Thursday, 26 July 2012

All aboard (please) ...

We need help!

Draycott Festival of Arts and Gardens is now well established in the cultural and social calendar of the Erewash area, taking place annually over the Bank Holiday weekend at the beginning of May. We have a small team who helped during the 2012 festival but need more help!
Alysn who has coordinated the Festival since it’s inception, is unfortunately not available from 2013 and Stevie, who has been another mainstay of the festival organisation is also due to work commitments, unable to be available next year. The team from 2012 are on board and ready to go again but extra help would be appreciated.
All new helpers will be supported by Alysn and others who have helped in the past. Volunteers could be based anywhere, some tasks can also be completed mostly electronically others will involve being 'on site' for some time at least.
If you have any queries or want to ask for further details, please ask Alysn via or call The Beetroot Tree (01332 873929). The next planning meeting is to be held at The Beetroot Tree at 5.30pm Wednesday September 26th.

We have particular 'holes' in the organizing group at the moment for:
Fundraising: This enables us to have workshops and performers taking part in the festival which would not otherwise be possible. We have several sponsors who we regularly approach, but always can do with more.
This would be good experience for someone wanting to get involved in the world of funded events. Alysn will be able to guide you through the funds we are already aware of.
Publicity: Writing press releases and organizing the poster/flyer distribution (the design and print of this is sorted out), using any relevant social media and other methods to publicize the event.
Adverts: This year from local businesses had adverts in the programme and a few more would be valuable. This requires someone to approach and convince local businesses to advertise, then ensure the artworks and payments are sorted out.
Programme: We need someone competent on either 'Microsoft Publisher', 'InDesign' or similar to put together the trail programme which is given out at the festival.
Refreshments: A person who can run the refreshments at the church hall. This is a valuable addition to the festivals income. It involves doing a shop or two for the food (consisting of a simple array of cakes and drinks), being at the hall for some of the weekend and finding a couple of other volunteers to help over the festival weekend.
General helpers: To help with jobs such as putting the banner out, signs out for the weekend and back in, putting the 'goody bags' for venues and artists together and distributing them to the venues. People to sell programmes and make sure that the artists and venues are all okay over the weekend.

Help to find and fund performers and activities ...

Coordinate artists and venues ...
So contact ... or call The Beetroot Tree (01332 873929). 
The next planning meeting is to be held at The Beetroot Tree at 5.30pm Wednesday September 26th.


Friday, 22 June 2012

Moving towards the 2013 festival

We have to start planning to the 2013 festival very soon.
If anyone is at all interested in helping in any way please join us on the 27th June at the Beetroot Tree (South Street Draycott DE72 3PP) at 5.30 for an hour or so.
We need an enthusiastic team who will be able to learn from those of us who have been around the block a few times and can pass on our experience, and perhaps you have ideas to make things even better as well?
If you need to know any more, contact Alysn on

Sunday, 13 May 2012

2012 Festival Round Up

So long in the planning and so soon over - I guess that is the way with festivals and events.
The weather was nearly kind to us, at least no hail or storms this year. It wasn't over warm on Monday and there were a few spots of rain, but nowhere near as bad as the forecast.
The visitor numbers were up on last year and from what we can gather from your feedback, you found lovely things to buy and join in with.

Here are some pictures we took ...
Starting with gardens:

Bunting to highlight the venues (it works -some visitors stopped because of the bunting to join in)

A selection of the artists:
Phil Coates

Gail MacGregor

Stevie Davies

Lesley Nason

Helen Domleo

Mel Anderson

Michelle Gillam Hull
And activities:
On the children's trail - make your own stonehenge
Joliba Drummers with a young hopeful
Storytelling in action with Sophie Snell
Artcore and Indian block printing in progress

We hope to have a bit of film to add soon and we hope that if anyone has any more pictures of the festival or comments for our attention that you send these to us at

Don't forget - if you want to get involved in the festival next year as an organiser, venue, artist, performer -  get in touch  with us on the above email.
If you just love visiting, then watch this space for more details, or get yourself on the mailing list for the Beetroot Tree where we will let you know what the plans are.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Late bookings and more funding ...

With the festival nearly on us, we were just about to decide the pairings between venues and artists, when we had more bookings by artists wanting to join the festival, and one of our funding applications came through, which means we have been able to book extra activities in the form of story telling and african drumming - brilliant!
Read on ...

Here are the latest batch of artists who will be at the festival for you to meet.

Lyndsay Latimer
Watercoloured greetings cards and pretty gemstone jewellery.

Steve Slack
Wooden items which are hand carved or worked by hand on the lathe. Docks, bowls, stools, tables and other ornamental pieces. He uses only British wood from sustainable sources.

Sue Loveridge
Sue works with her camera focusing on landscapes, natural forms and abstract subject matters.                                       

Louise West
Louise will be demonstrating traditional lacemaking techniques

Out and about around the venues will be:

Sophie Snell - Story Teller

Sophie is a professional storyteller based just outside Derby. She is a warm, engaging and lively performer entertaining both children and adults at public events, festivals, storytelling clubs, schools, libraries, museums and community settings.
Sophie has a wide repertoire of stories, based on traditional tales plucked from the stones and bones of the British Isles, northern Europe and around the world. She loves tales that twist and turn, finding the unexpected, comical and intriguing.

Joliba Drums

David Woolley studied West African Djembe and Djuns under the guidance of Drum/Dance master Almami Kamara aka Maitre Samsou during his time in the Gambia, he also played with members of Allah Tantoo, Follocoh, Canella and African Ballet.
David is based in Stoke on Trent and delivers professional workshops throughout Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Shropshire, West Midlands and surrounding areas.
When Dave is not guerrilla drumming around the other festival venues he will be found here to give you a go at drumming or for you to listen and dance.

