Victoria: Flowers from the Farm weekend; A trip to Organic Blooms

O R G A N I C B L O O M S

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I think I was very lucky one evening scrolling on Instagram, I managed to get myself two tickets to organic blooms for their opening for ‘flowers from the farm’ . This sold out within a matter of minutes as it was exclusively offered to just 40 people over the weekend. So, with some quick clicking action I booked for two, got very excited and then forgot all about it, as this was back in February. So when the day came around to go, I was totally unprepared for the generosity of Organic Blooms and the fabulously inspiring day they were to put on. What a treat!
’Flowers from the Farm’ are a network of farmers and smallholders who have come together to promote locally grown cut flowers and the glories of British cut flowers countrywide. Organic Blooms is one such farm who opened their doors to showcase their work, to inspire and spread the word for British grown flowers.

Organic Blooms is a Cut- flower farm just outside Bristol, they farm using sustainable methods and are organic certified by the Soil Association. They don’t supply trade but instead provide flowers for weddings and events, bouquets can be ordered online and they also supply Able and Cole - an online organic supermarket. They offer lots of teaching and workshops on the site if you want to get hands on with flower arranging and cut your own flowers as part of the experience or are looking to get started with a horticultural project of your own.
Organic blooms are a social enterprise with their main customer being the mental health sector - “At Organic Blooms we believe that we provide the environment, the expertise, and the inspiration to enable people to achieve their potential and to overcome barriers that they face when considering training and work.” It is so true! They have a lovely set up, which I imagine helps all sorts of people…who will benefit from getting outside, being around the beauty of nature and working with their hands. There is no doubt that this is what we all need. Nature can teach us so many lessons for life…about growth, beauty, individuality, seasons, slow living and more…

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Tour: The day began with a tour of the site, including the new field with new Poly- tunnels. I loved discovering ‘bells of Ireland’ - what an amazing plant; I loved the structure of it and as they dried they were these wonderful white stems with bells! It will be an aim of mine now to grow some of these at home! My second favourite discovery was the Amaranthus- which Organic Blooms were growing in a few varieties and I love, love, love the colours which are just so amazing! Both Helen and I used them in our bouquets later. I was impressed by the Phlox - I had the Creme Brulee variety in my wedding flowers, I tried to grow some this year but they did not survive the attack of slugs I suffered. The Echinacea also was very eye catching! In fact I really loved it all so definitely one up to British flowers …they are beautiful, wild and whimsical.

The tour was very inspiring, firstly just to be around beautiful flowers and in the countryside, but also because there was an atmosphere of being un-precious and the whole thing felt accessible. Wendy, Gill and Louise all shared their knowledge and although I am NOT a gardener I was very comfortable- in fact I have only this spring really had a go at planting in our garden after Rich and me cleared it last year to start again. The garden never really felt like ours and we didn’t really look after it. I have plans for it to be a wild and natural mix of country flowers and grasses- I’ve got my Pinterest board started. I have planted a border and one long planter box so far, with mixed results! But I am very inspired now to include some flowering perennials that I can cut from, some herbs that I can use for cooking and for their foliage if I want to make up a posy for home, plus using herbs gives the added benefit of wonderful smells!

Potting and Cuttings:
Our morning was spend, after the tour learning about taking cuttings and re-potting. We were let lose in one of the poly-tunnels with all the herbs. I did cuttings of rosemary and re-potted chamomile, dill and oregano- all of which we were able to take home…so my herb collection has started! How amazing to be shown and given the opportunity to get some hands-on learning, especially for someone like me who has never done it before…well of-course I have re-potted but not for the same growing purposes. Organic Bloom grow all their flowers from seed in plug-trays and then re-pot before they are planted in the ground. This slow process of loving and caring for your plants from seed seems to me to be a very rewarding process. I got straight online when I was home and started looking for seeds of the plants I liked- next spring I am going to give the process a go! What a great way to practice slow living.

