Monday 19 November 2012

November rain....

Hic! Did you enjoy October's wine-tasting? We had a blast. After a couple of away matches, we're heading back to our usual haunt, Bedminster Methodist Church, for the final meeting of the year on Wednesday 28 November. To get us in the mood for the impending festive season, we'll be welcoming Frances Cooley of Clifton Cakes, who'll be making Christmas truffles with us. But only if you've been good.

Frances will also be making one of her famed chocolate shoes before your very eyes, and you can be in with a chance to win this delicious creation as part of our raffle - don't forget to bring a bit of spare change for your raffle tickets. We'll have a whole host of exciting prizes.

We're on the hunt for cake-bakers - reckon you could knock something up for the meeting? We'll be your best friend. Go on, make us your fave cake or biscuits - could even be something with a Christmas twist. Drop us a line to tell us you'll be bringing something - just email

And finally, we're thinking of having a stall at the North Street Christmas Fayre on Saturday 8 December. Could you spare an hour or two to help out? Sign up at next week's meeting.

Oh, and are you 2013 members yet? We are OPEN! Go Malago!
Until next week,

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Happy Birthday Malago!

We love Jane Brocket. It was a total pleasure to welcome her back to Malago WI and we hope you enjoyed hearing her speak, seeing her fabulous crafts, and buying those beautiful books. Thanks Jane, until the next time...

Well, we're fast approaching our 4th birthday - haven't we grown? Which means a rather special October meeting/party.

On Wednesday 31 October we will be celebrating this milestone with a spot of wine tasting. Because our usual venue is teetotal, we're changing venue again. Same time though - 8-10pm.

October's meeting will take place at:
St Paul's Church Hall
Coronation Road
Here's a map.

Seeing as we're vino quaffing, we thought we'd park the cake for the month (gasp!) and go for cheese and biscuits. We'll provide the dairy, but we're after bakers who'd like to make crackers, biscuits or bread to go alongside. Email us with your carbohydrate offers.

And as if that's not exciting enough, our birthday party is also our AGM which means the swearing-in of our brand new 2013 committee. These wonderful women are stepping up to make sure Malago continues to be a well-oiled WI.

Talking of 2013, the programme is shaping up nicely. Don't forget to sign up for next year's membership - the guest list opens at the October meeting so you lot are first in the queue. We'll be changing the rules slightly, making it possible to come along as a guest for £5 (2013 membership is £33 for 11 meetings).

Another new development - we've changed our Facebook group/profile to a page so please 'like' us (please!).

Don't go changing...

Sunday 16 September 2012

September with Malago WI

We're so very excited to announce the return of Jane Brocket - writer, knitter, embroiderer, blogger, domestic goddess extraordinaire. Jane visited us back in 2010, and her talk was the highlight of the year.

In September's meeting, Jane will talk Domestic Delights: Stitching, Knitting and Cakes, the subjects of the three books she's published this year. Jane was kind enough to write about her visit last time and we'd love to offer her a very warm welcome for her return visit - if you would like to bake a cake for the meeting, please drop us an email.

September's meeting will be at ACTA, Gladstone Street, Bedminster BS3 3AY - click here for a map. Same times though, 8-10pm. And we will be opening the meeting to guests - tickets £5 - so invite all your friends for a truly special evening. We'll kick the night off with a glass of fizz, and there'll be soft drinks available too, but no tea. I know!

Jane will bring along a batch of books to sign and sell, so don't forget cash or cheques (no plastic). It's all so very exciting.

Moving onto October's meeting which is our fourth birthday party and AGM, this will also take place at ACTA, and we'll be wine tasting. Instead of cake, expect an array of cheeses so we're asking for bakers to make homemade crackers and biscuits, pickles and garnishes. Drop us a line to volunteer.

Talking of volunteers, we have several vacancies on the committee for next year. Are you an accountant or book-keeper? Perhaps you're a budding photographer, florist, or stylist? Have an interest in events & marketing, a big little black book, or just want to develop your skills in many different areas? Malago WI committee is a great way to make friends, get involved, and give a bit more to your WI. Everyone who has been a committee member has had a fantastic experience - it's a great way to enjoy collaborating, learn new things and help shape the future of Malago. Have we piqued your interest? During the break at September's meeting, members of the committee will be on hand for an informal chat and to answer any questions (you are always welcome to email as well), and we look forward to welcoming lots of new faces to the 2013 committee.

