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,


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Let's get ready to party!

Well hello Malagowers,

I think it’s time to admit that the summer – Indian or otherwise, is definitely over! 
We saw it out in style with some tasty seasonal recipes brought to us by Shannon Smith as she demonstrated some recipes using seasonal produce.

We sampled wasabi pea dip, courgette kofte, polenta pan bread and my personal favourite, the lovely, fresh potato and apple salad – why hasn’t it occurred to me before to use yoghurt for the dressing rather than the usual mayonnaise?   I hope you and your taste buds approved.

Now as the nights draw in and the temperature drops, what do we have to look forward to?

Only Malago WI’s 5th Birthday Party and AGM!!!

We can’t wait – no we really can’t.  So we’re having it 1 week early on Wednesday 23rd October.

We’ve got lots in store for our 1940’s blackout party; food, music, movies, memorabilia and a fabulous pop-up parlour specialising in hair and make-up in the 1940’s style.

Do come dressed for the occasion, you may also get the chance to have your hair or make-up done by our parlour professionals – you’ll definitely be able to watch and learn and pick up some tips.

And as if that isn’t enough for you, membership also opens for new members, so if you’ve been coming along as a visitor until now, this is your chance to join up for 2014 for the small sum of £34.70 (and you get the last 2 meetings of 2013 for free – irresistible huh?)

We also have the AGM formalities, which will be confirming our committee for the coming year.  It shouldn’t take up too much time and then we can all enjoy a good, fun and very sociable evening.

Do say you’ll be there!

See you on the 23rd

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Plenty, Bounty...Glut

So, before we bid a fond farewell to a well deserved warm and sunny Summer, let's recap on our August meeting with Bracey Interiors.
It proved a lively session with Malagowers sifting through an array of sumptuous fabrics brought in to dazzle and inspire.
Ben Bracey and his team romped through some of their style and design tips and completed projects to an appreciative audience who left the hall buzzing with design ideas and laden with tantalising brochures and catalogues.

Just a few days later, Malago WI were providing cakes to the masses at the International Kite Festival at Ashton Court. The weather was warm and sunny and the cakes were a hit with just about everything selling out by the end of the Sunday.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped out and made this a success, we've boosted our funds by over £650, and hopefully raised our profile too.
Now as September lives up to its reputation as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness we look forward to this month’s meeting, entitled Plenty, Bounty…. Glut.
The session will be led by experienced food and cooking tutor and gardener Shannon Smith who is also involved in the Horfield Organic Community Orchard project
The full flow of late-summer harvest can feel both a blessing and a curse but Shannon will show us how to enjoy one more courgette, and that there’s more to apples than crumble.
This ‘cook and taste’ session features savoury and sweet foods –as well as recipes that children can help cook.
Members are invited to bring samples of seasonal produce – familiar and unusual – from the garden, allotment, or gathered from the wild, for tasting and inspiration.
It's gonna be a good 'un, see you there...


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Summer Summer Summer time...

Well, hello Malagowers
It was lovely to see so many of you at July's meeting.
What a fun and lively session we had with Liz Ferguson giving lovely idea's and tips for creating an eyecatching and appealing stand or stall for an event and sharing her wonderful albums of projects (not least of all her daughters wedding) and regaling us with her plentiful supply of warm and funny anecdotes .. all that and then on to the hands on activity of making tissue paper pompoms.
Weren't they fabulously frou-frou?
So simple and effective, but a real punch of colour - I like them a lot!

At August's meeting Bracey Interiors will be talking to us about interior design, less paper pompoms and more paint palettes I suspect!

I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice that we are nearing Kite Festival weekend, it's not too late to offer your services if you haven't already and we'd love to have you with us whether it's helping on the stall over the weekend or bumping up our cake numbers.
The money raised will go towards making your WI even better by keeping up our tradition of interesting, varied and fun speakers so any little contribution you make, really helps your Malago WI.
Drop us a line at and make us an offer or hopefully we'll see you at Wednesday's meeting and we can talk then.

Until Wednesday...

Friday, 26 July 2013


So firstly we must extend a huge thank you to Deb Pearson for the fantastic life drawing class she brought to our June meeting. It was the most enjoyable, inspiring and meditative drawing lesson I’ve ever had and I hope you all feel the same.

Another first for Malago WI, this was an opportunity to try drawing for some, for others a chance to improve their craft, but for all a very calm and peaceful time studying the human form.

