Archive for 2016

If You Go Down To The Woods Today, You'll Forage a Nice Surprise - June Workshop

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 § 0

There are many things worse to do on a hot summer’s eve, than walk around a peaceful lake and parkland, drinking wine and eating home-made foods. Better still is when you are waking around being shown where to forage the items to make your own version of the foods you are making!

Junes’ foraging workshop saw Claire Hanley-Opik taking our lovely ladies for a stroll around Roundhay Park while teaching us all about the free foods all around us with a handy hand out recipe guide to help us on our way. The below is by no way, a comprehensive list of what we saw as the choices were indeed fine.

A few paces into the park sees you greeted by cherry, walnut and lime trees (not the green citrus, the UK flowering tree from which cordials can be made). 

A little way down the hill to the first area of damp woodlands and we were greeted by the smell of garlic (which I had always thought was the gas from damp ground and composting leaves) which alerted our workshop leader to a veritable carpet of flowering wild garlic spreading out in a damp tree lined valley. Claire taught the ladies how to spot it, check it and positively identify it, and then to our delight, dished out the end product with samples of Wild Garlic Pesto, whizzed up earlier, tasty tasty!

She was also able to identify for us mustard garlic herb, hiding behind some nettles with its dainty leaves and white flowers..which is the less overpowering salad add in for those wanting just a hint of garlic, alongside a few items that were edible but were “an acquired taste” which it turns out, means it tastes dreadful and may be one for the true survivalists. Thus I chose not to remember that they could be eaten less I try again!

A short walk further and we reached the lake, which has overgrown areas on the teahouse side filled with blackberry bushes, sorrel and more surprisingly as Claire pointed out, wild raspberry canes….and yes I did manage to get back and get some when they came into season!! Further around the lake and there was a stop and gather moment on the wild garlic front while sampling some lovely home-made blackberry wine, just in case you get fed up with pies, jam and strudels! Very tasty.

The walk ended with a traditional classic at a Sloe berry bush, giving the ladies a chance  on how to spot this classic wild fruiter, ready to start raiding their local trees when they fruit in autumn to make that classic, Sloe Gin!

All in all a fabulous fivers worth of foraging food frolics! Claire also has a blog and has written about this outing, find out more here: 

Thursday, 30 June 2016 § 0

The Eurovision Wrong Contest - Quiz Night - May 2016

There aren’t many things that are so wrong they become right, but Eurovision is certainly one of those things. Here at Buns and Roses we’re great fans of the annual song-a-thon spectacle and decided to commemorate it this year with a Eurovision themed quiz at Leeds Crowd of Favours. 

Tension was high in the first round looking for names and nationalities of previous winners, with groantastic cryptic clues like “Dangled doll on a ground down beach” For Sandy Shaws’ ‘Puppet on a string’ followed hotly into the “Terry or not Terry” round, deciphering whether actual quotes from previous years live broadcasts had been the not so subtle sarcasm of the late great Wogan, or the bitchy bravado of Graham Norton.  

European geography round “Have you got a flag” and Euro-history in “as English as Queen Victoria”, gave a welcome relief for the quiz mastering continental art and literature round, just to prove we’re not all song and dance. 

With the winning prize going to…..the team that had 3 members who had been at this year’s final in Stockholm. That’s hard core specialists if we ever saw them!

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I Just Haven't Met You Yet - May Meeting 

May was hot indoors and out at Leeds WI with our lovely speaker Martine Scannel talking about Courtship Gestures - Or How We Girls Rule! - the behavioural psychology of people when they flirt and the advantages of mastering the often unnoticed courtship dance. 

We learned how men puff it up in an attempt to man up and to impress the ladies, whilst the ladies poke them out, pull it in, swish their hair and flash their Pandora bracelets when they want the chaps to know they are keen…and it’s the people that can read these often unconscious signals that often get the girl. 

