Do you ever see something and then wonder if you could do it? Well, that’s exactly what I thought when I decided to apply to be on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.
It was during the heady summer days just a few months ago, when I came across a post on social media, shared by Handmade in Wester Ross, inviting people to take part in Kirstie's Handmade Christmas. I’d watched the show before but never contemplated the fact that I might be able to enter myself. They were still looking for competitors in a few different categories, including the advent calendar.
Since I started making candles, I’ve always liked the idea of making a wax advent calendar and so I filled out the form. I had nothing to lose; the worst that could happen was that I’d receive a ‘thank you, but no thank you’.
A couple of weeks later, I received the first of 3 calls from the production company. On that first call, they simply asked a few more questions about my idea, who I was and how it would work, so I didn’t really think anything more of it at this point. When I got a second call from them, I wondered if maybe there was a possibility I was in with a chance… and then I got a 3rd call to say congratulations, you have been selected! I couldn’t believe it!
I now had to transfer my idea from paper to reality, so a practice run was called for. I knew we would have 5 hours in the competition, but would I be able to complete it in that time? All I can say is thank goodness for trial runs... time for some fine tuning.
Before the day of making (for the competition), I was filmed at home doing what I ‘would normally do’… complete with Christmas baubles and festive look! As I said earlier, it was quite a warm summer this year… and as all this was top secret, I couldn’t risk any questions from small children as to why the Christmas decorations were down from the loft already! Thankfully, I managed to get away with it.
Filming for the competition was set for the beginning of October and I had to wear something festive. I decided to wear a (fluffy) red jumper… not the best choice in hindsight. Again, we had abnormal temperatures for October (24 C) and the room in which we filmed was really warm with all the lights, bodies and of course stress levels! To top it off, my jumper shed its fluff quite easily and I found myself having to pick bits of red jumper out of my wax creations throughout the day! I think the colour of my face probably matched the colour of my jumper for many reasons… BUT... I did manage to finish within the 5 hours, yippee!
I have to mention the décor for the competition, it was amazing. I love the smell of Christmas, it brings back so many childhood memories and I just loved being there. It was like a winter wonderland with trees, baubles, tinsel and lights everywhere. If you ever get that Christmas smell from tinsel and decorations, you’ll know what I mean.
I didn't win on the day but I think we were all winners simply for being there! Congratulations to the winner, My Blooming Day and to Wookie Cookie and Fubzo, my competition colleagues! It was a fantastic opportunity, I had a great time, I got to meet Kirstie Allsop and the team couldn’t have looked after us any better. An amazing experience all round and I urge you to grab these opportunities when they come up. If I can do it, anyone can. And good luck!