Hello to all you lovely darling roses (and anyone else who drops by, of course...) It really is time for a bit of a catch-up on the last month's activities. Summer's finally arrived (oh yes it has!?), so we've been stepping out.
On Wednesday 29th May, some of the girls had an evening trip to the West Yorkshire Playhouse's Wardrobe department. There, they were greeted by Sally Stone, Costume Hire Manager, and Sally was kind enough to give a tour of the facility and a talk about its history and how the costume collection is organised. Then, the fun began in earnest... no holds barred dress-up time, yay!!! Zoey, Laura, Jayne and Sara were completely in their element and had more costume changes than Mr Benn. Maureen (the cheeky strumpet) headed straight for the show girl section and Audrey delved into the cod pieces! I couldn't be there, but after seeing the pictures and hearing the stories I'm jealous... sounds like it was a fabulous experience for everyone who went along. Many, many thanks to Sally and all her team for making the Darling Roses feel so welcome. Here's a few pictures from the night (my personal favourites!)
Don't they all look
Then, our usual monthly meeting (on Saturday 1st June) was a corker. We were joined by Wendy Jones-Blackett and her mum, Val, who came along to tell us about Wendy's lovely and very successful (and locally based in Chapel Allerton, to boot!) company - Wendy Jones-Blackett Cards. Wendy and Val were wonderful, engaging guests and Wendy's story of how she started and grew her business was very interesting and inspirational. Wendy and Val were extremely generous too, and brought a lot of cards along for us to raise funds with (thank you!)
|(to the right) Our lovely guest speakers, Wendy Jones-Blackett and Val Codling|
As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, we then totally spoiled ourselves by hosting our usual crafty / makey workshop off-site, with everyone trotting along to High Trees Garden Centre to make hanging baskets together. The manager, Ros Outhwaite, had put aside a huge table for us to work on and kindly showed us where everything was that we could possibly need. Quite unexpectedly, Ros also donated all the compost we needed, which was lovely! Everyone had their own ideas in terms of colour, fragrance, flowers, fruits or herbs, and just went for it. The group attracted quite a lot of interest from other visitors to High Trees, with people asking for advice and even making offers on the baskets! It sounds like it was rather a blissful afternoon actually, I'm getting the vibe that everyone thoroughly enjoyed spending time together in the sunshine in such a lovely place (I'm putting a picture together from all the stories that have been fed back to me you see - I still wasn't back from my holidays, I'm never bloomin' here!) All I can say is, when I caught up with Kate at our next event (the library tour, up next on the blog) and asked her how the hanging baskets went, all she could say was "High Trees... High Trees... I just want to be there all the time!" Praise indeed. Again, here's a couple of choice pictures.
And there was more to come when we met up again on the morning of Saturday 8th June for an exclusive peek behind the doors of The Leeds Library. Perhaps the best kept secret in Leeds? Not to be confused with the Central library on The Headrow - oh no, this is an entirely independent institution (actually a charity since 2008) and is in fact the oldest surviving example of a private subscription library in the British Isles. It was founded in 1768, and today it still resides in the beautiful purpose-built premises on Commercial Street that the library moved to in 1808. (It's above Paperchase!) If you ever get the treat of venturing inside, you'll agree that it is absolutely amazing that such a treasure is sitting there in the commercial heart of Leeds and, to borrow a phrase, "not a lot of people know that". Jane the librarian gave us a warm welcome and did a fantastic job of recounting the history of the library, there were even a couple of spooky ghost stories! We toured the building, stopped for a drop of tea and ate the requisite cakes (we are WI after all) and a few of us stayed on for quite a while to lounge at leisure amongst the bookshelves. If you're a book lover, it is such a little dream of a place. The atmosphere is unique and special, and hard to describe adequately... so hopefully the pictures will give a smidge of a feel.
So, that's what we've been doing for the last few weeks! Please join us on Saturday 29th June for our next meeting, which promises to be a lovely, sociable affair. We'll be hosting an afternoon tea fuddle and making lots of summer bunting from fabric, paper or whatever else we can dream up.
Hope to see you there xx