Event

Alt Summit 2020 – First Impressions

I’m on an adventure! I’ve come all the way to Palm Springs, California to attend Alt Summit, a conference and community for creative entrepreneurs and influencers (https://altitudesummit.com/). I’m so excited to be here and I’ve been looking forward to it for months. I will be doing a post next week on the full conference, but here are my first impressions since my arrival…

I flew in to Los Angeles and spent a couple of days with my friends who live out there before heading to Palm Springs. The big question I had was how would I get here from LA? I debated renting a car or getting a cab but decided both of those options would be too expensive so in the end I booked a Greyhound bus. Well, let me tell you now, it was quite an experience! The bus itself was fine, but waiting to board at the station in a dodgy part of LA and getting dropped in the middle of nowhere and hoping an Uber wasn’t far away was not really my idea of fun! Once I had arrived at my hotel I found Palm Springs to be a lovely place full of cute mid-century style houses and stunning scenery; plenty of palm trees against a backdrop of mountains and blue sky. 

The conference is split over three hotels: The Riviera, The Saguaro and Ace. I’m staying at the Riviera, which is where the majority of talks and workshops are taking place. After a nice lunch in the hotel restaurant I headed over to the Chiki pool for registration and the welcome party where they had a soda and popcorn bar. I love attending things like this, but I always struggle with the networking side of things. However, the beauty of attending an event in America is that Americans are so friendly and happy to talk. I was hanging around looking for someone to talk to when a lovely lady called Megan (http://meganauman.com/) approached me and asked where I was from and what I did. As we were chatting several others joined us too and before long there was a nice group of people.

Having got my conference pass and done a bit of networking I accepted a lift from Megan and we headed over to the Saguaro for some sessions. There is a shuttle bus running between all the hotels, which I’m sure I will make plenty of use of during the week.

The first session I attending was called ‘How to Slay Your Days at Alt’ hosted by Amy Webb from This Little Miggy, a lifestyle blog with a focus on disability (https://thislittlemiggy.com/). She has been coming to Alt Summit for years and had loads of great tips on how to maximise your time here. My best take aways from her talk were:

  • Set goals so you can work out what you want to achieve – you get back what you put in.
  • Give out business cards and get them back – you never know when a contact may be useful.
  • Work on your elevator pitch for networking – find your unique spin.
  • Follow up, not only with new contacts but also on your goals.
  • Never let an opportunity pass you by – say yes!

We had a short break after this session during which I met another lady from the UK! Ros (https://whomovedcoffee.com/) is in a similar position to me with a new blog that she’s looking to grow. We went to the next session together which was called ‘Plan a Year’s Worth of Social Media Content in One Workshop’, hosted by Carly Morgan, a digital content creator. The session consisted of two parts. First Carly took us through how to plan social media using her worksheets in order to create a calendar for yourself to make it easy to post on a day-to-day basis. Secondly we split in to groups to begin the process and discuss with others what works depending on your preferred platform. The worksheets look really helpful for planning so I definitely think I will download them and give it a go.

I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to more sessions tomorrow. Tune in next week to see how I got on for the rest of the conference!

Event

Happy Galentine’s Day!

I celebrated Galentine’s Day last week with my bestie Madeleine at the Galentine’s party hosted by Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/). It took place in their Covent Garden Studio which was suitably decorated with plenty of hearts. There were sixteen attendees all there to celebrate their best girls.

We did two activities over the course of the evening; soap making and biscuit decorating. It was quite a lot to get through in only a couple of hours but everyone chipped in with the tidying up between each activity and we managed to get both done! We started off with the soap making. We used a ‘melt and pour’ soap base which we melted using either a microwave or in a water bath. Jane (the owner of T&C and the tutor for the evening) had a table top hob set up with two pans of water for us to use. The microwave was a lot quicker at melting it but that meant there was a long queue for it all the time, so I mainly used the water bath, which took longer but probably only as long as waiting in the queue!

Once the soap was melted we then added colours and essentials oils and poured it into the moulds. I made a rectangular one, a heart and three honeycomb ones. My favourite colour is orange so that was the main colour I used along with the orange essential oil which smelled so amazing I just wanted to eat it! I did make a pink one with small hearts in though as we were there to spread the love!

