Hens working hard…

Another fab morning at The Butterfly Art and Crafts studio. This lovely group of ladies were were celebrating Cat’s upcoming nuptials. They made lots of willow and rush hearts to decorate the marquee on the big day in three weeks.

Brian and Julie from the studio put on an amazing spread for them afterwards. What a lovely way to spend and morning.

So very very hot…

A really chilled morning this morning with this lovely group of teachers in Bury St Edmunds. It’s been so blisteringly hot I was very grateful for a cool class room for this workshop.

We were making fat ball feeders from willow. Taking it step by step and breaking it down into bite sized chunks makes it all so achievable for folk who haven’t used willow before.

Well done to you all, have a wonderful summer!

Feeling honoured!

I had a wonderful evening yesterday. Being asked to become a Yeoman Member is the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers is very exciting. Fabulous Sue Kirk (left) and brilliant Sally Roach (right) were also sworn in.

The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers was formally constituted in 1569 to help support the trade. Today they continue to support Basketmakers, London charities and the historic traditions of the City of London.

Chilled afternoon…

Whilst many people were glued to their tv’s watching England beat Sweden this afternoon this lovely group of ladies were making willow fat ball feeders.

They were very chilled and did a fabulous job. Redgrave and Lopham Fen is the most beautiful setting for any class. If you need to day dream out of the window for 5 minutes it has the best views!

Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park fair…

A scorcher of a day this year at the Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park fair. But it didn’t deter people. My friends and I were busy throughout the day showing children and adults how to do some simple weaving around pre made willow fish and leaf frames.

The group I belong to, the Basketry Collective, have been going to the fair for about 6 years. The response by the local community is always overwhelming. I am reminded time and again that we all have a basic need to create and many people don’t get the opportunity. The restorative value in losing yourself in an activity can’t be underestimated.

Friends…

I needed to construct a little gate and fence panel across my patio. A friend gave me some hazel, a generous couple I taught gave me a ton of willow, a friend gave me a log to create a ‘foot’ for the fence panel, another friend didn’t mind me stopping and asking advice whilst he was chilling at the Cross Keys after work. In fact he offered to cut the hole for me despite being busy himself . A neighbour lent me the chisels I needed and I had a lovely time on Friday working on this. For me this is the essence of why I love my community, it’s full of wonderful people.

Frame baskets…

Really lovely day at the Butterfly Arts and Crafts studio in Essex. My lovely, fun group all made excellent frame baskets.

Two wreath hoops were secured together at right angles with a simple cross before continuing with a single rod randing weave. After a couple of rods the first set of ribs were inserted. More randing and more ribs followed.

After that it’s weaving all the way. Some packing was required to even up the work so you finish with nice parallel lines in the middle of the basket. There’s quite a bit to think about whilst weaving with respect to keeping the ribs evenly spaced and checking that the basket sits nicely without rocking.

So as you can see these first time weavers (except Susanne!) all did exceptionally well.

The little knitted bee was out on an adventure with Louise in memory of her daughter Bea. X

@beasbeesadventures