The first weekend of the merry month of July was a most busy and splendid affair full of, well, gin, excitement, and crafting.
The 30th June was the big day for our friends Sara and Mark. They were wed in a church in the forest and were swept away in a marvelous campervan to their reception - A woodland wonder replete with shepherds huts, a fire pit, a most ingenious cake and gin. Lots and lots of gin.
A wonderful day was had by all (a little TOO wonderful for some. The gin had run dry by midnight)
There was even a little spot of crochet and cats cradle on the steps of the bridal hut! (Photo by the fantastic Big Bouquet. Those guys do amazing things, so if you're to be wed, call them up quick!)
So, the second part of this momentous weekend began at 5am the next morning. My poor bleary self, and very kind (and considerably less bleary) allocated (and very long suffering) 'driver' tippy-toed from the cosy confines of the beautiful bell tent where our friends were still snoozing, and armed with a wrapped pain au chocolat in each shoe, kindly bestowed to us by the lovely mother of the bride, we set off on our 4 hour journey 'oop North. We were off to the incredible studio of Louise at Hope and Elvis for the long awaited 'Crafty Day' with Tif and Rachelle, aka Dottie Angel and Ted and Agnes.
I had hugged myself with glee when a few months back i managed to be one of the fortunate few to secure my place on this, most auspicious of occasions. A rare trip made by Tif to Old Blighty, for a meeting of crafty souls with her dear book writing buddy Rachelle - with a weekend flyby at Louise's studio for two one-day workshops.
I was still a little bleary on arrival, and a little apprehensive too. You never quite know what to expect on occasions such as this. Tif and Rachelle are somewhat "crafty heroes" of mine and i was concerned that my slightly dishevelled self would not be able to be as crafty as i'd like in the presence of such legends.
It turned out (as it so often does) that my worries were unfounded. Tif, Rachelle and Louise led us into a day of such fabulous-ness that my bleary-ness evaporated (okay, aided by many cups of tea and THE most delicious lunch provided by Louise and the lovely Debs)
The studio was an absolute delight, filled to bursting with everything a crafty soul could ever wish for
There was a LOT of chatting, thinking and designing and also a spot of cooing, all with the satisfying soundtrack of many happy humming sewing machines in the background (one sounded a little bit more like a tractor, but still a hum none the less)
We beavered away all day on producing pinnies, and for those less weary than I, a whatnot garland too.
I only had a few sewing mishaps - One due to Tif's insistence on needing the machine I was using (bully!) but both her and Rachelle very kindly fixed my mistake themselves, which meant that my pinny would be finished by the end of the day, and would be worn in our end of workshop 'Dearie lineup', for which I was very grateful indeed. I was teetering on the edge of class dunce by this point (blamed almost entirely on that pesky gin)
It really was a marvelous day - So lovely to be surrounded by so many crafty souls, all joined by our appreciation of Tif and Rachelle's fabulousness and the love of a vintage doily or two.
I cannot recommend a visit to Louise's studio enough. She holds many varied workshops. In fact, not long before our Dearie Weekend, the amazing Julie Arkell held a workshop there. Incredible. If only Louise would up sticks and shift her lovely world to be nearer Dorset...
Tif and Rachelle's book "Granny Chic: Crafty Recipes and Inspiration For The Handmade Home" is available to pre-order on Amazon and will be available from the 25th October this year. This is VERY exciting indeed, and I for one cannot wait for its arrival.
I came away with, not only a rather dashing new pinny, but also a new found respect for the wonder of bees (although i remain a little wary), and several new crafty blogs to peruse...
Toodle-pip for now...