Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Meeting the Telford10

Now, have you got your cuppa & choccy biscuits? coz this is going to be a long one.
(part 1 is here)

I awoke Saturday morning fairly early so I could concentrate on the tasks at hand rather than my nerves. Ryan joked that it was like I was getting ready for a date, I told him my underwear said otherwise ;-p If I felt I looked ok it would be one less thing to be anxious over.
Kids ready, everything packed, & off we went in the taxi. With them dropped off I chatted on & off with the driver who was most amused at a bunch of women meeting up to craft together from around the country, a comparison to the WI was made, which I laughed at & answered "well, I have the starts of the stereotypical purple rinse so why not!" (The tips of my now Pink hair are purple). I went quiet as a panic attack struck, my subconcious has a lot to answer for as though nervous I really didnt think it warranted the chest crushing, mind numbing, heart quickening panic attack.
I concentrated on my breathing, calming myself down, concentrating on the rational positives and with that we rolled into the car park of Coalport Youth Hostel.

As the taxi left I stood in the car park, fumbling to get my phone out while trying to balance the chocolate cake so I could ring Ruth & find out where I was going, praying I wouldnt stumble & drop the cake (we all know how clumsy I can be).  A door opened & a rather excited Ruth & Mel hurried upto me. Big hugs all round before we entered the designated craft room.

I was greeted by smiling faces and hellos. The room was a buzz of creativity and humour. Jem came forward with a hug for me & having hugged 3 of the 9 I thought it would be rude not to hug everyone, lol, all rational thought leaves me when I'm nervous so I am sorry if I intruded into anyones personal space, I'm sure they wouldnt mind so much now they know me (or maybe they would even more, lol).

I was told that Mel & Clair are an old married couple, & they are! They are best friends who obviously know each other so well that they will bicker, and make comments like an old married couple, but love each other really. Its almost like when you look at an old married couple holding hands, you cant help but say "awwwww", they dont hold hands but you look at them together & they're friendship warms the cockles of your heart.

A space had been cleared for me on one of the tables, you know how we crafters can spread out :-) So I unpacked while listening to the conversations going on around me, getting my bearings and the feel of the place. & what was the feel of the place? Very friendly, the tables were in an oval shape so you could see everyone, conversations were open so if you wanted to chip in you could easily.
With such a good atmosphere & everyone crafting it was decided we'd take our walk to ironbridge in the afternoon. Ruth gave me a tour of the hostel as I'd never been before. It was spotless, staff were lovely and everything in a good condition - I thoroughly recommend the place.
I gave Mel her Pay-it-forward item, which she gushed over, which was lovely for me - I shall do a seperate post on it later this week so you can all see it but for a sneak peek @Green&blacks retweeted a photo of the inside yesterday

I also gave Ruth her Pay-it-forward which she attached to her camera. Lizzie asked where I sell my stuff (bless her) & of course I answered I dont, I'm worried my finish isnt up to scratch. I was told I was being silly, so I'm now thinking I might start making 2 of most of the things I make, 1 as a gift, to use, etc, the other to see if/how well it sells .... watch this space!

A swaps table was set up, or rather a we-dont-like/need-these-so-please-anyone-take-them-away table. Mel very generously had brought with her a quickutz with a few dies that she didnt use anymore which she happily let me have, I felt very lucky (thank you again Mel xx).

Alexa arrived, was greeted, and we sat down for lunch. Lizzie commented that we better get the rest of the food from the kitchen. I turned round & looked at the food table & said "what, thats just snacks???!!!" Lesley laughingly answered that it was. We had enough food to feed an army, AND give them all pudding. Mmmm, lunch was divine, mostly fingers foods, some homemade, some shop bought but all scruptious.

With full stomachs it was decided it would be a good time to walk off a bit before pudding (though most of us nicked a slice of Mels malteser cake, mmmmmmmm)

Clair & Mel decided to catch up in a bit of sleep, well, after such a wonderful meal who wouldnt feel a bit sleepy!

We trotted off along the canal towards Ironbridge, me giving little bits of history of the area that I could remember from year 10 "the industrial revolution". We stopped off at Maws craft centre where a few items were purchased, though I sat outside trying to get a signal to let Ry know I'd be home later than I originally thought. Lesley & I chatted about online shops, craft makes etc - this lady has some a lot of lovely craft papers, and thickers, and may have convinced me to get a kit subscription or 2, its a shame shes not on commission
Alexa & Lizzie returned to the craft room as Julie, Lesley, Joe, Ruth, Jem & myself carried on towards ironbridge.

Having always been used to walking on the otherside of the river severn I wasnt 100% sure of the route but knew if we kept alongside the river severn we'd end up at the bridge.

As the top of a bridge came into sight Ruth excitedly asked "is that it?" "No" I replied with a grin, "thats Jackfield bridge, its a tad more modern. Its so the cars can get across as they were causing too much damage to the Ironbridge" We continued on.

We could see the furnaces on the other side of the road, and read the display/info sign on the path. Here Lesley left us to go back, and we continued the last of the route.

