All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Fresh Fields, Fabulous Food, Furry Microphones, Fantastic Frames and Friends Found

Maisy has certainly had her work cut out this week, so, while she has a much needed rest, let me fill you in on what has been going on.

All Counties Challenge Header

When I left you bunch last I was sipping coffee in a motorway service station.

Well, having spent the night there, I actually felt a little groggy so thought that it would be nice to go and get some fresh air whilst I create the workshops for the week ahead.

So I did. I literally went for it with the fresh air thing!

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Grass, mud, rain, wind, air, trees – the lot!

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Hehe, very bracing and utterly inspiring as I am sure you can imagine.

They even had fresh milk in bottles there!

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Eee, that brings back memories … ps, yes, the scones were ruddy delicious too! hehe ;)

Food was definitely on the agenda this week. Not sure why. It wasn’t worms or anything, I guess it was the fresh air or something.

Down the road from where I had parked there was a lovely little pub so I decided to sample what the locals had to offer and ordered burger and chips – oh my lordy!!!

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Jeez Louise, that was a whole lot of burger!

Sadly I had to send more than a third of it back to be emptied into a bin (shocking waste but I just couldn’t manage it).

After that you’d have thought that I would have learnt a lesson wouldn’t you?


Here was the next night’s meal.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

No sense of scale in this image however, Sheesh! – that was sure a HUGE gammon!

I refused to let any of this go into the bin and persevered for a while, chewing and sweating until it was all gone.

My current thinking is that I might take it easy on the rich food for a while now.

Anyway, now that you are drooling and wanting to punch me for showing you such delicious images, allow me to distract you with some lovely news about the All Counties Challenge.

First, it is the two month anniversary! I got Maisy a cake, and then ate it :) (sticking to that resolution above I see?)

Second, this little road trip that I am currently on has received no less than TWO features in local news!

The first was about the Kent workshops and has a piccie of Maisy, me and another of Elaine and Suzanne who came along to the workshop.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Craft certainly DOES give help and inspiration!

The second was a little more nerve wracking as it was a radio interview for BBC Radio Shropshire’s daytime show hosted by Jim Hawkins (seen below with me – brothers? someone asked, lol).

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

Jim, and his production team, were extremely helpful, supportive and most importantly, interested.

The interview happened almost immediately upon meeting Jim. He was carrying with him a furry microphone recorder gizmo that I first thought was a small hamster, because people carry around hamsters all of the time, right?!

Anyway, we talked for a good amount of time and Jim wished me well and headed back into the studio.

Now, I wasn’t sure if my little chat with Jim was going to make the show as it was the EU referendum results day, so I am guessing you know what was going on then – much chat about being in/out and how it all came about.

To my surprise however I received a text message from the producer of the show to let me know that the interview had aired that morning!

If you would like to have a listen please visit the BBC website, here. The bits about the challenge are between the following times. (

  • 01.37.26- 01.37.59
  • 01.41.12- 01.47.37
  • 01.51.37- 01.56.40

Apparently there are 27 days left to listen (from the 26th June) but I will try and get a more permanent copy uploaded somewhere in case anyone stumbles across this post in the far flung future.

Anyway, that was all very exciting but I still had to get my shimmy on to sort out a challenge for the workshop that I was giving in Telford at the Crafty Bunch.

Sue, the owner of the Crafty Bunch asked me if I could do something with this frame.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

I stroked my beard, mused for a bit, whipped out some paints and brushes and whipped up this little pretty.

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Very chuffed with that! Hope the ladies like it too – only time would tell.

Anyway, Friday came around very quickly and within minutes of walking into the store, I think that I got the measure of how the two days were going to go …

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary

What were those plates for?!

If you would like to read how the days went, then please pop on over to the next in the All Counties Challenge Diary series, out later this evening, and all will be revealed!

J :)

The All Counties Challenge is being held in aid of Mind, the mental health charity, and is sponsored by Create & Craft TV.

If you would like to make a donation to the challenge then please click on the button below.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Alternatively you can join a future workshop by finding the nearest to you on the itinerary page.

7 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Fresh Fields, Fabulous Food, Furry Microphones, Fantastic Frames and Friends Found

  1. Felt a bit down this week, so saved this until I felt better. I wish I’d read it when it came, it always makes me chuckle. Glad it’s all going well. Anne x


  2. John it is so refreshing to hear you talking about your problems in such a positive way. I have mental illness in my close family and it can be hard looking after that person, but being positive is quite the best way forward.
    Keep up the good work John, I think you should write a book
    Love and Light
    Sioux x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Morning John , you are amazing opening a huge door for those of us who for many years have suffered in silence ,thank you doesn’t seem a big enough word for stepping out , I have made myself a mood board with things I have made and positive words I hope you don’t mind but could I use your idea of the frame I love it . Nita

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looking forward to ‘next’ :-)

    The frame is beautiful John, a lovely sentiment. I can imagine if you had that hanging up in your *home you’d smile every time you looked at it.

    *Don’t wish to offend Maisy by saying ‘house’!

    T x


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