June 6, 2019

Sushi School is a sushi making class for adults - it’s interactive, fun and you don’t need to know anything about sushi to join in! We arranged a workshop especially for the Manchester WI so we could learn to roll our own sushi.

Teej, our Sushi master, started off by explaining the history behind Yo! and that on the average morning before they open at 11am the chefs have rolled approx.150 rolls (that's about 1080 individual pieces of sushi!!!) We learnt to make a few different types of roll depending on your food preferences as they do cater to vegans: Cucumber Maki, Spicy Chicken ISO or a Yasai roll, and a Mini Crispy Prawn ISO or an Avocado Maki. We also had a Salmon cutting demonstration.

We got our lovely handmade sushi cut up to take home with us (admittedly some of it just got eaten straight away!!) We also got to take home our sushi rolling mat and a sushi making "how to" booklet with a 25% off voucher for the next time we dine in with Yo! I really enjoyed it and came home with lo...

May 14, 2019

"I really fancy keeping chickens" is not something you hear very often but its a statement which my boyfriend came out with last year. I was surprised. A chicken is not your average pet and we had just got two kittens. But the seed was planted. I really like the idea of being more self-sustaining and grow fruit and herbs in the garden, but chickens would be taking it to another level. As a plus my eggs would come from happy healthy hens, they would be organic, and would not be 4 weeks old like most "fresh" supermarket eggs. But I needed to know the downside and get some practical knowledge.

A few weeks later on our monthly Costco shop we discovered a chicken hut on sale....looks like it was meant to be. Obviously we bought the hut and set it up in the garden (because who can resist a bargain that was hundreds of pounds cheaper than the same on the internet!!) A chicken run and lack of knowledge was the only thing holding us back from going hen shopping so I found a course in Manchester...

June 5, 2018

Last night the Lady Skillers went to the Jurys Inn where the Manchester Wine School had put on a wine taster for us. We each had 6 glasses laid out with tasting notes about each of the wines, which included three white and three red...plus lots of yummy meat, cheese and crackers. One of the first things our host Lara was offer us a spittoon which of course everyone had a laugh at. I think we can agreed that we all wanted to drink the wine instead of spitting it out!

We were told what to look for in the wine i.e. if it clung to the glass when swirled then it had "legs" and that relates to the alcohol content!! After looking and sniffing our wine we then got to slurp (obviously the bit we were all waiting for)

I think you'll forgive this post for being rather short, as after 6 glasses of wine plus the after drinks in the pub, things do get a bit hazy!! A good night had by all anyway and I'd definitely give wine tasting another go.....perhaps tonight!

May 23, 2018

This month we had a go at creating our own silver jewellery with the help of the Manchester School of Jewellery. Charlotte and Gemma, our tutors, both have studios in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre, so they hired Space2 in which to run our workshop. The aim was to learn texturing with hammers, stamping, doming, wire manipulation, soldering and finishing, with the bonus of having a lovely piece of silver jewellery ready at the end to take away!

Everybody was given a few different sized copper pieces, as well as a length of wire, so we could practice first in copper before we had to decide what we wished to make in silver. This was a great idea- we could try all the various techniques for ourselves before creating our design. Gemma explained all the different tools we could explore and there uses- there were hammers for flattening metal, rivet hammers, ball hammers, heavy hammers (for when you needed to whack something!), texturing hammers, files, doming blocks and punches, stamps...

April 25, 2018

After seeing the results of our annual Christmas wreath classes, and having seen her booth at our November members Bazaar, one of our lovely members requested I arrange another workshop with Alison from The Flower Studio. Well her wish is my command (on this occasion- I don't usually grand many wishes!!), so we met up at the Friends Meeting House on the 23rd April 2018 for a flower arranging workshop.

Inspired by the approaching summer and lazy afternoons spent picnicking in the countryside, the idea was to create a design which introduces some of the basics of flower arranging as well as using some more contemporary techniques to create an arrangement reminiscent of a floral meadow. 

Alison explained the names of all of the flowers and grasses which we would be using- the best name was definitely "Chincherinchee".

Then we were shown how to prepare our lovely "spring" wooden boxes so that they didn't leak water all over your table when watered (very sensible), and how to approach creati...

January 18, 2018

After our successful salsa night we decided to get a bit more crafty with a ceramic workshop. The Clay Studio in Hulme is a ceramic/pottery studio who, as well as providing a shared workspace for their members, also offer weekly courses, one-off workshops, and throwing classes. We contacted them to see if they would be willing to host a class especially for Manchester WI, and together decided that a "coiled jug" would be just the thing!

Coiled pots are constructed by gradually stacking and joining coils of clay (think long thin sausages!) one on top of the other on top of a clay base. The coils can be left visible or can be smoothed away depending on your desired aesthetic end result. Sarah, our instructor for the workshop, first showed us a selection of images and a few "here's some we made earlier" jugs to give us a few ideas. Then after a demonstration of the various techniques we needed to know, and a bit of sketching/planning, it was time to cut out a clay base and start rolling!


January 16, 2018

We set up the Lady Skillers as a platform to explore skill sharing opportunities between our lovely members, taster sessions of new activities, and workshops where we could learn new skills outside of the monthly meetings. I find that sometimes people can be put off doing things that they might love to try because its daunting to go solo! This way people can make new friends, who have similar interests i.e dancing, ceramics, jewellery making, who they can then continue going with after the event (if they are so inclined!)  

Our first venture was a Salsa class with Cuba Café, who hold beginner and improver classes in the basement of Stage & Radio NQ on a Wednesday evening. First we started off with a few basic moves to warm up, and then we partnered up with current salsa class members, who had come along especially to help, so we could put a couple of steps into action. 

So to summarise- we picked up a few moves, got a bit sweaty, and had a lot of fun being twirled around the dancefloor...

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