Archive for 2015

Eye Feel a Pretty - November Workshop - Smokey Eyes

Thursday, 5 November 2015 § 0

Whilst the rest of Leeds were stood outside in foggy weather getting smoke *in* their eyes... A lovely group of Roses were at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, safely away from fireworks learning how to perfect the perfect "Smokey Eye" vintage look courtesy of Natalie Willingham -

Natalie had some useful hints and tips including the importance of not putting foundation on first - you might need to clear up stray make up off your cheeks!  

Natalie helped our Roses with their first smokey eye look and a variety of tones and shades were used.  The room was silent as everyone blended and smudged!

Soon everyone had completed their first eye!  Here are some before and after shots!

Natalie then taught the group how to perfect a slightly different smokey eye shape and then patiently answered multiple questions about blusher, mascara and fake lashes!  I learned that I should be (and everyone should be!) filling in their brows!

We all left with some extra knowledge and a great new look - thanks Natalie!  

Gin Genie - October Meeting - Gin Tasting

Sunday, 25 October 2015 § 0

Here at Buns and Roses WI we like to keep with the best traditions of the Women’s Institute as well as keeping or members educated and informed. It was with this haughty duality in mind that October’s meeting brought you “Gin Genie” a history of gin and gin tasting experience.

Excitement had been high in the run up to the meeting, with all available spaces booked out in advance and this month’s meeting did not disappoint.  The lovely Lauren lead the gathering with her talk detailing the roots and establishment of gin in British culture, it’s content, production and historic values. From Kings-comforter to Mothers-ruin and several parliamentary acts and laws in between Lauren enlightened us, whilst the committee mixed the gin cocktail samples for members to try. 

The first cocktail sampled was The Gimlet. A tradition mix of citrus flavours against dry gin (as opposed to the historic sweet gins of the 18th century) and an excellent medicinal tonic with the fresh lime adding a bonus vitamin C content.

50ml cheap gin
1/34 ounces of lime cordial
Fresh lime
Tonic water

This was followed by another winter warming mix of ginger and spirit in the  

Gin buck cocktail 
50ml gin 
Ginger ale 
Lime Ice
Which was wonderfully pallet cleansing and refreshing.

Our third cocktail, which counterbalanced traditional sweetness against a tarte favourite of many members was

Sloe gin fizz 
50m/l sloe gin 
Squeeze lemon juice 
1 tsp sugar syrup 
Cream soda to top up 

Which was purple, I like purple…have I ever mentioned how much I like purple *hiccup* I mean a drink, and it’s sweet and purple! What’s not to like *Hiccup* where was I?

Our fourth and final cocktail was

Earl grey martini  
50ml gin  
35ml strong cold earl grey tea 
20ml lemon juice 
12.5ml sugar syrup 

Tea *Hiccup* tea in a cocktail? Oh goodness me *hiccup* that’s genius. That’s my two most *hiccup* favouritest things in the world ever *Hiccup* tea and booze *hiccup* We need to make glasses from cake, yup that’s what we need, ahaa. 

So *hiccup*, to sum it up, bottoms up aye? Whooohooo. We was very sophist..sophisto….sofisto..we were right posh *hiccup* and we learned lots of stuff..aha *gratuitous head nodding between hiccups* and we all had fun and it was great and you should come again. Yop yop yop yup.

But on a more serious note, it was a thoroughly enlightening night which was enjoyed by many with members leaving with some lovely party drinks recipes to make at home throughout the festive season and a greater understanding of how this Dutch import (gin) became a staple of British culture.

Stop in the Name of Grub! - September Meeting - Food Waste

Sunday, 20 September 2015 § 1

This month’s meeting was certainly an eye opener for many of us into the real workings of corporate waste verses community hunger with our talk from Adam Smith of the Real Junk Food Co.

