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A CRZyBest 2020

I was asked last year if I'd be able to get my money back on my 2020 wall planner because it lied by stating that 2020 was going to be awesome!!! Well, it made me have a think… Looking at the positives, I actually was very lucky and had a great 2020. I've got my CRZyBest Shedquarters to work in, which was built in November 2019 by the wonderful Green Retreats and ok, I've still not finished painting it as I like to browse paints which is not really something we can do at the moment, so I've been putting lots of things on the walls instead, like a teenager putting posters up in their bedroom! Some cute little shelves, my ‘One Tree Planted’ certificate and a few framed happy postcards from Love Lalaland and, along with my colourful 2021 wall planner from Bluebell Press. I’m thinking about getting some of the blog and magazine articles that I’ve been published in, framed for my walls too, what do you think?

I started last year with a styled shoot in January at Aston Hill Barns which was published by the fantastic Unconventional Wedding later on in the year I was also invited to become an Unconventional Super Hero, I of course said yes, as even the idea makes me smile!

I was lucky enough to go on holiday to Bratislava in February and once back in Derby, went straight to work at Derby Camra Winter Beer Festival I loved getting back to being immersed in #realale and volunteering at a #beerfestival, which thinking back, meant that I even got to go to a festival in 2020, who else can say that?

March was a busy month, I made some pink coated copper Monstera leaf earrings for a styled shoot by That Black & White Cat Weddings & Vicki Clayson Photography which has since been published by Bespoke Bride.

I took my CRZyBest stand to the The Whitworth Centre with The Derbyshire Makers to take part in their first Spring fair showcasing talented local makers in the heart of Derbyshire. The fair was a success despite the grey cloud looming over us and I shall look forward to some real life, in person events happening in the future. In the meantime, virtual markets over social media have been the name of the game for the majority of 2020. Lockdown happened in the middle of March, at the start of which I was in the middle of my second, huge interior design commission of the year, so I had my head down working solidly for the first two weeks and wouldn't have been going anywhere anyway! Thanks to the shear scale of the two interior design projects that I worked on in the first three months of 2020, I learned a lot about different types of firing processes, pushing my little pink kiln to its limits and past them meant that I also learnt how to fix my kiln in some ways and I set myself a goal of getting a second kiln when funds allow.

I've had two articles published in Savvy Women Magazine and a colourful alternative bouquet feature in Alternative Wedding Magazine which was all quite exciting. I also had my first CRZyBest Shedquarters photo shoot happen, with the lovely Lianne from FoyeTography taking some fabulous photos for me, I’m hoping to have a second shoot happen when times allow.

Collaborating with one of the most innovative photographers I know during the height of the first lockdown helped to keep a positive vibe. Adele from Fly on the wall photography asked me to send her a few pieces of my work, little did I know how experimental she would get with her photography and she even created a short video of my creations which was awesome!

Another lockdown collaboration was developed from a chance encounter with Hania a hair and make-up artist, based miles away in Scotland. I sent her a variety of hair combs, bobby pins and hair clips, for her to get creative with while she was unable to do much else. Hania posted what she had done with my creations on social media and sent me photos with information, so that eventually I can write a blog about all the different ways my hair accessories can be worn. Keep a look out for the outcomes of this collaboration along with creations from hairstylist Moira Borg, who explored creating hairstyles using my sweetie hair comb and bobby pins, then later on a Swarovski rainbow hair vine on silver plated wire, which she gave me great feedback on!

In July 2020 I was introduced as a brand ambassador for Pretty & Punk Weddings, a fabulous opportunity to collaborate and support a wonderful bunch of people, mainly based in the South of England and growing rapidly.

I was and still am quite excited about Quirky Wedding Magazine by Quirky Wedding Fayre which was published in September 2020 and featured my Galaxy shoot across four pages, especially as this is published as a real touchy feely, paper magazine alongside a digital version… I have two copies and thinking about purchasing a third!

As restrictions lifted slightly, lots of my creations were involved in two gorgeous shoots, organised by That Black & White Cat Weddings at Meadow Vale Weddings of which the evening shoot photographed by Kirsty Rockett Photography was published by Magpie Wedding and the daytime shoot, captured by EKR Pictures has just been published by County Weddings Magazine and even featured on the front cover no less! A gorgeous photograph of Kitty from Dreaming of Confetti wearing one of my copper oak leaf necklaces.

Something I had decided I wasn’t going to do at the start of 2020, but was then persuaded into it by my own dear sister, meant August found me hosting my own styled shoot at Donington Park Farmhouse with fantastic suppliers. The fabulous outcome was published by the wonderful Pretty and Punk Weddings in the September. Keep a look out for more exciting things happening with my Pink Beer & Stars shoot in 2021!

