Monday, 15 December 2014

MONDAY MAKES: Introducing Ted...

All too often I read small business blogs that begin with apologies for not posting for a while (I'm guilty of it too) and this year I really wanted to escape this.  During the Summer, I started a regular series of posts entitled 'Monday Makes', which I kept up, even when other planned posts got left by the wayside for a while.  And just when I thought I was winning at blogging, my world turned upside down.

My last post was on Monday 22nd September, and it had been a interesting (read upsetting and distressful) day.  I was nine days overdue and that morning I'd been to hospital because I'd thought my waters had broken.  I'd then been sent home because apparently I was wrong.  As I'm sure you can imagine, I was getting tired, anxious, impatient etc.  I'd thought that the day had come, only to have my hopes dashed.  To be honest, I felt rather foolish.  I cried ALL morning.
I won't go into to the details, but it turns out my hind waters had broken, I should never have been sent home, as they continued to leak into the next night and by the time I got to see a doctor on the evening of  the 23rd, this had been happening for forty eight hours.  I'd gone back in to be checked again, and this time we were told we wouldn't be leaving without a baby.
 I spent a night on the ward before Mr. M returned and induction began. Then there was a whole day hooked up to various drips and monitors before it was decided that my little boy didn't want to budge and wasn't coming out the 'natural' way.  At around 11pm on 24th September I was taken in for a Cesarean section and just after midnight on 25th September, Theodore Peter Morgan (affectionately known as Ted) entered the world.  
We weren't allowed home until the Saturday.  And then I wasn't able to do a great deal for six weeks because of the surgery.  This was fine when Mr. M was still at home, but when he returned to work the enormity of motherhood smacked me in the face.  Day one was fine, but on day two Mr. M returned from work at lunchtime to find us still in the bedroom, I'd not managed to wash or eat and I was exhausted.  Ted had found his lungs and learnt how to use them!  
Those next few weeks were challenging for the whole family.  So many times we'd been told that babies spend most of the day sleeping, that they would only cry for a reason etc. etc.  And yet as soon as we told anyone about our little lad who DIDN'T sleep and who DID cry for no apparent reason, everyone suddenly changed their minds and told us this was normal!  But, they added, it would get better by about week ten.  And they were, thankfully, right.  Somewhere around Ted's second month on this Earth, we all learnt to get along.  I'm not sure whether it was Ted adjusting to us, us adjusting to him, or more likely, a bit of both.  

And so there you have it, above is my 'excuse' for not posting for nearly three months. I'm sure you'll agree, as excuses go, they don't come much better!  The combination of disturbed nights, dirty nappies, vomit covered jumpers and uncontrollable tears, is hard, and everything I used to do, now takes at least three times as long!  But I'm not complaining.  This year I've been blessed with the opportunity to fall in love all over again and I'm enjoying it very much indeed!  Every time I look at my little man my heart swells up with so much love it feels like it might burst and I know Mr. M feels exactly the same.  Our little Ted is perfect and we are very, very lucky.

Whilst I've managed to keep up with orders, make new products and just about deal with the Christmas rush (obviously, being on maternity leave has helped) blogging has had to take a back seat. Now things have calmed down and I've decided to give it another bash. I knew there was only one possible 'Make' I could post about today, the very best thing we've made so far! 

I'm not particularly keen on sharing every last detail of our family life through the blog, or any social media, and it was a big decision for me to share some photos of our beloved boy.  However, I know some of you are keen to see and so I decided to dedicate this post to our wonderful new addition, and in the process allow a little peek into our new world.  

He's pretty special, don't you think? 


Monday, 22 September 2014

Monday Makes: Bridesmaid Leaf Necklaces

For today's Monday Makes we're going back to a theme I visited in the very first Monday Makes Post - bridesmaid jewellery.  If you haven't read that first post, all about these beautiful bespoke and personalised acorn necklaces, you can find it here.

Our bride Karla commissioned these unique, autumnal acorn necklaces for her lucky maids. 
Every time I share a picture of Karla's bridesmaid necklaces I get a huge response.  I think it's something to do with the love us Brits have with glorious, autumn days and the beautiful golden colours.  Woodland creatures and natural forms seems to have a special enchantment at the moment!

