I’m going to be on the telly!


I am thrilled, delighted and very excited to, at last, go public that I will be a finalist on Channel 4’s Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas TV show on the 20th of December at 5pm! I have had to hold my social media tongue for what seems like forever!

It was way back in June 2018, I first saw a post on Facebook, looking for ‘fantastic crafters’ to take part in the Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas television programme. If you’ve not seen it before, it’s when Kirstie Allsop (from shows like Location, Location, Location) presents a series of programmes on the run up to Christmas, to find the best crafter in a number of Christmas-themed categories. There’s the best cake, best jumper, best decorated tree, best gift.  You get the picture.

I thought this sounded just up my street and definitely worth a stab at. I’ve run many Christmas-themed mosaic classes in previous years, my most popular being a mosaic Christmas tree design, and I was keen to explore a new Christmassy item to mosaic and this was the kick up the proverbial arse that I needed! I studied the various competition categories, working out how my craft would fit and opted for a Rachel Shilston twist on the traditional wreath. I sent my application in, accompanied by a photo of a very quick mock-up of the idea that was in my head, to help the production team visualise exactly what I was banging on about.

About 10 days after I’d applied and a month before the competition closing date, I had a phone call from the production team to discuss my idea - it seemed they liked the idea and thought Kirstie would like it too! They asked lots of questions about how I would go about creating it and whether I could do it in the allotted time. They also asked more about my design and about me, but it was still early days, so I was unsure if I’d been successful or not. Then about a week after the closing date, I had another phone call just to check my availability during September and October. It was still not definite that I had got through, it was simply to see if ‘hypothetically’ I could fit into their filming schedules. Of course, I agreed to anything they said - I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by!

On the 31st of August I got a call from Glasgow, the home of Raise the Roof Productions and the team behind the programme. I was in the studio at the time, where the mobile signal is a little bit hit and miss, so I dashed outside to hear better. They were pleased to announce that me, little old Rachel Shilston, had got through and was a finalist for Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas!  I was so chuffed - I was literally doing a crazy, happy dance in the car park at work. (I would say that people thought I was mad, but they are so used to me doing odd things....I’m thinking, in particular, of the time I took delivery of a giant pig and rhino to paint for a couple of art trails, so my crazy behaviour has actually become quite the norm for the people who work in the same building as me.)

I was soooooo excited but now things had just got serious, if I was going to be featured on national telly I had better get organised!  I’ll let you know what happened following this exciting call in my next blog!

Stay tuned!

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