All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Back To Wales, Back On TV and Back Up North

Hallo diary readers, how are things with you? Good I hope…

This last few days have been as busy as ever, with much going on around the country during the All Counties Craft Challenge.

Fancy a catch up…?

All Counties Challenge Header

Well, this week it was back to Wales. First stop, Blaenavon.

What I hadn’t realised by looking at the Sat Nav was how high Blaenavon is in the world. Around 1,500ft above sea level.

What I also hadn’t spotted was the the climb to this altitude would be done in just under 3 miles. Poor old Maisy. She made it though, in third gear, very slowly.

The view at the top was well worth the slog…



Anyway, the venue for this workshop was Artie Craftie. I found the shop OK and also there I met shop owner, Nick.


Some say there is a resemblance … what say you … ?

Cool looking shop!


The inside was no less creative and packed full of lovely crafty goodies. We situated ourselves in the back of the store in the workshop zone and, once the four lovely ladies had arrived, got cracking on our mixed media clock project.

Nick even made us some lovely toasted sarnies for lunch which had locally made toffee and caramelized onion chutney – delicious!!

Nick and his wife, Wendy, really like to support the local community and were all involved in making tactile muffs for the local dementia group so the reason for having the All Counties Challenge was more than just a visit from Maisy.

Glad that the visit was appreciated.

All to quickly though the workshop was over and it was down the hill … like a rollercoaster car on free-fall – WHERE ARE THE BRAKES!!! ARRRRGH!

Made it to the bottom of the ‘hill’ alive though and made our way up to North Wales to our next destination.

Maisy, due for a rest parked up in the car park of Abakhan Fabrics near Mostyn.


I took the kit and bits over to the workshop building – it’s a big place this.


Inside it was a wonderful creative space – with LOTS of upcoming workshops.

Didn’t take long for me to get set up and excited.


Now, if the seven ladies could hurry up and get here…


… ah, two cancellations and two no-shows meant that it was a more intimate group than expected but the creativity would really come through thanks to this.

For this project we were using fabric spritzers along with creative stitching decorative fabrics that we would then turn into tote bags.

Even I had the opportunity to have a go this time.

Definitely needed modelling at the end of the session – eat your heart out Sewing Bee-sters.


I did a little bit of modelling too, just to show the ladies how it was done – lol!


Anyway, the ladies and I had a shopping date.

I quickly nipped over to the craft building …


… and then the fabric building …


… soooooo much lovely fabric!

Wallet emptied and it was time to head back down to Peterborough for some on-screen creativity.

Here I am – smiling. So that’s what I look like, lol! Anyway else thinking of Mr Potato Head?!


Had a good old giggle with the crew and presenters though.

Also got a tad excited about a magnet! It was ace though, wasn’t it?


Right, 3 days, 600 miles, 3 TV shows and two workshops later and I am bushed!

No rest for the wicked though as it was time to head back up north for the next set of workshops … I’ll fill you in on those at the weekend.


Don’t forget, I am putting myself through all of this nonsense in order to raise awareness of mental health issues and also to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.

If you would like to get involved there are only 48 days left to do so.

You can get involved in several ways. You can:

  • Make a donation on my Just Giving page.
  • Make a donation via the Create & Craft TV website; for an additional P&P charge of £2.99 you will also be sent an official challenge postcard colouring book.
  • Attend a workshop. To find out if there is one coming up near you, please visit the itinerary page on this blog.

Thanks for taking the time to catch up. See you again soon!

J :)

6 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Back To Wales, Back On TV and Back Up North

  1. Hi John ….another good catch up. Oh how I love a good old rummage through the fabrics, and I reckon my expression is similar to yours when I first see all the glorious materials in front of me. You are doing a sterling job spreading the word and highlighting mental health issues. I am sure too that you are helping to remove the stigma and isolation which often goes hand in hand with issues surround mental health. I for one have been able to move forward reading your blog and the thoughts of others. Keep on spreading the word. Karen X


  2. Sounds as if you had a lovely time John. I can remember coming down a steep hill? In Wales without any brakes! Had to use low gear and the handbrake. scary or what.😀


  3. Thanks John for visiting us at Artie Craftie a day not to be forgotten .. We now wonder if we have been the highest craft shop above sea level that you have visited on your challenge


  4. Sounds like you’re having fun. What a view, fantastic! Then Aberkhan… I love that place, I’m like a child in a sweetie shop!! I would have loved to have come to your workshop in Barmouth but it is a bit too far from where I live (2 hour drive!). You’re doing so well with your challenge, congratulations.
    Happy crafting


  5. Brilliant blog as usual John, thank you. I’m very disappointed that it didn’t win. It’s far more entertaining than the ones that did. I know which one I shall carry on following. Anne x


  6. Such an interesting account of your visit to Wales. Gosh I would love to come to one, must see if you are coming to Somerset in the future. Will visit the itinery page and see what is on offer. Thanks John, loved the bags.


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