Thursday, 27 October 2016

Walford Mill Crafts; Day Three

My third day of volunteering at Walford Mill Crafts began with the creative cupcake decorating workshop for kids. This course is run by Lauren Foster of The Cakery Shop and it was a lot of fun. First we set up the workshop with tools of the trade and places for everyone:
Then once everyone had arrived Lauren demonstrated on some sample cupcakes a few techniques for the kids to try out:
I can confirm that these were delicious
And after that the kids were let loose to decorate theirs however they pleased, and here are some of the results:

The kids were really clever and creative and didn't just stick to the examples that were shown. I have never decorated a cupcake and therefore mostly stuck stickily to the perimeter passing different coloured icings and tools and giving tidbits of common sense type advice. And talking about cats.

After that it was time to clear up and then finish the decorative christmas kite I started making last week for the kids workshop on 17th December.

I made mine in the shape of Santa with a woolly beard and a traditional green Santa hat. I feel he may be more scary than the crafts I made last week for the Halloween workshops but... oh well.

After the kite, I was given the job of starting some jewellery by lovely Debby Kirby. I was given a whole load of hand painted papers in every colour possible and some jewellery blanks and left to my own devices. This job is [obviously] a lot more precise than making fun kids' crafts, so it's good that my skills are being tested at both ends of the scale!
Hand painted papers
Fancy cuffs
A range of jewels
Above is the range I had created by the end of the day. If they still look quite unfinished that's because they are unfinished; they'll be completed with fancy techniques including resin, hopefully by me which is quite exciting as I've never done that before.


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Walford Mill Crafts: Day 2

Today I started out by finishing the Halloween creations from last week. There's three kids' workshops coming up; Spooky lanterns (which I created last week), mummies and monsters and Halloween cupcake decorating. This morning I made the mummies and monsters samples to show the kids, so without further ado here they are:
Many-eyed alien / monster, Vampire, Mummy

Cone Dracula
 I think they're all pretty exciting, but the vampire guy is my favourite. Other than specifically using bandages to make the mummy I had free reign to do anything I wanted which was really fun.

After some general admin duties (washing out jam jars for the lantern workshop) and lunch, it was time to start working on some christmas goodies! Decorations for the christmas exhibition and decorative christmas kites for another upcoming workshop. I didn't take any photos of those yet but all will be revealed in it's glittery gloriousness soon!

Then at 4 o'clock it was time for the after school craft club with the kids. I've not had much experience with children so I supervised the kids and the adult overlord teacher supervised us all. We did some painting with acrylic paint, and then went on to make gnomes from bits of tree and felt (a bit like this). Mostly I just brandished the glue gun as the kids are not allowed to use it. I'm probably going to be helping with the workshops every week now to get a bit of 'teaching/assisting' experience under my belt, which is quite exciting as the kids are really funny and daft, just like me.

Then it was time to tidy up and come home. And that's it!
Next week: Halloween cupcakes!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Update / Volunteering at Walford Craft Mill - First Day!

It's been a while since my last post about the Festival of Quilts, so here's a quick update. Aside from doing some much needed home improvements and working in a 'real job' I've been creating greetings cards and small embroidered framed pieces which are currently for sale at Dot.Tea's in Westbourne. I don't have any photos of these (naughty) but they are very much like my older pieces of work such as this one:

Except in frames. And different. Also I've been doing some alterations and repairs on clothing which has been challenging at times but not entirely unfun and everybody seems very happy with my work and keep bringing me more and more things to do, so that's great.

Next I'll be making some christmas decorations to sell at Dot.Tea's too, and will be posting about those when they're done. Probably.

Since I only work in my 'real job' part-time and am just sort of muddling through life a bit at the moment since graduating, I decided to volunteer somewhere where I'd be able to build up my useful and transferable skills for personal and professional gain. I have thought about going into some kind of educational work, and so I wanted that place to be somewhere that I can help in some capacity with craft workshops. Also I am not the kind to work for big corporate fatcats, so I wanted to learn a little more about how small / independent businesses run and how galleries operate, and that sort of thing. Anyway, allll of this led me to find Walford Mill Crafts; a gallery / shop operating from an ollld mill, which seems to have all the elements I want to learn from.

Wednesday was my first day there, and it started off with a meeting of shop staff. This was mostly to discuss the upcoming 'Christmas at the Mill' event, with a special exhibition and all sorts of other goodies. After that I went to help in the gallery shop with stock taking, pricing and displaying work and of course meeting all the visitors and local craftspeople who come in to drop off their work. After some general admin duties (breaking down boxes) I started wrapping faux presents for the christmas display and theeeen I got to work on starting the sample pieces for the kids Halloween workshops!

Everyone who knows me knows that I love Halloween so this was the ideal job for me. The kids will be making glowing Halloween lanterns with electric candles inside, with tissue paper and silhouetted spooky scenes. I was allowed to be as creative as I liked, so here's my example:
As you can see it has everything one could want in a spooky lantern; a ghost, bat, moon, scary tree, haunted house and tombstones. Yissss! Next week I am to make a mummy and a monster, so stay tuned to see how ace they will turn out.

That's all for now, goodbyeeeee