Adam, with a 15 year career in the catering industry including a spell as a top class chef in Sydney, Australia, first became aware of the futility of food waste when working on a farm as part of a government scheme to extend his via in Australia. “We were feeding the pigs courgettes. There was nothing wrong with these courgettes, we were eating them ourselves, but they had grown too big for the supermarkets who cancelled the order”. Rather than totally waste the crop or plow it back into the fields as fertilizer, the local farmers would donate waste crops to feed the pigs in exchange for other produce from their neighbouring farms. “I asked the farmer, why can’t this be diverted to feed the homeless in Sydney” as there was a massive problem with starving homeless people in the city at the time. Government agencies were literally sweeping them off the street to move them on to avoid their tainting the city’s image at Christmas. “The farmer told me there was cost involved in transporting the waste crops to the city and they were already losing money on waste crops” After all, these were business’s. So Adam did a deal with the farmers, and the restaurant contacts he had in the city to allow him to collect and take some of the waste food to the city, and set up a pop up Pay As You Feel (or are able) café in the city. It was a resounding success and fabulous publicity for the restaurants involved for their corporate social image. From there, the Real Junk Food Co’ was formed.

Fast forward several years, an economic crash and mass poverty becoming a real fact of British life for many of the least fortunate in society and Adam, who was recently named one of the most influential men in business worldwide for his work, is back in the UK and working out of Armley. Since their humble beginnings in Sydney, Adam has helped hundreds of communities worldwide set up Pay as You Fell cafes, using his model of intercepted waste food. In the UK he has worked tirelessly to bring major players in the food sales world on board in order to divert their waste food into community cafes. Nandos willingly hand over any pre prepared chicken not used on the day to his project (with cooked chicken having a 3 day life shelf and their policy being to use it on the day of preparation)..Many a Sunday in Adams’ Armley pay as you feel café involves a Nandos chicken Sunday lunch. Morrisons have recently come on board running a pilot scheme of handing over their food waste to the projects. This seems to have allowed them to work with Adam to avoid waste whilst highlighting and improving their internal policies to prevent food getting to a wastage point in its’ shelf life to start with and that is what Adam is all about.
“I don’t want to have to be doing this, I want to go out of business because there is no food waste to divert back up” Adam doesn’t want to be the middle man, he wants food waste to stop or big business to be doing this automatically alongside their local communities.

It’s not just “donated” food that Adam collects. There’s a fair amount of skip diving being done with informal agreements from some suppliers to turn a blind eye to this, as they don’t feel they can openly hand the products over due to government legislation. Adam largely targets the out of town stores for this now, leaving the inner city sites for the local homeless population to make use of. He also has an arrangement with a local wholesale supplier who call them in there is any unnecessary waste due to burocracy (such as a £15k case of coconut oil that was due to be wasted because a few of the bottles on top had been smashed and the business involved is not allowed to wash away the spilled oil and glass to sell the bottles below!).

Adams’ organisation has opened the first Pay as you Feel Café in a Leeds school. One of his regular customers told him that because she could come to the café to get good quality food for her children at a donate what you can afford price, she was slowly being able to save enough money up to buy a bottle sterilizer for her babys food! Other projects within the café are teaching the local children what food is and where it comes from, with several local children not realising that apples grew on trees until Adam was offering them free windfall apples from a local donator to take home with them.

In Armley the main café is having a massive community impact giving a community focus for those who most need it. For several people the support received there has genuinely been the difference between life and a self imposed death. Armley is often used as a council depository for single men with drink and drugs problem with insufficient support given to help them. Resultantly suicide is a growing issue. Adams café opens its doors to all and has often stepped in to give moral support and companionship to this group when trying to turn their lives around, teaching them how to cook and giving some of them a focus as a volunteer in the café giving back to the community in their own turn.

So what does Adam need from us? He needs us to be aware of all of these things going on. He would like it if we can spread the word and use his cafes and pay what we can afford for the food (and bare in mind, Adam is a top class chef serving top class food when he is in the kitchen), those monies are diverted back into the projects to help more people.  Adam himself is eligible for working tax credits he pays himself himself so little as manager of the charity despite recently moving some of his volunteers onto a paid living wage. Pay it on and pay it forward, but whatever you do, do not waste it!

You can find out more information via and keep an eye out for their website launching next month!

Can WI fix it? Yes WI can! - September Workshop - Wallpapering

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Last year we learned bricklaying with the wonderful Steve at Build Construction Skills Academy and this year we decided to "build" on this and by popular request learn the skill of wallpapering.
Steve showed us how to measure the wall and leave an extra 5 - 7cm of paper to allow a good fit and we started by using lining paper to cover the wall.

Next we learned the skills of how to put the past evenly over the paper.

