Following the success of our first Sketchbook sessions we are running an evening session on Thursday 12th October. If you can't make the weekday sessions this is your chance to come and have a go. We'll be undertaking a lovely doodling spread.. something to get lost in. If you would like to know more click here
When Diana joined us to teach quilling I have to admit that I wasn't really sure where it would go. I knew of the craft and had been gifted a free starter kit which has sat in my cupboard for some time. After attending one of Diana's sessions last month I've now got quite a love for this gentle little craft.
Equipped with my quilling tool and some rather ordinary looking strips of coloured paper we set about making some tight and loose coils and then learnt how to shape them with our fingers into petals. There are boards out there that can help you with the shaping but, with all our workshops, we like to keep the need to buy lots of stuff to a minimum. We do our best to show the proper techniques and leave you to decide if you want to invest in the gadgets.
After creating petals and flowers we moved on to leaves, stalks and some really fab top tips for borders which were so simple I couldn't belive that I didn't already know them. The results from our couple of hours were some lovely cards. A great starting point to learn a skill and come home with something.
It occurred to me what a great holiday craft this would be as the strips and tool take up no room. It would be very easy to sit on a plane or balcony with a glass of wine and prepare quite a number of shapes ready for any project. I also hadn't quite appreciated how many different colours of strips there are available, daft really given that they are just paper after all. Colour and cost really appeal to me as it's another great craft that's cheap and allows you play endlessly with colour. A quick peek on pinterest and I've already found a few to think about this summer....
If there is one thing that I have most definitely come to terms with since running my own business it is that you never quite know who, or what, is around the corner.
A year ago or even 6 months ago I would never have dreamt that I would be appearing in DIY SOS. Last March when we opened the Studio at the Heritage Barn I would never have dreamt that in little over a year on we would be moving again, thankfully only a few metres. I've leanrt to expect the unexpected and keep flexible.
So I'm delighted, excited and proud to announce that from the 5th June 2017 we'll be running all our workshops from the Garden Studio at South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks. Very sadly, we are saying goodbye to our lovely workroom in Ditchling. Our fab new Garden Studio is huge, light and airy and the perfect setting for some relaxing crafting. It's big enough to hold two workshops side by side allowing friends with completely different interests to come together and enjoy a day out. It can take bigger groups for private sessions and has a canopied varandah which means we can contemplate some of the messier workshops too.
The Workroom at Ditchling holds a very special place in my heart and I am not ashamed to say that I felt a little teary as I pulled out the car park for the last time. I met many wonderful people for the very first time in that space, and my business has changed so much since we first arrived there back in September 2013. If you can remember our Open Evening on Friday 5th September a huge thank you for staying with us all this time. Your support is much appreciated.
Onwards and upwards though and a chance to provide better surroundings, warmer toilets and light and airy space to pursue a hobby in.
With the major move now behind us we'll be focusing on the workshops again and putting our finishing touches to the High Summer and Autumn schedules, filling in the gaps. There will be plenty of Childrens Workshops during the summer holidays and new adult sessions throughout. Stay tuned and we'll try to keep you up to date, meanwhile bear with us whilst we get the website up to speed too.
Trying to give a little back is something that I have always wanted to make sure is an integral part of M&M, hence our monthly charity sessions. Last month in May I got to take it one step further. When I heard that the BBC programme DIY SOS needed some crochet help for a project being undertaken just outside Arundel I was more than happy to see if I could rise to the challenge. An extra large ripple blanket was needed in just under three weeks. A tall order for any keen crochet enthusiast, let alone one working full time and trying to prepare to move her business premises.
It might sound cheesy but it was more than just a crochet project.. staying up late to get the minimum of number of rows completed each day gave much time for thinking. The site was being completed in just 10 days and, as always, the work was being undertaken completely by volunteers. As the build started I was lucky enough to meet some of the family and take them through a little crafting at our studio in Hassocks. Such lovely girls and a chance to meet Interior Designer Sophie Robinson, known for her involvement with The Great British InteriorDesgin Challenge among other things. It was a little daunting but the crew were lovely, kept it all very relaxed and made it feel far more natural than I had imagined. However, nothing could have prepared me for my day at the site at the end of the project. To go down and join with everyone else that had been involved was quite something. To see hundreds of people come together to help someone that, in most cases, they did not even know was really very touching. For the family this was a life changing experience.
During May I was not at the top of my game, as they say. The crochet project was very absorbing, taking nearly 4 hours a day to complete, and sadly things did slip a little. I have the most wonderful support around me though, at home and at work, and with their help I came through the other side. A huge thanks to them all. It was honestly one of the best things that I have done in my life. I can't show many pictures of the project until after the programme is aired but I can show you the cheesy pic of me with the team!