I also think they're very popular because they look so pretty together in the photograph, three matching necklaces, almost the same, that will no doubt add something special and personal to the bridesmaid's outfits.   It really is a great idea to have some bridesmaid jewellery made for your specially chosen attendants.  Dresses can be tricky to chose, when you have to accommodate different tastes, sizes and shapes whilst also making sure your maids are dolled up to suit your own wedding day style, but having them tailor made can be very expensive.  Many brides now opt for high street dresses to save pennies, which I do believe is a wonderful idea, and if you finish them off with some bespoke jewellery, you can make the high street into something unique that truly reflects the style that you are trying to create for your big day.

Lydia got in touch when she was looking for bridesmaid jewellery to add that special something to her bridesmaids outfits.  She really liked this piece, which was a one off I'd sold some time ago.

Necklace with wooden pearl, gold tone leaf and butterfly.

 Lydia wanted this in silver and so I began the hunt for charms and leaves that would recreate this piece for her bridesmaids in shimmering silver tones.  Unfortunately I couldn't get exactly the same charms, but with the wonders of the internet I was able to send Lydia images of the pieces I could use, with options for her to chose from, effectively allowing her to 'build' her own design.  We finished the necklaces with luxurious Swarovski pearls in crystal white. 

The final design was completely unique to Lydia and her maids, something you just can't get from the high street!

One of my favourite parts of large orders is wrapping them!  I love seeing the pieces all prepared in their boxes, and then tied up with ribbons.  I can't help but think about who might open them, or when or where they might be revealed.  This is especially true of wedding party pieces, as they are often given on the morning of a wedding, adding to the sparkle and magic of the day.

This is also another wonderful reason to commission bespoke pieces for your bridal party.  As it's tradition to give gifts to your attendants, why not make those gifts part of their ensemble?  What bridesmaid wouldn't want to be given a necklace that has been specifically created for them?  And of course, jewellery like this can be worn again and again, a wonderful reminder and memento of when they played a  part in your perfect day.

If you're thinking of having something unique made for your bridesmaids.  Please don't hesitate to get in touch.  You can reach me via my facebook page or e-mail  I have a lovely home studio in Norfolk, where we can chat about your accessories, or, we can discuss your ideas and designs via e-mail, just like Lydia.

I've seen an image of Lydia on her wedding day, and I can tell you she made a truly beautiful bride, I'm looking forward to seeing her bridesmaids soon too!  

Congratulations Lydia, and thank you for choosing Melissa Morgan Designs.


Monday, 15 September 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Bridal Bracelets

This week I thought we'd take a break from combs and have a look at the other finishing touches you can make to your bridal outfit.  At Melissa Morgan Designs we help brides with headdresses, combs, hairpins and a full range of jewellery including earrings, necklaces and bracelets.  I've even made hair flowers and boutonnieres in my time! 
Out of all of these, 2014 seems to have been the year for bracelets!  Bracelets are an easy way to finish off your bridal look, as they suit pretty much all dresses.  Necklaces, on the other hand, need to be the right length/style to suit necklines and backs, making choices so much harder.  Many brides (and I was one of them)  leave necklaces alone altogether, but will opt for a little bit of sparkle or pearl (or both) on their wrist.  They make a lovely finishing touch.  My favourite thing about bridal bracelets is that they are easy to wear again, bringing the magic of your wedding day to everyday!

So today I'm celebrating some of the bracelets I've been asked to make this year, starting with Gwen, who got in touch after she'd ordered one of our pearl and diamante bridal bands.  Gwen wanted a bracelet to compliment her headband, with small, delicate beads.  I sent over some photos and also made up a little row of beads to show her my ideas and how they looked next to the band (something I will often do, allowing ladies to personally chose the look of their jewellery).  Gwen loved the design of round Swarovski crystals and pearls, interspersed with diamante rondelle beads.   She also also commissioned a comb and jewellery for her bridesmaid, but that's for another day!

Close-up of Gwen's bridal headband and bracelet

Delicate bridal bracelet made of Swarovski and diamante

Carla was a bride just looking for a bracelet to make the finishing touch to her outfit.  She contacted me after I'd closed the orders for 2014 (we shared wedding and due dates) but I just couldn't resist helping.  I sent her over some images of bracelets I'd made and she fell for a double row version of our popular 'Penelope' design.  This piece fastens with a secure magnetic clasp that Carla, as her piece was made especially for her, was able to chose.  I've had wonderful feedback from Carla.  I hope you like her bracelet too.

