Sunday, 19 February 2017

Magpie's Nest Workshops continued . . . & . . . Benton's Menagerie

Carrying on from my previous post . . . . 

After the success of the crochet lessons, I put a call out for craft teachers, looking for people who would be interested in teaching classes in my workshop and luckily for me a very lovely lady called Tracey Benton got in touch - Tracey is a needlefelting wizard and makes the most gorgeous little creatures, have a look at her Facebook page

 here she is at the head of the table.

This was the first needlefelting lesson that Tracey taught at the shop, it sold out very quickly and we welcomed six lovely ladies {some of whom had come to the crochet lessons} to make a sweet little bird, the one below was made by Sarah, pretty gorgeous eh?

Many more needlefelting workshops have followed,
 all taught by the lovely Tracey,

foxes and more!

Tracey has also taught a couple of full day workshops, which have introduced more advanced techniques and armatures, we have had sheep and moon gazing hares. 

Here is one of Tracey's little creatures, a delightfully plump robin gazing out of the workshop window.

  The first class Tracey taught was in March 2016 and not long after she took a unit in the Market Hall but after finding that it didn't quite suit her needs, I offered for her to come and share my unit. For someone who doesn't normally play nicely with others I think this has worked out very well for us with her having her own little workshop upstairs and use of my workshop downstairs when i'm not there. 
   Tracey has been a very good influence on me, she is a proper business lady and has a mind bursting with plans and schemes, it is quite infectious and I have been very busy scheming alongside her with new business ventures and plans for the business. She also has a very naughty sense of humour which makes her classes great fun and sharing my workshop full of fun and laughs. I'm looking forward to lots more classes with Tracey this year, more needlefelting of course but also some brand new crafts to The Magpie's Nest including wet felting and beginners knitting.

Friday, 10 February 2017

The evolution of The Magpie's Nest Workshops

I thought I would talk about some of the wonderful workshops that I have hosted in The Magpie's Nest. It was always my intention to offer craft lessons in the shop and in August 2015, I finally got a shop big enough to do that!

I started off with drop-in crafty sessions for kids and it worked out great with one shop for the retail stock and the other {joining} unit as a workshop. I had been offering kids drop-in workshops in my previous two shops but this was so much better!

Of course I have a selection of lovely little guinea pigs to try out my ideas on, which is a brilliant way to assess whether my ideas can actually be achieved by my target audience and how long the projects will take. I soon realized that I had the most perfect space for workshops and of course I could keep an eye on the shop too.

In September 2015 we introduced crochet lessons with Robin Bray who I had met years previously online. We ran quite a few one off workshops and courses of lessons for about four months and Robin was a fantastic teacher and we added lots of new crocheters to the North Devon area.

I also taught a velvet pumpkin pincushion workshop myself I felt very nervous about teaching adults but once I got started it was okay! It helped that i had such lovely ladies to teach.

to be continued . . . . . . . .

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Introducing: Magpie's Nest Crafty Kits

So here i am again as promised!
I have been having great fun in my workshop chopping up my precious textile stash! I have made up some craft kits for you to get creative with, there are no instructions included but there is plenty of inspiration out there and free tutorials on places such as Pinterest in fact i have created a board especially dedicated to the art of Slow Stitching check it out here

 Here is a little teaser of the lucky dip goody bags i have made up for the Slow Stitching Workshop we are holding in March.
 These bags are great for people who don't have a stash of vintage textiles or those who are scared of getting scissor happy with their treasured linens! I've been brave and chopped up wool blankets, embroidered cloths, antimacassars and more.
 Any Lucky bags left over after the class will be available to buy from the shop, by mail order or from my Etsy shop after the class. Of course the best way to obtain one would be to come along to the class and get one as part of the workshop fee 

Places are selling fast on this class so if you want to come along, please get in touch via my facebook page, follow the link above.

                        slow stitching - brooch making kit #1 

 This sweet little kit is stuffed full of textile treasure, there are vintage wool blanket pieces, cotton lace and fabric scraps, vintage mother of pearl buttons and two new brooch backs, charms and embroidery thread and more. Contents do vary a little from kit to kit and they contain vintage items which will show signs of age and wear, which of course add to their charm. These little packs are priced at £10 and are available via my facebook page or from my Etsy shop.

     After our fantastic Dorset Button style brooch class we had in the workshop last month, i have made up some little bags of Dorset button making supplies, each little bag contains half a dozen vintage  lightweight brass rings, half a dozen brass coloured safety pins and half a dozen felt circles. 

here are the brooches that were made at last months workshop, we had a lovely three hours making these and a sweet origami box to put them in too.

   Here is the link to a tutorial for traditional Dorset Buttons that i have tried and tested 
of course there are many other tutorials out there, go have fun with google or pinterest.

I hope you have enjoyed hearing all about the classes and new kits i have been making, more to follow soon, thank-you for reading :) 

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Hello! long time no see!

It has been a long time since I last blogged but I have decided it is time I started again. My life has been busy and much changed over the nearly five years since I have had my shop "The Magpie's Nest". I am now on my third unit in Bideford Pannier Market, which have got progressively bigger each time and to be honest I have nearly outgrown this unit too! When taking on my first shop my business plan was always to run craft workshops but I found that very soon I had used all the space up myself and there was no room for students! A little over a year ago, having moved into a double unit the workshops became a realistic possibility at last. 

  We have had crochet lessons, needlefelting, lino printing, dressmaking, brooch making , velvet pumpkin making, peg doll fairies for the adults plus lots of drop in sessions for children too. I have loved it, not just learning new skills myself but also the pleasure of crafting with other like minded people. I have met so many lovely craft teachers and crafters and it has been a real pleasure sharing my creative space.

We started our classes with crochet, taught by Robin Bray of HookedbyRobin and her classes were very popular, we learned simple granny squares, rolled roses, ripple stitch, sunburst granny squares and more. Thanks to Robin's encouragement i bit the bullet and started teaching simple granny square lessons myself. I'm hoping to coax Robin back for more sessions in 2017.

The needlefelting classes with Tracey of Benton's Menagerie have been a roaring success, we have made birds, hares, foxes, badgers, sheep, robins and snowmen. 
Tracey has lots of new classes planned for 2017 and not just felting but more on that later.


I have been sharing my creative space with Tracey for several months now, she has a snug little nest upstairs in the shop, surrounded by bundles of wool and small wooly creatures are born there alarmingly regularly.
   Tracey is a lady of great creativity she is also full of grown up business advice and ideas burst out of her brains on a daily basis, she also keeps me supplied with tea and gossip. 

      I am going try and blog regularly from now on so keep an eye out for more news from The Magpie's Nest, thank-you for reading :)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

it's pumpkin time again . . . .

i have been busy making pumpkins in the shop for the last couple of weeks


medium tall ones

squashy peach ones

tiny ones to wear

traditional shaped and coloured velvet ones

even blue ones

shiny silky velvet ones

small ones for pins

lovely woolen fabric ones for a change 

and a little blue one to finish

check out my facebook page 
for regular photos and updates
as i'm afraid my poor blog has become sorely neglected

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Peg doll workshop at the Magpie's Nest

we had a children's craft day in the market where my little shop is located
 So i ran a Peg doll workshop.
Making boy friendly dolls seemed daunting, until i thought of a peg leg pirate :)

i think we ended up making more pirates than fairies :)

i may make up some little take away peg dolly sets,
most of my customers are holiday makers and with our unpredictable weather
take away craft kits seems a good idea!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

making pumpkins

today i was mostly making
velvet pumpkins
in my shop

strangely addictive!