Make Your Mark in Hall i’ th’ Wood

29th May 2013

Today was the fantastic end-of-project Celebration Event. We had over 50 attendees from each of the Greenway groups that I’ve worked with. It was a real coming together of all ages within the centre. They enjoyed egg & spoon races, three-legged races, making a wind sculpture, decorating the surrounding paved paths with coloured chalks, a free raffle to win two hampers of goodies, prizes for the kids and a slap up lunch of pies & peas with lemon muffins for afters. A fun and friendly and fitting tribute to every who’s taken part in the project. A special thank you to Christine Fitton who’s been a brilliant support through out.

Large-scale group wind sculpture.

Large-scale group wind sculpture.

The kids decorated the paths with coloured chalks.

The kids decorated the paths with coloured chalks.

Fascination with the wind sculpture!

Fascination with the wind sculpture!

Young, old & those somewhere in the middle enjoyed lunch together.

Young, old & those somewhere in the middle enjoyed lunch together.

Almost ready for the egg & spoon race.

Almost ready for the egg & spoon race.

27th April 2013

And it was the last Make Your Mark Family Fun Saturday at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum this morning. The group learnt some hand embroidery stitches and began making little, brightly coloured cushions. They will continue with these when they attend the next Saturday morning session with Jacqui. I’ve left them the stuffing to create their cushions next time they get together (I must remember to ask for a photo!).

Callum's hand embroidery at Hall i' th' Wood Museum.

Callum’s hand embroidery at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.

Mary doing her first ever sewing project - Hall i' th' Wood Museum.

Mary doing her first ever sewing project – Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.

A big thank you to Jacqui Elvin her her hard work and support. And also to the families who came along on their Saturday morning armed with such enthusiasm for everything we shared with them.

Sandra & Sheila learning hand embroidery - Hall i' th' Wood Museum.

Sandra & Sheila learning hand embroidery – Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.


25th April 2013

Drum roll and fanfare please! Today it was the preview event for the intergenerational film project with Canon Slade School, and the retired residents of Greenway. The film, entitled ‘Thinking Back’, was shown at the Greenway Centre to pupils, parents, teachers, the retired participants, the area’s CPO, Jacqui Elvin, Canon Philip Williamson (the Head Teacher of Cannon Slade) local councillors, Bolton at Home staff and the Lord Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Guy Harking.

Popcorn, icecreams and drinks were served and the film itself was absolutely marvellous. It held the attention of everyone there and got quite a few laughs too. A brilliant editing job done by the with excellent support from the teaching staff and pupils too. The feedback from attendees was very positive, with a lot of high praise given. It could not have gone better!

You can view ‘Thinking Back’ here:


24th April 2013

Louise & finished patchwork piece in sky blue.

Louise & finished patchwork piece in sky blue.

Olwin's batik before being ironed to remove the wax.

Olwin’s batik before being ironed to remove the wax.

Layla applying hot batik wax to her silk piece.

Layla applying hot batik wax to her silk piece.

Today was my last Needles & Pins session at the Greenway Centre for the Make Your Mark project. Louise got focussed on the sewing machine and finished her sky blue cushion, she has enough material to go away and finish another in her own time. The rest of the group had a play with batiking – drawing on pure silk with hot wax, painting the waxed fabric with fabric paints and then ironing it off. They had a lot of fun playing around with this set of materials.

Sandra's finished batik with a flower theme.

Sandra’s finished batik with a flower theme.


23rd April 2013

Michelle finishing her patchwork cushion cover.

Michelle finishing her patchwork cushion cover.

Sharon with finished patchwork.

Sharon with finished patchwork.

It was the final Make Your Mark Wonder Women session today. I took my antique, hand-powered sewing machine along to the group (no electricity necessary) and we finished as many pieces as we could. I’m hoping to be successful in applying for another grant so that I can return to work with this amazing group of women later in the year (their thirst for textiles has not been satisfied!).

Michelle with finished patchwork piece.

Michelle with finished patchwork piece.

Wonder Women 31


16th April 2013

The beautiful pieces of patchwork that the Wonder Women have made have been submitted for the exhibition of work at tomorrow’s celebration event. Today we were trying to get things finished for the big event tomorrow evening.

Sharon's almost completed patchwork piece.

Sharon’s almost completed patchwork piece.

13th April 2013

Hall i' th' Wood Museum group in Tudor dress.

Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum group in Tudor dress.