A new industrial wedding venue was launching in 2020 and I was invited by Hannah Rose Weddings to provide a version of my Copper Cog Alternative Bouquet, matching buttonhole and hair comb for the styled shoot that was supporting the launch of Duston Mill Weddings with photographs taken by Sally Forder for Binky Nixon.

Around this time, I was asked by Rachel of The Left Shoe Wedding Company to create a unique pair of sterling silver and purple velvet Swarovski asymmetric earrings for her celebration of culture shoot at the Ingestre Orangery a place that I had never heard of before. Obviously, a popular place for weddings, as around this time I was also asked to create a copper crown, copper acorn cufflinks and three sets of copper leaf jewellery for an Autumnal Halloween shoot which was the vision of Sharon from Indigo Hearts Ceremonies. Some fantastic photos were taken by AJT Images and a great video by MCM Media and Film.

One of the very first photographers I ever collaborated with Stephanie Butt, asked me to create a pair of cocktail inspired rainbow buttonholes for her 80’s inspired Club Tropicana shoot, which I of course said yes to as Steph Butts Photos of my original Rainbow Bouquet with tiny sweetie sculptures were fantastic.

I had no idea that the imaginative Kirsty Rockett was planning the most colourful and contrasting shoot, until she asked me if I could create some extra special colourful, yet black with gold accents alternative buttonholes for her Forest Wedding in Sherwood Glade. It was amazing to see Kirsty’s collaboration with Caz, The Wedding Alchemist come alive in some of the most fantastic photos. Check out the amazing bright pink smoke bomb photos, published by Unconventional Wedding.

An opportunity that I couldn’t pass up was to provide some of my jewellery to a delightful shoot held in a winery of all places, a place that would only come second to a hop garden or brewery! My sterling silver vine leaf earrings and necklaces looked beautiful adorning the bride and maid of honour. Thank you, Vicki of Sage and Belle Styling for inviting me on board! Photographs by Jonathan Flint Photography.

Talking about sterling silver, 2020 was also the first time I was asked to make a ring for an eco-friendly beach shoot. Leni of Unique to you Celebrancy was organising the shoot and told me the ring was to be a gift for the model and so I made it to fit. The shoot was inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest and shot by Emma Doodah as a beach elopement. In the spirit of the times, the ceremony involved a handwashing ceremony, using a gorgeous glass bowl, handcrafted by the talented contemporary glass artist Stevie Davies. This 'of the time' shoot was published by Unconventional Wedding, check them out for all the details of this Shakespearian Shoot.

When Autumn arrived Bethan from Finishing Flourishes was inspired to put together a fabulous Shades of Autumn shoot, which was held at the beautiful Cressbrook Hall in Derbyshire. The Autumn table had so many features including some of my copper animals hiding under Bethan's handcrafted toadstools. The main piece I created for this was a copper maple leaf hair comb with Swarovski crystals inspired by Autumn colours. Photographs by Frances Millburn Photography.

I was invited to collaborate on another shoot that Bethan was styling before the end of 2020 and it was a Nordic inspired shoot that illustrated a poem written by the organiser Sally of Rhymes to Remember. Created when restrictions allowed and published by Boho Weddings just before Christmas. Wonderful festive images to finish a year of styled shoots. Photographs by Rosanna Lilly Photography.

Throughout 2020 I was creating the whole time, from business commissions of silver logo jewellery to bespoke mixed media creations for other creatives, keep an eye on my gallery for photos of unique pieces alongside styled shoots and available to buy pieces.

Regulations began changing so rapidly in the last few months of 2020, with a second lockdown squashing a few plans and changing others, then unexpected opportunity was offered with restrictions allowing. The wonderful Hana and Charlene of Mainframe Derby, working closely with Quad offered the chance of a stand at their annual Christmas Make & Trade Market, an event usually held over a couple of hours in the box at Quad, this year they upscaled and put plans in place for an outdoor, six-day Christmas Market in December. Along with lots of other talented Derbyshire Creatives, after pretty much only taking part in virtual events, I spent the run up to Christmas working at one of the biggest events I’ve ever taken CRZyBest to and it was fantastic! It was a good job that we weren’t doing our usual travelling around visiting every relative we have over Christmas week, because I was exhausted!

Ok, I’d be lying if said that the whole of 2020 was fantastic, because we all know that it really wasn’t! What it was, was a massive rollercoaster of events and opportunities, some of which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been for the rubbish stuff. I’m going to learn from all of it and remember the good bits, taking opportunities when they show themselves and making things happen when they don’t. Embracing the little things and making the most of what we have, when we have it, I definitely won’t be wasting a moment of 2021! How about you?


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