Monday, 29 October 2012

Campbell's Calendar - A Photo Shoot and Happy Holidays!

Hello all!  I'm back from a week's R&R 

So I'm putting together my new weekly round up a little later than last week. It's a funny thing running your own business - it's only after you stop for a short while that you realise just how hard you've been working. Don't get me wrong - I'm sure all you regular readers out there know how passionate I am and how much I absolutely love what I'm doing, but a few days without any Internet access has been a bit of a 'work/life balance' wake-up call.

I need to make some changes and work out how to get the best from each day - more time management than anything really drastic ... I'll let you know how I get on over the coming months. I'm not promising a magic formula, but if I find things which work for me - I'll pass them on!

Anyway, here's what I got up to last week:


Earlier in the week I'd been asked by a national magazine to make up a set of designs which needed to be delivered to an address in London for 9.00 am on Monday morning - the whole request was simultaneously exciting, nerve-racking and terrifying!
So Sunday I made up my designs, and then whizzed down to stay overnight in Hertfordshire with my best friend, Lou.

I can't show you the final designs for the shoot, but I can tell you that they featured this lovely limonium!


Was the big day - I left Lou's house at 6.30 am (allowing two-and-a-half hours for a 30 mile journey!!). After the sat nav taking me in various directions (into the congestion charge zone - not sure might have a fine on the way, sadly) I finally arrived at my destination, exhausted, at 9.30 am! I'll just express that slightly differently - three hours for thirty miles! That's an awful 10 miles an hour!!!!

Having said all of that, my contact was completely lovely, really grateful to see me and adored my flowers! So all was good. I set the sat nav for 'God's own County' and headed for home!

Once home, Ally and I (with lots of help from M) packed up the car and headed off to the cottage we'd booked for the week in North Yorkshire, just outside Pickering. It was just us two, with the hounds for a couple of days. M & Izz were to join us mid-way through the week.  Our cottage, on a working farm, was gorgeous - just the right side of comfy, cosy but practical too.

Home-made lemon cake greeted us! 

I promise the chrysanthemums weren't mine!

The view from the front door

And a bit further! 

My bathroom, which was just lovely


After taking the dogs for a walk in a paddock full of horses (the hounds were very curious), Ally and I went into Pickering and mooched around a gorgeous flea market full of vintage loveliness and then imagined a shoot on the gorgeous station platform amidst the romantic steam engines - lovely!

In the afternoon we drove to Scarborough singing Scarborough Fair, pretty much all the way there! We took the dogs to the beach for a run (Lily whippet just loved it - it was her first encounter with the sea!).

An hearty, but yummy breakfast before our trip to Pickering

Ally on a foggy Scarborough beach (no dogs in sight - think they're in the sea!)


Popped back into Pickering to a cafe with WiFi as I needed to order flowers for Joan & Jim's wedding - more about them soon.

Then to the stunningly beautiful Mallyan Spout across the moors (this time singing Kate Bush's 'Wuthering Heights'!) - a sudden fog created even more atmosphere and was a bit scary, but really worth the journey.

Back at the cottage Ally was absolutely determined to get the fire going - which she did! Bliss! We then had a proper girly pampering session - lovely!

Clambering over the rocks was worth it ...


... and again

Fire lighting

So lovely and cosy


To Whitby for Fortune's smoke house, kippers, breakfast, the beach and jet! A really wonderful day and I treated myself to these earrings which combine two of my most favourite things!

Such a fab little cafe/tea room (and the hounds were welcome too)

Sooo good!


Having packed up we all headed to an amazing farm shop for a full English and then back to Scarborough for one last blast on the beach before heading home, very happy.


Up early to the market to collect all my flowers for the wedding, get all the conditioning done and then a consultation with a really lovely Bride, based in London, (who found me through the post I wrote for Love My Dress).

A really fab week - I'm refreshed and ready to put a few new ideas and plans into operation. Watch this space lovelies!

Up soon on the blog - Jim and Joan and Women of Steel ... exciting!


Monday, 22 October 2012

Lovely Lace - Wedding Dress Gorgeousness for 2013

Hello all, as you know I pretty much always post about flowers. Now, I'm not planning on branching out or diversifying, but I've noticed over the last couple of months how my readership has really started to grow and so thought I might try a few posts which are still related to our lovely biz, but not directly related to flowers.  Today I bring you a really gorgeous Wedding Dresses trend for 2013 that I recently noticed - lace sleeves.

