Sunday, 30 December 2012

Campbell's Calendar - A Christmas Retrospective

Hello all, hope you've had a great Christmas.  Ours was fab, albeit a little hectic in the lead up to the big day - hence the lack of posts on the blog! So, I thought I'd put together a really quick round up of what we got up to lead up to Christmas 2012, and let you know what we have in store for you in 2013.

In no particular order, here are some of the pics I took ...

Some of you might know that I signed up to a fantastic programme called Digital Direction which aims to help SME's grow through providing assistance with digital technologies.  They sent a team along to interview me as a case study and so I made these - there's a bit more to it than that, but you'll have to wait a little while longer till I can tell you the full story!

The girls made this.  It took two days to make, was absolutely delicious and looked far more impressive in real life!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

A ‘Woodland Wonderland’ Christmas Table Centre

Hello all, we were so proud to be featured on the launch day of the re-designed fabulous Boho Blog with this post, but I thought I'd pop it on here - just in case you missed it yesterday.

Today’s design is a simple, rustic, very natural wreath ring which you can adapt to suit your Christmas theme and table plans.  You could fill the centre with jam jars, mason jars, votives or even a huge church candle or, alternatively, place a bowl in the centre and fill it with goodies such as more nuts or sweeties in brightly coloured wrappers.  The sky’s the limit!

So here’s what you’ll need:-

.90 floristry wires (available from florist shops or good craft shops)
Strong glue or a glue gun (as above)
A 10” wreath ring (as above)
Sphagnum moss (ask your florist to get you some)
A head of hydrangea

Decorations – these are completely up to you, but I’ve used:-

-         nuts
-         tree ivy berries
-         dried chillies
-         cinnamon sticks bound with natural raffia
-         pine cones
-         birch cones

Gather everything you’ll need together in one place and be prepared for a bit of mess – moss is really messy! Then, begin by trimming both the outside and inside edges of the wreath ring.  This just helps create a nice smooth, rounded finished shape.

Gently rub the excess oasis off the bevelled edges and soak the frame really well

Now make some hair pins by bending the top of your wires and cutting them level.

Pull off strips of moss and using the hair pins, secure the moss to the wreath ring so that it’s nice and snug and won’t come away when you pick up and move the design.  

Carry on in this way until the whole of the ring is covered in moss, taking care no foam is showing around the inside edge of the ring.

I’ve added a hydrangea head to the design, as I love their gorgeous colour.  However, you could add roses or berries such as hypericum in a small area like I have to create a type of ‘corsage’.  As materials are really expensive at Christmas, this is a really economical way of introducing some fresh flowers to your design, however, you could add lots more seasonal pretties – especially if you’re thinking of splashing out a bit!

Now start to add some of your decorations.  You can secure most things by using either the single or double leg mount method.  To do this, make a hook at the top of your wire and then hold it next to the back of the thing you want to attach – say a cone.  Then, taking the long end of the wire wrap it tightly around the base of the cone two or three times.  If this doesn’t make any sense – fear not.  I have a YouTube channel and if you click on the link you’ll be transported as if by magic to a short video which shows you how to create a double leg mount!

Keep working into the design placing opposite textures next to each other – I particularly like the nuts as their shiny texture is great against moss, but they also look a bit like they’ve fallen onto the forest floor.  I’m afraid my natural hedonistic tendencies seem to come to the forefront at Christmas so for me it’s definitely a case of more is more but you might well be a bit more restrained than I am, either way keep going until you think you and the design have had enough!

I’ve finished off my design with a sweet vintage style jar and a tea light, but as I mentioned earlier do as you will with yours – just make sure that you place your finished design onto a plate or mat to protect your table if it’s posher than mine!

This design can be made well in advance of Christmas, just water the moss to stop it from drying out every now and then and pull out and replace the floral material as and when needed. 

I hope you enjoy getting creative with this design, if you’d like a few more DIY projects, then pop over and take a look at our DIY Tutorials page on the blog or nip over and get yourself onto one of our fab workshops through our Flower School, we’re always delighted to welcome new members to our happy band of regulars!

If you do make a version of this table centre, I’d love to see a photo so email it over to me and I will pick and publish my favourite – you never know, you might just win a little something as a prize too!  ‘Til then, enjoy.

