Simply by arrangement @ A still life Workshops
At the beginning of Autumn, we attended an enchanting and inspirational day out at our favourite creative retreat - A still life. Run by Vicky & Kirsty, we always love to visit as we come away so refreshed and inspired. They both have a beautiful nature and make a wonderful cup of tea, always accompanied by crumbly biscuits and a smile.
A Still Life, a fusion of creative workshops, gatherings and curated events within the village of Crathorne and the City of York, North Yorkshire.
Absolutely everyone deserves A Still Life.
The late Summers light had started to change, which made the journey over the Moors especially beautiful for the time of year. September leaves strewn over the sleepy village of Crathorne.(milliseconds from the A19). If you haven’t stumbled across this tiny village yet, you must visit. Crathorne hosts the stunning Countryside Hotel Set in 15 acres of private grounds, Built in 1906, with captivating views of the Leven Valley, Crathorne Hall. Other local gems are a fabulous Farm shop and the famous Crathorne Arms Restaurant, which we love because of its gorgeous food and quirky styling.
The workshop was held in The Reading rooms, lead by Sarah whom we have admired for some time, her style is unique, relaxed and we are especially drawn her use of Seasonal British flowers and her famously wondrous foraged feel. Have a look at her dreamy Instagram as we know Spring is kindly on its way - her feed will be filled with stunning Spring vases of elegant beauty, and tumbling Tulips and her home-grown Hellebores.
With a workshop, garden and home set in the Yorkshire hillsides that inspired many great writers, we are passionate about bringing the most beautiful seasonal flowers to the North of England and beyond.
Our floral designs are wildly abundant, reflecting our own love of the English garden, each one full of texture, movement and life – almost as if still growing.
We design for weddings, events, homes and magazines, and we teach others how to ‘do the flowers’ and how to make designs that tell the true story of the flowers they contain.
Welcome to a small corner of Yorkshire…
When entering the Reading Rooms the first thing that hits you is the intoxicating scents, which you can smell right the way down the street, the exotic scents of Neroli, Clary Sage and other mystical essential oils. Then you are hit with the scents of the stunning flower collection, Aways displayed so eloquently by Kirsty. You almost want to shrike with excitement and the vast amount of flowers you will be playing around with all day. Colourfully displayed in old pots, rustic buckets and interesting earthenware.
Sarah started by treating us to a live demonstration, in which we all watched upon in wonder, the floral selection was mesmerising and she made a spectacular display in a beautiful white ceramic pot made by Bohw Pottery. She talked us through the process and little snippets of her life in Hebden Bridge.
We all headed to the Crathorne Arms for a lovely Sunday dinner, chatting about flowers, everyone’s style and aspirations. The group was a mixture of professional florists, flower growers and flower lovers. Some had travelled from far away locations; France, Switzerland and The South of England. Workshops really bring everyone together, and we have made friends in which we follow each others design process online. a little kind community.
After Lunch we set about making our own floral centrepiece, with dried elements; honesty, hydrangea and grasses. Beautiful fresh roses in dusky pinks and mustard shades with large locally grown chrysanthemums from Picked at Dawn, Thirsk.
Vicky and Kirsty set out the most amazing array of props and backdrops for our photography and styling session. The light worked it’s magic in the afternoon, shining a golden halo over the whole day. Charlotte was on hand to give us photography tips and techniques. She captured the day perfectly. Her photographs are moody and melancholy. I've put her images at the bottom of the page for you to see.
Here is what Sarah has to say about her Simply by Arrangement workshops. If you get the chance to treat yourself then I would defiantly recommend, keep your eyes peeled for new Floral Workshops releases at A Still Life, Crathorne.
“Workshops are our speciality. They are a complete feast for the senses, with masses of fine flowers and food- a perfect day away from the stresses of everyday life.
From our small corner of Yorkshire (with our cutting garden) or our larger space in Lancashire, and often also other interesting places we have discovered, we provide a warm and nurturing environment in which to learn the art of floral design. Whether you are new to flowers and want a day of escapism, a traveller in need of a break, an aspiring florist, or even an experienced florist in need of inspiration, we can provide the workshop for you.
Sarah spends time each year training and teaching with internationally recognised floral designers. Her philosophy for life is to ‘never stop learning’ and also through kindness and generosity to pass on to others anything that might help them in life, business and wellbeing.
Working with other floral designers, gardeners, writers, photographers and artists is very important to us and often we will collaborate with others to bring extra elements to our teaching and classes. Many of these classes are timetabled throughout the year but we can also arrange bespoke classes- for example for those who would like to know more about photography, or travel into some of our favourite parts of Yorkshire to see gardens, historical places, galleries or flower farms.
We host one-to-one workshops on a weekly basis, by arrangement and early booking is advisable.
Prices for our workshops range from £90 to £450 (and prices for collaborative classes will vary).”
The images of my floral arrangement below, kindly captured by Charlotte from Eve Wanders Photography. Look at the light!