Saturday, 1 June 2019

Cricket St Thomas, Somerset - Review



Today I was treated to a lovely afternoon out by my lovely friend Sam. I had never been to Cricket St Thomas before so had no idea how amazing this place was until today.

The house, the views and the food was amazing. I felt like I was at a wellness retreat the place was so amazingly peaceful I could have happily stayed there for days.

We had a wonderful afternoon tea which was so yummy. The service was good too. It had a selection of yummy sandwiches, scones and mini cakes. It was lacking a savory crunch element so we asked for some crisps too, classy! Hehe in our defence we were super hungry.


We then took a walk around the gardens which was just stunning. I was totally in awe of the amazing natural beauty of the place and how quiet and calm it was.


I can't wait to go back again now I know of it. It will be my go to escape place when I need to get out for a nature walk and some scrummy food. 



Saturday, 25 May 2019

Seaton's first 'Art in The Gardens' | Saturday 25th May 2019



Today was the first 'Art in The Gardens' event in Seaton, Devon. I wasn't able to exhibit today but instead i was able to enjoy it as a visitor with my two sons Finley and Reuben. Finley (nearly 7) is a keen artist and loves to look at art. He is very vocal about what he thinks, what he sees in the pictures and what he likes about them as i'm sure many of those exhibiting heard today!

After a morning walk around with the pups we went back over for a bit of outside art. We took our watercolours and we had an hour of painting in the sunshine. It was wonderful and i got to see lots of people wandering about the artists stalls. 



Apologies for the lack of photos but it isn't as easy to focus when i have the boys to watch. These photos were at 10am just after everyone had set up.

I really hope everyone enjoyed the day both exhibitors and visitors. It was fantastic to see such a wonderful array of art.

It was also lovely to see so many people up the top of town! If every day was like today my little art shop would certainly not be closing. It was the best day of the year so far for us!

If you would like to find out more about Art in The Gardens visit here 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Imagine Design Create, Seaton - A sad goodbye

It is with great sadness that i write this post but the time has come to announce the closure of Imagine Design Create Seaton's arts & crafts center.

After 5 fantastic years of serving the Seaton community and tourists i am heart broken to have to wind down my business but due to a combination of factors we just can't survive.

I did my best to save the shop and i honestly believed i could but things have gotten worse rather than better here on Queen Street and i received news yesterday that finally broke me.

I know many of you have questioned why i don't simply relocate my shop down closer to the seafront where more people would find me. The reason is i invested in Seaton when i moved here by purchasing the building that we live and work in. When we purchased it, Queen Street had a reasonable footfall with the post office just down the road, markets regularly over on Winsor Gardens and a real community feel to the place with other shops surrounding us. The post office closed, the markets moved to nearby Tesco and nearly all the other shops on the street have now gone. Queen Street is now a forgotten street full of mostly empty shops. The building i purchased is now not worth what i paid for it therefore i wouldn't be able to let / sell it and be able to re-invest in somewhere closer to the seafront.

When we moved here there were no other creative shops or businesses. Over the 5 years we have noticed a massive increase in galleries and crafty shops popping up in Seaton. This filled me with hope that maybe we would be able to survive because Seaton was becoming well known for being a creative little town. Unfortunately this hasn't happened.

Signage kept being promised to try and direct people up towards Queen Street, the signage put in place though doesn't work, it isn't clear enough, big enough or promoting the INDEPENDENTS enough. Many people I've spoken to have in fact said it is more confusing than helpful. I feel very let down to be honest as i know so much more could have been done to improve this area of town. If those with the power actually tried to, i do believe this area of town could have been saved but it is in a downward spiral.

Rising costs in running a business (staffing, utilities, stock, taxes etc) combined with a drastic decrease in footfall / takings has left me with no choice.

I want to personally thank everyone who has supported us over the years, it has truly been fantastic living and working here in Seaton. My sons love it here and i really hope that we will be able to stay here in some shape or form but i can't really say what will happen yet.

I am truly sorry to my lovely staff member Tracy who has worked for me now for a few years and many of you will know her well. She has become an amazing friend as well as staff member and i'm so sorry to have to let her down.

I'm also sorry to anyone who is going to miss out on getting their craft supplies here or who enjoyed coming here for our creative workshops. I do hope that i will be able to re-structure and offer art, yarn and some workshops but again i can't really say for sure yet as it very much depends how things go with the clearance as to if i will be able to afford to.

