The Surrey Weekender

May 2, 2016 — 15 Comments

What a reet smashing weekend that was!

If all of the workshops that I’m doing are going to be filled with as lovely a bunch of folk as this weekend then I am going to have an amazing year.

My visit to Surrey was over three days and was set at the lovely venue of The Manor Hotel in Godalming.

Maisy managed to squeeze her bum into the car park very nicely indeed.

Parked I began unloading the workshop boxes and set up the work room.

Pooped, it was time to sample some grub (to make sure that it was of a quality suitable for my guests of course!)

OMG! Loveliest fish ‘n’ chips I have ever had! Food test – passed! ;)

DAY 1.

Friday morning came and it was time to meet the lovely ladies that had signed up for a workshop with little old me. I’m going to be honest with you here – I woke up with the most almighty anxiety episode and was a bag of nerves but I managed to settle just in time for the first arrivals – phew!

For this first day I’d organised three projects for the group to make and offered up these creations as a little inspiration.

Yes, the family frame should have had a photo in it however, as with the duvets, they were back in Peterborough and I was finishing these up in Maisy on Thursday evening.

All of the ladies arrived early and were eager to crack on so, one hastily mumbled welcome speech later, off we went.

The tables soon began to resemble a proper crafty environment. I.e. Stuff all over place and everyone in their ‘zone’.

Most of the ladies admitted to having mdf kits at home but were to nervous to try them as they were unsure how to go about it so we’re glad that they were getting to have a go.

Several cake breaks and a lovely buffet lunch later and everyone had managed to make three wonderful and different projects, all from the same starting point.

Here we the proud ladies with their creations.


Workshop day two started in glorious style with sunshine beaming through the windows and the arrival of Sheena Douglass and Donna Ratcliffe.

These ladies didn’t waste any time and the fabulous group of twenty eager inkoids took their seats and soon got cracking with getting messy and inky.

More cake was liberally applied and plenty of tea/coffee/juice was quaffed whilst playing. Sheena even provided some ‘choons’ with which to craft along to.

By the end of the day the group had created some glorious owl frames which went from boring basic white to cool and colourful creations.
Check these beauties out!

A second project was also created using Sheena’s Paint Fusion technique.

Fab! You could say that the group had a right old hoot! Pun definitely intended. ;)

Sheena asked me to let EVERYONE know that she didn’t get ANY cake. She even pretended to have a sad face to try and make us believe her.

What do you think?


The final day in Surrey got off to another fabulous start by the arrival of the effervescent Julie Hickey.

Here she is with me just before I introduced her to Maisy.

Julie set up so fast that we had time for a lovely breakfast in the sun! *happy sigh*

Soon the last group of crafters arrived and took their seats (without being told to – keen!)

Seats taken, the creativity commenced!

By the end of this last session for Surrey the lovely ladies had created a diverse range of lovely looking projects.

Then Julie decided it was time for tea and cake.

Feet off the furniture love!

Now, it looks like there is a trend forming as a gorgeous dog strolled in at the end of the session – meet Barclay.

Sadly Barclay was more interested in the doggie treat that he was being bribed with to stay still…


Anyway, that just about wraps up Surrey but before I go I must say a few thank yous:

To the fabulous bunch of friendly faces that came along and made the weekend such a fabulous time for me (hope I did the same for them).

To Katy Markham, general manager at The Manor Hotel in Godalming (and also a keen crafter), for offering up the use of their premises and to the entire team for going over and above to make sure that everyone that attended had a warm welcome and a pleasurable visit.

To Sheena, Donna and Julie for taking the time out of their busy schedules to help make the weekend a fabulously fun and creative one.

Right, Maisy and I will be having a sleepover on the road before heading to our next destination.

Next weekend I will be with Clare Charville in Stoneleigh making a fabulous box frame creation. If you are interested in attending that workshop, you can find more information about it on this blog post. 

Thank you for reading and I look forward to sharing more workshop details soon :)

J :)


15 responses to The Surrey Weekender

    Jenny Johnson May 20, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Looks great John glad every thing is going okay. Wish you had a workshop near me. Keep up the good work. Hugs Jenny. xx



    All looks fab John, you are doing a great job, good for you, good for all attendees and good for a brilliant charity very close to my heart. I appreciate you can’t be everywhere but I’m still hoping to hear of a visit to West Norfolk. Love keeping up to date with the Tour de John.


    Joan Gregory May 5, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Well John what can I say for the fabulous weekend we had at the Manor. A great big Thank You to Sheena, Donna and Julie for giving us their expertise in their fields, and of course, for all the laughter, the best time I have had in years. I am glad to say that I am one of the lucky ones as I shall see John again when he comes to Mountain Ash in a few weeks time. Really looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person


    Thank you John for the fabulous post and sharing the photos of such a delightful weekend. Doesn’t Sheena look fab? She didn’t need that cake anyway. I’m still hoping to hear something soon about a Cambridgeshire workshop. Any chance of Julie Hernandez’s shop? All the best to you and Maisy. Raise lots of dosh for a very worthy cause.

    Liked by 1 person


    Congrats John! Sounds like a great time was had by all! You are going to have a brilliant year!


    Rosemary Hartfield May 3, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    John, I am extremely jealous that I was not at the Weekend.
    Please, any chance of you doing one in Farnborough in Hampshire – we would be so very pleased to have a share of your great expertise. Please give it some thought.

    Liked by 1 person


    You are off to a fantastic start – hope it gets even better as you work your way around the country. Good luck with everything! Liz X



    What a great weekend and a huge success, well done John. We loved having all of you at The Manor House for the weekend and hope we can see you again in the future. Best of luck with the rest of your tour. Katy.




    My heart is absolutely filled with joy for you and all the people that took part, all the projects look truly amazing, but those owl frames… Wowee! They look 100% like old unpolished brass- I need to try this one out!!!!! Although I paint and draw I love the effect of paint fusion, I love Julie’s papers and your MDF frames are just beautiful. An amazing weekend of crafty loveliness.

    Congratulations John, it looks like the weekend was a big success ;-) you have no need to feel anxious again… Only nervous excitement allowed from here on in. Also a big high five to Sheena and Julie for doing their part.

    Big hugs and happy smiles, T x


    dorothy cattanach May 2, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Everyone looking very industrious and full of concentration. All made beautiful items.
    Just Hope there is is a craft session near me, a lonely crafter in South Yorkshire, near Doncaster/ Barnsley.


    Handmade By Deborah May 2, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I was only there on day one, but had a super time; hope to catch you in another county John :D Thank you SO much



    The projects look fantastic and sound like you all had a wonderful time well done ladies im sure you are all very pleased with your creations with a wonderful teacher Mr B himself 😁



    Wow it looks like you have all had a fabulous weekend. Well done John, I know how nerve racking it can be teaching and also learning, at the same time as meeting lots of people for the first time. I love the items that have been made, they are all lovely, you have a great following.
    Keep up the great work.
    Love and Light
    Sioux x


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