Getting it together

Getting it together

You might have noticed that the Women’s Institute – the WI – is celebrating its centenary this year. 


My own WI, Avening, which has been meeting on the second Thursday in the month since October 1930, joined in the celebrations whilst we were on our travels.  The baton in our President Gwyneth’s hand is being passed to every WI in the country during the year and she held it tightly as she hopped into the Ferrari to take it to our friends in Tetbury last month.


Other celebrations are planned – we are looking forward to going a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in June hosted by two WI members, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Countess of Wessex.  A couple of days later, the Queen and the Princess Royal – both of them members themselves – will be there at the Albert Hall with more than 5000 members (me included!) at what will surely be the most memorable AGM.  What will we wear?


In the meantime, a small pile in my studio is growing in size by the day.  Some time ago, in a mad moment,  I agreed to put together a small display of crafts for the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.  This “small” display has evolved to three six foot tables, which will need a little more thought and consideration than I’d first anticipated.  (Serves me right for applying my usual rule of saying yes first and wondering why later). 


My friend and colleague Marion and I have been sifting through various archives in preparation for another, larger exhibition later in the year, so we had a few things in mind to tell the story of “A century of craft”.  Sadly, the beautiful Guild of Learners badge above isn’t ours to include, but as you will imagine, the WI does have a long and very interesting history when it comes to enabling and encouraging women to pursue all manner of craft skills.  But time is short, the security of an open, public show is unlikely to be quite as tight as the museum space where our “real” treasures will be exhibited and the space would be more effectively filled with larger, more visually appealing items.


Cue the pile of things by my desk in the studio (and the even larger collection of things in Marion’s garage not to mention the boot of her car…)


I spent yesterday putting the exhibition labels together and made a mental note to myself never to buy Hobbycraft brand spray adhesive again.  It might be cheaper than the branded alternative but oh my goodness, it’s a nightmare to use!


Today, I’m writing notes to myself, “small paint effect stool”, “silver brooch”, “don’t forget wicker pig”.  Not only that, I keep eyeing other things up and adding them to the pile: A small digital book in an Altoids tin fits the digital craft bill perfectly and I’d forgotten about that small quilt which will be easier to stage than a huge one…

Tomorrow, we’ll be setting up and from Thursday to Sunday, it will be open to visitors.  Here’s hoping for sunshine or at least, calm, dry weather.


Oh heck, the pile just got bigger…

Set up

Set up

Look a little more closely…

Look a little more closely…