Saturday, 11 March 2017

November 2016 Annual Meeting & Book Folding with Trina

November marked our 4th anniversary, time is fleeting! ("It's astounding... madness takes contr..." ah I'll stop there.) Ideally, any anniversary would of course mean a party, but the party must wait - the usual shindig at Pizza Express to take place at the end of the month, it's difficult to persuade anyone else to take us! Official business comes first, and our November meeting was the beefed up version that is an 'Annual Meeting'. Our cue to report back to our members on how the year has gone, and not just the usual vague ideas we bandy about (possibly being too honest there), oh no, using actual hard facts about things like membership and finances. The Annual Meeting is also a great opportunity for us to press pause for a moment and share our ideas and feelings as a group on how things are going, and the general feedback, we must say, has been great. We've had a busy and enjoyable year, packed with the usual activities and workshops, but notably doing a lot more for the community and charities this year (our energies seemed to be mostly taken up with celebrating the Centenary in 2015).

Our second annual stint catering at the Armley Mills Wool Festival in June was stratospheric, with visitor numbers rising from a few hundred the year before to an estimated 2000 at least. The money raised gave us a huge cash injection, and our financial picture is very healthy. We were also able to fundraise for the charities Sunshine & Smiles and Supershoes, and additionally through the year we have collected a huge amount of donations for the local food bank, a women's refuge and local Syrian refugee families. Other highlights of 2016 included a spiffing day out at the Bowes Museum, Castle Barnard in June, and our surprised delight at being presented with the Edward Shaw Cup at the West Yorkshire Federation Annual Meeting in April, for the largest increase in membership in a WI starting with less than 30 members - our swell in numbers has now taken us out of this category! Slaps on the back all round then (kidding) but, seriously, we were happy to be able to report such good news, as our first visit from the new Federation Chairman, Maureen Hancox, coincided with our Annual Meeting. No pressure... happily, the day went well, and we hope that Maureen enjoyed her welcome into the Darling Roses fold.

The serious reporting bit made way for lunch, which in turn made way for the day's activity, book folding. Our lovely member Trina had volunteered to lead the workshop, after she'd discovered a new passion for this craft over the last year or so. Book folding is the art of producing beautiful, decorative 3D objects by folding the pages of a book in a set pattern. We saw angels, Christmas trees, houses, animals, words and names... and I'm sure there's an endless variety of designs available if you were to delve deep into the world of book folding. The art requires precision, but is actually supremely simple once you've mastered the basics, and gives wonderful results as you can see from the pictures below! Trina was a brilliant tutor, thank you Trina for giving your time and effort and introducing us to a fabulous new craft <3 xx

Face of an angel

The growing pile of donations for the women's refuge

Our Federation Chairman (and our official WI 'friend') Maureen Hancox joined us for our 4th Annual Meeting

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