Thursday, 15 November 2012

Deck the halls... Christmas wreath making on Saturday 24th November 2012

Hello to all you budding Darling Roses! If this is the first time you've visited our blog, you're very welcome. We're going to tell you all about our next meeting and the crafty workshop to follow it, and it would be really nice if you would confirm if you'll be coming along using the 'Leave a comment...' link at the bottom of this post. Please do! That way we can use this blog to communicate with you all, and it will really help us to plan for our meetings and workshops.

On Saturday 24th November we will be officially inaugurated as a WI branch (hurrah!!) and that means we will all be able to join the Women's Institute on the day. The annual membership costs £33, and it will run until the end of 2013, so starting our group at this time of year means that we're all getting some extra free meetings in 2012 - bargain!

We're very excited about our Christmas wreath making workshop that will follow the meeting. A couple of our committee members, Jayne and Tiff, will be sharing their artistic talents and demonstrating some options using greenery, or the more permanent fabric-based type. We'll have lots of materials laid out if you fancy trying out your own ideas as well. We will be supplying the wreath bases, floristry wire and other basic equipment needed, and the workshop will cost £5 (as with all of our workshops, we're trying to keep the charge minimal to cover materials and hall hire).

Anything we're all able to bring along to prettify our wreaths would be a great help. In terms of greenery, we've already got offers to bring in holly, ivy etc... but if you have greenery to spare please bring it in! Any foliage with berries would be spectacular (does anyone have the elusive mistletoe?!), pine cones, anything in your garden that would look good on a wreath basically... use your imagination!

In terms of the fabric wreaths, if you have anything suitable please bring ribbons / pretty fabric strips, felt, baubles (big or small), other Christmas decorations... again, anything that you think will look good.

When you leave your comment below, you can also tell us now if you'd prefer to make a foliage or fabric-based option, if you have a strong preference. We've had to order wreath bases already, so please be aware it will be first come first served (i.e. there will be a limited number of mossed bases available for green wreaths).

(Which reminds me, as blog author - can I bag a green one now please?!)

Finally, we will be having a shared lunch again, between the meeting and the workshop. As a guide, we'd say whatever you decide to bring along to share, it's enough to bring about as much as you'd normally eat yourself, plus a little bit extra.

So, a short final recap:
  1. Please let us know if you're coming by leaving a comment here.
  2. If you know what you'd like to do now - foliage or fabric - also let us know here (first come, first served, but don't worry, there will be more wreath bases than people so everyone will be able to do something on the day!)
  3. Please bring along whatever you can add to our supplies - greenery, ribbons, baubles etc
  4. If you'll be handling greenery, bring your garden gloves to protect your little mitts!
Bye for now x

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Meeting and vintage teacup candle making – Saturday 27th October

Hello! We’re back, to tell you all about our second meeting, and what fun we had with a few old saucepans and half a ton of wax (!). As promised, we kicked off proceedings with more of a formal meeting this time. We were joined by Helena Harrington, the Chairman of our local WI Federation, and Edith Cheesbrough, the WI representative who’s been guiding us through the membership process. Helena kindly talked us through a brief history of the Women’s Institute, what the WI is all about now, and also what our members will gain access to when they join. Helena and Edith then popped to the kitchen for a cuppa, whilst we had a chat as a group about the things that are most important for us to agree right now, as a newbie WI branch:

  1. What’s our name?
  2. What will we do?
  3. What about lunch?! (you may scoff – sorry about the pun – but our meetings start on Saturdays at 11am, so yes we do have to talk about lunch!)
The founding committee members have already been using a working title for our group, and this was our chance to unveil it:

Darling Roses WI (ta da!)

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed it’s also the title of this site! We had a chat about the merits of going with a more ‘whimsical’ name (such as Darling Roses) or the more traditional route of naming the branch after the area we meet in (for us, that's Moortown in Leeds), and the consensus in the group was that something a bit more expressive and unique will suit us much better. So, to cut a long story short, Darling Roses it is! The few of us who’ve been living with the name for a little while, whilst working on setting up this group, have grown to love it and we’re sure you all will too. It does make us sound quite lovely, if you think about it… (and we’re sure we can live up to that, come on!)

We also talked about our ideas for future workshops, fundraising and campaigning, which we’ll post more about as we develop our ideas and agree firm plans. With the formalities out of the way, we were able to confirm to Helena and Edith our name and our firm intention of being a WI branch, which means… we will be inaugurated officially at our next meeting on November 24th! Phew. Again, look out for more on this next meeting in a post coming soon – along with details of the crafty, creative workshop that will follow the meeting, making Christmas wreaths.

But let’s not forget our candle making. It was a nice choice as our first proper workshop, something that was very simple and cost-effective to arrange, easy for everyone to take part in, and we all got to take home some nice gifts (possibly for ourselves!) that we were very pleased with…
Debbie (our President) explaining proper use of our specialist equipment!

Facial steaming was included in the price.

 And now for the tricky bit, "sshh, I'm concentrating!"

By mid-afternoon, lovely candles covered every surface.

These two got all fancy with some bows (the rest of us who didn't think of that were a tad jealous!)

So, there you have it, and a lovely time was had by all. Next month we'll be creating some Christmas cheer, learning how to make beautiful Christmas wreaths using greenery or fabrics. We'll keep you posted on all the details.

Be back soon x