All Counties Challenge Diary

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Down Memory Lane, Eight Inches Of Happiness, Stunning Views, A Good Browning And A Surprise!

Bit of a random week this time around. Hopefully I have managed to record it all in a fairly orderly fashion.

Ready? Ok *clears throat*…

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The mizog weather seemed to be following me. The rain that had drizzled all over me in Sheffield was now right her and not showing any signs of budging. In fact, a mist had also developed so it was damp, drizzly and grey.

It was therefore no brain surgery to know that I chose to stay indoors at my new location and do some crafting.

I used the opportunity to catch up on some of the colour challenges that I had previously missed.

Here is a quick snippit of some of the projects that I created …

… if you would like to see more, then please do head over to the ‘Colour Challenge Catch Up’ blog post.

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The mist and rain finally lifted and oh my word what a view I was presented with!!

All Counties Challenge Diary

Leaping on the good weather like a greyhound out of the gate, I revved Maisy up and we headed the short distance over to Richmond.

Richmond is one of those REALLY old places. By that I mean that it has human settlement history dating back to around 4,000BC. Would that be something you can sense or is it the architecture from a more recent, yet still historically distant era, giving the game away. Maybe it’s the 12th Century castle and it’s perimeter walls? In any case, it’s a great place and with plenty to explore – probably why we kept going as kids?

It’s been a while since I’ve visited. Over 15 years in fact. My uncle used to live in Catterick Garrison so we would visit each year and more often than not, visit Richmond too. His passing coincided with other changes in my life and there therefore just didn’t seem any reason to return. Shame really as it’s so lovely.

Everything was oddly familiar. Many of the same shops and tea rooms were still there. The routes through town had not changed, with the exception of a roundabout or two. I even knew where to park once in town. Strange how you don’t think of somewhere for so long but then remember it all when you set foot back in it isn’t it?

Modernity has made an attempt to come in but it feels as though it has been allowed under strict guidelines to come in, rather than it try and take over.

Anyway, I’m wandering off into contemplation of things that have nothing really to do with anything so I’ll get back to the point.

One of my favourite places in Richmond is the waterfalls. They go under various names – Richmond Falls, ‘The Force’, Swale Falls – all of which could be wrong. In any case, it’s rather lovely to be there. See for yourself …

I shan’t tell you the swear words of fear that were coming out of my mouth as Maisy and I navigated a single lane road down a 25% incline to that falls. Or the swear words of effort that were issued on the way back up … but I am glad that we did it.

Now, some of you may have noticed that in the title of this post I had mentioned eight inches of happiness. Well, it certainly wasn’t what you were thinking you naughty person you. It was in fact a lovely hot dog that I had in the square.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Even liked this picture so much that I created a poster with it …

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Might even get that printed onto a canvas for my kitchen wall, when I next live in an actual house.

Anyway, on my way back to Maisy I picked up a small selection of magazines so that I could catch up with what’s going on in the crafty world…

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

He he, just a couple then?!

With a few hours of daylight left and my imagination newly inspired I had a go at making a little something with the freebie stamp.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

I’ve done four blog posts covering these. You can see all of those posts here.

Right, chores and admin tomorrow so I’d best pack up and head to bed!

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Forgot to tell you that I ran of propane gas a couple of days ago.

To be truthful I was a bit nervous about getting this replaced as it is another new thing for me to do and one that has the potential to take my head off, let alone my eyebrows.

Coming to the conclusion that I had essentially been carrying this gas around with me for nearly two months without incident I felt that it was safe enough so Maisy and I trotted on over to a Calor gas supplier and got ourselves a full tank, which is damn heavy, and via the store for some supplies, came back to the caravan site where we had nestled earlier in the week.

The laundry was completed in the usual military fashion. I say military, I mean chuck it in the coin operated washing machine and drier on site and collect when done.

Then it was on to booking more workshops.

Glad to say that we now have a day in Berkshire and two days in Devon on the itinerary ready to take bookings.

More enquiries made and more to schedule in but I got sidetracked by other admin for various things going on so didn’t get any further today.

Must crack on with the housework now – even more important with living in a smaller space – biscuit crumbs get everywhere!

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I have scheduled a 1-2-1 workshop with Paul Browning for tomorrow so today Maisy and I are on the road and heading over to where we will be meeting Paul.

There were some struggly moments getting up 20% inclines across the Peak District but we made it!


Paul had asked to meet Maisy and I at Torside, a reservoir in the north of the Peak District. No problem – we even arrived early! No mean feet given that it was ‘rush’ hour across the peaks.

For no reason I took a pic of the quiet area that we found for Maisy.


