Monday, 25 November 2013

How Blooming Marvellous!

20th November 2013

Firstly let us just say how truly fabulous it was to welcome so many of you to our November meeting, we had such a great turn out we were blown away by it!
This month we kicked things off by welcoming Maralyn Pollard from St Albans and Hertsmere Womens Refuge to present her with a cheque for £1,200.00 which we raised from our Burlesque Evening back in September.   Maralyn thanked us all on behalf of the Refuge and ensured that the money raised will really help towards the amazing work they do. 

Our President, Lia Nelissen & our Secretary, Emma Golding presenting Maralyn Pollard of
St Albans & Hertsmere Womens Refuge with the funds raised from our Burlesque Evening
Lia and Emma advised the Group that the Committee met recently and have organised almost all of the Group activities for the coming year and there are some exciting ones ahead!  We do still have a couple of months free so if you have any ideas, then we would be more than happy to hear them. 
As we will not be having a meeting in December we have decided to have a Christmas get together on the 18th December.  This will be held in a restaurant in St Albans, we were looking to steer clear of the traditional Christmas dinner as no doubt we will all be having our fair share of these and can get a little repetitive.  We have provisionally booked Bar Espresso in Victoria Street (next to the Station), they can seat 30 people so we will have the place to ourselves.  Lia will be sending out more information for those who have expressed their interest for the evening in due course.
The next activity we have planned for our January meeting is going to be Fit Steps.  This will be a fun keep fit class that is based around some Strictly style dance steps so it should be a fun way to shake off that Christmas excess and kick start the year off in style!  You will need to come along in your comfy workout gear - trackie bottoms that sort of thing (I know it is unheard of from us usually glamorous gals to be seen out like this but hey we're all in it together!)  We will advise you closer to the time on anything else that you need to know. 
As you may or may not know, Lia and Emma have their own businesses (Vintage Vi and Oh Sew Vintage respectively) and they will both be trading at various Vintage fairs in the coming months, so keep checking on the 'Local Events' page here to keep up to date. 
Rebecca pulled out all the stops with the Trade Table again this month and you wonderful ladies brought along lots of gorgeous wares to sell.  It was a great success.  


Rebecca once again urged us all to bring along our wares to sell at meetings (15% of sales is donated to our Group), even if you are selling on a friends behalf.  It is another way to get exposure for your own talents as well as making money for the Group.   

One final reminder that Memberships will be due for renewal in January 2014 and will be £34.70 per year.  

For this month's activity, the fabulous Nadine Gibbon from Spinney Cottage Flowers showed us how to put together tea cup flower arrangements. 

Nadine Gibbon's beautiful arrangement - we had a lot to live up to!
 After being slightly stunned at the gorgeous arrangement Nadine put together in about 2 minutes, we all rolled up our sleeves to get stuck in and give it a go... 


... and what a fantastic job we all did!!  Every single person produced an absolutely beautiful arrangement and had lots of fun in producing it, battles for foliage, matching our colours to tea cups, the worries of whether or not that age old question of 'does size actually matter' was actually true; the results were excellent!




We would like to thank Nadine for this fabulous workshop and I think it has really inspired us all for ideas for our Christmas Tables this year and I'm sure our friends and family will all be very impressed with our efforts!   

Well our first year of meetings has come to an end and I think we can safely say that Herts Belles St Albans WI has been a huge success and we look forward to seeing you at our Christmas party, for those who can't make it then we look forward to seeing you all next year for lots more fun workshops and fabulous fund raising events. 

Merry Christmas to you all and ta ta for now


Thursday, 17 October 2013

Oh We're All Mad Here....!

16th October 2013

Mad Hatters Tea Party

What a fabulous night! 

Emma and Lia opened the meeting with the news that sadly our President, Claire Spake, has decided to step down from her position due to family and work commitments, we will be sorry to see her go and wish her all the best for the future.  Lia will be stepping up as Acting President.

Onto brighter news - we were delighted to announce that our Burlesque Evening raised an incredible £1,200.00 for the St Albans and Hertsmere Womens Refuge!  We would like to extend a huge thank you to everybody involved in helping to make the evening such a roaring success and all local businesses who kindly donated their time and products for our raffle.  We will be welcoming Liz Perry from the SAHWR next month to present her with a cheque for the money raised.  So a huge round of applause to all involved - hurrah!

