The day finally came for the first in the All Counties Craft challenge workshops and I was at last on the road!
First stop – Cornwall.
I genuinely had my doubts that this day would come but am unbelievably grateful for all of the help and support from everyone that has made this possible.
Many thanks in particular to Create and Craft TV for sponsoring this fund raising challenge and to all those that have contributed so far.
It’s definitely the wind in my sails, I can tell you.
Anyway, I am pleased to say that the Cornwall workshop went well and (as far as I am aware) and everyone went home happy.
If you have a mo I’d love to tell you about it.
Now, due to the lack of success with finding a suitable van so far, alternate plans had to be made for transport and accommodation so I hired a car and booked a hotel. Oddly this was actually cheaper and MUCH more convenient than getting a train, but that’s for my spreadsheet, rather than an interesting blog post. Lol.
After a quick pit stop to pick up some extra supplies (mostly biscuits) I hit the road and zoomed (at a safe and legal pace) my way down to Cornwall on Friday. It was a pleasant drive with only minimal roadwork disruptions – much better than I thought I would get considering I was using mostly motorways.
Being that it was so uneventful there isn’t really much more to say about the drive. Not even a grumble. How un-British!
Arrival at the hotel was a bit of a surprise and a delight.
You may think, ‘Why the surprise?’
Well, I booked this on Late Rooms website an hour before I set off, so I hadn’t really had much time to check it out online before heading off. I basically went for a pot luck bargain.
I knew what it was called and where it was. That was about it. It was therefore a surprise that I was to be staying in a castle right by the coast!
Get me being lord of the manor! lol.
It was even more delightful when I found out that the hotel was a big advocate of art and music.
In fact, the art even made it’s way into the car park.
Can you imagine driving around in that! Fab eh?!
Anyway, as it was blowing a gale and lashing it down I swiftly minced my way into the hotel and was greeted by a warm and friendly team who checked me in and showed me to my room.
There was plenty of other art to see on the way up to the second floor.
In fact, as I found out on Sunday, all of this art is from one talented man called Ted Stourton. Ted is a very prolific artist and his work adorned practically every wall in the hotel as well as being sold around the world.
When we got to my room I had another surprise, I’d even got a sea-facing room!
Only the cliffs and some weird mysterious ruins between me and the North Atlantic Ocean – which I could hear crashing against the rocks. *happy sigh*
It was late when I arrived so I grabbed some dinner in the bar.
Not exactly ‘local’ but certainly delish!!! :P
After dinner I relaxed in the lounge area (mostly to use the free wifi as I wasn’t getting a phone signal – it’s been a while since I’ve been this “rural” and I missed the internet!!)
While I was there I suddenly felt very lucky that the Premier Inn and the Best Western hotels were fully booked (and more expensive).
Sitting by a log fire in a quite area of the hotel certainly had the effect of calming me down; I was totally nervous about what to expect in the morning. This would be my first full on workshop – eeek!
Thankfully the chill out time helped me get off to sleep despite the giant gale whistling around the eves.
Morning came around very quickly and it was time to meet the lovely ladies that had booked their places on the first in the All Counties Craft workshops!
I set off from the hotel and drove around winding country lanes and rolling hills eventually ending up at our venue, Kingswood Farm.
This is a working farm and as it was Spring so I had to dodge the excitable lambs and their protective mothers.
*coughs politely* “Excuse me please sheepies. Need to get past, there’s crafting to be done!”
Anyway, having got lost on a single lane road that only goes to one place (yes, I can achieve this) I did arrive in good time to set up.
The view that greeted me was another corker, even if the weather was a little grey and wet.
I was starting to come to the conclusion that Cornwall was beautiful no matter what part of it you were in.
Before the guests arrived I got to meet Karen (from Total Papercrafts) who had kindly help arrange this workshop, Karen’s husband and Nikki who would be helping with the food and drink (which was lush!).
I also got to meet the owners of the farm on whose property the workshop would be taking place and who had kindly let me have the use of the converted barn for free.
Oh, for anyone that has not met Karen yet, here she is in all of her fabulous smiley-ness! :)
Anyway, look at me waffling on for hours about everything but the workshop.
As the ladies arrived it was nice to see a few familiar faces and also to meet some new ones.
To be honest though, I was still petrified! Eeeek!
Thankfully Karen did an introduction and then handed things over to me. Good job really or I may have still been stammering away.
The project that I had in mind for this workshop was a hope chest. A nice idea I thought for keeping little mementos or trinkets in.
The concept was that I would help the group construct the MDF project, and guide them through covering it with their choice of paper and then they would decorate it in any manner they chose.
We got started and before long I felt right at home as there was craft bits everywhere and everyone was happily working along at their own pace and chatting with their table-neighbours.
After all of the making, after the delicious soup and the afternoon cream tea (which caused some friction between the Devon/Cornwall residents about whether it’s jam first or cream first – thankfully no fist fights) the day came far too quickly to an end.
We did a little parade of the boxes and I must say, I was totally impressed with all of the different results that the group achieved … just stunning!
Fab aren’t they?!
Anyway, tidying up commenced but before I headed back to the hotel there was one more lady that I met that I wanted to bring home with me.
Meet Nell …
With a deep sigh I had to hand her back, get in the car and head back to the hotel – I think that she was less bothered than I was, lol.
Nell has a career as a working girl on the farm. All the best in your future career Nell :)
Right, that’s about it for this post. It just leaves me to say a HUGE thank you to Karen and her team; also to the fabulous group of ladies that chose to join me on the start of this tour and of course to the owners of Kingswood Farm for the use of their building.
So, that was me done. There was just one traditional thing left that I had to do. Whenever I am by the coast it is a rule that I have to sample the local fish and chips – so I did!
Verdict – stunning!
Now, you may or may not know that is an ongoing thing for me over the next twelve months so, if you are interested in contributing then you can do so via –
… or, if you would like to join me on a future workshop, you can see an itinerary here.
Many thanks for reading and I hope your tea hasn’t gone cold.
I’ll chat to you again soon.