We then set the moulds aside to set before taking them home. After clearing up we then moved on to decorating biscuits. We used digestives, but this would be a great technique to use on homemade biscuits too. The technique we learnt was marbling. Using two different coloured fondant icings we rolled them together to create a marbled effect. Once we were happy with the level of marbling we then rolled the icing flat and used cutters to cut out circles of the correct size and stuck them onto the biscuits using a little water. When marbling it’s important not to take it too far otherwise the colours just end up merging together. The best effects comes from using white and another colour. I went with black and white and Madeleine went for pink and white.

Jane also had some letter stamps so we could stamp a little message into the icing and some edible gold paint to give the biscuits that special little touch. When we were finished they looked good enough to eat!

The last thing we did was remove the soaps from their moulds. It was so fun seeing everyone’s designs and the awesome effects they had achieved mixing colours together and layering them up. Mine were quite plain compared to some of the others, but I was really happy with them because they smell so good!

Madeleine and I had such a great time spending the evening crafting together. And the best bit of all was the glass of Prosecco! So all that’s left to say is Happy Galentine’s to all you amazing women out there!

workshop

Mindful Embroidery with Sew Yeah Social Club

Last Thursday I had such a relaxing evening! I went to the Love Crafts headquarters (https://www.lovecrafts.com/en-gb/) to attend a workshop run by Christine Leech from the Sew Yeah Social Club (https://sewyeah.co.uk/). Christine has an extensive background in the craft world with job titles ranging from author to illustrator, maker to stylist. She’s a bit of a craft guru!

Anyway, I went along to the office in Holborn to take part in a Mindful Embroidery workshop. As we walked in the table looked so colourful. It was laid out with plenty of embroidery thread, piles of vinyl, different types of fabric and lots of example of what we would be making. The idea was to use the iron-on vinyl to create an abstract pattern which we could then embroider over the top of. Christine talked through some of her examples and showed us how some of them had stayed quite random but others had developed into a design where her eye had caught different shapes amongst the randomness.

I made one that was random, although the pieces I chose were in complementary colours, but my other piece was a bit more literal. I couldn’t help myself! My mind just likes to create order even when I’m telling it to be chaotic! I found a piece of vinyl that looked like the top of an umbrella to me so I gave it a handle and created a little rainy scene, cutting clouds out of some glittery blue vinyl and adding some raindrops. Once we had decided on our patterns Christine showed us how to use the iron to attach the vinyl on to our chosen fabric. 

Once we had done that it was time for some embroidery. There were some pre-printed hoops with various stitches on for beginners or just for practice and a handy how-to guide. I’m pretty confident with my embroidery so I didn’t use mine, but I thought it was a great tool for beginners. One of the best things about the workshop was that there was no pressure to do a certain thing or to keep up with the rest of the group. You could just work at your own pace, having fun creating something pretty, and Christine was on hand to help when you needed her.

I just had such a great evening being creative and chatting with other crafty people. It was nice to relax and create something with no pressure on it having to be perfect. I’m looking forward to seeing what Christine’s next workshop will be because I will definitely be signing up!

workshop

Make Your Own Leather Trainers

Yesterday I went to Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/) for a very exciting workshop! I put the vouchers I received for Christmas towards a ‘Make your own leather trainers’ workshop. Prior to attending I received an email from the lovely Maddie who works at Tea and Crafting asking for our shoe size and colour preference so that they could have the kits ready for us on the day. It took me ages to decide what colour to go for. I didn’t want to go for white as I already have white trainers but I wanted to pick a colour that I thought I would wear and would go with my wardrobe. In the end I chose a mauve colour as I thought it would be neutral enough to go with most things but still a bit fun.

When we arrived our kits were waiting for us. They included:

  • Coloured leather
  • Rubber soles
  • Insoles
  • Wax thread
  • Needle
  • Paper template

Plus each of our stations had the equipment we would need such as scissors, hole punch pliers and a pen to draw on the leather.

We started off by cutting out the paper templates. There was only one template, which you had to flip over to create the other shoe, so we had to be careful to note which side was which. There were three options to choose from; a low trainer, a normal trainer or a high top. I decided to go with the normal trainer, but some of my classmates made the high top and I have to admit I was a bit jealous as they looked so good! Once the paper template was cut out we positioned it on the leather and drew round it, then flipped it over and drew around it again to create the reverse pattern for the other shoe.

Then it was time to cut the shapes out. The leather was pretty tough to cut and it was important to be as precise as possible.

We then attached the templates back on to the leather pieces so that we could punch the holes. There were two sized holes to punch; the larger holes for the shoelaces and the smaller holes around the bottom to secure the uppers to the soles. Punching was probably the most difficult part of the process. You needed quite a bit of hand strength! The smaller holes weren’t too bad, although there was a lot of them, but the larger holes caused a bit of trouble in the class!