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Flower bouquets: The afternoon was a chance to learn some floristry skills from resident florist and co-owner Wendy, pick our own flowers and make up a bouquet. Well I was just overwhelmed, and the freedom to choose your own flowers was such a treat! of-course at most workshops there has to be some amount of limiting to the array of flowers supplied.
My bouquet was slightly wild and dried, I love the straw flowers of the Helichrysum and using them fresh means their stems are strong enough to have in a bouquet. I added Enchinacea but pulled off the petals taking advice from Gill so that I could use the striking orange middle- which can also be dried. The Amaranthus went in along with some grasses, Yarrow and other foliage. I can’t say I did a perfect spiral bouquet but creativity took over ....I know I got over-excited to see it all come together so technique fell to the side slightly. I love working with flowers and find myself wanting to be unconventional, but more importantly something that incorporated all that I had seen in the field and loved! Helen’s bouquet was utterly stunning and again used the Amaranthus to its best, picking out the old-rose-coloured and finding other antique coloured flowers. Every single bouquet created was different and that is the joy with flowers…nothing in nature is the same.

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So I would recommend a visit to anyone who loves flowers! There will be an open day in September you can look out for or check out their workshops

The most important aspects for me was that these creative days out are just so rewarding and really allow you ‘time out. I would stress that you don’t have to be looking to be the next big talent or set up a business or to be searching for a career- just try to be open to new experiences and put yourself at the core of the experience- make your choices about you, let creativity flow in whatever way it comes to you ( like me with my slightly odd bouquet) and don’t worry about judgement, perfection or any of those things.
In my own events I really want to make the strong connection that I feel there is between being creative and practising mindfulness and alternately having a positive effect on our well-being. I aim to teach and run workshops in a way that gives structure but allows you to connect to your flow.


Victoria: An at home Retreat with State of Liberty

A N A T H O M E R E T R E A T W E E K E N D

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This retreat is an at home retreat meaning that I have scheduled time off from everything else to do this retreat at home and on my own. The retreat includes online resources that you use throughout the day following a schedule so you don’t have to plan and think, its all been worked out for you. I was also posted a pamper kit and recipe cards for all the lovely food. This is a seasonal product so I am doing the Summer retreat and all the components are designed for this season. This is with special thanks to Lizzie- State of Liberty.

My word for the retreat, was ENCOURAGEMENT. I have joined the retreat as I want to take time for me …to ‘encourage’ me to prioritise the things that I need for the life I desire. I also want to explore and experience more of this for myself- being on the receiving end rather than giving.
My Intention: I am looking to come away with energy, an increased interest and the vision for how I can work these practices and rituals into my daily life. The retreat itself is encouraging because you are following a plan, there is support and you have everything you need - so no excuses! I have also made the decision to share this experience so it, in-turn can hopefully give ‘encouragement’ to others in some way to celebrate self-care and taking time for yourself.
The words from the morning mediation that have stuck with me are:
‘Be here in the stillness of your own beautiful presence’
Why is resting not always thought of as this? it should be! We all need rest, our weekends are meant for it and its ok to do nothing sometimes, because we aren’t doing nothing- we are resting and being.

The first journal writing exercise asks me about my Values…have you done this recently? My words for summarising my values were Mindfulness, Connection, Creativity and Enjoyment ( enjoyment- meaning a focusing on me finding more joy!) although there are other words that really resonate with me that I want to share: Growth- because there is always room to grow through grounding and/or flourishing. Community- because togetherness is really important to me and community feels like support. Wisdom- because we all have wisdom to share, a very strong belief of mine!. Passion- because this is too often shut down by others. Passion is not about love or sex and being passionate about something has nothing to do with talent or skill. We all need to be more passionate. Kindness - because this is the first thing we should show all people we meet and is so often forgotten.

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The Food: The retreat included recipe cards for the whole weekend. I have recently been experimenting a bit with my food intake and, not forcefully but intentionally aiming to cut carbs. For a few reasons: 1. I am fuelled by new knowledge (anyone else watched the Paleo way?) 2. I am continuously conscious of my pot belly- I know I am a healthy size 10 and have nothing to worry about but it is still a feeling and thought that I give too much time too 3. Friends and family are also exploring Keto diets and I have been witnessing some of the affects. …so, I have never dieted and never intent to but looking at what we put into our bodies is so important to our health. I am even more encouraged by the retreat to continue to explore this and I love the new recipes I now have. At some point soon I will also share my own carb-free bread recipe with you- there is a plan!