Tracey x

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Campbell's Calendar - Cutlery, Cups and Spreading the Word!

Hello all, as you can tell by the lack of blog posts this week, I've been zooming around here, there and everywhere.  Thank goodness for Dory and, so much for slowing down!

I'm sure for many men and women the work/life balance is something which, whilst still in my first year of business, continues to baffle me.  As I type I still have a scary number of Christmas pressies to buy, some of which involve getting to the post office. And, pouring through my various Christmas cookbooks yesterday, I was dismayed to find that many of the yummy foodstuffs I usually prepare in good time for Christmas excess, have been left too late.  The chutney, preserves, mincemeat and other seasonal treats just won't be happening this year as many of them needed to be started a month or so ago - and clearly by someone else!

Whilst I do feel a slight pang of guilt and mild disappointment at not being a shining example of domesticity, I honestly think that at this time of the year it's so easy to fall into the 'paragon' trap - one person just cannot possibly be all things to all the people in his or her life. Besides, it will all come right in the end - Christmas always happens and it's always fantastic.

So, embracing the positive - here's what I have done this week!


Family day, with a HUGE Sunday lunch followed by sorting out some quotations for a really lovely couple who are getting married next year and want wall-to-wall David Austin roses.  They are the most gorgeous British grown, heavenly scented blooms but are a little on the pricey side so I've been spending some time doing a bit of juggling and looking at alternatives.  Like all these things though, the preparation will be worth it as the flowers are a really important aspect of their wedding.


Today was all really unexpected as I'd received a call from BBC Radio Sheffield on Friday whilst out shooting in Derbyshire, asking if I'd like to be on the Rony Robinson show to talk about my special 'heritage' bouquets which I'd designed for the Women of Steel photo shoot which I blogged about recently.

Anyway, I was a bit nervous as you can imagine - especially as this would be live radio and the only other experience of radio I'd had was a recorded interview for the drive time show with Dean Pepall when he interviewed me about making the golden bouquet for Jessica Ennis.

Actually, it went really well and if you're curious to know more, click on this link to hear me and how I wriggled out of the more awkward questions!  Here's a snap of the bouquet I made, which happily Rony loved ...


Found us back at the lovely Amy's gorgeous shop Pure Enough where these little bathbombs are simply flying out of her shop ...

For our Christmas workshop we made either topiary trees or wreaths this week.  It was a really great evening and everyone had a fantastic time, creating really lovely designs which were very individualistic. Apologies for the poor photography, I was so busy helping everyone I completely forgot to snap away like I usually do! Here are a few pics, nonetheless ...


More Christmas workshops - this time across the other side of Sheffield at the Little Paint a Pot Shop in the prettiest of shops with a whole troupe of Rainbows making sweet little pressies downstairs and the Campbell's contingent working away on wreaths upstairs.  All very festive and fun - here's a couple of pics I took ...


More excitement today! As a new business you will have realised that we've tried to spread the word that we're hear and ready to talk to anyone who loves seasonal, natural, locally and British grown flowers!  So we were absolutely delighted to be contacted by the very fabulous Wedding Flowers Magazine a while ago.  They asked if we'd be interested in making up a number of arrangements for their 'gallery' section in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue and would we like to design a scheme using purple? Naturally we jumped at the chance and here's what we came up with ...


Lots went on behind the scenes today - so not many pics to show you.  We did, however, make up and donate one of our dried moss wreaths as part of a luxury hamper raffle prize - here's one I made earlier!


Today I did this ...

That's all folks! Have a fantastic week and if you've any flowery questions drop me a line as always.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

Campbell's Calendar - Wreaths, Roses & Sunshine in the Snow!

Hello everyone, hope you've all had a great week.  Mine's been a real mixed bag, you know when you feel all a bit irritable and generally just a bit grumpy and over tired - I'm feeling ever so slightly like a fractious toddler! Having said that, nothing's gone particularly wrong, in fact, a lot's gone very right this week - I think I need to slow down!  So, in the run up to Christmas I'm going to do just that by applying the brakes slightly and easing on into the festive season, which is absolutely my most favourite time of the year!  I love all the getting together with family and friends, all the over-indulging, dressing up and generally having a lovely time.

Anyway, here's what we did get up to this week ....


