Norfolk Smallholders Training group…

I worked with a smashing group of people today that belong to the Norfolk Smallholders Training Group. Some of them drove a huge distances to join the workshop. So thank you to you all for being so enthusiastic and working so hard.

We took the basket in stages, one step at a time from the slath to the border and handle. It was wonderful to see some initial skepticism transform into delight with the finished basket.

Hanging platter…

My next workshop at the Butterfly art and craft studio in Essex is on March 23rd. We will be making hanging platters and bird feeders. You can book to do one or the other or both if the mood takes you.

They are both really good projects for beginners, very simple but effective looking pieces to hang in the garden or the house.

Contact Art and Craft days for more information on http://www.artandcraftdays.co.uk

Or call Brian and Julie on

01245 233459

St Brigid’s cross…

A St Brigid’s cross made today for a local Irish chap to send home to his nan.

St Brigid is one of Ireland’s patron saints. Her name is apparently derived from the noun ‘brigh’ meaning power, strength, vigour and virtue. She was known for her generosity, a gift I know I could develop.

Small round basket…

Thanks to all the wonderful ladies who made baskets with me today at the Butterfly Arts and Crafts studio. They did a fabulous job and all went home with baskets to be proud of.

Thanks also to Brian and Julie who run the studio. They are so hospitable and the lunch was fantastic as usual.

The Big Day…

Lovely to meet Louise and her friends and family this morning at the Butterfly Arts Studio in Essex.

The group surprised Louise with a willow weaving start to her hen party. They made 17 hearts between them and decorated them with a mixture of blue and white flowers to tie in with Louise’s wedding colours.

Brian and Julie from the studio then served up a delicious afternoon tea, thoroughly earned by everyone.

Twins…

I’ve made two of these baskets in the last two days. One yesterday with lovely students Marion and Caroline and one today as a demonstration for the Attleborough Day Care centre.

It’s really heart warming to see older folk being cared for by the team at the day care centre. They provide them with a delicious meal and various activities each week. I hope to go back and do a more participative workshop at some point this year.

The double French rand weave is a a little slow to set up but then the sides grow really fast which is great when you don’t want to keep joining in new weavers.

Zigzag…

I haven’t used the zigzag weave for a while. I think it looks really effective when the willow behaves. I had some willow to use up last week so took the opportunity to have a play.

Zigzag weave is set up in the same way as French randing. In this basket I used double rods. When you’ve worked a row in one direction you take the weavers back in the other direction on the next row. By alternating the direction of the weave in this way, the zigzag climbs up the stakes.

Thank you to my son Aidan for the photos.

Holiday project…

My Christmas holiday project is finally finished. A friend gave me a ball of wool last August to ‘do something with’! Over the holidays I decided what I needed was the simplest coiling project.

The soothing nature of repetition, working round after round, watching the colours reveal themselves brought me such happiness and peace.

I used a core of natural twine which was strong and flexible giving a nice firm finish.

Alpaca Lovers…

This is Kath, one half of the fab duo that run Lings meadow campsite in Hepworth, Suffolk. It’s a small eco and clamping campsite set on the family farm.

They also keep Alpacas and make lovely things from the wool. However there are fibre remnants from the legs and neck that are just too short for spinning apparently but the birds love them.

We made a fat ball feeder to hold the fibres so the birds can come and help themselves. It’s lovely soft stuff, ideal for lining nests.

I hope there will be lots of lovely warm nests in Hepworth over the next few weeks.