Category Archives: topics relating to art and creativity, challenging yourself

Willow and Craft willow workshops Spring newsletter

This is always an interesting time of year isn’t it with everything starting to come to life, the trees are starting to fill out and new blossoms appear.

I love taking time out to explore and I am often out watching wildlife inf fact I am an avid follower of several Facebook wildlife groups,  always looking for lovely places to visit to observe our amazing wildlife, often it is on your doorstep where you see the most interesting things.

Over the winter months, I have been volunteering once a week to clear peat/heathland from invasive plants that dry out the soil, a potential danger in the summer if there is a fire.

As usual, I have been out collecting wild garlic and early nettle leaves to eat.

If you fancy collecting your own   wear gloves for teh nettles chossing young tops to prep nettles which can be used similarly to spinch, remember to wash any foraged materials , wild garlic can be used similarly to chives. To prepare nettles simply scald them in hoiling  water to remove the sting  before using, they dont need much cooking.

I love seeing the trees coming back to life dont you and with the wood sap rising I must try to find the time to harvest wild willow bark for projects as well as collecting bramble stems whilst they are still tender before the berries come in.(You can dry branble despiked bramble stems and rehydrate them in boiling water and a later date 

I have also been collecting long dandelion stems on dry days as well as harvesting daffodil stems and leaves once the flowers have dried , they will be dried out in bunches ready to make with.

The first couple of months were very quiet as usual giving me time to recoup and sort things out I am not really a winter person and I do tend to hibernate a little at the beginning of the year, but that didn’t last for long as I was working on a large commission, and with busy times are ahead I thought that id share some of the activities and places where you will find me in the next couples of months.

If you’ve been busy making do let me know how you are doing if you are on Facebook or Instagram do ping me to share what you’ve been up to you will find me under the name of willowandcrafts.

willow fish on sticks

Public events

  • Beltane Celtic Fire Festival at Butser Ancient Farm on Saturday 29th April
  • South Downs Green Fayre ( at the Sustainability Centre) Sunday 7th May
  • Second Sunday Art Market Andover town centre I will be there making willow fish with visitors.
  • Winchester Art Market Sunday 21st May


  • Willow owl workshop Sat 13th May Portchester nr Fareham ( just  place remaining)
  • Sunflower/large flower half day monthly make Thursday 18th May at the Lapstone Pub Fair oak Eastleigh.

Moon gazing / sitting Hare workshop Friday 19th May Queen Elizabeth Country Park nr Petersfield.

Willow deer head workshop 8th June Queen Elizabeth Country Park nr Petersfield

  • Create a flower-inspired rag rug Tudor House Museum Sunday 11th June
  • Create a sweet pea basket climbing/ frame monthly make June 15th at the Lapstone

As you will notice my monthly makes are now taking place at the Lapstone Pub in Fair Oak and include lunch as well so a lovely relaxing session and only cost £45 so a lovely way to relax and make and make new freinds

Anyway that’s it for now my summer newsletter will be created  in the next few months

Happy Making








Monthly willow weaving half day monthly makes workshops new home in Eastleigh

It is always funny how things turn out for the best and a rethink is all that is needed

A couple of months ago I was offering a willow heart workshop for Valentine’s Day and one of the attendees suggested that I might want to offer workshops at his pub  the Lapstone Pub located in  Fairoak Eastleigh,

Well, I decided to visit and I was pleased that I did, as well as having a lovely space to work in the food is also fantastic and for people like me who dont eat a standard diet it was fantastic, so I decided to redesign my  monthly sessions to include lunch as well,

I then went on to offer a trial session where we made willow hearts  to  tie in with Mother’s Day and  attracted lots of interest So now my willow flower  workshop on May 18th is selling out fast

It is always useful to take time and rethink isn’t it

If you are interested in finding out more check out my workshops page

The Lapstone

Autumn newsletter

Autumn Newsletter

This is always an interesting time of year isn’t it with the autumn days providing a mix of rain and lovely weather, it’s a great time to get out and about and do some foraging.


This is  an ideal time for collecting willow/ dogwood etc and other bendy materials to create with

, so whether you are able to go out foraging or have some friendly neighbours or are fortunate to have some growing in your garden it’s a great time for gathering materials such as these which will stay workable if you leave them outside for several weeks so if you have some growing near you why not have a go.

As usual, this time of year is pretty busy I have several Christmas workshops on the go and I’m attending several fairs and markets including


  • Chawton House Christmas Fair on the 26th and 27th of November
  • New Forest Makers Market in Lymington on the 3rd December and Romsey Makers Market on the 11th of December
  • Moors Valley Country Park Saturday 17th December

So if you in the area why not pop in and say hello?

Every now and again it’s lovely to share our skills with others so I thought that I include a link to a willow fish tutorial that I made on youtube a couple of years ago, its great to do with others I even have one made with paper straws as well

On the topic of interesting things to watch I thought that you might also like this one about making seagrass baskets


I also thought that I should mention that I have a few places remaining on my workshops before Christmas:

  • Christmas stars evening with a meal 1st December 6 – 9 pm at Bay Leaves Larder in Chandlers Ford
  • Willow penguin workshop 10th December in Chandlers Ford Community Centre
  • Christmas rag rugs on the 8th of December

 Next Year’s activities

New workshop course

I am going to be starting a regular monthly willow weaving course on the first Thursday on the month, this will be a progressive course aimed at beginners and those with a little experience, at the end of each session students will be taking materials home to practise This course will be taking place on at Chandlers Ford Community Centre nr Eastleigh from January to August. on the Third Thursday of the month from  11am – 3pm If you are interested in attending then check out the information on my willow weaving page 

Stand alone workshops

I have also listed below the workshops that I will be offering until the summer which include willow and textile activities. I will be adding more dates in the New Year for rag rug workshops and other outdoor activities focussing on foraging and woodland crafts.