As The Ironbridge came into sight Joe said "is that IT?" in a thats-not-much-rather-a-small-bridge type of tone, lol. The ironbridge is fairly small compared to modern day bridges, but in its day it really was an accompishment &, with all its decorative components was really something to show off about.
It was by now close to dusk, the christmas lights were on in Ironbridge, setting the scene perfectly. Ruth & I hurried across to get a better photo of the ironbridge

Sorry the quality isnt very good but this is Joe & Jem pulling faces at us :-p
I so hope Ruths photos comes out clearer
We rushed back to have pud & for Lizzie to show us how to do bookbinding with a stab stitch. She was very informative, and gave very clear instuctions (not easy with a few naughty school kids in the group ... you know who you are!!! lol) & though it was distressing to see Bambie having its legs & head removed at times we percervered. Please note, no REAL animals were harmed in the making of Lizzies book, it was christmassy craft paper. I havent quite finished my book yet so you shall have to wait to see it, I do suggest you go to Lizzies blog & take a look at hers, even more so I would suggest you go to her etsy shop & buy some as gifts. They are made to a high standard with a lot of love & attention to detail, even more so if you get one personalised.
Alexa then had to unfortunately leave, we kept her a lot longer than originally thought, though we did bribe her hubby with plenty of cake to let her stay a while longer :-D
We all went for Tea at the hostile which was GORGEOUS, I had a soup starter followed by curry, with both Naans AND a poppadom. By this time most of us were full but really wanted to try the sticky toffee pudding, so Ruth got a bowl & 3 spoons so myself, & Jem could have a taste of hers without anything going to waste.

Then it was back to crafting ... or more like chatting & noseying what everyone else was upto. Clair & I chatted as she found out the pro's of using a glue gun ... she unfortunately found out the cons when she caught her nail in the glue, OUCH I think most of us know that scalding pain of the hot glue from the glue gun. I have to admit that I was probably most nervous of meeting Clair, a bit in awe maybe. I've been following her blog for quite a while now, & not only was there a lil bit of envy that she was (so I thought) younger than me (I always like to be the baby of the group, I tend to get away with more that way ;-), but her blog is soooooo professional! Shes like blog royalty, she's been on design teams I follow, done makes & tutorials that I love etc etc etc ... not saying the others who attended hadnt, its either I've chatted to them before via the net or havent been following them for as long. I had nothing to be nervous of though, Clair is lovely, funny & down to earth. I think we both had a mutual appreciation of each other as we both thought the other was around 25, lol. And of course we all had a good giggle about Clair & her ruffles, I'm sorry but its one of those "had to be there" jokes that would take a lil while to explain.

As I crafted I suddenly thought "I'd better check the time, I told Ry I'd be home before 9", EEEEP it was now 10:15, time flies as your having fun. With NO signal in the place I hurridly packed up, planning on walking round the car park to get a signal to call a taxi, hoping they werent too busy with it being a saturday night. Thankfully Lizzie came to the rescue & gave me a lift home. I must have got in at about 11ish, though Ry was just happy I had had fun (damn, should have stayed longer!!!)

I tried to settle down to sleep but my mind was too full of fun, information thoughts ... oh, and I'd been made LOADS of cups of coffee. Normally I stop drinking the stuff once I start twitching but with the cups being cup & saucer size the caffeine had very little effect on me at the time... so I was very wide awake. Ah well, it allowed me to pack the things needed for the next day, and go over the things in my head that I had learnt that day

So, I'd like to introduce you to the Telford10
All copyright of this picture remains the property of JulieJ from the letting the days roll by blog
Front to back - Lesley (my craft-stash queen), Alexa (lovely & petite), Lizzie (our ruler & bookbinding expert), Julie (our non dudley accented Dudlier), Me (ducks & hides), Clair (& her ruffles), Mel (Clairs other other half), Ruth (who does a fine cockney geezer inpression), Joe (who laughs as much as me :-), and last but most certainly not least Jem (I have to do an internal giggle when this lady swears coz she speaks so nicely, lol)

Phew, well done if you've made it through! Part 3 will be here tomorrow :-)


  1. This sounds like the perfect day out - good company, yummy food, interesting surroundings and crafting - what more could you want?
    Hugs xx

  2. Sounds like you had an amazing time!

  3. K

    You have a remarkable memory and a great way of recording them.

    what a fab post and again it was a pleasure meeting you (and the others as well)

    Love Lesley xx

  4. That sounds fun! Look forward to seeing the stuff you made - I had a sneak peak at the book, its brill!

    (Thanks for your comment on my blog yesterday, I haven't been back to that shop to see the sizes of the boxes, its been too wet and windy).

    Nicky x

  5. Oh! You little lovely! Imagine me holding my hand to my heart and smiling (a lot!) In awe? of little, ol' me? Bless you :)

    I really, really enjoyed our conversations over the weekend - and will forever remember the symptahetic look on your face when I suffered my first hot glue gun related injury.

    Hoping that we have the chance to meet up again soon.

    Much love x

  6. Just ignore all those spelling mistakes, okay? Wish there was an edit button! :)

  7. You are so lovely! I am really happy that you came to the weekend - it wouldn't have been quite the same without your fab pink hair, the amazing choccy cake and your lovely smiley face. Please come to the next Weekend too!

  8. Me swear? How very dare you!!!!!

    You've documented day two perfectly K - though you covered up all the nerves very well! Yummy mince pies too!

  9. Sorry I've taken so long to visit - I have been too busy to sit on the computer much and these late night stints are NOT good. I have recorded Jo's comment for posterity in a LO, which is now on my blog.
    Hope to see you again sometime - since you don't live too far away.

    P.S. I will forgive you for the misrepresentation of copyright - it is actually my photo copied onto Mel's laptop.

  10. Loved reading your post, making me very excited for next March now! I get nervous in new situations and everyone is really surprised to hear me say that, so I'll be looking forward to a hug from you!!!!



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