Thursday, 24 April 2014


Spring greetings to you all!
What gorgeous weather we’ve had recently, doesn’t it make you feel good?
Blue sky and sunshine, lovely – please stay.

Much like last month’s meeting – making porcelain beads, buttons, pendants and all manner of little trinkets with Lisa Stevens.
 A lovely evening of chatter and play also makes you feel good and we still have the thrill of getting the finished, glazed items back from Lisa!

This month Helen Blenkinsop will be talking to us about how to preserve memories. 
As a Women’s Institute maybe we’re more familiar with preserving fruits and vegetables, but how often have you heard a story from an elderly relative’s past, or witnessed your own children do something or say something that made you think ‘I must remember that’?

Well, Helen will tell us how.  And she knows, because she’s done just that having spent four years working with her parents to capture their memories and produce an 80,000 word book for future generations to enjoy.

 Helen is also a published author and writes suspense-filled thrillers with a touch of romance under the name AA Abbott; take a look at her website for more details about her books.

Bring along a pen and paper to the meeting on Wednesday and if you like, old diaries and photos - perhaps from your teenage years, or older ones that you've inherited.  Also a bit of pocket money, as Helen will have her books for sale!

Looking ahead to our May meeting, we’d like your help please.

We’ll be welcoming Vicky Harrison from Paper Village and Louise Horler from the Dress a Girl Around the World Project – read more about this lovely charity that provides little girls in third world countries with pretty dresses, HERE.

 We‘ll be making fabric flowers and decorating pockets and patches, which we will give to Vicky to add to the pillowcase dresses made during the sewing sessions she’ll be co-ordinating over the summer.

So, can you help by digging out any scraps of fabric and cutting out 12cm diameter circles for the fabric flowers?  We need 6 circles to make 1 flower, so your help will be appreciated!
Otherwise, any pieces of fabric, or haberdashery such as buttons, ribbons, bias-binding, pieces of lace and the like that you’d be willing to donate to the cause would also be very welcome.

In the meantime, be sure to support Vicky’s latest project as it reaches its climax.  Maybe you’ve already been involved in making pieces for the City of Briswool, a huge, woolly representation of our fine City.  It will be on display in Paper Village during the Arts Trail weekend of May 17th and 18th.

Finally, the Race for Life is happening in Bristol on Sunday 6th July and Malago WI has entered a group.  If you’d like to be part of it, you just need to enter our Group ID code when you register and we can share our fundraising efforts for Cancer Research UK as well as perhaps co-ordinate training sessions for those inclined to run!  Let us know if you’d like to be part of this wonderful event with Malago WI.

Until Wednesday,


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

March in to Malago WI...

There’s a definite hint of spring in the air, isn't there?  We’ve seen more sunshine than rain recently and there was at least one day that could be described as warm since we were all together at February’s meeting with Karen Lowe.

 Have any of you spring cleaned your wardrobe with the help of Karen’s useful tips and your new found knowledge of your body shape? 
Or maybe you’ve just experimented by tying your scarf in a different way at every given opportunity!  Whichever, I hope you all enjoyed it.

We’re really getting our craft on this month; firstly March saw the inaugural get-together of the Malago WI craft Club sub-group (that doesn’t trip of the tongue – alternative suggestions on a postcard!)  It was a lovely, informal get together for members only that saw experienced and inexperienced crafters knit, crochet, and patchwork, chat and laugh together.
If you missed out this month, don’t worry, it’s a monthly club to be held on the Wednesday 2 weeks before our main meeting.  You don’t have to commit to coming every month or even have a craft project on the go.  Come along for inspiration and friendship.  Drop us a line for meeting details.

Continuing the craft theme with our March meeting, we’ll be getting crafty and creative with Lisa Stevens.  She’s a wonderful artist creating beautiful, small, textured porcelain pieces such as bowls, tiles and jewellery. 
Take a look at her work here and here.

We’re going to have a go at producing our own masterpieces at our March meeting, focussing on small, flat items such as beads and pendants or small tiles which Lisa is going to take them away to glaze and fire them before returning them to us to use as desired. 
How fabulous – although you might want to leave your own rings at home so they don’t get clay stuck in them!