Double row bridal bracelet made from diamante rondelles and crystal white Swarovski pearls

Next up is Holly's delicate double row bracelet, made from tiny silver seed beads and Swarovski pearls.  This design was one I made a while ago but (as often is the case) I hadn't really gotten around to making it available.  Eagle eyed Holly spotted it at a bridal fair and loved the tiny silver beads.  Holly also picked one of our vintage headdresses and had the seed beads incorporated into some finishing touches on that too.  In fact, she loved this bracelet so much she comissioned one for each of her bridesmaids and a co-ordinating necklace for herself.  It's fair to say that Holly's order was a mammoth one and I can't wait to blog about it all and share some photos of how beautiful she looked.  It's also made me fall back in love with those delicate beads, so look out for more work with these soon.

Delicate double row bridal bracelet of seed beads and Swarovski pearls. 

The final bracelet wasn't actually for a bride, but a piece commissioned by Michelle for a dear friend.  It was inspired by our bridal pieces (you might note that it's a lot like Gwen's but with slightly larger beads) and just goes to prove that these styles, with their classic pearls and crystals, can be worn for any occasion and make wonderful gifts.  Michelle was happy for me to work with beads I had readily available (this was another quick turnaround) and wanted to incorporate initial charms and a heart into the design.  I felt that with the added charms, the design needed the larger beads, and I'm really happy with how this one turned out.  

Bridal bracelet made with Swarovski AB crystals, white pearls and diamante, initial and heart charms have been added

Thank you to all of the ladies mentioned above who allowed me to help them with their bridal jewellery and gifts.  I loved making the bracelets and I want to wish you all congratulations for your Summer weddings! 

If you're interested in having something made for your 2015 wedding, please don't hesitate to get in touch.  We can discuss designs via e-mail (as many of these brides did), or you can visit my home studio in Norfolk, where we can look together at ready made pieces and all of my pretty beads, to develop your own personal design.  It's not expensive to have bespoke jewellery made for your wedding but it can make you feel really special!

I'm now in the process of developing jewellery collections for next year and I'm using these pieces as a starting point for the designs, with plans for matching necklaces and earrings.  I'd really love to know which of these is your favourite and if you could leave a comment to let me know, it would so helpful!

Thank you!


Monday, 8 September 2014

Monday Makes: Lilac Bridal Comb

I love colour.  And I love it when brides decide to inject some life into their bridal attire with a little  colour, whether they go for vibrant, splashes of bright shades, or muted, subtle hues, it always shows a little daring and a lot of personality.

There are many ways to do this.  Some of the easiest are coloured wedding shoes (or even wellies), a showy umbrella, or my current favourite, a bright and cheerful cardigan!  Of course, all of these can be hidden when you want to go for the traditional bridal look, but some brides prefer to be a little more creative.  Our bride Sally got in touch after she'd seen our English Country Garden Headdress on Twitter.  Unfortunately this was a one-off vintage creation that had already sold (a bitter-sweet moment, it was and still is, one of my favourite pieces).  However, Sally came over to the studio so that she could see my collection of colourful brooches and vintage flowers, in the hope that we could recreate a similar design for her upcoming wedding.

One of my favourite vintage designs, image courtesy of Amy Lewin Photography

Sally explained that she wasn't just going for colourful accessories, but a bespoke lilac bridal gown too!  She wanted something to match this and decided that the flowers might not be the right way to go.  Like many, many brides, she was drawn to our Vintage Inspired Bridal Comb.   

By coming to the studio she was able to try our sample, check it fitted in her hair and gain an idea of size.  It ticked all the boxes but it needed some colour!  This is where having your accessories handmade, but a small business, really has its benefits.  We talked about the shades in Sally's dress and I was able to show her the pearls I already had in my (rather large) stock that I thought would match.  We picked out Swarovksi Crystal Pearls in Mauve as a perfect match and so the ever popular design had a little transformation!

The cool lilac tones work really well with the silver and I was really pleased with the result.  Sally commissioned some co-ordinating earrings, finished with the Swarovski white pearl, to complete the look.

And after the wedding she send us a picture of how she styled the comb in this beautiful updo!  I've seen some front shots on twitter too, and believe me, she looked amazing!  

