A follow on from my previous blog pages where you can find out information about forthcoming workshops, lectures and exhibitions.  Also a little catch up as to what I have been up to recently!  : )

Lovely start to the year with a visit to Warrington Craft Guild in January.  Snow fell as I lectured about my Water, Snow and Ice Collection.  A lovely group of ladies.  Hope to see you all again soon.


Had a fantastic show with ICHF at Event City in Manchester.  My Alice in Wonderland Collection was enthusiastically received by everyone.  Thank you all for your lovely feedback and comments.


So lovely of Jane Bolsover to include one of the projects from my book 'Felt and Fibre Art' in January's edition of Womans Weekly - Love to Make magazine.


Early March and getting ready for my Lecture 'Topsy Turvy - Alice in Wonderland', and also a Workshop inspired by Gustav Klimt, making hand made papers. Always great to be in Dumfries with the Embroiderers Guild there.  Very excited to be seeing everyone again.


 Had a great time in Dumfries once again.  Like being around old friends.  Stayed in Friars Carse, a lovely hotel next to the river where I saw Oyster Catchers and some wonderful rabbit holes.........."curiouser and curiouser"



Spent a lovely afternoon at Been Busy in Silsden, near Keighley, running a needle felted spring flower workshop.  The ladies created some wonderful work and fun was had by all.


This Saturday, 19th March, I will be teaching at Bradford Industrial Museum with the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  This time we will be creating needle felted brooches.  Had so much fun last time, making hand made papers, and so enjoyed our summer school together at Alston Hall!  Looking forward to catching up with you all again.


This year, in June, I will be teaching a felt and fibre course during a week at Crafty Retreats near Limoges in France. We will use the works of Gustav Klimt and also the local landscape for our inspiration.  Throughout the week we will be exploring nuno felt making, silk papers and stitching in order to create wall hangings or a scarf or an art journal or note book.  For more information or to book visit craftyretreats.com.

In brief the days are planned as follows:-

Day 1  Arrival and meet and greet supper including wine together with a brief lecture about my work, some of which I will have with me.

Day 2  Felting in the studio day inspired by the works of Gustav Klimt.  We will follow the design process beginning with sketches and research.  Later your felts can be stitched or needle felted.

 Day 3  A lovely day out to the Puces de la Cite in Limoges.

Day 4  Another day in the studio creating a hand felted local landscape inspired by the Ambazac mountains and surrounding forests.

Day 5  Today we will nuno felt in the studio creating a scarf, wrap or wall hanging.

Day 6  Another opportunity to explore this beautiful region of France and visit the Tapestry Museums at Aubusson.

Day 7  Back in the studio, this time making silk papers inspired by Gustav Klimt.  Make a journal or notebook perhaps?

Day 8  Time to say 'goodbye' and review our weeks work together.  For those with afternoon flights make use of the studio again to finish or embellish your lovely creations.


 Saturday 19th March, 2016 - A super day teaching a workshop for the Bradford Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  Some lovely needle felted results including pictures, brooches and even a lovely bird!  Thank you so much Carol and Pete for inviting me once again to teach your lovely group!




April 7th - 9th, 2016

Super show at Londons Excel Centre exhibiting and demonstrating for ICHF, Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycrafts show.  Lots of interest in my Alice in Wonderland Collection and my forthcoming workshops in Limoges, France with Crafty Retreats in June.  Everyone was so enthusiastic, interested and complimentary.  Our stay in London overall was a great success and very, very enjoyable.  : )

April 16th, 2016

Another super day running workshops for Been Busy in Silsden.  We started the day wet felting and finished with needle felting.  A gorgeous lunch was made by Angela including delicious home made cake.  Lots of fun was had by everyone.  See www.beenbusysilsden.com for more details about forthcoming workshops.


Today is St. Georges Day, 23rd April and I am very busy preparing for my working tour of Scotland which is between the 7th and 14th May.  It takes me to Glasgow Embroiderers Guild, Dundee Embroiderers Guild, Airdrie Embroiderers Guild and Kirkintilloch Embroiderers Guild.  I have a couple of free days in the middle of the week so looking forward to visiting Pitlochry and the Knockendarroch House Hotel which look absolutely stunning.  : )


 A massive 'thank you' to Glasgow, Dundee, Kirkintilloch and Airdrie Embroiderers Guilds for a wonderful week of workshops and lectures.  May 7th - May 14th 2016 will remain a highlight of my year.  I loved every minute!


Photo taken in the gardens of Athol Palace hotel in Pitlochry


 Friday May, 20th

A super day spent, once again, with my friends of the Frodsham Friday Felters in Cheshire.  A wonderful and very productive day was had by all and I am so looking forward to the next time!


 Just one of many pieces of work created at the workshop, all so fab!




and also

Creating a fabric collage picture using various fabrics, dyes, print and stitch.

Please see my workshop page for more details.


 Saturday 28th May and busy completing a waistcoat inspired by Gustav Klimt.  Pleased with this one and available to purchase from my shop fantasytextiles on Etsy - £125.00



 July 24th, 2016

A quick catch up from the last few weeks which have been really busy.

My week teaching in France in June at Crafty Retreats was absolutely brilliant with some wonderful work created.  Information and images can be seen on my facebook page........


I am really pleased and excited to have been invited back to teach next year in October 2017.

This time we are having a fun and explorative week based on the theme of Alice In Wonderland, tea parties and all....................................Cursiouser and Curiouser!!