Hopefully this isn't a complete goodbye and i will of course continue to support and promote the businesses in Seaton and surrounding areas as i wish them all the luck in the world.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Supporting artists, hand crafters & local businesses - My art collection


Art is something I have always loved, I remember as a child declaring to my nanna that 'one day I want to be an artist' from the age of about 4. Life took a different path for me and I ended up working as a arts & crafts shop owner, product designer, craft demonstrator and craft teacher for over 10 years but I did complete my art & design degree at the same time as brining up my young sons. This year I vowed to push forward with my art and give myself time to learn and develop my skills and style. 

As well as loving creating art I also love collecting it. Not just paintings but hand crafted pieces too. As much as possible I source locally. Financially I am not at all well off, I am open enough to admit that as a lone parent brining up children, running a home on my own and trying to run a business isn't easy so I can't exactly go out and buy every piece I like. The pieces I do save up to buy or that get gifted to me do become extra special to me though. 

I thought I would share with you today my art collection: 


This piece I have owned for the longest, over 9 years now I think. It was a gift that I have treasured for many years. The artist is called Mandy Wilkinson. When I lived in Taunton a lot of her work as exhibited locally and this was a piece that caught my eye and I kept going back to see until I was surprised with it as a gift. 

The little owls by the clock were handmade by a local crafter from when I lived in Taunton too. The leather bound book resting there is a handcrafted piece I was gifted whilst on a trip to London. 


The main piece here is a mixed media piece by an artist I've admired for many years. Alison Board.I purchased it last year during Dorset Art Weeks when I visited her studio at Down End Farm. This piece prompted a whole room redecoration! 

The pieces of pottery in the centre are from a local antiques shop. I fell in love with them because of the leaf patterns at the front in the right shades for the room, then I found out they were Axe Vale pottery which made them more special for me as locally made. 


The two glass pieces here I purchased at a local fair only yesterday. Voltron Food & Garden festival. There were a fantastic range of stalls and I came across a stall owned by Jane Baker a glass artist trading as Maridadi Designs. These two pieces caught my eye and ended up coming home with me to decorate my newly painted room. 



This piece is by another favourite artist friend of mine. Sara Perry. I was lucky enough to get to know this lady when she lived locally. Unfortunately she has now moved away but I still have this beautiful commissioned piece up on display on my landing.


The most recent piece I was gifted, a very special person purchased it for me. It is this amazing piece by local artist Bob Bradshaw from the art gallery Grandpa's Gallery. 

I was looking for something completely different, for a completely different place in my home but this piece caught my eye and it is named 'Together' which just made me love it even more. After walking away from it I think it was obvious I loved it as within an hour later we were back and it was being purchased for me! It now has pride of place in my newly decorated living room. 


This piece I have owned for around 5 years now. It was a commissioned canvas made for me and gifted to me during a really tough time in my life. It has lyrics from one of my favourite songs, my lucky number and lots of symbols that have meaning to me. 

I still have many spaces left in my home that I would like to fill with artwork and handcrafted items. (There is a piece in a local gallery Usula that I will be going to get next week hopefully!) I love that every piece I own has its own story that I will remember.
I have never been one for owning things for the sake of it but the few things I do own all have meaning. Whether they were gifts or if I saved for months to get them they are all hand made / hand painted or locally sourced. 

If you are able please do buy handmade and shop local. Here in Devon we are so lucky to have many talented artists and crafters and I am sure that is the case nation wide. 

Saturday, 11 May 2019

NEW Shop now open in Seaton, Devon



Today was the grand opening of a new shop in Seaton 'The Emporium' 

Owner Rose Bunce has created a fantastic space full of local artizan products, Gin, Ciders & other interesting foods and drinks alongside gifts and home interior products. 


Available today was a selection of gins and chilli chutneys to taste. The place was packed full of people supporting this new business. Such a fantastic sight to see. 


I ended up purchasing a Chilli Ketchup, a perfect present for someone I know who loves Chilli's.


Rose will be offering a bespoke hamper service using the wide range of products on offer in the emporium. There are already a selection of hampers made up too. 

Please do pop in to see this fantastic new business in Fore Street and take a look around at all the other businesses in Seaton on Cross Street, Queen Street and Beer Road. There are so many fantastic shops to see now, Seaton is definitely on the up! 


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Blueberry Oat Muffins Recipe


I absolutely love blueberry muffins and wanted to find a way of being able to eat one of my favourite things without feeling too guilty.