However, studies have shown that women call the shots, with them being the initiators in the courtship dance in 90% of interactions, which puts the ladies in the power if they know how to use the right dance moves, but watch out for those over the shoulder glances and pelvic tilts or people may think you’re doing the Time Warp!

Many of us were scribbling furiously, including one of our assistant secretaries who pointed out “since I got married I want to avoid guys chatting me up, now I can use these tips to head off any likely Lotharios before they even get started”. 

Even more funny was learning about unconscious displays of masculinity, which has left many of us thinking we will never look at chaps on a sports pitch line up the same way again. 

By the end of the evening we were much better educated in subconscious human gestures and interactions with everyone taking away something from the meeting, whether it be how to use body language to your advantage in a male dominated meeting, to developing the ability to make chaps come to talk to you as if by magic at the next party.


We Will Frock You - May Workshop

Wednesday, 8 June 2016 § 0

Our guest speaker for this meeting was Jean who had travelled all the way from Sheffield, where she is also a WI member. We welcomed her and everyone to the workshop including new and regular members.

Jean started the workshop talking about colours and how the seasons influence colours and our clothes and the current fashion trends (backed up by some images of current fashion trends in New York at the moment). Jean explained about spring colours such as green and yellow and about everything coming to life in this season. These colours when we wear them can also indicate new beginnings and ideas and have links to nature. We tend to drift towards colours such as these as well as fresh pinks and whites this time of year as our energy rises and we feel young and alive as the spring is here.

Summer months bring more colours into our lives including reds and pinks which we associate with love.  The summer months and more colour in the summer clothes in the shops help us to feel lighter, brighter and better in every way

Autumn brings colours of life turning a circle with golden and brown tints - again seen in nature as leaves fall from trees. Brown is the colour of mother earth. 
Winter is when life’s balance restores and we tend to associate red and green with this time of year, especially at Christmas time.  The red signifies love and green relates to money and energy, of course Christmas is a time for both of these!

As human being we tend to compliment nature with our clothes but we do not necessarily have to copy nature, so you can in fact wear any colour any time of the year!

Other popular colours we wear created by fashion include white - Jean told us how most clothes are made white and then dyed to match that period of time’s must have colours.  

Grey is associated with self denial and fear and holding oneself back. On a grey day we feel down and this is reflected in our grey choice of clothing. Black clothes tend to be mysterious but when partnered with say a red blouse, the red stands out more and is thought to give one physical power - so a good choice to wear for an interview maybe! We can also pair black with pink for social power and yellow for intellectual power! 
It was quite entertaining that pink is associated with royalty and incidentally our treasurer was dressed in pink and gave us a royal wave!!

Jean explained that calming colours like pale blues and pinks tend to be seen in shops for babies clothes as these are seen as calming and nurturing colours.

At half time we had a clothes swap and I know many people (including myself) really appreciated this and got a couple of new additions to our wardrobe!

After a quick rummage through the clothes brought Jean then went onto explain numerology and how our date of birth relates to a particular number / colour.
This involved a bit of maths and a lot of confusion but it was fun to find out our colour / number and to see what that said about us.  It involved adding up all the numbers of your date of birth to come up with a single number

If you are interested the numbers and descriptions are below:

Number 1 vibration the red ray
Number 1 leadership, independence. Red willpower, determination to succeed. Virtues courage, perseverance, goodness, love
Number 1 is leadership, those who have initiative and are not afraid of using it.  They are independent, often forward thinkers and can be pioneers in their field.  They accept responsibility and are always active in one way or another.
Number 2 vibration the orange ray
Number 2 adaptability, can hold back, leads one to harmony. Orange creativity, self expression, leading to confidence. Virtues purity, holiness
Adaptability leading to harmony, this vibration is duality, and we live in a world of duality, day and night, positive and negative, male and female.  Number 2 is the opposite of number 1, who is very definite.  These people are adaptable, and they avoid conflicts but have strong moods and feelings.  
Number 3 vibration the yellow ray
Number 3 the pure artist. Yellow intellect, ideas. Virtues wisdom, discernment, right judgement.
Creativity here we have the pure artist.  To create is one of the highest expressions a person can achieve on earth, and we can create at many levels: children, works of art, beautiful surroundings but what we create we have to live with and this needs to be remembered by the number 3 vibration.  
Number 4 vibration the green ray
Number 4 Practicality, self-discipline. Green energy, balance, harmony. Virtues compassion, understanding, kindness.  Generosity.  Humility.
The ray of practicality.  Ask a four vibration to do anything for you and here we have the willing workhorse.  Everything has to have a meaning and purpose for them but they are realistic and objective.  They either have a lot of self-discipline or will have incarnated to learn self-discipline: that is the essence of the four vibration.
Number 5 vibration the blue ray
Number 5 communication, a tendency to go down too many avenues. Blue intuition, awareness. Virtues faith, trust, loyalty and integrity (same as indigo).
The number of communication.  These people have to watch they do not go down too many avenues and waste time; they need to find a goal and go for it.  The person who is a five vibration has a need to express themselves in many ways, through speaking, writing, singing, communications in some way, otherwise they can become withdrawn – a negative aspect of the blue ray.  
Number 6 vibration the indigo ray
Number 6 responsibility, the organiser. Indigo power with knowledge and understanding. Virtues faith, trust, loyalty and integrity (same as blue).
This is the number of responsibility.  These people must watch they do not take on too much.  Efficient and very capable, whatever they undertake will be done well.  They can organise and delegate and are good at running events of any kind.  They are home lovers, their home is their sanctuary.  They are very caring and could be good therapists in any field or run a clinic, or an office.  They need to be with people for balance as they tend to be loners.  
Number 7 vibration the violet ray
Number 7 sensitivity, insight. Violet high ideals, inspiration, intuition. Virtues sacrifice, unselfishness.
Sensitivity and insight.  This vibration is associated with extra-sensory perception, an awareness of other dimensions.  Many are mediums with this number; they can also be practical mystic, earthing the knowledge they receive to enable others to understand.  
Number 8 vibration the silver ray
Number 8 balancing of spirit and matter, material affairs, business acumen, success. Silver unifying knowledge with awareness.
The eight vibration is the balance of spirit and matter, the eight being formed by 2 circles, one on top of the other (‘As above, so below’).  Above are the heavenly worlds and below is the earth – here are the two principles working together: spirit and matter, the masculine and feminine, which are within each and every one of us.  We are spiritual beings living and working in matter.  
Number 9 vibration the golden yellow ray
Number 9 service, benevolence, giving oneself with no thought of reward.
This is the number of service.  To serve for the sake of serving with no thought of any reward is the highest vibration that mankind can tune in to, and so often the reward comes anyway.  We should not look for results of what we are doing, just to give of our time and energy in whatever way the spirit moves us is enough.  All this is contrary to the materialist of today who is always looking for profit, but there is a time and place for us all to arrive at these points in life and we should allow others their space to experience life the way they wish to.
Jean also gave colour and style tips to the ladies that asked and we all then chatted and said our goodbyes.  
Thank you to Jean for coming over to run this session and hopefully we all took something away from this!

Buns and Roses x

Knocking On Seven's Door - April Meeting - Annual Meeting & Birthday Party

Tuesday, 7 June 2016 § 0

So happy 7th birthday Buns & Roses!  Yet again it’s been an exciting year and I’m going to run through some of our highlights with you all!

I’ve now been involved with Buns & Roses for nearly 6 years, on the committee since 2012 and president since 2013 and the time has just flown!  My first meeting was back in Mojos and I learnt the skill of horror make up from Gloria’s sister – the results were terrifying!  I’ve made some wonderful friends and learned some amazing skills like how to make a fascinator, how to melt chocolate with the greatest ease (tip being a hairdryer!) and tried on diamond rings worth over £30,000.  I’m sad to be stepping down as president, but with a very healthy 46 paid members and a great committee and new president I look forward to seeing how Buns & Roses evolves sitting at meetings as a member and being able to craft a chat!