Once the holes had been punched in the leather it was then time to punch the holes in the soles. The holes were marked around the edge of the soles so it was just a case of going round with the smallest size on the pliers and punching through. The rubber was really easy to punch, but there were a lot of holes to match the uppers! When all the holes had been punched with the pliers we then went round with our needles poking out all the little pieces of rubber to make it easier when it came to actually sewing.

After lunch we moved on to construction. Our tutor Alex showed us how to line up the leather with the sole and how to sew it all together with the wax thread in the correct order. Starting along the inside edge we worked our way around to the nose, then down the other side, finishing with the heel, then sewing back around the other way to secure it all. Once the uppers were attached Alex showed us how to create a little stitch on either side to hold the tongue in place.

Lastly the insoles went in and the laces were threaded through! I couldn’t believe I’d made a pair of trainers! They just came together so quickly and with so few materials. I can’t wait to wear them! I think they’ll look good with some of my summer dresses, so roll on summer!

The workshop cost £150 and took place at their Covent Garden studio in London. Jane, the owner of Tea and Crafting, took part in the class along with Maddie and it was great to meet them in person. The tutor was Alex of Sewrendipity (https://sewrendipity.com/) a sustainable sewing blog. She was fantastic and really knowledgeable. I can’t recommend this class enough. It was a lovely day out and not only did I get to meet other creative people and spend the day crafting, I also created something that I’m actually going to use; my favourite kind of crafting!

Uncategorized

New Year, New Craft!

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve, I prefer to stay in with a glass of champagne and a good takeaway and watch the fireworks on TV. However, despite the cliché of it, I really like taking stock of my life at the new year; taking the time out to review the year that’s just been and think about everything you’ve achieved and then planning for the year ahead.

As always the year has had it’s ups and downs. The downs mainly coming from some illnesses in our families. In terms of my own personal goals though the year has been pretty positive overall. As you may know if you have been reading my blog since I started, I was a bit lost at the beginning of the year. I had a tough Christmas period with my jewellery business last year, culminating in a spectacularly bad craft fair where I sold one item over two days and left me with terrible back pain. I told myself that I would just step away from it completely and come at it again, refreshed, in the new year. When January rolled around however I just couldn’t find the motivation to get back into it. I made a few pieces out of necessity but I just could not come up with anything new. 

Instead of pushing myself and attempting to plough on with it, which would have just made me more miserable, I decided to give myself permission to play and do other things. I started doing some art again and got back into baking. I had been doing my ceramics for a while but I started to see it as a creative outlet and not something that was taking up time when I should have been doing jewellery. Basically I started enjoying myself!

Although I was enjoying myself, I still felt guilty that I wasn’t doing my jewellery and I began to think about how I could bring all of these things together so that I didn’t have to stop doing any of it. Then one day I had a shower moment! What if I created a blog that explored living creatively, making things because you felt like it and learning new things all the time? I liked that idea a lot and came back to it over and over again. Once I started giving some structure to my blog and my Instagram feed I felt driven to create more and then one day I went down to my shed and created some new jewellery! I decided to go back to basics and stop trying to do fancy stuff that wasn’t really me. By going to back to how I started in jewellery – in polymer clay – and allowing myself to just play with it I became excited about my new ideas once more.

I certainly feel I have achieved a lot this year. I have been to so many amazing workshops and completed some great craft kits that I receive through the post and pick up when I’m out and about. I’ve been to some really interesting events and exhibitions and overall this year I would have to say that I feel inspired.

I’ve rediscovered a love for sewing. I did a GCSE in Textiles but was somehow discouraged from taking it further to A Level. I feel now that if I had I may well have gone on to do it at university as well. My favourite skill that I have learnt this year is definitely punch needle and I’ve now reached a point where I’d like to plunge myself further into the world of fibre art and not only complete craft kits but start to create some original work of my own.

So what do I want to achieve next year? Well for Christmas I received some gift vouchers for two of my favourite craft venues; The London Craft Club (https://londoncraftclub.co.uk/), and Tea and Crafting (https://www.teaandcrafting.co.uk/), so I will definitely be booking up some workshops there in the next couple of months. I also plan to continue with my subscription boxes. I have two main ones that I receive; MakeBox (https://www.makebox.co/), a monthly box, and Craftpod (https://www.craftpod.co.uk/), a quarterly box. I really like that they bring new projects to my home, things that I might not otherwise have tried. Some projects haven’t been for me at all and I probably wouldn’t repeat them, but I’m pleased that I took the opportunity to give them a go. Other projects I’ve enjoyed so much and will definitely be using the skills and techniques in future projects. I’ve also been eyeing up a short course in embroidery at UAL, which I am thinking of booking.

