All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Four Counties, Four Workshops, Four Days

Sheesh – what a busy few days! Managed to pack more in this week than I think I’ll ever manage again.

Ready for your All Counties Challenge Diary post?

Then buckle up my beauties because we are off for a long old drive.

All Counties Challenge Header

Having concluded the last diary post up north it was time to head south again.

First, a brief stop off in Peterborough to get myself sorted before a week of manic activity.

If you saw the state that the habitat are of Maisy had gotten into, you would understand this was important. Why don’t I disgrace myself by showing you?

What a bloody dump. Craft stuff on the seats, clothes in the bed, shopping on the table. Time to sort this baby out so that I can have access to seating and bed without having to move everything around each time.

Seven hours later and all laundry was done and EVERYTHING was packed away. Living and working from a motorhome is not as easy as you might think – it’s almost like you are in a real life version of Tetris, that falling block game where you’ve got to stack everything in a particular way before it all overflows and it’s GAME OVER.

During this week I also did some banking and also got a message about the donations from colouring books that sprang the challenge total to just under the challenge target …

What exciting news!

Once that went out on social media, some kind soul made a donation that took us over target – by a pound, lol!

A penny or a pound, it was over target!

More donations came in then too that moved things on more …

Proper grateful to you all – thank you! Please keep them coming.

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

There are other ways to get involved and make your mark on this challenge at the end of this blog post.

Ok, still got more to do on the challenge so time to head further south for a mini-challenge within the challenge – four workshops in four different counties in four consecutive days.

First, Devon.


The drive down here had been a longer run than expected, taking nearly six hours thanks to a seven car pile up that had us sat at a standstill on the motorway for 45 mins and a separate incident that had blocked off a minor road and meant that we had to navigate a single track B road in order to get past it – so I think you can imagine that after six hours at the wheel I was a tad stiff. Managed to walk it off and get some sleep in Exeter services before heading off to Exmouth in the morning.

I had been invited down to Exmouth for this challenge. Right near my favourite locations of all, the coast. Look at this stunning view!

*Happy sigh*

Anyway, I found my way to the venue of choice, Liberty Craft.

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary Four Counties - Four Counties Devon 14

Where I met store owner, Sarah Hirst. Sarah didn’t like having the photo done, but I managed to get a shot before she hid :)

All Counties Craft Challenge Diary Four Counties - Four Counties Devon 13

What a meanie I am! Lol.

With workshop set and people arriving I had a good chance for a wee browse of Liberty Craft’s goodies.

A little basket of bits later and it was time to crack on.

Playtime with the Gelli Plate and MDF boxes had been requested so, *waves magic wand*, here ya go!

Everyone came up with something so unique that it was hard to say if any one project was best so instead of highlighting one or two, I got all of the ladies to hold theirs for the group shot!

And of course, for the craft class selfie. :)

Having packed up and paid for my goodies – I really need to stop collecting this stuff and start using it – I headed back to Maisy for a little tea before I hit the road to the next county.

No sooner had I rustled a bag of crisps though than seagulls began to dive in – it was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’. All we needed was a phone box with Tippy Hendren in it.

Ok, so maybe three seagulls weren’t as scarey as a flock of a hundred crows however they made enough racket – SQUAAWWW SQUAWWWW!

Shush up and bugger off!

*seagulls scarper* You haven’t heard the last of us Bloodworth!!!

Hey! Guess what was also around that day – a rainbow! Unlucky to point but, look! *points at rainbow* :)

Magic, innit?!

Right, *turns key in ignition* off we trot. See you in Somerset.


Arriving in Somerset on a very wet day I met Julie-Ann Cartwright, owner of Inspiration Craft in Bridgwater.

What a happy face! :)

Today’s workshop was using the Gelli Plates to make papers that we then went on to create tag books from.

A lovely mix of experienced crafters and newbies in this group so hopefully they will keep in touch with each other in the future.

