A chance chain of events.....

January 15, 2013 at 12:16 PMCoombeMill

The original idea

I love it when a plan comes to fruition. I had an idea for Coombe Mill, I have a few, but I was clueless on how to bring this one to life. You know those seaside boards where you stick your face through and take a silly photo? I dreamed of a Coombe Mill version, but my drawing is woeful and as much as I tried, I couldn't get a decent animal photo to do this:

 

 Faces Board from Marwell Zoo

So the plan festered until:

A Chance e-mail

November last year, sitting in my inbox was an interesting email from Stead Illustrations, who had found my blog via the MADS web site asking if I would review his new self published children's book. I am quite selective over reviews but as the book was aimed at the young children and so a good match with Coombe Mill and I rather fancied a copy in reception for our holiday guests to borrow, I agreed. Furthermore I suddenly saw an artist who might just be able to bring my festering plan to life.  The review became a competition to win a signed copy of the lovely Ted Needs Some Space story together with a signed wall poster from the book and in return Tim Stead created this design for me.

1st Drawing from Tim Stead Illustrations for Coombe Mill

 

I was over the moon; it was just what I wanted. Next I had to find someone who could turn a sketch into a waterproof sturdy outdoor board.

 

I do love Twitter

Anyone who tweets will know I spend too much time there, however it is not all wasted! I remembered that    specialized in signage; Jason was only too happy to take on the challenge and thought he could source a durable printable plastic board to do the job. 

Problems Ahead

What none of us had really thought through was how big the head hole needed to be when the drawing scaled up. It just wasn't going to work with Tim's lovely design. I couldn't allow this to be the end of the line; I was on a roll with this plan now and determined to make it work.  I did the maths on the head hole size and approached Tim again with a revised brief to simplify the design and increase the head sizes. Farmer Nick with some animals hanging onto him was the idea. In just a couple of days Tim came back with this:

 2nd Drawing from Stead Illustratins for Coombe Mill Holidays

Having never met Nick I think he did a brilliant job. 

Over to Mr Giraffe

By now Tim and Jason from Giraffe Banners were in contact and the design was e-mailed across. Jason was equally efficient and kept me up to speed via tweeter and e-mail at every stage. Within a couple of weeks a special delivery turned up at Coombe Mill and we all excitedly peeled off the packaging and balanced the heavy board up on a small table to have a go!

 

Testing out our newly unpacked board

 

A bespoke mount was needed

I knew just the person to make a stand for my lovely new board, our very own Farmer Nick! A week in the shed sawing and drilling to his own special design with help from our eldest Ally and we were ready to go.

Farmer Nick's Bespoke Mount Design

 

Building a bespoke mount in Farmer Nick's Shed

 

The Final Reveal

After our trampoline loss I wasn't risking this baby being carried away in a storm and insisted Nick built a concrete platform to screw the stand into and also to enable little people to reach Farmer Nick! 


 The Finished Funny Faces Board

 

'Et voila' - It is now being used by our holiday makers as a fun snap of their farm holiday!

What about the original illustrations?

Tim filled in the faces for me and posted the original water colours which I have framed and proudly hung in my kitchen, though I have another place in mind for them in the future, yes another plan on the back burner!

 

Pictures in the Kitchen

 

I had the initial line drawings e-mailed which make perfect colouring in printable downloads as part of my kids education pages on the Coombe Mill web site.

 Line drawing of Coombe Mill2nd Line drawing

My kids have already enjoyed testing them out! Who would have thought so much would have come from a few tweets and a cold call to blog a book review? 

 

Clio colouring in a Coombe Mill printable drawing

 

As for the "Fabulous Four" aka Tim Stead, Jason Giraffe, Farmer Nick and Me, perhaps we should give Dragons Den a whirl with our new bespoke funny face boards! 

Disclosure

I paid to have the original water colours from Stead Illustrations and the board produced by Giraffe Banners, this is not a sponsored post I am just sharing the work they have done for me and I would totally recommend both businesses to anyone requiring illustrative work or signage.

Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.

Grab the badge & join the linky for outdoor fun Sat - Wed

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill

February 23, 2013 at 12:00 AMCoombeMill

We have gone on Holiday!

Even living in a holiday environment we still like to take a break when we have the chance. This week we have left the farm in the capable hands of Farmer Ted and Farmer Kym to take our week away "on tour" in Sussex, London and Buckinghamshire catching up with family. It makes a change for Nick and I from daily farm life and ensures we return full of enthusiasm and new ideas for the farm. For the children it is a chance to enjoy town life, catching up with cousins and friends and having Mum and Dad to themselves for a week.

One thing is for certain, you can take Country Kids to the town but you can't quite take the country spirit out of them. Climbing is in their nature, and if there are no suitable trees, well the park climbing frame, the side of a building, a statue or a lamppost become substitutes!

Climbing Country Kids in Town

The scooters, bikes and skate boards Grandma has accumulated in her garage are always put to use from the moment the kids jump out of the car from the long journey. The close is a perfect scooting ground as is the town skate park. Sorry kids we are not building a skate park at Coombe Mill, it will have to stay a holiday treat!  

 

Scooters and Skate Park

 

What no sand? Brighton beach has a Pier and pebbles, so different from the sand and surf in Cornwall yet perfect for a February Picnic. Of course it wasn't long before they were down at the water's edge playing dare against the waves. Needless to say the waves won and 6 soggy pairs of shoes and trouser bottoms trooped back towards the car.....

 

 Beach Picnic and Fun with the Waves

 but not before having a go in this one on Brighton Pier, if only to compare with ours!

 Brighton Pier

 

Negotiating London by car and tube to visit family and friends has been stressful at times, counting the children on and off the tube my least favourite part, but it was all worth for it some great days out together.

 

Family and Friends

 

The only casualty of the week was Clio who managed to break her arm on the first day scooting too fast at the park. she was very brave and we only took her to hospital as a precaution not thinking it was broken! If you look closely you will see her sling in all the photos here.

 

Clio with broken arm

Joining In with Country Kids

I hope you have had a fun half term week too with plenty of outdoor fun in the sunshine. Please do grab the badge and come and share here on the linky. Please try to pop over and see some of the other posts here as there are always some lovely ideas to inspire. Last week I was really taken with An Impromptu Adventure from Taming the Goblin, Finding Letters in Nature from Rachel and the lovely Muddy Puddle video from 2 of Everything.

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Please share our family farm holidays, I'd be so proud

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"Tales from the farmers wife" shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.

Grab the badge & join the linky for outdoor fun Sat - Wed

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Upcycling Linky, 1st Monday every month

WOW Toys

WOW’s toy filled Countdown Calendars have been created for children who are looking forward to a special forthcoming day or event in their young lives. Each comes with 10 toys so the fun never ends

Want to advertise?

If you think you have a relevant business that will be of benefit to the users of this site, Submit an Advert. All adverts are manually reviewed before they become visible on the site.


Submit Advert

Proud to have our Education pages developed with twinkl

Twinkl Primary School Resources

Official Forest Blogger

”Official
15% discount at Mai Tui with Coombe Mill

Best Family Friendly Travel Destination & Best Family Accommodation 2013 and 2014

UK Self Catering Holidays

Mumsnet Best Self Catering Holidays

Coombe Mill Holidays SBS Winner

Coombe Mill Holidays Winner 12.6.13

TOTS100 - UK Parent Blogs
TOTS100
Page Rank
Teads - Top Blogs - Parenting

Follow Coombe Mill

Coombe Mill Kids Perspective

Kids Perspective from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Kids Perspective from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Month List

mumsnet
Love All Blogs