This one will be the most memorable yet for me as it marks the debut of my very first jewellery design.
It's been a very long time in the planning, lots of meetings, sketching, ideas, back to the drawing board again and again, plenty of learning curves and massive support from the team involved. My heart is racing just at the thought of revealing it on Tuesday!
I'll be able to share the story with you during the show but I just wanted to give you a little background about it here first. Many of you know I have a deep love for Wales. It was a 'love at first sight' feeling. Every time I visit I feel it's a bit like going through the wardrobe in 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'. Magical. I've always loved languages and learning about their origins and the culture from which they hail. Wales, for me, is like opening up the biggest book of fairytales and legends and having song and poetry burst, living, from every page!
Ok, so I think you can see I have a passion for Wales and all of its beauty…this, combined with my love of art, design and jewellery, brought about a very emotional attachment to the Clogau jewellery collection. The quality is beautiful, the pieces are always weighty and polished to the highest gloss but they are also the future heirlooms for my family. The rarity of the Welsh gold from the Clogau gold mine makes it exceptionally collectible as there's only a finite supply currently mined and it's unknown if the mine will be reopened any time soon, or even how much gold would be left.
I was beyond excited when I was first approached well over a year ago by Clogau and QVC about creating a piece for the collection. I understand very well how fiercely protective the Welsh are of their heritage and preserving it.
So, for me, with excitement came great responsibility to get it just right in terms of paying homage to the culture, the magic of Wales and the quality that jewellery collectors the world over have come to expect from Clogau.
I began sketching… little did I know that my first attempts, although nice to look at, would be extremely hard to manufacture. Also, they'd have been extremely expensive to produce and I wanted to make my piece accessible and not out of reach. So, gorgeous Clogau designer Samantha Roberts came from Wales to meet with me to help me put my ideas onto paper. Sam is a member of the family-run business and is a pleasure to work with.
I explained the sentimentality behind the piece; that I wanted to incorporate a heart design, something which nods back to the infinity of Celtic designs but has its own softer side, and how art deco and/or art nouveau influences were important to me as I wanted to bring some of myself to the piece in terms of what I enjoy in artistry. Most important to me was bringing a daffodil into the design.
The daffodil is, of course, a tribute to the Welsh heritage of the brand and my way of paying respect to the country which has inspired me on so many levels. It also means a lot more to me on a very personal level. My father was the first man to ever give me flowers. They were a bunch of daffodils from his garden when I was a toddler. Ever since then I have adored them. They are sunny and bright. They hold the promise of springtime and new life and are strong against the, sometimes, cruel elements into which they emerge. A couple of years ago when the snow was really bad I spotted a little Marie Curie 'field of flowers'. The little hopeful buds were raising their heads to the skies even in those harsh conditions. I call them nature's optimists.
Above is my dad with my son Tom about 20 years go, and a toddly me with some daffs!
My father sadly passed away when I was in my mid-twenties but daffodils always make me think of him.
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A very dear friend of mine, Carol, lost her battle to cancer four years ago. The daffodils remind me of all the good work Marie Curie does for those who are struggling with the effects of cancer. Incorporating this majestic flower into the design meant a lot to me and I wanted it to resonate with others who may sometimes forget their own beauty and strength. Roses often steal the limelight yet those beautiful daffodils quietly stand, resilient against the odds, with radiant positivity perhaps showing us a valuable lesson. Keep strong, tackle what you face with hope in your heart and an unbending optimism that the future will be brighter.
Goodness me, I do get carried away…I hope you've managed to read this far! I really hope you like the design and can tune in to see it live with me on Tuesday at 9pm.
The whole day is about jewellery and we will be featuring lots of hot brands such as Lola Rose, Skagen and an amazing Links of London Today's special Value, and exciting new brand Bajalia. It's a day worth tuning in for as there will be some real treats and surprises for you.
You'll also be able to eavesdrop on myself and some of the other female presenters as we shared afternoon tea discussing jewellery. This was all filmed and here's a sneaky peek or two from behind the scenes. I ate soooo many little cakes! Oopsie!
So, whether you're window shopping or buying a special treat on Tuesday I hope you enjoy this jewellery day, as it's going to be glorious.
Lots of love,