It was the first Family Fun Saturday at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum today since the Easter holidays and today’s was a very exciting theme – Tudor food. The fantastic Jacqui Elvin from Bolton Museum Services had cooked up some treats on behalf of the Make Your Mark project. We all got dressed up appropriately for the meal and wore traditional Tudor dress (I would have preferred to wear the traditional Tudor man’s clothes I think, the long dress just wasn’t me!).

Ready to sample Tudor food at Hall i' th' Wood Museum.

Ready to sample Tudor food at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.

Once we’d put the kettle on and sat down with our hot drinks we began sampling the wares. We started with ‘potage’, which is a Tudor stew with different vegetables and herbs, it was delicious. Then we moved on to ‘jumbles’, Tudor biscuits that are flavoured with carraway seeds and boiled before they’re baked. They were okay, but I couldn’t eat a whole one! After that it was ‘marchpane’. This looks a bit like shortbread but is made only from crushed almonds, rose water and sugar. It’s a dense thing to eat, the outside crusts were very nice with a cup of tea to wash it down though.

Tudor cheese cake (nothing like the modern day version!).

Tudor cheese cake (nothing like the modern day version!).

Marchpane - a Tudor dessert.

Marchpane – a Tudor dessert.

Jumbles - traditional Tudor biscuits, flavoured with carraway seeds.

Jumbles – traditional Tudor biscuits, flavoured with carraway seeds.

Finally there was Tudor cheese cake, nothing like our cheese cake, make with pastry, cottage cheese and currents. It was flavoured with mace and was probably the least favourite amongst the group. All participants were given the ingredients and recipes to have a go at making the food at home.

The children had fun making collages with dried food stuffs. Callum created a Green Man from pulses & pasta!

The kids made collages from food.

The kids made collages from food.


10th April 2013

At Needles & Pins today Keith continued with his kaleidoscopic fabric painting piece, which is almost ready to be made into a cover and transform a lucky cushion somewhere! The rest of the group were enthused by making felt flower brooches and hair accessories. What a collection of lovlies we had by the end of the session – a bouquet of beauty.

A beautiful collection of fabric flowers created at Needles & Pins.

A beautiful collection of fabric flowers created at Needles & Pins.

9th April 2013

The Wonder Women cracked on with their stitching work, it’s all looking great. There was much talk and excitement about plans for the celebration event on the 17th April. The ladies are all getting new outfits and Christine Fitton (a Super Woman herself) has got lots of surprises and fun planned for the event.

Debbie's patchwork crib quilt.

Debbie’s patchwork crib quilt.

8th April 2013

There was a Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Pram Club today. Lots of bears to paint and colour plus the little one’s favourite activity of all time – Dry Messy Play! They mixed up fusilli pasta, snapped spaghetti, poured out porrige oats, crushed up noodles, smooshed rice crispies, made shakers out of rice (and ate quite a lot of bran flakes). They built up quite an appetite after all that hard work so afterwards they got out their favourite soft toy and shared sandwiches, cake and juice with them on picnic blankets. This was the last Make Your Mark Pram Club and it went out with a bang! Thanks guys, you’ve been an absolute pleasure to work creatively with.

Teddy Bear's Picnic at Pram Club.

Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Pram Club.

Mixing fun at the Pram Club's Teddy Bear Picnic.

20th March 2013

Needles & Pins developed with hand stitching skills a bit further today. Louise began cutting her squares out and did some back stitch for the first time. Stacey chose some new fabrics to begin her second sampler. Sandra’s been able to work on her piece in both the Wonder Women and this group so she’s making great progress with her pink and lemon cushion cover (a joint project between her and her Mum, Jean).

Sandra & Jean's joint patchwork project.

Sandra & Jean’s joint patchwork project.

Keith's geometric fabric painting project.

Keith’s geometric fabric painting project.

Stacey's finished patchwork sampler.

Stacey’s finished patchwork sampler.

19th March 2013

The Wonder Women carried on with their patchworks. Many of them have completed the first side of their cushion cover and a few of them are going for even more adventurous pieces of work – we have three crib quilts being made by expectant Grandmas! They are sewing each stitch with love and pride for their unborn grandchildren, it’s an honour to help them realise their vision.

Dani working with the Wonder Woman group.

Dani working with the Wonder Woman group.

Dawn's beatiful diamond pattern patchwork - to be appliqued to a cushion cover.

