The ‘Little Shop’ Opening
On the 2nd December we officially opened our ‘little shop’. We welcomed in friends and neighbours with Christmas lights, mince pies (baked by our kitchen fairy Barbara), mulled wine and Christmas cocktails.
The ‘little’ shop’ is filled with carefully chosen loveliness; artworks from Janet Bell of Anglesey, Nickola Beck’s gorgeous nature photography, Hand thrown pottery by White Light Ceramics (who will be coming to teach @:Toolerstone in 2022). Plus an array of sumptuous textiles; silk, velvet and tweed from Helen Chatterton Textiles, woven merino lambs wool throws from Camilla Thomas (yes that’s me!) and linens for the home from Helen Round designs in Devon. Beautiful books covering interior design, lifestyle and well-being (subjects all very close to our hearts) and printed wrapping papers from The Cambridge Press. Anna Flora (one of our teaching florists) provided freshly made wreaths and pretty floral pots with Christmas candles and Michael Troy (are wonderful art teacher) hand painted a series of fabric tote bags.
It was a lovely celebration of the ‘makers’ work and their skills as crafts people as well as a celebration of our new community all in one happy evening.
We were very excited to be donning our little Elf and Santa hats in December as we gifted some more of our workshops to the care sector. We visited NHS Leighton Hospital and Sandiway Manor care home to take them gift vouchers for their staff. Whenever we gift a free place, we always include two vouchers, so that the person who is being presented with a workshop is able to bring along a friend or family member with them. We believe this will make the day more enjoyable and help the recipient feel more relaxed about coming here.
We are now able to sell gift vouchers on line too. These can be purchased in just about any monetary denomination and can be used as a part payment or a full payment against any of our workshops. They come beautifully boxed and ribboned and so they make a great gift, especially as you know that by making a purchase with us, you are helping us to sustain our offering to care workers.
It’s the season to be jolly with the holly!! We quickly realised that wreath making workshops are the most popular and they seemed to get booked up just as soon as we put them on line. We responded to this demand by recruiting another florist and Gary (our estate manager, who we call the G-Force!) to provide more dates. Some of these days were situated in the Brew Shed, some were in the glass rooms. Some with a hearty lunch of venison sausage casserole, with sherry trifle and some with full blown afternoon tea! Every one of them was booked up and every one of them was a huge success.
We’ve had both men and women on all the workshops, (often with a little friendly competition between husband and wife!) and every single person has left with an incredible Christmas wreath to hang on their front doors. It has been a joy and floristry is something that we are committed to continue to offer throughout next year. In fact, we are going to be offering two to three floristry workshops each month with themes including wedding flowers, heart-shaped wreaths and Easter nests……so keep an eye on our ever changing workshop calendar.
New Year = new workshops = new you!
The new year is shiny and bright and very exciting. We have a whole host of new creative workshops as well as continuing to offer our firm favourites. New for 2022 is our series of ‘well-being’ workshops. We are offering a ‘menopause’ day, where you will learn techniques including acupressure and aromatherapy to help you cope with the symptoms. We also have a ‘quit sugar’ day, beginning with Thai Chi to ready the mind and body and a focused session with our ‘quit sugar’ expert who will give you information and advice to help you embrace a healthier lifestyle. We’ll also be offering a mindfulness day; another multi activity day, which includes mindful creativity and a gorgeous gong therapy session. All these are held in our contemporary glass house; air-conditioned, light and spacious and our kitchen fairy, Barbara, will be considering your well-being as she puts together a wholesome, delicious organic lunch for you.
Our Brew Shed springs into action in January with our first ‘Feed the Birds’ workshop. Our cosy chalet-style shed offers a warm and welcoming base for a day dedicated to our feathered friends. With a simple woodwork session and some guided wreath making, our guests will make a wooden nesting box and a beautiful bird feeding wreath to take home and hang in their own garden. After lunch they will enjoy the spectacle of a falconry display in the gardens of Toolerstone.
Our diverse range of workshops means that there is something for everyone, and we very much hope you will come and enjoy a day with us soon.