Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Relax & Restore - Meditation & Restorative Yoga

We have had a great start to our Monday morning Relax and Restore classes this half term.

It's a wonderful way to start the week.

Laura has two hours to spend taking us through a meditation practice followed by some restorative yoga stretching poses, finishing with yoga nidra, a lovely relaxation part where we have blankets, eye masks and pillows.

It really is a time to put yourself first, focussing on your mind, body and soul.

Why don't you come and give a session a try after half term and see what it's all about?

We are taking bookings on the following dates:

Monday 30 October

Monday 6 November

Tuesday 14 November

Monday 4 December

Monday 11 December

It's £25 per session, and this includes cake, fruit and drinks.

All the equipment you need is provided by Laura, you just need to be here for 9:30am!

(If you would like to book all 5, there is a reduced rate of £110)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Venice Watercolour

On a beautiful day last week our artists (and Bambi) joined us for a Watercolour Class.

The subject was Venice, a place we have painted some years ago.

Claire used the lovely Saunders Waterford heavyweight paper, perfect to keep the transparency in this lovely painting's shadows, reflections and glazing.

The class started with 'vanishing point' exercises, which were needed for drawing in the buildings.

Below are the finished works of art ....

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Heavenly - Our first Relax & Restore Retreat day!

We had a wonderful Retreat day today with Laura.

The day was spent taking part in yoga and meditation.... 

Mindfulness walking in the grounds ....

After a delicious and nutritious lunch Laura led a 'gratitude' session

Deliciously Ella's Bean Stew served with brown rice and smoked quinoa, roasted cauliflower, sweet potato wedges and houmous

followed by


This is a great book The Wellbeing Journal, it has been developed in partnership with Mind, the mental health charity, with all royalties going to the charity.  It's full of colouring pages, quotes to contemplate and plenty of space to record your own thoughts, feeling and experiences.
I love the colourful illustrations.

We had some great postcards, everyone chose one that spoke to them today to take home.

We finished the day with a very very relaxing Yoga Nidra session, which is lying down on the yoga mat with a blanket, cushion and eye mask whilst Laura's calm and gentle voice guided us through some breathing and relaxation.

One hour of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 4 hours sleep!
(I won't mention the snoring!)

A really great day, join us for our next one on Saturday 25 November

11.30am - 4:30pm


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Oils in the style of Turner

This week's Art class with Claire, was with Oils.

Creating work inspired by Turner.

Claire spent the first part of the morning demonstrating and talking about Turner and his life and style.

Some of our artists managed several works of art during the day.

For some it was quite hard to begin with, learning how to work with the paints, especially if they had previously worked with watercolour.

Once you find the movement within the paint and your brush the magic happens.....

There is always time for a cuppa whilst paint dries!

We had to allow them to dry flat in the hall.

These paintings will take several weeks to dry, depending on the depth of paint.

As you can see there are some great seascapes, light in the skies and some Venetian images.

The colours in the painting below are fabulous.

 At the end of the class we always leave time to enjoy the 'gallery', it's an opportunity to see everyone's work from the day.

 We have a space available on our Venice Watercolour Class, please email me if you would like to come, it's on Thursday 5 October, 9.30am - 3pm, £70 to include all materials and a 2 course lunch with wine.


For those of you who enjoy Turner's work, there is currently an exhibition in Winchester;

at The Gallery, Winchester Discovery Centre
Until 15 October

after that it will be transferring to the Willis Museum (The Sainsbury Gallery) in Basingstoke
21 October - 16 December 2017

There will also be some interseting workshops and talks during the exhibition.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Autumn Aga with Sarah

Sarah was here yesterday taking us through some great new Autumnal recipes

Great tips on using the Aga, interesting ingredients and freezing ideas.

The pudding was a huge hit, Sarah made some pastry with cocoa powder in it and turned it into a gorgeous raspberry and chocolate tart.

Below are some delicious cheese biscuits, ideal as a canape.

We had a variety of main dishes, but this was the most popular, a warming smoky fish pie.

After Sarah's demonstration, everyone enjoyed a tasting lunch of all the food cooked.

I love this photo of my Aga post Sarah's washing up!  All her useful pots drying out before taking them home! 

And finally, here is a roasted butternut squash!

They are lethal to peel and chop, so in Aga-Land, apparently we can just throw it into the roasting oven whole for 45 minutes, then afterwards blitz it, skin, seeds and all (think of all that fibre) and use it in making a delicious butternut squash soup. 

Sarah will be back on Thursday 30 November for our Christmas class, this will be about entertaining and preparing for Christmas parties and get-togethers.  Delicious ideas that can be prepared ahead, or frozen.  With plenty of help and support on using your Aga over the Christmas season.

9:45am - 1:30pm

Friday, 15 September 2017

Acrylics & Collage Class

We started our Art Term with an Acrylics and Collage Class with Claire.

- Cafe Scene -

The majority of the class were new to Arylics.

Claire started the morning talking about acrylic paints and how they are best applied.

Using a canvas board attached to hardboard, Claire then demonstrated how she plans her painting with blocks of colour, preparing your paint beforehand is key, make sure you have got enough mixed up in the colours you need.  She shared a lot of tips with everyone.

Once the blocks of paint had been applied it was time for the collage.  Photocopies of cafe scene photographs were used, waiters, menu boards and customers sitting at tables and chairs.

We used pva glue to stick these onto the dry acrylic paint.

After lunch, it was time to put in the detail and blend the collage into the painting.  If you click on the photo below, you can see Claire's close up, see where she painted in people, where she left collage and added some gold pen to help things stand out. 

Claire spoke about creating a pathway into the cafe, creating depth in the doorway and adding shadows to the floor, all these touches helped complete the paintings.

Below is our brilliant gallery from the day....


When you stand back from the paintings, it is very hard to tell which bit is paint and which bit is collage. 

There are a couple of spaces left in December on our Pen & Wash class and also our Winter Scene.