All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Winter Cometh, Making It In Mudeford, Magic Mushrooms, A Winter Woodland, Fabric Land, The Strawberry Zebra and Down On The Farm PART 1

Hello All! I think that you will get the idea from the title of this post that it has been a varied yet exciting time on the challenge recently.

If you’ve got your weekly big brew ready, let me waft you back a few days …

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Winter Cometh

Now, from Brighton it was off west towards Dorset for the next workshop.

It often occurs to me that my anxiety doesn’t seem to kick in about the fact that I never really know what I am going to have to work with in terms of venue until the day that I get there.

Good job really as there were other things to think about before then.

Upon arrival at my ‘home’ for the next week or so I noticed that Autumn had given up the ghost and winter was well and truly in. Literally I think that it happened all in the one day judging by the amount of leaves that gathered around Maisy.



Loved all of the autumn hues all in one place though and took the opportunity to make a little piece of art from it…


Cool eh?!

With this change came the first sub zero temperatures that I have experienced on this challenge tour thing, but I wasn’t going to get cold!


Hat AND hoody double whammy = warm noggin :)

The two duvets came into play this week too!

Anyway, enough whining as winter brought some unexpected joys later in the week, but more on that later in this post.

Fast came the day of the next All Counties Challenge workshop and it was off to Mudeford.

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Making It In Mudeford, Hilary Armstrong

Now I mentioned earlier on that I never really know what the venue is going to be like until I arrive so imagine my joy when I met Hilary Armstrong and she guided me down a side passage at the local village hall and brought me into a lovely wee room with a stunning view!


*makes mental note – THIS is what I want my glass working studio to be/look like!!!*

Oh! Pardon my exhileration, I forgot to introduce you to Hilary. Hilary, meet bloggettes …


As you can see, I was a little excited. Lol!

Also, good lord, what IS going on with my beard lately – patchy and now white bits showing! Time for a shave.

Right, back to Hilary. Hilary runs a regular craft group in Mudeford and had invited me to host an All Counties Challenge for her group some time ago so it was fabby to finally meet!

The requested subject was Gelli Plates so we set up and got cracking. The day flew by and much was made.

This particular example from Vanessa using Turqouise and Copper acrylic paints on black card turned out especially well and attracted admiration all around.


The rest of the group created some equally gorgeous designs and, I hope, enjoyed the experience.

As ever though, and I am sure that you know whats coming next, it was time to end the day and get Maisy in on the action.

Here are a few snaps of the day …

Oh! Remember that view? I think that I needed just one more look …


*happy sigh*

Right! Time to get back ‘home’ and get sorted for the next workshops.

Off wee pootled and got cracking with prep.

If you have been following my journey you will know that I have had ‘blips’ from my old pals depression and anxiety however a real old pal reared his head this week, insomnia.

Some of you, that I chat to on Facebook will know the feeling of dread as your head hits the pillow and you just know that you aren’t ‘tired’ and won’t be sleeping anytime soon. I tried though. I tried all of the old tricks that I used to use when this was a more frequent visitor, but sadly none worked.

I therefore got back up and did a bit of this, and a bit of that.

Eventually I got a tad hungry so decided to rustle up a little midnight snack. At 1.30am – that still counts, right? Well, it was after midnight, lol!

Anyway, made a lovely filled mushroom. I say made, it was out of a packet – I cooked it, ok?! Lol!


Wherever it came from they were magic. *rubs belly happily*

Maybe that was all that was needed as I did then manage a few hours kip.

I still woke early next day though but I did think to myself that I had been couped up for a couple of days and I wondered if this had contributed to the lack of desire for sleep so decided to go and get some fresh air and have a little stroll.

Having been told that there was a nice walk very near to where I was parked I went in search of this mystery woodland walk.

Now, there is something about winter light that can play of the most blank landscape of branches that can fill the soul with joy. This walk was no exception.

Time for another bit of digi-diddling for a piece of art.


Who would have thought that there could have been so many colours, hues and tones in what is essentially mostly rotting undergrowth? Fab!

Trudging through the leaves, and getting lost several times, I eventually found Maisy and it was time to do some shopping type errands.

I won’t bore you with the Tesco trip however on exiting the shops my crafty spider senses started tingling as I looked across the car park …


Do you see what I see … ?

Abandoning Maisy I began to walk in the general direction that had first caught my gaze and found …



Sadly not a fabric themed theme park however still as exciting as it had rolls and rolls of gorgeous fabrics.

I was VERY good however and only bought a single piece – must be ill or something. Nice piece though…


Hmmm, now what shall I make with this? Perhaps a new toiletries bag…? I shall add it to the stash and have a think – i.e. forget about it until I get the stash out next time :)

Errands done and it was back ‘home’ and time to get ready for the next workshops. This time it was off to Hampshire.

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Join me in PART 2 of this two-part All Counties Challenge Diary post for more exciting times!



2 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Winter Cometh, Making It In Mudeford, Magic Mushrooms, A Winter Woodland, Fabric Land, The Strawberry Zebra and Down On The Farm PART 1

  1. Hi John, Long time no hear! (as we say in this part of the world lol) I have to say your picture of the woodland was was stunning and so ethereal, I was in a world of fairies and unicorns until I read, and I quote: “Who would have thought that there could have been so many colours, hues and tones in what is essentially mostly rotting undergrowth? Fab!” I have to say that snapped me right back here to freezin’ cold Norn’ Iron’ lol. It just wiped the whole romance of the scene completely out lol. I’m so glad your’re still fighting the fight and keeping at it :-) can’t wait to have you back for another big play day :-) and I’ll buy you some nice biccies for your tin to keep you going. Keep warm and well and I hope to see you soon, Sharon xx

    Liked by 1 person

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