Dawn’s beatiful diamond pattern patchwork – to be appliqued to a cushion cover.

The Wonder Women hard at work (drinking their brews, stitching & chatting).

The Wonder Women hard at work (drinking their brews, stitching & chatting).

18th March 2013

It was our last filming session at the Greenway Centre with school pupils and Ernest came along to be interviewed. He brought some extremely interesting items of memorabilia with him, which included the letter that told his family about the death of a son during WW1, a brass plaque that has been presented to the family and some other 100 year old documents. He was an engaging and fluent interviewee, with many entertaining stories to tell.

16th March 2013

The theme of today’s family session at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum was ‘Easter flowers’. Mary made some impressive paper poppies, daisies and carnations. Her Mum, Sandra, created two brooches to wear to an event later next week.

Mary making a paper poppy at Hall i' th' Wood Museum.

Mary making a paper poppy at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum.

Mary's finished Easter flowers.

Mary’s finished Easter flowers.

Jacqui Elvin & Mary making flowers.

Jacqui Elvin & Mary making flowers.

Sandra making fabric flower accessories.

Sandra making fabric flower accessories.

13th March 2013

The group’s asked to concentrate on patchworking at Needles & Pins so that’s what we did today. I brought some new fabrics along to suit individual’s personal favourite colours. I was relieved when Louise loved all the different sky blue fabrics that I’d managed to find for her (not an easy task!). Stacey finished her cute cupcake patterned patchwork piece and Lynn’s going for neutrals because she doesn’t know if her unborn grandchild is a boy or a girl yet.

Debbie sewing a crib quilt for her unborn grandchild.

Debbie sewing a crib quilt for her unborn grandchild.

Olwin starting her patchwork off.

Olwin starting her patchwork off.

12th March 2013

The Wonder Women carried on with their beautiful patchwork pieces. The ladies are savouring the colours and patterns that they’re matching together and many comment on the calming effects of the activity. A few are finishing off their mosaic pots to make sure they’re ready for the celebration event later in April.

Debbie enjoying learning a new skill.

Debbie enjoying learning a new skill.

11th March 2013

At today’s filming session with Canon Slade pupils and we had a trio of ladies to be interviewed about their memories of childhood and teenage years. Betty, Yvonne and Margaret came along and shared their reminscences with the young people. They also shared some of their honest opinions about the young people of today! Cream cakes were enjoyed by all.

11th March 2013

After the Pram Club’s visit to Bolton Library & Museum a lot of the little ones had been amazed by their trip to the basement aquarium. So, the session theme today was a bit ‘fishy’. The little people made fish puppets, water-bottle aquariums full of sparkles, fish and sea snakes and they had fun with multi-coloured sand and gorgeous, gloopy glue.

They were so excited that they could take their hand made aquariums home to hold up in front of the light.

9th March 2013

It was our third Family Saturday session at Hall i’ th’ Wood museum today. Some of the group continued with the heraldry theme, finishing off what they started last week. Mary (8 years old) produced a gorgeous piece of textile art in her favourite colours – green and blue. Her Mum, Sandra, designed a coat of arms for her family. And Callum (11 years old) finished off his very detailed and ornate coat of arms (a Mother’s Day gift).


Mary making a Mother's Day gift.

Mary making a Mother’s Day gift.


Sandra designing her coat of arms.

Sandra designing her coat of arms.

Mary's finished piece.

Mary’s finished piece.



5th March 2013

Patchworking with the Wonder Woman group today, they are going great guns with their pieces. We’ve got squares, diamonds, triangles and log cabin going on. Many of them have been commenting on how calming it is to do – they forget all their troubles and drift away into the activity – this is exactly what it’s all about!

The Wonder Women group enjoying learning a new skill.

The Wonder Women group enjoying learning a new skill.

4th March 2013

Ooo, our second filming session today. We had the wonderful Lynn, Cyril and Norma come along to be interviewed and eleven pupils from the Applied Studies class at Canon Slade School. The pupils were wonderful, all really focussed and committed to the project. managed the session brilliantly and the residents enjoyed handling and talking about the items from a reminscence box that I’ve borrowed from Bolton Museum Services. They talked to the pupils about the old money, collar studs and box brownie cameras – bliss. Oh, and I had my first sasperella sweet (thumbs up).

Cyril, Norma & Lynn at the intergenerational film project - waiting to be interviewed!