This is the recipe I used to create these scrummy blueberry Oat muffins:

125g oats
125g flour
200g blueberries (frozen)
250ml milk
1tbs baking powder
2 tbs caster sugar
3 tbs vegetable oil
1 egg
Pinch salt

I chucked all the ingredients apart from the blueberries into a mixer and let them all mix together. Then I added the frozen blueberries to the mixture and stired with a spoon.
I portioned out into 9 muffin cases and baked in the oven for around 25 mins at 200c 

The above quantities made 9 muffins
According to an online calorie checker they are 189 calories each.

(I'm not a big fan of sweet things so for those who are you may want to tweak the above a little with extra sugar or some vanilla essence)

They tasted great, I have been having them this week instead of a breakfast bar together with a coffee and some strawberries.

Let me know if you give them a go!

Do you know of a creative teenager in the Seaton area?



Do you know a creative teen in Seaton?

I am looking at creating a 'creative youth network' project based around art in Seaton.

The idea would be to bring arty teens together on a regular basis to support them in their art style, help them with presentation ideas both physically and online, link them up with galleries for exhibitions and help them arrange stalls at local events where they could go on to sell their artwork etc.

A little about me.
I'm a mum of two who is passionate about creativity.
I have experience working as an LSA in a secondary school where I learned how important art and creative activities are to many teenagers.
I've been working in the creative industry for over 10 years now with experience in both craft and art. I have a range of art qualifications including an art degree and I'm currently working on a diploma in Botanical art.
I own Imagine Design Create Seaton's arts & Crafts centre.
Full DBS check.

If you think you know of a teenager who may benefit from a 'Creative Youth Network' here in Seaton please get in touch with me via email to kabriggs@hotmail.co.uk or popping in to see me at 30 Queen Street.

If you would like to get involved or support this project please also get in touch.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Winners of the Seaton Cultural Quarter Easter Egg Hunt



The great Seaton Cultural Quarter Easter Egg hunt has finished and we have selected the winner and two runners up.

The winner takes home the goodies above. Two selected runners up take home an egg each as pictured below. 




A big thanks to everyone who got involved, to all the businesses for allowing us to hide the eggs in their shops and for their kind donations of Easter treats and finally to Del of JCD for selecting the winners. (As pictured above)

The winner was Heidi Chilcott winning a fantastic bundle of Easter goodies and the two runners up were Evie Carrington and Josie Kinnaird each getting an Easter egg.

Rich and I will be in contact with the winners today to arrange collection of their goodies!

Monday, 22 April 2019

Seaton Wetlands - Monday 22nd April 2019


Seaton Wetlands, Monday 22nd April 2019

Today was my first visit to Seaton Wetlands, I can't believe in the years I've lived here that I've not been before! My boys have visited before with their school so had lots of things they wanted to show me.

The walk is beautiful, right from the carpark onwards. It has been made very accessible for all; wheelchairs, bikes, prams & scooters. 

The first area we visited was a lookout where you can sit and look out at the water it was truely beautiful. There were lots of people out enjoying the day but not many birds, that didn't bother us though because the views were stunning and there was plenty to see and do.


Reu loved reading about the birds on the information stand in the lookout. He told me all about some of the ones he had seen before. I was amazed at how much information he already knew that he had taken in from his previous visits with school.


We continued on and explored many areas of the wetlands, it was a truely wonderful walk. One thing I wish I had done was prepare a picnic as we could have made a full day of it exploring, instead we made do with just our drinks over the two hours we spent exploring.



I loved all the different pathways winding through. Every corner turned offered so much more to see.


The ponds were a big hit for the boys who loved looking in to see what they could find. We agreed next time to do the pond dipping (£2 to hire the equipment, I'll make sure I take cash next time) It was great that there were information posters up around to tell us what bugs and beasties were in the water.


We came across this cool beetle taking a stroll along the path too.


Another thing I will do next time is take my camera as the views were so amazing, they couldn't be captured to their full beauty with my phone. Hopefully we will be able to get some good photos of the birds and butterflies next time too!


If you haven't visited Seaton Wetlands yet I highly advise it. It is easy to get to, plenty of parking and makes a fantastic day out for all ages. Just remember to take drinks, snacks, some change and a camera! 

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Easter Sunday in Seaton, Devon



Easter Sunday in Seaton, Devon. 2019

Sometimes I forget how beautiful the town I live in is. How lucky I am to be able to walk out of my door and within minutes be able to see scenes such as these. 


Today I walked around, not for any particular reason. Just to be. 