With M away at a motorbike event all day, I spent  some time in the workroom making up a few wreaths for orders - here's one I snapped before it went off to its new home ...

Once Izzy, my youngest daughter surfaced, we had a bit of a girly day together. She's very good at nails and, continuing on with the girly theme, I have to say this new Essie nail polish and non-chip top coat is fantastic - it literally lasted til Friday.  Which on a florist's hands is incredible!


I caught up with a really lovely industry friend, Lauretta from Boutique Paeony, to discuss all things flowery, eat her delicious home made lemon cake and come up with some plans for next year!  Then on to another meeting with Sophie Colgate to talk over our latest project together which involved putting together a photo shoot in record time! We also discussed flowers too, some of which included these beauties ...


Was another of our wonderful workshops. We all met in La Petite Salle and were treated to some very delicious teas and cakes whilst working hard on designing and creating some absolutely gorgeous wreaths - here are a couple of pics from the night.

We've just three more Christmas workshops left now, so if you'd like to make yourself a fabulous wreath, topiary tree or table decoration to show off to friends and family over the festive season, pop over to our website for details or do get in touch


Had the most fantastic consultation with the lovely Roxy & Calum who are getting married next September at the gorgeous Wood Lane Countryside Centre.  They've got some amazing ideas for their wedding - especially given that Calum used to work there and they are both massively into British grown flowers and bio-diversity.  They are thinking of growing some of their own flowers to include in their designs, which will definitely include this gorgeous vetch ...


We were delighted to find ourselves in our local paper, the Sheffield Telegraph, with a story which had come about from our Women of Steel shoot.  Here's the link if you missed it


We spend a very chilly, but wonderful day out in Derbyshire amongst the heather, snow and stunning scenery for our latest shoot.  It was simply gorgeous.  The atmosphere all day was so relaxed and marvellous, working with like-minded amazing professionals has to be my most favourite thing! MASSIVE thanks go to the gorgeous Jess Petrie and Jenn Edwards and of course the very beautiful Sophie and Matt.  Here are a couple of preview pics ... without giving the game away too much!

Oh my! I have no adjectives left!

And, a commission from a lady in London to welcome her sister into her new home, here in Sheffield - the arrangement was in a lovely pewter jug, so the flowers looked beautiful there and then without having to unpack too much!


A slightly quieter day.  The tree went up and the hounds helped!

Right! I'm off to peel some spuds for today's lunch! Sending much love to all.  Monday looks to be a bit exciting - I've been asked onto our local radio!  I'll let you know more when I do!

Have a fab week peeps.


Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Wonderful Workshops - Christmas Wreaths

Hello all, as some of you might know, last night was another of our Campbell's Flower School sessions and featured gorgeous materials such as mosses, blue spruce, pine, cones, cinnamon sticks and chillies in our Christmas Wreath workshop.

We all met at the very lovely tea rooms La Petite Salle where we were incredibly well looked after by Beth who served us fabulous drinks and delicious warmed mince pies with brandy butter.  I, however, couldn't resist the lemon cake, which I can very highly recommend!  Pop down and say hello to Beth or Sarah, if you're in the area - you'll be hard pushed to choose from their vast selection of leaf teas.

Beginning with a mossed wreath ring, I demonstrated in stages how to make a double leg mount to attach blue spruce and berried ivy.  We then moved on to creating hair pins to secure some lovely sphagnum  moss and learnt the best way to attach cones, chillies and tillandsia moss to add some beautiful Christmassy texture to the design.

Here are a few photos from the evening of everyone working away:-

I've just noticed that somehow Krista managed to dodge the camera!

And this is what everyone made - what I love about workshops is that everyone watches the same demonstration, gets the same help and instructions, works with the same materials and yet everyone always creates something different which is as individual as they are! Fantastic!

Here are their finished wreaths ...

Aren't they gorgeous?  We had a wonderful time, everyone said it was so relaxing but fun and really rewarding to create something to proudly show off to family, friends and neighbours over the holiday season.  If you'd like to do the same, we have a couple of places left on our last few dates.  Pop over to the website for more details or get in touch and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Or, alternatively, we have a growing bank of tutorials for all you DIYers out there - click on the link or the button at the top of this page.

I do so love this time of the year.  Right, I'd better go as I've a consultation soon!