Monday, 31 October 2011

Kirstie's Handmade Britain: A man called Tony made a paper PC out of maps of Wales

Could anyone other than Kirstie Allsop pull off a programme about crafting?

Kirstie's Handmade Britain is like a perfect storm made of paper and card - the sudden coming-together of various threads all at the right time, and no doubt delighting Britain's crafting hobbyists, perhaps still society's most invisible underclass.

The dedication people devote to this world is clear, and Kirstie's celebratory approach is difficult to resist.

Especially when she's faced with a computer keyboard and monitor MADE ENTIRELY FROM PAPER MAPS OF WALES.

Where else would you see this tribute to the modern age presented in paper form, and in all its hand-made crafting glory? In some ways it may be just the tv-hug the country needs.


Kirstie's taken the audience trust she's built up over years of doing property shows and has developed a reputation as a no-nonsense, self-aware woman who likes an Aga, home made decorations and the occasional winter coat with oversize novelty buttons.

She also appeals to those busy, metropolitan thirty-something city-based mums who think they want to move to the country and turn hobbies into business.

Kirstie is living that dream, and like any newcomer she's doing her best to get involved.

Kirstie's taking part in crafting competitions at agriculture shows, and by meeting Kirstie's rivals, we get to see the cut-throat world that is crafting, and this week it's paper-sculpting - and Kirstie's out to win.

'A renaissance'

Kirstie says crafting is enjoying a renaissance, and driving her Range Rover, she's having a great old time zooming around the countryside.

Her rural Devon home, Meadowgate (its refurbishment documented in Kirstie's Homemade Home), forms the backdrop to scenes of her learning various crafts with the help of experts, ahead of entering said fare in competitions at county shows around Britain.

This week she's up against Tony, another entrant in the Royal Welsh Show and the man behind that paper PC - but as it turned out he didn't win, and to add to his pain the paper PC ended up squashed.

Kirstie means business though - she even contemplated nicking a rosette to impress her four-year-old son, after failing to win anything too; particularly galling after winning the Afternoon Tea competition the previous week back in Devon.

'Modern approach'

Kirstie's self-described "modern approach" to her entry in the embroidered greeting card category, which she hoped would "catch the judges' eye", failed miserably.

"I liked it," sniffed the judge, perhaps wanting to send a message about Kirstie's apparent 'London ways' - modern approach indeed - "but it looked like a young person had done it."

Next time, Kirstie's at the Great Yorkshire Show, and learning about needlecraft and machine embroidery.

"The crack cocaine of needlework," says Kirstie, showing off those London ways again.

Gawd luv ya Kirst, but perhaps you need to curb that sort of thing if you really want to win at this countryside lark.

You can take the girl out of the city but you can't take the city out of the girl.

1 comment:

  1. Your Kirsties homemade home collections are very nice.I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.