2022 a year of Tea & Dragons
A CRZyBest Review of 2022
2022 started with a Steampunk inspired styled shoot at The Old Cow Shed. A collaboration of wedding suppliers, creating the most fabulous Steampunk inspired wedding complete with couture dress, lace boots, bespoke jewellery and hair accessories, cake, biscuits and tea ceremony, within the wonderful setting of The Cow Shed in Leicestershire. This shoot was photographed by Vicki Clayson Photography, and published by Unconventional Wedding on their blog, gaining a place in their top 8 blogs of the year 2022. Outrageous Bride Magazine also featured our Steampunk Wedding in their November Issue, with a write up by the concept creator Foxglove and Black.
Unconventional Wedding also chose my Pink Beer, Hops & Stars Bouquet to include in their Alternative Wedding Bouquet Blog!
Saw me Shortlisted for Best Digital/Creative Ambassador of the Year in The Mainframe Awards. I was up against a couple of amazing people who I am proud to call my friends and I was happy to cheer when Lynn of Painting the Room was announced as the winner! Our only disappointment being that none of us managed to sneak our doggos into Derby Quad for the Awards event!
I became a featured artist at Sharpes Pottery with my creations displayed for sale in the Museum shop.
After being invited last year, I finally hosted a CRZyBest create in copper clay guest workshop at The Beadshop in Nottingham, with some fantastic creations being created by the attendees.
As well as all the individuals buying and creating with my Create with CRZyBest Copper Clay Craft Kits, I was asked to provide a number of kits for a creative team building day with an exciting Marketing Agency, down south.
Taking part in March Meet the Maker and managing to complete it was a win! Anyone that has done this will know it’s no mean feat, especially as I don’t schedule my social media posts.
Started work on creating my biggest copper clay creation yet… eventually to be known as ‘Serendipity’ an eclectic dragon sculpture that pushed the boundaries of my pink kiln, the materials I used and my metal clay knowledge.
My first Artisan Fair of 2022 with The Derbyshire Makers at The Whitworth in Darley Dale, made me decide that I needed to upgraded my CRZyBest bar, so short of creating a brand-new version, I sanded, dyed pink, re did the pyrography and rewaxed my Bar. It has since drawn lots of positive comments and smiles! So thank you for those!
We went to Cornwall and Barley swam in the sea on his own for the first time, check out the video!
The first Sustainable Business programme with Small Business Britain took place as part of the Small Business Planet campaign, and I was part of the cohort. I learnt of so many ways I could move CRZyBest forward in a sustainable way and it also made me realise just how much I do already as an environmentally friendly Silversmith & Sculptor. Little did I know that encouraging others to take part in the second edition of this course and competing the course myself would mean exciting things happening later on in the year and that in 2023 I would be taking this even further!
Our Steampunk Shoot was featured by Unconventional Wedding in their inspirational alternative wedding blog.
Green Retreats included me in their blog ‘Working from Home: Our Customers and Their Garden Office’ alongside some other wonderful small businesses.
The fantastic Labyrinth Shoot that I collaborated in last year, featured in Outrageous Bride Magazine this month and had a great write up accompanied by the wonderful photographs from Doodah Photography, who also organised the whole shoot, complete with real owls flying about in the ballroom at The Old Bell Hotel. If you haven’t seen the article, go have a read for free.
I was invited to join Not on The Highstreet a few months previously and after lots of deliberating from me, form filling and product listing, I became a NOTHS partner!
All parts of Serendipity were fired by now, sometimes twice, even three times and all in separate pieces, with bespoke carbon firing times. My main aim was to make sure that she was in one piece, ready be showcased at my very own Pop-up shop later in June. Serendipity’s wings are still a work in progress and after three pairs, she may never have any that I’m happy with. She does however, have bronze horns and claws and happily stands on my display with pink fairy lights shining through her chest, looking after my business cards at events.
My CRZyBest Pop-up shop at Caudwell’s Mill near Bakewell, was an amazing opportunity that came to me through The Derbyshire Makers. The email happened to land in my inbox at such a time that I just thought to myself straight away ‘Yep, I’ll have a go at that’ of course afterwards, when I’d organised the date and written it on my calendar, I was like ‘what on earth have I done? A pop-up shop all on my own, at a venue that was over an hour bus ride away! How am I going to make this work?’ but make it work I did and with support from the venue, my husband who drives my CRZyBest Bar to events and my friend Bethan from Finishing Flourishes who helped me set up, I had a successful weekend in the Summerhouse at Caudwell’s Mill. My only proper worry it turned out, was when the last bus was fifty minutes late, to get me back to Derby on the Saturday evening.
