Since we started Puckeridge WI almost 6 years ago, we have been meeting at Roundhaye Lodge. It is now under new management, so our new home from September will be New Street Farm, Kents Lane, Standon SG11 1PJ. We’ll be in the hall and are keeping the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 8pm as our meeting day.
It’s just over a week to go until our Handmade Christmas Fair returns to the Standon and Puckeridge Community Centre. We have managed to attract a number of our regular stallholders, as well as some fabulous new ones, and I am so excited about the wonderful range of products that will be available. We will also have a charity raffle in aid of Singing for the Brain, Hertford, which is an initiative with the Alzheimer’s Society, and of course there will be WI cake!
Tansy’s Country Crafts – Hand painted tree decorations, cushions, rustic cards, tags, notice boards and other unique gifts
Vie’s Cards – Cute fairy doors, greeting cards and hair bows
Karla’s Kandles – Hand designed candles
Craftyguider – Cards, Christmas decorations, button badges and crafty destash
Handmade Retro Jewellery – Handmade retro polymer clay jewellery
Jonardan Glass – Contemporary unique fused glass pieces
Kim’s Creations – Christmas gift hampers, light bottles and Christmas bowls
Flossy’s Pantry – Homemade healthy dog treats and Christmas gifts
Harry Kent – Wood turner
Catherine Durden Artist – Striking paintings, prints and cards
Handmade by Caroline – Christmas cards and decorations personalised while you wait
Fabstitchery – Handmade bags
Village Craft England – Children’s dresses, bags, pencil cases and Christmas decorations
Home Sweet Home Crafts – Decoupage bottles, family trees in frames and handmade wax melts
Buildaid Charity Shop – Handmade candles, cards, cakes, chocolates, infused spirits and cat treats
JOG Handknitted – Handknitted children’s clothes, dog coats and cosy mittens
Blanket Stitch – Machine and hand sewn bags, aprons, cushions and other fabric gifts including adorable tooth fairy pillows
Jodie Rose – handmade and personalised items including T shirts, babygrows, plaques and Christmas socks
Erika Price Artisan Jewellery – Handcrafted silver and antique style jewellery made with handmade artisan glass, resin, clay and porcelain
January was our 4th birthday, and we celebrated it by holding a music quiz. Bolstered by tea and cake, we answered rounds on TV and film themes, 1980s hits and Eurovision, as well as identifying the music personalities who passed away in 2016. Answers: George Michael, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Rick Parfitt, Bobby Vee, Pete Burns, Billy Paul, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, David Gest, Victoria Wood, Glen Frey, George Martin and Terry Wogan.
When we put chocolate into the programme last year, we’d planned to book a speaker to come and teach us about chocolate. Unfortunately after looking at several companies who either didn’t call us back or were going to charge us hundreds of pounds which a small WI like us couldn’t afford, we had to adopt Plan B.
Fortunately we are a resourceful committee and Vice President Karen came through with a couple of simple recipes (and some delicious tasters at our committee meeting!), and skillfully made batches of truffle mix for our meeting. All we had to do was scoop out spoonfuls of mix, roll them into balls and then coat them in coconut, vermicelli or cocoa. She’d even sourced cases and boxes so that we could present them for gifts.
This was one of our favourite meetings to date. We were all covered in melted chocolate, had a great time chatting and sampling the chocolates (we are very strict on quality control!) and had a far better time than if we’d paid for a speaker. Everyone went home with the recipes to recreate at home, which I fully intend on doing!
I know it’s December, but I’m using the holidays to catch up on our blog posts for 2016. It’s been such a hectic year end and I’ve been so busy, our blog has suffered a bit!In October, we held a social event so that members could get to know each other a bit better. As President, I rarely get to chat in any depth with members as I’m always doing admin and organising the meeting. As a start for any conversations, we asked members to bring in a food that reminded them of a place they had visited this year, whether that was a Danish pastry, Australian fairy bread or even a Braughing sausage.
