Last weekend I headed up to Cambridgeshire with Annie for the Making Winter Retreat. Two days of cosiness, craft, good food and car banter. I finally met fellow nature lover Kriss in person too! My camera spent most of the weekend in my bag, so I only took a few photos. But I want to share those I did take with you.
Now before I show you what we did on Saturday and Sunday, I want to tell you about Friday night. Our B&B had electronic twin beds — hours of fun! We spent most of the evening bed racing and folding ourselves into undignified positions. Hilarious. I’m still laughing about it a week later.
Saturday morning, six of us headed to Emma’s home for a silver clay workshop. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I did one of her workshops back in June. I became a bit enamoured with these waxflowers. Little white flowers with leaves that smell like lemon thyme. Another plant to add to the garden list; going to need a bigger garden soon.
This is the mould I used for my pendant, it’s a ring of tiny alpine leaves. I tried to make my own but was having trouble forming them into a circle (thanks sausage fingers), so in the end I used this ready made mould instead.
Silver clay mould
Later that day, Edel Hopkins showed us to how make handbound books covered in marbled paper made in Cambridge. Green is my favourite colour so I was happy to have green paper in front of me :)
Sunday morning started with breakfast at our B&B and having my chair stolen by this fluffball.
Alistair from Woodlanders showed us how to carve wooden spoons. I loved this workshop! He gave us a demonstration and talked about safety before letting us loose with hatchets and carving knives. Brave man.
After two hours I had a spoon that actually looked spoon shaped; mines the one at the front. I was quite surprised how much strength you need in your hands for carving.
The last workshop of the weekend was willow weaving with Val Curwen. We made willow lanterns with a terracotta saucer for the base. Mine was a bit wonky but not bad for a first attempt. I had good fun making it too.
Lastly, here’s my handiwork.
You’ll notice I’ve done a bit of work smoothing my spoon — with the wood knife I bought on the day and some sandpaper. Not bad for a weekends work :) Learning new crafts is so rewarding. You never know if you’ll be any good at them or not. Then you come away having created something you didn’t know you were capable of. Magic.