me

by Jo Henderson

As you all may know recently Ros Badger and I were running a series of craft workshops at Port Eliot Festival in Cornwall. Being a festival newbie I didn’t really know what to expect but as first festivals go this one was pretty spectacular! Sunshine with no threat of rain all weekend, an amazing location and crazy crazy things going on all the time. It was fun from the off. It was also incredibly hard work.

On the Friday and Saturday we ran five workshops a day, we expected between 20 and 25 people a session and ended up with over 50 each time. Everyone was so friendly and so keen to learn and their creativity knew no bounds!

Port Eliot festival

I could write an essay entitled “What I Did At My First Festival” but instead I shall tell the story in pictures…

We set off on a Tuesday. The car was shall we say full. (There was a roof box too!)

We set off on a Tuesday. The car was – shall we say – full. (There was a roof box too!)

The car exploded all over our tent

The car exploded all over our tent …

decorating tent

… With a little bit of Port Eliot magic a transformation happened. (Note to self, step ladders are like gold dust when setting up festivals, chairs on tables are not as good/stable/high.)

Thanks to Wilko, Hobbycraft and Block Design we were momentarily organised with scissors for paper and scissors for fabric ... (guess how long that lasted!)

Thanks to Wilko, Hobbycraft, Nutscene and Block Design we were momentarily organised with scissors for paper and scissors for fabric … (guess how long that lasted!)

Pretty soon we were ready for business

Pretty soon we were ready for business …

the badgers sett

Business came in droves

… Business came in droves

We made bunting ...

We made bunting …

 ... and pom poms

… and pom poms …

and head dresses Thanks to G.F.Smith for the amazing paper samples they sent us.

… and pretty paper head dresses. Thanks to G.F.Smith for the amazing samples they supplied us with.

We made beautiful felt flowers and hair accessories thanks to the felt supplied by Blooming Felt

We made beautiful felt flowers and hair accessories thanks to the felt supplied by Blooming Felt

wedding idea

and this lovely couple are getting married next year. They came and learned how to make paper pinwheels. So that’s their wedding decoration sorted. (Just 20 or 30 left to make!)

There were paper pom poms as big as your head

There were paper pom poms as big as your head

Famous authors popped by to make themselves a corsage for their upcoming talk.

and famous authors stopping by to make themselves a corsage for their upcoming talk. Lovely Susie Bubble also popped in and took some beautiful photos for her blog (a great place to visit if you want to know what went on at the rest of the festival!)

There was a moment of calm when Ros taught crochet. (wooll and hooks supplied by the wonderful Loveknitting

There was a moment of calm when Ros taught crochet with the wool and hooks supplied by the wonderful Loveknitting. (I lay down under a tree at this point and drank some gin.)

we couldn't have done it without the help of many many people certainly these two were amazing. Jago and Lewenna helped, cut up, rip up, hold up and tidy up all weekend.

We couldn’t have done it without the help of many many people. Certainly our two festival fairies were amazing – Jago and Lewenna (above) helped cut up, rip up, hold up and tidy up all weekend. So big love and thanks to them and to Jo Henderson our amazing photographer who was snapping away all weekend recording all the goings on for our neeeeeewwww project coming next year …

To the wonderful people at Block Design, Blooming Felt, GF Smith, Hobbycraft, Homes and Gardens Magazine, Loveknitting, Nutscene, Port Elliot festival (Cathy and the team made us feel so welcome), Quadrille Publishing and Wilko thank you for the supplies and support.

A final thanks to all the lovely lovely people who came and took part in our workshops, tried a little crafting and learned a new skill. See you all next year.

boys at sunset

This was not me

thank you people

 

 

watercolor-badgers-set

 

Very exciting plans are afoot this Summer. The lovely Ros Badger (Author of one of the Simple Makes books: Hook, Yarn and Crochet and supreme knitter) and I are running the craft workshops at the beautiful Port Eliot festival down in Cornwall between the 24th and 27th of July.

I’ve always wanted to go to this festival and we are so excited to have been asked to participate. Over the three days we will be running several workshops a day. We still have to finalise what we are actually going to be doing but there’s definitely going to be headdresses, garlands, pom poms, paper boats and crochet involved. Click the image below for more information.

port eliot website

One of our ideas is to have a Paper Boat Regatta at twilight down on the estuary. (Ideally candle lit if we don’t set fire to the boats!) I’ve been busy practicing different ways of making boats … with varying levels of success!

paper boats

I’ll be posting more experimentations and details on here so stay tuned!!

rain. nice.

rain. nice.

1. Don’t go

where I sewed my award winning hankercheif

where I sewed my award winning hankercheif

Just joking! I love Margate with a passion. A distant relative (they lived in the Orkney Islands which is pretty much as far from Margate as you can get without leaving UK soil) used to own two Victorian villas a hop skip and a jump from the beach where we used to spend many many happy holidays. One of the houses is now owned by the proprietor of the Mad Hatters Tea Shop (9 Lombard Street) and he has redecorated the house in his own unique style. So even though it started raining the minute we stepped off the train a little detour to the houses cheered us right up!

