October 2016



Hi everyone, welcome to this month’s news.  September was a really busy month but great fun. I wonder how many of you heard me on Radio Scotland with Fiona Stalker the day before NEOS started? I got Fiona plaiting a Harvest Knot on the radio, trying to describe what we were doing was great fun! I had the busiest NEOS ever.  Lots of folk came to the visit the workshop, including Carole Baxter from The Beechgrove Garden, and quite a number had a go at plaiting.  Thanks to everyone who came along and made the event such a success.  Another successful weekend was had down at Hampton Court and lots of ladies left wearing a straw flower fascinator!  It was a long drive but certainly worth it.  During September I was also finishing  my next book which is at the printers as I type!  I’m really excited to see it in print, fingers crossed it should come back this week. October has proved to be just as busy with some talks/demonstrations and classes. I’m now preparing to go to the SECC, Glasgow for Crafts for Christmas next week, hope to see some of you there.
An Introduction to Making Straw Flowers


As mentioned in the introduction I have just finished writing my second book, An Introduction to making Straw Flowers.  I really enjoy my garden and I love plaiting flowers with straw, so it just felt right that this should be the next book. I know how popular my flower making classes have been so fingers crossed the book will be the same. This book is written using the same format as my Easy Straw Work for Christmas book with straightforward instructions and lots of colour photos. The book would not have been possible without James Lindsay who has worked hard designing it and putting it all together, he deserves a medal for putting up with his mum changing things all the time!! His patience with me is amazing! We have projects in the book suitable for beginners as well as more confident straw workers.  The book will go onto the website as soon as I have it next week and it will cost £12 plus postage but if you want to get ahead of the game and order now then I have a special offer for you!  If you would  like to get a copy before it goes onto the website please e mail me  and as soon as the book appears I will post it to you postage free! I can sign your copy too, please just ask.

New Kits

I have 2 new kits for sale, one is making lavender pomanders and the other is a kit to make simple Christmas decorations. I will be putting them up on the website in the next couple of days.
The Snowflake kits are selling well at the moment too as is my first book, easy Straw work for Christmas. Lots of folk starting their preparations for the festive season.

Here you will find the next few classes planned  in the workshop at Inveramsay. If there is something you would specifically like to learn or if there are days, times, etc, that you would like to see classes take place then please e mail  me and I’ll try my best to fit you in.
The classes have been well supported recently and can  fill up fairly quickly so if you see something you are interested in then get in touch for a booking form as soon as possible.  If you’ve always wanted to have a go at this lovely craft then these are the classes for you.  They are small (4 or 5 people), and very friendly with beginners getting a lot of support.

Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Straw Plaiting Workshop
10am-3pm £40
in Studio at Inveramsay

In this workshop we will be learning some new straw plaits and there will be a variety of projects to use these on. Suitable for someone new to the craft. Only one space left in this class.


Thursday 1st December 2016
More Christmas Projects!
10am-3pm £40
in Studio at Inveramsay

In case you couldn’t come to the workshops in October we will have a range of Christmas items for you to come and learn how to make. These make great gifts.

Saturday 3rd December 2016

Straw Flowers
10am-3pm £40
in Studio at Inveramsay

A variety of flowers for you to choose from. Maybe a Christmas Rose or Poinsettia even, to carry on with the Christmas theme?  Projects to suit all abilities.Only one space left for this class.Dates for classes at the start of the year so that you can pop them in your diary.
Saturday 21st January 2017 Beginners Class
Tuesday 24th January 2017 Improve your plaits
Saturday 4th February 2017 Making straw threads and Straw thread Projects.
I am running a class in Banff, Aberdeenshire on 12th November If you are interested please e mail me for details

I will also be taking classes in the Craft & Create Workshop at the SECC Glasgow for the Country Living Magazine Fair. 17th-20th November 2016

If you are interested in attending any of our class please send me an e mail for a booking form.  Classes must be paid for in advance to ensure a space is kept for you. 
Gift Vouchers

We have gift vouchers for sale if you know of anyone who you think might enjoy a class with me or even purchase something from our shop! email me for more details. These make great Christmas gifts.


Always a great weekend. Next year the dates for the weekend are 7th-9th April 2017.  Write it in your diaries and come along and join us.  It was great to have 3 attendees from Scotland this year, how many will go next year? The weekend is filled with classes and workshops for all abilities, they are very relaxed and are great fun.  The one thing we all have in common is our love of straw!! If you would like more information contact Jill.

.For further details please contact:
Jill Pearson 07903 301907 or
e-mail –  hull.workshop@strawcraftsmen.co.uk

The Guild of Straw Craftsmen

Have a wee look at the website  Guild of StrawCraftsmen lots of great straw work information on there and see where there are classes or events being held. Also some patterns and ideas for your plaiting.Corn Dolly Newsletter

    Issue 74 is at the printers and it’s looking like a great issue, it’s going to be in full colour too!