 'Take Flight'
The special trail within the trail for children is  called 'Flight Path', young visitors will be able to take part in special activities, play I-spy and get a prize for taking part. This is sponsored by the East Midlands Airport Community Fund, so it is FREE to join in - you can't say better than that. Thanks to Nicki Dennett and her helpers for organising this.

A big thank you to the local businesses too, see the 'support' page for who they are and what they do.

So ... see you in Draycott, Derbyshire on the 6th and 7th May between 12 noon and 5pm. 
Get to the Beetroot Tree for your programme and have a wonderful afternoon.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Yet more artists at the festival

More information about the festival artists ...

We didn't want you to miss the opportunity to meet Maureen Brazier, a village resident with a long time love of fabrics and quilting. Maureen is always happy to explain her fabric and stitching passions and Aubrey will show you around their garden.

AND ...
We have bagged a couple more garden venues this week, but only for the Sunday this year.

We have to say a great big thank you to Erewash Borough Council for adding their support to the Festival.

The special FREE mystery trail for young visitors is all organised, but you have to come along to find out about that.

See you  in Draycott on the 6th and 7th May.

Monday, 26 March 2012

It's getting closer ...

Still more artists to tell you about today, here are another group of wonderful artists and creatives who will be at the festival (6th and 7th May, 12 noon till 5pm):

Rachel Warren
Rachel simply enjoys the process of making things – working with traditional tools and materials.  She has always loved jewellery and now spends her time, out in her workshop, combining metals, glass and polymer clay into customised beads and bespoke jewellery.
She tends to work within a fairly limited colour palette – mostly in the cool part of the spectrum, blues, greens and purples, all of which perfectly complement her preferred metal, silver.
She is fascinated by folklore, myths and legends, talismans and amulets, and has an obsession with water, be it the powerful crashing waves and life of the ocean, or the silent stillness of frost and snow.

She will be demonstrating some of her techniques for you.
Wonderful beads from Rachel Warren, reminding me of beach finds ...
Mel Anderson
With information this time ...
Mel produces bright and vibrant, hand felted textile art work, homeware, jewellery and cards, 
using bold, iconic images, tactile fibres, natural and manmade. Incorporating vintage and dress jewellery, beaded embellishment and other interesting treasures. Commissions welcome. 

Bold felted designs from Mel Anderson
Christine Grey 
I am a Mother, a Partner and an Artist, living and working in Derbyshire. I enjoy exploring my creativity through different mediums. My creative output is usually matched by the appropriate medium at that time, whether this is a photograph, a mixed media painting, a mosaic or a textile piece depends on the what needs to be created.
Bright, bold colours and surfaces by Christine Grey
Jessica Noutch
Jessica says:
 I love trying to capture the movements and features of passers-by, celebrating their unique and sometimes surprising shapes.  I hope my drawings express the inherent value of each person who appears in them. The best ones are elegantly fluid but also gently humorous.
Jessica will be an 'itinerant artist' during the festival, recording the event with her  sketches which will be shown at The Beetroot Tree as an exhibition later.

Buskers by Jessica Noutch

Gail McGregor
Gail, an art therapist, presents 'Don't stand at my grave and weep' which is a series of works based around coming to terms with the death of her mother.
 She is showing an installation  which is based around the burial customs where a body is dressed in fancy, favorite or ceremonial clothes. Personal objects, such as a favorite pieces of jewelry or photograph, of the deceased may be included with the body.  
For Gail the process of collecting grave goods was cathartic, she will be with the work to discuss the culture of 'Grave Goods' and to talk if you have stories to share.  

Detail from 'Don't Stand at my Grave and Weep' by Gail McGregor
We also welcome back Kathy who sells her homegrown plants, Honeycombe will be present to talk to creatives who want to learn and network, and I will tell you more about our special Childrens activity and treasure trail very soon ...

Saturday, 3 March 2012

More artists booking in to the Draycott Festival

Another group of artists have been confirmed for your visit 
to the Draycott Festival of Arts and Gardens (6 and 7 May 2012).
You can see:

Karen Cursham - Pretty and wearable silver jewellery

Karen Victoria Jewellery

Clare Walker -Figurative Drawings
Clare is mainly interested in the human form and works mainly in pencil, pen and pastels. She works from life and from photographs. She is happy to accept commissions.

Clare Walker

Clare Walker
Mel Anderson -Textiles
Sorry, no further information about Mel just yet - keep watching!

Mel Anderson

Stuart Hill - Paintings
Stuart is not only one of my teenage children's favorite authors (I had a good read of them too!)
having written three books: The Cry of the Icemark, Blade of Fire, and Last Battle of the Icemark, he is also a painter using acrylic and mixed media which draw on world mythology and nature for inspiration. The colours are often bright, the format uncluttered and precise. He says that he favours a figurative style which enables his work to reach a larger audience.

Stuart Hill -'Almost Still Life, Mice with Nautilus Shell'
News (added 5th April) - Stuart has been so sucessful selling his paintings before the festivla that he has nothing to show! Which means, sadly, that he has withdrawn from the Festival for 2012. Sorry.

And, Stevie has sent a picture for you. She will be creating outdoor glass and wire structures around the trail - here is a sneak preview:

Stevie's 'Pansy Panels'

I'll be back soon with more entrants. Keep fingers crossed for good weather, but remember, we are prepared for anything -no excuses!