Don't forget the change of venue, beautiful people.
See you very soon,

Thursday 16 August 2012

Green and pleasant

Malago's July meeting was a triumph - hot weather, beautiful gardens, and a glut of jolly banter and generous cake. The Ethicurean folk could not be lovelier, and we thank them for their hospitality.

August - we're making felt beads so be prepared to get your hands soapy. We'll show you how it's done, give you a chance to make a few of your own, after which we'll make a few bits and bobs with more beads. If anyone has any fleece tops (balls of fleecy felt wool not old jumpers, you understand) bring them along to add to our multicoloured wool mountain. But we have a request - WE NEED CAKE BAKERS! Please come forward if you can muster up something delicious for August, drop us an email.

Looking forward, September is Jane Brocket (woo hoo!) and October is our 4th birthday party. Both these meetings involve a temporary relocation but we'll give you all the deets nearer the time. And if you've been wanting to get more involved with Malago, we're recruiting for new committee members - come and say hi if you think you might like to join the Malago gang.

See you on Wednesday 29 August,

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Always on my mind

Yo, Malago!

After June's relaxing meeting, we've been feeling the benefits of Jackie Hawken's mindfulness techniques, and, despite the endless rain, have felt inner calm and a peaceful guesthouse. Jackie mentioned quite a few books during her talk and we'll put them up on the site just as soon as she sends us the deets.

And we passed the WI Olympic torch, received from Westleaze WI on their Raleigh Choppers, on to Dundry WI who plan to take it onwards via tractor.

July - a special treat lies in store. Rather than our usual Methodist Church meeting, we're going on a trip to The Ethicurean at Wrington. One of the most fabulous places in all the land, we'll tour the beautiful walled garden, hear how the restaurant was born from its chef/owners, and sample tea and cakes of a different variety.

Malago WI will cover the cost of this meeting, but we ask you to contribute £5 towards the coach cost. Places are filling up fast - you have until 9 July to confirm your place, after which we'll open the list to non-members.

Drop us a line for more info, or pop your £5 in a named envelope through Lottie's door.

Until then, stay dry,

PS If you don't already get our email newsletter, sign up via that there box over on the right ----->

Monday 25 June 2012

Midsummer Malago

Wasn't Lia lovely? May's meeting was a wonderful combination of gardening talk and potting up with the Guardian's gardening guru, Lia Leendertz. All very inspiring. If you want more of the same, have a look at Lia's blog or follow her on Twitter (you ARE following us, aren't you?), and have a gander at Alice's ever-wonderful pics from the night.

June's meeting is a chance to take stock and ponder, much in the vein of our Happiness meet at the beginning of 2012. On Wednesday we'll welcome Jackie who will introduce us to Mindfulness. The way we handle our feelings plays a big part in how we cope with challenging experiences in life. Mindfulness is a potentially life-changing way to alter our feelings in positive ways, and an ever-expanding body of evidence shows that it really works. Find out more about mindfulness before the meeting, or learn everything you need to know on Wednesday.

We'll also be welcoming the ladies from Dundry WI who will be receiving the Avon WI Olympic(ish) torch. A few of our members took receipt of this fiery chalice last week from Westleaze WI - pics on the Flickr if you fancy a nose. In honour of this summer's sport extravaganza, we'd love it if you'd dress with a nod to those famous rings - have a rootle through your wardrobe for the following colours and wear with pride on Wednesday: blue, yellow, black, green, and red.

And looking forward to July, we'll take Malago on the road with a visit to The Ethicurean, voted the UK's best ethical cafe/restaurant. Housed in the most beautiful walled garden in Wrington, we'll hear all about the Ethicurean ethos from the chefs and take a tour of the veg patch. More details at Wednesday's meeting, and we'll be sending out an email nearer the time. There may be subs to pay for the coach, so if you could bring along a fiver to the June meeting to secure your place we'll be able to book our transport in advance.

