Friday, 1 February 2013

Some shady goings on....

January. Grey, wet, cold, miserable and rather uninspiring.....

Until I went to the Mass Lampshade Make that is! Held in aid of the CHARGE Family Support Group charity at the wonderful Hub on the Green in Exeter, this event was a riot of colour, laughter and macaroons (some of my all time favourite things!).

I originally heard about it through my friend Katie and we thought it would be something cool we could do together (we don't see much of each other at the moment due to work etc which sucks). On looking into it more I found out that the half day course was going to be run by none other than the amazing Ruth McAllister, the creative talent and drive behind Quincy Lampshades. This was a very exciting prospect as I'd been following Ruth on Twitter for quite a while and always wondered how easy it really was to make a lampshade from I booked my ticket and impatiently waited for the day to come around.......

So last Saturday morning saw us carrying our fabric, scissors and other such bits and bobs past Exeter Cathedral to the Hub, excited and slightly anxious about how well our lighting creations would turn out....

The space we wandered into was
wonderful and alreadly bustling, smiling ladies awaiting the start of the course, chattering away and comparing fabrics. I loved looking at the creative bits and bobs around the room....I wish I could have brought the cat home with me!

We made our way to a free table, dumped what we didn't need in a corner and started chatting to the people around us. Then, this small but perfectly formed ball of lampshade making energy appeared at the front of the room and began the lesson of the day.......

Ruth is a wonderful teacher. She was kind and helpful, explaining the processes clearly and concisely, demonstrating each and every step so we could see and understand. My nervousness about producing something massively sub standard began to melt away as I realised that, whilst it might not turn out perfectly, it would be something I would be very proud of!

It was great to watch her at work in front of us, deftly piecing together each component part whilst answering questions along the way. "The importance of ironing" section made me chuckle rather a lot as anyone who knows me well knows that I'm not a huge fan of ironing! (However I made an exception for that morning, no one wants a creased and lumpy lampshade do they?? :)).

Our table of four worked well together, helping each other out with the trickier bits (like rolling the fabric/pvc around the rings!), chatting and generally having a great time. Tackling the tricky tasks like sticking the pvc to the fabric caused many puzzled frowns whilst we figured it out but we all got there in the end!

One of my favourite things about the whole morning was meeting Rachel, who is an amazing local blogger (read  here!!). I'd spoken to her a few times on Twitter and knew that she was someone I'd get on with in real life......lo and behold I did!

There's something special about a shared love of craft that really brings people together, especially when you're trying hard to peel the red bit off the double sided sticky tape!! I can't speak for the other tables of ladies but I can certainly say we had a damn good laugh inbetween the sticking, cutting, under-the-breath-cursing and eating of baked goods......

How amazing do these look all piled up!! I spent a fair while just looking at them whilst eating a rather delicious macaroon from the awesome Shaldon Bakery. Next time I'm visiting my folks in Teignmouth I'm going to try and get across the bridge to ogle their other baked goods........*dribble*

The morning flew by in what felt like the blink of an eye and before we knew it it was time to take our lovingly made lampshades home (although not before having our pictures taken by Ruth's husband Fraser!). Here I am with somewhat fluffy hair and my shade. I am completely in love with it, not only because I finally used some fabric I'd been clinging on to for ages, but mostly because every time I look I think of all the laughs I had making it and I smile.

I'd like to say a big thank you to Hub on the Green for hosting such a great event, to Ruth for being such a patient teacher, to my friends Katie and Tracy for being great to make things with and my new friend Rachel for making a great morning even more special. I hope we raised lots of money for CHARGE Family Support Group!

Ruth is auctioning off one of her beautiful lampshades that she made on the day to raise even more funds on the Facebook page. The highest bidder wins!!!

P.S. It looks utterly amazing in the little corner I chose for it......chufty face!!


  1. Hurrah, hurrah! You are such a good blogger AND lampshade maker!


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