Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

We hope you have a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year!

Thank you for all your support this year, we look forward to seeing you in 2014.

The Treetops office will be closed from noon Friday 20 December and will re-open on Monday 6 January.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Acrylic Seascapes

Claire arrived today with lots of bags and boxes of goodies for our Acrylics class.

Only a couple of people had experimented with Acrylics before, so Claire did a really useful explanation at the start about preparing your surfaces, choosing your paints and the use of brushes and palette knives.  She had bottles of potions that helped the paint flow more easily, bottles of paste to build texture onto your paper, it was really interesting.

Inspired by a photograph of Sennen Cove in Cornwall, Claire demonstrated at the easel.  Talking us through how to blend, blend, blend.  Everyone had Watercolour painting experience but Acrylic painting is a very different way of painting.  

Above is our class hard at work, and below are our finished paintings, all very different, striking and atmospheric.

And today's Pud, a delicious white chocolate and amaretti cheesecake!

Our next Acrylics class is on Wednesday 5 March - Cornish Harbours.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Flowers, Flowers ... and more Festive Flowers!

We've had a fantastic two days at Treetops with our Festive Flowers Class.

Lovely Susanna from Tiger Rose was here with foliage, flowers, plenty of festive goodies and brilliant decorative ideas.

Susanna started the morning talking about the different ways to decorate our homes this Christmas and what the latest trends are .... popcorn is one of them .....!

Flowers become very expensive the week before Christmas, so she gave us ideas on how to use just a few flowers but yet still create something beautiful for a table or mantlepiece.

Next, Susanna showed us how to make a beautiful Christmas Hand-Tied Posy.  The colours were stunning, especially the anemones and the piano roses, that were so similar to peonies.  The red was so gorgeous it looked like velvet.

Here all the "ingredients" ready to go: 

(Tuesday's Group listening intently!)

And here is the finished posy - stunning.

Then it was WREATH TIME!

Susanna showed in a step by step style how to put together a wreath, from soaking the oasis, to creating a safe and sturdy wire loop to hang it from the door and the initial covering of the oasis, remembering to keep the hole in the middle.

Then in true Blue Peter style she showed us a finished filled out wreath.  

Next was wiring, we were shown how to wire and attach a whole basket of items such as chillis, cinnamon sticks, walnuts, orange and apple slices and the beautiful wax covered apples from Holland (see the final wreath photo on the page).

After coffee and a look at Flower books and magazines for inspiration it was time to make the wreaths.

The joy of Flower Classes at Treetops, is the abundance and choice of foliage, flowers and goodies, sometimes it's hard to narrow it down and actually make a choice!

We were all starting to feel very Christmassy at this point, the smell of eucalyptus, pines and my mulled wine were filling the kitchen.

Following lunch, Susanna talked to us about wrapping ideas, using pretty ribbons, fruits and pretty ribbon corsages which can be made really quickly and easily.  The ideas can be used to gift wrap Christmas presents and even your napkins.

Susanna's book called Seasonal Wreaths, can still be found on Amazon I am pleased to say.

There are over 30 creative, fun and stunning wreaths, it's a really pretty book.

Susanna can also be found in Hampshire Life Magazine being creative, I'm off to find it!

Below are the AMAZING wreaths made this week, bear in mind when you look at them, that everyone could choose from the same "ingredients", but yet they are all beautifully individual.

I hope they look lovely adorning your doors, remember to spray them regularly. 

(PS: As a reminder to those of you on Wednesday's class, the ratio for your vase flowers is 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 tablespoon of sugar!)

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas Aga 2013

We welcomed Sarah back for Christmas Aga yesterday.

Instead of Turkey, this year Sarah showed us how to cook a Beef Wellington and a Festive Baked Ham, various accompaniments and a delicious chocolate muffin trifle!

Sarah talked about preparing for the Big Day, which foods can be made and frozen ahead of time, which was really useful, how to look after the vegetarian in your family, and how to use all of the Aga ovens effectively.

Sarah returns to Treetops in April for A Taste of Spain, a great Aga Demonstration Day, please see the blog post below this for further information.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

NEW - April Aga Class!

Sarah will be returning to Treetops on

Friday 25 April 2014 for

"A Taste of Spain"

A new class to Treetops, it will feature some delicious tasty recipes such as paellas, spanish stews, steamed fish, gazpacho to name just a few....

Whilst demonstrating the food Sarah will also be showing you around the Aga, how to make the most of the ovens, how to cook efficiently, as well as plenty of top tips about Aga Cooking which will help you at home.

A tasting lunch of all the food cooked will be served with a glass of wine, and a copy of all the recipes will be available for you to take home.

The cost is £65, gift vouchers are available for this class.

The class runs from 9.45am - 1.30pm.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Winter Scene Watercolour - Wednesday

Hard at work today at our second Winter Scene Workshop.

The artists above are putting the masking fluid on their paper, following their pencil sketch.  When the masking fluid is dry you can then create your first wash.

Whilst working today we had bright sunshine, dark clouds, a hail storm and very heavy rain .....!

Today Claire displayed the Winter Scene in four stages, which was really useful to see and follow.

We used very good quality 200lb paper from Saunders Waterford.

The first shows the pencil (HB) drawing with the blue masking fluid:

The second shows our first wash from lemon yellow, rose madder and cobalt blue.

We made some lovely purples and oranges too.

Next the trees, their branches and remaining leaves take shape.

And finally the finishing details, reflections, shadows, grasses and the removal of the masking fluid.

Some of our group hard at work

And here are their stunning paintings...

At the end Claire puts all of the paintings into a mount and displays them, this gives us a chance to see what everyone else has been up to!

PS: Can I just mention this delicious pud, recipe from Waitrose: