It’s been a crazy busy week. I’ve finally recovered – after about 12 hours of sleep last night and a down day today. What have I been up to?
Sunday and Monday were spent working on a project which may or may not bear fruit; I shall let you know if it does. Tuesday’s more interesting – it was a WI (pronounced “double-you eye”) Craft Dabble Day, arranged by the county (Derbyshire Federation of WIs, DFWI). They set up various tables in a large room, and a person gives tutoring at each table in a different little project, letting you dabble in a particular craft. This one was in Chinley, just a few miles away, and turned out to be well-attended, with all the student spots at each table full the whole day through.
This was my first trip to Chinley; it’s far bigger than I’d imagined. Quite a nice small town. Being May, it was full of flowers, of course.
We were amused to see the police were ready for us, as evidenced by this notice just outside the hall…
Inside, we found 5 wonderful tutors – most I already knew, and was surprised to see their hidden talents – who helped us create some fun and interesting things.
These are the four I made. I went to Heather Vickers’ table first, because she is an expert craftswoman, and I wanted to be sure to have a go at whatever she was offering (she can do just about every craft under the sun). She had dry needle felting, which was a lot of fun to do. We could make a brooch or a little picture – I opted for a little landscape picture, attempting something of a Derbyshire landscape (with the purple heather on the hills). Not something I’d take up, but it was fun to do – you just stab your barbed needle over and over again, trying not to stab yourself.
After that, I headed to another familiar face – Pat Jones of Simmondley WI was showing us how to make pin cushions in tea cups. My pin cushion keeps rolling all around, most annoyingly, so I think I’ll actually use this technique – but I’ll make one into a mug, so it doesn’t have a narrower bottom than top, to help it stay put. Also, dainty teacups aren’t my style.
Last before lunch, Maggie Bristow of Sparrowpit WI showed us how to make the decorated little box. These would be great for small gifts at Christmas, etc, and really didn’t take any time at all to make.
We’d brought packed lunches, and they’d set up tables and chairs for us to use as the fit took us. I lunched with a group of ladies from Simmondley WI (which I used to belong to, before I decided three WIs was really too much) and Glossopdale WI together. I like helping them mingle together – the human tendency to stick with people you already know is deeply entrenched, after all.
After lunch, I managed to grab a seat at the cardmaking table. Sheila Berry had a variety of options on offer, and initially I’d decided to do all three. I started with that card you saw up there – the front of it. On the back were a bunch of dots, and I poked each dot out with a needle. The drawing in the middle was already done, and then I just cut the outside edge and stuck it onto a piece of card to complete it. Yes, you read that right: I poked out each dot, one at a time, by hand. The whole time, I couldn’t help but think, “There must be machines that do this!” I’m never doing it again. (Also, whoever I send that card to had better feel mighty special!) But hey, now I know that’s not for me, without having had to buy anything to give it a go. By the time I finished that piece, my head was killing me from having been bent over to do it, so we just talked over the other options, and she happily told me how to go about doing those other things – which I can pursue another day.
The only thing I didn’t get to try was the crocheted brooches. I haven’t a clue how to knit, crochet, or anything like that; I may well have given it a go (I hadn’t decided), since that’s what the day was about. My raging headache and the level of frustration one of my companions was having with it, though, put me off, I must say. She had nothing but praise for the tutor – just that she couldn’t get it. She’s decided she’ll get on YouTube and figure it out and conquer it, though.
All in all, it was a lovely day, and I was really glad I’d gone!