Tag : workshop
Tag : workshop
“Oooooh, it’s a crafter’s dream!”
“What you’ve achieved is astonishing! Especially to do all that alongside being sleep deprived, many people would’ve given up a long time ago, but your passion and drive has really resulted in something that you should be so so proud of.”
So that’s it. I need to join the C.A. also known as Crochet Anonymous as I am officially addicted. Does it exist??
The little one naps? – Crochet. Contentedly jumping in his jumperoo for half an hour? – Surely I can fit in a few rounds of the latest project… Chores are being ignored, sleep is too. The Husband is also not really being spoken to much and usually often with “wait a minute” or “ssh, I’m counting”!
My TOFT #edsanimals collection is slowly expanding… starting out with the lovely Bridget the Elephant last year – and across the last month I have now completed Gregor the T Rex, our Patch the Crafty Dog (adapted from Maximillian the Weimaraner), Boris the Red Squirrel, (and now Blue the Whale Calf) – and with Hank the Dorset Down Sheep, Blake the Orangutan, Douglas the Highland Cow, as many dinosaurs as I can find – and of course ‘Hope the Whale’ in the pipeline…
The thing is, the reason it’s addictive – is it is almost meditative. You focus, you relax and as a bonus – the output once you know the basic stitches is FAST!
When the opportunity to go and crochet TOFT‘s #hopethewhale at the Natural History Museum came along – I jumped at the chance. My only questions of ‘where do I book’ and ‘how do I pay’?
The Natural History Museum, that along with the V&A, and The Science Museum (all of which I frequented yesterday!) in that wonderful area of South Kensington, London – has always been magical to me. Beautiful architecture, every corridor filled with wonder and excitement. As a child particularly at the Natural History Museum – it felt special to be there. Those big archways and the huge, unbelievable dinosaur rising above you…
Well, as I discovered yesterday – the amazement doesn’t stop even when you have become an adult!
Walking into the Hintze Hall to see no longer Dippy the Diplodocus (which I have just discovered is excitedly going ‘on tour’ around the UK!), but the new majestic ‘Hope the Whale‘ – magically suspended in all her glory. Truly breathtaking.
Then, underneath this magical spectacle – were around 40 tables for over 350 other awe inspired crocheters – ready to take on the challenge of a new TOFT pattern!
A true blend of never crocheted before in my life newbies, to resident experts – it was fascinating to see the task ahead being taken on with such patience and gusto! Kerry Lord – founder of TOFT and creative director, announced an extra special surprise that not only would we be crocheting ‘Hope the Whale’ but her lovely calf too. She threw down the gauntlet for the little calf to be completed by the end of the event… I am pretty competitive and so off I went, suddenly back in my crochet meditative state – yarn over and through, yarn over and through…
What Kerry failed to initially mention was this pattern threw in a few unexpected surprises from her usual format – new stitches and techniques that would also need to be mastered! Surprisingly to me however – was that although they actually sounded complicated, they were all just versions from the same theme and easy to follow once explained – we were all quickly off crocheting for a beautiful hour and a half. With plenty of explanations from Kerry herself, and those that needed extra tuition had plenty of support with the full TOFT team on hand… I was so focused, enjoying the moment – that at the end of the workshop I introduced myself to the person I was sitting next to! Who also was undertaking her own personal mission to complete the calf…
As I expected… I didn’t quite finish it on the night – I was too excited to look around and absorb the magical resplendent beauty of ‘Hope’ in the fading evening light.
I chose to try and complete the calf – on the train, on the way home… Many thanks to Angela (my friend and crochet partner in crime) for her skill and patience with this, as of course 11pm was the perfect time to get practicing half treble and treble crochet stitches?? In the end, some sleep and a cup of tea was all it took to refocus and complete the final stitches this morning.
A truly wonderful event – Kerry and TOFT should be thanked and congratulated…! Bravo! My crafty self has certainly thanked me for going, but my bank balance hasn’t… off into London, child free, and let loose with a sense of freedom and my credit card let’s just say I bought a few ‘momentos’ to remember the event… because who doesn’t need whale shaped baking measuring cups??
I am looking forward to the next one already…
Now on to make mumma ‘Hope’ and continue to ignore those chores…
I am very excited to announce that on Thursday 25th February 2016 – I have been asked to do a talk at The Women In Business Group!
