Last month I was back in Oxford at at Hill End, returning after my earlier bear making workshop two weeks previously. 'The Willows' waited quietly in the already hot morning sun.
This workshop was a little different in that it was for a hen party - bunting was obligatory. I quickly set the workshop up. I like this peaceful part of the day, when I can settle myself and calm my nerves.
I had some samples ready for inspiration.
I'd also set up a display of work and a collection of photos of my first pieces of work. The photos are useful as I can show people that I myself started somewhere and my early work was far from perfect.
While I was waiting for everyone to arrive, I sat on a big stone outside and watched baby bunnies creep out of the bramble patch to nibble grass.
Of course there was also an obligatory robin.
But then I cast my eyes to the left and was amazed to see a young fox slinking out of the undergrowth. He clearly hadn't seen me. I slowly got my camera ready and held my breath as he came towards me.
I have never, ever been so close to a fox before. He got to just a few feet away and then clocked me.
He made a stealthy but quick get away, heading towards the baby bunnies who made an even speedier escape!
Then the hen party arrived (all ten of them) and it was business as usual. Only one person there, the bride-to-be had needle felted before or even knew what it was. But I gave them a pep talk and got them working. Pink fluffy deely-boppers and all.
And in the end, they all did fantastically. One or two designs became other things - which is why there is a parrot in the flock.
Back home, I have been busy with getting my life back on track - more tidying and unpacking. I did make this little Staffordshire style cat last week, and posted a picture of it being made in progress on my Instagram account, where he was bought at once. That has sorted the electric bill out. I don't have a lot of time to sit down and blog properly, so my IG account is a way of keeping in the loop, as they say.
I have a few workshops left this year, which can be found on my website workshop page.