- 18th September - 8:00pm : ‘The Abel Label’ - By Katie Ellis.
- 16th October - 8:00pm : ‘Fire Safety in Your Home’ - By Melanie Quinn.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Art and Craft Annual Day Ditton, Sept 2012

Six  of us (among around 400) had a wonderful day with first class speakers

 First Lee Ault brought with her a trunk full of genuine clothes from 1920's 1930's - Her full collection had been gathered within her family from the 1700's.  She drew out underwear, night wear, day wear, evening wear -  each a work of art,  and explained when and how it was used.  The Photo above shows a swimming costume for that era.  - all in one and the height of fashion in 1930.   Lee is a Costume historian a well as general secretary of the International Dickens Fellowship and lives in Kent.

 Then Stoney Parsons spoke about her life as an Architectural Glass Artist.  She showed us that Glass is an exciting and contemporary art form.  She showed examples of her work  in glass which exploits its colour and light. Probably the nearest example is in the Pilgrims Hospice in Ashford.   Here we see a kingfisher.  She  holds dayschools in stained glass, and  free painting and some of us hope to go to her studio to join in.   We will all think differently about stained glass in future.

In the afternoon Curtis Tappenden 'entertained' us-  he is an illustrator and designer and has worked for the Daily Mail for 20 years both as an illustrator and a writer, he is an author, a roller skater (not demonstrated) and poet.  From the start it was a performance that jumped out at us, he acted his poems, with arms,  legs  and body as well as his mouth -  he showed us the many kinds of art he had produced  and the people he had drawn inspiration from.  He must have been exhausted when he had finished

Three inspiring speakers all on one programme  - we were so lucky to have been there.

On display were the various bags that members had made for the 
Silver Salver Competition in the last year.  

Margaret Weaver of Hollingbourne entered one (below)  and was pleased to receive 19 marks out of 20 - not good enough however to win a prize, but was quite pleased with the remarks made by the judge.

The overall winner was this fabulous creation  (below) (try clicking once, on the picture to get it larger)
the standard of which was way above anything else on display. 

A very good day

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Silver Clay Jewellery making

(Denman College has  been featured in previous blogs -October 2010 and November 2011 )

The WI's residential college in Marcham near Oxford offer courses to Members and non-members alike with a huge range of courses.

In September West Kent WI's booked the whole college for the weekend and took two coach loads of members to take part in several courses -   we had two days  for courses which were many and varied.

As usual we had  a great time, learned new skills, met new friends and old and enjoyed full board and lodging in the ensuite rooms of a lovely country house and garden. 

Summer Herbal Kitchen - This Course attracted our County Chairman Sheila Miles
who went home with a cool box full of self made goodies from the purpose built Cookery School

 Summer Flowers in Watercolour for Beginners

Two courses for those wanting to get out and about
 Treasurers of the Ashmolean,  The Oldest Museum in Britain in Oxford 
Gardens of Oxford - Historic and Modern College Gardens

Wardrobe wizard - how to multiply your wardrobe into more outfits and gain more confidence. 

The Bravest among us chose Learn to Play the Harp  -
 in less than 2 days - and they demonstrated their new found skills to us all with great aplomb.

Margaret from Hollingbourne chose SILVER CLAY WORKSHOP
Silver clay was a new medium to us and  we discovered that it was made in Japan  from recycled silver from used electrical equipment.  It can be moulded or rolled (like Pastry) , shaped and fired to become a beautiful and unique silver  piece.   The examples above were made by the tutor, and believe it or not some were very simple once you know how! 

 These are cutters and stamps which can be used to cut out the clay

We were each given basic tools to use which would be found in the home, including some playing cards. We began by trying out the skills with Play dough, and our prototypes helped us to know what was or was not possible. The clay is rolled out between two sets of 5 playing cards - this gives just the right thickness for charms and earrings.

