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Village Art & Literature

We ♥ crafting!

Posted on November 27 2014 at 12:09:33 0 comments

Lydia and crafters

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Crafty villagers will love to hear about a new venture in Alvechurch, which offers the opportunity not only to buy beautiful bespoke items but also to have a go at making something yourself, writes Sally Oldaker.

Lydia Designs is housed in a purpose-built home studio, where owner Lydia Wolsey (pictured above, second left) designs and customises jewellery, accessories and signage for weddings and other occasions.

She also runs jewellery and crafting parties for all ages and abilities, and recently offered a free taster session to a small group of locals, including The Village.
Lydia started designing and making her own jewellery as a teenager, learning most of her techniques from her mum, an avid beader.

She went on to take an HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing at the Birmingham School of Jewellery with the intention of making it a career, but, as Lydia puts it: “Life is not that straightforward!”

She spent some years as a watersports instructor before gaining a degree in D&T education with Qualified Teacher Status and going into teaching – but still made jewellery and other items in her spare time.

“Even though I eventually left teaching to pursue my creative passion full time, I still want to keep an element of teaching in my life – and that’s where the craft parties come in,” she explains.

The studio was built by Lydia’s partner, a carpenter, and comfortably houses 10 crafters as well as all the couple’s equipment.

When our group arrived, the large table was set up with everything we’d need for the project – decorating two of the wooden hearts which Lydia usually makes as wedding favours. We could decorate these however we liked, to keep or give to someone special.

Lydia provided all the materials we needed – acrylic paint, glittery and pearlised varnish, stencils and letter stamps, and mini gemstones – plus drinks to keep us refreshed as we chatted!

I’ve always liked being creative and most of the others were keen crafters, so we all had some idea of what to do, but Lydia gave us expert tips such as using a wooden stick to do tiny paint dots, a wax-tipped pencil to manoeuvre the fiddly gemstones, and a special heat gun to dry the paint.

Everyone’s hearts looked different and we all had great fun making them. Some commented that it was therapeutic, while we all agreed that it was lovely to spend a couple of hours being creative – there’s usually not enough time, and it was especially nice not to have to clear up!

We were also able to have a peek at Lydia’s other work, which includes wooden bunting, door signs and of course jewellery, made with wood, metal and semi-precious stones. All items are one-offs, made to order. 

The craft parties – for adults or juniors would be great for birthdays, hen nights, baby showers or social groups, and can be hosted in the workshop or in your own venue.

Lydia is offering workshops on Dec 15 and 16 to make your own personalised Christmas decorations – to find out more, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit http://www.lydiadesigns.co.uk


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