Beaudesert Care Farm CIC

2B64A5BC-1696-4608-8B22-B93BBF62EFD99A2202C0-F9C7-4DB9-9E79-1F5CDB61F9C2D1914F7F-9595-4E2D-9BDF-6C736EF17B9DI’ve spent a very lovely day at Beaudesert Care Farm near Rugeley today.  They run projects that support people who live with dementia, mental health illnesses and their carers. I’ve run a print workshop for them in the past but today was a treat of a day out for me to enjoy good company, make some hot cross buns and say hello to the animals.

We started the morning by making needing bread for our buns,  followed by a walk around the farm to visit the welsh white cows and the boer goats, unfortunately the weather was closing in so we cut the tour short as some of the participants were getting cold.

Back in to homemade soup and rolls with lots of laughter, followed by homemade cake.  Possibly one of the simplest but most delicious lunches I’ve had in a long time.

The afternoon session consisted of some easter crafts complete with mini chocolate eggs.  When asked if she’d had a nice time, one elderly lady exclaimed “it’s overwhelming! I’ve had a great time” and to be honest, so had I.

Derbyshire Forest School Conference

It’s always great to meet up with like minded people and develop new ideas, so I was really looking forward to the forest school day at the Eco Centre in Wirksworth.

I was leading a workshop in making Scandinavian Friendship Braids which I’d seen on the kindling Website and have used a lot at my own forest school. I love this simple, but not easy activity, it’s great for team work, communicating, laughing and making something you can share with a friend. You can also get in depth about differentiating with shapes, colours, words and numbers so it’s a great activity for any age.  I really enjoy leading a workshop at this conference, as the participants are all so keen to engage with new ideas that they can take back and use in their own settings.

After my workshop had finished, I attended a woodland gym and yoga session, which to be honest, my bra trauma started very early on in the session, so I decided observing was the safest option! I did enjoy the yoga story and the relaxation at the end though.  After a picnic lunch, I watched Paul Adamson demonstrate how to use a bow drill to light a fire and picked up a few tips on how to do this successfully, I have perfected how to fail at this so it’s time to do it properly…

im always inspired by a bit of CPD and the Derbyshire Forest School Conference never fails to deliver. I’m already wondering what workshop to offer next year.


Soul Nourishing

I’ve wanted to swim in the river for so long, but been too anxious to go off by myself and do it, so when I spotted a post on social media, I jumped at the opportunity.  It’s one of the highlights of my summer and I’ll be returning to the spot whenever I can.


A rare selfie
New friends swimming in the Derwent.
Part of my I am Here Now journey, taking time to read in my hammock.


Keeping the Creativity Alive


In a week of such uncertainty, I realised I may have no influence in what is happening externally, other than putting a cross where my conscience tells me, i have tried to embrace the lack of control eco dyeing encourages me to embrace.

I am happy with chaos and surprise in my artwork but when it happens in life my brain shuts down into a spiral of depression, can I learn to transfer the excitement of unwrapping a bundle to the external world?

Bundle Dyeing

I may have cheated… I bought some roses that were reduced from the supermarket! This goes against all the ideas of the Sorrel and Silk project, which was to use foliage and flowers from Derbyshire. However, in my defence, yesterday it was an immense effort to get out of the house.  I decided to have a go at just using petals and steaming the bundles to extract the colours from the petals. I’m really happy with the results.  I have had my eye on some flowers in my garden, but as my daughter planted them, they are untouchable.  These pieces will probably be used as backgrounds for collaged textile pieces later on this year.