Whether you go for bright colours or something more subtle, using colour is a great way to add some individuality and personality to your wedding day.   If you'd like to commission a bespoke piece (just like Sally) don't hesitate to get in touch.  I welcome visits to the studio and I'm happy to send out colour samples of pearls and crystals so that you can have a perfect match to your wedding colours/theme.  

Congratulations Sally!


Thursday, 4 September 2014

10 Ways With Washi Tape

A little update...

In the run up to having a baby it's inevitable that you will google almost everything.  From how to swaddle a baby (like a fajita apparently) to whether sausage fingers and stretch marks will disappear after birth (sausage fingers will, but stretch marks we're stuck with).  And when you do this, you nearly always end up on Mumsnet.  Even Mr. Morgan started a conversation last week with  the words, 'You know when you google something about the baby and then end up scanning the mumsnet forums?'  Hmmm, not sure I know of many men who admit to browsing Mumsnet, but I did have to smile at myself, at least by his admission he was googling things about the baby, so he must care!  On my most recent visit to the site, I found that a trending topic was a 'bucket list' of things to do before your baby is born.  Sounded interesting, so I read on.  Most of the things we'd thought of and made sure we'd done, like date nights and short breaks.  Some replies went in for a 'let's scare those naive first time mums' with stories of how you need to enjoy a hot cup of tea now before a toddler takes even this small luxury away from your life!  One of them struck a chord though, and it was the suggestion that in the run up to the arrival it's a good idea to get crafting!

Obviously I love to make and create but even combs and hairpins can lose their shine when you have deadlines to meet.  Making something for yourself, with no pressure, and having the satisfaction of saying, 'I did this,' is really wonderful.  With this in mind I have a few little projects I'd like to get started on, some for the baby, some for me and a few just well, just because.

And this is where my new series of crafting blog posts come in.  They may not always be about jewellery, but I like to think of this blog as a meeting place for my business and personal interests - which are more often than not creative pursuits.  My business has its foundations in craft, so I'm not going to make anymore excuses, just make, and then write about it!

Washi tape was something of a mystery to me when I was first introduced to it by a fellow crafter.  Erm... why would you want coloured masking tape?  Isn't the idea of using sticky tape when wrapping things that you can't see it?  The perfectionist in me thought this was just too messy and not at all something that would take off!

But then I was looking out for something to seal the tissue paper wrap on my jewellery orders. Printed stickers were becoming expensive, and I came back to washi tape, bought some and voila!  It did the job perfectly and prettily!  Faced with several rolls of the stuff I started to explore Pinterest for some more ideas and to my surprise found, that if used in the right way, washi tape really could be of some use!

So here's my first craft post, dedicated to the wonderful washi stuff!  After months of searching for ideas I've picked out my ten favourite washi tape projects.  Most of them are simple and really effective, one or two may be a bit wacky!  This week I'm going to try a few of them out and update you with my results on the next crafty post, so please don't forget to stop by again!

1. Pegs

Really simple, buy some wooden pegs and add a strip of tape along the side.  I'm not sure I have the patience to washi up my whole peg bag but these would look wonderful if you attached a magnet strip to the back and used them as noteholders on the fridge.  They'd make a lovely gift too.

2. Glass Bottles

This one uses a wide washi tape as well as small strips, that I've seen in some craft shops and in abundance on etsy.  A simple whip around with tape and tie of string and you have a pretty stylish table decoration, perfect for your dining room or a relaxed wedding.

3. Mini Bunting

I love this and it has so many uses.  Decorate cards and gift bags, or add to various sized cakes for instant cuteness.  If you're great at baking but not so good with sugar paste then it's a winning idea. 

4. Bicycle 

I imagine this is cheaper than a profesional spray and it will certainly be a talking point.  Not so good if you don't like to stand out and I'm not sure how it would hold up in the rain.

5. Colourful Cords

This is definetly one I will be trying (if only to keep Mr. M off my phone charger).  It's a simple way to brighten up such a mundane object.

6. Greetings Cards

I'm not a fan of too much tweeness on homemade cards (some I've seen are shocking) but washi tape enables you to create such stunning effects so simply.  Here they've used simple strips and a pen to turn make candles, genius!

7. Tealights

Again, something simple, made ultra pretty with a little wrap of tape.  I put tealights in my homemade Christmas crackers this year, and I wish I'd thought of this.  Turns an inexpensive item into a lovely gift and would be great as wedding favours or decoration.