What has always been important for me as a member and what drew me to the group was how friendly and welcoming we are.  For those of you who don’t know the story, founder members Georgiana and Zoe went to a craft group and were made to feel so unwelcome to the point that the other members left without even saying goodbye to them!  They decided that it could be done better! All our founder members were most concerned with ensuring that Buns & Roses WI was a welcoming and friendly group and this has continued to be the theme for us throughout the last 7 years and is certainly one of the things that I'm most passionate about.

So let's have a quick look back over the last year...

As always we’ve strived to listen to members and arrange a number of varied meetings including make up workshops, fascinator making, yarn craft, lots of general meetings because we all know you wanted to chat!  We heard from extremely inspiring speakers including Adam from The Real Junk Food Project and had a very over subscribed Gin Tasting Meeting!  We love the fact that our members and visitors are from a mix of people from different ages and backgrounds and we are working hard as a committee to ensure that we meet the needs of as many of our members as possible. 

This year our big trip out was to Whitby by popular demand and we had a great day searching for seaside tat, enjoying the SUNSHINE, scoffing fish and chips and trying to win our fortunes in the arcades.

Siobhan Maguire-Broad continued to look after Book Club until her University studies took over and very handily recruited Siobhan Ashburn to take over and both Siobhan’s have ensured that it is a fun, relaxed and cake filled environment to discuss a wide range of novels and regularly has up to 10 keen readers or cake consumers debating the merits of the plotlines, movie adaptations or book covers.

We’ve had a few committee changes, mostly lots of our lovely Roses have been mega keen to help out and so we now have bumper committee meetings with Grace-Ann as Treasurer supported by Clare-Marie and Louise, Lauren remains in charge of MCS, Amanda Hill has helped with the most amazing secretarial support and timely and well written minutes and agenda’s ever – I’m so grateful for your organisation as it has helped with my extremely chaotic nature.  We’ve also had fresh new input from Julie-Anne, Emma, Sarah, Lisa, Georgina, Stephanie and Caroline.

We've continued to have a presence within the media with Buns & Roses being featured in Grazia in the last few weeks as well as a couple of slots on BBC Radio Leeds – including back in October when I went head to head against the ex-editor of Loaded to explain why the WI is a necessary female safe space.

We've got exciting things to look forward to in 2016 including Beer Tasting, learning to play the Ukulele, mental health as well as more general meetings to allow members to socialise and get to know each other as well as our trip to Formby and Southport on the 30th April and so thank you to all the committee for helping to make it happen and to all our members for making it possible and if anyone would like to be more involved or has any further suggestions for forthcoming events and meetings, please get in touch.

Happy Birthday Buns & Roses!

You Make Me Feel LIke a Natural Woman - April Workshop - Natural Beauty Products

Sunday, 10 April 2016 § 1

Last Thursday I ran my first ever class called “You make me feel like a natural woman” for 17 wonderful women who booked on to make completely natural bath bombs, toner and make up remover, with no additives and to watch a demonstration on how to make your own natural moisturiser.  If I’d thought about it at the time I would have called it “Let’s all make a (bath) bomb” which is an old Heaven 17 song from the 80’s!!  But you are all probably far too young to remember them! 
I have been making my own care products for about 10 years now, after a chance find of a ‘make your own beauty products book’ on a car boot sale.  I had very mixed results with my first efforts to produce a moisturiser, it had the consistency of car wax, but boy was I proud of my efforts and I used every last bit, even though it did make me waterproof!  After 4 years of trial and error I realised that I had to be very accurate with my ingredients and a neighbour told me to use a blender to make it lighter and creamier and hey presto I can now make a very decent face and body moisturiser. 

I demonstrated how easy it was to make a simple moisturiser to the assembled group, and we all had a sample to see what they thought of it and I think everyone was pleasantly surprised how easy and quick it was to make. 

