All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – A Series Of Surprises And One Serious And Immediate Issue For Maisy

The challenge continues! This week has presented an interesting series of challenges and some very uplifting moments.

Got a min (or thirty)? Then allow me to share the events as they occurred.

Just a heads up – because so much has happened this week I have split this post over several pages – you can use the numbers at the bottom of the page to flip the page and continue reading (if I haven’t bored you senseless by then).


First, I must say that the Sat Nav and I had a falling out.

One too many times that little black box has tried to convince Maisy and me that a street is a street is a street.

I’ll clarify.

This is Maisy.

Maisy is a 3.5 tonne, 7.5m long, 2.5m wide, 3m tall beauty.

What I am trying to say is that she’s a girl with curves. She’s got dimensions that get her noticed.

She is also a girl of some refinement. She isn’t one for a bit of rough.

So, when the Sat Nav tries to convince us that the following types of roads are achievable goals for her …

… he’s clearly taking the pee.

He therefore had to go.

Thankfully he has been replaced with an app that we can type Maisy’s dimensions into and the roads are chosen based on those, rather than the other way around.

Ok, first challenge of the week sorted,

Next, the typical British weather.

The following picture doesn’t really show the scale of the challenge faced but let me tell you that was near horizontal rain with strong side winds and surface water.

The challenge here was not as previously indicated the actual weather, but the utterly disgraceful driving skills of other road users.

I was genuinely shocked at the risks people will take just to get one car ahead.

Despite this, Maisy stayed strong and unwavering and got us to our next destination.

You get a better idea of the rain in the next pic.

Proper MIZOG!!

This calls for hot, strong tea and plenty of biscuits!

The goal for the next couple of days was to get ready for three upcoming workshops.

The first one that I began to prep was the mixed media project for the Hertordshire group workshop.

I began by sticking the biscuits in the back of the canvases. No, not the eating biscuits, the little bits of wood that come with the canvas that no one ever knows what to do with.

Tip: These keep your canvas taught whilst working on it so make sure that your canvas comes with them!

The next step was to apply the gesso.


Then it was down to some serious mucking about!

Plenty of texture and paint was applied in various layers and with various methods.

Liking it so far.

Next to work out the upper layers.

Flowers oft work well as a framing tool as you can cluster them in various ways so I whipped out my little collection.

After die cutting  a load of white card stock and shuffling these about and faffing for a fair bit, I finally settled on this layout.

Tip: If you do this, take a photograph with your phone so that when you sweep it all to one side, you have an assembly guide immediately to hand, and can reuse it again in the future when/if you get crafters block.

Anyway, more paint, faffing and finishing and I ended up with something that I thought the ladies would enjoy making.

There will be a sentiment going into the finished ones, of course.

Time to pack up though as the next day I was heading over to see Gina …


20 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – A Series Of Surprises And One Serious And Immediate Issue For Maisy

  1. A truly fabulous, enjoyable and engrossing read. Such wonderful memory making happenings and joy shared with others. Thank you so much for sharing all this with us. I couldn’t make it to the workshop you had near to where I lived due to illness, but keeping up with your travels is the very next best thing. ~ Cobs. x


  2. Fabulous, I really enjoyed reading about your antics and seeing tthe happy faces and lovely projects! When are you coming to Wiltshire?Wx


  3. Yes take notes and get the book under way! Great style of wrighting. If your up Chester-Le-Street way, can you come and show me how to get to grips with my ScanNCut. Like your style of teaching, Mel gets too excited!


  4. Well done John for coping with Maisie’s oil change. I had a hospital appointment I like to arrive early to avoid my panic attacks. A week early is probably a bit too much!! I wrote it on my calendar at the same time as a second appointment for 6 July – oh well a bit of retail therapy and then settled in for watching you on c&c.


  5. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with everyone – it’s great to feel as though we are part of your journey. Take care xxx Liz


  6. Hope you’re keeping notes on your travels for your book! What ? You mean you’re not going to write a book? Well you should , I like you’re writing style.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John
    Thanks for the update. The workshop at mountain ash crafts was superb.
    Hope your shows go great have set the recorder as I’m at work.

    Stay safe


  8. Hi John

    What an epic week you’ve had! Firstly, I have to say all the artwork I have seen by your participants has been wonderful. Some terrific work there I’d happily hang on the wall.

    Well done on dealing with Maisie’s little issue. That must’ve felt so good. Proud of you :-)

    I’ll be watching during the week when I can, might try and email in and say hello!

    I love reading your diary, it’s like I’m travelling round the country with you.

    Big hugs and happy thoughts to you and your readers!

    T x


  9. Well your life isn’t dull!! I know I keep saying this but wow! I mean you just got up and went for it!! Looking forward to seeing you back on TV tomorrow


  10. Great blog John. It’s lovely to hear of your ventures – warts and all. Your workshops always look like a lot of fun.

    Keep up the good work x


  11. love your adventures John, but you must be bushed!
    when are you going to get your oil changed.
    crafty hugs sarah x


  12. Your blogs are wonderful and it is a joy to read them because it is as though you are sitting in my study telling me of your adventures. I am still hoping you can come up to Gretna, and my offer of free parking on my enclosed drive is genuine. I know there are lots of crafters round here, and I am sure I could organise something for you given a little warning.


  13. Great blog John, love following your journey. Looking forward to seeing you on TV this week, have learned much about my SnC from you. Xx


  14. Thanks for your updates John, I enjoy reading them and seeing all the creations. I applaud your honesty as to how you are feeling at times, I can relate well. I just hope you don’t feel anxious when I have my one-to-one with you……I will be the anxious one 😝

    You’re doing brilliantly


  15. Wow – what a week :)

    Many, many congratulations for dealing with all that!

    You dealt with some potentially challenge-stumbling issues and made some beautiful creations and friends along the way :) – I thought I recognised Jean from the Surrey workshop!

    Looking forward to your shows on C&C this coming week and reading more of your journeys – good luck with Deano ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I look forward to your blog, and today it couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve had one of those days when you are fed up for no reason, and haven’t got much done because you couldn’t be bothered……..then later on think about all the things you could have done, which makes it worse. Sorry, I won’t go on, but then your blog came, and I chuckled several times, so that’s one of your good deeds for today. Looking forward to seeing you this week. x


Share Your Thoughts On This Post

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.