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Crochet….first stitches

Tuesday 5th April 2016

Crochet Workshop

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For April’s meeting we had a visit from Emma at The Pincushion, Oswestry who bravely took on the challenge of teaching the Valley Girls how to crochet.  Armed with her giant crochet hook Emma showed us the ropes (well, wool!) with seemingly unlimited patience.

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There were also some “experienced hookers” amongst us who thankfully were able to lend a helping hand to myself and the other “crochet virgins” in the group. I have had one previous attempt at crochet when the square I was attempting to make was definitely more of a triangle so I came to this meeting with a mixture of excitement and trepidation but after two hours of chaining and trebling (even mastered the lingo) the penny finally dropped for me in the final 15 minutes and I managed to make a small but perfectly formed granny square even including a colour change.

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It was lovely to see some of the other ladies in the group getting inspired too and there were lots of concentrated but smiling faces in the crowd.

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One of the great things about the WI is the opportunity to develop new skills and this is definitely one I will be adding to my list for the future. Many thanks to Emma, and the Valley Girls all wish her good luck in her future ventures.

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By Stephanie Greer

Jewelry with Bijoux Lane

Tuesday 1st March 2016

Jewelry with Bijoux Lane

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An absolute treat of a meeting for us in March when we were visited by the lovely Andrea of Bijoux Lane. Bijoux Lane is a home based jewellery  business offering high quality sterling silver, mixed metal and beaded jewellery designed and hancrafted by Andrea.

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Andrea (with the patience of an angel) talked us through the creation of a wire work daffodil very apt with it being St David’s Day.

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We sculpted, twisted, bent and shaped the wire. Used our special “wire tools” supplied by Andrea, some of us were more successful than others (!)

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Wine Tasting

Tuesday 2nd February 2016

Wine Tasting and Appreciation

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The February meeting took us away from our usual venue of the Hand Hotel, instead we ventured just along the road to Gales Wine Bar. Where we were beautifully hosted and educated, in all that is good about wine, by Pip Gale. We tasted our way through six different wines from aromatic whites to full bodied reds and everything in between.

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Pip’s knowledge of wine is endless, we are so lucky in Llangollen to have so many very talented,  knowledgeable, creative and enthusiastic people to draw on. The Valley Girls WI in it’s (now) two year history has very rarely needed to venture outside of the Dee Valley (or even outside of Llangollen to be totally honest!) when sourcing experts.

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We never want to become stale so we do throw the net a bit wider at times, however we have a wealth of talent in our little town (Llangollen) and the surrounding Dee Valley and there are times when it’s only right to celebrate this,  so we’d like to say a huge thank you to Pip and his team at the Wine Bar.

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Valley Girls WI would certainly recommended that any other local groups should make use of this excellent resource, the wine tasting evening was an absolute blast! Perfect for corporate group events,  private parties or any other excuse to socialise.

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And it’s not just wine, Gales Wine Bar has a fantastic menu and what’s more you can get yourself a lovely cuppa too!

 

Wordybirdies

Tuesday 5th January 2016

Wordybirdies

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For our first meeting of the new year on a cold and dark January evening we were visited by two lovely ladies, Sue Gale and Julie Hinchliffe, who together are better known as wordybirdies LIVE!

These ladies are best friends from way back, and for the last five years they have used this magical rapport to create a two-woman performance poetry show. They take a sidelong look at life’s little ups and downs with their poems, sketches and monologues. Their show could be described as Pam Ayres meets Victoria Wood with a hint of French and Saunders!

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All the material they perform is devised and composed by the two of them and they are always on the lookout for new people or situations to inspire them. So following some communication from one of our committee members the wordybirdies managed to glean a fair bit of information (some classified!) about us Valley Girls which they set into verse!

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We were honoured to have a poem written about us and it was definitely a highlight of the evening.

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Other favourite pieces included, Taking the Proverbial and a hilarious song about shopping at a well known cut price supermaket……this included a chorus with audience participation. Great fun all round, lovely start to the new year.

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Christmas Social

Tuesday 1st December 2015

Christmas Social

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Decembers meeting had been entitled ‘Christmas Social with singing, games, food and drink’ and that’s exactly what we did.
With local music teacher Eirwen Jones on piano we sang some Christmas Carols…the singing confidence grew over the course of the evening with The Twelve Days of Christmas being a personal highlight. I never knew how funny swans a swimming and geese a laying could actually be, singing carols while performing the actions is sure to take off. Thank you to Eirwen for your patience and guidance, I suspect this was far from a normal choir practice.
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Also thanks to Carol from Llanvalley (natural Skincare) for bringing along some lovely natural skincare products…reminder that the moustache cream was not intended for ladies! Really nice products and some great gift opportunities. Some fun games were played involving drawing on your head and malteasers which I’m sure will be replicated at many dinner tables after Christmas lunch.
All this rounded off with a nibble…or two of cake, biscuits and mince pies. A lovely social evening ending a very busy WI year.
Merry Christmas everyone and look forward to another fun filled year in 2016
By Emma Basford

Papercraft

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Papercraft

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November saw us all getting back to basics with a good old Christmas crafting session. With the business out of the way (mainly calendars!!) Jude and Mary geared us up for the 2 crafting activities they had lovingly prepared for us.

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We all took a turn at the tables and with lots of determination and patience we churned out some fabulous Christmas decorations.

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And for those not crafting – with the fire roaring and a glass in hand we also had plenty time to chat and compare crafting skills. Beth and I even resurrected the paper star from last Christmas.