I would have loved this trend when I got married a couple of years ago.  As a more mature bride, I (perhaps unnecessarily) had a bit of a thing about the tops of my arms.  Although I loved my dress, I really wanted something with just a bit of extra reassurance to wear over it and after much searching found a sweet little transparent silk georgette shrug type affair which I was really happy with. I do think having been given the choice though, I'd have chosen something from some of these fabulous designs.  Feast your eyes!

Loving the flowery corsage detail to synch-in the waist

A little more drama in this  House of Herrera gown, but beautiful lace sleeves featuring a pelpum too!

Boho gorgeousness from Ruche

1920's inspired gown by Ruche

I hope these few images have provided some inspiration - I just can't believe the choice there is available - totally fab!

Back to flowery blogging later in the week!

'til then, if you have any beautiful photos of you in your wedding gown on your day - email me them and I'll write a little feature about all you gorgeous brides! If you're looking for ideas for wedding flowers then click on the link and pop over to our website or download our lovely style guide Inspire.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Campbell's Calendar - The weekly musings of a florist

Hello all and welcome to my new regular weekend post.  A few weeks ago I was thinking about how much happens at Campbell's HQ and how I don't always get a chance to update my facebook page or my website.  So I thought it might be fun to run a regular feature for all you lovely loyal followers, looking back on the week, with maybe the odd musing thrown in for good measure.

This week was a cracking week.  Absolutely heaps happened so here goes:-

Sunday (I'm an old-fashioned girl and think the week begins here!)

Went to a demonstration with the very fabulous Jonathon Moseley who designs with perhaps a little more bling than I do, but had some really gorgeous ideas which I loved. It's the wonderful thing about floristry, you can be a totally different designer but can still really appreciate and draw inspiration from lovely work. I did take a couple of snaps of him during the dem, but he was in mid-sentence and I'm not sure he'd thank me for posting them!  I also bumped into the uber-stylish Amanda, an ex-student of mine, who once gave me one of the nicest Christmas presents I've ever been given.  I still have it and use it every day!

Here's one of my fave designs using lovely heather and masses of roses:-


Saw us all up ridiculously early and off to Kelham Island Museum for our 'Women of Steel' shoot (click on the link to find out the whole story). We were blessed with fantastic weather and the most amazing team - I absolutely love putting shoots together they give us a chance to do things that might not be to everyone's taste, but do give us the chance to push the boundaries and show the extent of our creativity.

Here's a couple of preview shots taken by the fabulous Jess Petrie


Unsurprisingly, we had a bit of a slow start on Tuesday after the shoot. As always, there was plenty to do though in writing a blog post, thanking all the contributors, returning all the goodies we had borrowed, planning the PR and taking a few quick snaps of the bouquets.  I also received an incredibly exciting email from one of the national magazines asking for us to design some flowers for a shoot in London!  More on that next week!


Having popped into see my lovely friend Amy from Pure Enough the day before, I unwrapped a box full of goodies she had given me - knowing my love of 'found' objects. So many beautiful things - one of which is this gorgeous Sheffield plate tea set, which I just can't wait to use!

Here it is full of adorable British grown anemones from the fabulous James at Clowance

I also had a consultation with the very beautiful Nora who, in one of those strange twists of fate started chatting about how she liked the flowers she had seen on my facebook page  but had a photo on her phone of a design she really liked and could I make something similar? Imagine my surprise when I realised it was one of my designs! Some things are just meant to be! Here it is courtesy of Cat Hepple Photography

... the great news is that Nora has booked me for her wedding in early January 2013, so I get to use this design as inspiration, but am making it in a completely different colourway!  Exciting!

I also attended my first ever webinar with the amazing Alicia Cowan on how to unlock your Twitter brilliance - it was fantastic and I can't wait to use some of her tips.  In fact, I already have and I'm not sure about me being brilliant, but the advice really was!


A businesswoman's networking lunch was on the cards for me today - and what a fantastic group of women I had the pleasure of meeting. Much inspiration to be had here and I think there might even be the added bonus of a few new friends too (not to mention lots of business leads!).

We rounded off the day with a consultation with Debs and James who are getting married in September next year.   We had to ask James to take a seat in the other room while we discussed Debs' gown. I soon discovered we share the same sense of humour when she teased him unmercilessly about how we were co-ordinating flower to match magenta pink with flashing fairy lights sewn into the hem!  I do hope they book as their flowers were lovely and I just know they will be such a laugh to work with!


An early visit to the market, then off to my beloved Netwalking run by the very fabulous Faye Smith - it combines a (brisk!) walk through Endcliffe Park up to Forge Dam and back with some very relaxed networking amongst friendly lovely people.  If you're a new biz in Sheffy I couldn't recommend it more highly!  It was their 1st birthday, so much fun and rather too much cake was had by all!