 It was great to hear so many positive comments from everyone there when we paused for tea and cake.

Her relaxed air and handy hints meant that everyone at the meeting learnt new skills and came away with a picture or 2 to be proud of and maybe even the inspiration needed to check out some local drawing classes.

Another creative month for July sees us welcoming Liz Ferguson who will be teaching us simple, effective ways to style and dress a party or event. 

This is a hands on session which will have us making some decorations as well as getting lots of tips and advice from Liz that will help us with hosting anything from a small children’s party up to, ooh, I don’t know … having a cake stall at a large, successful event such as The Bristol International Kite Festival!

We hope to see you all there,


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Drawing you in to June...

So, how good was May’s meeting?  It really was a huge success and proved a great social occasion as well, a great set up for a good chat with edible treats to boot!
Sue Duggan from Teach Me Sugarcraft let us into some of the secrets of decorating cupcakes and under her skilled tuition, within minutes we were all turning out artistic creations everyone could be proud of. A big thank you to Sue and also to our May cake makers.

The relaxed format of the session meant we also had a chance to chat and meet one another which has resulted in lots of suggestions for our 2014 programme, but do keep the suggestions coming through all the usual channels as this will take some time to finalise.

June’s meeting will be challenging our skills in the art of life drawing. Deb Pearson has spent her life around art – she is a life drawing model, passionate collector of art and a regular at the RWA Drawing School.
Deb will lead our session, starting with tips and advice on life drawing before taking up a series of poses for us. (NB there will be nudity involved!!)
Please can everyone bring a sharpener and rubber and if you have your a favourite sketch book do bring this along too. But don’t worry if you don’t have your own as there will be paper, art pencils and charcoal provided – so avoid pale clothing with all that charcoal and graphite around.
As the summer kicks in just a reminder that July’s meeting will be a hands on craft session with Liz Ferguson making all sorts of beautiful decorations for our WI stand at the Bristol International Kite Festival (31 August/1 September).
If you can help with our Kite Festival stand in any way, whether it's baking cakes, loaning props or decorations, your time to (wo)man the stand over the event weekend, advice, previous experience, storage space... anything!  Please do let us know, many hands make light work as they say.
See you all next week,

Thursday, 23 May 2013

May the sun shine!

With a spring in their step Malagowers arrived ready for an evening of style tips and image-boosting with Karen Lowe, only to find, instead, local JP Bob Bennett, as Karen had to cancel at the very last minute!

So with a quick switch to our mind set, from clothing and fashion, to crimes of passion (ahem!), the energetic Bob quickly won us over with an insight into the role of a magistrate, followed by a mock crime which, through filmed interviews with the victim and suspect, encouraged us to question our attitudes and perceptions as the case progressed. 
An interesting fact of the evening: Bristol has the highest number of female magistrates in the country, go us!!

Huge thanks to Bob who stepped in at the eleventh hour and we’ll be seeing Karen at our February 2014 meeting.

On to this month’s meeting, Sue Duggan from the wonderful Teach Me Sugar Craft  will be inspiring us with her crafty cake creations.

 She will demonstrate how to decorate our cupcakes before letting us loose on four of our very own to take home…or eat in the break. They may or may not look something like the wonderful picture above - but that's really down to you!

Sue is a font of knowledge when it comes to cake decorating both large and small scale, and will be happy to answer any of your decorating questions or queries, she'll also be bringing some decorating paraphernalia which will be for sale so you may want to bring some extra money with you.

We will provide everything you need to decorate the cakes, but you might want to bring an apron just in case, or our fabulous Malago WI aprons will be on sale for you to purchase on the night for the new, reduced price of £8.00.

For those who took a WI Spring bulbs catalogue at the end of April’s meeting, please make sure you bring your order form and either a cheque for the total amount payable to ‘Malago WI’ or cash, so we can make the order before the beginning of June.

As a committee, we've begun thinking about our programme for 2014 meetings and would love to have some input from our members, so we'll be looking for your suggestions this month. 

We will have an anonymous suggestions box in the hall, and suggestions slips on every table. Malago is your WI and we really value any ideas you have for meetings. If you know anyone who might be willing to run a meeting or maybe you have a skill that you would like to share or a topic area that you'd like to see included, then this is your opportunity to let us know.