I was very proud to finish a whole wall of lining paper - it was solely down to Steve's patient and informative tuition!
We then learned how to hang some rather jazzy golden patterned paper.

We were all pleased with the results...and hopefully can replicate perfectly at home!

August Meeting - 21st Century Girl

Monday, 31 August 2015 § 0

Suffolk puffs and Sunshine at our 100th Birthday Bash

Well my lovely Roses and Brilliant Bunnies, this month’s meeting was another jam-packed evening of craft, cake and conversation with our awesome members and friends coming together in ever growing numbers to celebrate 100 years of the WI and rise to the 100 Suffolk Puff Challenge.

After our regular branch update from the ladies of the committee and our president the table to table effort was high as we worked away over party food and new friends with old together, to making dainty little puffs of pastel joy to adorn our WI branch banner in commemoration of this momentous occasion with pink and green being the colors of the day.

Never to be phased by a challenge, and perhaps in the ever continuing nature of the WI movement we actually came out with 101 of our little puff-puppys and you can see them all here! Well done Ladies!

Our next meeting will be September 17th with a talk on Food Waste from Leeds Real Junk Food Project.

August Blog - You're Sew Vain

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For August’s workshop the Roses were joined by Sue and Kielly from O.W.L Industries to help tackle their fear of zips.  Zips can often scare a new sewer as they seem so complicated but thanks to Sue and Kielly’s fabulous tuition everyone got to try their hand at this new technique.

The group were not only given a lesson in sewing machine 101, teaching them how to thread up and use a sewing machine, they also got to make zipped pouches, in some truly amazing fabrics (we’re not jealous honest!). For some on the workshop it was the first time using a machine

Everyone went home with a fabulous purse/make up bag and hopefully feel confident enough to sew their own zips in future. So it’s only a small step to seeing their handmade clothing creations (maybe we should have a catwalk) or maybe even appear on the sewing bee – say hi to May for us.


July Meeting - Mysterious Girl

Friday, 31 July 2015 § 0

The July meeting was really popular and saw lots of new faces and four new members! Welcome Ladies we’re all so glad you have decided to join us! This meeting was ‘Mysterious Girl’ and it was truly inspirational. The session was led by the fabulous Tilla Brook and it was a moving and inspiring meeting.               
The meeting was kicked off by our wonderful President Lucy, the finance update was skilfully delivered by our glamourous Treasurer Grace-Ann and Secretary Amanda told us all about the exciting activities offered in this month’s WYN leaflet - which will soon be available to members online.   Amanda read out a lovely email from former member Paulette Clements who has relocated to Cheshire with her husband’s job. Thanking us for the friendliness, acceptance and the laughs.
Sam told us about the next workshop ‘You’re Sew Vain’ in which you will learn how to sew a zip into a purse. You can buy your ticket here
Shameless plugs came from Mencap via email where they told us that they hold a number of community and challenge fundraising events over the year – including Trek Ben Nevis 14th -16th Aug, Great Yorkshire Run 27th Sept. More info via  - if you want to volunteer, take part or donate. Girl guiding District Commissioner Claire put a shout out for all helper/leaders, go to to find out more.
Tilla introduced the session by telling us a bit about her own recovery from derailment. Three ladies very generously shared their stories; each followed by some questions from Tilla which highlighted their strength and courage; and what they have learnt about themselves and others.
Tilla then shared her excellent 6-point strategy to being stronger (Including some POWER POSES - see below!) and more able to handle that life-changing event. Some hand-outs elaborating on this and on building self-esteem were available. Next Tilla told us that she will generously give our attendees a ‘Know your values’ session at a reduced price of £50 for 1.5 hours. If anyone would like to take advantage of this amazing offer, please see the website for details or email:
Next it was the competition time and names went into a box for selection to win a copy of Tilla’s ‘The Magnificent Castle – How to become who you are’ - Julia Bilby was the lucky winner and took the opportunity to introduce herself to everyone as this was her first meeting. 
Phew with all of that going on we can’t wait to see you at the next meeting on 20 August - 21st Century Girl - A meeting to celebrate 100 years of the WI in their centenary year. Will include a craft challenge – 100 Suffolk Puffs which we think should be achievable in the time. There will be a quiz and attendees were asked to being some food items to share. Cake cake cake!