8. Gift Wrap

Much like the cards.  Here just three strips and a doodle make a cake.  How wonderful!

9. Keys

A super idea, especially if your keys all look the same!

10. Pencils

Ahhh, who can't love a pretty pencil?  Another cheap gift/stocking filler idea.  Ideal if you're a teacher looking for unique class gifts, or for party bags!

All images have been collected, with thanks, from Pinterest.  For links to the original sites that are not provided here, please see the Melissa Morgan Design's Pinterest Board 'Things to do with Washi Tape.'  You'll find a few extra ideas there too!

Thank you for reading!


Monday, 1 September 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Bridal Comb

A little update...

So we had a break from our Monday Makes posts last week.  It was the Bank Holiday and there has been so much to do.  If you follow us on facebook or have read our other posts, you'll know that Mr. Morgan and I are expecting our first baby.  Well, I'm now over 38 weeks pregnant and it could be any day now!  It's all exciting stuff and I guess I imagined that by now everything would be organised, calm and serene, that days would be spent lazily supping tea on the sofa with my feet up and a good book.  Of course, life isn't like that and I'm sure all mothers will tell you that those last few weeks are anything but serene!  In our house all energy is being pumped into completing the decoration of our hallway.  It's been a hard and long job but the end is in sight - a good thing of course, when the nursery beckons!  We now have just a little bit of painting left and a carpet to be fitted but we couldn't have got this far without the tremendous efforts of our wonderful family who have turned up to help strip doors, hold ladders and paint walls!  We really have been blessed.  Last Monday was one of those days when family members came along and got stuck in for the day.  I had some combs to finish and then joined in with painting and providing food for our merry workers.  It really wouldn't have been fair to sit and blog, so I decided a week off was for the best.  Whether there will be a Monday Makes post next week, I have no idea!  Anything could happen in the next seven days.  But I know I'm enjoying writing them, and having just one regular post a week is helping me to focus on the blog and I hope to start fitting in some more themed/regular posts in the upcoming months, to really get things rolling.  I hope you're enjoying these little insights into my making too!

This week is all about our bride Chloe's bespoke comb.  Chloe came to visit the studio a few months ago looking for a comb.  Like so many brides before her, she really loved our vintage inspired pearl and diamante comb.  I always love it when brides pick up this piece, because it was one of the designs I put together.  It's also available with Swarovski crystals in place of the pearls, although I don't have a great photo yet, this was the version that Chloe really liked as she didn't want pearls, just lots of lovely sparkle!

Chloe was drawn to many of the pieces made with the navette (or 'little leaves' as some of my brides like to call them) shaped diamante stones and asked for a piece that was along the lines of the original comb but with navettes instead of so many round stones.  I love working with the navettes and couldn't wait to get started.  It took a couple of attempts but I was really pleased with the final design:

I'm sure you'll agree that Chloe made a truly beautiful bride, and I was so thrilled when she took the time to send over a little collage of wedding images so soon after her wedding.  She was a bank holiday bride, so whilst we were getting covered in paint and dust, Chloe was busy looking stunning!  

Congratulations Chloe!  We wish you all the best for your married life!

If you'd like to purchase your own Chloe Comb, it's now available here.


Monday, 18 August 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Bridal Headdress

This week's make has to be one of my favourites of 2014 (although having said that, I've been blessed with some amazing clients, with wonderful ideas this year, so my favourite does tend to change on a daily basis). 

 I first met bride-to-be Bec at the King's Lynn Wedding Festival last year, where she showed me a picture of something she liked but wasn't quite sure if it was exactly the right thing for her wedding.  She wanted a design that would make an impact but still remain pretty, and was pleased to have met somebody who would be willing to try and put all her ideas together.

I soon heard from Bec again and we arranged a consultation in my home studio.  She bought along an amazingly enthusiastic friend and their energy for wedding planning was really infectitious.  Anyone planning a wedding needs a friend like Bec's!  I can find consultations just as intimidating as brides (what if you don't like my things?  What if you think my house is a mess?  etc. etc.)  So to have two beaming ladies awing and ahhing over all the pearls and sparkle, was really lovely.  It made me realise how lucky I am to have this little job, working with pretty things all day and being able to make people smile, sometimes when I'm tired and busy, I forget that feeling!