Finally, we are looking for new members on the committee, so if you are interested or would like a bit more information about what being on the committee involves, please speak to any of us during May’s meeting and we will be happy to tell you more. We will all be wearing blue name stickers on the night so you can spot us!
See you soon,


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Spring in to April


Having enjoyed a Magical March meeting with professional storyteller Martin Maudsley, huddled around candlelit tables listening to tales of enchanted forests, river gods and hidden treasure which, in turn, lead on to musical interludes of apples, sunshine and cider and a bit of riddle solving,  it felt like a fitting end to the dark, cold months of winter.

But now, here we are in April, enjoying longer, lighter evenings and the occasional, teasing glimpse of what spring has to offer, yet still waiting for it to fully unfurl!

So while we continue the wait, let’s get on top of our wardrobe woes with the help of renowned image consultant Karen Lowe.

Have you been shopping for jeans recently and thought ‘Which style will best suit me?’

Do you know which garment is the best style for you?

With Karen’s help we have the chance to indulge in body shape SOS.

Bring some items you struggle to wear, get ready to wardrobe de-junk and learn the style of great accessorising, the importance of correctly fitting underwear and how to dress in a way to flatter our bodies.

Karen has helped a number of clients refresh their style and increase their self-esteem to boot, now who wouldn’t benefit from a little bit of that?!

We look forward to seeing you all on the 24th April!
Toodle pip!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Storytelling March

With more than a hint of spring in the air it’s time to stimulate your imagination and  join in a magical evening of storytelling at the March meeting of Malago WI.
Leading us on our journey will be Martin Maudsley – storyteller supreme and master of traditional tales, local legends and oral stories who has wowed many a festival audience with his inspiring performances, including Malago WI back in 2011.
After all the energy and glamour of the wonderful Sambazinhas, last month, we are looking forward to a slight change in mood and pace with a more gentle evening of story telling .
March is also marks the highlight of the Comic Relief year. Please show your support by sporting a dash of red in your attire with all donations from our cakes on the night going to Comic Relief. So let’s really make it a night to remember.
To round off a big thank you to the Sambazinhas for taking us through our paces last month and bringing such enthusiasm and rhythm to our lovely ladies. Special thanks also to the wonderful cake bakers who helped to keep us going through the evening’s exertions.
Don’t forget to renew your membership subscriptions or if you are new to WI please come along and see what we are about. We have a great programme for the year ahead

Monday, 25 February 2013

February forever

Doesn't it feel like this month has dragged its feet? We'll be kicking up a storm in our dancing shoes this week, however, with the February meeting of Malago WI!

The Sambazinhas will be joining us on Wednesday 27 February at 8pm, giving us a high-kicking demo of their festival show. And, of course, we'll all get the chance to join in, so don't forget your (flat) dancing shoes and clothes suitable for copious amounts of jiggling and shaking.

Don't worry if you were expecting the rather more sedate Farrow & Ball - they will be coming up at the August meeting.

Just a brief one this month, without further ado allow me to thank the wonderful Janine Chisholm who inspired us all to make-do-and-mend last month, plus the cake-bakers from January's meeting - resolution-busting deliciousness all round. And don't forget to sign up for your membership at Wednesday's meeting - places are going FAST! (Just like our samba-dancing feet...)

Tchau, Malagozinhas!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Happy noo year!

Well, hello Malagowers

It's been a while since we've seen you all (at November's glorious chocolate-making extravaganza). Christmas chaos and new years have come and gone, and we're ready to get Malago WI all set for 2013.

Kicking of the year in style is our January meeting - Wednesday 30 January, 8pm. Janine Chisholm of Custard Clothing is coming to talk thrifty style, something we could all learn something about. Janine is an expert in customisation, alteration, and all things fashion, darling. As well as talking us through the basics, Janine will be able to advise on revamping individual items so bring along a lack-lustre linen or a fading frock and find out how to breath new life into your wardrobe.

Don't forget to bring along cash or cheques (£12.99) if you're interested in buying Janine's book - Thrifty Style: Clever ways to revamp your wardrobe.

If you haven't already joined up, we're still accepting Malago WI memberships for 2013. For just £33, you get a year of thrilling meetings, sociable events, and the finest cakes known to humanity.

Speaking of which, we need refreshment executives to volunteer their services please. Make a cake or help out in the kitchen - either way, drop us a line to let us know.

And finally, we do like to eke out the Christmas cheer just as long as we can, so we're holding a raffle. Bring along an unwanted gift to add to the pile, and together we'll beat those January blues.

Until Wednesday...