2. Play on the arcades

there's a fortune to be won

there’s a fortune to be won

We used to spend hours and and probably about 25p playing in the Half Penny ArcadeΒ  situated on the seafront just behind the sea water pool and in front of the seaside shelter where T.S.Elliot wrote The Waste Land (see, culture and everything!) This arcade is long gone but the Flamingo and its neighbours remain on Marine Terrace. The slots have gone up slightly to 2p but there’s still fun to be had on 25p.

Flamingo arcade

I like the way my shoes and trousers match the carpet

As an end of holiday treat we used to visit Dreamland the amusement park. Riding on a giant caterpillar through half eaten apples (my sister thinks it was toadstools) was about as thrilling as it got for us. Though Dreamland is all but derelict now, the sign remains and the brilliant Wayne Hemmingway has got his mitts on it and is working hard to restore it to it’s former glory. Which. Will. Be. Amazing.

one day it will rise again

one day it will rise again

3. Go to Primark

one of the nicer views from a Primark window

one of the nicer views from a Primark window

I’m not sure what the Primark building was in a former life but the upstairs homeware department has one of the best views over the beach and you can buy a cheap hat, scarf and umbrella to protect you from the downpour happening outside.

4. Visit Forts (but not weekdays after August)

on the outside looking in

on the outside looking in

We had been told about Fort’s (8 Cliff Terrace) by a friend who said they’d had ‘the best chips they’d ever tasted’ there and who is to argue with that? We made our way up the hill dreaming of warmth, dryness and vinegar but were sadly met with our first closed sign of the day. Damn.

5. Drink hot chocolate

hot choc number 2

I had two hot chocolates in our 7 hours in town (needs must). The first was in Lilly’s by the Sea (92 The Highstreet) – not technically ‘by the sea’Β  but Lilly’s on the Highstreet doesn’t sound quite as good – super friendly staff and super cheap ham eggs and chips. Yum. 4 hours later we were in need of another pick me up (and somewhere for us to dry our sodden toes). Hot Chocolate number two from the cute The Cupcake Cafe (4/5 Market Place) came with all the trimmings and sorted me right out.

6. Visit Scotts and Junk Deluxe

poor picture, amazing store

poor picture, amazing store

Junk Deluxe was our main goal for the day, situated in the basement of R.G.Scotts (9 Bath Place). It is a treasure trove of 1930’s-1980’s furniture, lighting, ornaments, plastic hands, wire baskets, old museum signs, and many more things of brilliance. They’re open Thursday, Friday and Saturday but the super friendly staff will open by appointment if you phone ahead which we did. We were met by Andrew and had a pretty much private tour of the shop and warehouse. Andrew was also super patient and helpful when I bombarded him with questions about restoring my own skip and charity shop finds. Having spent a nice hour drying off downstairs we spent another poking through the multitude of knick-knackery that Scotts three floors had to offer. From the tinniest hinges to the most massive of armoires it’d be hard to leave without buying something. Both Scotts and Junk Deluxe sell their wares online so if you can’t make it down south all is not lost…

7. Shop in the old town

not my  picture taken from maxinesutton.com

not my picture taken from maxinesutton.com

Set just back from the seafront this little higgledy piggley set of streets has a number of independent boutiques and cafes, King Street is full of retro, vintage and second hand shops and the Market Place is a lovely little square surrounded by cafes and galleries. Though we were greeted with the dreaded closed sign at a few a note on the door of Maxine Sutton’s (2 Market Place) gallery invited us to knock as she was just working upstairs. This we duly did and gained entry to a lovely little gallery and shop full of screen prints and homeware goodies.

8. Visit the Turner (but not on a Monday)

Apparently closed on Monday’s so not much more to say about that. It looked good from the outside (I was too wet to take a photo).

9. Wait till 5 minutes before it’s time to get the train home and see the sun finally come out and prepare itself for an amazing sunset.

can you spot a wind farm? or the sun?

can you spot a wind farm? or the sun?

Great. Walking away from the seafront back to the station we could see the clouds breaking and the silver linings appearing. We managed to catch a glimpse of the majestic wind farms that had been hidden from us all day by cloud. They always make me smile. Saw a pretty rainbow from the train though.

10. Plan your next trip as it’s brilliant

Never rely on the British weather blah blah blah but I reckon rain or shine Margate will make you smile. For more information click the links above or visit www.margateoldtown.co.uk

I have been on holiday.

When I wasn’t doing this …

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… I was gazing at this …

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… Watching these …

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… and thinking of ideas for new books, more makes for the blog and big plans for the house.

So watch this space …