The other Sunday I hotfooted it over to my old stomping ground of Camden in the pouring rain, to visit the craft HEAVEN that is Jane Gois’ ‘Tea and Crafting’ studio. I first met Jane nearly 4 years ago, when I went on Maternity leave and she took over my role, which she carried out whilst working on her crafting dream a few days a week. After becoming pregnant herself, she left my old work and went on to set up ‘Tea and Crafting’ full time. Nestled in the heart of Camden Market, ‘Tea and Crafting’ hosts a whole plethora of affordable classes that are effortless to attend, and are also a perfect, laid back alternative to the traditional birthday gathering or hen do. Here you can try your hand at everything from embroidery, to knitting, from screen printing to jewelry making (and much more!)
I was invited by Jane, and her studio collaborator, Elsie Jackson (of Ragged Life), to have a go at a craft called ‘rag-rugging’. Now, I had never heard of such a thing before, although once I saw what we would be aiming to achieve, it became a lot clearer! We had a choice of making a cushion or a Christmas wreath, and with me being the Crimbo nut that I am, I decided to have a go at the latter. Behold, the masterpiece that Elsie had previously made!
Elsie and Jane were fantastic throughout the morning, providing us with our materials, with Elsie talking us through the whole process step by step, popping around the table to help us if necessary.
With rag-rugging, you have a piece of hessian cut into whatever shape you wish, that you then feed strips of material through to create a ‘rag’ effect. I’m not going to go into the process in more detail right now, as I have a fabulous video at the end of this post that shows you how to have a go yourself!
This is my first attempt at ‘looped’ rag rugging, although this isn’t the best for creating a wreath, probably best suited to a rug or cushion:
In order to create my wreath, I did ‘shaggy’ rag-rugging, starting with one colour and keeping the rags close together, in order to create a little bunch of colour:
I then worked my way around the wreath, using different coloured materials, in order to create individual bunches of colour. The aim would be that you fill your hessian until the wreath is full, and then ready to be cut out and stuck onto a piece of round, foam board:
What I loved about this session is that it was just SO relaxing, with tea and pastries and chat with other bloggers, that if it wasn’t for the fact that I have small children and a partner who require my attention, I could quite happily spend A LOT of my free time coming to the Tea and Crafting studio!
My wreath will take a while to complete, and I took it home with me to do so (along with some nifty new tools!), but I’m hoping that by mid-December it will be ready. Need to do less blogging in the evenings, and more rag-rugging!
I have a post coming soon, on how to make your own ‘Rag-rug’ Christmas Wreath, so if you like your crafts, or fancy having a go at something different for Christmas, then it will definitely be worth a peek!
I definitely recommend a trip to ‘Tea and Crafting’ in you’re into your crafts, or just want to give something new a go. In fact, if anyone fancies it, I’d be up for getting a group together and spending a morning/evening getting our craft-on?!
In the meantime, I have these fab videos of Elsie showing you how to get started with ‘Rag Rugging’ and all the equipment you need, and another where she shows you how to make a Rag Rug using the ‘shaggy’ method of ‘Rag-Rugging’:
Big thanks to Jane and Elsie for inviting me along!
‘Tea and Crafting’ – 30B Camden Lock Place, 2nd Floor, London, NW1 8AL. Nearest tube is Camden Town.