Yesterday was Macmillan Coffee Morning day and when I discovered that there was going to be coffee and cake at The Make and Do Studio in Stockton Heath, it seemed like an ideal excuse to go along.
I've been wanting to visit ever since I found the website when I was trawling for information on sewing for beginners (see here), and I'm very glad that I did. Maeri, who runs the studio from her home in Stockton Heath overlooking the Bridgewater Canal, is just lovely and any worries I might have about walking into the studio and not knowing anyone dissipated immediately. The group of people already there were a friendly bunch - some were friends of Maeri's, some were tutors and others had been on workshops - so there was no shortage of someone to talk to.
There were cakes galore, including a lemon and courgette cake which I know that I will be making in the future with our glut of courgettes, and beautiful vintage tea-cups with a matching saucer-plate (saucate? plauser? J) - I'd never seen anything like them before but they're such a good idea!
This is a photo of the china from the studio's Facebook page, and it's hired from Pretty Little Trio vintage china hire which is also based in Stockton Heath.
The Make and Do Studio offers workshops on lots of different crafts - knitting, sewing, quilting, crocheting, papercraft, felt-making ... the list seems endless! In such a calm environment, you just know that you're going to come away with the skills and the confidence to carry on at home, and as if I'd spoken out loud, Sue who runs the gift wrapping courses announced that she was about to show everyone some quick papercraft tricks to brighten up gifts. A real ta-dah moment - I'm going to have my daughters whipping up some nifty embellishments for Christmas gifts in no time!
I spent a long time talking to Maeri herself about her workshops, where to source materials, how she got started and just how she ended up in Stockton Heath when she's originally from Vermont in New England - she's very easy to talk to and generous with her time and advice. By the time we had all realised how the time had flown and that other things needed to be done in the day, I left feeling that I had made a friend which, if I had needed any encouragement to go back to the studio in the future, had surely clinched the deal for me.