One of the best things about the Folksy Summer School that I went to last weekend was the way it combined a full programme of inspiring and helpful talks with some hands-on crafting. It's good to vary the pace when you're trying to take in lots of information and this was a lovely way to achieve it. This mini workshop (above) was one of Gemma Nemer's: she was teaching how to make tiny fabric flowers. But there was also the chance to try lino cut printing, to watch screen printing, book binding and, on Sunday, making a vintage-style soft toy with the super-talented Sarah Pinney of www.northfieldprimitives.folksy.com.
Screenprinting with Sue Westergaard.
Sarah from Northfield Primitives and her suitcase of wonders
I was partly at the weekend to hear people's stories, so that I can write about some of them. Sitting and crafting together was a great way to find out about some of those individual tales. I met so many different sorts of makers: cat collar makers, hat makers, clothes customisers, potters, crochet sculptors, a woman who dyes wool, fine artists and jewellery makers. Even on the bus back to the station after the weekend was over, we were still chatting and swapping cards and tales.
Creativity was all around, including a spot of yarn bombing....
I do love this tassel bunting.
Creative ways to spread the word about a business....
So there were many highlights of the weekend. A brilliant photography workshop by Lyndsey James www.lindsey-james.co.uk who managed to shoehorn hundreds of simple tips about taking a great product shot into a seamless half hour demo. James Green's linocut workshop, John V Willshire for making me think, Andy Poplar of Vinegar and Brown Paper for a down to earth story of dropping out of the corporate world and setting up on his own, and Keith Stephenson and Mark Hampshire of Mini Moderns on running an established design company. I also enjoyed hearing Chloe Haywood of Hatastic talk about her journey from hobby to hat empire.
So that was a lovely weekend, and I came home with some souvenirs, too.
My Folksy bag:
A vintage dog (and yes, I was the only one who sewed the ears on back to front)
And a caravan lino cut