InLife, Manchester


It’s taken a while for me to feel that first burst of festive flutters. You know the feeling. One minute it’s November, then the next moment you realise how close Christmas is and boomChristmas flutters. My tree is decorated, the pile of wrapped presents is growing and yet, still, no Christmas flutters… until this weekend! 

Thanks to the team at the Joe Blogs network, a fabulous afternoon of crafting in Northern Quarter soon changed that. Invited by Laura Ashley, twenty five of Manchester’s finest bloggers gathered on Sunday to attend a Christmas crafts workshop ran by the fabulous ‘Ministry of Craft.’ 
Arriving early, ahead of the Christmas traffic, I met up with Christine from The Fabulous Times for a pre-event brew. Meeting at Sugar Junction, a pot of English Breakfast tea and a catch up was the perfect way to start proceedings. At the rather sociable time of 1.45pm, we battled the Manchester rain to make it to the Rosylee tea rooms, a relatively new place on Stephenson Square. Entering the tea rooms, we were greeted by the ladies from The Ministry of Craft, a team of passionate crafters ready to teach us how to make present sacks, gift boxes and luxe bows from Laura Ashley wallpaper and fabric. 

Splitting into two groups, I chose to tackle my fears and approach the sewing task first. Seated at a sewing machine, Sam Sterke, our instructor, explained the process to help up make a present sack. After I pinned the bunting pieces onto the canvas material and attached the ribbon, I conquered my fears and was surprised to find out… I can sew! Within an hour, a present sack was born. 

After a short break for a delicious selection of mouthwatering canapés,it was back to crafting. Secretly, I’d been looking forward to making an origami gift box after seeing the gorgeous samples of Laura Ashley wallpaper on offer. I chose the Summer Palace Crimson Wallpaper to make my gift box. As always, on hand were the Ministry of Craft team to guide us through each step. Within half an hour, we’d each created a gift box to be proud of. It was so easy to accomplish but looked so pretty. Look at my proud face! 

In less than three hours, we’d picked up some serious skills to add that personalised touch to Christmas. If you’re interesting in making an origami gift box or a luxe bow, just click each here and here to download the easy to follow tutorials and give them a whirl! You can also read what the Laura Ashley team had to say by finding their blog, here.

Whilst all Joe Blogs events I’ve attended have been fun, this one certainly topped them all. A huge thanks to the team behind the scenes and to Laura Ashley for arranging such a fabulous day and treating us to goody bags too!

Are you a crafter? 
Will you be making an origami gift box or lux bow?
As always, much love,

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