Category Archives: Workshops classes and activities

Willow crafts in Southampton

I’m really l0oking forward to this weekends Art of Heritage event at St Church Southampton the 9th 10th 11th September Art-of-heritage-st-denys-urban-art-festival-12598

As well as exhibiting some of my artwork,I am going to be providing willow making activities for people to have a go  as well as selling a small selection of work ,

You will also find me at this years Pumpkin Festival at Netley Country Park on the edge of Southampton on the 10th of  October Pumpkin-festival-and-scarecrow-avenue-at-royal-victoria-country-park-in-southampton-p692751

Taking on new challenges- teaching arts and crafts

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.

Changes to my lantern making workshop for adults

Hi Just to let you know that I have needed to cancel this workshop which is a a real pity. however I will be offering Christmas Cane Flowers and Stars workshop at Totton College in the next couple of weeks so keep a look out for more information.

A great couple of days creating willow lanterns

Busy workshopproud mum and daughter




I have just spent a great couple of days  running lantern building workshops at the Brooks Center in Winchester. Because of space limitations I decided to spend day 1 making the structures and day 2 doing the decorating. this worked really well when your creating 40 lanterns in a day it is very tiring and changing over the materials mid way would have just been to difficult so a plan that worked well.

The next couple of workshops are on the weekend of the 16th and 17th November I am not sure if there are are any spaces left its been so popular this year, we’ve made up packs to make at home and they are going fast.

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Great fun training my new lantern parade workshop volunteers

I spent a lovely day on Saturday training up my lantern parade workshops volunteers, such a lovely group of people all happy to give up their spare time to help me to support the participants who will attending out lantern making workshops starting this week.

We attracted a large audience of passing spectators curious as to what we were doing, we were still awaiting our posters to arrive from the printers so I decided to write some details on a couple of sheets of paper so that people knew what we were up to.


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Winchester Lantern Parade , getting ready for this years event

Ive been so busy with the planning for this years Lantern Parade (November 28th) all of  the necessary legal requirements are in place and I have been busy recruiting volunteer helpers to assist with preparing the lantern packs for sale at the Cathedral as well as volunteers to assist me during the workshops…

This years parade is different to past years , as it is a stand alone event with a 5o’s style band the Cadillacs playing in the Cathedral grounds as well as a variety of other entertainment with of course the parade were planning a celebration feel to our event

Its going to be great fun .

Ive also put together a information sheet for anyone wanting to make their own lanterns which you can find on my ….Free hints, tips and resources page

If you want to join in with this years parade either as a participant or as a a volunter please contact the Cathedral for more details



Shadow puppet workshop with year 4

Shadow puppets are such great fun and such a great way of bringing history alive I have just spent a lovely day with year 3 children at Siskin Junior School in Gosport

The second day of the Our Street our Submarine Community with the Gosport Royal Navy Submarine Museum exploring the stories of the submariners whose bravery were awarded the Victoria Cross. The children were so interested in the story and loved creating their own puppets to help to tell there own story. they also were very interested in the fact that many of the roads in their area are named after the submariners,  Well done year 3

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This weekend Ejector Seat Festival in Southampton

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.

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.

The joys and tribulations of providing workshops in new areas .

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.

Spring is on its way,more creative activities

I hope that it has been a good year so far especially now that spring seems to be with us now, I have been so busy over the last month or two what with spending time in Australia visiting my son combined with the holiday children’s workshops which are always so busy.

I have only just found time to let you know about the new workshops  that I am running in Eastleigh. Following on from the beginners crochet classes that I ran at the beggining  of the year  I am offering two flower crochet workshops, the first being a flower brooch class on Wednesday 24th April ideal for anyone who has learned the basic stitches and would like to have a go at something different … the second designed for more experienced crocheters who want to have a go at inventing  flower jewellery creations

In addition to these I am thinking of offering a wire jewellery and creating paper stencils class in June ? July so if you have any ideas please do drop me a line …