and a flask of coffee. It's rather nippy in the big concrete space.

I've been looking into music licences, wifi and insurance and all the really important stuff that is needed to get the space up and running. We are still negotiating the lease but I'm not going to worry about it and keep thinking positively.

I've been thinking about how our local community can get involved in the space too. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation at the mo - can't go in and do stuff until lease is signed really, but don't know when that may be so might not have enough time and so on and so on. So I was thinking about running some open mornings or Saturdays at The ACE Centre where people can come along and decorate their very own piece of plywood. Yes you heard right - plywood! Only the best eh?

We could decorate these in advance - with pattern, with just block paint, with collage or wallpaper and then use them to cover up the walls in The Shop. Obviously I would measure up and things and provide all the materials if people wanted to do this. Let me know what you think?

Also, we have been firming up plans for local artists, designers and makers to be able to put their own mini-shop into The Shop. At the moment we are fairly committed to offering 5 or 6 mini-shops and then also offering a rent-a-shelf scheme. If you are interested in this do please talk to me or email me. I'm planning on sending more information out next week, by email - so if you want to know more, my email is on the about page.

Then - last but not-at-all-least Carmela and I took a trip to The Festival of Thrift in Darlington to gather some inspiration and ideas for both The Shop and our Art and Vintage Markets. This is organised by the Wayne Hemmingway brand (not sure it's him personally) and it's a HUGE event, so not something we could ever afford to replicate, but that doesn't mean we can't steal borrow some of the ideas involved.

So here are some pictures of the day....

This was a very simple idea using nylon cord but it's very eye-catching.

Loving the handwritten sign.

Wow, BBQ on a car

Best name for a hot dog stall?

A pig that is also a theatre? Where you put on pig tails and kneel at the teats to watch a show. Of course, can't believe it's not been done before!

Off set and quirky signs - loved them.

Canteen Alley was actually lots of VW campervans where people could book a meal for 4. It looked really good. 

It was busy.

With lots to do.

Over a pretty big site.

This group were building an actual shed during the weekend.

There were lots of lovely stalls.

And a DJ playing vintage tunes and sharing thrifty tips. If you gave a tip, you got to take part in the 'Unlucky Dip' which was a bin full of sawdust and items that charity shops couldn't sell!

More caravans - this one was a beauty van which also made milkshakes.
I think by the end of the day Carmela and I had convinced ourselves that we needed a caravan.

Steampunk pigeons!

While having a quick break for a coffee on the Village Green we met Meryl and Beryl and helped them organise their family tree. Very good fun! Lots of cross dressing and celebrities involved.

Then the skies darkened and we started to head for home. It was good that the weather held as the whole event was outside.

More weird and wonderful creations.

Love the jewellery displayed in bun-tins.
I felt like we should end on the pig!

So that's me checking in with what's going on this week. Happy for people to feedback and tell us what you think but do please try and be positive or constructive. I work pretty hard and hope people realise that although I don't always get it right I do try!

Thanks for reading.


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