What can you make with an empty champagne bottle, a tin of pink chalk paint and some sticky back plastic? No it’s not a Blue Peter challenge, it’s some of the items I was presented with last weekend when I attend my first Annie Sloan Home Workshop at the Craft Loft in Newcastle.

Let me point out at the stage I would count myself as being creative but not a practical person. I’ve attended many a workshop where all I have ended up with is a misshapen potpourri bowl which was supposed to be an elegant vase, or a scarf full of dropped stitches which would never keep anyone’s neck warm. Anyway with my eager and creative hat on I stepped cautiously into The Craft Loft hoping that this time, I could come back with something which I could be proud off and this time I was in luck.

I met the talented Phyllis Annett who runs the workshops at The Craft Loft she was open,welcoming and patient. She welcomed myself and two participants (another local blogger and her cousin) into a space full of her wonderful creations and treasures. After a bit of getting to know each other and after I procured the wi-fi password of Phyllis’ other half we got stuck into painting,waxing and assembling our creations.


I had mentioned to Phyllis how I would like to make a lamp so she had laid out everything I needed to assemble said lamp from scratch. I had a champagne bottle, lamp shade kit and the fitting to make my bottle shine bright with a lightbulb.

It was up to me to choose the theme, I decided to use material which had a map of Europe printed on it. To make it more me and unique I decided to bring out some of colours of the borders and mountain ranges. I choose a gorgeous Henrietta chalk paint which is a light trendy millennial pink and I got started into painting. We discussed the right brushes to use, the texture of the paint and how to get the right finish.

My companions had decided to work on a nest of tables and they had got stuck in with a gorgeous blue paint.Phyllis was full of knowledge and tips keeping a close eye on us throughout the painting process. She also filled us with friendly chit chat, keeping the atmosphere very relaxed and enjoyable.

We took a quick tea break and to my surprise Phyllis had baked!! She had been busy last night and had produced the most amazing gluten free brownies, a Victoria sponge cake, Mary Berry would be proud of and the world most delicious scones. She had lots of other baked treats on hand and lots of fresh coffee and tea.


Filled with sugar and caffeine we got back to work, I painted items had dried and we covered them with a loving rub of wax. I was just about the finishing touches now. I added some hessian,lace and some big buttons and my work of art was complete. I was so proud that after a few hours I had an item of furniture I could display in my home and even better when prompted I could boast I made that. So if you are after something unique, handmade and something you can say “I made that!” Get out and get crafting, I highly recommend.

The Craft Lodge have workshops for all ages and all abilities and Phyllis is more than happy to help out with any project. Check her out if you want to let your creative juices flow.