a way of life...

Category: Creative courses

The Medicine Garden Cobham

Walled garden

Entering the walled garden

A visit to The Medicine Garden is an all round life enhancing experience. Entering the walled garden is a small step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Greeted by perennial borders stuffed full of late summer blooms and a vast variety of grasses that sway majestically in the soft breeze in this sheltered oasis of calm.IMG_7826

It is only when you step through the entrance to the secluded courtyard that you realise what a hive of activity this gem of a place actually has to offer. Home to a small number of complimentary enterprises it offers everything from spa treatments to fitness classes to shopping to enjoying a healthy beverage in the Hothouse Café or The Garden Pod Café.

Treatment room

Treatment room

The Garden Pod Café

The Garden Pod Café

If you are inspired by this blog and wish to learn more about these facilities in Cobham why not visit their Open Evening 15th September which will be held in the courtyard between 18.30 and 21.00.

Make a Footstool in a Day

Early Friday morning I rocked up at Ivory & Pitch in West Sussex with the requisite metre of fabric of my choice to make a footstool in a day.

Described on the Ivory&Pitch website as  “Our new Classic Footstool Workshop, in collaboration with The Ministry of Upholstery, (featured on BBC1’s Money for Nothing) is a one-day creative extravaganza combining upholstery with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ techniques to produce a beautiful footstool to take home.”

On arrival I was a little apprehensive, but having previously enjoyed an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ workshop at the same venue I knew that the tuition would be spot on and the atmosphere relaxed.

I shouldn’t have worried at all as on arrival I was provided with a sturdy hardwood frame and all of the component parts and tools to make a the footstool. After an essential health and safety talk concerning the use of the compressed-air stapling gun the fun began.

Firstly, I had to choose a finish to apply to the legs of the footstool. With the help of Caroline Ivory I opted to use the new  Annie Sloan black wax to complement my Loseley Park Lime linen. Once applied the legs were put on one side to cure.

Under the watchful eye of Caroline I worked through the step by step process to create my bespoke piece of furniture. From applying the webbing to gluing the foam cushion Caroline was on-hand to advise and assist whenever needed.

Intense concentration

Intense concentration

A little after midday we stopped for a delicious lunch of homemade soup, artisan bread and creamy brie. This was served in the shady courtyard adjacent to the workshop.

Refreshed and refuelled we returned to continue our work. Layer upon layer of differing materials were stretched, stroked, and stapled to the hardwood frame.

Mid-afternoon brought tea and cake and another brief break in the sunshine but there was no time to linger. The most critical stage was ahead of us – at last my chosen fabric would be applied to the footstool and it would be complete all bar the legs. Checking that the wax was dry, each leg was carefully positioned and tightly attached.

Barely able to contain my excitement the finished footstool was turned upright, and much to my delight it was perfect. Every single staple was perfectly aligned and each corner neatly finished. I was over the moon. My first venture into upholstery was a huge success thanks to the patience and direction of my teacher.

Finished footstool

Finished footstool

Back home the footstool was the last element to be added to my recently revamped living room, alongside my lovely John Sankey chair, upholstered in a combination of black velvet and Loseley Park linen.

John Sankey armchair and classic footstool

John Sankey armchair and bespoke footstool in matching Loseley Park linen

For details of forthcoming courses visit the website at ivoryandpitch.co.uk

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