See you on Wednesday 27 June, 8pm.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Don't forget - we're meeting tomorrow

Malago Maybugs

This is your last minute call for our May meeting, where we will be learning everything there is to know about container gardening from a true master - lovely Lia Leendertz, of the Guardian.

Lia will be showing us how to grow edibles in containers, and we'll all be doing a bit of planting up too. As well as covering edible gardening from all sizes of gardens from pots to plots, Lia will answer all your green-fingered questions.

We have a few containers, but please bring along whatever you have - cardboard boxes, pots, or any size of tins, washed and de-labelled, even baked beans ones will be fine.

And if you have a glut of plants or seedlings at home from your own horticultural endeavours, bring them along to add to our plant swap. Swishing again :)
Can't wait to shoot the breeze over some shoots and leaves,
Malago WI x

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Spring is in the air...

...which means not long until the Art Trail!

 But first let's talk blogs. March's meeting was a splendid effort. Who thinks Lindsay has a future career as a chat show host? We loved the living room set, and it certainly seemed to put our esteemed panel members at ease. They were fantastic speakers, and the subject matter was fascinating.

Thanks again to Josephine of Slummy Single Mummy, Bethany of Bristol Craft, Laura of Side Street Style, and Catherine of Bristol Parenting Cafe. Check out Alice's lovely photos for a visual round-up of what took place.

We've managed to unearth a few bloggers in our midst, too: Lou writes Little Green Shed, Moira is the author of Stuff and Nonsense, Gareth is the face behind Just Gai, and Lottie's blog is Oyster & Pearl. A talented lot indeed - let us know if you'd like to go public with your blog.

So, onto April's meeting - A New Taste of Spring - which a change to our advertised programme. Spring and early summer can be a big challenge for cooks making the most of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Shannon Smith, an experienced food and cooking tutor, shows how to enjoy wild greens, salad herbs, and fruit leaves, in a cook-and-taste session featuring something savoury and something sweet. Nettles, sorrel and blackcurrant leaves are likely to be on the menu – along with other refreshing and potent flavours. Members are invited to bring samples of new green things from the garden, allotment, or gathered from the wild, for tasting and inspiration.

And back to the Art Trail. Don't forget to bring along any completed projects to the meeting on Wednesday 25 April. We'll also be taking down the names of you wonderful volunteers who will be manning the caff and making food for us to sell as part of your 'hour a year' commitment to Malago WI - thank you all in advance.

We're going to produce a 'save the date' email invitation for you to send round to friends and family - we hope our Stormy Teacup cafe will be as popular as our last Art Trail effort so any promotion you could help with would be ace.

Evening craft sessions - we've put dates in the diary for these, so if you can make any of the following sessions then drop us a line:
Wednesday 18 April
Monday 23 April
Thursday 3 May
Wednesday 9 May
Tuesday 15 May

For more details, email us -

Does anyone have any of the following they could donate or lend for the weekend itself (19-20 May):
Furniture - small tables, stools, old chairs, random drawers from old pieces of furniture
Cutlery or crockery
A bell tent or yurt

Think that's all for now.
Toodle pip

Saturday 24 March 2012

March meeting of the Malago maidens

Hello on this fine day, I do hope you're enjoying the sunshine.

Well, February's meeting was a hive of productivity. Fuelled only by cake, tea, and imagination, we really broke the back of the art trail crafting. With just 8 weeks to go until we open the Stormy Teacup Cafe, we now have a good supply of origami birds, beautiful embroidered canvases, wool-wrapped letters, and decoupage vases. If you did take your craft home to complete, don't forget to bring it back - either the March or April meetings would be good times to show off your wares. Thanks for all your hard work - we can't wait for you to see the caff in all its glory. Not long now...

Don't forget to let us know to add your name to the rota or if you're able to supply cakes or other foodie bits - drop us an email:

And onto our March meeting. Back at the January 'Happiness' session, we talked a bit about ways to record the good things in your life, and the subject of blogging came up. We think this is a really interesting subject, and so we're dedicating the March meeting to the subject.

