Monday 8 October 2012

Are you up for a challenge?

I mentioned last week that the new Artisan Whimsy website will have at least two blog posts a day, covering all manner of topics - materials, tools, sources of inspiration, tutorials, and giveaways and challenges too! Today is the first post of the UK Blog team, which, so far, is made up of Lesley Watt, Rebecca Anderson, Teresa Hulley, Pippa Chandler, Natalie McKenna, Claire Lockwood, Claire Braunbarth, Fiona MacNeil - and me! Our first post is a bit of an introduction to each of us (well, those of us who had joined the group before I wrote and scheduled the post last week!), and also a challenge.

We're all of us influenced by what we see around us, but can you be inspired by the places the UK Blog team live? Our blog post gives you a little bit of information about where we each live, and your challenge is to pick one of our home towns, do a little research and get designing! You do need to be a member of Artisan Whimsy to join in as we're asking that you post your creations on your profile page on the site on Monday 12th November, but it's quick and easy to join.

We're also offering a prize for each challenge location, so for example everyone who enters the Southampton challenge (my home town!) will be entered into a draw to win two of my clasps, one of my new butterflies and a lovebird clasp, both in oxidised copper.

So, what can I tell you about Southampton?

Southampton is the largest city in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. We're best known at the moment for Southampton Football Club (go Saints!) and for our docks - a large proportion of the goods exported from the UK pass through the Southampton Docks in massive container ships, and we also play host to many of the largest cruise ships in the world.

Our maritime history has international links. The Titanic set sail from Southampton on 10th April 1912. Four in five of the crew on board the vessel were Sotonians, with about a third of those who perished in the tragedy five days later coming from the city. Over 500 households in the city lost at least one family member. Three hundred years before the Titanic the Mayflower set off carrying the Pilgrim Fathers to their new home in what is now the USA.

Southampton is also home to the Spitfire, the greatest fighter plane ever built, and WWII hit the city hard as the Spitfire factory and the docks were bombed. A lot of the city was destroyed, but when the rebuilding started there was a lot of careful planning, which is one of the reasons that although we are a large city we have a lot of green spaces, with many local parks and Southampton Common which runs the length of the city right to the city centre. The area that we live in, Bitterne Park has quite a village feel to it, mainly due to the large park that runs along side the River Itchen, one of two rivers that runs through the city.

So, will you choose the romance of the Titanic as your inspiration? Or do you have relatives who went over the USA with the Pilgrim Fathers? Or maybe the Spitfire and Southampton's contribution to WWII will inspire you? Head over to the Artisan Whimsy website to see where the rest of the team live and what they are offering as prizes to tempt you!

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