I am also very excited to be attending Alt Summit (https://altitudesummit.com/) in Palm Springs, California in March 2020 as well. I think this will really test my networking skills as it is a week long conference and I can be quite shy, however I think it will be good for me and hopefully I will learn loads of helpful things and hang out with other creatives who are at the top of their game. I’m hoping that it will help me to focus on the direction I would like to take this blog and my own work so I can start to shape a future doing something I’m passionate about – creativity!

If you have any recommendations for workshops or crafts you think I should try out in 2020 I’d love to hear about them!

workshop

La Basketry

Yesterday I went over to the London Loom again, this time for a basket weaving workshop run by the lovely Tabara N’Diaye from La Basketry (https://labasketry.com/). This was a totally new skill for me, but Tabara was very patient in explaining how to do each step and even though there was seven of us in the class she gave each of us individual attention when we needed it. I felt very well looked after and she was really encouraging, even when our work came out a bit wonky!

To start with we were given a bunch of grass, a special needle with a bent tip and a flexible silicon tube. We had to select which colours we wanted to use for our basket from a selection of plastic strings. You would recognise them if you made scoubidous at school (showing my age)! I chose purple and peach. 

We began by threading a few of the grasses through the silicon tube, which kept them all together and made it easier to begin the pot. Tabara then showed us how to create the first coil by tying the plastic string round, wrapping the grass and creating a stitch to hold it in place. This was the base from where we would continue to build the pot, adding a stitches as we went round. 

When the coloured string ran out you just threaded the new colour into the previous stitch and carried on. As the grass ran out you just had to feed some new stems into the bunch to ensure you maintained a consistent thickness all the way around the basket. 

Once the base was wide enough then you could begin to build up the sides. That was where the peg came in useful if you were having trouble holding everything in place. I didn’t use the peg as I found it much easier to weave going up the sides than I did creating the base. I also found that my stitches became more uniform and fell into a natural pattern, which created a nice look for the basket, and meant that my messy bit was luckily hidden on the base!

The little basket we created was to hold a cactus and Tabara had one for each of us. I didn’t have enough time to build my basket as high as I would have liked but I think it still looks cute with it’s little spiky friend inside it! The workshop cost £55 for two hours and took place at the London Loom studios (https://thelondonloom.com/v2/).

workshop

Soldering Masterclass

This week I attended a soldering masterclass at the London Jewellery School where I completed my diploma (https://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/). Soldering is a pretty essential part of silversmithing and something I dread doing. My diploma was now three years ago and I don’t use soldering very often in my work, so although this class was covered in my diploma some of the details have become a bit fuzzy and it’s not a skill I want to lose so I decided I needed a refresher. The class cost £149 and ran from 10am-5pm with an hour for lunch. It included all materials and use of the school’s tools, tea and coffee and most importantly, biscuits!

I have something of a mind block with soldering, it’s just not something that happens for me and it is a skill that requires practice, which obviously I don’t do, so I started the day feeling a little apprehensive. I needn’t have worried! The other students in the class were all at varying skill levels and the teacher Kimberley was really reassuring. She was very knowledgeable about all the processes and showed us each one step-by-step and was on stand-by if we needed any help throughout the day. She started the day by talking us through all the equipment we would be using and the different types of solder; hard, medium and easy.

The first thing we did was make jump rings and then learn to solder them closed and also how to turn them into a chain. Kimberley showed us how to apply the flux and the best place to position our pallions of solder. She then showed us how to heat the piece to encourage the solder to flow in the direction we needed. 

The second method we learnt was sweat soldering to join two flat pieces of metal together. We began by covering the smaller piece in pallions and heating it until it flowed so one side of the metal was entirely covered in solder. After pickling it to ensure the surface was clean we then positioned it on top of the larger piece and heated it again until the solder flowed, joining the two pieces together.

After that Kimberley showed us how to attached an earring post using the third hand (reverse tweezers on a movable stand) to keep the post in place. Following that we attached some of our jump rings to the top of a flat piece of metal, again using the third hand, and also to the side. 