We've rounded up some of the south west's best bloggers to come and talk, chat-show style, in order to give us the low-down on blogging. It's a fascinating area but one that can seem overwhelming to a newbie, so our four panelists will demystify the world of blogs, talk a little about their motivations and what they gain from writing on the internet, and we can help out with any Malago members who are interested in beginning their own blogs.

Our four guest bloggers are:
Bethany - author of Bristol Craft
Josephine - self-styled Slummy Single Mummy
Laura - all the way from Cardiff, writes Side Street Style
Catherine - of Bristol Parenting Cafe

Do you read blogs? Which are your favourites? Bring along a list of any blogs you'd like to share with the rest of the group and we can begin our very own Blogroll!

See you on Wednesday,

Tuesday 28 February 2012

February meeting :: Top secret art trail news

Hey Malago, still happy? Hope so. Our January meeting was a triumph - we hope it helped alleviate the gloom of January and that you are now spreading happiness everywhere you go, like the little sunbeams we know you are. Thanks to Liz of Happy City who helped us realise the important things in life after the excesses of Christmas, and thanks to the wonderful cake-bakers and tea-makers for all your efforts.

As part of the meeting, we introduced the concept for our Southbank Art Trail cafe, for which we will be a-making and a-crafting at February's meeting. So here's a little bit more to whet your appetite.

The Stormy Teacup cafe will be open on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 May, located in the house of one of our members. The cafe will be a sight to behold: delicious and unusual food and drink to buy and enjoy in a beautiful, darkly-decorated, cafe. Hopefully the sun will shine once again (as it did for our efforts in 2009), meaning both indoor and outdoor seating, both of which will look spectacular.

We will be asking for members to make and donate food, and to work in the cafe over the weekend. And we'll put together a working group to make more beautiful pieces for the show outside of our regular meetings. For more information or to volunteer for either or both, drop us an email:

Meanwhile, we will make four different types of decorations during our February meeting. These are:
Origami birds in dark colours with a flash of colour
Canvases embroidered with tattoo designs, woodland creatures and cross-stitch messages
Decoupage tins and jars, to hold flowers, cutlery and candles
Wool covered letters, spelling out the name of our magical cafe

During the meeting you'll have a chance to try your hand at any of these crafts, and we'll provide instructions should you wish to take them home and carry on your crafting.

We're on the look-out for the following:
:: Jam jars
:: Tins of all shapes and sizes
:: Dark coloured wool
:: Embroidery hoops
:: Plain canvases
:: Embroidery thread
:: Needles
:: Old cutlery
:: Fabric - dark colours (black, grey etc) or bright pink

If you have any of the above, please bring it along with you on the night.

See you on Wednesday 29 February, 8pm.

Over and out

Tuesday 10 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Well, hello 2012, you're looking mighty fine!

We had such fun at our annual Ways With Wool meeting back in November, and loved the pompom wreaths we made. Check out Alice's awesome Flickr pics for a flavour of our last meet of the year.

Malago WI is open for business, so if you'd like to join us then come along to our January meeting with a cheque or cash for £31.50 and that coveted membership will be yours. Likewise, you can try us for size, so if you want to see what we're all about first then come as our guest.

January is typically a bluesy kind of month, but we're going to beat those blues with an inspiring talk from the cheeriest people in Bristol, Happy City.

Happy City exists to spread happiness. A small not-for-profit organisation, Happy City helps people and their communities to focus on happiness, and put their energy into the things that support and increase it. Maybe you’ve got a bright idea and need help making it happen? Perhaps you’ve got a little time to spare or some knowledge or experience to share? Come along to find out how we can work together to make our city and its inhabitants better, brighter and happier than ever before. It should make for an inspiring and exciting start to 2012. Plus, of course, we'll be breaking our diet to sample Malago's famous tea and cake - mail us to get your 'hour a year' covered off early by helping out with refreshments.

If you want to know what's coming up at Malago WI in 2012, head on over to our Programme page. And we've got a new Committee - check 'em out, MWI, they're doing it all for you.

See you next time - Wednesday 25 January, 8pm, Bedminster Methodist Church Hall.

Keep smiling!