Cyril, Norma & Lynn at the intergenerational film project – waiting to be interviewed!


Reminscence objects loaned from Bolton Museum Services.

Reminscence objects loaned from Bolton Museum Services.

4th March 2013

At Pram Club today were were having a car wash! The little ones ran the wheels of toy cars through brightly coloured paint and then ran the cars over a huge piece of lining paper that I’d covered the tables with. Once they’d finished creating their ‘action art’, they took the cars over the warm, bubbly car wash area and sponged them down – all clean! We also had some vehicle collages to get stuck in to – have you ever seen a car with 7 wheels? No, I hadn’t either until today :-)

Creating a car collage.

Creating a car collage.

Mark making with wheels.

Mark making with wheels.


Carwashy, bubbly fun (you've got to wash a car after it's been covered in paint).

Carwashy, bubbly fun (you’ve got to wash a car after it’s been covered in paint).


2nd March 2013

The second Family Saturday session today at the beautiful Hall i’ th’ Wood museum. Today we looked at heraldry and the symbolism of designs, colours and objects used in coats of arms. The group went on a tour of the museum and drew and noted down all the coats of arms they could find. Then we began to decipher the meaning and everyone began designing their very own coat of arms. A really inspiring session – creative, confidence building and historically educational.

Sheila designing her coat of arms.

Sheila designing her coat of arms.


A newly made, personalised coat of arms.

A newly made, personalised coat of arms.

27th February 2013

It was my first session with the Needles & Pins group today. All of the ladies made very attractive fabric brooches and wanted to carry on in to the afternoon (they were really sad when tidy up time came around). Everyone had a beautiful piece of handmade jewellery to show for the session, which was brilliant to see pinned to their tops. Keith continued with the painted fabric piece that he began during the over 50s sessions.The group’s decided (almost) unanimously that they would like to learn how to patchwork for the remainder of my time with them. They put in their orders for colours of fabric. Louise wants any colour … as long it’s sky blue!

A fabric brooch created from Suffolk Puffs.

A fabric brooch created from Suffolk Puffs.

26th February 2013

The Wonder Women group really knuckled down to some hand sewing today as their fabric squares, triangles and diamonds started to be sewn together. Some participants even finished their first samplers!

Wonder Women Patchwork 1 Wonder Women Patchwork 2


25th February 2013

A very exciting and anxious day today … the first filming session with, retired residents and pupils from Canon Slade School. The residents (Barbara, Terry and Mary) were very nervous about being interviewed, the pupils were very nervous about doing the interviewing. But in the end it was marvellous, everyone wished they had more time to carry on. Barbara, one of the residents, had many more stories to tell – we hope she’ll get a chance to share them when she visits the school after Easter. Each pupil was given a job to do e.g. sound, clapper board, interviewer, camera or outside location shots. I was so proud of everyone for coming together as a team. And ran the session magnificently.

23rd February 2013

Today was the first Family Saturday session at Hall i’ th’ Wood museum. I ran the session in partnership with the very supportive and brilliant Jacqui Elvin from Bolton Museum Services. The group learned how to ‘card’ sheep’s fleece (using carders to straighten out all the fibres), then use a drop bobbin to spin the fleece into yarn – yes, we made our own yarn! They we looked at how to weave the yarn into a fabric. Jacqui demonstrated how to use a spinning wheel (the little boys loved playing with that!) and we discussed all things Crompton’s Mule, Tudor candles, food and society. A creative and educational session, heaven.

Family Saturday 1 Family Saturday 2


19th February 2013

The Wonder Women group began choosing fabrics to create patchwork with. They all had their squares (and some brave participants had triangles and diamonds!) cut out by the end of the session and some had even started sewing. The tables were a blaze of vivid colour – fantastic.

Patchworking with the Wonder Women.

Patchworking with the Wonder Women.

12th February 2013

The Wonder Women session was very busy today because of half term. I took along the  Native American creative play activities for the kids. Some of the women began grouting their mosaic pots, which are looking gorgeous.

Wonder Women half term 3 Wonder Women half term


12th February 2013

I met with Jacqui Elvin at Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum today. Jacqui runs creative education sessions for Bolton Museum Services. I am very pleased to announce that Jacqui and I will be running weekend family activities from the beautiful Hall i’ th’ Wood Museum. We start a week on Saturday and the first session’s going to be spinning and weaving … now I need to print off the invites for interested families!