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Pamper Kit: The retreat package comes with a beautifully boxed kit with organic ingredients to make a face mask, body scrub, bath mix and a massage oil. I needed to bathe in the morning so I treated myself to the face mask and bath mix and then in the evening I used the scrub and massage oil to wind down and pamper before the bedtime yoga and mediation sessions. I love that time is created by the kit itself as you put together the ingredients to make each part of pamper session…so you can mindfully mix your clay face in a pretty bowl while running your bath and breathing in the essential oils.

The second morning yoga was more energetic and the meditation focused on the connection we have with our presence. The mediation talked through presence: ‘our constant awareness that is always there and always has been…your inner knowledge & knowing…your guide…but so often it gets drowned out by noise (of our mind- thoughts)’ I really love that Lizzy said “breathing and stillness are the gateway to your natural presence- simply, naturally, YOU” how lovely is that! I really try to connect to my intuition, trusting decisions I make and not over-thinking, going with your first instinctive choice because there will be a reason and inner knowing that draw you to it. Practice this with all small choices you have to make whether it is choosing supper from a menu, buying an item for your home.. I try to convey this message at my own events as I believe that through creativity we can make this connection- when we are able to experience ‘being in flow’ we don’t question our choices of colour, material, composition and the outcome is always better for it and the experience is so much more personal.

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The second journal writing exercise asked us to write about Gratitude, this practice helps us to put our challenges into perspective, it also helps us to feel happy as we focus on the positive aspects of our lives. I am going to share mine here: I am Grateful for My loving husband, Our beautiful home, My family and wonderful friends (new and old!), I am also grateful that I have creativity, passion, opportunities to explore, inner knowledge and an appetite to learn- i have lots of interests. I have good health and I feel secure and supported. Wow writing this makes life sound amazing and this is the point of the task, yes we all have problems, worries, insecurities but we also have all this positiveness too. Finally I am going to say once more how well timed this retreat was for me and how many dots it has allowed me to join up with where I am at this moment. Thanks again to Lizzy and if you fancy an at home retreat, check out State of Liberty.

I have two gatherings up on the website one on 7th September called ‘Keep growing’ and one on the 26th October called ‘stay connected’ I hope that you might be able to join and find some creativity for your own well being. View and Book HERE

Gather event: Bloom & Flourish

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

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On Sat 23rd of June we hosted our second Gathering with the theme of ‘Bloom and Flourish’ This was inspired by the summer season and focused on self-expression and self-confidence. All our ladies left blooming! which in-turn allows them to flourish. This gathering was key for continuing to explore the concept of Creativity for Well-being, which is forming the basis of these gatherings.

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A creative gathering for kinship- Collaboration

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

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Kay of kinship gatherings has been a friend of ours for some time, after visiting our Clevedon shop all those years ago while visiting her parents back in her home country of the North Somerset. So, when she asked us to collaborate on another gathering we of course said yes! After closing our shop we could no longer be a host to the event but so glad we could provide a seasonal mini workshop for gathered guests to enjoy on the night.

Mini workshop | foraged and dried flower arrangements in small vintage containers

I am just finding my way post closing the shop and found it really lovely to be able to share my own creativity for the evening but sharing a passion of mine for dried flowers. A tiring but exciting collaboration that i feel very grateful for - Victoria

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Crafting tasters at Court House Farm & Gardens

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

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The weekend of the 4th & 5th May saw us crafting for all ages in a beautiful marquee surrounded by the flourishing spring gardens at Court House Farm. We crafted with pressed foliage clay makes, ink observational drawing and mono printing to take 5 (or more) minutes to enjoy the beauty of the spring garden’s flowers & foliage, all the flowers, foliage and leaves were picked from the gardens at Court Farm.

Gather event: Creativity for well-being

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

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Creativity for Well-being was our first gather event on Saturday 23rd March in the beautiful light filled rooms at Sunhill House, Clevedon. A three hour session in the morning or afternoon could be enjoyed by a larger group of like-minded souls. We hosted 3 mini-workshops for attending to work there way through…1. Hand-painted mindful repeat patterns to personal a journal cover, plus some journal starting tips to take away by Victoria. 2. A macrame key ring making mini- workshop with Liv to showcase the joy working with your hands and following a meditative process. 3. Moss balls with beautiful variegated ferns with Stephanie, to bring that -all-important-bit of nature into the home. The morning was enjoyed by 24 attendees and was filled with activity plus of-course homemade cake & herbal teas.

