Unfortunately, the planned speaker for our March meeting had to cancel but she had given us good notice and so we were able to source an alternative speaker in plenty of time. Having supported Cotswold RDA as our charity for 2018, we were delighted to welcome Claire Jenkins, their General Manager, to tell us more about the Cotswold RDA. Presenting with slides, she gave an inspiring talk on the work they do, how it enables those with disabilities and their plans for the future. It was exciting to see how much their work encourages a 'can do' attititude and how they are looking to widen the experiences of those children and adults that attend. A well deserving and hard working group to support!
Another night of concentration! Once we got started, there was no stopping the knotting!
Using paracord for their first bracelet, our crafters got the hang of the knots making a pink chunky bracelet before having a well deserved cup of tea and cake. Then it was onto twine and beads to do their second bracelets. Unfortunately, forgot to take photos again ..... must try harder at our next session in March.
Another interesting meeting! At our February meeting, we welcomed Will Kerton from Droitwich Salt. He told us the history of how his family became involved in the return of the production of Droitwich Salt. Most of us were aware of the importance of salt in the history of Droitwich but it was fascinating to hear how this unique local resource has once again returned to delight the taste buds. One of the many interesting aspects of the talk was learning how, working with Brad Carter (a Birmingham michelin starred chef), Droitwich Salt have developed a range of flavours including Charcoal - weird yet wonderful!
Our January WITCH session saw our crafters making cards using the ‘iris folding’ method. Once you get the hang of it, it can be quite simple; the trick is to remember to follow your pattern. Our crafters did very well and produced some lovely cards. Of course, we were helped along the way with some delicious cake.
Unfortunately I forgot to take photos so you will just have to imagine what they looked at!
We started 2019 with our meeting a week later than usual but that didn’t stop members turning out for an interesting talk on tomato growing and modern technology. Laura Holt from local tomato growers, Sandyland Nurseries, gave a potted history on the development of their business, from their first greenhouse (which they named Tom, shortly followed by Dick & Harry!) to their new modern greenhouses incorporating innovative ideas to get the best results. I think we all found a new respect for our humble tomato after this meeting. Laura finished off by providing members with goodie bags, which did include some rather lovely freshly picked tomatoes.
Our last WI event of the year was our Christmas Lunch. This year we decided to try the Christmas Menu at Revills; what a good choice! 22 of us were well looked after and well fed by the Revills Team. Lovely food and so well presented – the desserts were particularly cleverly presented. Have a look at the pictures below; shame to eat the Choux Snowman (but I did – and he tasted as good as he looked).
Our last meeting of the year was noisy but rhythmic. Tim Scarborough of Rhythmicity brought his African drums and a variety of other instruments for us all to try out. Beating out rhythms was hard work – we all had to think and remember to count to ensure we kept the music going but it was good fun and an excellent end to our meetings of 2018.
We also held a Christmas Decoration competition; members were allowed to bring upto 2 homemade decorations to display on the President's rustic scandi style Christmas Tree. There were some really lovely decorations and we let Tim choose his favourite as the winner: a paper Christmas Tree folded in 'tea-bag'style.
The WITCH session in November was something different for us. We had a specialist tutor led session with Jumping Clay. 20 keen crafters of all ages had great fun first making a penguin and then after some tea and delicious cake, went onto to make a second item of our own choice: reindeers, Paddington Bears to baskets of flowers & Christmas trees – such a variety were made and all looking good!
The Reverend Kate Bottley at The Chateau Impney. One of the lovely things about the WI is the opportunity it gives you to try new activities and meet new people. Our Federation organises events such as lunches with celebrity speakers; last year a group of us had lunch with Gyles Brandreth (see earlier blog). This year it was the Reverend Kate Bottley. She came to fame through a viral wedding video that led to her appearance on Gogglebox and from there, opportunities to enable her to broaden her audience. Despite an obvious sense of fun and energy, her faith was also very clearly important to her. It was a lively entertaining talk and well worth going..... the lunch wasn't bad either!
We resisted Halloween and chose to make something pretty rather than spooky. An excellent idea to use those spare pieces of fabric, buttons and zips - make a brooch! You can even salvage fabric from an old dress, blouse or shirt to make these. Some lovely results below: