When ever I am out giving demonstrations at different events I am often asked where to buy the equipment that I am using , sometimes the answer is simple however when it comes to traditional crafts its not so easy .
Well I have finally taken the step and booked a table at a craft fair my first being Bishops Waltham Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday the 12th December .
All of the equipment and items will be made by my own fare hands . So I am starting with peg looms with fabric kits and instructions, rag rug making kits and some of the items that I teach in my workshops including willow stars, Christmas trees and some of my prints.
Alongside this I am introducing my own workshop gift vouchers.
Taking on new challenges . I know that it can be scary but its always worth doing .
A while ago I was asked to run several 6 week courses for a local art center, this would involved lots pf paperwork , student assessing etc. not really my way of working as I like to adapt as I go along but I decided that it was worth the challenge to see if i could work this way, after all I did get the teaching adult certificates a few years ago so I might as well have a go.
Anyway the first week or two definitely challenged me , the classes were aimed at beginners so I had planned accordingly, where as the reality was that several of the students were quite experienced but didnt know how to read patterns and wanted to check that what they were doing was the right way.
I also discovered that I was dyslexic an odd thing to discover and strange that It hasnt been identified before now, but anyway it made sense of why so many things were tricky for me and why I approach things in unconventional all be it creative ways
Remembering names has always been a tricky one and the need to write up detailed notes straight after the session just wasnt going to work for me. Its very odd how you find so many of the things that you take for granted because there normal to you but are deemed as being different rather than just an alternative approach.
Anyway after some more thoughts and more adapting ive now just completed including finding different ways to help me to deal with the course paperwork Ive now just completed the fourth week.
I can happily say that everyone has achieved what they set out to do, and have gained lots of new skills and confidence , two more weeks to go now.
I am going to miss the class , mind you Im already planning for the next 6 week crafts course starting at the beginning of November , another new challenge.
I have been so busy over the summer months running holiday activities for children and working with project managing this years Lantern Parade for Winchester Cathedral that I have finally got around to taking some time of work for some well earned of in my v dub, She has now been partly rebuilt and now has a cooker sink and bed back in her, still lots more to do and I am really hoping to find the time to paint her I am going to turn her into a piece of art when I get time and I was really inspired by this great v dub to create my own version
I am often busy providing activities for children and families during the school hols and adults during term time but rarely provide activities that young people can get involved in, I usually try to offer some time at a local festivals and this weekend I am providing activities l at the Ejector Seat Festival in Southampton. http://www.ejectorseat.co.uk/
Now I wont deny that it is often easy to fall into the trap of offering activities such as making magical wings which is great for the younger children as is creating giant doodle murals which is great for all ages, however someone is already offering a drawing activity and so I thought that I would offer something a bit different.
As I am going to be offering some willow workshops again in the summer I thought that it might be quite cool to offer some easy to do crafts and as there isnt much room to make willow domes etc I thought that it would be good to offer some basic cane flowers and creating dream catchers.
So if you are in the location this Saturday why not come along for good music good food and lots of things to do.
is already a drawing activity I was toying with try to find am joining this years Ejector Seat Festival in the arts market where I will selling some of my Jewellery. Demonstrating willow sculpture and teaching people how to make willow bird feeders, hearts and flowers as well as taking my peg looms along for people to have a go.
I am often contacted by people interested in attending one of my workshops ….. one of the problems is that trying to find a venue that is both affordable and flexible ….especially when you are trying to get something going ……. In an area where there is a good history of providing activities this is much easier as potential attendees are often checking out local publicity for new activities to join…
The next difficulty is as with anything location and just as importantly marketing. we all have so many different ways of finding out about things, the top one being venue newsletters and word of mouth followed by web searches and local posters. …. its amazing any people still look out for venues in local shops however that is becoming more of a problem now as many shops who are part of a chain will not promote activities and there are more and more areas where very few independent shops exist…. making it much more difficult on the whole to promote new activities. So with this in mind I have decided to start up a mailing list of people interested in specific activities. So if you have any requests and ideas please do get in touch and ill let you know when there is enough interest to get something going.
We have now completed the Eastleigh Mural project just in time for Christmas.
The four panel design is now up and I am ready to take a well earned rest just in time for Christmas , it has been so lovely to receive positive comments from local residents they have been a great talking point for families living nearby who have loved the color and different things to look at a great talking point for families with young children in particular, as with all projects that involve the community you are never quite sure what reception you might receive.
A couple of weekends ago , I was working in the children’s area at the Isle of Wight Festival.
Unfortunately this year the dreadful weather put many families of attending but for those who made it the children’s area was the one place in the festival that was free, mostly dry and lots of fun. a great bunch of people come together to provide activities. mind you the lack of sleep on the Thursday it took me 12 1/2 hours to travel 5 miles definitely took the edge of , along with that the festival goers were not let on site until 4pm on the Friday . at least Sunday was a good day and as the mid summers weekend has a washout for the last couple of years its to be expected , roll on the sunshine
Just having time to catch up a little as this is the season for countryside events outside.
As well as running my own outside activities creating dream catchers and dragonfly wings at Itchen Valley Country Park Meadow Madness and getting ready for my next willow workshop. With more busy weekends ahead including the Jubilee Jamboree in Andover, working at the Isle of Wight Festival and getting ready for the start of my Saturday workshops in Southampton starting in June.
Over the last couple of weekend I have also been busy with my volunteer colleagues at Southampton Scrapstore providing craft activities at Sparsholt College Countryside Open Day and the Sustainability Centres Green Fair near Petersfield. Such great events for the us to be involved in and thank goodness we have been lucky with dry weather.
It is always interesting planning workshops ahead of time. When working with art centers and the like I always have to be mindful of their need to produce a program well ahead of the time it is needed.
With this in mind my summer term craft workshops organized for the Winchester Area are now in place and range from making easy party bunting, beginners crochet classes, through to making craft stamps and wire jewellery pendants.
If you want to find out more details of my workshops from May onwards are listed in my Diary page