Rebecca took a few moments to speak about our Trade Table which is present at every meeting, contributions raised from the sales on this table go towards our W.I. so we are encouraging everyone as much as possible to bring along your wares (or even a friends to sell on their behalf) on the evening to sell.  Rebecca also encouraged members to give us suggestions on what they would like to see on the Trade Table - the more ideas the merrier!  If you would like to sell or have any suggestions for future meetings then please contact Rebecca on 

 Our Trade Table suitably themed for our Tea Party

It was announced that current Memberships are due for renewal in January 2014 and the price has now gone up to £34.70 for the year.  Please note that if you are a new member joining prior to January 2014, your membership will run through to the end of next year.

Lia announced that as there was no meeting in December, we would use the date to hold a Christmas Party - restaurant stylie - locally.  We are currently researching two venues so we will keep you updated...  

Our Mad Hatters Tea Party began with some deliciously scrummy food brought in by our Belles.  And Hats off (ahem, pardon the pun) to the Belle who brought the delicious chocolate creation - Mary Berry would be proud! Delicious!!

Delicious Tea Party Delights brought by our Belles

We were absolutely thrilled to welcome our Mad Hatter for the Evening; the amazing, Philip Ian Wright, to join us to give us a talk on the history of his family's business, Walter Wright Ltd which has been established since 1889 and just what goes into putting these amazing pieces of art together. 


The wonderful Philip Ian Wright sporting some of his creations

Philip is an incredibly gifted man and a real character, the hats that he brought along to exhibit to us sure had us gals in a tizzy, I know I had my eye on the 1940s hat as soon as it emerged from the box, my thoughts were soon echoed by the rest of the Belles who all rushed over at the end to try it on, along with his other creations - and they all looked absolutely fabulous!!

Some of Philip's beautiful hats (soon to be labelled 'Dawn's new collection' - oh well a gal can dream can't she!)

One of our lovely Belles modelling another fabulous piece
We were delighted to welcome Irene from Bricket Wood W.I to come and join us for the evening, and she was plucked out of the crowd to model some of Philip's creations for us and didn't she look just marvellous...


Well sadly it was all over far too quickly and we had to bid adieu to Philip and his beautiful creations, before packing away our tea cups and making our merry way home with dreams of our perfect hat in our heads and not a 'chickens bum on a comb' in sight ;)

Until next time ladies...


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Roll Up Roll Up for the Best Burlesque Circus in Town!

Well, well, well - didn't we do WELL!!

Our fabulous gals put together one helluva fabulous night!!

Raising money and awareness for the St Albans & Hertsmere Womens Refuge we hosted a Burlesque Evening at the Cue Club in St Albans on Saturday 21st September 2013. 

With the venue decorated beautifully by our very talented girls we were ready for action! 

The evening began with a few words from Liz Perry of St Albans & Hertsmere Womens Refuge, who gave a moving and though provoking speech to raise awareness for the Refuge.  

The show then kicked off with the debut performance from the incredible new band The Inmates playing some fabulous old school rhythm and blues accompanied on the dance floor by the amazing dancers from St Albans Jive Swing who got the crowd in the mood.

The amazing dancers from St Albans Jive Swing in full flow

   Our fabulous band: The Inmates

Now the show was in full swing and it was time for our beautiful performers to appear, October Rush, Tigerlily Wolf, Lady May-den Voyage and Scarlet Cuffs.   Each of the ladies put on a stunning and unique performance and the crowd were truly delighted!  The ladies were followed by Magician Dee Riley who did a fabulous job in keeping everyone amazed and entertained.

October Rush                                                                 Tigerlily Wolf
 Scarlet Cuffs                                                            Lady May-den Voyage

 Dee Riley

The evening was compered by Big Top Tim who did a marvellous job being our Ringmaster and making sure everyone was kept captivated at all times! 

Throughout the evening we had a jewellery stall run by Troublecat Jewellery, our guests could then move along to our Pop Up Parlour run by Bombshell Boutique who spent the evening creating beautiful make up and hair styles, before moving along to get snapped in our Photo Booth run by yours truly; Dawn Elliott Photography.  

Our fab Head of Events, Lia, with Ringmaster for the evening, Big Top Tim,
taking advantage of our Photo Booth 
We were honoured to welcome Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster, who showed her support and gave a speech and presented our Head of Events, Lia Nellissen, with a much deserved bunch of flowers for all her hard work.

Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster and husband, Paul,
with our Treasurer Dawn Golding

The Inmates then began their final set and everyone danced into the early hours and I think I can safely say a good time was had by all!!!

Roll on the next one....!