Friday, 28 September 2012

Bloggers' Crafting Weekend - You Are Invited...

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Dear Blog Friends,  

You are invited to the new, re-organised Bloggers' Crafting Weekend!

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The Basic Information

When? Friday 1st March 2013 (4:30pm onwards) to Sunday 3rd March (1:30pm)
Where? YHA Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (close to M1, rail links and coach station).
  • We will have the Whole House to ourselves.
  • It's a small hostel, with 5 bedrooms. There are also a kitchen, dining room and sitting room. We'd have it to ourselves from Friday to Sunday, meaning we could arrange our weekend (and the furniture!) pretty much as we chose.
How Much?
  • Assuming a minimum of 10 people came along, the basic cost will be £65 per person, for two nights, hostel hire / bed only. 
  • If more than 10 come along (sleeping in), then this would lower the cost and a proportion of your payment will be refunded to anyone who pays up-front to secure their place. 
  • If we choose to, we can have our breakfasts and/or dinners provided for us by hostel staff. This would cost about £15-£40, depending on what options we choose.  
  • Day-only visitors will be asked for a contribution towards the hire of the hostel, since we are renting the whole building for the weekend.  Obviously, you wouldn't be using all facilities, so a small charge to chip in seems fair.  I think £5 per day is ok, unless anyone objects?

  • The Hostel is at Bradwell Village, on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, just on the edge of the city and countryside (see the website for a link to a downloadable local map).
  • It is very near to the main A5 road and not far from M1 Junction 14.
  • It is close to MK Central Rail Station (about 1 & 1/2 miles).
  • There is a Coach station in the city centre also, which is served by many national coach routes.
  • The city also has good bus services that pass through Bradwell Village and stop just round the corner from the hostel.
We may be able to organise some activities, like we did at last year's Weekend. If you would like to volunteer to demonstrate/teach some craft or technique that you enjoy doing, then do shout (I have had a volunteer already!)
  • Last year we brought along food to have at lunchtimes, plus tea, coffee, snacks, cake (!) etc. This will also be the plan for this time, as it worked very well and was much more sociable and nice than having YHA sandwich boxes!
  • I would like someone else to organise that part for me, as I will not have time (list of Jobs below!) 

We need to decide whether to arrange our own breakfasts and/or dinners, or to book these from the YHA staff.
  • I recommend that we organise breakfasts amongst ourselves (volunteer needed - list of Jobs below!)  Cereal, toast and/or muffins, crumpets, croissants are not hard to sort out... We'd almost certainly have lots of snacks and plenty of lunch and dinner, so a huge breakfast wouldn't be needed!
  • Dinners could also be done by ourselves. We could have a "Dinner Co-ordinator" and some people could be "assigned" as Dinner Providers, then discuss and agree the menu with the Co-ordinator. 
  • The alternative is to ask YHA staff to cook for us - this would cost around £10 per dinner and would be 3 courses, with soup, a choice of main course, salad bar and choice of desserts.  I would still want a person to co-ordinate this with everyone, collecting the menu choices and letting me know (or the hostel maybe) a few days beforehand.  I would collect the money for dinners, via Paypal, as for the booking (and would confirm the cost!)
We need your opinions about meals.  Please would you tell me what you think - either via comments, or on the e-mail you write me, when booking your place!  We'll go with the majority, to be democratic (though if you decide to opt out and go for a burger, we won't stop you!)
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If you want to come along:

  • There are 15 "sleeping over" places. 
  • I am assuming we'll have 10 people for now, but if more of you do book, then I will refund your overpayment (however, I will probably wait until we have a firm, confirmed number of people, before refunding anyone, so I only have to do it once).   I won't be making a profit from you, I promise.
  • Therefore, I'm asking you to pay me £65 to secure your place. It would be best if you could send me the money via Paypal (easier to keep track of the money, quicker etc). If this is a big problem, let me know! 

