Last week, I had the perfect birthday weekend. Friday night at the cinema, Sunday night dinner at my favourite local Italian, Sotto Sotto in Bath and a Saturday workshop at the rather lovely Folly Fabrics in Bampton with Gretal Parker. I've been so inspired by Gretel's gorgeous designs in her book and various craft magazines that I was really pleased to secure my place on this workshop to learn how to make little houses. Places sell out really quickly. Himself kindly chauffeured me there as it's an hours drive away from us and I am still learning to manage the Meniere's disease I got for my birthday last year, which has reduced my driving from 20,000 miles per annum to about 20. The medication and balance rehab has helped but workshops or any meetings with more than 3 or 4 people are a challenge and can induce dizzy spells, nausea and fluctuating (ie no) hearing. But the room was bright and airy and you can cover a lot of half heard conversations with a vague smile! Here we are hard at work making shapes.
I sort of met up with Gretal in blog land so at the risk of embarrassing her, I must say that for such an indefinite craft as needle felting (take a piece of wool - stab it into a shape) Gretel's teaching is hugely encouraging. She makes beautiful things in her own instantly recognisable style and demonstrates real generosity of spirit in the way she shares her techniques. I've been to several workshops for all kinds of crafts but this one stands out. I bloody loved it!
Gretal's original is on the left. See how neatly and smoothly it's finished off? See how fuzzy and loose the one on the right is? That's mine.
At home I was greeted with a huge bouquet of flowers from Himself's mum which were almost too big to lift.
And I had the luxury of time to finish my tall tower.
Some online shopping was done too, just in case the money I'd received for my birthday went out of date and I'm sure I'll share that since its crafting stash. Don't judge me ;)
Here are more of Gretal's houses from the Christmas 2015 edition of Mollie Makes.