Brecon Womens' Festival; Artisan Market

I was really chuffed to be asked by a friend who is one of the main organisers of the BWF, to run their craft fair 3 years ago, to take over the organising of it, so she could focus on the running of the exhibition. 
We have held it at The Muse, the Guildhall, and St Mary's Church. Lovely venues and great days - but the number of stallholders wanting a pitch has exceeded the size of the venues! 
Then this year, the town has been talking about how to increase tourism, footfall, improve local economy and bring the community together. This triggered off a series of thoughts in my head... I also wanted a bigger venue and to expand the craft fair into a community event. I wanted an Artisan Market that could include arts, crafts, local food produce, local businesses run by women, local charities and community stands too. Maybe some buskers would entertain too? The ideas came thick and fast and I just hoped it wold all come together
So in February, I took a leap of faith and hired the entire Brecon Market Hall! I had a month to see if the tables were booked before deciding if it was viable or not. Within 2 weeks it was fully booked and I had a reserve list - I was gobsmacked!
Musicians and choirs and poets offered their time too - and suddenly there were 45 stands over 60 tables, a group of pupils reading their own stories, poets, buskers, the Alive and Kicking choir, and the cafe run by Usk House Hospice .... 
The atmosphere was lovely, the public gave amazing feedback, the performances were fantastic (especially the brave and brilliant year 7 pupils!) and the stallholders asked when the next event would be! I was totally blown away by the talent, the high quality crafts, the warm and friendly folk, the lovely visitors - and ... the Hospice have estimated raising £400! 
The Fab Four who run the Festival and Exhibition (Leigh, Nicky, Hilda and Karin) have also suggested I join their team , which is a real honour.
So a HUGE thank you to everybody who supported the event, and here's to next time.

The Brecon Womens' Festival is organised to coincide with International Womens' Day. It runs for most of March, and the exhibition of 35 female artists is on display n the Andrew Lamont Gallery in the Theatre.

The Workshop Wagon!

I would like to introduce you to my Project - The Workshop Wagon. The idea was born out of the reactions I saw from participants at my workshops, especially those who find it hard to access arts and crafts, whether through ill health, finances, social or learning barriers.

The Workshop Wagon would travel to hard-to-reach people and places, carrying all the wools, tools, and materials required to engage and motivate everyone - the workshops have been described as encouraging, soothing, therapeutic, confidence-building, and fun!

To begin, the workshops would be free/donations based, and as they become established, the funding would increase and they would become self-sustaining - I would also support this by ring-fencing some of the funds I receive from private workshops, ensuring their progression and success.

I would love for more people to help us launch this innovative project by donating to the fundraising - if you follow this link below, you can either donate, and/or share the link with your friends and family. The gift that felt-making gave to me following my cancer treatments and remission, needs to be shared with others too - AND - each donor receives a thank you gift in recognition of your support!

Many thanks for all your support. This project is in honour of all those who battle with hardships in life, and proof that good things can be found in the darkest of times. Let us keep that legacy going forward for others too.