How to Book:

Please E-Mail Me, to confirm you want to come.  Also:  
  • In your e-mail, would you also tell me if you prefer to order your dinner from the Hostel Staff, or for us to organise all meals ourselves?
  • Important - If you have a food allergy or do not eat a particular food, for whatever reason - especially if it makes you ill - please let me know, so I can pass it on to anyone who will be responsible for organising meals.  We don't want anyone to be poorly!
  • And, if you can volunteer for a job (only one job!), do say... I will try and take preferences into account!
  • Would you also tell me where you will be travelling from, what transport you think you will use and if you'd like a lift (if possible), or can offer one to someone else (not obligatory!)
  • I will e-mail you back (first come, first served, ladies!), with my Paypal address and a confirmation of the payment amount. I would be glad if you can confirm that you'll pay within a short timescale. If there's a problem with the payment, do let me know - I wouldn't like you to lose out because of technology etc!

  • Also, anyone who has a skill, interest or speciality, which you would love to share with us - either by doing a short demonstration, a mini-workshop (hour, 2 hours, 3 hours...), then I would very much like to hear your ideas! 
  • We had some fun last time - Clair showed us how to do some great giftwrapping and ribbon-rose-making; Julie also demonstrated a different ribbon rose; I did a bookbinding tutorial; Ruth posed us a Challenge for the weekend, which was good fun. 

  • Some people brought along a few extra craft items, which they didn't want/need, and we had a "swap shop".  I think it would be nice to do this again, unless anyone has a huge objection (?). So, bring stuff along - but please don't bring anything unusable and please retain responsibility for anything of yours, which is not re-homed!  Perhaps we'll ask someone to co-ordinate this a little bit...

 The Job List (to date)

  • Breakfast Organiser (sort out what's for breakfasts and who will bring it)
  • Lunch Co-Ordinator (organise two days' lunches)
  • Dinner Organiser (sort out a menu and contributions, for both days' dinners)
  • Snacks Co-ordinator (very important job - crafters need tea, coffee, squash, biscuits, and cake!)
(We'll split the whole bloggers' group up, into "meals groups", so we have enough food for each meal. If you prefer to contribute to a particular meal, do say and I will do my best!)
  • Lift from the Rail / Coach Station - Friday pm
  • Lift to the Rail / Coach Station - Sunday pm
If you think of anything else that needs organising at this stage, do shout!

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Okay, that's it for now.  I do hope those who were so keen yesterday, are still keen today! I will await your e-mails!

And, any questions, do shout - I am very friendly, house-trained and don't bite (much)!

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02/10/12 - please note, this post is now closed to new comments.  If you want to comment on the Bloggers' Weekend, there is a new post, published today.  We also have a Facebook Group up and running, or you can e-mail me direct (lizziemade -at- aol -dot- com)


  1. I definately would like to come,Lizzie....will email you tomorrow.

  2. ooh I can't wait to see who else is coming I am getting very excited!!

  3. I will be there and can pay you straight away. I'll email you in the morning from my computer as I'm on my IPod right now! Can't wait to meet everyone! X

  4. ~Just sent you my email, ooooo, exciting! **waves to everyone who'll be coming** looking forward to meeting you all :)

  5. This weekend is rather frantic so I'll do details and money on Monday but yes please :)

  6. Would love to join you all. I am already booked on a art residential so I am glad the date has changed. Excited already!!

  7. We have reached 15 "I want to comes" on the List! :-)

  8. Oh I would have so loved to come on this Lizzie, but I'm away in Herefordshire that weekend. Was hoping for an Autumn date but nevermind. I hope you all have a most marvellous time xx

  9. Aww... so sorry Fiona... The autumn just wouldn't work out this time! I hope we will manage a second Weekend, later in 2013, that you will be able to come to!

  10. Hi Lizzie, did you get my e-mail? If there isn't room for us to come overnight then I can stay at my MIL's and come for the days :-)



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