A sneak peek at this gorgeous limonium I'm using!


Catching up and getting organised! Lots of quotations to get, oh and my very first consultation which didn't turn up, its never happened before so not sure what to think!  : (

Off on hols next week - have a cottage booked in North Yorkshire, near Pickering. Next week's round-up might just be full of whippet and flower pics!

Anyway lovelies, 'til then - have a great week


PS: Any articles, features, posts or any topics you'd like me to feature - let me know and I'll be happy to oblige!


My poor bride had completely forgotten her appointment, having had a manic week (I told her not to worry, it's not like I haven't done the same!). She's re-booked - yay! Faith restored!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Women of Steel - A Preview

I'm so excited I can hardly type this post up! Yesterday I got together with some truly amazing industry professionals (yes, I know everyone says this, but this isn't me being uncharacteristically sycophantic - I absolutely mean every word!) for a collaborative shoot called 'Women of Steel'.

Some while back I had this idea that I wanted to put together a shoot which was pretty much the opposite of my very natural, pared-down,  Best of British shoot which admittedly was a bit of a reaction against over-styled shoots.

My latest project was to be entitled 'Women of Steel' and be set against an industrial backdrop, celebrating Sheffield's proud heritage in designing and producing cutlery since 1297.  I did a bit of research and then remembered my two girls coming home from Junior school with tales of the 'Buffer Girls' - which led me to think about the role women played not only in the cutlery industry, but also how they'd worked in heavy industry during the war years.  The period and styling just had to be late 40's - early 50's!  So I put together a few mood boards ....

Make up inspiration - Gorgeous red lippy and strong brows 

Hair inspiration - Victory rolls and/or soft feminine curls 

General style inspiration

Model - inspiration - Strong, confident shapes

Fabulous poses

I then thought about using local jewellers who work with vintage and antique cutlery made in Sheffield, fashioning them into all manner of lovely pieces such as rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings and thought why not incorporate them into my designs? The bouquets could feature cutlery too!

The Famous Sheffield Shop were amazing and provided me with all kinds of wonderful pieces for the shoot, both old and new, all made here in Sheffield.  Here are some of my designs, which once again used all British grown flowers from the very generous James at Clowance and Rachel from Hollow Meadows :-

Gorgeous bright yellows and lemons in a vintage pewter tankard made here in Sheffield

The matching bouquet featured antique Sheffield knives my Grandmother gave me

A lovely bright, bold bouquet in clashing colours - perfect for our period

The 'bright' bouquet featured Sheffield stainless steel forks

Gorgeous Autumnal hydrangea

Which featured two stainless steel spoon and a ring made from an antique silver spoon by a local jeweller and artist, Lynn Denton 

My hydrangea heart - always makes me think of my Bampa who grew hydrangea in abundance

A really soft, meadowy bouquet in a 'just picked' style

which concealed three stainless steel desert spoons, nestled in the centre!

A couple of little wrist corsages made onto gorgeous bangles fashioned from antique forks by a local jeweller, Mary Mitchell

And last, but by no means least, we were lent this fabulous '50's tea service
So, back to yesterday. Well, it went incredibly well. In fact, better than I ever imagined and I have a seriously long list of people to thank, who happily, willingly and, displaying an incredible amount of professionalism and creativity, gave up their day to be part of the shoot.  I am so grateful.

Here's the very fabulous Victoria Farr keeping one of our models, G, looking her best on set ...

And a very special couple of preview shots taken yesterday by our amazing photographer Jess Petrie

Original vintage gowns and original accessories are courtesy of Hayley from the exquisitely beautiful Glory Days in York and the location is the fantastic historic Kelham Island Museum, where you can now get married!

I seriously can't wait to see the finished pictures - it was such a fab day with such lovely people.  MASSIVE thanks to all who helped and participated - they are:-

Photography                           -   Jess Petrie
Hair & Make Up                      -   Victoria Farr
Gowns & Accessories             -   Glory Days
Props & Jewellery                   -   The Famous Sheffield Shop
Location                                 -   Kelham Island Museum (thanks to Richard and Sharon)
PR                                         -   Sophie Colgate
Models                                   -   Alice Lindley
                                             -   Georgia Symonds
Flowers                                 -    James from Clowance
                                             -   Rachel Dyson at Hollow Meadows
Cutlery Jewellery                    -    Lynn Denton & Mary Mitchell available from
                                                 The Famous Sheffield Shop
Floral Designs & Concept        -    Me!