The location is TBC – but likely to be in/around the Basingstoke area… get the date in your diary!
“Paula will be talking to us about how she went from quitting her standard 9-5 job, to both running her own business and working on The Craft Channel. She will also provide us with a brief, fun craft workshop/demonstration.”
Once full details are confirmed, I will let you know so that you can book your tickets! 🙂
To read more about it, please go to the WIBG website:
What a gloriously sunny day yesterday was! Well, it certainly was in the beautiful spa town of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
I love Yorkshire – I am fortunate to have married a Yorkshire lad, so we do get to visit this beautiful part of our country fairly regularly – but it never ceases to amaze me when we return just how stunning the scenery is – picture perfect rolling green hills, idyllic little villages, the lovely Yorkshire stone buildings. Just delightful.
I don’t of course need an excuse to visit Harrogate – but, what better reason to than to go and see The Women’s Institute Centennial Fair – 100 years of Women’s Institute history!
With plenty to see and do – demonstrations, talks, book signings, workshops, places to eat – and certainly BUY (the Christmas shopping has begun – and yes, I know it is only September!) I would like to detail all the purchases I made – but certain people who I know read this blog may just be getting something, and I know they would know it was for them! Ha!
Anyway, apart from having a lovely look around lots of lovely stands – I also booked myself in for the ‘Origami Teacup’ workshop with Clare Gage later in the afternoon.
It wasn’t actually what I expected – but not in a bad way, as I am not actually sure what I did expect! However, it was brilliant! Very inspiring – and really got me thinking about what creative skills I, and we all do, have, and how these can cross into new ways of looking/making/doing/trying new things. Clare used the term creative ‘hacking’ – which is just a perfect explanation really. For example knitting – well instead of using ‘normal’ wool – why not giant wool, or tiny needles – or knitting with something entirely different, like wires – or plastic! Thinking outside the box.
We started out with just a few squares of sugar paper, ready to be ‘origamied’ (is that even a word?) into a little, simple cup design. Next we translated this into different scales – seeing whether it was easier to make the same shape with a very small piece of paper, or very large. I actually enjoyed the tiny pieces of paper, having to try and make super delicate folds to keep the cup design shape. Once we had the hang of that… we moved on to different types of materials – tissue paper, crepe paper, cellophane, fabric, stiffened fabric… and finally clay! Each one responded slightly differently to the folding techniques and the final outcome of a little shape, some better than others – but all unique and individual.
My clay attempt – was actually the hardest part – and, I know it looks a little ‘clumsy’ (you can see in the photo’s below) – but, I had fun – which, I think with craft – it is often the most important part?? – making a little handle, decorating it by stamping out button shapes… We actually only had an hour to make all of these little trials – and so I think quite a lot achieved! I would love to give the clay another go actually – try a bit more creative hacking!
After the workshop – I was desperate to buy a beautiful mug from Clare’s stand in the fair – and, I spent a considerable amount of time trying to pick my favourite…but with the aforementioned already purchased Christmas shopping – I decided not to. However, it was this morning – when I made my morning cup of Yorkshire (of course!) tea, I stood there thinking – how much nicer would this have been in a beautiful textiles inspired piece of delicate porecelain? So – it is on my Christmas wish list for sure (please take note friends and family members – and just to be extra clear – Clare’s website is HERE. And after much deliberation, my piece of choice is THIS stunning Patchwork teacup. I love just how gloriously delicate it is in the pure white – but really feels like a mug you could have a proper brew in! Deeply textured ‘fabric’ porcelain. In Clare’s own words from her website “It’s comforting, passionate and nostalgic”.
Anyway, enough of my Christmas wishlist – the time spent with Clare making the lovely little cups – made me really think about my own craft and creative workshops- and how to best deliver them – and of all the exciting The Crafty Lass things to look forward to…and of course Christmas, and my new cup! (ahem!) 🙂
Categories: Places to Go & Things to See
Today was great – in fact it was a ‘hoot’! (Haha! – hoot, get it?)
We had lots of lovely brightly coloured paper, feathers, little shiny gems, googly eyes, plenty of pva glue – and some cute owl photo frames to decorate.
Held at Elaine Marston’s Studio at Turweston, Brackley – across a two hour workshop we spent the time choosing colours, tearing up the paper, and sticking on to our hearts content!
