Sugarcraft workshop with Gill

Yesterday, nine of us had a fantastic day learning some sugarcrafting skills with Gill O’Connor.

Gill led the group in making sugar past Christmas cake decorations, and the results were quite brilliant!


The ladies were energised by Pat’s homemade mince pies and, later on, with lemon curd cake.


Gail Allen, who participated (and who was kind enough to take some photos for us) says that everyone had a fabulous day. Thanks to Gill for her time and talent, and to Val P for arranging the day.

Paper Flower Workshop

04It was a very floral affair on Friday as a group of us learned the art of paper flower making.


Our instructor, Pam Booth of Paper Gardens, led us through the steps required to make a perfect paper rose. Not all of ours were as perfect as Pam’s, but we had a great time!


As we got the hang of the process, we found we could easily snip away and glue while chatting and even while eating cake. Who knew?

We chose polystyrene forms – some cones, some wreaths and some balls – which we plan to cover with our paper flowers. Mine’s still a work in progress, but I am determined to finish it!


Thanks to Pam for being so patient with us, and to Val for organising the day and providing the cake.

A stained glass workshop

This week, 10 of us met at the Murley Hall to learn the basics of stained glass. Under the tutelage of instructor Claire Albert, we each made a beautiful stained glass suncatcher!

Claire had us practice cutting on plain glass first, using a special cutting tool and snippers. We made straight cuts, then curved cuts and then tried to cut following  a stencil.

Practicing cutting plain glass
Practicing cutting plain glass

Once we had mastered our cutting techniques, we selected coloured glass and cut shapes from stencils provided by Claire. Some of us went for sun, some stars and some abstract landscapes.

Ruth's sunshine is looking beautiful
Ruth’s sunshine is looking beautiful

It was very tricky cutting the glass so that the pieces fit together perfectly, so we then used a grinder to help with shaping. After that, we wrapped the edges of our pieces of glass with copper tape before starting on the soldering – that’s the exciting bit! Using bits of solder, we joined our pieces together to get our finished products.

Liz works with her soldering iron
Liz works with her soldering iron

It was a fantastic day spent learning something completely new that none of us had ever tried before!

Our finished work
Our finished work

Click here to see more photos of the workshop.

Thanks to Claire for teaching us, and to Val for setting up the day and providing cake and biscuits!

A Fabulous Screen-Printing Day

Last Tuesday, a group of our members spent a day creating some wonderful screen-printed designs at Kiwi Printing Studios in Camborne.

Dena O’Brien of Kiwi was absolutely lovely (as well as patient!) and helped us all along the way. 


We began by drawing a design, and then cutting it into a stencil. Our designs included everything from sheep to wine bottles to Rennie Mackintosh-inspired graphics. We worked painstakingly at our drawing and cutting, and it took us most of the morning!


After a fortifying lunch break in the sun overlooking the fields at Dena’s beautiful studio, we were ready to tackle the rest of the job in the afternoon.


First, we mixed up paint colours to get the shade of our choice.


And then came the fun part – the actual printing! Using great force, we pulled squeegees along our screens, forcing the paint through and onto our design.


The moment of truth came when we lifted our screens to reveal our prints underneath!


In the end, we all wound up with gorgeous bags and prints and everyone was smiling!


Thank you to Dena for her great tuition and to Val for organising the day (and bringing cake!).

Click here to see more photos of our workshop.

The Jam Pots are Coming!

With carnival season fast approaching, your crafty WI members have been hard at work getting our costumes ready!


On Monday, an all-day workshop was held at Di C’s house and some serious progress was made. Some ladies used sewing machines, others ironed, some made labels and others threaded elastic.


We worked together like a well-oiled machine!


If you fancy joining us at either Marazion or Hayle Carnivals (or both!), make sure you’re at our June meeting! We’ll be taking names and lining up bodies to fill those jam pots!


Click here to see a few more photos from Monday’s workshop.

We Are Not Doormats! (Rag Rug Show)

If you’re at a loose end next weekend, why not head to St Just for the We Are Not Doormats rag rug exhibition?


As well as the rugs, you’ll be able to see St Just in bloom, and enjoy some delicious homemade cake. There will also be a craft stall. It all happens at St Just WI Hall, Friday through Sunday.

This will definitely appeal to our Rag Dolls, but also to anyone who appreciates beautiful handiwork!

All that glitters …

On Wednesday, a big group of us met at the Penzance Art Club for a silver jewellery-making workshop.