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March: Saturday workshops

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

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Our aim when starting the year was to bring you a place to ‘gather and create’ we liked the idea of one space that hosted all our workshops under one roof….to create a buzzing atmosphere of creativity, to gather like-minded folk and to be able to start to bring some beautiful seasonal styling & themes to our events.
March saw in our first such event, we are calling these our ‘Saturday workshops’ as they are a continuation from the workshops we have previously hosted. We have organised one a month until June, bringing you the contemporary craft workshops we love!

We are using St John’s hall in Clevedon, which is centrally located and a bit of a blank background to satisfy our need to style and dress a space!. It is actually a really quaint and beautiful space…we chose it for all those details, from the rustic wooden trestle tables, the vintage green china and all the window seals for our bottle collection!!

It was so lovely to see a husband and wife attending different workshops highlighting how special hosting multiple workshops under one roof can be.

March Workshops: Terrariums with Stephanie, Paper cutting with Sarah and Hoop weaving with LIv

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A new chapter: Hopes and wishes

G A T H E R A N D C R E A T E

This is going to be a year of transformation for us, as we embrace change and slowly work towards a business that feels right for us, at this time in our lives. We are aiming to work at a slower pace, with more space for personal creativity, well-being and time with our growing families. After making the heart -breaking decision to close the doors of our shop & studio on Alexandra Road, Clevedon we have spent January reflecting on our time at Alexandra road, lessons learnt and looking closely at what we really loved about it.

The doors of Nineteen on Alexandra Road may be closed but Nineteen will continue!

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Our new chapter of Nineteen is going to be all about ‘gather & create‘
These two words are going to be our focus and lead all that we do in 2019.
Gather is important to us as we have loved that over the past five years we have been able to bring together people. Whether it was the variety of makers we collaborated with or the like-minded customers and workshop attendees we met and bought together. Gather is about bringing together people in one place, by setting the surrounding and the activity, Nineteen hopes its gathered guests can enjoy each other, make new friends, and discover their own creativity with us . . .
Gather for us is also about the coming together of things as well as people. We feel that we honed this skill at Alexandra Road, curating our own shop daily, pulling items together to inspire. We will continue to gather things we feel are important to add to the experience of a space, create a mood . . . We look forward to bringing you beautifully styled surroundings as an important element to promote creativity and well-being.
Finally Gather for us is about getting all the right elements to do something creative together and in our often busy lives this can be hard, this is where we step in and do that for you. . . . bringing you thoughtful creative craft activities

Create is such a beautiful word for us, that we aim to live by it, a life without creativity is not one we can comprehend. We love to make, create and visualise. During our time on Alexandra road we have enjoyed helping with the vision of commercial products, styling, sharing our ideas & inspiration, as well as designing workshops, teaching and hosting them. We hope to create inspirational workshops and events for everyone.

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what it looks like so far…

We want to offer all the contemporary and creative workshops that were held in our studio so we have organised these for you and well, for us! We will be collaborating with fellow creatives and teaching ourselves.

COMING SOON…
We will relaunch our online shop: Gathered and Created by us

Victoria and Becky | Nineteen

5 Years of 19 at Alexandra Road

We decided after a short break at Christmas that we wanted to move on from the shop at Alexandra Road. This was not an easy decision for many reasons. but one that felt right, putting ourselves first and creating time and space to explore some other ideas, working towards a life with more balance and with more focus on our growing families.

Although for the time being the interiors side of the business is on pause (some discussions are taking place in the background) we are looking back on our time at Alexandra Road with fond memories of what we created.
In the near future we will re-launch our online shop but for now we are taking a little break…. and will leave it like this:

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Our bricks and mortar shop is now closed but it ‘s not the end of Nineteen
If you loved our Artisan look then please get in contact with us for interior projects: styling, sourcing or furniture painting.
Let’s chat….