Tragic and Devastating Loss


A Message from Rachel

The reason why it is me writing this time and not Sally, is that on the 31st May 2014 Sally died tragically in a car accident along with her daughter Ella and her best friend Abi Hone. Her husband Shane was seriously injured but is recovering.

Sally was my closest friend and business partner for the last 6 years.

At present I am in Germany, taking a break and working out where to go from here in my life without my dearest friend.

It has taken me until now to bring myself to write this message. My heart goes out to the Summerfield, Rumble and Hone families. I have no words for how I feel.

I would like to pay homage to my friend, soulmate and artist in the only way I know: visually. I will continue to seek out the beauty we shared together that sustained us through life’s challenging times. Sally will continue to be a huge inspiration to me in this quest.

Dear friend,
Thank you for the gift of yourself that you gave me. You will always be by my side when I am gathering. Every wreath from now on will be a celebration of our friendship and the beauty we created together.

Rachel Thornton
June 2014

How To Gather – Our Top 10 Tips

Gathering Shot for About Us resizePhotographer Rebecca Bijl

How to gather?  I had never really considered that people would like to find out more about gathering and actually how to do it?  Just assumed gathering was commonsense , until a friend mentioned that she’d really love to know more about what to gather and didn’t really have the confidence to get started.

Why gather at all?  Why not just pop down to the wholesale florist or local grower?  That is a whole topic in itself, but in short … gathering is good on so many levels.

First.  Start collecting.  Objects and materials that catch your eye.


Surrounding yourself with inspiring people

IMG_3107 photoFellow blogger Alex Fulton of Alex Fulton Design took this photo of me at Generator

Passion and success are contagious.  It’s official.

I’ve just returned from an incredibly inspiring and informative weekend course hosted by dynamic trio Kat, Shauna & Gala aka Blogcademy and held at Auckland’s very cool industrial space Generator;  a stylish venue for meetings, parties or events. Simply loved this wall and had to share it!

Despite initially feeling out of my comfort zone when faced with the prospect of wearing pink-sequined ears (unique headpieces courtesy of  Crown & Glory),  and challenged to create best tweet, audio or video clip about the course in return for prizes, I surprised myself and had an amazing 48 hours, sharing experiences and information with 30 other like-minded inspiring bloggers, all of whom had a unique voice and story to express via their blogs.

The weekend was a reminder to continually keep challenging myself, explore unfamiliar and challenging subjects and keep an open mind.  Having never previously been a fan of social media per se (perhaps on account of my reserved British upbringing and slight tendency towards laziness) I can honestly say after this weekend I  really get the value of these powerful networks in promoting what we do here at Carousel.

So watch this space.  Rachel and I are going to be compiling mood boards via Pinterest documenting what inspires us during each month which we hope you will find of interest too,  and will be dipping our toes into the wider world of social media in the very near future.

Time spent with fellow bloggers also made me reflect on the vast number of people who work alone from home and how hard it is to keep constantly inspired and motivated.    Having been a freelancer most of my adult life has meant that I’ve had to develop strategies and tools to structure an otherwise unstructured working week and remain sane, so I thought I would plan a series of blog posts over coming weeks that I hope will help other people working from home too.

If anyone else has any tips or ideas to share on this subject I would love to hear from you and will include in my postings.