Lastly we made a 3D shape. We started off by creating a ring using a strip of metal and then soldering the join together. The ring was then soldered to a flat piece of metal to create the base, which we then drilled a hole in to prevent the heat building up inside when we added the final piece of metal and causing an explosion! Finally we soldered another flat piece of metal to the other side. The final step is to cut off the excess metal and file it down to create a smooth 3D shape. As you can see I ran out of time to finish mine in the class, but I’m pretty confident with those skills so I can always finish it at home!

Soldering still isn’t really my favourite thing to do, but I definitely feel more confident about the process now that I’ve had a refresher, especially with such a great teacher. I always love returning to the London Jewellery School. It’s such a welcoming place and makes me feel inspired to keep going with my jewellery. Also, there’s always biscuits!

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Modern Embroidery

This weekend I did something pretty special. The amazing Meg from Nutmeg and Honeybee (https://www.nutmegandhoneybee.com/) visited England all the way from San Diego, California to host a modern embroidery workshop at The London Loom (https://thelondonloom.com/v2/). Meg began her creative journey through baking but branched out into embroidery after feeling like baking on its own wasn’t fulfilling her creative flair. 

The term ‘modern embroidery’ can be interpreted in a range of different ways but often focuses on abstract or geometric shapes, simple lines and patterns, but for Meg the most important thing is introducing texture to the piece. This can be done in a variety of ways such as using a range of fibres, not only embroidery thread but also yarns and rope including sewing over the rope to create raised areas. Beads and the use of French knots are a great way to add more texture to areas of the piece.

To begin the session Meg got us to choose a colour palette from the threads spread out of the table. She then showed us a range of stitches which she uses to create her pieces. We learnt satin stitch, French knots, rope stitch and turkey stitch, which creates lovely fringing or can be used to create flowers.

After the demonstration we drew out designs on our fabric using a water soluble fabric pen which can be washed off when the piece is finished. My aim for the workshop was to try each of the stitches whilst I was there with Meg and she could advise if I had any problems. 

The concept for my piece was a crescent moon with a cloud over the top. This is a time consuming hobby and Meg said that she would spend an average of six to seven hours on one piece but it could be more, especially if it was a larger piece. During the workshop I only got one moon crater and a section of the cloud finished. 

Finished cloud after some work at home

At home I’ve worked to finished it using various textures and different yarns, however it’s still not finished and I want to add some beads and another colour into the sky to give the piece more pattern and depth.

This workshop was a lovely way to spend three hours, with wonderful like-minded people from all around the world. Meg has several other workshops lined up but unfortunately they are all in America. It is definitely worth keeping an eye on her schedule to see if she is going to do any more workshops in the UK. Not only was the workshop great but we were all sent home with a pair of scissors, three different sized needles and plenty of thread, yarn and beads to complete our works of art.

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Punch needle…at last!

I’ve been to the London Craft Club again! (https://londoncraftclub.co.uk/) This time for a workshop in the craft world’s biggest current trend; punch needle. I’ve been wanting to learn this craft for quite a while now as it’s so popular and I recently bought a kit from The Modern Crafter (https://themoderncrafter.co.uk/). 

The London Craft Club have moved venue from Bedford Square to Holloway Road, but for September when I attended this workshop they were using The Upper House near Highbury and Islington tube station as their premises. The room we were in was nice and spacious with big windows and lovely murals on the walls. There was four of us in the class and our tutor for the evening was Zoe. She had the table laid out with piles of yarn in a rainbow of colours and when we arrived she encouraged us to think about what kind of design we would like to do. There were several examples laid out on the table ranging from rainbows and watermelons to abstract pieces.

Zoe explained about which types of cloth were the best to use for punch needle. We used a type called monk’s cloth which we fitted into the embroidery hoop to keep it taut whilst we were working. She then showed us how to thread the needle using the wire threader. The needle we used was not the famous Oxford needle that has become synonymous with punch needle, but an adjustable one. We talked about the settings and how you could create different effects with the different length loops. After Zoe had shown us the best practice for using the needle we were free to start on our designs.

I decided to make a wall hanging with the initial of my nephew to hang in his room. I chose a range of greens to create an abstract background and an orange for the J to stand out against the background. I started off with the J and then worked around it using the greens to create a random pattern, trying out each of the different needle lengths to produce a range of textures and heights.

The workshop was so relaxed and we all had a great time creating our pieces. Some people had a clear design in mind and others just experimented. I’m really pleased that I’ve learnt this technique and I can’t wait to have a go at my kit. I have a few ideas for designs of my own and October’s MakeBox is a punch needle kit too, so watch this space for more of this addictive craft!