It is such a beautiful day and there is so much to be thankful for.


If you can, I highly recommend getting outside and just walking around. There is beauty to be found everywhere.


Enjoy your Sunday. 

*All photos are copyrighted to Kerri-Ann Briggs*

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Bluebell Day at Holyford Woods | near Seaton, Devon



Bluebell Day at Holyford Woods 

Monday 6th May - 11am till 4pm

I was asked by the volunteers who take care of Holyford Woods to let you all know of the Bluebell Day happening at Holyford Woods in May. Now i will be honest and say that up until they came in to ask me i had no idea what Holyford Woods was and i've lived here in Seaton for 5 years now!

It turns out that as well as the Wetlands we have another fantastic wildlife and walking area on our doorstep! I plan to take my sons to visit it tomorrow (weather depending) so i will let you know how we get on and what it is like.

Information i found on their website:


"Holyford Woods is a beautiful, tranquil place nestled in a picturesque valley near Colyford in East Devon. A goyle or sunken stream (Holyford Brook) runs through the heart of the woods, feeding the Stafford Brook which then runs into the Axe Estuary.

It is one of the oldest, natural woods in existence in the UK, and is in fact England's 1000th Local Nature Reserve. The woods and the immediate surrounding area have been utilised by people for over a thousand years. However much of the woods has had minimal human interference in latter centuries, in terms of any felling or planting, so it is the perfect place to study the natural evolution of a woodland space, and associated wildlife benefits."

Holyford Woods is open to the public throughout the year and on Monday 6th May they will be celebrating the woods with an open day called Bluebell Day. There will be stalls, refreshments and Axe Vale & District conservation will be there for information too.

A free shuttle bus to Holyford is available from Colyford Village hall or parking is free.

Find out more here on their website.

See their Facebook page here 

If you do visit, please let them know that you read about it here and that Kerri-Ann sent you!

*Image from Holyford Woods website

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Seaton Easter Egg Hunt | Family Fun for 8th - 20th April



The prizes have started arriving from all the participanting businesses. This isn't even all of them yet but look how many yummy treats one of the lucky Easter Egg hunters will get! 


This Easter the businesses, shops and cafes in Seaton's Cultural Quarter have teamed up to run a family fun Easter Egg hunt.

It will take place from 8th April to the 20th April.

All you need to do to get involved is pick up an entry form from Savooni or Imagine Design Create then take a stroll around the town to find the Easter Egg pictures hiding in shops, cafes and businesses that have the above featured poster in their window. It is a FREE to enter activity so great entertainment for kids whilst you are getting your shopping done in town. Full information and details of how to enter are on the forms.

Once you have completed the Egg Hunt hand your form back into Savooni or Imagine Design Create to be in with a chance of winning the Easter Hamper jam packed with yummy goodies. We will be randomly selecting the winner from those who enter on 21st April and will award the prize soon after.

*This activity has been organised by volunteers from Seaton's Cultural Quarter businesses*

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Seaton improvements - What do you feel needs to be done? | Keep Seaton Tidy


I have been discussing with a local group of volunteers who have said they are willing to give up their time to do a walk around Seaton and aid in making improvements to areas in which they will be allowed. Obviously there will be restrictions on private land and private properties but even there we can offer our support and assistance to the owners.

The idea is that if you have a suggestion of something in Seaton that needs a little TLC for example a flower bed that need weeding, an area that needs cleaning or other suggestions then we will do our best to help if we can. The main focus is on Seaton town center, the area where we hope lots of visitors will be soon flocking to take a look around.

There is already a fantastic group who take care of the beach and run regular beach cleans so we of course will get involved and help them when we can too. If you want to get involved in a beach clean you will often find the sign and picker down by the seafront or you can take a bag along with you and pick up and bits and pieces that shouldn't be there and dispose of them in the bin.

If your suggestion refers to something we cannot immediately help with then we will do our best to get in touch with the relevant body for example the council or a property owner and will see what we can do.

So please bookmark this blog post and come back to it to leave a comment (this can be done anonymously if you wish) with any suggestions of where Seaton could do with a little TLC. You can also join our Facebook group here where you can load photos of anything in Seaton you feel could do with some TLC.

If you would like to join our little volunteer group then pop in and see Kerri-Ann at 30 Queen Street, email her on kabriggs@hotmail.co.uk or join our facebook group here. 

There is a website called 'Keep Britain Tidy' which offers support and advice so we will also look to link with this project and arrange a big Seaton clean!