04Our instructor Eddie, with his able assistant Kevin, led us through the day with bawdy jokes and pirate impressions – and at the end of it all, we came out with some stunning pieces of silver.

We learned how to cut our silver wire and bend it into circular shapes using ring or bangle molds that looked like big metal cones. Then came the exciting soldering moment! After dipping our pieces in cold water and then in a magical bubbling solution, we could see things beginning to take shape.

10We then banged and bashed and  hammered at our pieces until we achieved a pattern we liked. After using the polishing machine, we were all thrilled with our sparkly silver rings and bangles!

It was a brilliant day and we all learned so much! What a way for Sue Knights to spend her birthday! Thank you so much to Val Puddiphatt for organising it for us.


We will all be wearing our creations to the May meeting so you can see what we got up to. And perhaps we’ll be able to run a second workshop for those of you who missed out this time.


Click here to see more photos.

Card-making fun!

Today a group of us met at Gail’s house for a day of card-making. With scissors, guillotines, glue, tape and beautifully coloured and patterned papers at hand, we set to work on some serious card-production.

Sally and Di snip away
Sally and Di snip away

Sally Cockram brought all sorts of amazing bits and pieces for us to use – from her die-cutting machine (which had us all very excited!) to sparkly bits to add to cards, she was a treasure trove of goodies.

Alison and Kathy
Alison and Kathy hard at work

By the end of the day, we’d created enough masterpieces for all of our members’ birthdays. I wonder which one you’ll get!

A sampling of the beautiful cards we made
A sampling of the beautiful cards we made

Thank you so much to Sally and Val for their materials and expertise, to Val for organising the day, to Gail for hosting and to Val and Charlotte for the delicious cake.

Messing about with clay

A group of us (plus two friends from Hayle WI) spent today at the Murley Hall having a wonderfully messy time with lumps of clay!

Samme Charlesworth displays some of her techniques
Samme Charlesworth displays some of her techniques

Local ceramicist Samme Charlesworth instructed us, beginning with some fun exercises. One of those involved us forming 20 very quick little clay objects in 20 minutes – one minute per piece. We wound up with everything from peas to cats to flipflops!

20 tiny pieces in 20 minutes!
20 tiny pieces in 20 minutes!

Before taking our lunch break, we rolled out slabs of lovely soft clay and let it dry a little. Then after lunch, we decorated it using paint and all sorts of bits and pieces to add texture and interest. And then came the fun part! Making our pieces!

Sue working on her vase
Sue working on her vase

Some of us wrapped our clay around bottles, using the bottles as forms to shape a vase. And some of us made small dishes and even coasters.

Sue, Liz, Margie, Alison and Lis wield their rolling pins
Sue, Liz, Margie, Alison and Lis wield their rolling pins

Of course, all this was done with the usual scrummy cake, thanks to Lis Davies and Val Puddiphatt.

And cake. There is always cake.
And cake. There is always cake.

The hard part now is waiting a couple of weeks for our pieces to dry and to be fired twice. Stay tuned for more photos once we get our work back! In the meantime, have a look at the rest of today’s photos here.

Craftiness on the Moodle

Heart-4I wonder if you all know how many wonderful crafty resources are available on the WI Moodle!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Moodle, let me explain. It stands for Modular Object Orientated Dynamic Learning Environment. That’s quite a mouthful and doesn’t really do the Moodle justice. Really it’s an area of the NFWI website which is restricted to WI members and which enables you to view information, download documents, communicate with other members and learn new skills.


As well as committee training information, the Moodle contains a wealth of information about everything to do with the WI. But I want to talk about crafts here.

There’s a blog written by NFWI’s Craft Adviser and which is full of crafty news. There’s a calendar of craft shows and exhibitions around the country. There’s also a forum where you can chat with other WI members and exchange projects, patterns, etc. Some people are even offering items for sale!

The best bit, however, is the list of projects available. Some are simple, some intermediate and some require more skill – so there’s something for everyone! The projects range from knitted items, like these lovely bunnies:


… to beautiful fabric-covered lampshades like these:


There are instructions for creating birthday cards, making a crochet hat, upcycling old clothing, making a cake topper for Valentine’s Day and beading a necklace.

To access the Moodle, you will need a password. This ensures that it’s a ‘safe’ area and is only for us, the WI members. To get a password, drop Helen a line on and she’ll request one for you. You’ll have it in 24 hours and will be on your way to crafty fun in no time!