The first photo of the completed design, before the ribbon was added

Bec still liked the image she had first shown me, but she wanted more sparkle and really loved the impact of our vintage inspired headdress, so we worked on a design that could incorporate both looks.  We opted for white Swarovski pearls to co-ordinate with her dress, handwired to make flower shapes, with the diamante navettes of our original design and some clusters of smaller pearls, as both ladies liked the use of these in some of our other pieces.

The final design, wrapped with brunette ribbon

The final design was wrapped in a brunnette ribbon so that it would blend seamlessly with Bec's beautiful dark hair.  We were so thrilled when she sent us this beautiful image, not long after the big day.  Doesn't she look amazing, and so happy? 

Bec and her husband on their wedding day

If you'd like to see a few more pictures of Bec's wedding and headdress, head over to her talented photographer's facebook page Craig Jacob Photography


Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday Makes: Bespoke Acorn Necklaces

The best bit of running Melissa Morgan Designs is making bespoke pieces for brides.  I love make things that ladies can't find anywhere else, that are personal to them, their style or their theme.

Last year Karla came to me, as she was looking for bridesmaid necklaces that would be personal to each of her maids and incorporate her gorgeous autumnal wedding theme.

Karla sent me several images of necklaces she liked, but none had all the elements she wanted.  Through many e-mails we came up with a design made up of a pearl acorn, oak leaf charm and a hand stamped, initial all in suitably seasonal gold tones.

We kept the necklaces personal by choosing Swarovski Crytstal pearls in three different gold/copper tones, so that each bridesmaid had her own bespoke piece.

The look was finished with co-ordinating stud earrings, made with Swarovski pearls and and gold filled findings.  These beautiful necklaces suited Karla's theme perfectly but also gave the bridesmaids a gift that was personal, original and that can be worn again and again.

If you like these pieces, and you'd like to see more of Karla's beautifully styled wedding, head over the Katherine Ashdown Photography's Facebook Page where you can find Karla's Storyboard - tons of heavenly autumn themed special touches!


Monday, 4 August 2014

Six Monthly Reflections

It seems like an age ago since I sat down in January and wrote about my big plans for 2014.  One of them was keeping the blog up to date and so I thought, why not start with a post about all I'd like to achieve this year and kill two birds with one stone?  Plus, by writing them all down and publishing them, it felt like a commitment to making sure I stuck to my personal promises.

Well, little did I know that the universe had other plans for us in 2014!  Just 6 days after publishing the post I discovered that a mini-person was taking up residency in my body!  Very exciting of course, but also completely terrifying.

The last 7 months have been an  interesting journey.  Luckily I avoided morning sickness, but January and February left me feeling exhausted and during the following months I suffered horrendous muscular pains meaning I was unable to sleep for many nights.  It's been hard to get my head around everything I set out to do.
We now have 6 weeks(ish) to go!  I'm getting tired again, and quite understandably the plans I made in January seem like a distant dream.  I'm hoping to use some of my maternity leave to build MMD up a little bit more, so I thought it might be a worthwhile exercise to go through my post again, for my own piece of mind and to evaluate the year we've had so far.

Our 'resolutions' revisited...

Set targets for sales, monitor these and react appropriately

It all began with good intentions... I set targets and recorded sales accurately for January, March and April.  It was a useful exercise as over the Christmas period I'd read an article entitled 'How to get a sale a day online' for some tips, only to find we already did average a sale a day!  Tiredness and work commitments have stopped me from smashing these targets, but to know I was already further ahead than I thought was a wonderful pick me up.  I probably should start this again!

Keep the blog up to date

Erm... we had a little flurry of posts in April, but other than that it's been quiet!  Luckily I have been given a new lease of inspiration from the fabulous Mollie Makes Blogging magazine that I took away last week.  That little notebook is rammed full of post ideas and schedules for the coming weeks, let's hope it works!

Increase our number of facebook likes

We've reached over 1700 likes, and I'm really happy with that!  There are some new ideas coming together to make the facebook page really worthwhile for our likers, so do come and say hi!

Create 'collections'

Another promise that's halfway there.  We have some beautiful new comb designs that are nearly ready and the bridal and bridesmaid jewellery collections are on their way.  With the birth of baby Morgan soon to be upon us, I've had to say no to a few bespoke requests, freeing up some time to work on the collections, at last! 