Dates for next year 

Date Area Topic Price
Sat 4th Feb  5  hr workshop  11- 4 Hamble Le Rice, Southampton Peg loom workshop £50
Thursday 9th Feb Romsey New Forest Rag rug hearts £65
Sun 12th Feb 10 – 4.30 Wickham Fareham Willow hearts £60
Sat 25th Feb 10 – 4.30 Chandlers Ford Easteigh Willow obelisks and dragonflys £65
Sat 11th March  £80 Portchester Fareham Hare workshop £80
Sat 25th March £65 Wickham, Fareham Bee workshop £65
22nd April and 23rd April weekend Chandlers Ford Eastleigh Weekend willow workshop more details to follow £150 + materials
Sat 13th May Portchester nr,Fareham Owl workshop £70
Sat 21st May Burley, New Forest Farmyard birds £75
Sat 24th June  £80 Burley,New Forest  Fox workshop £80
Sat 8th July Chandlers Ford Eastleigh  to deceide
Sat 22nd July Portchester Fareham to decide


Christmas willow weaving workshops

I’m busy offering a variety of willow weaving workshops this year from the traditional Christmas decoration activities as well as a number of large sculpture-creating stag/ reindeer heads at the  lovely village of Burley in the New Forest and willow penguins in Chandlers Ford near Winchester

For details about my  workshops please visit my new website 

New market activities

Hi with the changes brought about by the lockdown many of the art exhibitions and events that I am usually attending have been put on hold so I have started having a stall at the occasional arts and craft market. my first foray for a while over the summer was at the South Central Makers arts and Craft fair in Stockbridge. I am now pleased to be able to share that I will be at the Romsey art and craft market on Sunday 13th December and the Eastleigh Arts and Craft Market on Saturday 19th December.

For more details and up to date information check out my events and news page.

Zoom workshops with a twist

Have you been wanting to get together with friends or celebrate a special event together then you might be interested in booking a zoom workshop with me

The workshop package is for up to 4- 6 people for a 2 – 3 hr hr activity

Cost £40 per person

Option 1.  Dragonfly, birdfeeder,  and fish

Includes all materials but  not tools ( see below )

Option 2. Willow heart, large flower, and small star/wand

Option 3. Willow lantern, White or whites with color. including white and colored tissue, all materials, and a pair of children’s scissors.

You will need to supply a  pasting tray and table cover

Materials   I will supply all of the materials.

Equipment You will need to supply a pair of secateurs or large wire cutters if you don’t have either of these   I can supply a pair for an additional £5.

You will also need table coverings and a plastic tray for the lanterns and I would suggest an apron or clothes that you don’t mind getting PVA glue on.

Preparing the willow: you will need somewhere to soak the willow for 5 hours the day before you need it,  so a bath or paddling pool/pond is fine. You will also need something to wrap the willow in to mellow it overnight e.g a damp sheet. towel.


If you live near to Southampton I can arrange to deliver ( I charge 45p per mile)  or you can collect it from my home.

If this cant is arranged postage costs £10 per package to post if you are able to have all of the packages sent to one address this will be a lower cost depending on how many packages are sent.

Please note that none of these activities are suitable for young children aged under 10 years to do on their own, children will need an adult or much older sibling to get involved, Hopefully, if you are an adult, you will be able to do this on your own.

Launch of new online shop

Hi with the changes that we are all learning to adapt to.   I would normally be very busy attending art exhibitions and shows, as with many other creative enterprises I am making changes to adapt and  I have launched an online shop where I am selling a variety of my willow items and sculptures and some of my artworks. For more details follow the link at the top of the page




You Tube channel

Hi I  am pleased to be able to share that I now have a YouTube channel with a selection of min tutorials and activities you can find me by clicking here

Interesting questions what do you think?

I was recently asked some interesting questions so I thought that id share my answers.

What advice do you have for any graduates/up & coming makers/designers who would like to have a career in craft?

Keep on experimenting, never stop learning, and always be open to different possibilities/ perspectives.

Working in the arts/ craft environment can mean that sometimes times life can be tough especially if the cash flow dwindles. It is useful to have several different ways of earning a living. Try not to be disheartened, it is ok to earn some of your income from something unrelated to your craft to pay the bills and keep you going. The advantage that you have over other people is your ingenuity, and your ability to step back and consider different possibilities. Go with what feels right.

Do you have any dream jobs/people you would like to work with?

I would  love to spend some time with willow sculptures Tom Hare, Michelle Cain and  Laura Ellen Bacon. I  love being in inspirational environments such as  Les Machines de l’île in Nantes which is a great  place to visit , I’d love the to be invited to work on a collaborative project there.


What do you love about what you do, and what do you hate? OR What’s the best bit and what’s the worst bit of what you do?

Lack of time can be frustrating, I often think that it might be useful to have one of the time turner gadgets from the Harry Potter stories, mind you then I’d probably just exhaust myself trying to fit everything in that I want to do.



Fabric – a Celebration if Textiles Day

Peg loom weaving photo

Great news I am going to be providing an introduction to peg loom weaving workshop at the  textiles celebration  day happening at the Ashcroft Centre  in Fareham,

A fantastic whole day of textiles crafts happening on Sunday 10 APRIL, from 9.30AM – 5.00PM

For more details visit