As you will be able to see from the photos every one was different – some with pinks, some with blue, some patterned, some without feathers, some with LOTS! After the owls were complete, as we had a little bit of extra time – we moved on to creating some lovely drawings and collages to go into the frames.
Everyone seemed to have a fun and creative time and with a few little bits of feedback direct from the attendees of ‘Let’s do this every week!’, ‘Can we do decoupage again?!’ and ‘I’ve really enjoyed myself’ – I personally am of course, pleased as punch!
From starting out on this creative journey of becoming ‘The Crafty Lass’ as a business – today, the moment a parent walked back in to collect their children – to be met with a ‘Mummy! Look what I have made!’ moment – it was very special, and one that I am certain, I will never become tired of.
A great and rewarding morning’s work! 🙂
If you’d like The Crafty Lass to host a creative party or workshop – why not get in touch. 🙂
I am excited to announce that The Crafty Lass will be holding a workshop in the Hobbycraft at Milton Keynes store – come and have a go at ‘decoupage’ letters!
Saturday 26th September 2015 – and it will be running as a ‘drop in’ session between 11am and 3pm.
Simply choose and buy your letter base on the day (prices start from £1 up to about £5) or, if you so wish choose from whatever other decoupage bases you like (they have a lot to choose from!)
Lovely papers, and all other equipment and materials will be provided.
This lovely craft has no age limits – so is for both adults and kids to enjoy! Hope to see you there!
I know you’d think that creating your own perfume is only an experience for the rich and famous, or the haute couture, or well trained perfumers – well this is not actually the case!
Yesterday, myself and my mother-in-law (it was a last Christmas gift from us to her!) attended The Perfume Studio experience at Salus Natural Therapy in Stratford-upon-Avon.
I was quite skeptical as to whether I would be able to create something that didn’t smell like a duty free perfume counter – basically just too much going on – however, you are taken through slowly step by step to understand the different ‘levels’ of smell, and you slowly pick and choose and adjust what you think would be in your perfect signature scent.
Starting with the ‘base notes’ (5 to choose from) it was very quickly obvious which ones you did and definitely did not like! Each scent was given to you on a little perfume ‘stick’ which you basically had to waft back and forth in front of your nose so you picked up everything it had to offer. You also get a little bag of coffee beans to sniff between perfume scents – which almost acts as a ‘nose reset’! It allows you to differentiate between them all. You then settled on one of these base notes (maximum two) as a starter of what you’d like to use. So far, so good.
However, it started to get all rather more complicated when you then began to add in the ‘middle notes’ (9 to choose from) as suddenly combining things together – some of the base notes you had discarded – when blended together with these new middle ones – actually ‘worked’. But slowly but surely, you started to eliminate/select what would be nice combined together.
Just when you think you’ve cracked it – you also had the ‘top notes’ to also select from (4 to choose from). You can add as little or as many of these smells together (average is about 5-7 in total) and you don’t HAVE to have top notes also – but, in the end I did to give it an overall balance – alongside 2 base notes, and three middle. A total of 6 combined together to make ‘Daffodil’. (Yes, you also get to name your new scent!) And, in case you are wondering – the name ‘Daffodil’ comes from my nickname from my lovely Mother In Law – she calls me Daffodil.
My new scent, is very fresh, quite floral but also quite ‘musky’ – there are roses in there, ‘fresh florals’, ‘ocean breeze’, ‘cucumber’… It is the sort of perfume I could wear everyday and not get bored!
We were in a small group, and Sara from Salus Natural Therapy was very patient, very thorough and giving us plenty of time to pick and choose/play around with the combinations. With 18 scents as a maximum that could have been combined (although I wouldn’t recommend – as then that really does smell like a Duty Free perfume counter!) – it was amazing to see just how different the end results from the other ladies were. Some were ‘spicy’, some ‘vanilla’, some ‘herbal’ and some ‘citrus’. All lovely, but all very distinctly personal.
We then got to select which perfume bottle you’d like to put your new magnificent creation to be in – with a choice of colours, some with ‘bling’ some without. I actually paid slightly extra to have mine in a beautiful, heavy and luxurious glass bottle.