Learn new skills

In March I managed to get to Silver Pebble's fabulous silver clay workshop and you can read about what I got up to here.  Next up is pearl knotting!  Outside the world of jewellery I've also been trying out some other crafts that I hope to blog about soon. 

Read more

I've taken to reading a few monthly craft and jewellery magazines and it's unbelievably rewarding!  Each time I flick through the pages I'm filled with inspiration for new pieces, packaging and general business ideas, as well as finding out lots of new suppliers, blogs and craft shops.  Will definitely be keeping this up!

Don't let the 'bad guys' get me down! 

They're still out there - watching them get grumpy is fun!

So there they are, my six monthly reflections.  It has felt good to go through them, discover what I'm yet to do this year and what I've achieved already.  Thank you for indulging me!

Melissa xx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Real Wedding: Liz and Dale

A Fete Themed Family Wedding! 

I'm over the moon today to be able to share with you our first ever real wedding post!  All of the real weddings we hope to feature will be of days where Melissa Morgan Designs has had a tiny bit of input, but as well as this, I want to share with you weddings that can be an inspiration for your own celebrations.  Today's wedding is one of those such occasions.  I know from speaking to Liz (the beautiful bride) that a LOT of hard work went into planning this event, but also a LOT of love too, after all, weddings are special occasions where family and friends come together to celebrate the love of two people they cherish dearly.

A wedding at home is a task to undertake, but Liz and Dale did a sterling job of creating a fun, relaxed atmosphere with an abundance of original and home made touches.  I'll hand over to Liz to tell you more...

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

'I had always vowed that I was never going to get married but then low and behold, I met Mr. Jupp (Dale).  We had talked about getting married years ago and then we were actually planning a white chapel wedding.  We had even mentioned it to friends and family so that they could start saving to come and join us, when the shocking news came that I was pregnant! Thirteen years and two kids later and we still hadn't tied the knot.  To be honest, I wasn't that worried either, however, I knew that if we ever were going to get married, exactly how I would want it to be...

Photos Courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

...Luckily, when we moved, our new garden enabled us to bring my dream to life, and it all just came together naturally.  It was our wedding day but we wanted to make it a day of special family and friends, without any formality.  Most of all we wanted it to be great fun and to give everybody a bloody good knees up!  

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography
The marquee was full of straw bails alongside the tables, there was bunting, lot of bunting, apple bobbing, a coconut shy, hook a duck, retro sweets for the kids and coloured popcorn (it drove my sister almost insane working out how to make it coloured)!  We found the perfect marquee and decided on jacket potato company Juicy Jackets for our catering.  They were brilliant! 

Photo courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography 

 We felt so overwhelmed and humbled throughout the whole process, with the generosity of family and friends.  It was definetly a joint effort, and homemade.   My sister became wedding crazed, we held bunting making days, Dale's aunt worked wonders with dried flowers and made my bouquet.   For music, Dale's dad, uncle and our son Finlay, played at the wedding and then our friends, The Buccaneers, played later on in the evening.  

Photos courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

 The two days leading up to the wedding were perfect.  We had a house and garden full of family and friends slogging away to put it all together. I can honestly say that Friday evening, seeing it all done and ready, was very emotional.  It had turned into something much more than we had envisaged, all with the help, support and love of family and friends.'

Photo courtesy of Dan Gelder Photography

In Liz's write-up she also mentioned that she 'always knew' I would make her jewellery!  This was such a lovely comment to read, and so here's the bit where I share what I made for Liz!  Liz managed to source an absolutely stunning vintage brooch, with the word 'Mrs' detailed in marcasite stones.  I took her ideas and added a a pretty rim of crystal and pearl, then put together a co-ordinating, vintage inspired necklace and a pair of static pearl earrings.  

Liz has been a firm supporter of Melissa Morgan Designs since she first found out about my little venture into the craft/wedding business and sent many brides my way before her own big day.  I'm not going to apologise for the outright soppiness of this part of the post - I want to use it to say a big THANK YOU to Liz for all of her support, and to let her know it was an honour to be able to add something to this amazing wedding! 

Congratulations Liz and Dale, we wish you many, many years of happiness together!


Photo Courtesy of Dan Gelder Photograhy