Then it was time to get everybody involved, we had come here for everyone to get stuck in and make bath bombs, so we all weighed out our dry ingredients, then mixed our wet ingredients and dripped the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, whilst mixing furiously, to try and achieve the consistency of wet sand.  By that I mean that the mixture is clumping together when you crush it in your hands.  There is a knack to it and I have to admit I had made at least 6 lots of bath bombs at home, with varying degrees of success.  My first attempt was a great success – but that was just beginner’s luck.  I had many failed attempts as well.   There was a delicious scent in the air on Thursday and some wonderful coloured bath salts were made, some of us even got our bath bombs to keep their shape!  But I tried again when I got home and I think I know what makes a successful bath bomb now.  Drum roll – you have to keep it in the mold and take it home in the mold.  It is so fragile otherwise.  I had made two beauties to show, one heart and one ball and they were perfectly formed, but the heart collapsed midway through the evening as I had taken it out of the mold, whereas the ones I left in overnight are rock solid!  Never mind – the bath salts can be put in a jar with a little spoon and still make your bath smell wonderful and your skin smooth.  Practise definitely makes perfect.  So keep practising ladies!

Finally, we made a toner with green tea and aloe vera and a very simple but gentle make up remover with aloe vera, water and olive oil.   Everybody went home with a little pot of moisturiser (here’s 17 I made earlier!) and their home made products.  It was a lovely evening and there was lots of laughter and mess!!  I hope everyone had a good time and I hope everyone learned something and will have another go at home.

Sadly I had made 20 pieces of chocolate flapjack and forgot to hand it out – much to the delight of my son Josh who helped himself to a piece or three!!

Georgina Perry

See You Later Fascinator - Belated February Workshop

Monday, 28 March 2016 § 0

At Buns and Roses we like to think ourselves unstoppable, and that is why despite illness, we rescheduled the February workshop to ensure you beautiful bunnies and lovely roses didn’t miss out on the fascinator making workshop, led by founding member and milliner extraordinaire, or as she likes to put it “the lady who makes fabric do stuff it didn’t want to” Hayley.

Competition was high on the night, with support wire flying into fettles!


Style and class were out in full force whether that be 40’s kitsch, operatic grace or stylish stripes.


Everybody was surprised how quickly and effectively a fabric covered fascinator can be made, with many items made and ready to wear by the end of the workshop..with a few of our ladies inspired to think bigger with intentions to hit hobbicraft in the morning to go large with their design at home.


All in all a fabulous evening with even more fabulous ladies and an instructor par excellence!

That's Not My Name (badge) - February Meeting

Saturday, 5 March 2016 § 0

"That's Not My Name (badge)"

Got scrabble tiles and the girls’ going strong
We got some glue and we got our craft going on and I
 keep stitching, keeping sequins together
Ladies around the stashbox got to find the glitzy bling now

Adding more glitter to my namebadge fame
Buns n’ roses together
and chatting all the way
with our new badges we will never forget your name (fame, fame, fame)

They call me Helen
They call me Tracey
They call me Caroline
They call me J-A
You got my name
My name badge name
They call me Lisa
Verdant and quiet
and Grace-Ann is glamour
In pink so vibrant
You got my name,
My name badge name

We hit the glitz when the creativity calls
Stephanie’s striped badge would give Cinderella a run for the ball
Lauren’s fantastic, in patterned fabric
and even Lucy made one although she knows us all!

A social Thursday meet
and we were late away
With craft, food  and chatter
And us girls are all happy to say
Welcome to B’n’R with 45+ members we have badges so we won’t forget your names
(Fame, Fame, Fame)

They call me Amanda
They call me Emma
They call me Georgina
They call me Sue
You got my name
My name badge name
We stitched some blood bags
for Diamond Blackfan Anaemia
Look up that name

On a more serious note though, Diamond blackfan anaemia is a blood disorder which prevents the creation of red blood cells, leaving victims chronically under weight (we heard about a little three year old girl that has to use a medical feeding tube at night to keep her weight up), having to have regular blood transfusions to get red blood cells, dialysis to remove unfiltered iron from their blood and with sclerosis of the liver as a result. Some lucky sufferers will find a bone marrow match and become strong enough to receive a bone marrow transplant. This can cure the disorder. If you are not already on the bone marrow register you can apply here

Talkin' Bout a Resolution - January Meeting

Sunday, 14 February 2016 § 0

Hello our brilliant bunnies and lovely roses.