 I have  back issues of the Corn Dolly Newsletter here for sale.  The cost is £1 per issues plus postage, what a very reasonable way to collect some new patterns at not much money!   The back issues I have available right now are nos. 51, 52,  63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72 and 73. They are £1 each plus postage.  If you are interested in the these please send me an e mail If you would like to take out a subscription in the UK it is £8 (this includes postage) for 2 issues, summer and winter (if you live abroad then please contact Elaine for more information). 

Wonder what to call  it??  Rogues Gallery? Scottish Straw Workers??  No ideas so far as to a title for this piece so if you have any ideas let me know. I have been mentioning in previous Newsletters the many straw workers we have emerging in Scotland and how proud I am of them all.  I wanted to introduce you to some of them and their work so I thought I would introduce you to some of them  in the Newsletter each month.

This month we feature Marga Schnell. This is her story.
Growing up during the war and experience the turbulence afterwards, where there were no toys, which would entertain us, we had to create our own plays and our fantasy knew no boundaries. To go into the nearby woods and make little houses out of moss and sticks for our paper dolls,which we had cut out and brought a long, kept us happy, amused and forgetting the destructions around us.
Throughout my childhood I was encouraged to make presents myself and use any art and craft available to me, as self-made items are much more precious then bought ones; my Mother always told me.
No doubt, this experience coloured my interest of crafts throughout my life. Working mainly with Children with special needs, this trend was a welcoming tool. However, to find natural material became a task in its self.
To meet Elaine in one of the courses at the Woodend Barn and experiencing the ultimate historic craft of straw plaiting was an unbelievable, heart-warming experience. I am so glad, I can develop and nurture this wonderful craft and make use of this gift of straw, to make and create many different exciting items to please not only myself but also family and friends. Every time I go for yet another course, I come back with enthusiasm and keep on plaiting and enjoying using natural material.
Thank you, Elaine, for teaching young and old and keeping this special craft alive with enthusiasm and conviction. Marga

I think you will agree that Marga makes some wonderful pieces especially her straw thread work.

I have several shops and galleries stocking my work and I don’t always remember to mention them.  Here’s another lovely shop to visit.

Imagine at Twentyseven

27 Low Street, Banff, Aberdeenshire, AB45 1AU
They have a facebook page which is well worth a look.

Yvonne & Stuart from Country Frames have been  great supporters of Something Corny for a few years now and usually hold a small stock of my straw work.  It’s well worth a trip out, Yvonne has some lovely pieces of artwork and crafts for sale and they make brilliant frames too!Another great shop  now stocking a few of my things is Louis’ Little Haven in Durno Aberdeenshire..WANTED
I am also looking for Straw Threads. I have had a stock of these for many years but through my own use and selling to customers and pupils the stock is disappearing fast. Is there anyone out there who would have any for sale
If you can help please e mail me.  Thank you!

Your News………

I absolutely love seeing your photos and getting your news.  I can’t always feature them here but I read them all and really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch with me.
I was so chuffed to receive the e mails below.
Hi, Elaine,  You did a workshop for adults and my home school teens at my home in Aberdeen in October 2014. Well, my daughter, Dagny Battaglino, remembered everything you taught her and crafted a piece for our local County Fair, 2015 Fort Bend County Fair (Texas), Open Youth Division. Not only did she win first prize in the category but she won the Open Youth Arts & Crafts Division Rosette (best of all divisions including ceramics, decoupage, wood burning, jewelry, tooled metal, etc.) and had her photo taken for the paper. She was 14 when she won September 2015.Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Dorena
Hi there Elaine, I just ordered some more straw for me again. Here is an image of the last work I did with straw for Glasgow international 2016 in April. Just keeping you up to date with my work! I am making new work for a show in Marseille with straw and need some of these new colours… Cheers Philippe

Wow, Philippe, that’s fantastic!Hi Elaine, here’s my harvest wreath creation using waste straw for wreath ring.
Regards Joan

Isn’t this just stunning and is the perfect way to use up our waste straw.

Thanks for reading our Something Corny News this month.  Look forward to seeing some of you at the SECC in Glasgow either next week or in November.  Keep up your straw work!  And keep sending me your pictures, I love seeing them.

Best wishes

Forthcoming events 2016

In our workshop at Inveramsay
Tuesday 22nd November Straw Plaiting 10am-3pm £40 (only one space left)
Thursday 1st December More Christmas Projects 10am-3pm £40
Saturday 3rd December Straw Flowers 10am-3pm £40 ( only one space left)
Saturday 21st January Beginners Straw Work 10am-3pm £40
Tuesday 24th January Improve Your Plaiting 10am-3pm £40
Saturday 4th February Straw Thread Work 10am-3pm £40Saturday 12th November Basic Plaiting with a Christmas Theme,  Banff, Aberdeenshire 10 -3 £40Country Living Fair SECC in Glasgow. 17th -20th November short classes during the day in the Craft & Create Workshop.


27th-30th October Crafts for Christmas, SECC Glasgow
17th -20th November Country Living Magazine Fair SECC Glasgow
26th-27th November Exclusively Highlands Fair at Castle Fraser, Inverurie AB51 7LD

More information about these events on our website or send me an email