Corina made me feel so welcome and introduced me to other very creative people who have workshops in the studios attached to Upper Lodge.
Polly of Folly and Glee has one of the studios, filled to the brim of her amazing lampshade creations and a cupboard FULL of the most tantalising barkcloths that make you definitely go Oooh! and Ahhhh!
I wished I could have stayed and looked at every piece of fabric, so lovely to finally meet Polly too.
Alice Mara has a studio too, she makes these quirky ceramics which certainly get you thinking. She was busily taking photos of her work for a future exhibition and between Alice and Polly the atmosphere in those studios was of a joyful place to be, so great to be in that environment, took me straight back to University days!
Anyway, Corina has been busy getting the Tack Barn up and running and I was privileged to be shown around. The finish is exceptional and every detail has been carefully thought out, I could certainly imagine sitting by the wood burner in this chair gazing out to the woods and pretty pond.
Polly from Folly and Glee made these fun lampshades over the kitchen area, such a great idea!
I love how this moose casually looks over his guests as they relax!
There are some gorgeous pieces of work from cushions to pepper pots dotted around the Tack Barn by the artists from the Studios and also local crafts people which give a lovely flow to the whole place, very special indeed.
The barn has just one bedroom, ideal for those romantic weekends away (hint hint Mr Sew Recycled!) a sumptuous bed with en-suite and a fantastic view over the pond and Sussex countryside….
There is even an covered outdoor space perfect for that lazy brunch!
Another fun lampshade by Folly and Glee (all the fabrics have been given a name by Polly!)
Bruno, Corina's dog showed me the great deck that wraps around the barn overlooking the pond, great for those summer evenings sipping Pims. There is even a fire pit just outside to keep you warm as you gaze at the stars through the trees canopy, very romantic.
Another reason for my visit was to discuss running one of my needle felting courses at Upper Lodge.
Corina has very kindly offered her kitchen space as the venue, a large table enough to fit 10 crafty people!
So if you fancy having a go at making your very own little needle felted pet in the most stunning setting and you are free on 23rd April 2014, 10.30am till 3pm then please contact me as soon as possible to book your place as those 10 spaces will be snapped up! Tea and cake will be provided, bring a packed lunch and your lovely self (or even bring a friend!) I will guide you through a step by step process which will help you to create some amazing animals, I guarantee you will go home happy and addicted to the craft of needle felting!
For someone who normally is happy with winter I can honestly say its been rather grim out there!
Ive had to resort to buying flowers to cheer up the gloomy days, these Anemones have been divine to look at as they slowly unravel their colourful petals.
The skies have produced the most amazing colours too just after hail and rain storms and with the odd glimpse of sun the heart has warmed too, enough to venture up the allotment….
…to finally dig, clear and get the beds ready for some Spring planting and sowing.
Ive invested in some horse muck this year to give the soil a boost as with all this rain I'm sure some of the goodness has washed away down the slope of my allotment. (Probably very fertile at the bottom then!)
Yesterday was gorgeous up there, the soil is so crumbly and the worms are HUGE!
Im so pleased I invested in some fruit cages to protect my Kale 'Nero' from the pesky pigeons as its not only beautiful but an important green veg in our household!
My heart just goes out to all those who are suffering from the floods in the South West, its hard enough just to keep a small plot going, imagine how those farmers must feel seeing their livelihoods hit once again, heartbreaking. You can help by either following @FLAGSomerset on Twitter who are doing a sterling job or donate to the Somerset Community on their Just Giving page.
The odd bit of sun has meant there are a few and I mean a few flowers starting to peek out of the undergrowth in the garden, enough to have a small posy….
The violets smell divine.
I hope you are all coping with this weather, remember Spring is around the corner!
All the years I have lived in Sussex I had not yet visited Wakehurst, yes shocking really. What was even more of a surprise was the ease of suggesting and of wanting to go and visit with boys in tow! (perhaps they too were fed up with being indoors cooped up with all the rain we have had!)
What a stunning place! The house was a complete surprise…..
….the details on door frames fire places and stairwell were gorgeous. My youngest asked "Mum, are there ever properties like this that are up for sale" Me: "yes, why?" Youngest: "can we buy one then?" Me: (coughing and spluttering!) "if only we could, I'm sure they would be well out of our price range" ….bless!
Wakehurst has the most amazing gardens and woodlands too. We took along different tree books (Youngest bought his Kindle! I can't keep up!) and attempted identifying various trees…..
….we ventured into the Himalayan Glade (No More Disco will know exactly where i mean!) and watched the stream trickle down to the lake.
OH got to wear his Christmas pressie…dashing!
Im not sure if you can see the seed pods in this picture, totally unexpected as we turned a corner, beautiful in their decaying state.
Then of course Wakehurst is also known for its Kew Millennium Seed Bank which I had forgotten to mention to the OH, he was rather amazed by this. It is amazing, you can view through to the laboratories, watch the botanists dry, examine and re-grow seeds that have been collected from all over the world….
….there were amazing seed sculptures planted in various places all over the grounds too!
As the light faded and after sampling a fine onion and thyme soup in The Stables cafe we headed back….
…watching the sun…..
…set over the Sussex countryside with its special bank of seeds!
I do love teaching, especially when so many people go home with the most amazing pieces of work they have created, I feel like I have taught well, shared the knowledge and joy of a craft that will go on to make so many people happy.
The recent needle felting workshop I taught at Charlottes who runs the Cotton Wool Store shop in Petworth, Sussex was a sheer joy. So many wonderful dogs, cat and polar bear were made. The lovely Jen from The Make Box and also Gillian from Paisley Pedlar have both written a post on their blogs about their experiences of the day, I feel very humble, thankyou x
The characters of all the lovely ladies who made them certainly showed within their pieces....
.... a fine pack of animals don't you think!
Just look at their faces, such characters, expressions......
Usually there is a stage in the making process where everyone gets worried that their creature will look like some overgrown ape, but as they start adding definition, colour, ears, nuzzle and eyes, it all comes together with great excitement!
If you are interested in learning how to make one of these Polar Bears or any other animal....
... I am holding another workshop with Charlotte.
Book now for the perfect early Christmas gift or treat!