A very hot Sunday at with The Derbyshire Makers and their Summer Artisan Fair, made for a wonderful networking opportunity in the dark coolness of The Whitworth ballroom and views of the dappled shade in the park.
I had a work experience student join me for the hottest week of the year, in which I also visited my old secondary school for two days to give presentations about my CRZyBest journey and talk about The World of Work. I really enjoy these trips out to inspire others, that have come about through my volunteer work with Inspiring the Future.
Camping at the seaside with Barley was the main focus for August, a lovely break with a mixture of friends and family, including more sea swimming for me and Barley!
Through my part as a Mainframe Champion, I became a volunteer Changemaker for Derby City Lab, which found me settling in to the City Lab, once a month alongside a variety of other positive people from Marketing Derby and The University of Derby, to promote the exhibitions on display and encourage people to discuss the positive changes that could be and already are happening in our city.
A mixture of firsts and lasts, with my first appearance at The Garage, Chilwell and the last ever Wedding Fair at The National Brewery Centre. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love a Brewery and I even visited The National Brewery Centre for my birthday a few years ago. But as I cut down the amount of wedding Fairs I take part in, The National Brewery Centre as a favourite venue for CRZyBest has now been replaced by The Garage at Chilwell and their fantastic markets as they showcase lots of great food stands and have a great bar with tasty beer too!
Making the decision to go back to Uni on the Derby University Reskill Recover programme has got my brain whirring…. First module ‘Sustainability’ of course! With three more modules starting in January!
Makers Assemble, is a fantastic celebration of creatives hosted by Derby’s Museum of Making with a massive set up and social for all the makers taking part and then a full day of showcasing our skills and materials to the hundreds of visitors who are interested in how we make stuff! I'll be back at The Museum of Making for their Wedding Fair in February 2023.
Afternoon tea at the House of Lords has to be way at the top of my highlights of 2022! Invited by Small Business Britain as a celebration of all the work we had done with them to become more sustainable, including taking part in their sustainability course. I was able to go along to this event with my friend and fellow small business owner, Rose of Handmade Hardwear.
It’s always wonderful to hear that my creations are going to be gifts and around Christmas this happens more often. The Derbyshire Makers at The Whitworth held a two-day Christmas Artisan Fair and I was there for both days, I met lots of people who bought my creations, often telling me who they were going to be a present for and where in the world they going to be sent. I still find it so special to think that people will be finding CRZyBest Creations in their stockings and unwrapping little parcels of happiness found under the Christmas tree. The only things that tops this is the smile on people’s faces when they discover that they can commission me to make that extra special gift that they have in mind and can’t find anywhere!
Causing massive excitement in my CRZyBest world, was discovering that Small Business Saturday, wanted to visit my Shedquarters as part of their Tour of Britain. Who’d have thought that my CRZyBest Shedquarters would be a tour destination?
Banks Mill Open Studios were a huge event on my calendar and if I actually set goals, taking part in this amazing creative event in Derby, would have been one of them. Is setting retrospective goals a thing? Getting my CRZyBest Bar to the top floor of an old mill, was challenging but worth it, as I was rewarded with a fabulous space to showcase my work for three days, where I sold my ready to buy pieces and discussed commissions for weddings, hair accessories and jewellery. It was wonderful to be sharing a building with so many other talented creatives, I only wish I could have spent more time visiting everyone else!
As mentioned earlier, Outrageous Bride Magazine featured our collaborative Steampunk styled shoot in their November issue of the magazine, showcasing our collaboration over four pages of Steampunk wonderfulness. The Steampunk hair accessories I made for this shoot were on display at Open Studios, alongside other unique pieces to give examples of the sort of things you can ask me to make and as some of my wonderful customers know only too well, you don't have to see an example of something similar on my website before asking me to create something special!
My final Christmas Market of the year was at The Garage. A fantastic venue in Chilwell, Beeston, near Nottingham; The Garage is an old bus depot which creates a fantastic atmosphere for markets and with a fire pit, mulled wine and plenty of Christmas cheer, it was a great way for me to finish the year.
Throughout the year I gave presentations to the D2 business start up groups, visited Derby University to give talks to students about enterprise and building your own business. I went to meetings, morning lectures, symposium's and presentations, listening to and meeting a whole array of interesting people all making their own way through this creative life and striving to make a positive difference. I have created bespoke pieces for a whole variety of commissions and sold my handcrafted ready to buy pieces through events, word of mouth, my website and other online places.
Whether goal setting is or isn’t your thing, enjoy life, whatever it throws at you and take advantage of opportunities that come your way, get out there and meet people, you never know who you might be talking to or what something might turn into! And most of all, shout out about and show your support for all those people and small businesses that surround you, because who knows what will happen next…