Reflecting on a wonderful 2017

Can you believe it’s nearly Xmas!

December each year seems to be a time that I reflect back and celebrate the amazing pieces that have been commissioned. It is no different this year.

My design capabilities have been really tested in 2017, as I have had the most challenging of jewellery makes and ‘make overs’ with many clients choosing to entrust us with their precious and memorable gemstones. It can be a daunting proposal for many designers to be given a brief which uses pre-existing stones, rather than supplying new ones, but I love the concept of creating a new setting for much loved gems. As I have often said, you can put a monetary value on what may have been your mother’s diamond or your grandmother’s emerald with the diamonds from her brooch, but the emotional value they possess should never be underestimated. It is very valuable for different reasons and is way above their replacement dollar value.

So throughout 2017, PIKE has made some of the most beautiful items, and it is humbling to think that you, our clients, have chosen to support us and in turn let us pursue our quest for innovative design and supreme quality workmanship. I want to say thank you as I know during the process you trust us with your brief and we never underestimate the leap of faith you take as we share the journey towards the creation of a chosen piece.

I gain the utmost pleasure from sitting with you and beginning the process of design, as complicated or as simple as it may be. To then have the honour of making up the design for you is a thrill our team never tire of. Matthew’s craftsmanship is able to bring my drawing to life and his talent for making and translating my sketch is truly awesome. Then Heidi’s contact with you, her collation of details for the valuation and expert photography completes the process. Her work allows us to record accurate data and permanent visual images. All of this time, Helen oversees the smooth running of the necessary ‘behind the scenes work’ and Lou completes the story by adding the wonderful process to our PIKE newsletter, print advertising and social media. It’s very much a group effort, with every facet of the journey covered, and I want to thank them all for their fantastic work this year.

I find it staggering when I think of just how many pieces I have been responsible for over the past forty-four years and I know most of them are still treasured to this day. This is an overwhelming thought for me as at the young age of fifteen I took a chance and began a career which I had no idea would turn out this way. I wasn’t to know that many of my dreams would become reality and that my profession would allow me to do things I could never have imagined. The support I have had, and still have, from my wife Helen, my beautiful kids and extended family has propelled me to a level that I am in awe of. And importantly it has not come easily, but the rewards are abundant. How fortunate I am.

This time of the year is all about family and it is lovely season for young children and I am very blessed to have six grandchildren.

Christmas Day as I remember from my early years was always a very long day. Getting up way too early to feel and shake the presents before Mum and Dad got up, waiting for the moment to have the ‘gift reveal’ and then after that lots to eat with family, and even some relations that you didn’t see very often. My cousins were spread throughout Australia so it was lovely when we got a chance to catch up. Nevertheless it was exhausting!

So that Christmas is never boring and to make our get-togethers more fun, and particularly whilst the kids are young, I have tried to put together games and things for them to do on the day. Not all of the games are totally original, but never-the-less they are heaps of fun, or so the kids have said.

Three games which are terrific are – Xmas Memory Lane, Pin the Red Nose on Rudolph (or the nose on Santa) and Xmas Present Wrap Relay.

Briefly, Xmas Memory Lane is simply choosing about 20 items from around the house, arranging them on a tray, and letting the kids view them for about 1 – 2 minutes, depending on how hard you want to make it, then getting them to write the items they remember on a piece of paper (young ones may need an adult to help them write the items down) and the winner is the one with the most correct items. A little surprise for the winners is essential.

Pin the nose on Rudolph or Santa etc. is dead easy. You need a drawing of either (or both), covered in clear adhesive film or laminated, attach the drawing to a plain wall at kid’s height, and cut out some red noses. Add some double-sided tape or blu-tac to the back of the nose, blindfold the child and after a couple of spins point them in the direction of the image. They win when they get the nose close to the spot it’s meant to be. Great fun and laughter with ‘you’re getting hot or you’re not’ and you won’t believe where some of the noses end up. This is so much fun, and not only for the kids.

Finally Xmas Present Relay because as you are aware Xmas is all about presents!!

Choose teams of three or four members, and importantly the same number on each team. Begin with a small number of small boxes (up to shoe box size, in fact your local shoe store is often very happy to give you some), then wrapping paper preferably recycled and not torn and just big enough to cover the boxes, sticky tape and ribbon – and you are ready. Place members at each end of the room and off you go. One member of the team quickly wraps the box of choice and once completed runs to the other end, an adult member of the  ‘wrapping police’ will judge that the box meets the standard and then the next member of the team wraps their box and runs back to the other end. The same number of various size boxes is given to each team and the team to finish all the boxes is the winner. Badly torn paper or the box not entirely covered is considered a fail, so the team member has to do it again. Prizes are essential for the winners (and consolation prizes for the losers) or you may have a very unhappy crew!

In closing, I wish you all a safe, happy and memorable time this Christmas, and all the best for 2018.

By the way, we still have some of our beautiful silver leaf pendants from the Christmas Collection 2017 plus many more beautiful gift ideas for those last minute gifts so keep us in mind, we will open until and including all day Saturday 22nd December.

Love to you and your families

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