Die Cutting

Tonight we had a lovely evening all about Die Cutting courtesy of our very own Bev T. We learnt all about the different craft projects that it can be used for, the different types of machine and the various dies that are available. Bev demonstrated how her three different machines worked and passed round some of the intricate dies that she has including some that emboss as well as cut.

After marvelling at some of her beautiful creations that she’d put out on display we were then all ready to produce our own little treasure to take home. With a choice between a gift box and a tea light holder we were all kept busy folding, pushing out the die cut pieces and gluing our objects together. At the end of it all everybody left with a beautifully made item to take home with them.

Thank you very much Bev for a thoroughly enjoyable, interesting and therapeutic evening!


Annual Meeting and Theatre Guide

Thank you very much to all our Disparate Housewives WI members who attended this year’s Annual Meeting. And what a special one it was too as I am delighted to welcome three new members to the committee! As always the Resolutions got us talking and debating. So much so that we nearly ran out of time for our guest speaker…

An extra special thank you goes out to our Disparate Housewives member Holly who enthralled us all with the fascinating world of theatre productions. In her backstage guide we learnt all about the humble beginnings that even the largest of West End shows have in village halls just like ours up and down the country! Our eyes were opened to the huge amount of work that goes into the productions before anyone even sets foot in the theatre including acquiring props, set design, marking out the stage on the floor of the hall and of course rehearsing. Who knew we had such a star in our midst as well as we discovered the big names and productions she had the pleasure of working with and on!

Thank you very much Holly for an incredibly enjoyable talk and a warning to you all; if you ever see Holly marking out coloured tape on the floor, be careful, you might be about to walk through a wall!

Skincare from Dermalogica

Last night we were well and truly pampered by Sylvie Mann, a trained Beauty Therapist from Dermalogica! She took us through a face cleansing and moisturising routine explaining the purpose of each step. Everyone received samples of each product so we cleansed, purified, toned, scrubbed and moisturised our way to healthier, younger looking skin. The delightful headbands were also quite transformational!

Afterwards Sylvie took time to answer our questions which included explaining the importance of sun protection for our skin if we wish to retain our youthful looks, plus the various options available to smooth out blemishes and provide foundation for our make-up.

Thank you Sylvie for an interesting, practical and informative as well as thoroughly enjoyable evening!


Basket Weaving

Tonight we cosied up in our new temporary lodgings in the Gilbert Room whilst the main hall floor is being replaced. This certainly did not put a dampener on things as everyone rallied round bringing their own coffee cups and reorganising the tables and chairs.

Louise Brown, a local basket maker, treated us to a interesting talk on the history of not only basket making but the growing of the raw materials for the craft as well. It was fascinating to hear how large the willow growing regions in the UK had been in the past compared to today and all the interesting things that have been woven throughout history. I was certainly surprised to hear that evidence of weaving has been found as far back as 3000 years ago! It was nice to hear that basket weaving was seeing a resurgence with objects being woven for their aesthetics rather than necessity and a booming trade in woven coffins!

After an impressive demonstration from Louise on how to weave a basket we were then let loose on some willow to sculpt our own woven star… with varying degrees of success but enjoyment all round!

Thank you Louise for a fun filled informative evening with laughter a plenty. It is obviously very a skilled craft!


Fostering & Adoption

Happy New Year everyone!

Tonight we were pleased to welcome two members of the Southampton Foster Carers team, along with one of their Foster Carers.  They provided a fascinating insight to the fostering process, the timescales involved in getting trained as a foster carer (only six months!), how much you get paid, and more importantly the benefits it can bring to individuals and the looked after children in their care. Interestingly, there were more options available for foster carers that you might imagine. Suitable for people just dipping their toes in to help (holiday care, one weekend a month) up to fostering with potential to adopt.

All in all they left us in awe of those who give their time and lives to help vulnerable children.

Festive Florals 2018

Tonight we had a wonderful festive evening producing beautiful flower arrangements whilst adorned in our Christmas jumpers, hats and jewellery. December is always one of our most popular evenings with everyone looking forward to getting together to produce something delightful to display over the Christmas period.

It is always a joy to see all our members enjoying conversing and sharing foliage with each other as well as lending fellow members and guests a hand.

A massive thank you to Jane for yet again organising all of the materials and sharing her wisdom with us on how to produce our festive florals.

Merry Christmas everyone!


9th Birthday – Line Dancing

Tonight we had a fantastic evening celebrating our 9th Birthday with a spot of line dancing. Sherree from Romsey Line Dancers treated us to an evening of thigh slapping, yee-hawing entertainment. We all started the evening as complete beginners but with Sherree’s expert tuition by the end of the night we had learnt several dances and had a lot of fun and giggles along the way. We had definitely all earned a glass of Prosecco and a slice of birthday cake once we’d finished!

It was an excellent evening and a great way to celebrate another year of the Disparate Housewives WI. Some of our members went the extra mile and even participated in themed attire.

Happy birthday everyone!


Hiltingbury Still

Tonight Clio from the Hiltingbury Still stimulated our minds and taste buds with her interesting talk all about Gin. We learnt about the history of Gin, how Clio distils her Gin and of course got to taste some of her delicious creations. She explained about the licences that she needed to be able to distil her Gins and how she distributes and sells what she produces.

We tasted three Gins in total with the Sloe Gin being a popular choice! There was also the option to try them out as a proper G&T as well as go home with a bottle should we wish to.


A Passion for Pearls

Tonight Frances Benton delighted us with a lively and informative talk on A Passion For Pearls. Her talk included the science behind how the pearls form, the history of how pearls began to be cultured, how to identify fakes and much, much more! She helped to dispel some of the myths surrounding how Cultured pearls are seeded and the reason behind the rarity of Natural pearls. Fake or real, Frances also explained the best way to look after and care for our pearls so that we, and future generations, may enjoy their beauty.

What Frances fondly describes as her “hobby” spanned three tables and included pearls of all colours, shapes and sizes! Her passion was definitely infectious and I know that lots of us went home bejewelled in some of her creations. Our purchases came with the added bonus of knowing that the profits are donated to a well deserving charity too.

Frances also generously donated a pair of her beautiful pearl earrings as a prize for our raffle. The earrings were won by a surprised and delighted member who I’m sure will thoroughly enjoy wearing them.

Thank you for an excellent evening Frances and I’m sure we will all now be caring for our pearls morning, noon and night!


Women in Winchester

Thanks to the continued glorious warm weather we were able to enjoy a meeting with a difference this evening. Tonight we met in Abbey Gardens, Winchester, rather than in our usual village hall. Here we were treated to over 2000 years of fascinating history on a guided tour from our Winchester tour guide Kate.

Kate had kindly put together a special tour for us that included some of the usual highlights but with the added bonus of information on influential and important women who have their history in Winchester. We learnt about Mary Sumner, founder of the Mother’s Union, Jane Austen, author and of course Bloody Mary to name a few.

The tour was so detailed and expertly put together that we ran out of time to do everything that Kate had planned for us as we asked so many questions. We are now all eagerly awaiting the rest as a second tour which we hope to book for 2019.

A huge thank you to Kate for a wonderful tour. We definitely all learnt a lot and hopefully even remembered some of it!