11th February 2013

Pram Club today had a ‘Native American’ theme. Many of the little ones had their faces Pram Club Native Americans Pram Club Native Americans 1 Pram Club Native Americans 2painted for the first time and they absolutely loved painting the life sized wigwam sculpture. Such a gorgeous group of mini-artists.

5th February 2013

The Wonder Women Group continued with their mosaic pot project. We had some new Wonder Women Mosaics 2participants attending today, so the mosaics are continuing and making a start on patchwork will have to wait another week or two!


Dawn's finished pot.

Dawn’s finished pot.



4th February 2013

Pram Club was a wet, gloopy messy play today. I’ve started a new love affair with cornflour

for many babies, toddlers and mummies. This was the first time that many of the little ones had experienced this kind of play and it was lovely to see them exploring new textures and materials.

Wet Messy Play Wet Messy Play 2



Pram Club mashed potato cakes














1st February 2013

A wonderful lunch took place today at the Greenway Centre. The older residents (supplied with lots of ham sandwiches and cream cakes) met with the three teachers from Canon Slade School who’ll be involved in the intergenerational film project. What a success! The residents have so many stories to tell and experiences to share with Mandy, Jan and Frankie. I must set a date for the film preview and work out how much popcorn we’re going to need.

30th January 2013

Barbara’s finished her coiled fabric place mat. I’m always so impressed with how she enthusiastically plunges in with any new technique that she’s shown – go Barbara! She’s going to attend the Women’s Group on Tuesdays and we discussed the patchwork crib quilt she wants to make for her grandchild (to be born much later this year). She’s going for lovely lemons as her colour pallette.

Barbara's finished 'textile weaving' mat.

Barbara’s finished ‘textile weaving’ mat.

A brilliant women who works for Bolton Museums Service, Jacqui Elvin, popped up to have a chat too. We’re hoping to work together on some of the family activities of the Make Your Mark project – perhaps using the beautiful Hall i’ th’ Wood museum. We’ve planned a further meeting to discuss a partnership so watch this space!

The sense of calm when this group are focussed on their creative work is great. You can feel it in the air.

29th January 2013

The Women’s group were supplied with another kilo of brightly coloured tiles to carry on Mosaics for Wonder Womencovering their terracotta pots. We had some new attendees who joined and began their pots. Next on the activities list is patchwork, although I think we’ll have some cross over weeks where some people are finishing their pots whilst others are starting a sewing project, we’ll have to try to keep the grout away from the fabrics, hmmm.

Wonder Women Mosaics 4


28th January 2013

Mixing and glooping and slopping at Pram Club today. This group of toddlers and babies love their stirring and pouring. Next week: mashed potato cakes with lashings of glitter and food colouring (only for play, not for eating!).

Very gloopy fun.

Very gloopy fun.

Mummies have to join in too!

Mummies have to join in too!

Cornflour is the BEST!

Cornflour is the BEST!

23rd January 2013

Another quiet, snowy day at the over 50s group, it’s a shame that weather like this puts people off coming out, but very understandable. On the plus side, I got loads of volunteers signing up to be involved in the intergenerational film project with Canon Slade School. I promised a mountain of cream cakes for everyone and very few of them refused. Can’t wait for the big preview event when the film’s in the can.

Barbara's finished textile painted piece.

Barbara’s finished textile painted piece.

16th January 2013

Keith continued with his fabric painting, he’s really confident in mixing strong colours together in one piece. Barbara began experimenting with a fabric technique for making coil pots, bags and baskets. She’s put her own twist on the method by deciding to make a place mat. It’s a simple approach of wrapping long, thin strips of fabric around washing line rope. Then the wrapped rope is hand sewn together and coiled into a solid piece.

15th January 2013

Today was my first session with the thriving Women’s Group at Greenway, run by the  Wonder Women Mosaicssupportive and wonderful Christine Fitton from Bolton at Home. Such an enthusiastic group of women. One of the activities the group had suggested they might like doing was mosaic tiles. So I arrived armed with many terracotta pots and many little, colourful tiles. After some experimentation with making the tiles actually stick to the pots (phew) the group were away. Lots of them really enjoyed learning how to cut the tiles too (I think there might be some bathrooms in Hall i’ th’ Wood getting a make over!). The snap of a perfectly cut tile is always very satisfying.

14th January 2013

Heavy snow today. The theme was ‘gloopy messy play’, but no one showed up because of the weather, ah well, the gloop will keep until next time!

