Monday, March 17, 2008

Last day of the Abingdon Arts Festival: Part 1

After a few days to get our breath back, we launched into the last of the events for this year's Abingdon Arts Festival. The final few days had a number of different events, organised by various groups throughout Abingdon, and - judging by the feedback we've had in the shop - many of the events had very healthy numbers attending, to the delight of organisers and performers alike.

It seems to have been a great success this year - and everyone has plans for bigger and better things in 2009, us included.

On Saturday, we were back in the Roysse Room at the Abingdon Guildhall for our Baby Bookworms event - an interactive story session for parents with babies which sold out (our apologies for those that we had to turn away). Anu did a sterling job, running the event with baby-for-hire Timothy (his second Baby Bookworms event). Everyone had great fun, particularly the little people who could get up close and 'interactive' with the special books. We had one lovely email from a new mum saying how much she and her little girl "enjoyed the book-chewing event" on Saturday!

We then welcomed back Judith Blacklock for another floral design masterclass.

Knowing what to expect, and having watched her at the event we held at the shop back in November I was still completely mesmerised, and the whole event was a joy to watch. Judith is a natural educator, with a special combination of passion and excellence and a genuine desire to share her tips and skills.
We were particularly chuffed to have nearly 40 people attending, including a fair few experienced flower arrangers, as well as a number of beginners. No men though, so come on chaps, don't be shy...

I won't write too much about the event itself - apart from a comment that when I tried to being it to a premature close at about 1pm, there was a fairly vocal (and unequivocal) response which led to me sit down and shut up! I shall instead let the pictures from the afternoon tell their own story.

Here's Judith in the process of making one of her most striking displays:



To create this:

Here it is on display (in front of one of the Roysse Room's decorated windows):

In a little over 1 hour, Judith had created eight displays, each of which was admired by the assembled audience. Those buying copies of books after the event got to take home a display.

Thanks to Judith for again making the journey up from her flower school in London - and we wish her the very best of luck for the opening of her second school in New Covent Garden Flower Market. Thank you also to everyone who came, contributed questions and made the event such a success.

It remained for us to pack up our stand, get back to the shop, and prepare for Roger McGough in the evening...

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