 So get your thinking caps, Lisa has suggested that you might like to bring some items to shape or add texture to your work such as something to press into the clay, or any shaped cookie cutters that may make it more personal to them. Possibly textured fabrics; lace, brocade, knotting and crochet, all of which are fun to press into clay. Also things like textured buttons, old jewellery, bits of old ironmongery...or natural things like seed pods, leaves and shells. These can all make interesting textures in the clay.

As mentioned last month, a further craft opportunity is the lampshade workshop we’ve arranged with Quincy Lampshades for Sunday 18th May, 1.30pm til 5pm.  

This is open to members and non-members, but spaces are limited to 25 so email us at for details and prices and how to book.  Get your skates on and start choosing your fabric!

Finally, thanks to all who donated prizes and bought tickets at last month’s raffle – you helped raise £40 for Malago WI, yippee!

See you all next Wednesday,


Saturday, 22 February 2014

February news...

How lovely to see so many of you at our first meeting of 2014!
It was a good one wasn't it? For those who missed it (why?!), Attic Tea came along and hosted a tea-tasting session.

It was a wonderfully sociable evening, the hall was decked out to reflect the fact that the Chinese New Year was upon us (did your fortune cookie bring good news and wise words?) and we had plenty of time to chat with each other as we discussed the veritable merits of the green tea blend, versus the black, white and pu'erh blends under the guidance of Anne.

So with brains boosted and stress busted we head in to February when Karen Lowe, image consultant and personal stylist, will help us with those age old problems that crop up for us all at some time or another;

Is your wardrobe full of clothes, yet you have nothing to wear?
Do you struggle in the morning deciding what goes with what?
Does shopping leave you stressed or upset?
Would you like to know your body shape and how to dress it?
Would you like to update or refresh your current image?
Karen is currently in the running for Business Mother of the Year, and at our next meeting her secrets will be uncovered to leave us brimming with self-confidence. Join us to discover a fabulous new you, looking at body shape SOS and the art of great accessorising.

Also at our February meeting we’ll be holding our raffle of excess and unwanted Christmas gifts, so bring along your contribution to the prize table and thank you to those of you that have already have done so!

Registration is still open too, it’s £34.70 for the year and we've got some great things planned so don’t miss out.

In other news:

WI business meant that members present at January’s meeting were able to cast a vote of support for one of four potential resolutions, which will become the key campaign backed by the WI. Our majority vote is forwarded to Avon Federation and final discussions and voting takes place at the AGM in the summer. The majority vote going forward from Malago WI is to support the campaign against female genital mutilation.

Are you considering entering the Race For Life this year in support of Cancer Research UK? The Bristol 5k event is on Sunday 6th July and several committee members have decided to take part, we’d love to have you join us as well. We've registered a MalagoWI group, so we can provide you with a group id code if you’d like to take part with us, meaning all sponsorship raised will be donated as 1 submission and we’ll have a Just Giving page for easier fundraising. Nearer the time we can co-ordinate some ‘training’ sessions for those that want to and if you have daughters or friends who want to take part too but aren't WI members – well that’s fine, this isn't a members only event! Take a look at the website for further details and entry prices here. We can give you details at our next meeting too.
Who fancies a craft club? We’re trying to co-ordinate a monthly craft club, something fairly informal to be held at a committee member’s house probably. We've yet to sort out precise details, but are keen to find out who would be interested, so we’ll have a sign-up sheet at the next meeting to register your interest or you can email us to let us know. As a WI sub-group this will be for full Malago WI members only.
We’re also hoping to organise a lampshade making workshop with Quincy Lampshades, to take place on a Friday evening or weekend afternoon. Dates and costs will be sorted once we have an idea of who’s interested. This will be open to full Malago WI members first and guests afterwards if places remain. A sign-up sheet will be at the next meeting or you can email us to register your interest.

Phew, well that's all for now folks,
Hope to see on Wednesday,


Thursday, 23 January 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everybody!

It seems a little late to be saying that, but it’s our first communication of 2014, so think it’s more than justified.
Hopefully you all had a wonderful time over Christmas and 2014 is moving along smoothly for you.