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That just leaves me to say – whilst the paper tear drop decorations are going viral again in Llangollen this year I hope your ribbon decoration was better than mine!!!

Kate (a keen crafter!!)

Childhood Games throughout the centuary

Saturday 24th October 2015

Centenary Celebration of Traditional Childhood Games

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There was lots of fun and laughter at the Llangollen Leisure Centre on Saturday 24th October with the Clwyd Denbigh Federation WI Leisure and Performing Arts committee hosting an afternoon of games to celebrate the Centenary of the WI.

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The X-Boxes, IPads and electronics took a back seat whilst we went back in time to the basics of board / card games, Cup and Ball, Hopscotch, Shove Ha’penny, Bagatelle, Marbles, French Skipping, Hula Hooping and many more.  It was quite a nostalgic event for us adults as we reminisced about the good old days when there was far more interaction with friends prior to the introduction of the video games.  French Elastics, Hula Hooping and Double Dutch  Skipping  seemed to top the ratings for Valley Girls WI (although they had to fight off the children), whilst Glyndyfrdwy WI became challenging with the Beetle Drive and Rhosnesni WI topped the winning board for both Skittles and Shove Ha’penny.

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Whilst the children were also getting competitive with Bagatelle, Quoits, Trap the rat and ball games, it was difficult to decide who was actually having the most fun (children or adults) !! Unfortunately we had to abandon the Croquet due to bad weather but it didn’t put a dampener on the indoor games which truly took us back in time.

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Although no-one could actually master the top / whip or ‘Jacks’, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon which proved that we can still have great fun for hours when we turn off our smart phones and modern technology and appreciate the good old fashioned traditional games. A big thank you to Llangollen Rotary Club for the loan of some of the games and to Llangollen and Valley Girls WI for their support.

By Jane Berry

Roller Disco!

Tuesday 6th October 2015

 

AGM followed by…Roller Disco!

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Octobers meeting brought us into the 1985-1995 era on our journey through 100 years of the WI. What says 80’s more than a Roller Disco? I’m not sure how many WI groups in that time had a Roller Disco after their AGM but ours certainly went down well and provided some light relief after the serious committee business and re-elections. All previous committee members were re-elected with the welcome addition of Jane Berry.
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With great thanks to our friends at FlowSkate http://www.flowskate.co.uk/ who provided us with not just the skates but the technique to get us all up and skating within minutes. The music was inspirational and I for one have to apologise for singing so loudly (and badly) but the sound of Tiffany and Wham! was too much, I really was transported back to my youth.
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There was a lot of laughter and everyone genuinely seemed be really enjoying the trip back to our childhoods, some bleached denim and luminous leg warmers even made an appearance. No major injuries occurred fortunately but there were a few aching muscles the next day (I’m sure it wasn’t just me).
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I think it’s going to be hard to top that meeting but we will give it try next month with a change to our advertised calendar launch, a slightly more sedentary, but no less enjoyable, paper craft on November 3rd.
By Emma Basford
Next meeting Tuesday 3rd November….Papercraft!

Charity Calendar

Friday 4th September 2015

Launch of the Vintage Llangollen Calendar

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The following blog is taken from a press release which was used during the launch period. With a few photos from our “launch” coffee morning at Plas Newydd. Again the wonderful “llanblogger” in the form of the lovely Phil Robinson was in attendance to capture the moment see http://llanblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/llan-now-has-its-own-wi-calendar-girls for a full account

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Valley Girls WI, based in Llangollen, is launching the Llangollen Vintage Calendar which depicts sights of local interest and features members of the WI dressed in vintage costume with period hairstyles and make-up.

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The calendar is the brainchild of Gail Ellson, President of Valley Girls WI, and Langollen based photographer, Kim Price and will be sold to raise money for two local charities, Nightingale House Hospice and Hope House Children’s Hospice.

Gail, said: “I met Kim by chance at a WI event, we had a brief chat about producing a locally based calendar and the ideas we exchanged sent our creative minds into overdrive. 

“After much planning and lots of fun taking photos in and around Llangollen, we are now proud to be launching our first charity calendar. 

2015 is the centenary of the Women’s Institute, which started in Anglesey in 1915.  We wanted to mark this pivotal moment in the movement’s history so based our programme this year on exploring the WI’s 100 year history.

“Our meetings have involved lots of period dressing this year, which gave us the idea for a calendar celebrating vintage costume and hairstyles.”

Kim, added: “The Dee Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Llangollen, where the Valley Girls WI is based, has a world heritage site within it.

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“The countryside and scenery around us is outstanding, with people traveling from all over the world to visit, so we are privileged to have it on our doorstep.”

“We are passionate about this amazing part of the country and wanted to showcase the local beauty featuring the ‘local beauties’!!”

 

Mikron Theatre

Thursday 3rd September 2015

Raising Agents a play by Mikron Theatre

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The Valley Girls were honoured to host this fantastic play written by Maeve Larkin, and for Llangollen to be the only venue in Wales included on this tour by Mikron Theatre.

The evening was full of excitement with many travelling from far and wide to come and see the show (we even let in a few from over the borders!!).

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We rolled out the red carpet!

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Hung out the bunting and stocked up the bar…..not to mention the lovely bar staff!!

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Invited some VIPs.

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Provided a warm welcome…..and…..

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…..on with the show!!

For a much more in-depth and much more eloquent report of this fantastic evening see http://llanblogger.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/wi-play-takes-town-hall-audience-by.html

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