Drop earrings - two small rectangles were cut out, then 4 small hearts - the hearts were stuck on the rectangles with liquid silver - two holes made in the top with a drinking straw.  They were then fired  - which can even be done on a gas stove.  The one on the left is the colour immediately after firing. The one on the right has been burnished  (rubbed with a wire brush and a metal teaspoon.)

 Those who made charms used sugarcraft cutters to achieve their shapes

This was the final result in the short time we had.
1.   The earrings with hooks.  2.   A Pendant.    3.   A broach  - a leaf which we painted with liquid silver 7 times before it was fired(during which the leaf evaporates)  4.    A pair of moulded rose earings  

               All of our items were unique and we can see the scope for future individual gifts - we just need to save up to buy the Silver Clay.  It is one craft where anyone could achieve an item they would be proud of, and it is possible West Kent Federation will arrange a dayschool locally for us.
Our Tutor was Melanie Blaikie and you will be able to find her on the internet.  ----

If you don't know what to have for a Christmas or Birthday Present, why not ask for a voucher for a course at Denman,

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Safari Market 2012 - the sun shines on the righteous

What a fantastic day we all had- with the best weather ever. Although 40+ stalls were advertised, this became 55 on the map with a couple extra on the day.  Many visitors had been before - some even on their fourth visit with many compliments on our organisation of the event. 

Firstly the HARVEST STALL was set out with fresh vegetables and fruit, 
corn dollies and lavender wands, pickles and plants -
Fred and Hilary Lucette with a hand from Val Williams, set up the stands for the Children's painting competition - though sadly the number of entries was disappointing to say the least.
Winner - Class 2 - Bethan.

 Bearsted and Thurnham again ran their beautiful Craft stall
 Ellie Walker was donating all her profits to Charity  
and there were cuddly toys of all kinds and sizes.
 At the Harvest Stall, our Corn Dollies mentioned in a previous blog, 
were on sale and  it looks as if Jean Kelly on the left has sold two at least!
Unfortunately the camera woman had her own stall this year so was not able to get photos of the rest of the village, which was apparently humming!  

The competition for the most stalls visited was a dead heat for 10 people who had been to every stall and noted the name on their map - with a draw having to be made and the winner being Graham Phillips of Maidstone

The Raffle Prizes went to -
Margaret of Eltham, Christina from Platts Heath, Sandra from Platts Heath, our own Gill Lever and Mary Henderson and still to be presented - the owner of Number 643 which is advertised in the Shop

The helpers shown above manned the Harvest stall, cooked the food, made the tea, erected the gazebos, sold the maps and raffle tickets, put up and took down the signs around the village,  took down and packed away the Gazebos  and were absolutely wacked!

Thank you everyone who had a stall, those who came great distances to buy up the village and everyone who participated in any way including the press and the CPSO's.  We hope to see you again.

Monday, 3 September 2012


No 1.  CORN DOLLIES - remember them around 30 years ago or more?

This summer a fellow WI member from Edgerton,   taught us how to make Corn Dollies - well at least she made them, and we laughed and swore, and swore some more -  but eventually after much un-doing and re-doing, we did achieve our objective.
If you would like to have one, they will be on sale at the Safari Market (50 plus Garden Sales) on 15th September 2012 on the Harvest Stall in the Cardwell Pavillion.   See you there.

Remember the wonderful Duck Race we organised for the Millenium Celebration ( 12 years ago, but  seems like yesterday)  We must have had more than a hundred racing on the River Bourne through the Millenium Green in Hollingbourne that day.

This year we started with a lunch in a member's garden
and then proceeded to the Duck Race

Our ducks had been purchased for the Village Fete Hook a duck competition, but  bearing in mind the Olympic swimming events, we decided on 'OPEN WATER RACING' and gave our ducks the freedom of the River Bourne where it flowed through a member's garden. We chose a duck each and cheered it on.  ( in fact we had three races we enjoyed it so much)
It was Sarah's job to catch the winner.  - amazingly some ducks went backwards, some in circles, and all of them stopped at the little weir to be collected and raced again.   It was a lovely day.