Last week was totally chaotic for me and I am only just recovering from rushing around here and there. Monday was collecting my gorgeous new car, and the shock of filling the fuel tank. Tuesday was waiting around for the man from Tracker to turn up to fit the system, and then trying to pack all the things I thought I might need, and spending long sessions just sitting in the motor with the handbook, so that I could find the basic things like wipers and lights etc.
|Rosie, picking blackberries|
Wednesday was an early start, heading south to Evesham to drop the dogs off in kennels before turning round and retracing my steps to pass my house on the way up to Derby. A slightly more stressful journey than usual, trying to get used to driving an unfamiliar vehicle. The day was great, though, with all four grandchildren together, playing beautifully with the older ones generally taking good care of the littlies.
|Big kids joined in too|
It is a beautiful spot, right on the edge of the city with lovely views over the valley. We finished the day with a barbecue, after which I then drove through the rush hour traffic to the Travelodge at Wollaton Vale, chosen because it was only a couple of miles from the Community Hall where Barbara Gray was staging her workshops. The hotel was probably one of the better Travelodges, and, certainly, the staff were very helpful and the room was perfectly adequate for a night's sleep.
Thursday started with a bit of a panic as I overslept and just hurled my possessions back into the case and bags and staggered out to the car. I just made it in time and was met by Barbara's fiancé, Dave, who was kind enough to park my car for me to save me the hassle. He gathered all the things I needed and took them in for me.
|Now, where shall we put the tent?|
Barbara is just as lovely as she appears on the TV, and greeted me with a big hug and took me into the hall to find me a suitable place. Barbara also had help sorting us all out from the lovely Maria Simms, fresh from her sellout programme on Create and Craft the day before. The Workshop itself was very full-on, but totally inspiring, and I learned so much that day. I cannot wait to put it into practice.
We had four separate projects to complete in the day, with different techniques in each, including a session with the Gelli plate. That convinced me that I would get plenty of use from it. Needless to say, my credit card took a severe beating in the shop that day. I will post pictures of my goodies and the projects later in the week, but if you stampers our there get the chance, go on one of Barbara's workshops. They are worth every penny. The preparation is superb and the teaching inspired, and with both Barbara and Maria to sort out any problems, we all achieved great results. Even our mistakes were used to help us all.
At the end of the day, we all piled into the shop to pick up final goodies and pay the bill. Then it was back out into the rush hour traffic to get back to Derby, where I was duly fed and watered. A nice glass of wine completed the day perfectly before bed. Friday was a good day, although Steve was unfortunately at work and did not get home until long after I had left. My lovely daughter-in-law made me very welcome, taking me out to visit her parents for lunch. I finally left later than intended, but it seemed to work as I missed all the worst of the holiday traffic. Even the horrid island by the Belfry to get onto the M42 was quiet, and the motorway flowing well. The car went well and is just so comfortable. After unloading, another glass of wine brought my stress levels down again before bed.
I have already decided to do the Wollaton Workshop again next year, and I intend to do the 2 day retreat in May. It was just what I needed to spark the creative juices again, with loads of hints and tips to try out.