Live it. Olympic Torch, Love it. Hunger Games, Make it. Wicked Willow Weaving

Last Thursday I managed to pack quite a lot of random activities in to one day, I was the very epitome of Live it Love it Make it! Just not sure that all in one day is such a good idea, I am still trying to recover.
Anyway, the first of my activities was thanks to the Lovely Maria of Happy Cakes! fame. She invited me to attend a willow weaving workshop in her garden. I have tried many crafts in my time but I have never done anything like this so jumped at the chance, in addition of tea and cake was a big deciding factor. 
I arrived secateurs in hand and was greeted by Maria and a cup of tea. Susan our teacher for the morning, took us through what we were aiming for and let us choose our materials, I went for the shorter dark willow as my base, motivated by size and ability to fit it in the car, I began to whittle the ends in order to spear them in to the ground and be able to weave around them freely.

 Maria and Steph getting their standing willow, whittled and in to place.

A photo by Steph Smith of me beside my willow frame. Do you like my wellies???

When we were all set, Susan showed us the fun part, the weaving,
making sure we had the right technique to get going.
We used green willow and began by bending one strand then weaving alternately in and out, making sure to keep the spacing as even as possible
Not as easy as it sounds...
Never the less, our first layers started to take shape, this is Susan's, you can tell right, super neat and tidy.

Finishing of with a neat tuck in and then on to the middle layer, remembering to pull it in a little tighter to start the inward curve. 
The nicest thing about getting together with a group and doing an activity like this is you get a chance to have a natter as you work, it was really nice to get to chat with some lovely new friends and friends I already knew, like Steph, one of my lovely customers at Sew Crafty and Deborah from Craft Coop.
By this time my obelisk was taking shape, and I was getting jibes about being neat, not some thing I am usually known for.

As we all finished off our second layer it seemed like a good time for a break, and nothing better to keep us going than (the now famous) Lemon drizzle, Yummy Carrot cake and a nice cup of tea. Yes I did have both, it would have been rude not to.
Also I would like to point out I am mega jealous of Maria's crockery collection, everything from Blue and white wear to Cath K! If you need somewhere to store any of it whilst you have your Kitchen done Maria, my house is open :)

After tea, time for top layer and tying off, by this time the garden was looking very impressive, everyone had done such a good job, and everyone had really enjoyed themselves. Even Maria's gorgeous Chickens were impressed!

I uploaded this to Instagram on my way back to work, a cute little collection of the days stages. I'm @SamanthaClaridge if you want to follow me there. I love my obelisk, so much so that I have covered it in Easter goodies and stuck it in the Window at work, and it has been much admired.
Thank you to Susan for teaching us all and thank you to Maria for inviting me to come along, and to all the Ladies for such a nice 'Make it' morning
All of us proud willow weavers posing with our achievements. Lovely I think you will agree.
For the next few hours I had to have my work head on, the Sun was shining so we flung the doors open at the shop whilst I got my head stuck in to customers questions, sales and VAT.

'Living it'
By 6pm it was time to put my community hat on and head to Maidenhead town hall for a meeting about the new parking scheme and the Portas pilot bids and Olympic excitement!
Maidenhead is putting in a bid to become a Mary Portas Pilot Town, Yay! 
And as our train station is an official Olympic arrival venue for the Dorney lake events we also are on the Olympic torch route, quite excited as it will be running right passed the front of our shop!!

By 7.30 my head was full of ideas, but It was time for me to meet up with my friend Verity, to go and watch a preview screening of 'The Hunger Games'
V had recommended the books to me last year on holiday, and I had ended up reading all three in a week. We had both been waiting in anticipation for the first of the movies... and we were not disappointed!

I don't normally share my drawings with many people, but as it is appropriate I thought I would share my pencil drawing of Jennifer Lawrence, starlet of Hunger Games, with our lovely Blog followers.

So it was a busy day, but a great one. 
I wish I could live it, love it and make it every day!

Much Love 
Sammy xxx