The interesting thing with this – is according to the Fragantica website, my normal perfume of choice ‘Chanel Chance’ – which I do normally wear every day, and absolutely LOVE – was a completely different direction to what I had selected. In fact, it is predicted to be made with some of the base notes that I immediately did not want! However, that goes to show you just how complicated making a perfume can be – and that they must include various other levels, at varying quantities to just make it classically, distinctly ‘Chanel’.
We now get to wear our lovely new perfumes and of course await that magical moment of:
Friend/family/work colleague: “Oooh I love your perfume, what is it?”
Us: “Oh, this? This is MY own perfume, created just for me, by me!”
The other great thing is about this experience – is you can reorder your signature perfume whenever you like – they keep absolutely everything on record – so when you are down to the last drop, you call up – quote your name, and perfume name and et voila – they will post that out to you! And, in comparison to other perfumes out in the market – it is not at an unreasonable price. And, in reality – I would be happy to pay it, knowing it is still your own ‘designer’ fragrance.
I would highly recommend this experience to anyone who wears perfume, wants to learn about perfume or just fancies doing something that little bit different!
PS I did look a little bit odd later that day wandering around Tesco picking up a few bits for dinner and occasionally sniffing my wrists! But, I needed a hit – I just totally do love it!
The Crafty Lass wants to get Brackley SEWcial!
Do you love craft? Do you enjoy (or want to try!) sewing? Fancy meeting local people, or a night with friends? Want to handmake a new accessory?
I am holding a ‘Fabric Flower Corsage Workshop’!
The Green Room, Brackley – Thursday 20th August 6.30-8.30pm.
Tickets are limited and are available for purchase from The Green Room. So book yours now to avoid disappointment! They are £17.50 per person and include a glass of prosecco*!
Any questions, feel free to ask! 🙂
*Soft drink alternative available.
Let me know if you would like to book a space!
Now this, is a well overdue blog post… a couple of months ago – towards the end of May, I had the wonderful experience of going ‘Lampworking’ – that’s glass bead making in case you were wondering!
This was actually a gift from myself to one of my oldest and jewellery loving friends, Hayley. However, the workshop was for two people, so I was luckily allowed to be involved too!
I went along with no preconceptions of what the day would be like – but did wonder …would it be glass ‘blowing’ to create the beads? Would there be a choice of colours? Would we enjoy it?
I tell you now…what an excellent day learning a new skill. The workshop was held by Helen White of Tiara Tiara in her lovely and light, and airy kitchen. We spent approximately 3 hours there, selecting the coloured glass (that did take a while…so much choice!) seeing example creations, and learning that you don’t blow the glass as expected! You get the glass just molten, then you almost ‘draw’ with it, whilst twisting the ‘mandrel’ (the bead stick that allows a hole inside to thread on to whatever you like!) Eventually we created little perfect (well, we tried!) spheres of coloured beauty. Helen was thorough, patient, inspiring and helpful – showing us each step, and talking us through whilst we created our own. We ended up making 5 beads each, and after the workshop they needed to stay with Helen in a very hot oven to then be gradually, slowly cooled overnight. If they cooled too quickly, the glass would crack, ruining the bead. However, it wasn’t long to wait and Helen posted them out to us first class the following week. She had polished them all up and had also made some additional ‘spacer’ beads to allow us to have a complete bracelet!
I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone who has a love for jewellery, or just wants to try something that little bit different! It was such a therapeutic and exciting morning! Hayley and I have a wonderful and very personal bracelet to wear and have as a keepsake forever – now that is special. 🙂
Following my recent post: ‘The Crafty Lass does…Desk Art – Washi Tape Letters!‘, a friend – inspired by the bright colours and the ability to personalise the idea with her own choice of letters – she approached me to help her create some for a very thoughtful wedding gift!
Romantic ‘All you need is love’ and ‘Mr & Mrs’ tapes were selected, of course!
In regards to the other colours, we considered going down the wedding colour scheme route, then favourite colours, then all neutrals… however, we settled on gaining inspiration from a rather fabulous coloured dress that the Bride owns! A very personalised and lovely range of brights and pastels combined.
So, we slowly layered up the colours across the letters, with ‘All you need is love’ on the ‘J’ and the ‘C’, and appropriately, the ‘Mr and Mrs’ tape on the ‘&’.
And here, are the finished results!
An evening of fun, friends, craft and food – good times.
I do hope that the Bride and Groom had a wonderful wedding day and enjoy their washi tape letters!