Event · workshop

The Handmade Festival

I had an absolute ball this weekend at The Handmade Festival (https://www.thehandmadefestival.com/) hosted by Kirstie Allsopp! I attended on the Friday and it was such a lovely day. The festival takes place in Hampton Court and it was a beautiful sunny day to be walking around outside (thanks late summer sun!). My friend and I decided to pre-book all of our workshops so we would have a schedule for the day, and also some guaranteed sitting down! In total we booked on four workshops throughout the day and they were quite evenly spaced which left plenty for time for browsing the shopping zones and other tents hosted by some familiar names such as Sew Yeah Social Club (https://sewyeah.co.uk/), Mollie Makes (http://www.molliemakes.com/), and the London Craft Club (https://londoncraftclub.co.uk/) amongst others. Lots of these tents were hosting their own workshops too, which you could just attend on a first-come-first-serve basis or sign up to on the day. Next time I might consider booking less workshops in advance so I can participate in these instead. There was also an amazing food tent which had loads of stalls selling delicious produce like honey, wine, cakes and sauces.

The first workshop I attended was Indian block printing. It was my favourite of the day. The tutor from The Arty Crafty Place ran us through how to apply the paint to the blocks to ensure we wouldn’t get a blobby result and the need for a printing mat to provide a soft surface to help the block make full contact with the fabric. There were a variety of blocks for us to share and we used four paint colours during the class. We started off with a piece of practice fabric before moving on to the tote bag provided. As the fabric paint dries immediately we were able to print both sides. There were lots of assistants walking round, giving advice and showing us examples of items that had been printed. They also told us that by heat sealing the printing with an iron it would then be safe to wash it too. I can definitely see myself incorporating this technique into future work.

The second workshop I attended was felting. We made a flamingo. At the beginning of the class Steffi from The Makerss (https://www.themakerss.co.uk/) said that by the end we would be addicted, but I’m not sure it’s the craft for me! The main shape of the flamingo was formed using a wire armature made from a pipe cleaner. The various coloured wool was then formed around the wire and manipulated into shape using the felting needle. The eyes, wings and legs were attached by punching the needle through both layers of the wool at the place where you wanted them to join. I was amazed at how easily the wool joined together and stayed in the shape it was formed into, but I did wish I had an extra pair of hands to hold it all steady!

The third workshop was Honey Hand Reflexology. We started the session talking about the importance of bees and honey and which kinds to buy to get the best health benefits. We then made an exfoliator using honey, cane sugar and coconut oil. It smelt delicious and we all used our scrubs on our hands straight away. It left my hands so soft. I have quite dry skin generally so I will definitely be using it throughout the winter. Katharine from Bee Potion (https://www.bee-potion.com/) said that we could also use it on our faces. The second half of the session was dedicated to hand reflexology. We had a hand map and Katharine talked us through each of the pressure points as we gave each other hand massages. It was very relaxing and my hands felt lovely afterwards!

The last session of the day was a talk hosted by Kirstie Allsopp with the gardener Charlie Hart. He was very amusing and talked about his move to the country and how his decision to become and gardener and transforming his own garden helped him through his grief over his parents’ death. He also talked about how it can help with anxiety and gave some good gardening advice to questions from the audience.

In between all these sessions we browsed all the amazing stalls. Some were selling handmade products such as jewellery, ceramics and art and others were selling craft supplies. I made quite a few purchases of craft kits so expect lots of blog posts about all of them in the near future!

I bought:

• Indian block printing kit from The Arty Crafty Place (https://theartycraftyplace.co.uk/)
• Cushion cover knitting kit from Stitch and Story (https://www.stitchandstory.com/)
• Mosaic kit from Rachel Shilston (https://www.rachelshilston.co.uk/)
• Pom-pom rug making kit from Multipom (https://multipom.com/)
• Woven necklace kit from Stitching Me Softly (https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Stitchingmesoftly)
• Fox embroidery kit and Sunset punch needle kit from The Modern Crafter (https://themoderncrafter.co.uk/)

I was really excited to see some of the companies and individuals I follow on Instagram. It was great to meet them in real life and see their products. I did see a few people I recognised from Instagram attending the festival, it was a bit like celeb-spotting! I didn’t go up and say hello to any of them though as I didn’t want to seem like a stalker!

I had such a great day out and I will definitely be putting it in my diary for next year.