Time out, and time on TV – the life and times of a creative!

Have you ever been to the north Norfolk coastline? I was there last week with my left-hand man and husband Dave, the first time for either of us, and we rather fell in love with the place. Being February, and a cold one at that, the area felt pretty empty of people and cars, and it was really a time to just stand still for a while, and perhaps not smell the roses, but… the seaweed?!

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We had walks on the beach, admired the sunsets (lots of sky in Norfolk!) and explored the gorgeous towns, villages and nature reserves in the area. There was also a couple of days of pelting rain where we didn’t venture very far, but stayed cosy inside our little seaside cottage.

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While we were there I didn’t completely turn off from thinking about Warrillow Studio and my creative endeavours… I don’t think I can for long at any time! I started to think about the amazing variety of tasks and undertakings that happen in order to be a milliner. When I first started making fascinators 8 years ago, I had this sweet notion of making things and selling them. I didn’t think about where or who to, or about the photography, the branding, marketing, the bookkeeping! I wonder if I did know how much there was to learn, would I have dived right in?! But one thing led to another, which veered off in another direction and while I’m pretty sure I will be creating hats and headpieces in 1, 5 or 10 years time, who knows challenges and opportunities that may bring.

This week I was so fortunate to have the experience of going to be filmed for an episode of Crafty Beggars on the Community Channel. Presented by Julie Peasgood and Wendy Turner Webster, Crafty Beggars offers tips, inspiration, ideas and advice and is a wonderful, energetic programme for all lovers of handmade. The whole team are full of energy and enthusiasm even after really full days of non-stop filming and interviews… just being there for a short time was a whirlwind of an experience!

We had a time slot for our section to be filmed so we arrived in good time – the traffic was very kind to us! – and we were welcomed in by Patrick the production manager and had a chance to say hello to Wendy’s gorgeous rescue dog while the previous section was filmed. Then we were allowed to go downstairs to the basement studio! It was gorgeous, so bright and colourful, but with a row of cameras facing the set. I was suddenly very nervous! Maria the director talked to me about the best pieces to display and arranged a selection on the table, making sure everything looked just right for filming. Julie talked to me about what we would discuss and about and what my introduction would be, and Julie and Wendy each chose a headpiece to wear for filming. Tip for you ladies; if you’re going to be on the TV, wear a two piece! I had to put a microphone on, and a long denim dress is not easy to feed a microphone wire through, but luckily I was sitting down so you couldn’t see the skirt hitched up at the back. Always a learning curve, you see!!

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The production staff were talking about technical details, checking camera angles worked, that kind of thing and I heard six minutes and eight minutes mentioned. Then we were on! Eight minutes? Never! I know it’s one of my favourite subjects, talking about hat making and all the possibilities of sinamay, but the time just flew by and in what felt like seconds it was all over for my little segment. We headed home to leave the production team to work into the night fitting everything together.

When we were packing to go away I hadn’t even been aware this was going to happen, but the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it with both hands. From a seaside holiday, to five minutes of fame… what a week! I wonder what the next 7 days will bring…

For more information about Crafty Beggars visit their website at http://www.craftybeggars.tv/

Rachel WarrillowComment