9th January 2013

Today was the first Over 50′s coffee morning after the festive season. Barbara’s been George's Art Work working on her patchwork while we’ve been on a break, it was lovely to see she’s got the bug! George started a new project – drawing with watercolour pencils. He’s started a beautiful sketch of a boating river scene, he does a lovely ‘wiggle’ with the pencils that produces great images of smoke and water movement.

Keith’s started some fabric painting, he’s doing really bold geometric designs, so it’ll be interesting to see how his piece turns out. Barbara started hand quilting her painted fabric, can’t wait to see what she comes back with from her ‘home work’  next week.

7th January 2013

It was the first Pram Club of the new Dry Messy Playyear today and it was fantastic! The theme was ‘dry messy play’ – I’ve noticed that a lot of the little boys in the group love to empty things out and mix things up e.g. pots of glitter, paint and glitter glue! – so I designed this session around doing just that. Pram Club Dry Messy Play 5

The little ones mixed up giant bowls of corn flakes, noodles, rice crispies, pasta spirals, angel hair pasta and rice. They had big wooden spoons and small tea spoons. They had collanders, funnels and all manner of plastic pots and bottles to fill. We even made some shakers (one was ‘the largest shaker in the world’) that they used in the final sing-a-long and then took home with them.

Pram Club Dry Messy Play



19th December 2012

The over 50s session today was kicked off with some fabric painting. Barbara used little George Fabric Painting 1diamonds to correspond with the diamond patchwork template and used blue and yellow fabric paint to harmonise with the fabrics she’s already using. George producing a beautiful design of flowers and foliage inspired by William Morris fabric designs.

At the end of the session Bolton at Home very kindly provided a delicious buffet – thank Greenway Christmas Lunch 1goodness there was plenty of the amazing pineapple otherwise Cyril and I would have had to fight for it! We had over 40 people attending to celebrate the festive season together. I provided a Christmas card making activity, some participants made four cards … and all whilst eating their lunch, that’s what I call multi-tasking. We’ve got some interest in the groups at Greenway, so hopefully there’ll be more residents involved in Make Your Mark come the new year.

A big thank you to Christine Fitton and Danielle for their support today.

12th December 2012

Keith continues with his sewing at the over 50s and Barbara’s got some big ideas – you go girl! George wasn’t feeling very well, so he just enjoyed the company. We talked basket making, rug weaving and tapestry. Layla’s patchwork sampler’s coming along nicely and she’s looking forward to trying out quilting.Barbara Fabric Painting 2

Gave out some invites to the Christmas buffet lunch today – invited some of the people who’ve been really interested in what’s going on when I’ve been door knocking.




11th December 2012

Visited the Women’s Group to hand out tickets to the Christmas buffet on the 19th December. What a great group of women, it’s getting to be quite a big group now – looking forward to getting creative with them in the new year.

More door knocking with lovely Julie – met some friendly people. There have been a number of female residents who have recently lost their jobs, they’re very pleased to hear about the Women’s Group at the Greenway as they need something to give them a boost and a social/creative outlet.

10th December 2012

Pram Club Christmas party! I laid on a spread of Christmas tree collages, snowmen pictures and a Christmas card project – all with lashings and lashings of sparkle and glitter. Oliver used his own body weight in glitter glue on his snowman picture (he’s not that heavy, but it’s still a lot of glitter glue for one snowman to take). We had some beautiful art work and cards made (some Daddies will be getting keepers for cards this year). Father Christmas visited – not always appreciated by toddlers, there were tears! An early buffet lunch was definitely appreciated and some fun games of pass the parcel were enjoyed by all. It kicked off the festive season nicely, well done Pram Club ;-)

7th December 2012

Went door knocking today with the super star woman who is Julie Casey – she’s lived in Hall i’th’ Wood for many years and knows a lot of the people in the Greenway area. We covered several roads between us, handing out leaflets and telling people what’s on at the Greenway Centre for them. I’ve started collecting the names and addresses of families who are interested in weekend activities so these people will be invited to the creative family activities, the bird/bug box sessions and the moonlit lantern walk workshop and event … amongst other things!

6th December 2012

Continued door knocking the bungalows on Greenway today but continued to discover that it’s a weather-dictated activity during a Bolton Winter. It started to snow and I wasn’t wearing a woolly hat, my leaflets got soggy and my pen stopped working – I called it a day after half an hour, bah humbug.