We had such a great collection of food. There were cream scones from Cornwall, American chocolate brownies, Spanish omelette and sangria, French brie, Madeira cake, Greek olives and stuffed vine leaves, and so much more. The food was fabulous and the company was even better. I felt that it was an incredibly successful meeting.
Sunday 6th November from 11am-3pm
at the Standon & Puckeridge Community Centre, Station Road, Puckeridge, SG11 1TF
The Christmas Fair is almost upon us and we have a great line up of local makers, producers, craftspeople and creatives. There will also be refreshments available for purchase, and a charity raffle to raise money for Teens Unite Fighting Cancer – helping young people during and after their battle with cancer. Bring plenty of money to purchase some unique and original Christmas gifts.
Puckeridge WI – handmade cakes
Craftyguider – handmade cards, sewn gifts and pin badges
Boxworth Botanicals – all natural skincare, soaps, gift packs, room diffusers, lotions and much more.
Moggy’s Pickles – delicious pickles and chutneys
Kathryn Parratt Handmade Jewellery – handmade jewellery using semi-precious stones, handmade glass and swarovski crystals
Handmade Retro Jewellery – polymer clay jewellery based on retro foods and sweets.
Rona’s Beads Aboard – Gemstone bead necklaces, bracelets and earrings designed and made on a canal boat.
Roger de Clare School Association – Christmas Eve boxes, reindeer food, hot chocolate gifts, and other Christmas items.
Jonardan Glass – Items made from fused glass such as bowls, plates, platters, candle holders and Christmas decorations.
Crochet Christmas – Crochet Christmas decorations.
Blanket Stitch – hand and machine sewn lingerie bags, tote bags, cushions, bunting, aprons, tooth fairy cushions etc.
Shed 6 Creations – Up-cycled glass items including wine bottles, decanters, candle sticks and serving platters.
JOG Handknitted – handknitted children’s clothes, mittens, scarves and dog coats.
SAS Crafts – handmade dolls clothes and jewellery
Dawn’s Nimble Fingers -Knitted and crocheted blankets, baby clothes, animal rugs, playmats, hats, scarves and shawls.
Leaf & Bubble – Handmade candles, soap and wax melts, hand-drawn cards, prints, stationery, gift wrap, ceramics and knitted items.
West Essex and East Herts Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers – Handspun, handwoven and hand-knitted items and rag-rugging.
Christmas Surprises – Scarves, snoods, tree decorations and Christmas gifts.
Every year we try and include a charity crafting session in our programme. In the past we have made pillowcase dresses for the Dress a Girl Around the World charity, and nose bands for abused horses and donkeys. This year we decided to make twiddlemuffs as it ties in well with the national federation resolution of better care for dementia patients in hospitals. Twiddlemuffs are usually knitted tubes with various embellishments sewn on to them which dementia patients find calming to fiddle with.
One twiddlemuff has already been donated to a local day care centre where a couple of our members work. The others will be given to a local representative from the Dementia Friends programme once they have been finished.
Our meeting in July was “Can I help you, I’m a Paramedic?”
Our speaker, Bob Harding-Jones, is the oldest paramedic in the East of England. This came about as he is still licenced but officially retired. He joined the service in his 40s after a career as a dairy farmer, and spent 26 years on the front line.
Bob told us many stories from his time as a paramedic, including learning on the job about how to talk to patients, dealing with warring pensioners, coping with timewasting calls and sorting out genuine emergencies.
One of problems he had to deal with was the rigid automatic triage systems which couldn’t cope with 3 month old babies (“Can the patient form sentences?”) or 84 year old women (“Is the patient pregnant?”). Needless to say, common sense prevailed.
Even “Dr Google” had his moment of glory in helping a patient diagnose a serious poisoning case themselves. Bob explained that the key is to ignore the first sensational diagnoses and probably look for the NHS entries.