It was lovely to see some of you for Christmas drinks at the Tobacco Factory in December and our November meeting with
Ivory Flowers was gorgeous.
Isn’t her shop looking fantastic, brightening up North Street during these drab, wet, winter days?

So here we are, January, traditionally the month for new regimes and resolutions – get fit, lose weight, stop smoking/drinking – essentially stop the fun stuff, straight after a month of indulgence.

It's just too hard, particularly with half full tins of chocolate, Christmas cake, biscuits and other delicious edibles bursting from cupboards and cluttering surfaces.
Far more practical to spend January enjoying all these tasty treats and start afresh in February, surely?

Well, with that in mind, we have
Attic Tea visiting us in January for a tea tasting session.
Anne will talk us through the different types of tea available and the health benefits they offer.
Take a look at their lovely
website if you’re not already aware of them and their products.
Maybe this will help kick start a healthier regime for February.
There’ll be products available for sale too, so come prepared, cash, cheque or credit card are all acceptable.
I’ll be looking out for the tea with cleansing and detoxifying properties!

As we mentioned at our last meeting, do bring along any unwanted Christmas gifts or excess boxes of chocolates, bottles of wine and so forth (unused and unopened, please!) that you want to get out of your house, ready for our raffle, which we'll hold during our February meeting.
We’ll store the donations until then and can co-ordinate the raffle draw and prizes in to something a little more orderly.

Importantly, please remember that it’s membership renewal month so you will need to pay your annual fee of £34.70 or the £5.00 visitors’ fee. You can pay by cash or cheque, but you only need to fill in the membership form if you’re a brand new member or if any of your details have changed.

Finally, we’d love more volunteers to help with the smooth running of our meetings, so if you can offer your services to help set up the hall before the meeting – committee members are usually there from 7.15pm, or help out with serving the tea and cakes during the break or to make/bring a cake to be served, that would be wonderful.
We’ll be creating a roster for helpers for each month which will be available at our meetings, or you can contact us through the usual channels to offer your help.

Until Wednesday...

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

November news...

What a great October Blackout party!
We enjoyed a sociable and relaxed evening of themed food, music and movies. The hall had never looked so good, decked out in fantastic vintage bunting and 1940s memorabilia.
Hats off to all those who entered into the spirit of the occasion and came dressed up in style and huge thanks to the girls from the pop-up parlour who performed their 1940s hair and make-up magic on lots of lucky Malagowers.

We also got down to business with the formalities of the AGM, looking back on another successful year for Malago WI and feeling in good shape as we look ahead to an exciting programme of activities for 2014.
Thanks to our hard-working committee, with special thanks going to Nancy, Shelly, Jacqui and Emma who are taking a well earned break from committee duties and a very warm welcome to new members Lucy Culliford and Suzanne Bech.

We do need more committee members so would you just like to join us in helping to keep Malago WI a thriving, fun group?
Maybe you have a flair for photography or a great idea or contact for a future meeting? Maybe you’re keen to get a spin off WI group off the ground – a crochet club, book group or knitting circle? Whatever your reason, a warm and friendly welcome awaits you, not to mention tea and cake! Just get in touch or speak to one of us at the meeting and we’ll go from there!

Looking ahead to our final meeting of the year on Wednesday 27th November we’ll be getting into a Christmassy mood with a glass of punch and mince pies before Xanthe from Ivory Flowers demonstrates how to make a Christmas floral arrangement.

We’d like you to bring along some flowers and foliage from your own garden (or foraged if you prefer) and maybe you have a container that you think would be great for a flower arrangement but have never quite got round to working out how to make it look good?
Bring it along and Xanthe will create some impromptu displays using some of these and give us tips on how to create a lovely display with often overlooked foliage.

Xanthe will also have some goodies for sale so bring along some cash or your credit card, she’ll be telling us all about her new shop that’s soon to open on North Street too…exciting times!

Don’t forget that membership is open for new members to join for £34.70, existing members will need to renew in January, although if you’d like to do it at November’s meeting – that’s fine with us!

And if that hasn’t got you in a festive mood, don’t forget our December informal Christmas drinks get together, on 11th December from 8pm in the Tobacco Factory.

See you next week,