5th December 2012

At the over 50s today George finished his first patchwork sample, which is going to be George's Cushionmade into a cushion cover to be proud of. Barbara continues her patchwork odyssey – she’s sewing the diamond shapes together, really fresh colours, I know it’ll be another beautiful sampler.

A little more door knocking of the retired residents before the day was out too – lovely to meet some more new people from the area.

29th November 2012

Phase two of the outreach plan started today. I knocked on the doors of people living in the Cyril, Norma & Lynnretirement bungalows and handed out information leaflets (there’s some lovely views across the green space from some of their living rooms!). I met some great people who are very interested in the Women’s Group, the coffee morning and Needles & Pins. Thanks to Norma, Cyril and Lynn – meeting you and your enthusiasm made my day.

28th November 2012

Barbara’s moving on to a diamond template for patchworking. She’s chosen some Barbara's Patchwork 3beautiful calming fabrics that we harmonise with her first sampler (so if she ends up making a patchwork quilt it’ll all work well together). I made her the template and she began cutting the fabric pieces out.

George wasn’t feeling too well today so he sat and watched everyone else’s progress. We know it’s the social aspect of the activity as well as the doing that’s helpful for people, so I’m glad he benefitted from a chat and a brew.

Met with the wonderful film making team at today – Tracy and Fran – to tell them about what’s being discussed with Canon Slade school. We need to work out how we’ll give every one of the pupils a role to play in the planning, interviewing and film making process.

26th November 2012

This week at Pram Club the creative play was inspired by materials from around the home Greenway Pram Club 3– have you ever made a collage from a tea bag, peppercorns, pop corn, cous cous, rice and pasta? Probably not, but the little ones did today with the help of lots of coloured card and gloopy glue. They also produced some beautiful paintings – experimenting with a variety of sizes of paint brush. Scarlett in particular loved the painting (even though most of it went in her hair). Well done littlies, you did a great job.


Greenway Pram Club 1

Greenway Pram Club 5

23rd November 2012

Went to meet with the three Applied Studies teachers at Canon Slade school today – Mandy, Jan and Frankie. What a wonderful, enthusiastic team they are. We’re all really excited to work together on the film making theme of Make Your Mark. We agreed dates to start work together in February 2013 and discussed some ways of capturing the project on film e.g. interviewing the young and old people before they meet to record how they’re feeling and what they preconceptions might be. The teachers would like to invite the older people into the school at some point too, which will be really interesting – I can’t wait to hear the reminiscences of the older Hall i’th’ Wood residents.

Also visited Peak Fabrications today. It’s a big metal workshop (literally – the building’s made out of metal!). They also produced the soft flooring for play areas and Steve the head honcho very kindly lent me a  little colour palette of the colours that can be used for the flooring, which will be useful for the consultation work to come.

21st November 2012

Layla joined the group at the over 50s coffee morning today. She used to cut out hexagonal patchwork pieces for her Mum when she was little but she’s never actually made anything herself. She’s passionate about colours and how fabrics work together so I’m really looking forward to seeing what she creates.

Layla's Patchwork

Barbara finished her triangle appliqué work today, it’s a really lovely piece and an amazing first go at patchwork. Well done Barbara, you’ve been a star!



20th November 2012

Visited Hall i’th’ Wood museum today and took photos of many of the decorative features HIW Museum 2both inside and outside the building. The Crompton Mule has the striking repetitive circles of the cogs and wheels. There are many other circular motifs within the building, such as on the grandfather clock faces and furniture. The black and white facade of the house is gorgeous too, so many appealing aspects of the museum to choose from – and very helpful, friendly staff.

15th November 2012

Project catch up meeting with Dawn, Rodney, Christine and Dominic Rice from Play Services. We discussed progress with the consultation work that’s taking place for the toddler play area and planned in a consultation event for the 12th December at the Greenway Centre. I’ll run a creative session to get some input into the designs for the fencing and flooring. I think I’ll use the Hall i’th’ Wood museum as inspiration, it’s such a special place in the area (and it can be seen from the Greenway Centre!). I’m also going to visit the fence fabricators to find out what they can and can’t do in terms of design.

