I get lots of invites to blogger events but it’s the ones where we’ll be ‘doing’ that really appeal, getting stuck in to learn something new, with a brand I identify with or already use. An early evening using jigsaws and circular saws to chop wood & make an alphabet letter with the lovely Charis Williams, B&Q and Valspar paint? Hell yeh 🙂
Those of you who know me know that I spend half my life in the big orange DIY store, whether shopping for stuff for our rentals, client interiors or Moregeous Mansions. I’ve worked with B&Q before on some cute gardening videos with Matt James and know they’re always super slick so guessed it’d be a good event. Making my way to Haggerston was an experience, I’d never heard of it and it kinda felt like I was in the middle of nowhere but it appears to be the next residential hipster step from Hoxton. A recharged phone & gorgeous beetroot salad in Proper & Son’s later, I headed over to The Proud Archivist, a very cool eaterie and venue on the canal.
Dare I say it, some blogger events have their share of self important egos, people judging others on stats, postcode and who-you-know, but the crafty ones always seem to be different and more friendly. Bloggers who actually ‘can’ and ‘do’ are rarely snotty and this was definitely the case at our Alphabet evening, all of the girls were friendly do-ers, and that goes for Charis too, an engaging, bubbly expert in her field. She and Pete, B&Q’s resident DIY guru & ex-builder, got stuck in immediately demonstrating, chopping and chatting, getting everyone involved and generally having a ball!
I’m guessing that some of the girls had never used a jigsaw before but by the end of the night everyones confidence had sky-rocketed. Charis had drawn up our letters already and we’d to cut them out as our MDF bases. I’d opted for a Moregeous “M”, breathing a sigh of relief to see Shelley on the bench next to me with her super complicated, 150 cuts “S”, check it out below 😉
Great to see Maxine from We Love Home there too! She styled a bathroom I’d designed and installed for a client for a magazine once and is ace to work with. We had a jig-off, my M versus her X – letter wars! 🙂
This timber we then cut using the jigs or circulars (dependent on confidence) and sanded the edges to neaten them up. It’s easiest tun to glue the pieces in place using No More Nails or something similar, and pin too for extra strength. We didn’t want our pieces to move on the journey home so all took a tube of glue away with us.Two hours and ten women, some using woodwork tools for the first time, was not *quite* long enough to allow painting as well, even with fast drying water based Valspar. After a short presentation on paint (look at the girls all hooked on the colour chat!), we all picked a colour for our letter, ready mixed there and then, to take home and personalise our creations. I spotted a stylish navy blue and some brights going on, with me choosing two: a deep dark called Black Bean and a gorgeous pink named Yoga Pose. I’ll post pics next week when it’s done.
The Proud Archivist’s a great venue, not many places would host such noise & dust and still remain calm & glam. I do feel every DIY project should now involved fizz and individual meringue teardrops however, which might be an issue on many of my building sites.
Thanks to B&Q for the invite, to Valspar for the paint and the fab group of women who attended for making it such fun, especially our hostess! And especially for the amazing goodie bag of DIY specials including metal rulers, glue, paint and a circular saw!! Best goodie bag EVER, although also the heaviest, and getting it back on the train to Manchester leaving a trail of sawdust behind me was a challenge with a dodgy knee once the painkillers had worn off.
As an addendum, I’d had a really bad fall that morning running for my train and must just say that Virgin Trains were absolutely brilliant. From upgrading me to a seat on the way down where I could elevate my swollen knee, to assistance at Euston, carrying my bags, then allowing me to change trains coming home due to slow walking and missing my designated one – the staff couldn’t have been more helpful. Even the first aid room was being repainted, making me feel right at DIY home 😉 Train staff often get a bad rep but to Alan, Ian on the 10.15am, Jamie at Euston and all the crew on the 11pm – thank you!! x