Christmas came early for one Jedburgh trader after she realised her dream of appearing as a contestant on a popular television craft show.
Linda Lovatt, from Chesters near Jedburgh, not only starred on Kirstie Allsopp’s channel four show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas’ but was judged best in the festive wreath-making competition,on the programme, shown last night.
Owner of Jedburgh High Street’s Lovatt Gallery for the past five year, and Gallery in the Alley, just up the road for two before that, Linda was invited to apply for the show after being spotted by Kirstie’s team at a craft fair at Hampton Court, earlier this year.
She submitted a rough sketch of her design, entitled “Winter hedgerow” before television crews visiter her Jedburgh gallery and Chesters cottage ahead of the competition and filming, held in Devon.
The 49-year-old went up against three other artists and had just six hours to create a fully handmade and original Christmas wreath, under the watchful eye of Kirstie and celebrity florist and competition judge Larry Walshe.
“We had six hours to make our wreaths so it was a bit stressful,” she said. “But what an amazing experience and brilliant fun,”
“I have watched the programmes since they started five years ago and have always said I wanted to go on the show one day and that dream came true.”
The former children’s illustrator, who moved to Chesters from Shropshire 28 years ago, learnt to solder from her engineer husband Brian Falconer and uses broken crockery donated from local antique shops to create her copper and china-based designs.
Judge, Larry Walshe, said: “Immediately it draws your attention and I think there’s so much detail here with beautiful copper verdigris leaves which run throughout.
“I think that colour is so striking that it really makes you want to get up close and investigate, explore further and find out what all of these lovely little treasures are.”
And the knock-on effect from her appearance and “unexpected” win on the show has been felt right away. Linda added: “It’s been mental. My website has been inundated. It’s the first time I’ve had such promotion.
“I’ve done craft shows before, but have never had this response to my work before and there’s been huge interest in my monthly workshops too.”
Linda’s winning wreath can be seen in her shop window, and will be auctioned off for charity in the new year. Her trophy is taking “pride of place” on the mantel piece.
Bids for the wreath can be made by visiting the Lovatt Gallery page on Facebook.