See www.craftyretreats.com for more information and details on how to book.  Places are limited so try and book early!  : )

I have been very busy at Been Busy recently.  Very exciting was the day spent with John Bloodworth and the Create and Craft TV Team, later to be televised. The day was part of his twelve month challenge across all counties in the UK, to raise funds and awareness of mental health issues and the charity MIND.  It was a super day!  More information can be found on www.beenbusysilsden.com with links to John's website and how you can contribute or make a donation.  

As well as this, I have ran several workshops with great results.  Learners who have never felted before, have enjoyed making felted pictures of flowers, 3D bowls/vessels and this week we are making hand felted bags.



Lots more going on, so I will try and keep you updated.  In the meantime see my facebook page www.facebook.com/val-hughes

Forthcoming events include.....................

  • Been Busy Silsden - Workshop - Make a Hand Felted Bag - Thursday 28th July, 2016
  • I will be demontrating and exhibiting at the Festival Of Quilts at the NEC, Birminghmam.  The show runs from Thursday 11th August until Sunday 14th August inclusive.  I am on stand number QIA32 so pop by and say 'hello'.
  • Been Busy Silsden - Workshop - Make gorgeous handmade papers using silk coocoon strippings, stitch and embellish and attach to a canvas - Thursday 18th August, 2016.
  • Been Busy Silsden - Workshop - Make gorgeous hand made papers utilising skeletal leaves and lace to create a lovely centre piece lampshade for a tea light or LED light - Thursday 25th August, 2016.
  • That week I am also seeing some of my learners from the past.  We have arranged a private lesson making hand made papers.  Can't wait to catch up with them in Saddleworth, in the beautiful South Pennines Region.!  : )
  • Then in September, I will be visiting Border Textile Group again in Berwick in the North East of England. This time I will be lecturing about my 'Alice in Wonderland' Collection.  So happy to be staying with Gill and Walter on their fantastic farm which overlooks Holy Island, one of my favourite places.  Can't wait!!
  • Later in September, 22nd - 25th September inclusive, I will be back working for International Craft and Hobby Fairs at their Textile Exhibition in Exeter in Devon.  I am demonstrating and will have a display of my work.  Haven't been to Exeter for a while so it will be nice to catch up with friends old and new!

 23rd August, 2016 - A super day with Gill and Carol.  The weather was gorgeous so we were able to collect pretty flowers from Gill's garden and incorporate them into our handmade papers.  Lovely!


 A couple of days later I was back at Been Busy in Silsden.  We had a super morning making Handmade Papers and creating tea light holders too!  Everyone thought these would make great gifts!  : )

15th September, 2016 - Screen Printing workshop on scrap fabrics at Been Busy in Silsden.  What a super morning was had by all.  We not only printed on scrap fabrics but worked on making some super tote bags and even a pretty pillow case. 

19th September, 2016.  A very busy day getting ready for ICHF Textile Exhibition in Exeter.  It is a number of years since I visited here and I am really pleased to have been invited back.  My theme will be past collections including Charade from The Anne Boleyn Collection and a costume from The Elizabeth Woodville Collection.  I will have lots of wall hangings, including some of my photography as well as my new range of felted hats.  So looking forward to staying in the little cottage I have booked right by the sea in Sidmouth.  Should be fun!

21st September, 2016 - setting up my stand in Exeter today.  Lots of people to catch up with.  Lovely!

22nd - 25th September. What a super show!.  Jane Bolsover loved my hats and purchased one of my  new designs featuring comical characters.  These hats have proved really popular recently raising eyebrows and smiles in equal measure - I will post some images soon.  I had the chance to meet up with my friend Jeanette who now lives in Plymouth and saw lots of people who I hadn't seen for a while.  Wendy Dolan was there so had some laughs together, saw the lovely Victor Briggs (formerly Editor of Workbox magazine) and his wife Nancy - watch this space, we have plans afoot!  : ).  Met the lovely ladies from Exeter Embroiderers Guild - so looking forward to delivering a workshop for you next Autumn..............................

Forthcoming workshops:-  More hand made papers at Been Busy by popular demand on the 27th October preceded a week earlier by a Felted Bag Workshop.  Please see www.beenbusysilsden.com for more details.

29th October, 2016  - had a super day selling my work at the Been Busy Craft Fair in Silsden.  Lots of laughter along the way.  Thank you for all the lovely comments about my work!  : )

Wednesday 2nd November - Gosh it is already November and the weather has taken on a distinct chill! The leaves are falling fast and the valley where I live has taken on an array of beautiful colours, reds, golds and bronzes.   I have a busy month ahead with a lecture to the East Yorkshire Embroidery Society in Cottingham near Hull on Saturday 12th November, quickly followed by the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate towards the end of the month.  I will be one of the Artists in Action once again and will be there Thursday 24th, Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November.  My theme this year will be 'Cave Art' and I will be busy creating felted panels, bags and maybe a hat or two based on this exciting topic.

12th November, 2016  -  What a wonderful time was had in Cottingham with the East Yorkshire Embroidery Society plus guests from as far away as Amsterdam. It was a full house and the atmosphere was one of fun and laughter, very apt for the theme of my lecture - 'Topsy Turvy', a celebration of the Alice in Wonderland adventures. It was a pleasure to meet all the lovely ladies and a big thankyou for your enthusiasm and hospitality.

24th - 27th November, 2016 - What a fabulous show at The Knitting and Stitching Show.  As usual it was a great opportunity to catch up with people whilst working in a studio setting as one of the Artists in Action in association with Art Van Go.  A big 'thankyou' to Viv and Kev for inviting me again.