14th November 2012

Over 50s 10

George and Keith are half way through their patchwork project, Barbara’s almost finished. I worked with her on designing the next border to go around her first sampler. She’s using two different candy striped fabrics, using the stripes going width ways for the border and then appliquéing triangles of the other – with stripes going long ways to provide a contrast in the pattern. It’s going to look beautiful, I think she might have caught the patchwork bug that’s going around. I showed Barbara how to do invisible stitching for her hand appliqué and she’s going to work on it at home, can’t wait to see the results next week.

12th November 2012

Winter Sparkle creative play at the Pram Club today. The kids had lavender scented play dough (the essential oil’s very calming!) to make ‘cakes’ with and a very important job – mixing multi-coloured glitter into the dough. It was Mason’s first time playing with play dough, he’s a natural. Lots of Mums took play dough home with them and I gave out recipe sheets so they can make it at home.

Greenway MYM 119

The little ones also had Winter Sparkle collages to create. For many of them it was the first time using glue (well, glittery glue) and they did a fantastic job. Gabrielle loved the pink fluorescent string for sticking down, Oliver enjoyed mixing up the glittery glue and many of the kiddies produced beautiful sparkly art works. A great start to creative play at the Greenway Pram Club.

7th November 2012

Patchwork progress this week with the over 50s. The newly retired Barbara is making Barbara's Patchwork 1 - Copylovely progress.  She’s chosen some lovely soft colours (lemon, lemon gingham and blue candy stripes) and she’s can do very neat hand stitching. George and Keith tried back stitch for the first time, well done chaps! Keith’s not bad at all considering this is the first time he’s sewn anything.

31st October 2012

Started patchwork with the over 50s group today. Participants chose the fabrics they wanted to work with – mixing colours and patterns to their own taste. People either chose two or three different fabrics, which will work well with the square templates we’re beginning with. We had a good mix of ladies and gentlemen. George used to be an upholsterer before he retired, so it’s going to nice for him to use his skills with a needle and thread again. Keith has never even sewn a button on, so it’s fantastic to see him having a go (although he’s yet to decide if he’ll tell his Mum he can sew, she does all his repairs at the moment).

30th October 2012

I spoke Mrs Jan Cullen a lovely teacher from Canon Slade School. We discussed the possibility of running the ‘film making’ part of the project with young people from the school. I’m hoping that it can be an inter-generational project between teenagers and some of the older residents of Hall i’th’ Wood. Mrs Cullen has confirmed that the project would be great for the Applied Studies pupils as it would cover the ‘Community’ and ‘Media’ topics. Great stuff, really excited about working with the school staff, young people and

29th October 2012

I had a great chat with the Health Visitor and nursery worker team who run the session, we’ll be concentrating on mark making, mess and getting the adults involved too. Fantastic stuff.

17th October 2012

Meet with the attendees of the over 50s coffee morning today and had a chat with them about what creative activities they’d like to do. Many of the ladies and gentlemen didn’t feel very enthusiastic about any of the suggestions I made. A group of ladies and a couple of gentlemen expressed an interest in patchwork. We had a discussion about favourite colours (there was quite a range: yellows, greens, pinks, blues and purples). I’ll buy fabrics – plain and patterned – in all these colours for them to choose from. It’s half term next week, so we’ll start work the week after.

8th October 2012

Went to see the people at Pram Club today. What a busy session, with lots of lovely women and little ones. As a Mum of two little boys I love to see other Mums and Grandmas having somewhere to go with their pre-school children. It can be a long day when you’re alone with small kiddies at home, groups like this provide such a valuable service – especially now the Childrens’ Centres don’t offer what they used to.

3rd October 2012

Met with Auvienne Kingstone, NHS Outreach Worker, she’s going to support the healthy cooking/eating strand of the project. So pleased to have the NHS support. Auvienne has identified that the Pram Club that use the Greenway on Monday mornings would benefit from the cooking sessions, so we have our target audience in place!

Visited the ladies at the Needles & Pins group today. There’s some real knitting and crocheting talent there! They gave a very positive response to having me come along in the new year and doing some other textile crafts with them, can’t wait to see what they produce.

18th September 2012

We had the Make Your Mark project kick off meeting today at Tonge UCAN. Dawn Yates-Obe attended and I met the new Arts Office, Rodney Adams. Also in attendance were Christine and Paul from Bolton at Home. Christine’s done a lot of work building up the groups that use the Greenway Centre, I’ll start going to meet them next week (first phase outreach!) and find out if there’s anything creative pursuits in particular that they’d like to do.