Even got to meet some celebrity Create and Craft emailers including Karen The Cougar, as named by Nigel May, – I’m not going to tell you which one she is though, hehe. ;)

The weather was all over the place, pouring down one minute and bright and sunny the next – oddly it always seemed to rain whenever the opportunity to pop outside came up. That’s the British weather for you I guess. :)

Right, time to pack up, load up and head off again. Moving on to Gloucestershire this time.

The roads had been moving quite well until two very selfish boy racers shot past at a ridiculous speed just inches away from each other and swerving to overtake each other like they were in some kind of game. I think that all of those on the motorway that farted in fear as they past were waiting for something to happen and sure enough a plume of smoke went up further ahead and everyone’s hazard lights started flashing and we all ground to a halt.

Yes, the two idiots had caused an accident. My heart sank thinking who else they may have involved. Thankfully a mother and baby walked away and onto the hard shoulder. Many of those near to the incident got out and helped and managed to keep one of the lanes open so that the traffic could keep flowing whilst those affected could be attended to.

I put this incident down as two of my reasons to be grateful. That noone was seriously injured and that I wasn’t nearer the actual crash, can you imagine what a 3.5tonne motorhome would have looked like trying to avoid that – I’d have probably blocked the whole motorway with craft bits flying everywhere.

I’ve no idea what happened to the two that caused this however I seriously hope that they have their licenses revoked as they should not be allowed to endanger lives like this ever again.

Arriving unscathed at Gloucester services I found that I had the whole caravan bay area to myself – no lorries and no other cars making noise – a bit weird but quite nice for a change.

Reason three to be grateful that day. :)

Did make for a good night’s sleep …


It meant that when I awoke and the sun was shining I was super ready to get up, get out and get on …

… yes, that is a super ready face, even with the bleary eyes.

Lol. Time to head off to my workshop for the day.

For Gloucestershire I had been invited to Tanzee Designs in Wooton Under Edge, a charming little town – with streets and parking that were not designed for motorhomes.

Thirty minutes after arriving in town I managed to find somewhere to park Maisy and headed into the store to meet Team Tanzee …

… and of course, have the obligatory browse before the workshop started.

Mmmm, sooooo much sparkle!

Gloucestershire provided one of the smallest workshops that I’ve tackled on the challenge with just one person choosing to come along.

It meant that we had a great day and got more out of the bead soup than had first been thought. We also got more of the cake that Elizabeth had made for the group – was rather lush! :)

Also meant that I could make a few things too! :)

Anyway, it went by just as quickly and then I went off to try and remember where I had parked Maisy and get back on the road and off to Wiltshire for the next one.


For the Wiltshire workshop I had been invited to the long standing Sarah’s Stamp Shack in Whiteparish.

Plenty of lovely goodies to browse here!

More Gelli Plate action for this one with everyone learning the skills in the morning and then attempting to decorate a paper mache box in the afternoon. Some innovative ideas all round in this group …

Thanks to the lovely sunshine and on-site parking we also managed to get Maisy into the craft class selfie.

Done, sort of.

It was a four hour drive back to Peterborough do demonstrate the Sapphire Plus on Create and Craft TV before driving another four hours to Gretna read for the next batch of Scottish workshops.

Anyone else in need of a rest?!

*flops onto coffee shop sofa*

Right, that just about brings this wee blog post to a close. Just 34 days remaining on the challenge!

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 several ways in which you can do that.

  • 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 :)

7 thoughts on “All Counties Craft Challenge Diary – Four Counties, Four Workshops, Four Days

  1. Well done John that’s amazing you’ve worked so hard doing this. I do have one question have one question for you what will you do next? xx


  2. Hi John, you have done such a great job raising money for Mind – so besides a long, well-deserved holiday, what are you planning to do when it’s completed? What will happen to your mate Maisy? Just being nosey! All the best for the last 34 days!


  3. Dear John
    It has been wonderful following your amazing experience. What a positive way to raise awareness. I have no doubt all who know you are proud of what you have achieved.
    A fellow crafter


  4. What a fabulous job you are doing You will be in need of a holiday when you have finished where do you get the energy.😂 Hugs Josie xxx


Leave a Reply to John - Gentleman Crafter Cancel reply

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.