January started as we mean to go on with another full house for ‘Talkin Bout a Resolution’s general meet, craft and national resolution discussion running alongside membership renewals and a jolly good time.
The committee were on full form with their introductions, finance updates and branch information round up before leading the us into the Bunny-Battle-Loyal, with our lovely ladies putting the case forward for the 8 proposed national resolutions. 

To give you a roses-recap, every January the national WI asks us to decide which worthy cause we would like them to campaign for publicly and with government. Such worthy causes as a parents right to stay overnight (first 24hrs) for a child admitted to hospital and increased awareness of the Organ Donors register have been some of our ever so successful campaigns as a national federation working together in unison..and together we are a mighty force!

Ban the microbead, the Brightest Bouncy Bunny that is our own Steph explained to us how those little hyper absorbent grains in make up and nappies to name but a few offenders are clogging up the sea floor and killing fish! Step also spoke out on the  Prevention of sudden cardiac death in young adults in the UK imploring the Government to put in place a national strategy for the prevention of young sudden cardiac death to ensure that all young people between the ages of 14 and 35 have access to heart screening by appropriately qualified professionals to identity any potentially life-threatening conditions.   

British fruit: reviving our heritage Our own Legal Eagle Emma spoke out for a campaign that creates a fruit revival in local communities, celebrates our WI roots, promotes health, addresses food security and whilst reducing the carbon footprint.  Emma then went on to Avoid food waste, address food poverty calling  on all supermarkets to sign up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food onto charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK.  

Free sanitary protection for homeless women The Roaring Rose, Julie-Anne urged us to campaign for homeless shelters to be provided with a funding allowance to enable them to provide sanitary protection (tampons and towels) for homeless women and Mind or body – equal funding for care Calling upon the Government to ensure that the care of people with mental health issues to receive equal precedence with physical illness within the NHS..   

First aid to save lives Our Ever-Caring Clare asked us to consider that suffering could be minimized and lives could be saved if more members of the general population were trained in first aid. The Government should therefore promote first aid training in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.  

Finally, our own Princess Di of the WI, Grace-Ann spoke to us on Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia proposing the WI pressures the Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay overnight with people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital and often become disorientated and distressed, without the mental capacity to understand their situation as a result of their illness.

And Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia ultimately was the resolution you lovely ladies cast the most vote for and the resolution behind which we will be asking the national federation to put its’ force behind.

Thank you all you lovely people! 

It's the End of the Year as we Know it - December Meeting

Sunday, 10 January 2016 § 0

Decembers WI Christmas party was a sure sign of our branch going from strength to giving strength, with a full table of secret santa gifts and an even fuller fuddle finger buffet.  Well done ladies and thank you all who made or brought something to gift to one of their fellow members. There were some truly lovely gifts again this year!

The Christmas revelry got off to an excellent start with Christmas head ware (in anticipation of our up and coming fascinator workshop), some fabulous jumpers (the yarn craft workshop coming in handy again), and gloriously festive table dressing from our lovely Grace-Ann.

The tombola table of temptation kept us all trying until all of the Gin and luxury gifts were gone, raising nearly £80 for the branch and the Christmas themed quiz had us groaning and scratching our heads in the attempt to win the Bombay Sapphire prize.

But most of all, our lovely ladies, it was you who made this party special with your ongoing cheer, kind spirits and good hearts. Thank you all for your time and effort this and every month. We look forward to seeing you and our friends old and new in the coming year and wish you all a very happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful new year.