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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Nicholds-Brown

Lampshade Obsession

Hello Friday! and hello 3/4qtrs of the way through January already! I have realised that this blog is my opportunity to do my favourite thing - be random! For newbies to the blog - I apologise in advance. You will see an unsubscribe button you can hit if you receive this by email if my constant rambling causes you distress and you need to distance yourself from it...

Big Hearts

We had our first willow heart hen party last week. All I can say is that what an awesome group: beautiful non-bridezilla bride, hilarious and warm family and guests. Well done Daisy who organised the event for her friend Libby. Have a great time at the wedding, and don't forget to send us pictures of how the hearts all look on the day.

Flock Update

We are still in flockdown, but a malfunction during the floods did mean the ducks had the time of their lives with a quick lap of the flood plain. We have just one diligent 'layer' at the moment. I think it is likely to be Dora or Flora (one of our older lady chickens) as it's a lovely olive egger, which is their speciality. I seriously need to address the teenage boy cockerel situation pretty soon. I'm delaying for no good reason other than they just look so darn handsome!

Boring naval gazing (feel free to jump to interesting crafty bit in the next section)

I popped off to a lovely barn conversion in Faringdon run by our friends at staycotswold for a little blast from the past. My day job used to be leadership and resilience development for corporates. I met so many awesome people and visited tons of great places. It was fun to be part of the development journey for loads of future leaders and a pleasure to work with Dom at Epiphanies again. Being back on the road made me turn to my old friend Audible for a little business theory listening. I picked Mathew Syed's Rebel ideas .

I have always banged on about the reason Em and me work so well together is that we see things differently. Some might say Em sees it right and I see it wrong - but I try to keep those negative types out of my thinking :-)

I am a massive believer in the benefits of cognitive diversity. To solve complex problems, you need to see if from different perspectives - if you are the smartest person in the room; you need to find another room - if you surround yourself with people that agree with you on everything it might be nice and cosy, but your thinking will likely be flawed with some massive and possibly damaging blind spots. Em and I are currently working up our strategy for the business at the moment. I like to get my crazy blue sky ideas on paper and then we choose a coffee shop to spend a few hours chatting stuff through. Larkswold has brought me the most joy of any of my careers or businesses, and I am pretty sure Emma feels the same. So watch this space for Larkswold 2.0 plans over the next few months.


Bookings are certainly up on lampshade making already this year. Is that because you guys are refreshing your home decor or maybe that this a skill that once learnt can bring such a visional delight to your environment. Block printing to create a unique material pattern, followed by lunch and then lampshade creation interest has grown and we hope to be adding more dates for shibori shades and other varieties very soon.

Our next full day lampshade session is Friday 24th March 10am-4pm.

Our next lampshade session is Wednesday 1st February 10am-1pm.

A few shots from the studio this week:

Kate Morrell our willow sculptor helped guests to make the most amazing bumble bees last weekend, Emma entertained two lovely ladies who came to make candles and also had a lovely meeting at Winchcombe steam railway to talk about our activities there at Easter and again in the summer. Oh and she picked up our Alcohol Licensee certificates that she clearly sat on at some point!

Have a wonderful weekend



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