For anyone that’s not met Paul before, here he is.


Ah, craft stuff got in the way!

Here he is.


Paul didn’t have anything in particular in mind for his 1-2-1 workshop so we started out by nattering over a cup of tea and some choccie biscuits as I had a rummage through my stash.

Knowing that Paul is already quite a talented mixed media man (you can see Paul’s blog here), I was gravitating towards my tub of messy bits.

We finally settled on just going with the flow so I got out some luggage tags and the paints and stencils and we continued to make, natter and drink more tea.

Now, I like tea but I think Paul could drink me under the table! Don’t think my kettle has been this well used since I got it – should have just left it on boil I reckon. Lol ;)

Anyway, many cups and many biscuits later and we were both surprised and pleased with what we had made – here is Paul admiring his …


… and then using them as a fan – as you do, lol!


Sadly the day had to come to an end so I waved Paul off and Maisy and I hit the road.

I’ll be sharing my tag art makes in some extra posts during the week so hopefully you will pop back and see those too.

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After finishing the drive that I started on Friday I finally got around to collecting my mail.

Among the usual rubbish was a plain brown envelope – wonder what this could be?! I cautiously opened it … it was from Mind!

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Feeling well proud of that! I couldn’t have done it with you though, and the challenge has another ten months to go so please don’t stop now!

I popped the bits back in the envelope with a smile on my face and hopped back into Maisy and we hit the road again.

Two smooth hours of driving later (nothing to whine about this time) and we arrived at the Telford Welcome Break.

As I pottered in a bit oblivious I seemed to be magnetically drawn to a the Starbucks booth. An accidental cheese and ham sandwich upgrade later and I was supping a delicious coffee and nibbling my croque measure on the patio watching the world go by – old habits die hard! Lol.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Well, me old muckers, that about sums this diary post up. Hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s less than hectic adventures.

Lots of work to do over the next week as I have four workshops to get ready before the end of the week so I’d best get to bed and get sorted!

Bye for now and thanks again for helping me break that £2k threshold!

J :)

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5 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Down Memory Lane, Eight Inches Of Happiness, Stunning Views, A Good Browning And A Surprise!

  1. Hi John thank you for another thoroughly enjoyable catch up…at this rate I will be more familiar with the UK than I was when I lived there. It’s lovely to see all the places and people enjoying getting crafty. We used to have a caravan so appreciate the nerve jangling experience of narrow roads and steep inclines but seems you are taking it all in your stride albeit through a volley of expletives ……..another learning experience if you try to use new words to extend your vocabulary! Keep smiling and bringing laughter and joy to all you come in contact with because you do it well. Karen x


  2. Hiya John

    First off, thanks for the cheeky title… certainly gave me a good giggle!

    Thank you also for the history lesson on the Richmond, it is a place I have never been, the waterfall footage is so beautiful, I love waterfalls as they range from peaceful to powerful yet all are so beautiful. I shall look online to see more of the North Yorkshire you’ve shown us today as to be totally honest, most of the places I’ve been in Yorkshire have been football stadiums, I do regret not trying to see more of the places I went ‘away’ to but I was young then I always thought they’d be a chance for that another time. The internet has opened the world up and you can visit anywhere from your sofa which is fabulous if you can’t go see it for yourself.

    As for the 8 incher… (smirk) … I’d be happy too, and you have to get your poster of it printed on a canvas for your kitchen to be, it’s superb.

    Congratulations on breaking the £2k mark, that’s brilliant news! Nice for you to get a little thank you note from MIND too.

    Onto Paul’s workshop- it looks like you both had a great time and Paul, I shall be checking out your blog to see your mixed media work.

    Well you have a busy week to come so I’ll let you get on, by the way, well done on managing another Maisie care and safeguarding issue in changing the gas. By the end of this challenge you’ll be an expert on all things camper van! You’re doing brilliantly on all fronts, organising workshops, Maisie and your own needs.

    Looking forward to your next post, have a terrific week.

    Hugs, T


  3. I really look forward to this every week, brightens up my weekend. I lived in a caravan for a few years, and I found having less stash actually physically available, I made more cards with less stuff than I do now with a whole roomful of goodies. To make matters worse, I still can’t stop buying, even knowing I’ve got too much, well, quite a lot. Have a good week. Anne


  4. Thanks for a BRILLIANT day John. The crafting, the chatting and the tea were all superb (not forgetting the cakes & baccies). If anyone reading this is sitting on the fence about whether to hire John for a group or 1-1, I encourage you to jump right in and spend the day in his fabulous company. I promise you, John gives his all to ensure you have the best day. Enjoy the rest of your trip Sir. P xx


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